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On January 16th, the New York Times published an article called “Obama’s Secret to Surviving the White House Years: Books”. Michiko Kakutani reported that, to gain greater perspective on the unending onslaught of crises, violence, and broken systems that Obama faced as president, he read deeply. (Take a moment to weep over such astounding reason.) Presidential biographies, novels by Marylinne Robinson, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, and writings by Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and...
Ever since I’ve been able to afford to go to the theater, I’ve seen more Shakespeare than most any other kind of live performance. Part of that fuzzy statistic is sheer availability—there is nearly always a Shakespeare production up somewhere in New York, even if you don’t (and I don’t) count Sleep No More. But part of it is this other thing, the what that draws me (and basically everyone else) back to Shakespeare...
Stratford on Houston January 13-21 at Film Forum As long as there were movie producers who needed to legitimize the mongrel Seventh Art with the finer things, Shakespeare has been close at hand. His relationship with pictures precedes Chaplin’s Little Tramp and The Perils of Pauline, and goes at least as far back as Frankenstein’s monster and Sherlock Holmes. His cinematic practitioners were legion, but it was Orson Welles who towered over them all. Contrary to a...
Macbeth Directed by Justin Kurzel Opens December 4 The sheer number of Macbeths in recent years would suggest there’s something in the story that resonates in the 2010s, though the productions themselves indicate the popularity is based more on producers wanting a classy title with heavy name recognition to dress up standard-issue action beats. Recent stage versions with Ethan Hawke and Kenneth Branagh prided themselves on their brutality—emphasizing the violence has been the standard take on the...

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