rasheeda

‘Rasheeda Speaking’: racial ‘Twilight Zone’

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The new comedy by Joel Drake Johnson that officially opens at the Pershing Square Signature Center Wednesday night — “Rasheeda Speaking” — should stir a lot of debate over its handling of racism in contemporary America. The story is set in a Chicago medical office where long-time employee Ileen (Dianne Wiest) is appointed office manager […] [Read More]
Categories: General
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The return of ‘The Jewel in the Crown’

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Everyone seems to agree that we are in the middle of a Golden Age of American television, but the new DVD of “The Jewel in the Crown” demonstrates that British television companies were doing movie-level TV shows long before HBO and Showtime and AMC started producing drama series such as “The Sopranos” and “Mad Men” […] [Read More]
Categories: General
vivacious

‘Vivacious Lady’: the comic mastery of George Stevens

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Although director George Stevens is now best known for such serious dramatic films as “A Place in the Sun” and “Giant” he started out as one of Hollywood’s best directors of comedy. As Mark Harris shows in his superb book “Five Came Back,” Stevens was forever changed by his experiences in World War II — […] [Read More]
Categories: General
bubble

‘The Bubble’: life in Tel Aviv bohemia

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A musician acquaintance of mine who played a gig in Tel Aviv a few years ago was shocked by the stable and rather apolitical atmosphere he encountered in the city’s bohemian quarter: “I felt as safe there as I do in New York.” That comment is reinforced by the controversial 2007 Israeli film, “The Bubble,” […] [Read More]
Categories: General
perfect

Bad Movies We Love: “Perfect”

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It’s surprising that the 1985 John Travolta/Jamie Lee Curtis flop “Perfect” hasn’t attracted a so-bad-it’s-good cult-following over the past 30 years. This is a one of a kind, laugh-out-loud turkey that seems to have vanished from most movie platforms. What gives the picture jaw-dropping badness is the fact that major talents would join forces for […] [Read More]
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phantom

‘Phantom Angel’: no biz like show biz

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David Handler is back with a second case for his delightfully eccentric New York City sleuth Benji Golden — “Phantom Angel” — which Minotaur Books is publishing Tuesday. A failed ex-actor in his mid-20s, Benji decided to join the family business — Golden Legal Services — where he has developed a reputation for being particularly […] [Read More]
Categories: General
brianjones3

‘Brian Jones’: the forgotten Rolling Stone

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Although he created and named the group, and was arguably the strongest musician of the bunch, Brian Jones is barely remembered today, even by fans of The Rolling Stones. Jones was present at the creation and was the Rolling Stone who was most knowledgeable about the black American music that would fuel the group’s rise […] [Read More]
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‘Lisztomania’: a flashback to Hollywood’s stoned age

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High on the success of “Tommy,” maverick British director Ken Russell had the freedom and the financing to make any movie he wanted to in 1975. Instead of drifting back toward the rather conventional 1969 hit that made his name — “Women in Love” — Russell decided to do another of his wildly unconventional historical […] [Read More]
Categories: General