Posted inArts & Culture

Menace II Society

Don’t let the silly styling of the title put you off, this is a powerful, convincing, and terrifying look at teenage crime in contemporary Watts. Directed by 20-year-old twin brothers Allen and Albert Hughes from a script they wrote with coproducer Tyger Williams, this shocking, violent, and unsentimental (albeit sensationalized) drama about a second-generation drug […]

Posted inMusic

8 Bold Souls

More than the refreshing solos and exuberant interplay of the instrumentalists–and even more than the rangy palette of the arrangements–it’s the finely realized audacity of their concept that sets Edward Wilkerson’s 8 Bold Souls above so much other modern music. Like many of their colleagues in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, such […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Relationship Hell

RELATIONSHIP HELL Strawdog Theatre Company “Relationship Hell,” Strawdog Theatre’s 70-minute trio of one-acts, never gets quite as tormented as its title suggests: this looks more like purgatory, where infidelity undermines whatever connections these 11 characters may make. But hell can come in small doses: there’s real pain behind these characters’ quirks and kinks. It’s possible […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

The enclosed ad describes something called The Strecker Memorandum, a video that purports to show that AIDS is a man-made disease. This sounds like the usual AIDS-conspiracy mumbo jumbo, but it’s so well documented it’s made me wonder. Can you get to the bottom of it? –Edna Welthorpe Cecil is reluctant to spend too much […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Cultural-literacy test for parents of toddlers. From MOMents’ (April) discussion of booking characters for kiddie birthday parties: “Because most of the popular characters are those seen on TV and in the movies, they are copyrighted and legally unavailable. Companies that book characters get around this by scheduling them by description….The hottest characters are: the big […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nothing but a Man

A sincere, intelligent, and effectively acted independent feature from 1964, about a black worker (Ivan Dixon) and his wife (Abbey Lincoln) struggling against prejudice and trying to make a life for themselves in Alabama. Directed by the able Michael Roemer (who made The Plot Against Harry five years later) from a script written in collaboration […]