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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Argentina opens Latin-American series

In a bad marriage, children can become the one common interest holding the couple together. And in a good marriage, children are usually the focus, an organizing principle of their parents' lives. When the children leave, some couples feel disoriented and play for time as they regain their direction. And some marriages run out of time once the kids are gone. That could be the guiding theme of an intriguing film from Argentina, Empty Nest (El Nido Vacio). But director Daniel Burman smuggles other meanings into his story, including the sometimes-uncertain line between desire...
07.13.2010 | | Posted at 06:00 PM
By Evan Rytlewski
Whether Method Man and Redman's 1999 collaboration Blackout! is actually a classic is up for debate, but as the only full length from the cult rappers turned unlikely Abbott and Costello comedy team, its status grew each year to the point that any formal follow-up was bound to be a disappointment. By almost every measure, though, Meth and Red's tardy sequel, Blackout! 2, is better than its predece...
05.12.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
That The Church still have great albums in them isn't a surprise; they've already proven themselves one of the few bands unblemished by age. Each year the veteran rock band gets older, grayer, farther removed from their '80s stardom and ostensibly more out of touch with contemporary music, yet their output remains as vital as ever. But even coming on the heels of so many proud late period releases...
05.06.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
From the "music I love immediately and intensely" file: the self-titled debut from Polly Scattergood, the latest successor to those Kate Bush comparisons that are suddenly in vogue thanks to St. Vincent and Bat For Lashes. Scattergood's debut also invites comparisons to a whole host of other moody songwriters, touching on Lily Allen's spunky pop, Lykke Li's electronic brain twisters and Joanna New...
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

Not-so-classic remake

Imagine the shock: Mary is having her nails done at Saks when her babbling manicurist bumbles into a monologue on infidelity involving Crystal, the girl at the store's perfume counter, and a respected Wall Street investment broker. Before the conversation is over, Mary realizes that the broker isn't just some name from the business pages of the Times. He's Steve, her husband of 13 years.
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008

Classical Preview

   By 1809, (1770-1827) had become somewhat restive with the piano concerto form, tiring of its common use as a mere display piece for the soloist to show off his virtuoso skills. Thus for his next such work, he wrote no cadenza (in fact, he expressly forbade one), and instead thoroughly integrated the solo piano part into the fabric of the orchestra. Dubbed the Emperor Concerto by its admirers for its majestic sweep and broad themes, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, has retained its regal position within its genre for the past 200 years. More than...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Classical Review

In an era of young classical titans, whose performances had a wider resonance in a world that was still listening, William Kapell was a rising star. The American pianist’s ascent was cut short by a plane crash in 1953. He was only 31. The last recordings he made have been located and collected on reDiscovered (released by Sony BMG), a two-disc set culled largely from radio broadcasts during Australian tours in the summer and fall of his final year. I say “largely” because the producers of this set weren’t content to leave history alone. A missing section from a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 was “patched” with a recording Kapell made five . . .
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Brideshead is back

Evelyn Waugh’s meditation on faith and its absence, and the varieties of love and desire, found a new audience in the 1980s through a British television production of Brideshead Revisited. Readers of Waugh’s novel and fans of the 11-part miniseries alike will find some of their favorite bits missing from the new film adaptation. British director Julian Jarrold should be commended, however, for intelligently condensing an emotionally rich story spanning two decades into a two-hour movie. Some of my favorite lines were edited, it’s true, but the main themes and memorable scenes for the most part remain.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Theater Review

There’s a new kid on our theater block. Lake Geneva Theatre Company premiered with Noel Coward’s Private Lives on July 4, offering its own celebratory bang. Bright, sophisticated comedies from the 1920s and ‘30s—such as Coward’s exemplary romps—took a nosedive into oblivion post-World War Two. “Realistic” replaced “Artificial” comedies. Using the memorable performances of Tallulah Bankhead and Donald Cook in Coward’s classic as a yardstick, the theater company measures up exceedingly well—which translates: “They mostly don’t make out like they’re doing Neil Simon.”
Sunday, June 15, 2008

Robert Downey’s superhero

If you’re anything like me, you know of Iron Man from the Black Sabbath song, not the Vietnam-era comic book that inspired it. But out in the hinterlands of fandom, Iron Man remained a popular Marvel superhero, even if Hollywood never lifted him from pulp pages to the big screen. It wasn’t for lack of interest. The one-man panzer division moved from studio to studio, attracting and repelling actors and directors. After more than 10 years in development, Iron Man has finally arrived, with Robert Downey Jr. in the title role and director Jon Favreau (Elf) behind the viewfinder.

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