August 15, 1997 |
MOVIES Back to Square One: Looks like Madonna might not get to play Tina Modotti after all. The singer-actress had signed a deal in February to follow up her big-screen turn as "Evita" by portraying Modotti--the Italian-born actress and photographer who became well-known in the 1930s for her political activism in Mexico.
March 27, 1989 |
New problems dictate new forms and the miracle of inventive theater is its ability to create them as needed. Take Bill Cain's "Stand-Up Tragedy," which opened over the weekend at Taper, Too. How does it explore the inhospitable, graffiti-riddled growing-up years of young Hispanic boys living dangerously on Manhattan's Lower East Side? By tuning in to their frenzy, their tempo, their beat. And how does Cain do this?
June 3, 1989 |
There are no new stories, but there are new ways to tell stories. These come along when we are ready for them. But we don't know we're ready for them until they come along. See Ron Link's production of Bill Cain's "Stand-Up Tragedy" at the Taper, for example, and notice what an expert you have become, after years of watching TV, at processing dramatic information. At times it's like watching a play on fast-forward. Yet the message doesn't get garbled. It is not a message play, but it is a thoughtful one. The scene is a Catholic boys' school on a bombed-out block on New York's Lower East Side, well suggested by Yael Pardess' set. Playwright Cain once taught in such a school, and can probably remember the days when he charged into class every morning determined to "turn these kids around" by "challenging" them.
June 26, 2000
It's the Clash of the Titans. Two big summer movies with massive production and marketing budgets behind them make their highly anticipated debuts this week. On Wednesday, Columbia Pictures rolls out its sprawling, $100-million Revolutionary War epic, "The Patriot," starring Mel Gibson. Then on Friday, Warner Bros. will release its $140-million men-against-the-sea thriller, "The Perfect Storm," starring George Clooney.
June 28, 2000 |
Pound for pound, Showtime's slender lineup of prime-time series remains the boldest, most ethnically diverse in television. That's reinforced tonight with the premiering "Soul Food," a rare drama series about African Americans. Yes, rare even at this late date. And Monday brought the debut of "Resurrection Blvd.," the medium's first weekly drama about Latinos, a tardiness that reflects TV's tendency to blindly roar through cultural intersections without looking either way.
May 24, 1998 |
Sunday "Fear and Favor in the Newsroom" / 2 p.m. KCET Any aspiring journalists out there? Perhaps this documentary will push you toward a definitive decision. "Fear and Favor," narrated by author Studs Turkel, features interviews with reporters whose work was at odds with the vested interests of their respective organizations. At 3 p.m., "Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press" profiles the "incorruptible" muckraker who covered top stories of the 20th century. **** "Kidnap!"
November 8, 1997 |
Speaking Spanish is not something Giselle Fernandez, the half-Mexican, half-Jewish co-anchor of the entertainment television show "Access Hollywood," takes for granted. It's something she, like many other Latinos raised and educated in the United States, has had to work hard to master. But her English dominance doesn't mean she doesn't identify with her Latino heritage.
April 30, 2001
In his own bizarre way, late Wisconsin farmer Ed Gein has probably inspired more unforgettable Hollywood movies than Joan of Arc or Billy the Kid. Never heard of Ed Gein? Well, if you ever saw Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1960 thriller "Psycho," or the 1974 cult slasher, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," or the 1991 Oscar-winning film, "The Silence of the Lambs," you've already gotten a taste (excuse the pun) of what serial killer-cannibal Gein was really all about.