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Blessed Unrest presents ‘Body’ at New Ohio Theatre

In a culture awash in entertainment and information that is easily downloaded at home, the theatre faces new challenges with its seemingly archaic demand that we show up at the same time and same place as the actors who will only tell their stories face to face with a live audience. “Any given night, you […] [Read More]

Happy Days’: optimism on the edge of the abyss

The 1961 play “Happy Days” is drenched in the gallows humor of Samuel Beckett. Blessed with the Irish gift of turning life’s most hopeless experiences into black comedy, the playwright was able to find laughs in human lives that he clearly believed were meaningless but ridiculously funny. The situation faced by Beckett’s “Happy Days” protagonist, […] [Read More]

‘Hideaway’: mourning an addict’s death

The French writer-director Francois Ozon had a taste of U.S. mainstream success with his 2003 thriller, “Swimming Pool,” in which Charlotte Rampling played a suspense novelist who began to get lost in her own morbid imagination. The film wasn’t exactly a smash hit, but it received much wider circulation than the average import — including […] [Read More]

‘People I Know’: the lost Al Pacino movie

You wouldn’t think that a movie starring Al Pacino and Kim Basinger would sit on a shelf for two years and then get a cursory theatrical release that earned only a little more than $100,000. But that’s what happened to the 2003 film “People I Know,” which very few moviegoers have heard of let alone […] [Read More]

The best movies that we’ll never see

For a great idea well executed check out Simon Braund’s book “The Greatest Movies You’ll Never See” (Cassell Illustrated). Subtitled “Unseen Masterpieces by the World’s Greatest Directors” the book examines abandoned moviemaking projects by Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock and many others. Braund ranges over almost 100 years of film history, from Charlie Chaplin’s never-filmed Napoleon […] [Read More]

‘Sexplosion’: testing artistic limits in the ’60s

HarperCollins’ !t Books division published Robert Hofler’s “Sexplosion” to less press attention than it deserved. The book is an illuminating and entertaining look back at when publishing, movies and theater got much sexier in the late 1960s. Porn is so readily available now, and cable productions such as “Girls” are so sexually explicit, that it’s […] [Read More]

‘The Sleepy Time Gal’: Jackie Bisset’s lost triumph

Never quite an A-list star but someone who has worked continuously — and well — in film and television for almost 50 years, Jacqueline Bisset has always been a seriously underrated and under-utilized actress. Her Hollywood resume is nothing to sneeze at — ranging from “Bullitt’ to “Murder on the Orient Express” and, yes, “The […] [Read More]

A quintessential 1970s Jeff Bridges vehicle

If you want to see why it took so long for Jeff Bridges to win an Oscar, rent “Winter Kills,” the fabulous thriller/satire/horror-comedy that the actor starred in 36 years ago. Bridges is terrific in the movie — as usual — but the 1979 box-office flop is a quintessential Jeff Bridges vehicle. Daring, eccentric, and with little or no chance of […] [Read More]