Masochism, Macbeth, Mayors, Marvel and More: My May Movie… Notes.

Missives? Anyway.The Duke of Burgundy: Lush flick about two butterfly researchers and their dominance/submission relationship. Some early scenes made me wonder if this would be about attention as submission--the submissive gaze, the gaze of service, as the gaze which most truly knows its object--and I'd super still want to watch that movie, but that definitely is not what this is. Then later when the twist is revealed I was like, "Ugh, I hope this isn't just going to be a movie-length … [Read more...]

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“Famous Monsters of Filmland”: I review Tim Powers’s new novel

for AmCon: The novels of dark fantasist Tim Powers often flow out of weird, grim moments in real history: the strange encounter of a fox and an English spy; the long lit matches burning in a bloodthirsty pirate’s beard. Powers’s latest book, Medusa’s Web, got its start when Powers encountered one of these disturbing little bits of trivia: Rudolph Valentino received Last Rites twice. Why? To answer that question, Powers spins a tale of family secrets and Hollywood ghosts–and an otherworldly, addi … [Read more...]

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“Every Last One Was a Mother to Me”: Four DC Women Live a Century of Friendship

from the Washington Post: ...In Southwest Washington, people tended to live out their days in the neighborhood, and the women never imagined that their friendship would outlast its stoops and storefronts. But in the 1950s, the area was marked for urban renewal and razed, decimating the community.Nearly everything was demolished, including Zion Baptist, whose building on F Street SW was replaced by a segment of the 395 freeway. Barnes’s church, Mount Moriah Baptist, also had to move. Their c … [Read more...]

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“Love and Death in the Multiverse”: I review “Constellations”

for AmCon. Sorry for radio silence! I will be back after Easter. Also this play closes THIS WEEKEND so most Catholics who haven't seen it won't--I fail at service journalism--but in case a review is still useful or interesting to you, here it is: Constellations, playing through March 27 on Studio Theatre’s 4th Stage in Washington, is a slender play that uses its increasingly-familiar structure to illuminate less-familiar questions.This is one of those Rashomon-like plays where we see the s … [Read more...]

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PJ Harvey’s New Album Will Be (Partly) DC-Themed!!

Teenage me would be so obnoxious right now: The album was created in conjunction with a museum exhibition staged in London. Travels to Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Washington, D.C. with photographer/filmmaker Seamus Murphy inspired the songs, and titles include "River Anacostia" and "Near the Memorials to Vietnam and Lincoln." The compositions coincided with a poetry book, The Hollow of The Hand. more … [Read more...]

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“Married, With Roommates: Why My Wife and I Choose to Live in a Group House”: Vox

voxes: ...Once we saved up enough money to buy a house of our own in Washington, DC's Petworth neighborhood, we deliberately chose a place in which we would always have room for housemates, even if we had kids in the future. As soon as we closed on our house, our first purchase was a long dining room table that could accommodate our group dinners.For us, living in a group house was not a phase to grow out of but a lifestyle choice that valued people over privacy. Sure, we lose certain … [Read more...]

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Prepare for Life in Post-Christian America: Play “After Virtue”–The Game!

or, my review of Winners and Losers: “Winners and Losers,” created by Marcus Youssef and James Long and playing at Washington’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company through November 22, is a tense and springy 100 minutes of aggression hidden under friendship–and vice versa. Youssef and Long act out their own longstanding, competitive friendship, getting rawer and more accusatory as the night wears on. I’m going to use “Marcus” for the guy I saw onstage, “Youssef” for the off-stage creator, but the two … [Read more...]

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