posted: 11/29/2015 3:16 a.m.
One of the worst things a critic can be is a curmudgeon, which is almost always an affected pose designed to pre-empt consideration. So I try to leave myself open to fresh avenues of delight, even when they appear in unlikely forms. Such as a bearded young man brandishing a whiskey bottle in the middle of a Manhattan liquor store.
posted: 11/29/2015 1:50 a.m.
It was Meemee's idea that her daughter and son-in-law move in with her; it makes sense for everyone. Since Jesse died, her house has seemed so big. There are rooms she only goes into to clean.
posted: 11/27/2015 4 a.m.
Before we begin, let me say that Brooklyn is the sort of movie that any decent person ought to enjoy. It is full of heart and longing, and if it fails to stir something inside you perhaps you should consider that it is you, and not John Crowley's exquisitely crafted movie, that is at fault.
posted: 11/27/2015 4 a.m.
There's always a danger in returning to cultural touchstones that mattered to us when we were younger. Age and experience alter our perception. What enthralled us when we were kids might seem dull and manipulative to a more seasoned consumer. We might notice moments of dissonance -- wires and matte shots -- we were happy to overlook when we were naive enough to believe in fairy tales.
posted: 11/24/2015 4:25 a.m.
My mother doesn't like Donald Trump.
posted: 11/22/2015 2:18 a.m.
Sometimes we can feel very small.
posted: 11/22/2015 2:15 a.m.
"You've got no secrets to conceal."
posted: 11/17/2015 4:26 a.m.
It is too easy to give voice to what feels right.
posted: 11/15/2015 2:23 a.m.
In 1973 Philip Roth published a weird and wonderful piece about Franz Kafka, a sort of essay-short story hybrid with the unwieldy title "'I Always Wanted You to Admire My Fasting'; or, Looking at Kafka." (The quotation is from Kafka's short story "The Hunger Artist.")
posted: 11/15/2015 2 a.m.
Each of us has arrived here via an unlikely and circuitous path. All of us are exquisitely tuned by cultural as well as genetic endowments. We have benefited from the sacrifices and crimes of our ancestors. This is what some people mean when they talk about "privilege" and how some of us should check it.
posted: 11/13/2015 2:30 a.m.
Americans are famously forward-looking people, to the extent that we are stereotyped as being unconcerned with -- or ignorant of -- history. It's fashionable for would-be entrepreneurs to believe that prior outcomes have no bearing on future ones, that -- as Raul Julia's Italian racer declares in the The Gumball Rally -- what's behind us is "not important."
posted: 11/13/2015 2:16 a.m.
Mark Schmidt's Walking With the Enemy is an oddly endearing movie -- and one that simply won't go away. The film played some film festivals two years ago and had a brief theatrical run in Arkansas in 2014. Now it's back in Little Rock and Hot Springs for another week or so. After the 4:20 p.m. screening Saturday at Little Rock's Riverdale 10, I'll conduct a question and answer session with the film's executive producer, Randy Williams.
posted: 11/13/2015 2:06 a.m.
An earnest, melodramatic and probably necessary history lesson, Sarah Gavron's Suffragette is a grim and grimy period piece about the struggle for women's suffrage in England in the early 20th century. Perhaps that sounds like a subject worthy of some twee and tasteful public television dramatization -- if so, prepare to be unnerved by the righteous anger and seriousness of this movie about women in soft blouses and pinned hair under elaborate hats. (There was a reason that Britain passed a law in 1908 limiting the length of hat pins women could legally wear -- anything over nine inches was prohibited as a potential lethal weapon).
posted: 11/10/2015 4:02 a.m.
Last week the writer and great social media follower Craig Lindsey offered up the observation that “Ben Carson is like that family member we all have that lies about [stuff] there is absolutely no reason to lie about.”
posted: 11/08/2015 2:12 a.m.
What need have we of houses? We need shelter from the elements, certainly, and maybe, as George Carlin observed, a place to stow "our stuff." But in recent years, economic factors have disrupted the American idea of a house as a prime asset, a chief -- if not the major -- repository of one's wealth.