Posted inFilm

A Man Escaped

A Man Escaped Based on a French lieutenant’s account of his 1942 escape from a gestapo fortress in Lyons, this stately yet uncommonly gripping 1956 feature is my choice as the greatest achievement of our greatest living filmmaker, Robert Bresson (rivaled only by his more corrosive and metaphysical Au hasard Balthazar a decade later). The […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Little Foxes and La Bete

THE LITTLE FOXES and LA BETE, Court Theatre. The two very different plays in Court’s rotating repertory this year showcase the ensemble’s versatility. The Little Foxes is a brilliantly constructed, relentlessly realistic expose of a greedy southern clan, while the farcical, quirky La Bete is exuberantly stylized. Unfortunately, the whole isn’t greater than the sum […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Touching the Scars

Transience: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Century at the Smart Museum, through April 18 By Mark Swartz Here in America we like to think the 60s were a big deal because some students grew their hair long, took drugs, and burned the flag. France looks back in awe at the same […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories The Times of London reported in March that a British government program is providing a convicted rapist in his 30s with Viagra to treat the depression he has been suffering from since his release from prison a year ago. Doctors at Saint George’s Hospital in London say his main problem now is his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Other Machiavelli

The Mandrake–a Renaissance Musical Greasy Joan & Company at the Chopin Theatre By Jack Helbig Niccolo Machiavelli would seem an unlikely source for a witty, good-hearted comedy–much less one enlivened every ten minutes or so by a showstopping musical number. But here it is, a rollicking comedy by Machiavelli, translated by Christopher Tiffany, with music […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mother Russia

MOTHER RUSSIA, Phoenix Theatre, at the Theatre Building. Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher is probably best known here for his clever, unconventional literary adaptations: in the last year and a half, Bailiwick has staged his Shaw-inspired Smash and Pyewacket his Turn of the Screw. Now the Phoenix Theatre, based in Indianapolis, brings an original Hatcher work to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Uncontrolled Bleating

Blood Line: The Oedipus/Antigone Story Thirteenth Tribe at the Viaduct Theatre Electra TinFish Productions By Justin Hayford Any company tackling classical Greek drama must answer one thorny question: Why should a contemporary audience care about ancient royals hounded by gods, driven by prophecies, and plagued by outlandish passions? If we go to the theater to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

Overheard at Double Door during a set by the Murder City Devils: The brunette with a topknot and tendrils was adamant, saying, “No, no, no! Jesus was not a Jew, OK? Not only was he not a Jew, he was a Greek. And he was an Aries.” –Joy Bergmann Reader to Reader welcomes (and pays […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Death Sentence

By Bruce Hirsch Just what exactly is the nature of that deal between the bunnies and the chickies anyhow? It would seem to me that it’s the poultry families who are getting the short and greasy end of the stick here, bravely sacrificing up the children each year, just like little feathered Abrahams offering up […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I’m still on vacation–here’s another of my “greatest hits.” Two letters arrived in the same envelope. There was an attached note instructing me to read this one first: I am a het woman engaged to be married to a man I love very deeply. He is a feminist, is supportive and caring, and loves me […]

Posted inMusic

Good Company

Steve Earle & the Del McCoury Band at the Vic, March 25 By Peter Margasak The first few times I listened to The Mountain, the new album Steve Earle recorded with the Del McCoury Band, I couldn’t stop thinking what poor use he’d made of the group he himself calls the “best bluegrass band working […]