Posted inNews & Politics

Feminine Insights

To the editor: Concerning Michael Solot’s book review that appeared in the April 15 issue, can he possibly be serious when he says that “the insights in a book like The Fermata . . . are really quite feminine,” that what Baker’s books have in common “. . . is that their gaze is directed […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Red Beads

Shot in black and white in and around a Beijing mental hospital, this maverick 1993 Chinese feature by writer-director He Yi, made completely outside the official system, focuses on the relationship that gradually develops between a male orderly and a female patient. Though less direct and obvious in its meanings than the two other examples […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Flippomusic Globaljazz

Once you know the name of this quintet’s leader–Dave Flippo, playing piano and synths–the rest of its odd designation falls into place. Of course at this point the whole idea of “world music” carries little novelty, either as a self-contained genre or as the most widespread new influence on every idiom from classical to rock; […]

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False Impression

The April 29 Hot Type creates the false impression that La Raza’s Jorge Oclander supplied the Tribune with documents that were used in our reports on the Board of Education building at 5151 W. Madison St. That simply isn’t true, and Michael Miner knew it. Mr. Oclander may be the rock-steady, dogged investigator that Miner […]

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Hamlet; The Comedy of Errors

HAMLET! Great Exploitations at ImprovOlympic Theater Is Shakespeare funny? Parodies of his work can certainly be funny: as the greatest playwright in the English language (with the possible exception of Steve Martin), he has the distinction of being the most parodied playwright of all time, yielding fabulously witty comedy routines by the likes of Beyond […]

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Onan’s Outlet

Dear Reader, This is in response to Jennifer Riddell’s letter [April 15] criticizing Rosenbaum’s review of The Hudsucker Proxy [April 1]. What, you just now figured out that Jonathan’s reviews are all about his “ego and erudition” and have nothing to do with the film? Jeez, what was your first clue? I must say that […]

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Salt-n-Pepa/R. Kelly

Salt-n-Pepa walk thin lines between all sorts of things: pop schmaltz and gangsta vacuity, female independence and female stereotype, substance and preachiness, self-determination and manipulation. That they’ve done all this and remained rap’s most successful female group is important. They’ve never put out a coherent album and probably never will; but they have created great […]

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Telegram From Heaven

TELEGRAM FROM HEAVEN National Jewish Theater The ground covered in Telegram From Heaven–the travails of a Jewish family in New York during World War II–has by now been trod into tiny clumps, in works from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to more recent fare like Woody Allen’s Radio Days and Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers. […]

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Nixon in Hell: It’s a Genre

Gentlemen: Michael Dolan’s current “Nixon in Hell” piece [April 29] was timely and excellent, but homage certainly must be paid to the creator of the genre, Philip Roth. In his pre-Watergate novel, Our Gang, Roth depicts Nixon in hell, not just contemplating his comeback but actually campaigning against Satan for the office of Prince of […]

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Reality in a Box

CHRISTOPHER TAW: SHADOW BOXES at One Country Gallery, through June 5 Christopher Taw’s shadow boxes recall the boxes of Joseph Cornell. Influenced by the French symbolist poet Mallarme, Cornell assembled diverse, often ordinary things in ways that led the imagination to meanings beyond the obvious. In one untitled box (c. 1957) from Cornell’s “Soap Bubble […]

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Death and Taxes

Dear editor: The letter “Unfair to Smokers” (April 22) mentioned that yearly tobacco taxes amount to $13 billion. This amount falls far short of covering the over $100 billion that smoking costs yearly in lost productivity and health care expenses (Thomas MacKenzie, M.D., Carl Bartecchi, M.D., and Robert Schrier, M.D., “The Human Costs of Tobacco […]