April 16, 2010
Elegy for April A novel Benjamin Black Henry Holt: 304 pp., $25
January 29, 2010 |
Mia is 15, all elbows and anger, going at her life in a rundown apartment complex in Essex as if it were one long skirmish in British filmmaker Andrea Arnold's exceptionally well-crafted drama, "Fish Tank." The film features newcomer Katie Jarvis, whom the director first spotted fighting with her boyfriend on a train station platform. The 17-year-old so completely captures the innocence, cynicism and rage of a child of poverty and divorce on the edge of adulthood that it feels as if you are spying on Mia, so achingly real, so tangible does her world seem here.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 9, 2009 |
The lake is deserted, and the forest is quiet at the far end of Huntington Lodge Road. A breeze combs through the pines and the firs. It strips a ready leaf or two from the willows that grow by the water. Fall has come to the Sierra Nevada, this third weekend in October, and the cabins on the cul-de-sac are vacant. Most are boarded up for winter, cenotaphs to a time just weeks ago when they were open and alive to the coming and going of vacationing families. Summer is a short season in the mountains -- over, some say, before it begins -- and for the owners of these cabins, a small resort known as Lakeview Cottages, the clock is running down.
March 15, 2009 |
Twilight Summit, $32.99; Blu-ray, $34.95 Stephenie Meyer has banked a fortune with her series of young adult novels about a lovelorn teenager and the supernatural creatures who pine for her. The first volume, "Twilight," became a smash-hit movie last year, making stars out of Robert Pattinson (playing a moody vampire) and Kristen Stewart (as the mortal high school girl he loves and protects).
February 6, 2009 |
"Blessed Is the Match" is not only the title of a solemn, respectful documentary about Israeli Holocaust martyr Hannah Senesh, it is also the opening of the poem that helped make her famous. "Blessed is the match, consumed in kindling flame" is the first line of that brief poem, a tribute to self-sacrifice written by Senesh in 1944, just days before she was captured in Nazi-held Hungary.
January 31, 2009 |
As the Digital Age layers on paradigm shifts, there is bittersweet pleasure in reflecting on what has passed, as in "The Dining Room." A.R. Gurney's 1981 episodic look at declining WASP culture isn't exactly deep-dish, yet its delicate mixture of elegy and mirth remains captivating. "The Dining Room" was Gurney's breakthrough play, a Pulitzer finalist that presaged his subsequent upper-middle-class studies. The narrative depicts various 20th century families and servants in vignettes that overlap in an iconic dining room (well rendered by designer Vandy Scoates)