February 12, 2006 |
It says a lot about America - and movies, and the genius of the Taiwan-born director Ang Lee - that Brokeback Mountain, the first gay love story to be embraced by the public ($62 million and going strong) and the Oscars (eight nominations, including best picture) is an oater, a horse opera, a western. Like a stagecoach trundling over a rocky pass, the cowboy genre has been used to carry baggage - heavy themes, messages, metaphors - from the Silent Era to the iPod Age. In Brokeback, it's gay love.
December 9, 2005 |
While it was way too long and depressing for summer (let's face it: 'toons, guns, and superheroes always rule in the heat), Ron Howard's Cinderella Man still packed a serious punch. The DVD, available in single-disc form and a two-disc collector's edition, does a pretty good job of protecting the film's integrity. The story is the stuff of boxing legend. A once-promising heavyweight prospect, James J. Braddock (admirably portrayed by Russell Crowe), rises from the ashes of the Depression to upset champ Max Baer (Craig Bierko)
November 11, 2005 |
With a tip of the fedora and a tap of the gumshoe to Raymond Chandler, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is a modern-day piece of Hollywood pulp, with a wisecracking detective, a disheveled charm-boy thief, a couple of thugs, and a bevy of drop-dead women. Robert Downey Jr. provides a voice-over ("I'll be your narrator," he intros to the audience), playing Harry Lockhart, a con artist turned movie actor signed to play a private eye. The directorial debut of L.A. screenwriter Shane Black (the Lethal Weapon series)
October 20, 2005 |
A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts Inc. blamed a glut of yarn supplies, unusually hot weather, and high gas prices for its third-quarter loss. The Berlin, Camden County, retailer said yesterday that it lost $1.9 million, or 10 cents a share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of $865,000, or 4 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. "We are beginning to experience declines in our yarn sales," chief executive officer Jack Parker said in a statement. "Last year at this time we were achieving major sales increases that cannot be repeated this year given the large supply of yarn in the marketplace.
June 25, 2004 |
Secret Cinema's Jay Schwartz switches from film to music tonight with two bands from New York City. The up-and-coming Blue Sparks are a cross between the Feelies and Blondie. Brand-new Yarn Mask includes singer/bassist Luis Mayo, a onetime Philadelphia resident and Spanish expatriate who played with Distortions Records' Dave Brown in Drug Emporium in the mid-'90s. Between sets, Schwartz will spin post-punk, garage and other eclectic nuggets from his formidable record collection (9 tonight, Tritone, 1508 South St., 215-545-0475, $6, www.voicenet.
April 2, 2004 |
Yarn isn't a painting medium, but "yarn paintings" seems the most accurate way to describe the vivid, eye-dazzling images being shown at the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The 31 "paintings" come from the Huichol Indian culture of west-central Mexico, specifically from artist-shaman Jos? Ben?tez S?nchez. S?nchez "paints" by pressing lengths of colored yarn into boards coated with beeswax. It sounds naively hobbyist, but the intricate detail and finish that S?nchez achieves with this technique are amazing.
August 25, 2003 |
During my years as a knitaholic, I worked in three yarn stores simultaneously. I wrote patterns, sold the yarns that reproduced the newest Calvin Klein or Adrienne Vittadini, and worked with customers who ran in for a few minutes during lunch or between business meetings, briefcase in one hand, knitting bag in the other. At night, finally having a chance to pick up my own needles, I'd sit on the edge of my bed unable to stop the mantra of, "Just one more row" from going round in my brain, finally falling asleep with the colors I was working with imprinted into my eyelids.
August 12, 2003 |
RAY MATERSON did 7 1/2 years in the joint one stitch at a time. Embroidered his way through the squinting darkness that is a maximum security prison. Used blue thread from unraveled socks, used brown thread from frayed shoelaces, used swatches of gray cotton/polyester boxer shorts as background. Used a needle borrowed from a sympathetic guard, used skills he didn't know he had. Focused on baseball because it reminded him of his childhood, before booze and drugs warped his life, before a carjacking (with a toy gun)
March 30, 2003 |
The meeting-room chairs were arranged in an oval, but MainLine Knitting Guild members were too busy to sit. They stood and conversed in small groups and pulled material samples of various styles, colors and textures from bags overstuffed with yarns, patterns and needlecraft items. Sharing a new twist on an old stitch and helping a friend know when to "rip it all out" and start again brings artisans of needlework together, said Lisa Stuart, club president. "We never go anywhere without our needles, except on an airplane these days," Stuart joked.
October 25, 2001 |
It was a twisted and treacherous Walter Mitty fantasy built around a lack of self-esteem, severe depression and alcoholism. It included stories about the CIA and narco-terrorists, the Mossad and the Russian mob, attempts to sell nuclear weapons and surreptitious meetings in area strip clubs. Ultimately, Len Jenoff said, it led to murder. Jenoff, 56, ended his third and final day on the witness stand yesterday in the capital murder trial of Rabbi Fred J. Neulander, insisting, as he had from the start, that he killed the rabbi's wife, Carol, in exchange for a promised payment of $30,000 from the rabbi.