Last Comic Standing: The Comedian

By Pamela Zoslov I have come to think of certain Hollywood comedies as being like big, dumb, eager-to-please dogs (Golden Retrievers come to mind, no offense to that friendly breed). The Comedian, starring Robert De Niro as an aging insult comic, is one such dog. Unlike many of my film-critic colleagues, I don’t deplore these […]

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Mama Said: 20th Century Women

By Pamela Zoslov In his 2010 film Beginners, writer-director Mike Mills reflected on the life of his father, who came out as gay at the age of 75. With 20th Century Women, he turns his attention to his mother, Jan, a strong, independent woman with a pilot’s license and a bohemian sense of style. In […]

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Media Fail: All Governments Lie

By Pamela Zoslov The name I.F. (“Izzy”) Stone is spoken of in reverent tones among left-leaning journalists. The investigative reporter and publisher of his own four-page newsletter, I.F. Stone’s Weekly, from 1953 to 1971, Stone was a model of fearless, crusading reporting. Basing his reporting on his analyses of government documents, Stone wrote about World […]

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Times of London: 100 Streets

By Pamela Zoslov The multi-strand British drama 100 Streets (alternatively titled A Hundred Streets), starring Idris Elba, has received some tepid reviews, but don’t allow them to discourage you from seeing this nicely understated film. Based on a short film by the screenwriter, Leon Butler, it tells three very loosely linked stories about people living within […]

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Elle and The New Normal

By Pamela Zoslov Elle, a French-language film directed by Paul Verhoeven, arrives here at a strange moment, when the “normalization” — a leading candidate for 2016 word of the year  — of sexual assault grew out of a vitriolic presidential election. So now we might expect that some people, in defiance of “political correctness,” might […]

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Jackie: Amazing Grace

By Pamela Zoslov I was two years old when President Kennedy was shot. Even though I have no memory of it, the assassination occupies a large part of my consciousness. I first encountered the images — the smiling president’s motorcade, the defiant Lee Harvey Oswald, the grieving Jackie, little Caroline and and brave toddler John […]

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Lee Shore: Manchester by the Sea

By Pamela Zoslov Manchester by the Sea, the new film written and directed by the playwright Kenneth Lonergan, has much common with Lonergan’s well-regarded 2000 film You Can Count on Me. Both address complicated relationships between adult siblings, one responsible and the other reprobate; a history of tragic accidental death; and issues surrounding surrogate parenting […]

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Love Has No Color: Loving

By Pamela Zoslov “Tell the judge I love my wife.” That was the plain request of Richard Loving, a white man, to the lawyer who was about to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967 for Loving’s right to be married to his wife Mildred, a black woman, in 1967. Loving’s simple words are […]

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Gimme Danger: Raw Stooge Power

By Pamela Zoslov “I don’t wanna belong to the glam people, the hip-hop people, the TV people, the alternative people. I don’t wanna be a punk. I just wanna be.” That is as close to a manifesto as you will get from Iggy Pop, the incomparable frontman of the proto-punk band The Stooges. The plain-spoken, […]

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