Posted inArts & Culture

John Zorn’s Naked City

“In some sense,” says the composer, saxophonist, and musical facilitator John Zorn, “it is true that my music is ideal for people who are impatient, because it is jam-packed with information that is changing very fast.” And that about sums it up. Zorn’s hyperenergetic musical intellect devours music from around the globe and across time–from […]

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The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 Interplay Interplay’s The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 isn’t a musical and it’s barely a murder mystery. But it’s an amusing little romp that pokes fun at the theater and film worlds, and it features a pair of pretty good performances. John Bishop’s script satirizes a few archetypes from […]

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Batman Died for Our Sins

BATMAN DIED FOR OUR SINS Underground Theatre Conspiracy at the Roxy Usually we think of improvisational comedy as offering the artist a great deal of freedom, but watching the Underground Theatre Conspiracy’s Batman Died for Our Sins (“76.4 percent improvised”) at the Roxy, it struck me just how restrictive and stifling the conventions can be. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Flock of Lunatics

To the editors: I read with interest the article “Prolife” (May 19) about antiabortion activists. The article makes it clear (as if anyone did not know) that the prolife movement continues to draw quite a few wackos with IQs roughly equal to their shoe size. If one did not know better, one would wonder if […]

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Mamma Roma

The least known of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s features in this country also happens to be one of his very best. It stars Anna Magnani at her most volcanic, hyperbolic, and magnificent as a Roman prostitute trying to go straight and provide a respectable middle-class existence for her teenage son. Interestingly enough, while the slums of […]

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Cows in a Snowstorm

COWS IN A SNOWSTORM Chicago Dramatists Workshop Robin Seidman’s Cows in a Snowstorm is a new play that’s not all that new unless you managed to avoid Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs. Both are memory plays about an adolescent Jewish boy with aspirations of becoming a writer. Although the central character in each play also […]

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Miracle Mile

Written and directed by Steve DeJarnatt, this taut, apocalyptic thriller shows some improvement over DeJarnatt’s previous direction of Cherry 2000 (which was released in this country only on videotape), apart from some faulty continuity in the final reel. Most of the film concerns what happens when the young hero (Anthony Edwards) accidentally intercepts a phone […]

Posted inFilm

Preppies’ Progress

DEAD POETS SOCIETY * (Has redeeming facet) Directed by Peter Weir Written by Tom Schulman With Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, and Kurtwood Smith. Elite private schools like Eton in England or Groton here appear in cinema as shimmery objects of nervous nostalgia (Tom Brown’s School Days [1940, remake 1951], A […]

Posted inFilm

Creative Overload

PIERROT LE FOU **** (Masterpiece) Directed and written by Jean-Luc Godard With Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, Dirk Sanders, Raymond Devos, Graziella Galvani, Roger Dutoit, Hans Meyer, Jimmy Karoubi, and Samuel Fuller. All the good movies have been made. –Peter Bogdanovich to Boris Karloff in Bogdanovich’s Targets (1968) Two or three years ago I felt that […]

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Replacements

The last time the Replacements were here they were mature rather than excitable, sincere rather than searing, and the album that eventually followed–the recent Don’t Tell a Soul–has many of the same elusive strengths and obvious weaknesses. Its failure to greatly widen their audience, however, leaves the Replacements once again at a crossroads–which is what […]