Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Painted into a corner

Ed Harris gives us an American genius at the end of his rope.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Ed Harris’ film is about an artist whose voracious appetite for self-destruction seemed to persist independently of his creativity, a parallel emotional life leaving chaos in its wake — with Harris in the title role and Marcia Gay Harden as his long-suffering wife and fellow artist Lee Krasner.

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The Mystery of Picasso

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2001 at 12:00 AM

When French director Henri-Georges Clouzot (The Wages of Fear, Diabolique) asked his pal Pablo Picasso to collaborate on a film with him, the result was this 1956 one-of-a-kind documentary of an artist at work — in a sense, the ultimate art film.

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Down to Earth

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Laughs may get Down to Earth off the ground, but it never flies high. Filled with a satire of American race relations, but underpowered by a weak love story, it’s at its laugh-out-loud best when Chris Rock does his own material and at its worst when it gets bogged down in mediocre dialogue.

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Last Resort

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski utilizes a spare documentary style and improvised dialogue to create a film which seems to have grown organically around its characters, yet resorts to cheap melodrama to resolve its story.

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Sweet November

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Irish director Pat O’Connor (Inventing the Abbotts) makes use of a gimmicky, artificial construct (attractive oddball takes in stray men for a month to cure their ills), but focuses on genuine thorny emotions over saccharine platitudes — with Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron.

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Son of the desert

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Mark Jude Poirier has found a gold mine in the desert. His native Tucson, Ariz., served as the barren backdrop for his acclaimed 1999 short-story collection, Naked Pueblo. In his impressive debut novel, Goats, Poirier keeps one foot planted firmly in the sand while pushing the geographic and creative...

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Son of the desert

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Mark Jude Poirier has found a gold mine in the desert. His native Tucson, Ariz., served as the barren backdrop for his acclaimed 1999 short-story collection, Naked Pueblo. In his impressive debut novel, Goats, Poirier keeps one foot planted firmly in the sand while pushing the geographic and creative...

Continue reading »

Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Junk Monkeys

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2001 at 12:00 AM

That slightly sanded and splintered melancholy set to gloriously untidy riffs and upbeat melody ... When you hear the Junk Monkeys again, you'll remember. These guys had a few strolls in the spotlight in the late '80s — a song on the Freddy's Dead soundtrack here, a review in...

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Rhythm nation

A critical new novel on the drum, the spirit and reconnection.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2001 at 12:00 AM

In many African cultures, the drum represents the rhythm of life. Depending on the context, it can symbolize the sound of the heartbeat, the body’s main generator, at work. In simpler terms, it’s the foundation of any musical composition and the sound bed on which messages are laid. Just...

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Getting over (or not)

Prominent black Americans size up the ongoing situation.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Ordinarily a nonfiction book’s dustcover is a low-key affair. Not this one. Even though he’s compiled this collection of commentaries from leading African-Americans, BET personality Tavis Smiley helps himself to the whole back cover. Is this a serious book on a serious issue? Or a star vehicle for Tavis...

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