Monthly Archives: December 2015

‘My nuclear nightmare, born of long and deep experience’

Here’s a cheerful way to ring out the old year. Former secretary of defense William Perry: A soft-spoken man not given to hyperbole, Perry is on a public crusade to persuade people that nothing less than the future of civilization … Continue reading

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The five worst films of 2015

I see no point in trashing a horror movie or comedy. You paid for it, sucker — what did you expect? More fun is to mention prestige favorites that embarrassed themselves. Below are the first most execrable moviewatching experiences of … Continue reading

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Ruth Marcus offers more Clinton Chronicles

Joan Didion: No one who ever passed through an American public high school could have watched the current president of the United States running for office in 1992 and failed to recognize the familiar predatory sexuality of the provincial adolescent. … Continue reading

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Screenings #14

My private plane grounded for fueling problems, I couldn’t make the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Douglas Sirk retrospective last year. But I did watch The First Legion, the director’s last project before Universal gloss. Set in a Jesuit seminary … Continue reading

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REAGAN REAGAN REAGAN

Frequent guests to HTV know my fascination with Ronald Gatsby, sovereign of the United States for eight years. Forget the sycophants and mountebanks. Unless declassified FBI files revealed that he and Mikhail Gorbachev had joyous, unprotected sex in the Rose … Continue reading

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens: it worked

As the sixty millionth person to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I have little to add to the commentary. I liked the thing. For a franchise that smelled like Bantha poodoo in 2005, to return to such crisp, confident … Continue reading

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The Force Awakens: it’s a film!

I’ll have more to say tomorrow, I hope, but Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ remarks strike me as apposite: However one feels about The Force Awakens, it is—in fact—a film. The aims of the heroes are coherent and accessible. The acting is good. … Continue reading

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‘Youth’ a doddering film about old age

Deliver us from evil. Beholden to the shibboleth that people hear wisdom in the groaning sentimentality of aging men, Youth gets encrusted in its own snot. Paolo Sorrentino’s follow-up to his 2013 Oscar winner The Great Beauty represents no advance … Continue reading

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‘Who are you to crash my party/with your mediocre blow?’

One of my favorite opening lines. I love that clattering rhythm track too. Happy Sunday.

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‘2015 didn’t just break the global temperature record — it crushed it.’

Well, this isn’t reassuring: Across the country, the weather has more closely resembled spring than typical December temperatures. “According to preliminary data from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), at least 2,693 record daily highs were tied or broken … Continue reading

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‘We get off on the fear’

“Though our economy may not be what it was, we’re actually safer and less susceptible to crime or war than at any time in our history,” Matt Taibbi writes. “But in the same way retailers want us buying on Christmas, … Continue reading

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Earnestness endangering true love: The Shop Around the Corner

Every year Ernest Lubitsch’s great, gentle comedy threatens to eclipse It’s a Wonderful Time‘s place as the best Christmas movie; maybe it has. Released in 1940, The Shop Around the Corner is one of the few perfect films in existence, … Continue reading

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