Posted inArts & Culture

Art People: Jo Hormuth’s funny farm

Strange bulbous creatures appear to creep across the floor in Jo Hormuth’s new installation Frozen Turkey Dinners. Based on balloons folded into various shapes, each looks like it’s ready to pop. Unmistakably sexual, the sculptures seem “to be bursting and throbbing,” according to Hormuth. She also says they’re “democratic”–they seem to have “breasts and penises […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

A dressy couple is standing in the lobby of an apartment building. The man is scanning the list of names on the directory, looking for the right button to push. “Is my dress OK?” asks the woman. “Your dress looks fine,” he responds without looking at her, still scanning the list. “Does my hair look […]

Posted inArts & Culture


One of Satyajit Ray’s greatest early films (1962), full of sensuality and ironic undertones, Devi is sufficiently critical of Hindu superstition that it was originally banned from foreign distribution until Nehru interceded. The plot concerns a wealthy and devout landowner in the 19th century who believes his daughter-in-law (Sharmila Tagore) is the reincarnation of the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dottie Gets Spanked

Six-year-old Stevie is a loner who’s obsessed with a sitcom star in Todd Haynes’s hauntingly mordant deconstruction of 1950s television and family life, which trenchantly depicts both in terms of hierarchical power relations and unexpected transformations. Alienated from other kids, who tease him for his femininity, and by his cold father, who watches sports on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Get Shorty

As a follow-up to his comeback performance in Pulp Fiction, John Travolta plays a likable Miami loan shark and movie buff dispatched to Los Angeles to collect on a gambling debt from a sleazy producer (Gene Hackman), in an entertaining comedy-thriller adapted by Scott Frank from the Elmore Leonard best-seller and directed with bounce (if […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

DISMEMBERMENT PLAN 11/3, EMPTY BOTTLE Jittery indie rock for people with nervous twitches and short attention spans, the music on ! (DeSoto), the debut album from the Washington, D.C., group Dismemberment Plan, favors skittering riffs and quickly shifting tempos. The spastic vocal machinations of Travis Morrison have little to do with the music churning behind […]

Posted inFilm

Shallow Beauty

Total Eclipse Rating * Has redeeming facet Directed by Agnieszka Holland Written by Christopher Hampton With Leonardo DiCaprio and David Thewlis. Biopics nearly always fail. Even the most critically acclaimed are often dreary experiences. Do you want to see Amadeus, Camille Claudel, Gorillas in the Mist, Viva Zapata!, Gandhi, or Malcolm X again? Are you […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Before I Wake

Prairie del’Arte Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Studio Theater Although theater veteran William J. Norris’s bleak two-character piece features some skillful writing and character development, it’s far too obvious and sluggishly paced to sustain interest for two hours. Before I Wake begins as a standard naturalistic 1970s living-room drama, but gradually changes into a surrealistic meditation […]