April 7, 2010 |
"Faith," wrote the theologian and Christian existentialist Paul Tillich, "is the state of being ultimately concerned." But does that concern express itself most authentically in certainties or questions? Eric Lax's "Faith, Interrupted: A Spiritual Journey" suggests that, sometimes, the answer is both -- though both may be unexpected. Lax is perhaps best known as Woody Allen's discerning biographer, yet his eight previous books include not only intelligently empathetic works on actors and comedy but also lucid explorations of pivotal medical advances.
October 25, 2007 |
Of the iconic American filmmakers of the last half-century, Woody Allen has suffered mightily for his professional and personal proclivities. The sheer weight of his output -- nearly 40 films in the last 40 years -- dwarfs his peers, but the results have varied wildly.
May 26, 1991 |
Woody Allen's autobiography! Witty, of course. Vulnerable, too, but perhaps the reader would be able to see, behind the artist's sensitivity, his shrewdness, his tough-mindedness, even his hard-heartedness as he protects and defends his work.
April 11, 2004 |
Every day, men, women and children are rescued from dangerous infections by drugs that began -- in the words of author Eric Lax -- as "a blue-green moon of mold [that] shone over a sea of islets of staphylococci." The fuzzy trespasser on the culture plate of bacteria was the fungus that makes penicillin. It was Alexander Fleming, a shy and eccentric microbiologist, who first spotted it in his laboratory at St. Mary's Hospital, London. The year was 1928.
April 6, 1997 |
No one had much right to expect that "Bogart" would be an immediate triumph, but I believe it is. So rich in its research, so compelling in its writing, it is an absorbing human story that reveals an exact understanding of the motion picture business in the age of Humphrey Bogart, who died 40 years ago. That lack of advance faith has nothing to do with the caliber of the authors. It was a consequence of Bogart being done and done in print, beyond staleness or cliche.
September 15, 1992
"It has incorrectly been picked up from an error in Eric Lax's biography of (Woody) Allen that it was Michael Caine, not I, who introduced Woody to Mia (Farrow). While it makes for a much more glamorous story to say that Michael introduced them, and while Mr. Caine was with me at the time, it was I who went over to Woody's table at the Upper East Side celebrity hangout Elaine's and told Woody that Mia wanted to meet him and took him by the hand back to our table and introduced them." --Robert M.