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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Faraway, So Close

Alexandra (Natalia Tena) and Sergi (David Verdaguer), the only two onscreen characters in director/co-writer Carlos Marques-Marcet’s echt 21st century (yet also timeless) romance, “10,000KM,” have a sweet and sexy intimacy. They live in a small but sun- and book-filled Barcelona apartment … Continue reading

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The Perpetrators (Stillwater Diary)

My father, a good driver, coming home one evening in icy conditions, slid the right front of our navy blue Ford Falcon into a tree near the bottom of Bonnie Briar Road, where it intersects with Gailmore Drive. The car only … Continue reading

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Happy 4th of July

To honor (and preserve) the independent, progressive spirit of our great country, sign up with and (if possible) donate to Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president:

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