The Lieutenant of Inishmore

“Four dead fellas, two dead cats … me hairstyle ruined! Did I miss anything?” That’s the culmination of Martin McDonagh’s grisly black comedy, "The Lieutenant of Inishmore", now being crisply staged by Aston Rep at the Raven Theatre. The trauma begins when pony-tailed Davey (Matthew Harris) finds a  ...

“The Apartment” (1960) DVD Review

It’s amazing, for a film that won the Oscar for Best Picture the year it was released, and was made by one of Hollywood’s Golden Age directors, how underrated Billy Wilder’s 1960 black and white drama-comedy "The Apartment" is. This is especially true in comparison to the wildly overrated comedy  ...

The Rise of ISIS, PBS Frontline

Sometimes a good documentary merely confirms what is generally feared to be true. But as any government official (or journalist) will acknowledge, confirmation is not an easy task. Layers of nuance and obfuscation have to be scrubbed away before the truth emerges, and the result is often unpalatable. Truth, though  ...

Tosca, SF Opera

Take one good-looking couple, she a fantastic soprano and he a very good tenor, add a not-very-threatening villain, a heavy-handed conductor, mix well and bake for a little over two hours. What comes out of the oven is San Francisco Opera’s “Tosca,” pretty digestible but not a wholly satisfying gourmet  ...

Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude, London

Fin de siècle Vienna. A city fizzing with avant-garde intellectualism and “new” music. The city of Freud, Mahler and Schoenberg. A city teetering on the precipice of change in the twilight years of the crumbling Austro-Hungarian Empire. Onto the artistic scene swaggers Egon Schiele, just 16, a precocious art  ...

Rembrandt: The Late Works, London

His hand rests affectionately on her bosom; she acknowledges his gesture with a gentle caress. Although it's called "The Jewish Bride," we don't know whether the painting depicts a contemporary couple or a historic union, perhaps Isaac and Rebecca. No matter. Whoever they are, the loving regard of the newlyweds  ...