David Fox and Cameron Kelsall


There’s a speed limit in this state There’s a speed limit in this state

While I would say that the great James M. Cain remains underappreciated as a novelist in literary circles, he’s generally done very well by Hollywood. The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce, and Double Indemnity have had multiple film adaptations, and at least one of each is a classic.

on November 23, 2020 at 10:00 AM
‘Morning’ has broken ‘Morning’ has broken

Pretty, petite and forgettable where her predecessor was striking and irresistible, Susan Strasberg doesn’t convince as the headstrong, mercurial aspiring actress who takes Broadway by storm.

on November 02, 2020 at 3:23 PM
Bel canto, from a distance Bel canto, from a distance

I’ll just note that Cameron and I listened separately; we didn’t compare notes; and on our own, came up with the same list of top three singers… none of whom were among the actual winners.

on October 28, 2020 at 11:38 AM
Just turn her loose on Broadway Just turn her loose on Broadway

Beatrice Page is a wonderful fit for Ginger Rogers, who plays it with brassy charm and a laudable sense of humor, since the character seems not to notice that she has aged out of her 20s by a couple of decades.

on October 20, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Velvet underwhelmed Velvet underwhelmed

“Camp” is exactly the lens through which The Velvet Touch is best examined, including an utterly bewildering cross-pollinating of genres.

on October 12, 2020 at 1:13 PM
Where the boys are Where the boys are

I often think of Boys in the Band as the gay play equivalent of Kern and Hammerstein’s Show Boat—it’s hugely important in theater history, but the politics have become extremely problematic.

on October 05, 2020 at 1:47 PM
A life in the theater A life in the theater

While I’d stop short of calling All About Eve a camp classic, it holds an undeniable and lasting interest for gay viewers.

on September 26, 2020 at 12:44 PM
Dreaming a world Dreaming a world

Fueled by a fierce intelligence, deep earnestness, exceptional eloquence, and social media savvy, Joyce DiDonato is a presence and a power, as much when speaking and thinking as when singing. Who better to imagine a program that would suit this (we hope) unique moment?

on September 12, 2020 at 4:29 PM
To seek and find To seek and find

The candor of some aspects of Now, Voyager—which at times can feel fairly formulaic—has moments that are truly startling, and there is something surprisingly modern and frank in the not-entirely-fulfilling concluding moments.

on September 10, 2020 at 1:00 PM
Music, give us hope Music, give us hope

It was hard for me not to get choked up, watching two of AVA’s most promising young graduates having to make this opportunity for themselves, and doing it with such palpable good humor.

on September 10, 2020 at 10:46 AM
Slow curtain Slow curtain

We put together these two very different movies from more than half a century apart—Of Human Bondage (1934) and The Whales of August (1987)—and thus get a sense of the long arc of a career.

on August 31, 2020 at 12:39 PM
Do you ever dream of Vienna? Do you ever dream of Vienna?

Johnny Guitar, the delightfully subversive Western by director Nicholas Ray, features one of Joan Crawford’s most iconic performances.

on August 20, 2020 at 11:20 AM
Two sisters Two sisters

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane is, of course, the founding document behind the concept—itself almost a piece of Grand Guignol theatrics—of horror as the genre to which female stars are left once they’ve hit 50.

on August 17, 2020 at 10:52 AM
Going south Going south

By the end, we have rolling heads, a lot of screaming, and cheap horror too often overwhelms the better instincts of the screenwriters.

on August 10, 2020 at 11:57 AM
On the wings of Eagels On the wings of Eagels

It’s the legendary Jeanne Eagels in the spotlight, which is exactly the right term. From our first glimpse of her fabulous face, she seems almost lit from within.

on July 31, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Even her agony was a kind of joy Even her agony was a kind of joy

I’ve heard admirers for years describe this as their favorite Bette Davis performance, and it’s easy to see why; she brings her entire range to the role, and you can’t take your eyes off her.

on July 27, 2020 at 9:47 AM
Mediocrities everywhere Mediocrities everywhere

The production style exposed Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus for what it’s always been: a piece of lowbrow camp masquerading as highbrow art.

on July 18, 2020 at 1:24 PM
Sisters are doing it for themselves Sisters are doing it for themselves

Some consider Katharine Hepburn a tomboy — I don’t share that view, but the particular iconoclastic style she was already cultivating in her early days certainly suits Jo March.

on July 13, 2020 at 11:54 AM
Youth comes to the fore Youth comes to the fore

“That girl’s a character!”

“I think she’s got something!”

on July 06, 2020 at 9:14 AM
A necessary luxury A necessary luxury

One of the greatest pleasures of our continuing Katharine Hepburn series for me has been rediscovering how marvelous she can be.

on June 29, 2020 at 2:27 PM
“Whatevah shall we do with Mothah?” “Whatevah shall we do with Mothah?”

The characteristics that made Katharine Hepburn‘s performance in A Delicate Balance work so well do her a disservice here.

on June 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM
“Rust, bones and the wind” “Rust, bones and the wind”

Terror and breakdown is hinted at strongly, almost blatantly, but the characters never seem to move an inch past the comfort zone.

on June 13, 2020 at 2:27 PM
Martius, Martius, Martius! Martius, Martius, Martius!

Tom Hiddleston manages to balance the many layers of Coriolanus, from his military strength and hot temper, to his strangely overpowering sense of personal dignity, which is ultimately his tragic flaw.

on June 07, 2020 at 12:15 PM
Get off at Elysian Fields Get off at Elysian Fields

Nearly 70 years after its debut, A Streetcar Named Desire remains the greatest stage-to-screen adaptation of all time.

on June 04, 2020 at 11:23 AM
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