March 13, 2016
The Mysteries of Paris Eugène Sue Translated by Carolyn Betensky and Jonathan Loesberg Penguin. 1,366 pp. $17.45 Reviewed by Colin Fleming One might not think that a gargantuan Parisian novel, published in 150 newspaper episodes in the middle of the 19th century, would fill anyone's 21st-century bill as an absolute ripsnorter - but Eugène Sue's The Mysteries of Paris does exactly that. Sue's 1,366-page scuzzy epic - a novel of back alleys, hidden rooms, and an underground bar - was a triumph of the burgeoning city mystery genre.
January 18, 2016 |
When Josh Radnor makes his first appearance Sunday as a Civil War surgeon in PBS's new drama, Mercy Street , he will be trying to take down more than a gun-waving patient. At 10 p.m. on WHYY-TV12, viewers will hear, "Soldier, this is a place of peace and healing, not a place for guns," but what some may see, at least at first, is Radnor's How I Met Your Mother character, Ted Mosby, in an unironic beard and mustache, playing dress-up. They should give him time. It's not easy being an American in a PBS drama.
December 11, 2015 |
At the start of Thom Zinny's making-of documentary included in The Ties That Bind: The River Collection (Columbia****) (4 CDs, 2 DVDs or Blu-Rays; $92.19 on Amazon), Bruce Springsteen illustrates a point with an acoustic performance of "Two Hearts," a crucial song on The River , the 1980 album into which the new six-disc box does a deep dive. "Once I spent my time playing tough-guy scenes," the Boss sings. "But I was living in a world of childish dreams / Some day these childish dreams must end, to become a man and grow up to dream again.
November 3, 2015 |
HE MAY be "Malibu's Most Wanted," but Jamie Kennedy hails from Upper Darby - where he's wanted, too, but in another way, and mostly by those of the female persuasion. The "Scream" star sat down with me for a few minutes Friday to talk about the 24th annual Philadelphia Film Festival and to plug a hair-raising night that paid homage to his late pal and former director Wes Craven . The Prince Theater (1412 Chestnut St.) opened its doors for "A Very Scary Sleepover: Wes Craven's Halloween Nightmare," which played a horror marathon Saturday night into Sunday, for Halloween (and in recognition of the two decades since 1996's "Scream")
October 3, 2015 |
He's someone you see every day on city sidewalks: dragging a garbage bag, wheeling a worn suitcase, watching for a discarded lunch, for coins dropped on the curb. In Time Out of Mind , set in a teeming New York City, a man with a bruised face and a bruised soul looks for places to sleep, for a reason to keep going. People talk on cellphones, run for the bus, head for meals - almost uniformly indifferent. And if this man, whose name we discover is George, looks a little like Richard Gere, no one notices, or cares.
September 11, 2015 |
When Yong Kim strip-mall-hopped his Bluefin restaurant from its original Blue Bell nook to a sleeker space in East Norriton a few years ago, he doubled the seating of one of the suburbs' most popular sushi haunts. And from the tuna-draped Marlee roll stuffed with spicy yellowtail to the live scallop, homemade dumplings, and noodle-wrapped "spinning shrimp," the transition hasn't dimmed Bluefin's status as a quality cut above the ubiquitous strip-mall sushi crowd. But Kim also reacquired a special boost in his new location: the return of his mentor, Shinji "Nishi" Nishikawa, the 67-year-old Shikoku Island native whose masterful knife skills prove experience trumps youth and flash when it comes to sushi.
April 11, 2015 |
Though American writer-director James Gray is best known for crime dramas such as The Yards , We Own the Night, and Blood Ties , his 1994 debut, Little Odessa , about Jewish Russian émigrés in Brooklyn, showed he had a talent for capturing the peculiar rhythms of immigrant communities and the dynamics within first-generation families. He returns to some of those concerns with the stunning The Immigrant , a rich, complex drama set in the early 1920s about two Polish sisters who spend their last penny to emigrate to New York.
January 17, 2015 |
The first time that developer David Blumenfeld proposed an apartment house for the strip of land behind the Rodin Museum, he was practically laughed out of the Art Commission. His renderings showed a bland six-story building rising up like a wave behind the tiny classical temple, ready to swallow the Paul Cret masterpiece in its glassy maw. What a difference a few months can make. When Blumenfeld returned to the commission last week with a revised design for 2100 Hamilton by Barton Partners, he was somehow able to talk members into approving the concept.
January 29, 2014 |
ERNEST AFLAKPUI was in prime viewing position yesterday during Archbishop Carroll's best stretch against host Archbishop Wood. As 6-6 junior forward Derrick Jones and the Patriots sprang for 54 second-half points en route to an 83-52 victory, Aflakpui was parked on the bench with the referee blues. A 6-9 junior center, Aflakpui hides from whistles the way skyscrapers hide from skylines. And that includes logging court time with Wood's 6-7, 285-pound building Joe LoStracco. Aflakpui's 15 points and seven rebounds didn't make LoStracco look small by any stretch, but he certainly commanded the paint with aplomb in the first half.
January 18, 2014 |
In 1974, Gene Clark, the founding member of the Byrds who cowrote "Eight Miles High," released his solo album No Other . Decried as indulgent and overproduced, the album met with disdain and was a critical and commercial failure. But in the ensuing four decades, the album, reissued on CD in 2004, has come to be regarded as an overlooked classic. Among those who hold No Other in high esteem are Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand of the Baltimore dream-pop band Beach House. The duo are the force behind the "Gene Clark - No Other " Tour, which will play the first of just four dates scheduled nationally at Union Transfer on Wednesday.