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NEWS
July 1, 2001
No doubt, it's an egregious artistic sacrilege to liken Alexander Calder sculptures to bread crumbs. So let's think of them as sparkling gems cast on the Philadelphia pavement. Either way, the just-announced plan to seed the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with outdoor Calders means art-hungry visitors will be drawn irresistibly to a streetscape rarely explored. Of course, the plan is a boon to the planned permanent museum showcasing the works of three Calder generations at 22d Street across from the Rodin Museum.
NEWS
December 1, 1986
Congratulations to staff writer Karen Heller for her terrific Nov. 20 article "Strange but true" about today's American tastes. It's a masterpiece. It says it all! John Day Lafayette Hill.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 28, 1999 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
In Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock plunged into the depths of his own fears and obsessions to reach the dizzying heights attained in a film that was tepidly received in 1958 but is now regarded as his defining masterpiece and one of his most complex creations. In perhaps the most challenging and provocative of the movies he made with Hitchcock, James Stewart plays Scottie Ferguson, a San Francisco detective who is a prisoner of a lot more than the phobia of the film's title. The mystery begins when Ferguson agrees to keep tabs on the wife of a wealthy friend.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 2, 1987 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and, fortunately, Dickens' masterpiece got the movie it deserved in the elating A Tale of Two Cities, starring the unusually subtle Ronald Colman as the apolitical lawyer whose conscience is awakened during the Reign of Terror. A powerful panorama of the French Revolution made in sweeping, MGM high style, Tale was produced by David Selznick, and it is a far, far better thing than anything he ever did before or after - and that includes Gone With the Wind.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 1998 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
The release of a restored version of Touch of Evil that faithfully follows Orson Welles' detailed editing instructions is an opportunity to savor the film that effectively and abruptly ended his Hollywood career. Citizen Kane is the peerless work of genius that launched it in 1941. There are film classics and then there is Citizen Kane, a movie in a class by itself. It is a work whose stature is reaffirmed by each viewing and it remains a technically dazzling feat that rewrote the language and possibilities of movies.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 3, 2004 | By Steven Rea INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
A whirlwind of arresting images and aching emotions, La Dolce Vita (. . ), set in the carnival-like nightscape of Rome's Via Veneto and starring Marcello Mastroianni as a second-rate gossip columnist with first-rate dreams, is Federico Fellini's melancholy masterpiece. As the movie's sad-eyed newspaperman moves through a world of faded aristos, has-been stars, waxen playboys and glamor girls for hire, the director captures an amazing tableau of decadence and decay. From the shot of the helicopter carrying a Jesus statue aloft over the city to the scene of sex bomb Anita Ekberg wading and wiggling in the waters of the Trevi Fountain, La Dolce Vita offers a one-movie hit parade of iconic cinematic moments.
NEWS
December 15, 2005 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
If any two words ever belonged in the same sentence, they would be timeless and masterpiece. But maybe it's best not to toss them around with Philadelphia Orchestra audiences as they emerge, perhaps somewhat confused, from Shostakovich's Symphony No. 15, performed last week and being repeated next month. The symphony is full of harmonies, melodies and gestures familiar from other Shostakovich works. But the compass behind the piece - that which guides the order of events and the overall purpose of expression - is seriously elusive.
NEWS
March 21, 2007 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
NEW YORK - The latest chatter magnet in the opera world is the Metropolitan Opera's chance-taking production of The Egyptian Helen , a major work by a major composer (Richard Strauss) but one so seldom seen, it might as well be a world premiere. If you love Strauss and soprano Deborah Voigt (who sings the title role), you could start applauding even before the curtain goes up. The piece is a nutty fantasy on themes of Helen of Troy, about what might have happened after the 10-year war she caused, fused with overtones from Shakespeare's The Tempest with shipwrecked people on an island controlled by the sorceress wife of Poseidon.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2002 | By Steven Rea INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
A dark, ironic masterpiece, Agnieszka Holland's Europa, Europa is a tale of survival and subterfuge - and acting that literally saves a life - set in the midst, and madness, of World War II. The true story of one Solomon Perel, the Jewish son of a Polish shopkeeper living in Germany, the Oscar-nominated 1990 film, to be shown at the Prince Music Theater, follows the teenager from 1938 to the end of the war, and how he lived through the Holocaust: by...
