Monthly Archives: December 2011

35 posts

Broadway Review: Alicia Keys’ Stick Fly


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This setup abounds with comic potential, and Diamond wrings plenty of laughs out of the awkward dynamics at hand. But there is much more here than just the usual dysfunction junction drollery. The youths, especially Taylor, have a lot to say about the way the world looks now, and much of their criticism is justified.

Book Review: Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith


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For an artist who vied with Rembrandt in painting self-portraits, van Gogh seldom allowed himself to be photographed. The one surviving photo, from his days at Goupil’s, shows a scowling, tousled haired young man with troubled, searching eyes. It is the face of a man destined to be a prophet or a lunatic.

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Made, #98


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During the day, Bobby works construction. And at night, he’s the driver/bodyguard for his girlfriend Jesse (Famke Janssen), a savvy go-go dancer whose bumping and grinding at bachelor parties sends Bobby into a rage.

Robin Hardy's The Wicker Tree

May Day! May Day! It’s Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Tree


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Early press for The Wicker Tree has not been overwhelmingly good, but one might say it has been encouragingly mixed. The original Wicker Man did not become known as “the Citizen Kane of horror films” overnight, or even during the horror boom of the 1970s. It vanished into relative obscurity for some time before its rediscovery, and look at that baby burn now!

San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker Continues the Tradition


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OK. I’ll admit it. I’m a total sap for Nutcracker. You’d think after all the years of attending and appearing in performances, working backstage, and covering numerous productions for various media outlets that I would have become more than a bit bored with the whole thing. Nope. Not a bit. Some productions I like more than others, but basically, I’m a fan.

And San Francisco Ballet, the company that presented the first full-length U. S. Nutcracker, still offers one of the best. From the moment the house doors open, the audience becomes a part of one of San Francisco’s oldest and best-loved holiday parties. Garlands, Christmas trees, and Nutcracker dolls at the boutique welcome the guests decked out in their holiday party best. The lobby is buzzy as children and adults alike eagerly anticipate the performance.

Book Review: The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje


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The “cat’s table” is the place where the least important passengers on the ship are seated during mealtimes—and it’s where the novel’s narrator, eleven-year old Michael (nicknamed Mynah), finds himself seated, alongside the companions who will subtly alter and inform the trajectory of his life.

An Early Resolution, and How the Stars Align.


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Hey there folks! Its been . . . a while since the Metro City Reform Committee was last called into session. I wish I could say it was due to something exciting. Like time continuum paradoxes I run into due to my future self warning me of upcoming apocalyptic events […]

Art Review: Transition to Christianity, Onassis Cultural Center, New York City


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After Christianity was recognized as the official state religion of the Roman Empire in 380, a number of Christian groups, notably monks in Egypt, changed roles from martyrs to persecutors. A magnificent head of Aphrodite, dating to first century Athens, bears the marks of Christian vandalism. The eyes and lips have been chipped to “blind” and “silence” the deity. A cross was then inscribed on the forehead of Aphrodite.

Movie Review: New Year’s Eve


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If you’ve shamelessly dropped the dollars to hire a full cast of well-known stars, why not spend a little more to make them do something? Stanley Kramer’s 1963 comedy It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World succeeded not simply because it featured virtually every comedian working in Hollywood at the time, but because each one of them was working slapstick overtime. We need to get back to the days of actors who are entertaining because they actively entertain us, not simply because we are clever enough to recognize them.

Theatre Review: Noel Coward’s Star Quality, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, England


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There’s a feeling you get about ten minutes into a Noel Coward play. The lights have come up, the set has been admired, the opening salvoes exchanged and then – whether it’s Hay Fever, Present Laughter or Private Lives – you realize that we’re in here for the duration. It’s like a moment of mild claustrophobia.

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Brother (Brat), #99


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Brother was directed by Aleksey Balabanov, who’s been called Russia’s David Lynch. The movie created a stir in that country, not unlike earlier controversies in the United States over movies like A Clockwork Orange or Natural Born Killers, which were said to glamorize violence.

Video Game Review: The Elder Scrolls V – Skyrim


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Skyrim is the name of cold, northern regions of a continent called Tamriel, on a planet called Nirn; a magical land home to elves, orcs, skeleton warriors right out of a Harryhausen film, and more than enough prophecy and legend than you can shake a Tolkien at. If that level of fantasy geekery gives you acne and a dateless Saturday night just thinking about it, Skyrim is definitely not going to be your cup of mead.