“Rich Dad, Poor Dad”: I review new film about fatherhood

for AmSpec: Hirokazu Koreeda's new film, Like Father, Like Son, pretends that it will be up front about the source of its heartbreak. Koreeda is the tragedian behind 2004's Nobody Knows, based on the real-life horror of several small children abandoned in their Tokyo apartment after their mother disappeared. This time he takes a parental perspective: Like Fatheropens with a couple learning that their only child was switched at birth, and is not biologically related to them.There's a … [Read more...]

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“Flying Camels, Butterflies, And Twizzles”: I report from US Nationals

for AmSpec. (Which Nationals? you ask. Men's figure skating obviously. There is only one sport.)In early January, I attend my very first professional sports competition. The U.S. National Figure Skating Championships have already been going on for four days; the event sprawls over four disciplines and five age categories. I’m at Boston’s TD Garden to watch the senior men, including the two men we’ll be sending to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.Sport, like art, uses the limited body to hint … [Read more...]

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Goldfinch and Lyre Bird

I just re-read The Liar, Stephen Fry's 1991 debut novel, and it's still the funniest thing I've ever read. The antihero, Adrian Healey, careens through life plagiarizing, dissembling, cheating at cricket, and camouflaging his deepest emotions. He's terrified of getting caught (at what? at everything), and fears/hopes that the whole world is just a giant set-up to expose him.It's a heartbreaking book in its own way, scathing but poignant. Adrian's vulnerability comes through from the very … [Read more...]

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“Dyscommunication”: I review “Tribes” at the Studio Theatre

for AmCon: If you couldn’t understand what your family was saying, would you understand them better or worse?Nina Raines’s ”Tribes” opens with four Britons hurling abuse at each other around the kitchen table. I think it’s supposed to be funny, but it’s mostly just crass and painful: Mom, Dad, brother and sister describing one another’s passions, hopes, beliefs, and sex lives in the most contemptuous terms possible. The fifth member of the family is deaf and yeah, you do feel that perhaps he … [Read more...]

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Five Things for Thursday

What I've been reading."Why Young Sexual Assault Victims Tell Incoherent Stories." When my alarmed parents sat me down to draw out every detail of what had happened, trying to construct a timeline and zeroing in on specific actions and body parts, I was terrified by their seriousness. The conversation was such an important one that we had it sitting right where we were when my sister brought up the subject: on the stairs. It’s hard to give an accurate account of something when you’re under t … [Read more...]

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Four Feuilletons for Friday (almost)

Some links.When I was listing my favorite underrated/underseen horror movies I didn't think to name Deadgirl. It's a tough, sad, grimy and rancid indie horror which is (to be somewhat reductive) about misogyny but not itself misogynistic. Not entirely sure I can revisit it sober, but it's really stuck with me; and my anecdata agree w/the Deadly Doll that women horror fans tend to like (if that's the word) the movie more than men do. Which is especially fascinating since it's a movie by and … [Read more...]

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“10 Most Essential ’70s Conspiracy Thrillers”: Jesse Walker

with a list. I'm actually posting this mainly for the commenters who added Alien and Rosemary's Baby as sf/horror cousins of the '70s conspiracy genre (and I admit that I was surprised to read that Rosemary is actually from the late '60s--doesn't it feel '70s to you?). … [Read more...]

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