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Article Archive for January 2011

Dance Review: NYCB Offers Polyphonia, For the Love of Duke, and Concerto DSCH

January 31, 2011 – 3:37 pm |
Dance Review: NYCB Offers <em>Polyphonia</em>, <em>For the Love of Duke</em>, and <em>Concerto DSCH</em>

Yet while these dancers retain their individuality, Ratmansky manages to make their movements seem of a piece. It is this communal energy that drives the piece. When Wendy Whelan and Tyler Angle enter and dance their fine pas de deux, one of the three couples remains onstage to watch; and, as the music develops, all six dancers return and work bits of these new steps into their own movements—their own lives.

A Gala Celebration with San Francisco Ballet

January 29, 2011 – 10:21 pm |
A Gala Celebration with San Francisco Ballet

As usual for these events, Wednesday night’s audience came in their finest duds — men in tuxes and dress suits, women in satiny slip-style evening gowns, feathery cocktail dresses, and way too many fluffy tulle numbers with guaranteed-to-trip-the-guy-behind-you trains. Champagne flowed, and the buzz was heartfelt and genuine.

Movie Review: The Mechanic

January 29, 2011 – 4:27 pm | One Comment
Movie Review: <em>The Mechanic</em>

Jason Statham, the icy British actor famous for jacked-up action romps including The Transporter and Crank, returns to bust heads at a more thoughtful pace in The Mechanic, a remake of Michael Winner’s 1972 film of the same name, which starred Charles Bronson.

Movie Review: The Rite

January 29, 2011 – 1:35 pm | 5 Comments
Movie Review: <em>The Rite</em>

The Rite is remarkably dull where its most obvious predecessor, The Exorcist, was sharp as a switchblade. The movie was “inspired by true events” and based on a book by Matt Baglia. Unfortunately either Baglia’s material left little wiggle room or screenwriter Michael Petroni is inept with dialogue.

Video Game Review: Dead Space 2

January 28, 2011 – 10:47 pm | One Comment
Video Game Review: <em>Dead Space 2</em>

For many years, Electronic Arts was seen by most as the “evil empire” of the video game industry. They were big and they were bad. They consumed companies that made interesting games, only to churn terrible sequels out of their shells like some sort of corporate flesh-eating bacteria.

Book Review: Heartstone: A Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery by C.J. Sansom

January 27, 2011 – 12:50 pm |
Book Review: <em>Heartstone: A Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery</em> by C.J. Sansom

Matthew Shardlake the lawyer and his friend Dr. Guy Malton represent the arrival of the professional classes. Landless but educated, open-minded, progressive and paid by the case, they bear a striking resemblance to the heroes of many modern thrillers.

Badlands and Lost Edens: The Photography of Robert Adams

January 26, 2011 – 1:10 pm | 3 Comments
Badlands and Lost Edens: The Photography of Robert Adams

Adams recorded the ever-expanding suburban sprawl of the 1960s and 1970s, and his haunting, classically composed photos of tract houses and shopping centers engulfing what had been farmland helped define what was dubbed the New Topographics movement after the landmark 1975 exhibition.

The Civil War Begins: An Exhibition at the Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia

January 26, 2011 – 8:00 am |
<em>The Civil War Begins</em>: An Exhibition at the Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia

These are not merely newspapers, letters, transcripts of speeches and official reports from the 1850’s through the first major battles of the war in 1861. To a very significant degree, the words inscribed on these timeworn documents actually influenced the outbreak of the Civil War.

And There’s Prize Money!

January 25, 2011 – 10:07 pm |
And There’s Prize Money!

News flash — Dance makers need money! Oh, the big companies are on all the corporate donor and government grant lists, but the smaller groups have serious funding issues. Which is a problem, as these iconoclastic artists often are the ones who push the art form into new and exciting territory.

Movie Review: No Strings Attached

January 22, 2011 – 2:08 pm | 2 Comments
Movie Review: <em>No Strings Attached</em>

Studios are beginning to cater to the “hookup culture” people are wringing their hands about. The worst thing about No Strings Attached is its “teachable moment” ending: nobody’s capable of sex without feelings, didn’t you know?

Movie Review: The Way Back

January 22, 2011 – 11:26 am | One Comment
Movie Review: <em>The Way Back</em>

The really good character work – and make no mistake, this is a good cast – happens when the actors are not speaking. The desperation of these wanderers does occasionally shine through in the sidelong distrustful glance, the wistful gaze at unending wilderness, and the ravenous pursuit of small edible animals. One of the best minutes of the movie is when the party chase a pack of wolves off a carcass, only to fight over the kill like bloodthirsty animals themselves.

The Weekly Listicle: Ballad Of The Soldier

January 21, 2011 – 2:32 pm |
The Weekly Listicle: Ballad Of The Soldier

This weekend, Peter Weir graces us with The Way Back, a tale of daring escape by prisoners of war. In due fashion this week’s Listicle salutes the soldier in film. From comedy to adventure to stark, sobering drama, soldiers have faced a great deal on the movie screen.

The Metro City Reform Committee: An Inaugural Address

January 17, 2011 – 6:16 pm |
The Metro City Reform Committee: An Inaugural Address

I’m setting up a little blog here at the California Literary Review. It’s going to ostensibly be about videogames, but I want to focus a little bit more on the issues and debates that occur within the industry and the fandom.

Welcome to Alone Together, CLR’s New Theater Blog

January 17, 2011 – 6:15 pm |

Alone Together will explore emerging trends in theater and what they tell us about who we are as culture. It will also examine the unique individuals who make these productions and the personal struggles that compel them to seek out the public forum for expression.

Introducing Dance Vine, A New CLR Blog

January 17, 2011 – 6:14 pm |

We are pleased to announce our new blog, Dance Vine. CLR dance critics Hanna Oldsman and Geri Jeter will use this space to call attention to smaller dance companies and talk about aspects of dance not normally covered in their more formal reviews.

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