Posted inNews & Politics

Super Minutiae

To the editors: [Re: “Reading: Superman’s Make-over,” by Geoffrey Johnson, November 20.] I was so disappointed that the first Superman movie did not follow the comics that I never went to the sequels. Here’s my list of the most glaring inconsistencies: 1) The Phantom Zone projector did not look like Hula-Hoops in the comics; 2) […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Double Messieurs

Stylistically distinctive (with a rhythmically inventive use of jump cuts), impressively acted (by Jean-Francois Stevenin, Yves Afonso, and Carole Bouquet), and simultaneously unpredictable and rather bewildering as narrative, Jean-Francois Stevenin’s second feature, made in 1986, looks like nothing else in contemporary French cinema. Stevenin, who is mainly known as a rather ubiquitous actor, plays a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Live Dancers Tonite

LIVE DANCERS TONITE SBTH Theatre Company at Sneakers Annex Nostalgia not only isn’t what it used to be, it seems to take less and less time to trigger. The memory-mongering of Live Dancers Tonite is applied to the early 70s. Ah, that innocent era of Watergate hearings and a strategically frantic withdrawal from an undeclared […]

Posted inNews & Politics

39th and Indiana

Once, when it was cold and raining, I caught the train at 39th and Indiana. “What are you doing here?” asked a motherly woman–my mother’s age, but three times her size. Because no one ever talks to anyone else on the trains, let alone the platforms, I was surprised. “I’m going home,” I told her. […]

Posted inFilm

Class Encounters

BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED *** (A must-see) Directed by Matthew Robbins Written by Robbins, Brad Bird, Brent Maddock, and S.S. Wilson With Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, and Michael Carmine. Batteries Not Included is either the most ingenuous or the most subversive film of the year, and I’m not sure there’s a way of figuring out which. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Big Time

Your lover’s leaving you, your job is in shambles, you’re kidnapped by fundamentalist Islamic terrorists–what’s an 80s guy to do? Keith Reddin’s sharp, swift play wryly targets the philosophical conflict between the religious zealots of the Middle East and the spiritually empty compulsive achievers of the West. In extending the play’s engagement, the Remains Theatre […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Probably the most ferociously effective and polemically potent women’s prison film ever made, John Cromwell’s 1950 melodrama charts the gradual hardening of an innocent 19-year-old (Eleanor Parker) in relation to the brutality of her surroundings. Parker and Hope Emerson (as a sadistic prison guard) both received Oscar nominations for their roles here; others in the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

When we are fortunate enough to discover someone willing to visit our excruciatingly drab apartment, a topic which invariably comes up is the nature and origin of our vintage red lava lamp. Just what is a lava lamp and how does it work? Is it the result of some ghastly industrial accident or did someone […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Anootation of Figaro

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Northlight Theatre The Northlight Marriage of Figaro’s a pleasure. A classic satire, cunningly realized. The actors are marvelous. The design elements are gorgeous. Richard Nelson’s adaptation oozes playful elegance. And Beaumarchais’ 18th-century tale of sex and intrigue is a subversive masterpiece: a clownish, savage, delightful demonstration of how very personal–how downright […]