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Happy Labor Day!

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Categories: General
football

‘Why Football Matters’: a life shaped by sports

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Penguin Press is publishing a wonderful coming of age memoir on Thursday, “Why Football Matters,” by Mark Edmundson. The author, who teachers English at the University of Virginia, makes a strong, lucid case for the way that his connection to football — both as a very young spectator and later as a high school player […] [Read More]
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A look back at ‘The Forgotten Fifties’

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In a nice bit of synchronicity last week, I had a chance to interview the longtime publisher of LOOK magazine — Tom Shepard, Jr. of Greenwich — just as a new Skira/Rizzoli book, “The Forgotten Fifties: America’s Decade from the Archives of LOOK Magazine” landed on my desk. The magazine lasted from the mid-1930s through […] [Read More]
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#FridayReads ‘Mean Streak’ by Sandra Brown

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The end of summer is a drag for those of us who relish getting that extra time in to read while relaxing on a beach — and to read purely for pleasure. In recent years, two of the best suspense writers in the business, Lee Child and Sandra Brown, have timed their new books for […] [Read More]
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Rent it now: ‘Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’

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The French New Wave of the early 1960s is still written about endlessly because the key directors of that movement, Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut, had such a major influence on Hollywood and American filmmakers. Godard is as fashionable today as he was 50 years ago. Every year seems to bring a theatrical restoration and […] [Read More]
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‘The Normal Heart’ arrives on DVD

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The very strong HBO version of the Larry Kramer play “The Normal Heart” got shut-out in most categories at the Emmy Awards ceremony Monday night, but it took the prize for best TV movie. The loss in the supporting actor category was understandable since four “Normal Heart” players were cited — Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello, […] [Read More]
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‘Personal’: a master entertainer’s 19th novel

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There is at least one positive aspect to the looming end of summer. Delacorte Press will release the 19th Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child — “Personal” — next Tuesday and it pleases me to report that this master entertainer upholds the high standards of one of the best contemporary suspense novel series. Reacher has […] [Read More]
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‘No Static at All’: lost friendship and Steely Dan

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Alex Knox scored one of the hits of the just-ended New York International Fringe Festival with his powerful one-man performance piece “No Static at All.” Already well received on the West Coast where the Yale School of Drama graduate lives and works, the hour-long monologue (with music) is a remembrance of a lost friendship and […] [Read More]
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Liv Ullmann’s two years of living dangerously (in Hollywood)

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European film stars tend to stay in their home countries these days because it’s tough to find appropriate parts in Hollywood — for every Penelope Cruz there have been many, many Marthe Kellers. I was reminded of one of the most disastrous — and unfortunate — crossover attempts as I watched a rather charming little […] [Read More]
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The devolution of Mel Gibson

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The big male movie stars of the 1980s rarely teamed up together in the same pictures. Whether due to ego or budget issues, Mel Gibson, Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger were solo acts in their signature roles, so it was a terrible sign of the times for these men last week when their […] [Read More]