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MARIA BY CALLAS: IN HER OWN WORDS

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Opera will forever remain an enigma to me; at nineteen, in Rome, Italy, Puccini’s (1858-1924) “La Boheme” reaped heavenly havoc on my spirit and the genre’s deliciously toxic tentacles have clasped me ever since; this is an art that generates the deepest form of passion, culling from one’s depth emotions reserved solely for loved ones; mysteriously, indiscriminately it claims the ... Read More »

THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS NETFLIX & IN THEATRES

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Brothers Ethan and Joel Coen once again cull from their scholarly Western aesthetic, (“No Country for Old Men”, “True Grit”) gifting movie lovers another blend of imaginative, macabre brutality with skilled dialogue, hilarity and blazingly terrific performances; six vignettes, tales of post Civil War lawlessness, commencing with songster “Buster Scruggs” Tim Blake bedazzles as an innovative, erudite slayer of the ... Read More »

AT ETERNITY’S GATE

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“Loving Vincent” last year’s sensationally thrilling, animated rendition of Vincent van Gogh’s (1853-1890) final days, tipped the scales in technological wizardry; artist/director Julian Schnabel (“Basquiat”, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”, “Before Night Falls”) in “At Eternity’s Gate” brilliantly, presciently focuses on the effects of religious fervor on Van Gogh’s artistic prodigiousness; son of a Lutheran pastor Vincent was a ... Read More »

THE FRONT RUNNER

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Director Jason Reitman and actor Hugh Jackman ambitiously recreate the meteoric rise and precipitous fall of Senator Gary Hart, the “Front Runner” for the Democratic nomination for President; it is 1987 and Harts’ downfall led to the massive disparity, that is is egregiously exacerbated in today’s world, between the press and politicians (CNN’s reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press pass ... Read More »

GREEN BOOK

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A study in disparate personalities, but karmically meant to bond; Viggo Mortenson and Mahershala Ali shine in their roles as Tony Vallelonga (1930-2013) and Don Shirley (1937-2013) virtuoso piano player, an inimitable road trip, where Italian driver, “Tony Lip”, chauffeurs African-American Shirley to his engagements through the South; it is 1962 and “The Green Book” lists the establishments where people ... Read More »

WIDOWS

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English director/artist/screenwriter Steve McQueen first registered on my artistic radar screen in 1996 when the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago featured his short film “Five Easy Pieces”; his meteoric rise has been a quintessential example of the “cream rising to the top”; Museums have lionized him: The Art Institute of Chicago featured a swimmingly sensational exhibit in 2012; winner ... Read More »

A PRIVATE WAR

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Marie Colvin’s (1956-2012) remarkable life as a foreign correspondent is depicted with stunning refinement by Rosamund Pike. A Yale graduate, Marie worked for the London Sunday Times from 1985 until her death in 2012. “A Private War” devoid of romanticism, depicts a woman of vast intelligence, fearlessly intrepid, treading in theatres of war, where only a few dared to stride. ... Read More »

THUGS OF HINDOSTAN

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Bollywood Goliath, Aamir Khan, stars in this 3-hour, monolithic saga, revolving around English/Indian travails in the late eighteenth, early nineteenth centuries; costing 200 crores (topping 2 billion dollars) the film is a total dud, and the worst movie Khan has ever made; his character “Firangi” weakly reminiscent of Johnny Depp’s in “Pirates of the Caribbean” is a conniving, duplicitous buffoon; ... Read More »

BOY ERASED

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Earlier this year we were treated to an enchanting story of a conflicted seventeen-year-old boy struggling to inform his family that he is gay; “Love, Simon” tempered the angst, placating, instead of challenging, one’s sensitives, it was an excellent, “feel good” film. “Boy Erased” is a powerful, controversial observation of the effects of “conversion therapy”; based upon the 2016 memoir ... Read More »

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (1954-2004, published posthumously) gifted readers one of the most creatively untoward heroines to grace, dazzle and spellbind lovers of fictional mastery, in contemporary literature; “Lisbeth Salander” a Merlin of computer hackers, a female Jackie Chan, a savant with an uncanny perspicacity, was first depicted by Noomi Rapace, in the Swedish ... Read More »

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