Posted inFilm

Searching for Taiwan

THE PUPPET MASTER **** (Masterpiece) Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien Written by Wu Nien-jen, Chu Tien-wen, and Li Tien-lu With Li Tien-lu, Lin Chung, Cheng Kuei-chung, Cho Ju-wei, Hung Liu, and Bai Ming-hwa Let’s start with three central and related facts, the first about Taiwan, the second about Taiwanese cinema, and the third about us. (1) […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

Conversation between a waitress and a customer, overheard in the Peter Pan restaurant at Narragansett and Belmont: “Play-Doh? When you said Play- Doh, I thought Play-Doh! I don’t use Play-Doh, it’s Silly Putty I use.” “The stuff that comes in the plastic egg?” “Otherwise they would be always wet. I’d have one infection after another. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ruby in Paradise

All three features by Florida-based independent Victor Nunez (Gal Young ‘Un, A Flash of Green) are good, but this one’s a beauty: his first original script, it details the everyday adventures and encounters of a woman in her early 20s (Ashley Judd) who flees the Tennessee mountains for a Florida resort town, Panama City Beach, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

Along about midway through the season–on November 7, against the Los Angeles Raiders, to be exact–the Bears fell into a routine. They would fall behind early, make adjustments on defense to stem the tide, kick a couple of field goals to get back in the game, and then try to steal a victory in the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Restaurant Tours: Soviet emigres bring new life to the Loop

Soviet cuisine, like the ex-nation itself, is influenced by a diverse blend of traditions and cultures. At the Russian Tea Cafe, which opened around the corner from Orchestra Hall in late September, the extensive menu travels from familiar favorites–stroganoff, shashliki, and blinis with caviar and sour cream–to Russian Jewish offerings and modern specialties from Uzbekistan, […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

AFGHAN WHIGS, 12/3, METRO Greg Dulli’s unsavory portraits of men with insatiable libidos have the critics slobbering. On a few tunes from the Afghan Whigs’ new album, Gentlemen, the narrator cops to his rotten attitude toward women, but more often it’s presented uncritically and without excuses–on “Be Sweet” he sings “I got a dick for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Terrance Simien

Terrance Simien sometimes sounds as if he’s trying to do for zydeco what the Nevilles have done for New Orleans R & B: create a universal music from an indigenous–albeit heavily commercialized–African American art form. Simien’s wheezing, melodic accordion provides his most consistent acknowledgment of roots, and his rhythms often retain zydeco’s hiccupy backwoods danceability. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kast and Company

Maggie Kast has been choreographing dances as striking as her long, prematurely white hair for 30 years. But after all this time she’s still remarkable for her childlike sense of wonder, and the way she transfers this quality to her movements. Her work is also intriguing in its degree of variety; she packs her whole […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Small Domestic Acts

SMALL DOMESTIC ACTS Bailiwick Repertory In the lighthearted satire He’s Having Her Baby, produced earlier this year at Circle Theatre, Joan Lipkin (with coauthor Tom Clear) fashioned an alternative universe exactly like ours but with the traditional gender roles reversed. Women dominate the power elite; men are left with all the nothing, dead-end positions (secretary, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In September Larry Michael Key dashed out the door of a Redmond, Washington, courtroom upon being sentenced to 60 days in jail for violating the terms of previous drunken-driving sentences. Judge Will O’Roarty leaped from the bench, and with his judicial robe flapping behind him, pursued Key out of the building, down the […]