March 7, 2014 |
WHEN CATE Blanchett used her Oscar win to trumpet the commercial virtues of female-driven stories, I wonder if she meant "300: Rise of an Empire. " This account of the Persia vs. Greece sea battle that coincided with the battle of Thermopylae (covered in "300") is positively bonkers for Artemisia (Eva Green), dominatrix commander of the Persian fleet, a position she has acquired (in this demented version) by virtue of her extreme foxiness and skill with a blade. I don't expect to see Green getting an Oscar next year, but only because the Academy has not evolved to the point where they would reward a performance that calls for an actress to behead somebody (with twin swords, ninja style)
January 24, 2005 |
At this midpoint of the Bush administration, engaged as we are in conflict throughout the world, are we winning? The great democratic crusade undertaken by this administration is going far better than most observers will admit. That's the good news. The bad news is more troubling than most observers recognize: signs of the emergence, the first since the fall of the Soviet empire, of an anti-American bloc anchored by Great Powers. First, the good news. The great project of the Bush administration - the strengthening and spread of democracy - is enjoying considerable success.
October 13, 2005
Why Britain fell Re: "Rule America?" (Currents, Oct. 9): Jonathan Last's article shows an appallingly simpleminded understanding of history. Yes, Britain had then - and has now - a large group of people who are cynical about chest-thumping, bellicose politicians. But its decline had many more-important causes, including: 1. Insufficient natural resources: oil, steel, agricultural production. 2. A rigid, enduring class structure. 3. The existence, in fact, of many military and economic rivals, despite Last's claim that Britain was "an unopposed hyperpower.
November 20, 2000 |
Why did Franz Ferdinand go to Sarajevo on June 28, 1914? His uncle, Franz Josef, head of the Austro-Hungarian empire, thought it was a bad idea. The mayor of Sarajevo and the head of the Bosnian army said: Stay home. He was crazy to go. His uncle's empire ruled Yugoslavia, where unrest was stroked on by the terrorist group terrifyingly nicknamed The Black Hand. June 28 was Vidovdan, celebration of the Turkish defeat of the Serbs at the Field of Blackbirds in 1386. Serbs celebrate that pulverizing defeat as an emblem of their defiant persistence.
October 7, 2012
From the Ruins of Empire The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia By Pankaj Mishra Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 368 pp. $27. Reviewed by Madhusree Mukerjee 'The minstrel, and the music, and the melody have all changed," lamented poet Akbar Illahabadi after the crushing of India's 1857 rebellion against the British East India Company. The last of the Mughal emperors was gone, his sons dead, their dazzling capital of Delhi razed. Nature herself had been transformed: "Another kind of rain falls from the sky; another kind of grain grows in the fields.
October 11, 1990 |
The American premiere of a 19th-century Russian comedy may, for that reason alone, draw a number of the curious to the Walnut between now and Nov. 11. It may not be reason enough. I found Alexander Ostrovsky's "A Family Affair," which last night opened the Walnut's subscription season, overlong, overglib and overwrought, though I wondered if it wasn't just possible that these are some of the very things it was intended to be, considering that the institution on the skewer is the bourgeoisie.
June 2, 1993 |
QUOTE "All we see is sluts, crap and junk. There's a great deal more variety than a guy who thinks he's a lesbian struggling to get out of his body or something. " - Chevy Chase, on why there's room for his TV chatfest, airing this fall on Fox OPRAH'S WEDDING NOTHING BUT TALK? It's June, and that means Oprah Winfrey has only seven months to go if she wants to make good on her pledge to get married this year. Fiance Stedman Graham has been overheard in Chicago telling buddies that no date has been set, that when the time feels right, the couple will just up and jump the broom.
July 22, 1992 |
Lawrence Shubert Lawrence Jr., 76, former steward of his uncles' Shubert theatrical empire and a Philadelphia native, died of cancer Saturday in a Boca Raton, Fla., hospice. The grand-nephew of the famous Shubert brothers - Sam, Lee and Jacob J. (J.J.) - Mr. Lawrence had practically grown up in the front-row center seats of the theaters his uncles founded in New York in 1900, which grew to include the Forrest and at one time the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia. Mr. Lawrence, whose father was the son of a Shubert sister, grew up in Merion and prepped at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey.
December 11, 2011
A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History By Robert Hughes Knopf. 512 pp. $35 Reviewed by John Timpane Could you have a better guide to Rome than Robert Hughes? To the idea of Rome, I mean, or, closer yet, to the idea of the history of Rome? This book is a panoramic account of Rome's several ascents: pagan empire of 1,229 years; Christian empire for nearly as long; capital of art for millenniums; one of the homes of modernism; dysfunctional yet somehow influential modern citadel of corruption.