Another wonderful film from the man of La Mancha

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Pedro Almodovar has been making great films for such a long time that he is starting to be taken for granted by critics and moviegoers. The shock now would be if he made a dud. For more than two decades, the Spanish director has put out one memorable movie after another, and his new picture, […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The home team scores a touchdown

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Tarell Alvin McCraney is only a few years out of the Yale School of Drama, but he has scored one of the major New York stage hits of the season with “The Brother/Sister Plays” at the Public Theater. The size and ambition of the two-evening, three-play piece recall Tony Kushner’s 1990s landmark double-header “Angels in America,” […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Overnight Socialite’: An Eliza Doolittle in today’s Manhattan

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Bridie Clark’s charming new novel about life in Manhattan’s best zipcodes — “The Overnight Socialite” (Weinstein Books) — is powered by a simple but clever premise: moving the plot and the characters of “My Fair Lady” from long-ago London to contemporary New York City. We meet the Eliza Doolittle stand-in — aspiring designer Lucy Jo […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Is ‘Easy Rider’ still relevant after 40 years?

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Some movies start out great and then age like fine wine (the first two “Godfather” pictures fall into this category). Other movies are dismissed by critics, bomb at the box-office and only become “classics” many years later (i.e. the fate of the wonderfully cynical newspaper drama, “Sweet Smell of Success”). Then there are the hits […] [Read More]
Categories: General

See you tomorrow!

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Your faithful blogger has been on vacation for the past week, but I’ve also been in a whirl of cultural activities that I am looking forward to writing about here when I return Tuesday. I watched the new DVD of HBO’s fantastic “Rome” series, saw the first part of the three-part Horton Foote epic at the Signature […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Looking back 6: The heat, the Klan & Faye Dunaway

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(From Jan. 2008:) The jury has always been out on Otto Preminger’s merits as a director —most critics see him as a minor figure, but a loyal cult following believes there are great visual and thematic qualities in pictures such as “Advise and Consent” (1962) and “In Harm’s Way” (1965). Everyone agrees Preminger was a […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Looking back 5: The Sontag diaries

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(From Sept. 2008:) Farrar, Straus and Giroux will be ending 2008 with a major literary event — the publication of the first of three volumes of journals and notebooks by the late great Susan Sontag. The essayist, novelist and filmmaker died four years ago, after three battles with cancer. Her incredible wide-ranging interests included photography, […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Looking back 4: Walking Spanish

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(From March, 2007:) Joshua Ferris has written a funny and horrifying first novel about workplace paranoia, “Then We Came to the End” (Little, Brown). The book takes place at a Chicago advertising agency in 2001 — when the collapse of the dotcom boom is beginning to have a savage effect on the bottom lines of […] [Read More]
Categories: General