yes, but is it art?

yes, but is it art?

Sometime during the Renaissance, Florentine artist, critic, and man about town Giorgio Vasari says to his best friend Michelangelo (yes, that Michelangelo), “Hey Titian’s in town—let’s go visit his studio.” M. is down with that and the two guys...
traveling companion

traveling companion

A girlfriend who lives on the East Coast emailed, completely excited about her upcoming cruise vacation. “I’m taking your book with me,” she revealed. “It will be the perfect companion for this trip.” Of course I was pleased and honored...
Oscar Predix!

Oscar Predix!

Who’ve we got now? Hmm…. Best Actor. Two words. Casey Affleck. I love Viggo, and I don’t love Denzel (no I haven’t seen Fences but I’ve endured the film’s trailer at least four times. Way too forced, too much of a strident...
Arrival

Arrival

This film will not get an Oscar. None. Especially not lead actor Amy Adams, who (wisely) was not nominated. Sound harsh? Be honest. When have you turned to your film-going companion and said, “hey, let’s go see that new Amy Adams flick.”? Never. The...
oh Valentine!

oh Valentine!

Every February 14, millions of Americans slip into a trance of ritual passion. Under its influence, we shell out serious money for extravagant and expensive perishables. Hot house roses—at $75 a dozen—will be snapped up like glue guns at an Etsy open houe. Enough...
Lion

Lion

Directed by Garth Davis and adapted from the true story “A Long Way Home,” Lion tells the fairytale saga of a young Indian boy, Saroo Brierley, who becomes lost a thousand miles away from his village, and is miraculously adopted by an Australian couple....
Silence

Silence

You can take the boy out of the Church, but you can’t take the Church out of Marty Scorsese. Fearless and probing, director Scorsese seems unstoppable in his restless (tormented?) quest for redemption. There have been other paths through his personal journey...
the million pink hat march

the million pink hat march

Watching Scarlett Johansson speak at the Women’s March on Washington I found myself thinking and feeling many things. Maybe that short, Joan-of-Arc-ish haircut will inspire lots of young women my students’ age to get rid of their long stringy fashion...
Elle

Elle

Those squeamish viewers who found Manchester by the Sea difficult to watch will find Paul Verhoeven’s new film, Elle, way too much to handle. Refreshingly non-formulaic (i.e. non Hollywood), the film stars a stunning Isabelle Huppert as a successful Parisian,...
La La Land

La La Land

Seven Golden Globes? No way! I saw La La Land, and La La Land was no Manchester by the Sea. Light, upbeat, feel-good, fun to watch, catchy tunes, Ryan Gosling—but nowhere near the award-grade film that some others were. So what’s the deal?  I think I figured it...