November 21, 1990 |
On a blustery, rainy and cold Saturday, all is warmth and ease inside the Barclay Hotel on Rittenhouse Square. Celeste Holm and Wesley Addy sit comfortably on a sofa in their high-ceilinged suite, holding forth on their lives and, more particularly, their work. Married 25 years next May 21 ("or was it May 22?" asks Holm, the more voluble of the pair), they are affectionate and teasing with one another. Holm reaches out often to clasp her husband's hand. This long marriage, Holm's fourth, translates now to the stage where the couple is co-starring in the Philadelphia Theater Company production of The Cocktail Hour by that chronicler of fading WASP society, A. R. Gurney.
November 9, 2007 |
The 27th annual Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival gets under way Saturday night with the acclaimed Brazilian feature The Year My Parents Went on Vacation. A tale of World Cup fever, of social, political and familial upheaval in 1970 Sao Paulo, director Cao Hamburger's coming-of-age drama is representative of the global reach of the 2007/2008 festival. With weekend presentations every month through May, the fest offers 23 titles - features, documentaries, and shorts - that span a gamut of themes, subjects, styles and story lines.
July 4, 2004
China The state promotes family planning so that population growth may fit the plan for economic and social development. . . . The personal dignity of citizens . . . is inviolable. Insult, libel, false charge, or frame-up . . . by any means is prohibited. . . . Working people . . . have the right to rest. . . . The state . . . prescribes working hours and vacations for workers and staff. . . . Citizens . . . have the right to material assistance from the state and society when they are old, ill, or disabled.
August 5, 2005 |
Ingmar Bergman, who is 87 and lives on an island in the Baltic, has indicated that Saraband - the first movie he has made in many years, and the first shot on high-definition digital video - will be his last. And so it is fitting that the Swedish director, whose influence in global cinema in the 1960s and '70s was immeasurable, revisits the two characters of one of his key works: Scenes From a Marriage. Thirty years have passed, and Liv Ullmann, playing the cheated-upon spouse, Marianne, has decided to contact her ex-husband, Johan, played again by Erland Josephson.
November 28, 2003 |
For those of you who felt too guilt-ridden to laugh out loud at last year's earnest melodrama, "Far From Heaven," "Die Mommie Die!" affords the permission to bust a gut or cringe, whichever feels more appropriate. Pretty much any reaction is fitting given the hokey sets, cornball dialogue, the poisoned suppository - yes, you read that right - we're expected to uh, take in. Not only is Charles Busch is the house, but he's channeling Joan Crawford and Bette Davis while wreaking havoc with the house of Agamemnon.
November 15, 1991 |
After only a day as a Flyer, Kevin Dineen might want time to adjust to his new surroundings. But what about someone who made a move last spring, say, from Philadelphia to Edmonton? That's no small leap - in distance (it's about 2,500 miles away) or lifestyle, or weather, for that matter. Just ask Scott Mellanby, whom the Flyers traded to the Oilers in a three-way deal last May. "It's a lot colder, that's for sure," said Mellanby, whose new team lost to his old team, 3-1, last night.
April 18, 1986 |
"One can rarely walk through the lobby at Children's," writes Peggy Anderson in Children's Hospital (Bantam, $4.50), "without being stopped figuratively if not literally by children to whom fate has been breathtakingly cruel. " Consider the fate of 6-year-old Candace Rudolph. The middle of her face "receded as if the whole structure from eyebrows to upper lip had been pushed in, leaving her with bulging eyes, no bridge above the button of her nose and the appearance of a jutting lower jaw. " People stare at Candy.
February 22, 1988 |
If you saw it, you probably still have not forgotten Richard Nixon's maudlin farewell meanderings the day he left the White House in disgrace. He went on about how his family's misfortunes all lay at his father's feet. It was a strange address at an awkward moment in presidential history. It was as if the nation was being let in on family secrets about which we would have preferred to have maintained our innocence. Such is the aura now creeping across the political landscape in the persons of Gary and Lee Hart, the presidential campaign team from Troublesome Gulch.
February 8, 2007 |
Black History Month is a time to think of achievements, and in the world of cinema (and television), the milestones are many, including "Malcolm X" and "Sounder" and "Roots" and "Boyz n the Hood. " But there are other excellent, less obvious movies, depicting not only American stories, but stories about black life around the globe. Consider these: "Baadasssss Cinema" (2002) - An entertaining documentary (and primer) that tells you just about everything you need to know about blaxploitation films, featuring interviews with Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Tarantino and others.
November 28, 1986 |
H. L. Mencken called the abdication of King Edward VIII "the greatest news story since the resurrection. " And a jolly good thing, because it has inspired almost as much speculation. Royal Feud by Michael Thornton (Ballantine, $4.95) gives us meticulously documented evidence of a fact that most suspect: that Elizabeth the dowager queen thoroughly disliked Wallis Warfield Simpson and kept her declasse through the years. Mind you, straight-arrow sentimentalist Elizabeth and acidulous social- climber Wallis would never have been friends under any circumstances, but history made them deadly enemies.