Monthly Archives: July 2015

When Political Vitriol Was Infused With Wit

In 1968, ABC News’ ratings were in the basement. The networks’ executives knew they “needed a media event” and hired two public intellectuals, Gore Vidal, a Democrat and historian, and William F. Buckley Jr., a “new” Conservative, to debate during the Democratic and Republican … Continue reading

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James Sneed 1938-2015

James Sneed, an original (in both senses of the word) member of Bridge Group Artists, founded by art therapist Judy Rosenthal 1988, painted because his life depended on it. In 1959 he was invited to join The Arts Studio on Grand … Continue reading

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The Life Aquatic

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Stephin at the Spiegeltent: I’ll Go Back to Annandale*

Late in 1999, I had a totally fun shoot with Stephin Merritt/The Magnetic Fields (and guest vocalists), which ran as part of an article in The Village Voice when their great album, “69 Love Songs” was released. It’s inexplicable why … Continue reading

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The Surprises After the Pregnancy Test

There’s something radical at the heart of “Unexpected,” director/co-writer Kris Swanberg’s third feature. Samantha (Cobie Smulders), 30, a dedicated white science teacher working in a soon-to-be-shuttered inner city Chicago high school, and one of her favorite students, Jasmine (newcomer Gail Bean), … Continue reading

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Reverse Angle on a Genocide

In “The Look of Silence” Joshua Oppenheimer’s probing and moving companion piece to his staggering “The Act of Killing,” the filmmaker turns his camera around. “The Act of Killing” concentrated on bad actors (both senses of the phrase) uninhibitedly re-enacting … Continue reading

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‘Twas (Like No Other) Night Before Christmas

Director/co-writer/co-cinematographer Sean Baker’s wildly funny, gorgeously shot (yes, with an iPhone 5s) and ultimately deeply moving fifth feature, “Tangerine,” like his previous films, is populated with people on the margins of the culture, and shows their lives as full of value. Christmas Eve in … Continue reading

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