From ‘Hair’ to the moon

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The label “eclectic” doesn’t begin to describe the work of director Diane Paulus, who has staged operas, nightclub shows and Broadway musicals with equal success. Paulus appears to have a real knack for creating pieces for specific spaces. Two years ago, she managed to dust off the counterculture relic “Hair” for a terrific new staging in Central […] [Read More]
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‘Game Change’: somewhere Theodore H. White is smiling

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It has been a long time since a book about a presidential election campaign has generated as much interest as “Game Change” (Harper) by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. The age of 24/7 coverage of politics on cable television and gossip blogs on the Internet seemed to have made books like Theodore H. White’s Pulitzer Prize-winning […] [Read More]
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Eric Rohmer, R.I.P.

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Eric Rohmer emerged in the 1960s as part of the French New Wave of critics-turned-directors that included Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and Claude Chabrol. Rohmer, who died Monday at the age of 89, was never as popular with U.S. art house audiences as his peers, but he kept making films long after Truffaut died and […] [Read More]
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Thinking like a terrorist: or, why no “Dr. Strangelove” remake?

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We are long overdue for a post-9/11 “Dr. Strangelove”-style satire about our “war on terror.” I had hoped that when Jonathan Demme remade and updated “The Manchurian Candidate” a few years back (below right) that he would have turned novelist Richard Condon’s brainwashed Korean War soldier into an al Qaeda operative (rather than the Communist assassin […] [Read More]
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Advertising or soft-core porn?

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Have you seen the new Steven Klein ad shots featuring Eva Mendes and Jamie Dornan that were released today? Calvin Klein seems to be pushing the advertising envelope once again. You  barely notice the jeans that the designer is (ostensibly) trying to sell us. The image above is about to be unveiled as a giant billboard […] [Read More]
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‘No Mercy’: A thriller with a (sexy) difference

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I love crime novels, so the current wave of terrific writers and wonderful books in that genre suits me fine — you have to believe we’re in a golden age when such folks as S.J. Rozan, Andrew Gross, Lee Child, Lisa Scottoline, Sandra Brown (and lots of others) are delivering first-class books on a regular […] [Read More]
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‘The Bridge’ to trans-Atlantic Shakespeare

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Last week, Sam Mendes (of “Revolutionary Road” and “American Beauty”) was reported to be in final negotiations to direct the next James Bond film with Daniel Craig. In the meantime, however, the Oscar and Tony-winning stage and film director (below) is leading one of the most exciting theater events of the current New York season, The Bridge […] [Read More]
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The boy who loved ‘On a Clear Day You Can See Forever’

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Mark Griffin has written a smart new biography of the film director Vincente Minnelli, “A Hundred or More Hidden Things,” that Da Capo Press is publishing March 1. The Oscar-winning director of “Gigi” and “An American in Paris” has already been the subject of a few not-so-great biographies and monographs — and the director wrote […] [Read More]
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