January 24, 1997 |
To see In Love and War, all about the World War I romance between 18-year-old Red Cross volunteer Ernest Hemingway and a 26-year-old American nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky, is to learn a few things. For instance, if Nurse Agnes hadn't interceded, the young Hemingway, shot in the knee as he lugged a wounded Italian soldier to the tents, might have penned a different sort of novel inspired by his days in the Dolomites: A Farewell to Legs. It seems the Venice surgeon on the scene, unfamiliar with the process of irrigating a gangrenous wound, was eager to amputate.
September 21, 1992 |
Wallis "Wally" Porter is a TV woman of the '90s. She is a restaurateur who is paying alimony to her ex, the actor. She hasn't had sex in almost a year, but carries a condom in her purse just in case she gets lucky. Taking the bull by the horns, as it were, she asks an acceptable guy who has just cooked her dinner at his place if he'd be interested. They both talk to the camera about the angst involved in middle-aged lust in the age of AIDS. "What if I can't perform?"
October 31, 2003 |
His story has all the makings of a Hollywood epic: Robert Capa - the subject of Anne Makepeace's Robert Capa: In Love and War - certainly lived a life rife with drama, romance, danger, celebrity and tragedy. Why Steven Spielberg, say - he is among the interviewees in this fascinating documentary - hasn't opted to make a big-budget biopic is a mystery. The launch for the 23d annual Jewish Film Festival, Capa: In Love and War tells the story of a handsome Hungarian Jew named Endre Friedmann, who, still in his teens, fled from Budapest to Berlin and, a few years later - as the Nazis seized power - to Paris, with a camera and not much else.
February 26, 2009 |
Women complain, with merit, about modern romantic comedies that shackle beautiful, accomplished women with loser guys. Their protests were on my mind as I watched "Two Lovers," which is not romantic and not a comedy, but features Joaquin Phoenix as a lumpen, suicidal, friendless, moping slug named Leonard who lives on a cot in his parents' apartment and sponges off his dad's dry-cleaning business. This makes him, in today's movie universe, irresistible to women. "I want to take care of you," says the lovely Sandra (Vinessa Shaw)
April 29, 2012 |
Sunday Antic farm Shostakovich wrote three ballets from 1929 to 1935, each getting him deeper in trouble with the Soviet authorities, each banned shortly after it premiered, each eventually contributing to his falling out of favor with Stalin and the denunciation of his work in 1936. The finale of the trio, The Bright Stream, despite being set on a collective farm (and having a comic plot in which a troupe of sophisticated dancers are shown up by the bumpkin workers), was the subject of a pointed and threatening article in Pravda (even more to the point, one co-librettist, Adrian Piotrovsky, was sent to the gulag and disappeared)
June 6, 2009 |
As one character tells us, commenting on the small nowhere town she lives in, "Any way you walk, you wind up in the cemetery. " True in White Pines, N.H., true in Baghdad, true in life. Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier by William di Canzio is a sweet play about love and grief. This new theater company, White Pines Productions, under Benjamin Lloyd's direction, is giving this new play a three-day showcase at the Playground at the Adrienne, having assembled a top-notch cast and a strong creative team to give the script an impressive first production.
April 28, 2000 |
It's 1920 and as the war for independence escalates throughout southern Ireland, Sir Richard and Lady Myra Naylor decide it would be a fine time to have some guests over at Danielstown, their country estate in County Cork. Denial, denial, denial. The Anglo-Irish aristocrats (wealthy heirs of the English immigrants who set up feudal residency there centuries before) are more annoyed by British army patrols and murderous Irish outlaws than actually concerned that the conflict could topple their privileged way of life.
October 22, 1993 |
HENDERSON, HURT CAN FIGHT DIRTY WITH 'CLEAN' CLAUSE If it's true that being lucky at cards means you're unlucky in love, never play poker with William Hurt. You might remember his headline-making 1989 palimony battle with dancer Sandra Jennings. Now he's back in court - this time being sued for divorce by wife Heidi Henderson, daughter of bandleader Skitch Henderson. What's certain to make this more than your run-of-the-mill Hollywood divorce is the couple's unusual prenuptial agreement, which ties compensation formulas to their ability to stay clean.
February 10, 1993 |
In the absence of a program note by Marian X, the semi-pseudonymous author of "Warrior Stance (Or Sex: A Comedy)," the world premiere just opened at Freedom Theater, we must take it at face value: a well-thought-out and quite serious fable about the pre-history of upright man, albeit one told with broad comedic strokes. Though the show is long and rambling and at times disjointed, I found it full of truth and hugely entertaining. It may very well be the best realized production in Freedom's brief but interesting history as a staging entity; it is, in any case, an exciting, visually stimulating and drolly rambunctious piece of theater.
October 29, 1993 |
Dick Van Dyke winds up hiding in the priest's side of a church confessional in one of the hokey little scenes from tonight's hokey little Diagnosis Murder. "Say 500 Hail Marys," Van Dyke's character, Dr. Mark Sloan, counsels the supplicant, who just happens to be Sloan's boss, who just happens to be confessing that he can't stand Sloan. The guy balks at 500. It seems a little much. "Whatever it takes to make you appreciate Dr. Sloan," says Dr. Sloan. You could pray for guidance from now until Judgment Day and never come to appreciate Dr. Sloan, certainly a well-meaning and pleasant fellow, but one who's about as deep as that puddle in the driveway.