critics and their criticism

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
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
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
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
Magic Freyer Magic Freyer

I still remember, and some of it quite vividly, what it was like to experience Achim Freyer‘s intense and groundbreaking Ring production all these years later.

on July 22, 2020 at 10:01 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
Civilized pleasures Civilized pleasures

We can delight in films that make use of motif to give opera-lovers an extra little jiggle.

on July 18, 2020 at 12:02 PM
What’s my motivation? What’s my motivation?

Wagner must intrude at some point because he invented film music.

on July 17, 2020 at 11:02 AM