February 6, 2013 |
Something is missing. Something obvious. Usually, it's so obvious you can't avoid it - in Center City, or leaching out into the neighborhoods and suburbs. But even though it's gone, few seem to have noticed. "I totally didn't," said Steve Red, an advertising executive whose offices are just a few feet beneath the 17-ton object that has abruptly vanished. Ring any bells? No bell, in fact, is ringing, and that's the point. The bell in question is exactly where it's always been, if quiet of late.
September 15, 1995 |
"Genius is of small use to a woman who does not know how to do her hair. " Edith Wharton offered this prickly bit of social commentary in 1900. She was 38 then, recovered from a nervous breakdown and gasping for breath under the suffocating conventions of New York City's high society. Wharton eventually made her escape and gave the world some of the 20th century's finest fiction. Tonight, actress Irene Worth will read from Wharton's writings in her one-woman show, A Portrait of Edith Wharton, at Bryn Mawr College.
February 10, 1991 |
Standing on the broad terrace of the Mount, the former Berkshires home of writer Edith Wharton, you see the glimmer of a lake through the tall pines, you breathe in the fresh mountain air and wonder: Well, who wouldn't be inspired to write the Great American Novel in this setting? Yet standing in the small, austere upstairs bedroom of Louisa May Alcott's house outside Boston, you feel cramped. You wonder where you'd put the typewriter, how cold you'd be in the winter. Inspiration here could be long in coming.
October 26, 2001 |
Among Hollywood's recent and numerous literary adaptations, Terence Davies' version of Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth (2000) is the most underrated, overlooked and masterful. A surprisingly well-cast Gillian Anderson, looking as though she just stepped out of a John Singer Sargent portrait, plays feckless Lily Bart, the game-player who inevitably hits outside the lines carefully drawn by polite society. There are also nuanced performances by Eric Stoltz as the man who might save Lily and by Laura Linney as the human glacier whose treachery ultimately sinks her. Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the Connelly Center, Villanova University.
March 15, 1996 |
What a week for repertory films! Without going to the multiplex you could see a terrific movie almost every night. Tonight, catch The Spider's Stratagem, Bernardo Bertolucci's haunting 1970 film, based upon a Jorge Luis Borges short story about a young man who returns to his hometown to find that a monument to his political-hero father has been defaced. It's in the Masters of Italian Cinema series. On Saturday, think Ida Lupino. The Hard Way (also playing tonight) and The Man I Love, both excellent '40s melodramas, star the hard-boiled actress, respectively, as a sister who pushes her sibling to success and as a second-rate singer who saves her sister's marriage but loses her own guy. Also on the schedule is The Trouble With Angels, a 1966 serious comedy directed by Lupino about a convent-school girl (Hayley Mills)
November 25, 1993 |
The Grand Old Lady of Broad Street landed a starring role in the major new movie, The Age of Innocence. The Academy of Music plays a period opera house in several scenes in the opulent film - including the opening. It looks beautiful! The building's grandeur helps make the film come alive - it's no mere Hollywood backdrop. I was even inspired to look up the opera scenes in Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and discovered that this was one case in which the movie was better than the book.
January 26, 2007 |
In the Academy's history, was there ever such a fashionable assembly? Satin-swathed bosoms palpitated with pearls the size of grapes. Silk damask waistcoats bedecked the men, icing in the layer cake of swallowtail coats and trousers. Ornate fans, lustrous as impressionist paintings, fluttered like hummingbirds. Gardenias bloomed from the chignons of ladies and the lapels of men. The rustle of taffeta and velvet was as melodic as the throbbing strains of Gounod's Faust. We're talking, of course, about those five days in May 1992 when Martin Scorsese filmed the opening sequence for The Age of Innocence.
January 11, 1994 |
While many folks have started their own book groups with friends or co- workers - and a few neigborhood bookshops regularly post announcements for such gatherings - various organizations, libraries and bookstores coordinate their own literary caucuses. Here are some upcoming events: Barnes & Noble, 720 Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr. Children's book club, 10 a.m. Jan. 15, "Stinky Stanley Stinks Again" by Ann Hodgman; mystery book club, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13, "Remember Me Always" by Seymour Shubin and "Cut to the Quick" by Kate Ross; romance book club, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11, "Dragonfly in Amber" by Diana Gabaldon; adult book club, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18, "According to Mark" by Penelope Lively.
December 15, 1991 |
To say Scott Rudin is elated by what's going on with his movie is to understate things considerably. "I'm in awe," says the producer, whose movie happens to be called The Addams Family, happens to have topped $70 million in 2 1/2 weeks - and happens to have become the year's pop-cult phenomenon. "It was seen by 11 million people in its first 10 days of release," reports Rudin, his voice still edged with amazement. "There are kids coming out of the theaters, buying another ticket and going right back in. There are people on the lines dressed as Uncle Fester.
April 30, 1993 |
The title character in "Ethan Frome" is a brooding, crippled man who lives in an isolated shack in wintry New England with a shrewish, invalid wife who thinks the most important thing in her life is a glass dish. Intrigued by the cinematic possibilities, The American Playhouse two years ago launched an on-location production with strong, silent Irish hunk Liam Neeson in the lead role. The finished product spent the intervening months on the shelf because some sensible person saw it and wondered why people would pay money to watch a crippled man drag his leg through the snow for two hours.