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Monthly Archives: August 2014


Three years ago I saw “And Europe Will Be Stunned” at the Venice Biennale; it is a remarkable installation by Israeli artist, Yael Bartana; three utopian, idealistic videos, the most potent segment features a young leader in a vacant Warsaw stadium,  pleading, urging three million Jews to return to Poland, a metaphor for the horrific outcome of WWII;   even more ... Read More »

The Trip to Italy

Sadly, cannot even flirt with the intelligent, succinct 2010 “The Trip” starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, as themselves; their refreshing, hilarious, dramatic flair for impersonations; keenly exhibiting a sensational “gift of gab” and formidable, stylized improvisational acuity. It ranked as one of the smartest films of the 2010-11 season. Here we have stale leftovers, served in the scintillating, sublimely ... Read More »

The Giver

Another wearisome, dystopian, bleak landscape, where “sameness” is genetically manufactured; one blessed, or more aptly cursed, with memories of a world long erased; a world where freedom of choice allowed individuals license to thrive or wither. The archival “giver” (depicted gloomily by Jeff Bridges) is sequestered in a home, tottering on the edge of existence; relegated to burdensome guru, instructor ... Read More »

Singham Returns (Unfortunately)

Flagrantly, bombastically  cacophonous; every scene, word is punctuated  by a soundtrack guaranteed to render the hearing-impaired profoundly silent; others, achingly in need of Midas Mufflers. Wagnerian in scope and sound, Ajay Devgan is Herculean as “Inspector Bajirao Singham”; questing total annihilation of every bureaucratic malfeasance plaguing India since its 1947’s independence. “Singham Returns” is well-intentioned, action-infused, glamorously-filmed but far too ... Read More »

Lauren Bacall

On September 16th, Lauren Bacall would have been ninety years old; almost a century of viability, lusting and loving life, protected, enhanced by her inimitable intelligence and wit she was unequivocally the captain of her soul; archetypical woman of substance who did it her way; thrust into the lionizing limelight at nineteen (“To Have and Have Not”) she perpetually reiterated ... Read More »

Robin Williams 1951-2014

“The brighter the light the darker the shadow”. No one defines this prescient observation more than Robin Williams; he lit up film and television with his raucous, insightful humor, impeccable timing, fluent, gifted improvisation; lurking behind this amicable, ingratiating facade was always the omnipresent albatross of depression; a disease as insidious as the most crippling cancer; voraciously devouring one’s spirit ... Read More »


Over two thousand years ago Jesus Christ was crucified on Mount Calvary/Golgotha; more than two billion people believe he is God. He died between two thieves; crucifixion was the traditional means of capital punishment at the time. Brendan Glesson as “Father James” is miraculous; the map of mankind’s woes is etched on his weary, pained countenance; he has seen and ... Read More »

The Hundred-Foot Journey

In the first minutes of this delectable dish of cultural- cuisine -clashes “Hassan’s” mother tells him food is about “ghosts”; redolent with pungent memories of cherished, deceased ancestors; proper preparation, flavoring, scents,  like a séance, keep archaic recipes and their creators vibrantly, pungently alive.  Director Lasse Hallstrom (“Chocolat”) with producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey pair two icons of the ... Read More »

Guardians of the Galaxy

Growing up in a comic book-less home, these Marvel mavens of wonder slither into the subterraneous mass of my imagination; immobilize in a half nelson, reluctantly relinquishing their grip at the fascinating finale; never venture into these hallucinogenic fantasies until the crowds have subsided and my cluelessness can be masked by feigned comprehension. I blissfully admit to complete, vacuous ignorance ... Read More »

Get On Up

Slavery, a massive stain on our remarkable history, gifted the nation and world, an incredible, indigenous musical legacy, that continues to inspire to this very day; Africans were “songsters”, musicians, using home made instruments to entertain, fracture the emotional bondage, subjugation of slavery; their “field hollers”, “patting juba”, spiritual, biographical, drum-beating, rhythmic, soul-throbbing lyrics, created an ephemeral respite from reality. ... Read More »

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