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Philip Martin

Stories by Philip

Martin, Lubambo jazz jam a mesmerizing mind meld

posted: 01/30/2015 6:55 a.m. Discuss

At its best, jazz eludes capture and mechanical reproduction. It is a moment, a collaboration between players and listeners, irreducible to digital bytes or grooves cut in wax.

Review: A Most Violent Year

posted: 01/30/2015 1:56 a.m. Discuss

In a corrupt world of rascals and thugs, cheats and chiselers, how is the honest man to make it? J.C. Chandor's stunning third film, the period drama A Most Violent Year, asks that very grown-up question and answers it with dispassionate pragmatism: A man does what he has to do.

Review: Cake

posted: 01/30/2015 1:55 a.m. Discuss

The most cynical reading of Cake is as a grab of Oscar glory by its star and executive producer, Jennifer Aniston, who rightly is being hailed for her portrayal of a woman debilitated by chronic pain.

Brazilian guitarist, Missouri pianist thrill South on Main crowd

posted: 01/29/2015 11:53 p.m. Discuss

At its best, jazz eludes capture and mechanical reproduction. It is a moment, a collaboration between players and listeners, irreducible to digital bytes or grooves cut in wax.

Critical Mass: Late Selma screenings for voters partly explains Oscar snub

posted: 01/25/2015 2:42 a.m. Discuss

I finally saw Ava DuVernay's Selma this past weekend. Part of me is glad that I did not see it earlier in my capacity as a movie critic. For a movie critic would be compelled to point out that although it is a very good movie and exactly the sort of good movie that generally wins awards, it is not a genuinely great piece of cinematic art.

Columnists: Sheep, wolves and sheepdogs

posted: 01/25/2015 2:11 a.m. Comments 3

"Powerful. Another view of Coming Home ... Bravo Clint Eastwood."

On Film: MovieStyle colleagues tally their top picks

updated: 01/22/2015 1:25 p.m. Discuss

Every year we invite members of the Arkansas film community to send us lists of their favorite movies of the year.

SPIRITS: Monkeying around with gin, again

posted: 01/18/2015 2:17 a.m. Discuss

The first time I drank gin I thought it must be hair tonic. -- Philip Levine, "Gin"

On Books: Musings of critics, creators precis 25 years of art world

posted: 01/18/2015 2:16 a.m. Discuss

There was a story on National Public Radio recently about Peter Milton, the artist known for his photorealistic black-and-white engravings and etchings. It explained that in 1962, Milton was a young painter who taught art at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. He had a show of his paintings and was horrified when a reviewer noted the "warm and ... pinky" quality of his landscapes.

Almost anyone could have done it

posted: 01/18/2015 2:02 a.m. Discuss

And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Review: Poor little rich boy

posted: 01/16/2015 1:55 a.m. Discuss

Americans tend to worship rich people. It doesn't really matter how they got rich, whether they were born that way or made it themselves.

Review: American Sniper

posted: 01/16/2015 1:54 a.m. Comments 7

Clint Eastwood's American Sniper is a curious mixture of tall tale and tragedy, a purported-to-be-true story that has lately come under skeptical scrutiny. It represents, in a way, a kind of regression in what some had come to see as the director's late-blooming humanism -- it is far more Dirty Harry than Letters From Iwo Jima or even Gran Torino -- and the breeziest reading of the film is as a celebration of the warrior ethos. I don't know for certain what might inspire anyone to want to become an assassin executing human beings from the remove of a quarter-mile or more, but I suspect movies like this might play a part.

Critical Mass: Miller Williams' pyramid

posted: 01/11/2015 2:09 a.m. Discuss

When your father dies take notes somewhere inside. -- Miller Williams, "Let Me Tell You" The above line comes from a poem in which Arkansas poet Miller Williams urged us to make use of whatever was at hand, including the dying of a friend.

“Godfather” for Miller Williams

posted: 01/11/2015 2 a.m. Discuss

Vito Corleone was in the hospital on the first night of 2015.

The silly sanctity of Hall of Fame voters

posted: 01/11/2015 1:53 a.m. Discuss

The Baseball Writers Association of America let four more guys into their little club in Cooperstown last week--pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, along with second baseman Craig Biggio, who becomes the first Houston Astro inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame.


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