Video Killed the Video Star: Short Movie Reviews

Blonde Venus: This is a severely odd movie. Dir. Josef von Sternberg. Cabaret star Marlene Dietrich is wooed, won, and whisked off to America by Herbert Marshall... but when she has to return to her nightclub job and Cary Grant starts tiptoeing around, all bets are off. Going in I only knew this as "the one where Dietrich sings in a gorilla suit" but maybe the most memorable part of it is the extended passage in which she tries to avoid losing custody of her child due to homelessness. The ending … [Read more...]

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“Descending Theology: The Resurrection”: Mary Karr

Lonely in that void even for pain, he missed his splintered feet... more; via Mockingbird … [Read more...]

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Gregorio Allegri, “Miserere”

The choir at St Matthew's sang this at Tenebrae last night. Amazing.And with that, I'm out. See you on the flip side. … [Read more...]

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“Bananarama Covering the Sex Pistols Might Be the Punkest Thing Ever”

Every word and note is a joy:Bananarama, the ‘80s UK female pop vocal group, were famous for their hits “Venus,” “I Heard a Rumor,” “Really Saying Something,” and “Cruel Summer.” Fans of the band’s bouncy bubblegum pop, might be surprised to learn the group once recorded a (completely awesome) Sex Pistols cover on an obscure 1982 soundtrack.Stylistically, they may have been world’s apart from the UK punk scene, but actually it’s where they got their start.more … [Read more...]

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“Vampire Brats”: I watch “What We Do in the Shadows”

at the Federalist:Before you accept the immortal kiss of the vampire, ask yourself one question: Do I want to be doing the dishes for the rest of eternity?“What We Do in the Shadows” is a charming mockumentary from writer-director team Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, exploring the unglamorous side of vampire life (or death) in New Zealand. It perfectly mimics reality-show conventions, like the self-narration with which the film opens: “So it’s six in the evening, which is when I … [Read more...]

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“In Search of Lost Time”: I review an art show

at the Hirshhorn: I got the idea for how to start this review when I was supposed to be praying.I try to “do” ten minutes a day of contemplative prayer, kneeling and opening my mind and heart to whatever God wants to say to me: shedding my own opinions and judgments, turning away from all screens and distractions. It turns out to be a great way to get ideas for my writing. Not such a great way to surrender to silence and inner peace. The distractions are coming from inside the hou … [Read more...]

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Never Go to Dostoyevsky’s Parties: “The Eternal Husband and Other Stories”

Just a quick note to say that I finished this collection of short stories, translated by Pevear & Volokhonsky, and it's not solely for completists. I mean there is a lot of recognizably Dostoyevskyan howling, and some situations and images I hadn't seen elsewhere in his work. If you like him you should move it up your queue a bit, is what I'm saying.P/V are controversial. I don't know enough Russian to have an informed opinion, but my uninformed opinion is that they make Dostoyevsky … [Read more...]

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