May 2, 2003 |
Richard Kwietniowski's "Owning Mahowny" is not a perfect film but is a perfect fit for Philip Seymour Hoffman. He plays a seemingly ordinary young Toronto banker with a head for numbers good enough to impress his superiors into promoting him to assistant manager at a vast old marble institution in the city's financial district. What they don't know is that he is a compulsive gambler. Hoffman's Mahowny is amazing in his daring and ability to cover his tracks, even on the spur of the moment.
February 8, 1988 |
The iconoclastic virtuosos who comprise the Kronos Quartet strode onto the stage of Schoenberg Hall, UCLA, on Saturday, resplendent in semi-leathery Medieval-mod finery. As usual, David Harrington, John Sherba, Hank Dutt and Joan Jeanrenaud brought along a fascinating collection of contemporary challenges. As usual, they illuminated those challenges with insight and dedication, even with inspiration.
June 22, 2010 |
No continent has parented more musical children than Africa, and its progeny were out in force on Father's Day at the Hollywood Bowl. Never mind that many of these creative offspring — reggae, blues, gospel, beat-happy electronica — make their primary homes in distant parts of the planet. Sunday's ebullient concert, headlined by the veteran Senegalese sonic nomad Baaba Maal, reminded us that in today's digitalized global village of file-sharing and YouTube, African music lives everywhere.
August 31, 1993 |
"Vashti is almost a microcosm of what I perceive the (L.A.) Festival to be, this coming together and celebrating our diversity and also embracing the humanity of what we all have together--in this case, as percussionists," said Adam Rudolph, who assembled the multicultural ensemble of locally based drummers for the festival. "Home, place and memory is what everybody will bring to (the group) but, for us, there's also the creation in the moment.
April 5, 1988 |
Say you've come under the melancholy spell of David Sylvian's richly atmospheric music--an autumnal wash of strings and electronics, with the singer's low, tremulous voice roaming through the soundscape in search of the very essence of emotion. You find it's great for the length of his current album "Secrets of the Beehive," and even works through the entire course of its two-record predecessor, "Gone to Earth."
December 5, 1986 |
The new Museum of Contemporary Art is a glorious and blessed space, and the reader with any interest in being reconciled to the art of his century needs to get up there. MOCA's first theater event, "Zangezi," is a less bountiful experience. This is director Peter Sellars' staging of a "supersaga in 20 planes" by the Russian avant-garde poet Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922).
April 25, 1989 |
Joe Frank is on to something. It isn't his half-earnest, half-mocking voice, the perfect radio sound taken just a little too far. Nor is it his sneaky way of lampooning urban paranoia while at the same time celebrating it. It isn't even the anti-narrative thrill Frank shares with his audience, the excitement he quietly conveys of inventing some kind of new fictional form. All these apply to his radio work, titled "Joe Frank: Work in Progress," which has aired on KCRW-FM for the past three years.
April 16, 1987 |
"When I hear the words New Age, I reach for my gun." Harold Budd is having a little fun with how people categorize his music. But in paraphrasing the classic fascist statement on culture, the critically acclaimed keyboardist and composer is also at least half-serious.
February 1, 1987 |
Working my way through "The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985" exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art the other Sunday, I was struck by this 1914 statement by Piet Mondrian: "As matter becomes redundant, the representation of matter becomes redundant. We arrive at the representation of other things, such as the laws which hold matter together. These are the great generalities. . . ."
December 14, 1990 |
Most playwrights like to keep that most precious of narrative devices--a character's back story--in the wings. For his one-act pair, "The Sterile Shadow" and "Coyote Summer," at Theatre/Theater in Hollywood, writer/director Harry Dunn brings his back stories out on stage. "Shadow" is much cruder in this regard than "Coyote," as it shows us a young man named Bobby (Tanner Parsons) talking to an offstage shrink about his identity crisis.