September 7, 1994 |
Frederick Wiseman makes films in which patterns and meanings gradually emerge. But a pattern is also emerging in Wiseman's career, and his latest work, "High School II," confirms it. The early Wiseman films, while seemingly removed from their subjects, were considerable social critiques of institutions, from mental hospitals and the welfare system to the meat industry--and public schools, which came off rather badly in Wiseman's 1968 "High School," about Philadelphia's Northeast High.
August 13, 1998 |
"Animal Talk," a musical play in a TV talk-show setting--featuring a Persian cat named Catty Lee as host--was created by entertainment professionals for the HOLA Youth Theatre. Though less professional in execution, it gives its audience plenty to think about. This earnest mix of entertainment and education, presented at Immanuel Presbyterian Church by adults and children, puts a kid-size spin on respecting the importance and the interdependence of all life.
March 5, 2004 |
The wind howls. A prison security buzzer blares. Then a woman begins to sing, generating a warmth that thaws her surroundings. These first moments telegraph the rest of "The Spitfire Grill," a little musical short on subtlety but long on charm. It's adapted from a 1996 movie that, to some tastes, was too on-the-nose. But as reworked by James Valcq and Fred Alley, this tale of renewal is like a set of arms, patiently waiting to wrap its audience in a hug.
May 15, 2000 |
To Hollywood, "Music of the Heart" was horror movie wizard Wes Craven's touching attempt at "Scream"-free fare. But to people who care about education, the film was a horror of a familiar kind. "Music," just out on video, is billed by Miramax as the "extraordinary and inspirational true story" of Roberta Guaspari, a music teacher at Harlem's Central Park East Elementary School.
July 20, 2004 |
For much of its history, American education has seemed more like a battleground between warring factions than an evolving and cumulative field of increasingly refined concepts and methods. On one side we get books by E.D. Hirsch and Diane Ravitch blaming the progressive tradition itself, with its concern for process and student-centered activity, for the current failings of our schools.
June 16, 1987 |
A Caltech physicist who played a key role in developing an all-encompassing "theory of everything" was named Monday as one of the 32 winners of the 1987 MacArthur Foundation fellowships, which provide a five-year, tax-free stipend. John Schwarz, 45, will receive $280,000 over the five years to spend in any way he sees fit. His fellowship is among four given this year to physicists working in the esoteric field of super-strings, the foundation of the "theory of everything."