Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Story We Need

Free State of Jones a film by Gary Ross.  With Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali There are major disputes about what actually happened in the events that make up Free State of Jones, but any story is just a story—it’s not reality—and we seem to get the stories we want, or that we need.  … Continue reading The Story We Need

In a Pickle

Maggie’s Plan a film by Rebecca Miller.  With Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore. **** The first thing to be said about Maggie’s Plan is that it is a comedy.  I don’t care what Rebecca Miller has done in the past and I don’t care how serious the conversation seems at the beginning of the … Continue reading In a Pickle

Get the Water Boiling and Melt Some Butter

The Lobster  A film by Yorgos Lanthimos.  With Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Barden *1/2 The first thing I should mention is that, in the extremely progressive and liberal-minded community in which I watched this movie, Asheville, North Carolina, where people will do anything for entertainment—they’ll stop and watch a guy playing a kazoo on … Continue reading Get the Water Boiling and Melt Some Butter

All Religions Are One

The Blake Project: All Religions Are One; There Is No Natural Religion; The Book of Thel; Songs of Innocence and Experience; The Marriage of Heaven and Hell I first studied William Blake in my survey of English literature course at Duke University.  To say that I was excited would be a vast understatement: I had … Continue reading All Religions Are One

Hammerin’ Henry

The Master by Colm Toibin.  Scribner.  338 pp.  $14.00. I bought this book because I saw it in a used bookstore where I had a lot of credit, so it was free.  Some months back I started and couldn’t get into it.  But my reading buddy Sally Sexton recommended it highly, along with Toibin’s Brooklyn—so … Continue reading Hammerin’ Henry

Jane Austen Meets Machiavelli

Love & Friendship  A film by Whit Stillman, with Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Tom Bennett. ****1/2 Love & Friendship centers on a single character—Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale)—and she controls the action the way a great conductor directs an orchestra.  She is not only in almost every scene but is the focus of … Continue reading Jane Austen Meets Machiavelli

Free to Be Me

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.  Farrar Straus Giroux.  562 pp.  $28.00 Jonathan Franzen is the novelist I always wanted to be.  Like The Corrections, Freedom essentially dissects one dysfunctional family, really just four people—maybe five or six, if you include important friends—and does so at exhaustive length, yet never seems dull, or overly long.  Franzen sees … Continue reading Free to Be Me