February 11, 2011 |
"Cold Weather," the latest micro-budget movie from writer-director-editor Aaron Katz, is like an exquisite minimalist painting — its beauty will move you, its simplicity will fool you. For there are layers and complexities to be found in the film, like the many mysteries it slowly exposes. The opening image sets the mood, lingering on a rain-soaked window, its lovely gray blur accompanied by a surprisingly sunny tune from composer Keegan DeWitt's richly textured original score.
August 29, 2013 |
The darkish comedy "Afternoon Delight" gives the talented Kathryn Hahn her first movie lead, and for a while it looks like an opportunity to dig in deep. Hahn's vanity-free performance as a bored Los Angeles housewife who befriends a stripper goes a considerable way to humanize a film of occasional insight and underdeveloped provocations. Ultimately, though, her character is as thinly conceived and hard to root for as everyone else in filmmaker Jill Soloway's erratic blend of not-quite satire and halfhearted soul searching.
September 20, 2009 |
For my niece Rachel, it was that magical summer between high school graduation and the start of college. I hoped our trip would be the beginning of a new set of memories, the adult life realized. I had already treated a niece and nephew to graduation celebrations in Hawaii, but the islands somehow seemed the wrong fit for Rachel, a devout Catholic and, at 18, already a cancer survivor. She is a remarkable young woman, my sister Tina's middle child, who, even before her illness, had exhibited a graciousness that continued into adolescence, lifting her past the awkward it's-all-about-me stage into an early serenity.
February 15, 2009 |
After his death last September, Paul Newman received any number of tributes -- for his acting and his humanitarian efforts. Less remembered, and somewhat neglected throughout his career, was his work as a filmmaker. Newman, who majored in directing at the Yale Drama School, ventured behind the camera only on occasion -- he directed six films from the late '60s to the late '80s, most of them starring his wife, Joanne Woodward. John Cassavetes and Clint Eastwood notwithstanding, the figure of the actor-turned-director often conjures up the dreaded notion of the vanity project.
May 4, 1985 |
Adding a new chapter to the lore of Washington workaholism, Budget Director David A. Stockman was rushed into a closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans on Friday only 8 1/2 hours after assisting at the pre-dawn birth of his first child, a daughter named Rachel. "I had a little sleep and I'm only here for a little while," he said somewhat apologetically as he headed into Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole's office carrying the sheaf of papers that is his trademark.
October 30, 1998 |
Rachel (Amanda Carlin) is a perky little housewife with an excessive stream of happy talk on the eve of her favorite holiday--Christmas. Her husband (Don Fischer) has a unique present for her this year--he's hired a hit man to kill her tonight, although now he thinks they "should have talked it out." Carlin is perfect as the wide-eyed innocent, pushed out in her housedress and robe into the winter snow in Craig Lucas' dark comedy "Reckless," at the Interact Theatre Company.
January 16, 1987 |
"To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday" at the Westminster Community Theatre is a haunting of sorts. Michael Brady's contemporary drama is about the pain and coping associated with the departure of a loved one. David, who recently lost his wife, Gillian, in a boating accident, has isolated himself and his daughter on an island off the Eastern Seaboard, having quit his professorship and abandoned New York and its societal demands to live by the beach.
May 7, 1989 |
Did he find her "lovely"? one of Ellen Lesser's protagonists wonders while posing nude for a painter. "When he looked at her shoulder, delicately rendered, was he thinking of her?" Lesser's sensitive characters often cast about this way for signs of who they are and what they want. Rather than experiencing the sudden epiphanies that lend drama to the lives of many fiction characters, however, they, like real people, must make do with only glimpses of self-discovery. These glimpses (also as in real life)