September 28, 2015 |
Lisa Smartt, a poet and linguist, became fascinated by the beautiful, weird, cryptic words of the dying during her father's last days in 2012. "I can't reach, Jack," he said. "My modality is broken. " And, "There is so much so in sorrow. " And, the one that stunned her, because he was not a religious man: "Lisa, you were right about the angels!" She started the Final Words Project to collect other departing thoughts that people sent her. By nature, it was not scientific. These were anecdotes, words that relatives had taken the time to record and had deemed meaningful.
July 25, 2013 |
AS GAYLEN Marzolf could see his own life drawing to a close last spring at the age of 51, the man who never gave his wife, Lynette, a choice but to love him asked her to carry out one final choice for him. Gaylen, a "computer geek," wanted a QR (Quick Response) code affixed to his tombstone at Sunnyside Cemetery in Harvey, N.D., so friends and strangers with smartphones could scan the code and be taken to a digital memorial website for Gaylen. That way, those who visited his grave would not just learn his name and the dates that marked the beginning and end of his life, but they would also learn about how he lived his life in between.
April 8, 2012 |
'Poetry is dead. Long live poetry!" That's my rejoinder to National Poetry Month's seasonal hue and cry - febrile lament of poetry's demise coupled with celebration of its monarchal reign as highest of arts. For poetry lovers this renders April "the cruelest month," as T.S. Eliot observed. Like most poets writing today, I grew up with the notion that poetry is knock, knock, knocking on heaven's door. My teachers, my peers, and many literary journals reminded me that I am merely bloodying my knuckles.
July 27, 2011
By Seymour I. "Spence" Toll Born in 1874 in what is now part of Pittsburgh, Gertrude Stein was one of five children raised by middle-class Jewish parents in Oakland, Calif. She did not practice her faith after childhood, and her view of the afterlife was, "When a Jew dies, he's dead. " Physiologically speaking, she's been dead for 65 years as of today, but she remains a distinct and lively presence in our culture. This summer, for example, Stein (as played by Kathy Bates)
June 17, 2011
SO letter-writer Karen Morrissey thinks there's a doggy heaven. I guess she also thinks there's a doggy hell. And I guess Cujo is burning for all eternity, while Lassie is spending the rest of her days in paradise. If what Morrissey thinks is correct, there must be a code of conduct for Scooby Doo and his cohorts, a Ten Commandments to abide by. For example: Thou shalt not lick thyself. Miss Morrissey, they were Michael Vick's dogs, and he can do what he wants with them. He shouldn't have served a day in jail, but thanks to our pathetic system, he did. Mike Franklin, Marlton, N.J.
September 11, 2010 |
It's hard not to fall in love with Alice, the stunning heroine played by Ukrainian-born supermodel-turned-actress Milla Jovovich in the video-game-spawned Resident Evil zombie action film franchise. Sadly, it's impossible to feel the same for the fourth entry in the series, Resident Evil: Afterlife , despite its billion-dollar look and its phantasmagoric 3D effects. Alice was beguiling in the 2002 opening flick, which had the winsome beauty karate-kick, shoot, stab, hack, and axe her way through hordes of drooling, human-flesh-eating zombies - all while dressed in a white cocktail number barely the size of a dinner napkin.
September 9, 2010
At first, I thought Milla Jovovich was moving toward us. The cars on the street below are really the only clue that she isn't. And the juxtaposition of Jovo-vich firing both guns as she falls away - as the shells from the discharged bullets and the shards of broken glass pop forward, at us - gives this straightforward, two-dimensional poster a sly/cool, 3-D feel. "Resident Evil: Afterlife" is the fourth time Alice has gone up against Umbrella, and the blood-spattering conflict between this hot chick and the evil corporation (in a high-tech world where a virus has created a population of zombies)
April 8, 2010 |
Christina Ricci dons a negligee to play a crash victim caught between two worlds in "After. Life," a title that squanders an opportunity. An opportunity to call the movie "The Half Naked and the Half Dead," an apt description of the way "After.Life" functions as a psychosexual horror movie and M. Night Shyamalanish spiritual thriller. Ricci is Anna Taylor, a high-strung girl who mistakes her boyfriend's clumsy marriage proposal for a breakup speech, then drives off in a tearful rage, right into the back of a truck.
February 22, 2010 |
In the afterlife, there is no footwear. I found this to be a major disappointment when I saw that no one wore real foot protection in any of the three short pieces that compose the highly conceptual new work Mort. And here I was, looking forward - if one can, to such times - to an infinity of sublime Hush Puppies. I'll get over it. But Mort has shoeless Zombies in Hell - will they ever get over being plagued forever by highly off-Broadway choreography and the all-too-late and all-too-unsurprising revelation that they are no longer the lovable toddlers they were many years ago?
January 14, 2010 |
The afterlife, it turns out, is cool, but not as cool as "Avatar. " So we see in "The Lovely Bones," an effects-laden ghost story from Lord of the Ringsmaster Peter Jackson, who trains his talent for CGI on Alice Sebold's best-selling story of a murdered girl who haunts her old neighborhood (filmed just outside Philadelphia) and her killer. Much of "Bones" takes place in the young girl's limbo, brought to afterlife by Jackson and his Oscar-winning army of New Zealand effects artists as a surreal projection of a teen girl's fears and fantasies.