Category Archive: Uncategorized

No Knives, Needles, or Rubber Cement. Weird Stuff OK.

While divvying up the Sunday paper (Steve likes the biz/sports/front page/week in review, and I like the fun parts), this horrifying image pierced through my pleasant morning fog: A not-pretty drag queen playing a Byzantine saint who’s had a particularly rough night? No. This is Dr. Frederick Brandt, photographed by Danny Ghitis in an article […]

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2/20: Peter Brook’s The Suit

In Simon Brook’s movie The Tightrope, his father Peter demonstrates a gesture to a group of actors with whom he’s working. “I can’t do it,” he says. “I’m not an actor.” What Peter Brook is, of course, is a superb director, on display in The Tightrope and also, for lucky folks in Ann Arbor, the […]

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2/20: The Great Beauty

As a female chorus sings with sublime grace, a group of tourists admire a Roman fountain. Not the Trevi; in fact, this one boasts no carvings by Bernini or anyone else. It’s just a grand, classical fountain, with simple and serene lines, maybe (don’t quote this wild guess) on the Janiculum hill. One fellow collapses—whether […]

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1/28: Dreaming of Capetown from -5 F Michigan

My son once said to me, “Mom, your ideal job would just be to fly someplace different every single week.” Not far off, though I’m always tickled to come home. In any event, the NY Times provided 52 places to see in 2014 for the person who actually can go to a different spot every […]

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1/27: The Dead Can Dance: Royal Ballet’s Giselle

The Royal Ballet signed Natalia Osipova 3 months ago, and it’s no wonder that the Opera House was sold out tonight to watch her dance Giselle. I haven’t seen a dancer with this kind of speed and liquid fire since Kirkland. Osipova seems even more incandescent, as if a couple of spider-web filaments attach her […]

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1/25: Courage: The Best Docu Oscar Noms, 4 of Which You Can Stream on Netflix

Based on the fact that most of the Best Picture noms are good, and even great movies, it’s been a good year. Based on the Best Documentary Feature nominees, it’s been an extraordinary one. Here’s the best part: If, like me, you live in someplace that’s not New York, LA, or SF and you therefore […]

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1/19: Why 3 Goodfellas Are Better than 1: Hustle and Wolf

For years, Goodfellas has been my go-to when depressed. I realize it’s an unorthodox choice, but think about it: No matter how bad one may feel, is your life as bad as the one that Henry Holt and his wife Karen are living? Or that guy with the toupee? Or Joe Pesci and his psychosis? […]

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1/12/14: Iron Men: The Coens and Inside Llewyn Davis

The severe beauty of Joel and Ethan Coen’s movies offers the same  pleasure as the iciest winter landscapes, with lakes frozen into iron under a gleaming sliver of moon. More impressive is that they bring that wind-swept American desolation to the heart of New York City, circa 1961—a fine year, by the way—in their latest, […]

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1/6/14: What to Stream on Netflix this week

Here are my picks for what to stream this week on Netflix. You can celebrate all the following bdays: Yesterday was Robert Duval, and if you’re not up for a few hours of VietNam (Apocalypse is available right now), I choose The Apostle, in which he plays a crazy preacher. Diane Keaton is born on […]

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1/4/13: The Icy Taste of Blood: Herman Koch’s The Dinner

“A bracing nastiness” is how Claire Messud described this book in her review over at NYT, which preceded the release of her own The Woman Upstairs by a few months. Messud kicks off her essay with a statement about Americans’ insistence on likeable characters—interesting in light of the way she would go off big time […]

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