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A late report on the funny and scary ‘Squealer’

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Mixing elements of Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson’s “Balm in Gilead” and those backwoods Southern horror movies (i.e. “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) Jonathan Blitstein has cooked up a wild and woolly play called “Squealer” that ended a too-brief run last night at the Theater for the New City in the East Village. The production was the first […] [Read More]

Elaine’s closing marks the end of a movie/restaurant era

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The announcement yesterday that Elaine’s — the venerable Upper East Side restaurant — will be closing May 26 hit a certain slice of Manhattan society hard. The owner and hostess, Elaine Kaufman, died last year and left the place to the manager, but business collapsed without the presence of the woman who ran it for […] [Read More]

‘The Social Climber’s Handbook’: dressed to kill in Manhattan

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Molly Jong-Fast’s “The Social Climber’s Handbook” is a very dark and very funny new novel that examines the money pressures that even the wealthy felt three years ago when the economy began to melt down. Jong-Fast has taken a bit of “Bonfire of the Vanities,” added a dash of “American Psycho,” and come up with […] [Read More]

‘The Tree of Life’ rouses Cannes press at the crack of dawn

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It takes a special film to get the world press up in time for an 8:30 a.m. screening but that’s what happened in Cannes this morning for the first showing of Terrence Malick’s long-awaited “The Tree of Life.” According to The Hollywood Reporter the 2,500 seat main venue was full by 8 a.m. (an occurrence the […] [Read More]

Yoko Ono’s beautiful/sad gift to New York City

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Abrams has just published a gorgeous little photo book, “Strawberry Fields,” devoted to one of the most moving and useful memorials that I know of — the 5.3 acres of Central Park that was restored and landscaped in memory of John Lennon. The musician loved New York City intensely and made his home in one […] [Read More]

Will a paywall put an end to free You Tube movies?

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YouTube made a big announcement this week about launching a movie rental streaming service, ala Netflix, but let’s hope this doesn’t mean that the many oddball films that are already available on the website — free of charge –will be taken down. Movies ranging from the 1969 Liza Minnelli vehicle “The Sterile Cuckoo” to the rarely seen 1972 […] [Read More]

‘Hotel No Tell’: sex & the city & crime

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Daphne Uviller has developed a distinctive storytelling style by blending elements of two popular genres — the mystery and chick lit — and setting her novels in a realistic but slightly larger-than-life vision of contemporary New York City. There’s always a danger of falling between the cracks when you mix things up like this, but […] [Read More]

The latest victim of the ‘IMAX’ racket — me!

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If you Google “IMAX” and “fraud” you get 3,500,000 hits, among them some very interesting and very angry postings. I just found this out today, 48 hours after a visit to the “IMAX Experience” screen at the AMC Loews Kips Bay theater on the East Side in Manhattan. It was a Saturday night screening and […] [Read More]