By Jard Craig Going to Pieces, a new made-for-cable documentary (which airs this Halloween on Starz at 11 p.m.), charts the history of slasher films. The film starts off strong, but falls apart once the initial shock value of cinematic cut-and-slash overkill wears off. The film strings together the best scenes from new and classic […]
Journalist Amy Sutherland delves into everyday life at the world’s premier school for exotic animal trainers. “Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World’s Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers” by Amy Sutherland. (Viking) By Abby Frucht I once saw a circus act in which an elephant sat in what looked like a […]
By James Marcus At its best, an opera about the death of Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca is a tour-de-force. Ainadamar, an opera by Osvaldo Golijov. (Deutsche Grammophon) For most composers, geography is destiny. Even Schoenberg — whose innovations were supposed to release music not only from its tonal prison but from the local idiom […]
By Adrienne LaFrance Picture an alternate 2006 in which the internet slave trade in America is an integral part of the economy, only white men have the right to vote, and culture is devoid of jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and countless other things. Head to Fenway and you’ll hear the national anthem, “Dixie,” played before […]
The subjects of David Hockney’s portraits have been totally absorbed into his art and autobiography. “David Hockney Portraits” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA By Peter Walsh BOSTON, Mass.— The biggest crowds at the MFA’s “David Hockney Portraits” hover near a wall of large-format etchings titled “A Rake’s Progress” (1961-63). Based on a […]
Old timers Ray Davies, an ex-Kink, and Donald Fagen, ex-Steely Dan, have released surprisingly youthful solo albums. “Morph the Cat” (Reprise); “Other People’s Lives” (V2) By James Marcus “Hope I die before I get old,” declared The Who’s Pete Townshend in 1965, and certainly there have been times, during his drink-and-drug-addled middle decades, when he […]
Two new films explore the provocative premise that slavery in America didn’t end after the Civil War.
By Thomas Garvey Michael Haneke may be the only living director who really matters, but you might not guess that from “Cache” (“Hidden”), the new film that has finally brought the brilliant Austrian auteur some serious media attention. It’s far easier, actually, to guess from “Cache” why he’s suddenly a press darling: the film treats […]
A groundbreaking book explores the music written for Hollywood’s animated cartoons and how the tunes shaped the characters and stories that are now a vital part of American culture.