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Thursday, August 21, 2014, 3:15 p.m.
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Philip Martin

Stories by Philip

SPIRITS: Throwback beer can design has memories bubbling up

posted: 08/17/2014 2:26 a.m. Discuss

I am not a beer drinker; my father was.

On Books: Pilgrimage flows with Murakami's unique literary power

posted: 08/17/2014 2:20 a.m. Discuss

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage By Haruki Murakami (Knopf), $25.95 In this post-literate age, it is hard to imagine a writer of literary fiction mattering so much as Japanese author Haruki Murakami seems to.

Columnists: What's next for Major League Baseball?

posted: 08/17/2014 2:06 a.m. Discuss

In January, Bud Selig will step down from his position as commissioner of Major League Baseball, a post he's held for the past 22 years. On Thursday, team owners voted--after much intrigue--to hire his hand-picked successor, baseball's chief operating officer Rob Manfred, for the job.

Review: Not the ideal Boyhood

updated: 08/15/2014 2:04 a.m. Discuss

Richard Linklater's Boyhood is probably the year's best-reviewed film, and it will very likely make it onto many critics' end-of-the-year Top 10 lists. It might even make it onto mine.

On Film: Film couldn't curb quicksilver Williams

posted: 08/15/2014 2:02 a.m. Comment 1

Not long ago someone told me that if I ever wanted to ruin a person's day all I had to do was remind them that sometime, in the not very distant future, the world will be without Bill Murray. It worked on me. Not a day goes by that I don't contemplate the inevitable subtraction of joy from the planet that Murray's passing will bring.

Critical Mass: Back to Fillmore East

posted: 08/10/2014 2:30 a.m. Discuss

On Feb. 20 in Wayne County, Ga., a movie production crew was preparing to film a scene for Midnight Rider, a movie about the life of Gregg Allman based on the singer-songwriter's 2012 autobiography My Cross to Bear. They'd placed a mattress and bed frame on a railroad trestle over the Altamaha River, for a dream sequence involving trains.

Life is only as sacred as we make it

posted: 08/10/2014 2 a.m. Discuss

Judge Isaac Parker's gallows in Fort Smith have always creeped me out.

A hollow shell

posted: 08/08/2014 2:18 a.m. Discuss

Welcome to the latest edition of stuff of up with which I must put.

Critical Mass: News of Pete's passing strums a dissonant heart

posted: 08/03/2014 3:07 a.m. Comment 1

Pete was 18 months older than I, a grade ahead, which was significant when we were in high school and in the years immediately afterward. Had we been brothers, I might better understand why our relationship was always defined by our ages; as it was, we were collaborators, but never quite -- or never merely -- friends.

The potent power of movie music

posted: 08/03/2014 2:15 a.m. Discuss

We drove to Fort Smith last week to help out with a concert of movie music--I emceed a performance by the Metropolitan Winds of Dallas, led by Randol Bass--performed during the Arkansas Bandmasters Association annual convention. As part of my preparation, I wrote this essay, which I knew was too long and formal to deliver at the concert.

Review: Venus in Fur

posted: 08/01/2014 1:53 a.m. Comment 1

The most obvious strategy for adapting a theatrical production to the screen is to open it up, to remove it from its necessarily bounded set and situate it in a "realer world." Some productions can take being dragged from the vacuum of the stage, others cannot, but we're 100 years past the point where simply filming the play can pass as cinematic.

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.

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