Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning (PBS)

Art, scholarship and family combine in two wonderful interlocking features about the renowned American documentary photographer, Dorothea Lange (1895-1965). Most famous for her heartrending portraits of Dust Bowl migrants, notably, the internationally famous “Migrant Mother,” Lange stands alone in the  ...

A Five Star Life (Viaggio Sola) (2013)

        “A Five Star Life” is an intelligent, well-acted, subtle film, with a story line that is quite rare — it’s about a perfectly happy 40-ish single woman. The splendid Margherita Buy plays  ...

Hercule Poirot, PBS Masterpiece (Season 12)

Two new exciting episodes featuring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, Dame Agatha Christie’s favorite Belgian sleuth, will be aired soon on PBS Masterpiece Mystery. Of the entire series of 70 mysteries, they are two of the five Poirot programs not  ...

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

Highlights of the Jewish Film Festival “Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholem Aleichem” “The Green Prince” “Run Boy Run” “112 Weddings” “Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story” “Above and Beyond” “Havana Curveball” “The Sturgeon Queens” The 34th San  ...

Jersey Boys (2014)

As an old rock and roller who first listened to music on a small AM radio many years ago, it’s a pleasure for me to see rock and roll groups like the Four Seasons now in the Hollywood and Broadway  ...

Endeavour (Season 2), PBS

A welcome new season of “Endeavour,” the prequel to the legendary “Inspector Morse” series, revisits young Detective Constable Endeavour Morse of the Oxford City Police CID as he hones his deductive powers in four complex new episodes set in the  ...

Third Person (2013)

I kept watching “Third Person” with curiosity, despite the inner voice in my head chiding me. The plot is disjointed, the dialogue is clumsy, and some of the acting is sub-par, yet I found myself involved with some of the  ...

American Buffalo, Berkeley

David Mamet’s searing 1975 masterpiece about a botched robbery by three Chicago low-lifes fizzled rather than sizzled through its opening night at Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre. Not that the play isn’t worth seeing, it is. But this production of "American Buffalo"  ...

The Double (2013)

“The Double,” an ambitious, artistic, and psychologically unsettling film based on a novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, explores the life of a timid introverted government clerk, Simon James (excellent Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”), whose lonely existence renders voyeurism his only  ...