And While I’m Away…

February 18, 2014

… I’ll write home every day, and send all my loving to you. It’s the Beatles, of course. This was 1964. Writing home every day meant an actual piece of paper and an envelope, with address and stamp. A trip …

12 Years a Slave

February 7, 2014

Despite its unquestionable power, I left this movie troubled as much by what I felt to be a false note as by its indictment of the cruelties of slavery, whose dreadful heritage still haunts the American conscience and scars the American soul.

Searching, Searching…

January 21, 2014

The Richard Diebenkorn exhibition at the Palm Springs Art Museum is an inspiration and a revelation for anyone interested in watching the creative mind at work. It covers only a relatively brief period of the artist’s work, “The Berkeley Years, 1953-1966,” but they are…

The Sound of Things Falling: Book Review

Just finished The Sound of Things Falling, a novel by the Colombian writer Juan Gabriel Vasquez. In the translation, at least, it’s a beautifully written story exploring the aftermath of drugs overlord Pablo Escobar’s baleful reign over much of that…

Blue Jasmine, Fruitvale Station, and Me

August 14, 2013

(A review of Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” intended as a sequel to my recent post about “Fruitvale Station.”) What is it about Woody Allen and me? I went with friends to see Blue Jasmine, his new movie, this…

Fruitvale Station

August 13, 2013

We went to see Fruitvale Station last night. It’s based on the true story of Oscar Grant, who was dragged off a BART train in Oakland in the early hours of New Year’s Day, 2009, and shot and killed by a BART police…

Jews Defeat Hitler! A Book Review

June 25, 2013

How the Jews Defeated Hitler: Exploding the Myth of Jewish Passivity in the Face of Nazism, by Benjamin Ginsberg. I’ll admit it, I picked up this book in the hope of reading some of the juicy WWII stories to which I…

It’s the Eye…

June 20, 2013

…No, it’s the mind. No, it’s the mind’s eye. The James Turrell exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art opens all three–eye, mind, mind’s eye, and leaves the visitor… well, ecstatic, if ecstasy is understood as ec-stasis, a knocking…

Richard Jackson at Orange County Museum of Art

April 9, 2013

If you’re in the area, don’t miss the rare opportunity for a Richard Jackson retrospective exhibition at the Orange County Museum of Art. In fact, it’s worth traveling a good long way to see: I’m surprised to be informed that it…