What We’ve Been Watching – January ’16

Youth (Dir: Paolo Sorrentino, 2015) I like a slow, meandering, plotless movie more than the next guy (such as Russian Ark), but this pretentious piece of codswallop reminded me of 1980s-era SCTV parodies of similarly aimless European cinema. I thought the symbolism annoyingly on-the-nose and the story structure annoyingly obvious; I was successfully predicting what would […]

Playmakers Rep’s “Three Sisters”

In their ads read during the local morning NPR news, Playmakers Rep touted its “new take” on Chekhov’s Three Sisters. What on earth does that meaningless phrase mean? This is my third production of Three Sisters and it didn’t look anything like some of the wilder Shakespeare productions I’ve seen. Chekhov plays are so rooted […]

Pre-Med: Preparing the Instruments

It’s worth stopping to consider what the Doc Martin creators did next. One thing we know they did not do, for whatever reasons, was go back to Simon Mayle. They needed a writer who could think in terms of serial television storytelling by creating a world that could hold a supporting cast of regular characters causing trouble […]

Pre-Med: The Doc Martin Movies

Telling the story of Doc Martin is a complicated business from the start: do we begin with the first movie, Saving Grace (2000), and then watch the two movies that followed– Doc Martin (2001) and Legend of the Cloutie (2003)? Or should we instead watch them as part of the character’s chronology — that is, start […]

What we’ve been watching (and reading)

In response to Michael’s post of recommended films, here’s my list of the various media we’ve been ingesting (movies, TV, books, performances) the last several months. Not all are enthusiastically recommended. But maybe you will get a sense of what I like and don’t like, and can then judge whether to trust my appraisals. This is one […]