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Rent it now: a fresh look at the Hollywood fame game

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Who would imagine that a documentary about celebrity culture — with extensive interview footage involving Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan — would turn out as well as Adrian Grenier’s “Teenage Paparazzo”? Grenier was one of the stars of my least-favorite HBO series, “Entourage,” which was all about movie people in Los Angeles, so I feared […] [Read More]
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newsiestour

‘Newsies’ even better the second time around

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The many virtues of the Disney sleeper hit musical “Newsies” became even more apparent to me last night when I caught the opening of the first-rate first national tour at the gorgeous Palace Theater in Waterbury. Based on a 1992 movie flop, the story of an 1899 strike by New York City newspaper boys against […] [Read More]
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cameraeye1

The star who changed our notions of beauty

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Barbra Streisand has been a star and pop culture icon for so long now that it is easy to lose sight of the revolutionary impact she had on show business 50 years ago. Streisand’s distinctive looks were called “ugly” by some industry insiders who couldn’t imagine a place for the actress and singer in a […] [Read More]
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days1

‘Days and Nights’: Chekhov in Connecticut

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The very gifted stage actor Christian Camargo makes an auspicious film directing debut with “Days and Nights,” an adaptation of “The Seagull” set on a rambling Connecticut estate in the early 1980s. The movie opened at the IFC Center in New York just a few weeks ago, but it has already been made available for […] [Read More]
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rich1

Bad Movies We Love: ‘Rich and Famous’

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Veteran Hollywood director George Cukor’s final film, “Rich and Famous,” was not well reviewed when it debuted in 1981 and the box-office results were mediocre. A mini-controversy erupted when New Yorker reviewer Pauline Kael wrote about what she saw as homosexual undertones in the storytelling, but Kael’s critics blasted her review as thinly veiled homophobia directed […] [Read More]
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Crimeconference

Solving many mysteries at CrimeCONN on Saturday

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You wouldn’t think that people who write about murder and deep psychological disturbances would be be fun to hang out with, but you would be wrong. After spending many hours at assorted crime writing conferences — from Bouchercon to ThrillerFest to the New England Crime Bake — I am continuously impressed by the generosity and […] [Read More]
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The not so discreet charm of Lilli Palmer

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The other night as I was scrolling through the nearly endless offerings on the Amazon Prime streaming service, I noticed the 1961 comedy “The Pleasure of His Company” starring Fred Astaire and decided to give it a look. Made after Astaire’s transition from musicals to straight acting, the slightly musty movie shows its origins as […] [Read More]
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aworld1

‘A World Elsewhere’: an American in WWII Germany

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Imagine growing up in Hartford right after World War II and having a classmate at school yell “Nazi!” at you. That’s what happened to Sigrid MacRae because she was born to an American woman who spent the war in Germany married to an officer. What happened before and during the war between her parents was […] [Read More]
Categories: General