‘The House of the Devil’: Three-quarters of a classic

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If the pay-off in the last 15 minutes of “The House of the Devil” was as strong as the build-up in the first 80, the movie could have been a horror classic. Writer-director Ti West has taken the satanic cult hysteria of the 1980s and fashioned it into a very well-made mood piece about a […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘A Single Man’: Tom Ford looks beneath the surface

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It comes as no surprise that Tom Ford’s first movie “A Single Man” is stunning to look at — after all, he is the genius designer who got Gucci back on its feet and then launched his own label with some of the most stylish advertising ever to be seen in glossy magazines. What’s really interesting […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Orphans’ has a home for another six weeks

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Hartford Stage artistic director Michael Wilson got some great news earlier today — his staging of the nine-hour Horton Foote epic “The Orphans’ Home Cycle” has had its run extended for another six weeks at the Signature Theatre in Manhattan. The show was already a close-to-sold-out hot ticket before Part 3 opened to the press Tuesday […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Jersey Shore’ vs. ‘The Bachelor’: no contest

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While the rest of the world was watching — and love/hating — the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore,” I have been struck dumb by my first encounter with ABC’s “The Bachelor.” Although it is on one of the four major broadcast networks — and has been a hit for a decade — “The Bachelor” seems […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Bill Maher hones his act in New Haven

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Bill Maher put on a terrific show at the Shubert Theater in New Haven Saturday night, surprising those who only know him as a TV host with a powerhouse stand-up act. The theater was packed and I only noticed a few walk-outs — during a longish section on religion. Maher has been traveling the country honing […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Ingrid & Gary & Bette & Humphrey

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The prolific and brilliant film critic David Thomson has a new book-length study of “Psycho” in stores, but he also found the time to produce four wonderful small critical studies of Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart and Gary Cooper that have just been published by Faber and Faber. The books launch a new series […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The scariest magazine piece of the month

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Buried away in the new issue of GQ — the one with Johnny Depp on the cover — is the most frightening magazine article I’ve read in a long time, “Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to your Health.” Christopher Ketcham’s piece on the mounting evidence that cell phones (and cell phone towers and […] [Read More]
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Rent it now: ‘The Life of Emile Zola’

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Last week, I was pleased to be asked to speak at a screening of the 1937 Paul Muni film, “The Life of Emile Zola,” at Congregation B’nai Israel in Bridgeport. The movie was part of an ongoing Jewish film series at the synagogue. Muni was one of the greatest stars of the 1930s — and he was […] [Read More]
Categories: General