Waging Change (2019)

Peabody Award winner Abby Ginzberg’s documentary film, “Waging Change,” tells a compelling story exposing the sordid working conditions in the restaurant industry, focusing on its lowest paid tip wait staff. Customer tips in lieu of employer wages begins on a timeline at the point when slavery ends, and the  ...

Paula Farmer’s Best Movies of 2020

We’ll never know if this year’s list of the “Best Of”/ “Top Ten” Movies of 2020 are what they are because of the oddity of being a pandemic year, or in spite of it. There are plenty of movies that never got released due to theater closings or low  ...

Some Kind of Heaven (2020)

In the unlikely event that there’s an overabundance of merriment in your life under COVID, and nobody in your pod is complaining enough, you might want to see “Some Kind of Heaven.” It’s Darren Arnofsky’s latest exploration of middle-class alienation, this one directed by Lance Oppenheim, with no less  ...

Best of 2020: Movies

If I'm remembering the family lore correctly, my parents brought three-year-old me to a screening of "Love Story" in 1970, meaning that it's literally been half a century since I spent less time in movie theaters than I did in 2020.  Naturally, I had bigger worries than that during  ...

THE BEST TV OF 2020

TV has rarely been more central to our lives than it was in 2020, when it suddenly became a lifeline to sanity during quarantine as well as a window on the sheer chaos of the past year.  And given that we've seen nearly everything on "small screens" ever since  ...

The Dissident (2020)

There are talented investigative journalists. There are outspoken activists, and there are those rare, self-sacrificing dissidents. Sometimes, there are those who are all three. Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi was one such person. Khashoggi went from maintaining a closely guarded status as journalist covering the volatile politics of his homeland  ...

Nomadland (2020)

Taking to the open road—and all that implies—is an idea deeply rooted in the American psyche. The beckoning freedom of the highway; the romance of chucking it all for a life of endless adventure. There was a time when the exhortation to “Go West” conjured up infinite possibilities. And  ...

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

It’s December and while Broadway is shut down, as are most regional and community theaters, there is no shortage of A Christmas Carol productions available—mostly online and a few in person. But it is safe to say that none are as anticipated as the one starring Jefferson Mays, the  ...

OUR World Digital Stage

The Philadelphia Orchestra musicians are together again on the Verizon Hall stage in Philadelphia, in masks or positioned behind Plexiglas partitions, performing in an otherwise empty concert hall. Their concerts are being filmed for the orchestra’s rebooted fall Digital Stage season, broadcast from the Philorch.org website at very reasonable  ...

August Wilson’s Century

Considered as one continuous, contiguous work, August Wilson’s "The Pittsburgh Cycle" (which spawned "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom") constitutes a survival tale in the aftermath of trauma, wherein the children of slavery fight to regroup and rebuild in a hostile New World, strengthened (if not always  ...