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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) Directed by John McNaughton Opens October 21 at the Landmark Sunshine Anyone who browsed a video-store shelf in the 90s should recall this infamously grisly yet peculiarly restrained X-rated slasher—particularly if, like me, your name is also Henry. In recent years, its cultural position has diminished, but this new restoration, timed to its 30th anniversary, ought to restore some of its influence, especially because the original 16mm really benefits from...
Guess what? Episode 11, “Present for Duty,” is the last one of season two of Serial. Of course, in true Serial fashion we don’t find that out until a dramatic reveal about eight minutes into the episode. Sarah Koenig had been discussing some people’s perception of this whole affair, that Bergdahl might have done something wrong, but that he’s already paid his debt for that by spending five years locked in a cage by the...
You can’t tell a political story without politics. Or, at least you can’t the way Sarah Koenig finds herself trying to do it this week, telling the story of the political uproar that grew around Bowe Bergdahl after he was released by the Taliban in exchange for five Taliban fighters held by the US. I had a professor in grad school, a journalist who reported closely on groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, including a lot...
This week, we finally get to the real, actual story of his Bowe Bergdahl was released from his captors. It wasn't someone in an obscure office bribing a general with scotch, or a family friend contacting Interpol, Marines kicking in doors, or Bergdahl escaping. What was it? Five years of protracted, painfully uneventful diplomatic negotiations conducted by our nation's civil servants, doing their regular jobs. The system works! Albeit very, very slowly. On this episode,...