NEWS
March 19, 2000 | By John Corr, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Albert Gans strides into the room wearing a neat gray beard, a resolute expression, and a smock that could pass for Peter Falk's raincoat. He has come to work on his masterpiece, and he gazes at the plaster wall in the Coatesville Senior Center as Michelangelo might have surveyed the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Intently. Reverently. A wiry, vigorous 70-year-old artist and teacher, Gans intends to compress 300 years of history into 30 feet of wall at the Senior Center. On the floor near his ladder is a half-scale drawing containing the major features of the mural, beginning with French explorer Pierre Bizallion trading for furs with the native people of what is now Coatesville around 1700.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2015 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
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.
SPORTS
January 29, 2014 | BY AARON CARTER, Daily News Staff Writer cartera@phillynews.com
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 2014 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
NEWS
November 12, 2013 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
For decades, a giant 17th-century Italian masterpiece has been slowly losing its luster on an obscure library wall on the Villanova University campus. Also fading - from memory - has been the artwork's fascinating backstory. It begins with an American-born Italian princess and a papal palace, twists through World War II, and ends up on the Main Line with the help of an ambitious priest. But now the century-long, operatic tale of the princess, the priest, and the painting is getting a bright and uplifting new finale.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 2013 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
New Wave directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut famously incorporated tropes from American noir and Western films into theirs. Their colleague Louis Malle went a step further and made a score of American films, including My Dinner With Andre (1981)   , Vanya on 42nd Street (1994) - and the 1981 masterpiece Atlantic City featuring Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon. Malle's work was well-received - even revered - here with the possible exception of 1985's Alamo Bay , which sharply divided critics.
NEWS
July 7, 2013 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
He prefers to keep company with Mozart   , Wagner, and Debussy rather than go out with the lads for a brew. One thing the young Detective Constable Endeavour Morse most assuredly is not is a lad. Or a dude. Awkward, socially inept Morse is the brilliant detective featured in the PBS Masterpiece Mystery entry Endeavour , a finely crafted TV series set in the ancient university town of Oxford in the mid-1960s. The first season, which consists of four feature-length mysteries, premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday and runs on consecutive Sundays through July 28 on WHYY TV12.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 12, 2013
Wednesday Returning: "Royal Pains" and "Necessary Roughness," 9 and 10 p.m., USA. Thursday Returning: "Sullivan & Son," 10 p.m., TBS. Sunday Returning: "True Blood," 9 p.m., HBO; "Masterpiece: Inspector Lewis," WHYY12. June 19 Returning: "Futurama," 10 p.m., Comedy Central. June 23 Premiering: "Crossing Lines," 9 p.m., NBC10. William Fichtner ("Prison Break") stars as an ex-cop who joins an international team tracking a serial killer across Europe.
NEWS
April 19, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
However strenuously Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire portrays madness, the listener's reaction is often bewilderment and disorientation, mainly because this song cycle about a comedia dell'arte character becoming drunk on moonlight completely bypasses typical theatrical portrayals of madness. It's insanity from the inside out. So on Tuesday at the Barnes Foundation, when art lovers hoped to catch up with the 101-year-old Schoenberg masterpiece alongside more readily apprehensible paintings of the same era, you wished them the best of luck, knowing that you can listen to Pierrot for decades and never feel on top of it. The occasion was the Curtis Institute's debut at the Barnes, in what may be the first of many concerts there and one that played well off the foundation's art collection.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 2, 2013 | By Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
Robert Battle programmed Paul Taylor's 1981 masterpiece Arden Court as the opening note on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's three-night run at the Merriam Theater, which began Wednesday. Even with the antique beauty of William Boyce's baroque music, the company breathed new life into Taylor's work, and into the closer, Ailey's 1960 classic Revelations . The six men in Revelations danced like tightly coiled springs rapidly released, or, in static moments, X'd their bodies stiffly to be turned hands-over-heels by one another; one man rolled across the floor as the curtain dropped.
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