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Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 2:44 a.m.


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Philip Martin

Stories by Philip

OPINION : PHILIP MARTIN: Scene from a Podunk town

posted: 03/28/2017 4:30 a.m. Comment 1

You don't have to tell me I'm Podunk. I hear every day how I work for a Podunk newspaper in a Podunk town in a Podunk state. Especially in my other job here at the newspaper, which involves editing the Friday Style section, which for the past 17 years has been devoted to covering movies.

Critical Mass: Ella the Great

posted: 03/26/2017 2:22 a.m. Discuss

"Man, woman and child, Ella is the greatest of them all."

OPINION: Gorsuch and the primacy of common sense

posted: 03/26/2017 1:54 a.m. Comments 3

I'm an originalist and a textualist, not a nut.

Review: The Last Word

posted: 03/24/2017 1:48 a.m. Discuss

I'll admit to being a fan of director Mark Pellington, who's probably best known for his music video work (which includes "Shut It Down" by Public Enemy and "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam).

OPINION: PHILIP MARTIN: Chuck Berry's bitter legacy

posted: 03/21/2017 4:30 a.m. Comment 1

When Elvis Presley died, someone had the bright idea of asking Chuck Berry for what Elvis would be remembered.

ON BOOKS: Yeats' Wild Swans at Coole: A postcard from the end of time

posted: 03/19/2017 2:07 a.m. Discuss

The last time William Butler Yeats asked Maud Gonne to marry him was in the summer of 1916.

OPINION: There is no compelling reason for revenge

posted: 03/19/2017 1:50 a.m. Comments 6

Few things seem so clear: We ought not kill other people without a compelling reason to do so.

Review: My Scientology Movie

posted: 03/17/2017 1:49 a.m. Discuss

Documentarian Louis Theroux looks like John Oliver, host of HBO's Last Week Tonight. But before you assume Theroux -- son of famous travel writer Paul, nephew to novelists Alexander and Peter, and cousin to screenwriter-actor Justin -- is somehow capitalizing on his physical resemblance to the comedian/news reader, consider that he has been conducting awkward interviews and investigating curious subcultures since the '90s when he was a correspondent for Michael Moore's TV Nation series. He has explored the Westboro Baptist Church, American neo-Nazis and ultra-Zionists in Israel for the BBC.

On Film: About those things watched on an iPad

posted: 03/17/2017 1:48 a.m. Discuss

A friend was telling me about a screenwriting class he spoke to recently. At one point he asked the 20 students how they watched television most of the time. Seventeen of them said they watched it on their iPads or other mobile device. The three remaining -- relative Luddites -- admitted they still watched most of their programs on computer screens.

OPINION: PHILIP MARTIN: The limits of moral posturing

posted: 03/14/2017 4:30 a.m. Comments 3

Someone asked the question, so I answered it: I don't know that I'd go to jail for my beliefs, much less die for them. I don't know that I'm not for sale for the right price. (Make me an offer.)

Critical Mass: Witty tunes, a tome and a tribute

posted: 03/12/2017 3:03 a.m. Discuss

I had a depressing conversation with a friend in the music business the other day about how vinyl records are once again outselling CDs, even though most of us don't have turntables any more. It took us little more than 100 years to come full circle back to a place where the only way to make any money from music is by performing it live before paying customers.

Columnists: Joan Didion's Southern tour

posted: 03/12/2017 1:55 a.m. Discuss

My first reaction to receiving a review copy of South and West: From a Notebook (Knopf, $21) a slim volume consisting of two previously unpublished excerpts from notebooks Joan Didion kept during the 1970s, was a mingling of anxious horror and regret. I assumed Didion--who would be one of my heroes were I the sort of person who admitted to having them--had died. How could I have missed the news?

On Film: Gay role in Beast: Nothing new here

posted: 03/10/2017 1:50 a.m. Discuss

I haven't yet seen Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast. Life is not long enough to allow us the luxury of chasing down every last rabbit hole, and I know the general outlines of the story and the life lessons it means to impart. It is meant to introduce yet another generation to a clutch of the resilient characters who might colonize their imaginations. It's only a movie, meant to entertain and seduce children.


posted: 03/10/2017 1 a.m. Discuss

XX is an anthology comprising four short horror films directed by women, presumably because the genre is particularly inhospitable to women, something that I imagine is true despite the fact that two recent examples — Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook and Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, both from 2014 — are among my favorite scary movies.

OPINION: PHILIP MARTIN: It's not how fast or far you run

posted: 03/07/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

It's the morning of the marathon, and it's raining the kind of soft gray rain that elite runners love and sends the rest of us back to bed.






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