Arts & Culture

Order and Chaos

Order and Chaos

The first assignment in my Drawing 101 class got me thinking about order and chaos and how chaotic my life suddenly seems now that I’ve gone back to school to get an art degree. Read more ...

Movies: "The Family"

Movies: "The Family"

 

French filmmaker Luc Besson has made some terrific action movies, including “La Femme Nikita,””Leon: The Professional” and “Ronin.”  

 

While it does have its moments, “The Family” is not one of his best.

 

The problem is that Besson has dusted off almost all the old Hollywood Mafia tropes and transported them into the present -- and off to France.  As if to reinforce that backward look, he’s cast Mafia movie veteran Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer (who cut her teeth in such gangster classics as “Married to the Mob” and, of course, “Scarface”).  In one

My Late Start: Going Back to College to Get an Art Degree

My Late Start: Going Back to College to Get an Art Degree

My moment of enlightenment came during a painting class I took several years ago through the Continuing Studies program at Maine College of Art (MECA). It was called Painting for the True Blue Beginner and was taught by artist Patsea Cobb.

Movies: "The Spectacular Now"

Movies: "The Spectacular Now"

 

It’s back to school time, and just to remind us older folks what that was like, there have been a spate of recent, serious movies about high school age kids.  You know, first loves, sex, real or imagined, partying and -- occasionally -- studying for class.

 

So far, this is the best of the lot.

 

Movies: "Closed Circuit"

Movies: "Closed Circuit"

 

As we all know by now, London is loaded with closed circuit TV cameras and this sleek political thriller makes full use of them, starting right from the get-go, as we see multiple screen shots of a crowded farmers’ market just before a bomb goes off.  

 

It doesn’t take the law long to arrest a Turkish-born suspect, Erdogan (Davis Moschitto), the only known survivor of the bombing, and place his wife and son in hiding.  But because of the security issues involved in the case, there will be two separate trials, one open and one closed to the public and press.

Movies: "Blue Jasmine"

Movies: "Blue Jasmine"

After his disappointing “To Rome with Love,” Woody Allen is back in top form with this heartbreaking comedy, loosely based on “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

 

Our modern-day Blanche DuBois is Jasmine (she changed it from Jeanette), played to perfection by Cate Blanchette.  We first see her prattling on to an unlucky seatmate aboard a plane landing in San Francisco, where she will seek the kindness of strangers and her estranged sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins, always wonderful).