Category Archives: Movies

The Tragedy of Macbeth – Review

Joel Coen, of Coen brothers renown, has filmed an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play – his first on his own. The movie had a limited run before moving to Apple TV+. Recorded in stark black and white with an almost square aspect ratio, it is an effective evocation of the great play. Interestingly, the version used…


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All About Me! – Book Review

The title of Mel Brooks autobiography is a visual pun. But like most autobiographies it conceals more than it reveals. A better title is All about Me! That I Care to Disclose. When you finish it, you won’t know much more about Brooks than you did on page 1. The man behind the outlandish jokes…


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Transit – Movie Review

If you are a film goer you’ll likely love Christian Petzhold’s 2018 Transit. If you like movies you’ll find the picture a yawner. Petzhold’s movie (you can see where I’m coming from) is an adaptation of Anna Sehgers’ 1944 novel of the same name. It takes place during the period when the Nazi’s took full…


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Breathless – Review

Why a review of a movie more than six decades old? In this age of living inwardly one gets to view a lot of stuff that would have remained unexplored in a normal time. Jean-Luc Godard (b 1930) was a film critic who decided to practice what he was reviewing.  À bout de souffle (Out…


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Mario Lanza – 100th Birthday

For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, ‘It might have been’. John Greenleaf Whittier January 31, 2021 is the 100th anniversary of the birth Alfredo Arnold Cocozza known to posterity as Mario Lanza; Lanza was his mother’s maiden name. A native of Philadelphia, he was the son of Italian immigrants…


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Mank – Review

Mank is a film is a film about the writer Herman Mankiewicz, specifically during the time (1940) he spent writing the script for Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, though there are flashbacks to 1930 and other years in the 30s. David Fincher directed Gary Oldman in the title role. Mankiewicz (called Mank by everyone in the…


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Hamilton in HD

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton is the most successful stage musical of the current century. Three performances of the show were recorded in 2016. They were melded into a single version which was intended for to be shown in movie theaters. Miranda sold the distribution rights to Disney for…


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Carlos Gardel

Carlos Gardel (1890-1935), though not well known in the US, is still a major cultural presence in Latin America. Born out of wedlock in Toulouse France he was named Charles Romuald Gardès. When he was two he and his mother moved to Buenos Aires where he became Carlos Gardel. His good looks and expressive baritone…


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Norma – Animal Version

The short video below depicts a snippet of the Guerra Chorus from Bellini’s Norma. For more details about the piece read the entry in the Vimeo Blog. The video was produced by Bloom Pictures.


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Shostakovich’s First Film Score

Dmitri Shostakovich wrote 25 film scores. The first of these was composed when he was 23 years old. The New Babylon is an expressionistic depiction of the Paris Commune of 1871. It was released in 1929 and was a failure. It’s plot is summarized here. The music is brilliant and presages virtually everything Shostakovich was…


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