The Many Saints of Newark Promises A Look At The Early Life of Tony Soprano

The Many Saints of Newark, which is finally going to be released on October 1st after being delayed by the pandemic, is a prequel to The Sopranos. It features Tony Soprano as a teenager, struggling to decide between entering the family business or going to college and — if The Test Dream episode is to be believed — maybe becoming a teacher or a coach. That’s a big decision for anyone to make. Of course, since The Many Saints of Newark is a prequel, we already know that’s going to happen. That’s kind of the problem with prequels. You can drag out the story for as long as you want but, eventually, you’re going to reach the point where everyone originally came in.

As you may have picked up on, I’m not totally sure that this film is really necessary. As I say this as someone who loves The Sopranos and who is planning on rewatchinng the entire series later in July. Thanks to the show’s use of flashbacks and the scenes of Tony talking to Dr. Melfi, it’s not as if we don’t already know about Tony’s childhood. I’m not sure that there’s a lot for the prequel to show us, beyond maybe clearing up who was actually responsible for the death of Dickie Moltisanti. If Tony ends up killing Dickie, it’ll cast his later treatment (and murder) of Christopher into an entirely new light.

Still, I’m definitely going to watch The Many Saints of Newark when it’s released on October 1st. Vera Farmiga as Livia Soprano seems like perfect casting and I’m also interested in seeing how Michael Gandolfini does at playing the young version of the character made famous by his father, the much-missed James Gandolfini. Apparently, Billy Magnussen will be playing the youngish version of Paulie Walnuts. In what world does Billy Magnussen grow up to be Tony Sirico? Ray Liotta also has a role in The Many Saints of Newark, which feels appropriate considering how much The Sopranos owed to the success of Goodfellas.

The trailer for The Many Saints of Newark was released today. And here it is:

Still Teetering On The Brink : Sue Coe And Stephen F. Eisenman’s “American Fascism Now”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

There’s a school of thought which posits that we really dodged a bullet with the last election : yeah, Trump is still out there making noise, but he left office whether he wanted to or not, and now we can go about the business of steering this flagging ship we call America back toward a course of normalcy. Never mind the fact that “normalcy” isn’t a great state of affairs for many people, and their utter contempt for the political establishment was one of the biggest factors in President Goldenshower’s rise to power, this view is entirely too optimistic even leaving aside Biden’s own pro-corporate, militaristic leanings — the threat, you see, isn’t over, largely because it didn’t start with Trump and it never really went away.

I should be clear that by “the threat,” I refer to the potential for the US to descend into an overtly fascist, authoritarian…

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Music Video of the Day: Europa and the Pirate Twins (1981, directed by Thomas Dolby and Simon Maggs)

The lyrics to this Thomas Dolby song seem to be self-explanatory.  When they were teenagers, the narrator met a girl named Europa, they fell in love while spending their days walking along the beach, and then Europa moved away.  (Dolby sings that “the war” took her away, which sounds ominous but which makes sense when you consider that Dolby’s 1982 album, The Golden Age of Wireless, was based on the idea of him being a part of the first generation since World War II.  “The war took her away” is probably meant to be a comment on how relationships that were once ended by a world war were now just being ended by a parent getting a new job in a new country or town.)  Years later, Europa’s a star and Dolby tries to see her, just to be ushered away by one of her bodyguards.  But, in Dolby’s heart, they’ll always be pirate twins on the beach.

The video has come to be considered a classic example of early 80s music videos, mixing the future and the past and allowing Dolby to capitalize on his nerdy but cool persona.  (I’ve always felt that if Peter Parker became a musician instead of a Spider-Man, his music would have sounded much like Thomas Dolby’s.)  The machines link the song to the future but the black-and-white images bring us to the past, capturing the feel of Dolby’s song.