Film Review: Tied to a Chair

I found this quirky comedy quite entertaining. Tied to a Chair tells a story about how relentlessly an actor can pursue artistic fulfillment, or maybe just a job. The film follows the opening adventures of a middle aged woman responding to a mid-life crisis. Naomi, who gave up hopes of a theatre career to marry … Read more

Film Review: Octubre

The fine reviewer for The Village Voice, J. Hoberman, sees Octubre as an “exploration of a potentially redemptive male midlife crisis.” There is something to this view, of course. Surely many people have found themselves one day at the dining room table wondering how they ended up in a family accreted by the addition of … Read more

Book Review: Why Translation Matters

In her recently published Why Translation Matters, one of our finest translators, Edith Grossman, expands her three Yale talks to provide a fascinating look at her theory and praxis, while scolding the publishing world. My full review of Why Translation Matters is available at Cerise Press. Cerise Press is one of my favorite on-line publishers … Read more

Theatre Review: Lizzie Borden at Eight O’Clock

Mitch Giannunzio’s one-woman play, Lizzie Borden at Eight O’Clock, is about to finish its March-April 2011 run at the WorkShop Theater Company in Manhattan. The conceit of the play is that a few years after her acquittal for the infamous hatchet murders of her father and her step-mother, and after suffering the gossip and shunning … Read more

Theatre Review: Kings: The Siege of Troy

Kings: The Siege of Troy, an adaptation by Jim Milton of Christopher Logue’s wonderful poem entitled Kings, is ending its run this week (March 2011) at Manhattan’s Workshop Theatre. Handcart Ensemble, Verse Theater Manhattan, and WorkShop Theatre Company collaborated in this production, not that I know exactly what role each played. This was a fine, … Read more

Film Review: Another Year

I expected to like Mike Leigh’s Another Year more than I did, my expectations raised in part because it is small scale and character-driven, because director Mike Leigh is a good filmmaker, and because some critics (e.g. A.O. Scott and Liam Lacey) report that the film has a serious central theme, happiness. But despite its … Read more

Veterans and Classroom Discipline

The new Conservative government in the United Kingdom has released its plan for education reform. The Importance of Teaching: The Schools White Paper 2010 (pdf available here) outlines the plans of Michael Gove, the UK’s Secretary of State for Education. The report broadly suggests decentralizing and reducing curriculum requirements (eliminating tangential subjects while setting higher … Read more

Frank Caprio Tells Obama to “Shove It”

Economic and war news is so grim that Americans are fortunate if they can sometimes enjoy politics as theatre, as a small compensation for all the suffering and destruction that politicians cause. Politics is indeed very expensive entertainment, but since we are paying for it whether or not we enjoy it, we might as well … Read more

Film Review: Lebanon

Samuel Maoz has made a brilliant film in Lebanon, unless you are in the mood for a happy ending, feel-good confirmation that all is well. Leaving Lebanon, the viewer is not happily humming the theme song, but hearing echoes of the insistent, chaotic noise of war. Lebanon follows one Israeli tank during the first day … Read more