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Lust & love in ‘Stranger by the Lake’

Alain Guiraudie’s “Stranger by the Lake” opened in this country to almost unanimous praise in 2013 — a 94 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and many writers drawing comparisons with the best work of Alfred Hitchcock — but it’s an odd, strangely slack suspense piece about a young man who falls in love/lust with […] [Read More]

Happy Memorial Day!

Categories: General

Why I used to love rainy Memorial Day weekends

Almost every year, when summer starts, my thoughts go back several decades to one of the craziest ventures I’ve ever been involved with, a business in which rainy holiday weekends were much desired. Against my better judgement, I was lured into a plan to convert a just-closed porn theater on the Delaware Coast into the state’s […] [Read More]

‘Hello Ladies’: abrasive but very funny

A 2013 HBO season series that never clicked, “Hello Ladies” has just been released on DVD by HBO Video. The big comedy hits on HBO tend to feature characters you might want to spend time with in real life (“Sex and the City”) or whose lifestyle many viewers aspire to (“Entourage”). As unpleasant as some […] [Read More]

‘Mrs. Wilson’: when a woman ran the country (briefly)

Long Wharf Theatre is ending its season with an intriguing, extraordinarily well-acted history play, “The Second Mrs. Wilson,” by Joe DiPietro. The drama takes us back to the early years of the last century when Woodrow Wilson lost his first wife, Ellen, and started going out with the Virginia widow Edith Bolling. Wilson became the […] [Read More]

The man who sold ‘The Conversation’ & other classics

Dick Guttman has been at the center of the Hollywood public relations scene for more than a half-century, so his huge and fascinating memoir, “Starflacker,” is packed with goodies. Starting out with the legendary firm of Rogers & Cowan, Guttman worked side by side with some of the greatest Hollywood figures of our time, from […] [Read More]

Rent it now: the pure sci-fi horror of ‘Fire in the Sky’

Robert Lieberman’s “Fire in the Sky” was released theatrically in 1993 by Paramount Pictures with little fanfare, and then picked up a small cult following from cable and video in the mid-1990s, but it remains an undiscovered gem. Based on a real incident in Arizona in the mid-1970s — a UFO sighting and reported abduction […] [Read More]

‘The Body in the Birches’: sophisticated comfort food

Book by book for more than 20 years, Katherine Hall Page has earned a place among the best American mystery writers. The fact that Page has done this within the confines of a single series about an amateur sleuth is quite remarkable. Series burn-out is quite obvious in the work of some of the more […] [Read More]