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Monday, July 28, 2014, 7:38 p.m.
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Philip Martin

Stories by Philip

The emoji in the death camp

posted: 07/27/2014 2:05 a.m. Comments 2

If you are one of those reasonable souls who doesn't spend a lot of time with social media channels, then you might not have heard about the teenage girl from Alabama who became (to use her word) "famous" last week for taking a cell phone photo of herself during a June visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

On Film: Midway in ’14 movie run, Hollywood has some front-runners

posted: 07/25/2014 2:26 a.m. Discuss

The movie year is a marathon; the pace kicks up nearer the end. By the calendar, we're more than halfway through 2014. Since it's one of those languid summer weeks that lends itself to rumination, maybe it's worth taking a minute to contextualize the year so far.

Critical Mass: American TV goes to prison

posted: 07/20/2014 2:31 a.m. Discuss

We put a lot of people in prison. The American Civil Liberties Union says the United States is the world's largest jailer, in numbers (we lock up more people than China) and per capita.

Winning isn't the only thing

posted: 07/20/2014 2:10 a.m. Discuss

It was six years ago that I shared an elevator ride with LeBron James in the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto.

Review: On the life, and end of life, of Roger Ebert

posted: 07/18/2014 2:40 a.m. Discuss

Editor's note: Life Itself opens in Little Rock today. It is also available through various video-on-demand services.

Getting piggy in Bentonville

posted: 07/17/2014 2:17 a.m. Discuss

If you haven't been here recently (or at all), you might be surprised at how much Arkansas' 10th largest city resembles a leafy Sonoma Valley wine village, particularly in the area immediately around the downtown that marks ground zero for the planet's largest employer.

Critical Mass: Cadence of prose is a prized respite

posted: 07/13/2014 2:24 a.m. Discuss

One of the chief lures of reading is the little coma it can sometimes produce; an uncoupling of the reader from present concerns. A good book can make you forget not only yourself, but your experience and prejudice. A great book can deliver you unto a new world.

Sometimes you have to be there

posted: 07/13/2014 2:06 a.m. Discuss

I met filmmaker Sam Green three years ago. He was passing through town and our mutual friend Dave Anderson--the photographer and filmmaker who, among other things, shoots and reports the SoLost video series under the auspices of the Oxford American--arranged for us to have lunch together at a local barbecue place.

Review: Begin Again

posted: 07/11/2014 1:58 a.m. Discuss

An old-fashioned movie musical disguised as a featherweight urban rom-com, John Carney's Begin Again is a movie you'll have to meet at least halfway. No, characters don't break into song on the streets of New York or tap-dance through the rain, but it's a movie that very much relies on its musical component to engage its audience.

Review: Gore Vidal: The Unites States of Amnesia

posted: 07/11/2014 1:50 a.m. Discuss

Martin Amis once observed that Gore Vidal's love affair with Gore Vidal was not simply infatuation -- it was the real thing.

On Film: To get 'live film,' you have to be there

posted: 07/11/2014 1:46 a.m. Discuss

I met filmmaker Sam Green three years ago. He was passing through town and our mutual friend Dave Anderson -- the photographer and filmmaker who, among other things, shoots and reports the SoLost video series under the auspices of the Oxford American -- arranged for us to have lunch together at a local barbecue place.

Spirits: Liquor stores still a place to find oddities, surprises

posted: 07/06/2014 3 a.m. Discuss

I heard Andrew Loog Oldham on satellite radio the other day complaining about the near extinction of record stores. Oldham -- living up to his surname, in his best "get off my lawn" Paddington accent -- lamented having to go to Wal-Mart or iTunes for his records instead of having them sold to him "by people who care about music." I know exactly how he feels.

I believe, I believe that we did win

posted: 07/06/2014 2:05 a.m. Comment 1

I don't follow soccer--the sport the rest of the world stubbornly insists on calling football--and I can't pretend to be terribly engaged by the ongoing World Cup. I understand the game is intricate, but it is a language I don't speak. Mine might have been the last generation that didn't really play it as kids.

Review: Apocalypse express

posted: 07/04/2014 2:05 a.m. Discuss

Snowpiercer is the first English-language film from Bong Joon-ho, the Korean director who achieved international success with the monster movie The Host in 2007 and the unsettling murder mystery Mother in 2009. It is a strange and ambitious project, an allegory about class warfare, environmental recklessness and possibly predestination that at times seems like it was written by a bright eighth-grader with attention deficit disorder and a fondness for kick-butt martial arts movies. It has about it a gorgeous incoherency that overwhelms any logical objections to its absurd premise.

Review: Obvious Child

posted: 07/04/2014 2:02 a.m. Discuss

In the real world, people often say (and sometimes do) things that they might not want presented to strangers gathered in an auditorium. I can say absolutely horrible things in jest to people who understand that I am joking. In our most private moments, some of us at least, voice terrible thoughts.

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