Monday, August 23, 2010

Interview: Author Marcy Dermansky on Bad Marie

I first met Marcy Dermansky, author of the recently released “Bad Marie”—a novel that features an ex-con femme fatale the French New Wave would adore, and which seems to unfold frame by frame—at a press conference for Gus Van Sant’s “Milk.” I was there covering the event for SpoutBlog, and trying to stay as far away as possible from the journalist groupies in the front row who were vainly attempting to maintain their professional veneers while obviously hoping to catch the eye of Sean Penn or James Franco. Marcy, film critic for, happened to be sitting near the back with me, putting on no false airs whatsoever. We started talking and she told me unabashedly that she wasn’t there in any writer’s capacity. She simply wanted to see Sean Penn. And it’s precisely this refreshing mix of honest fandom with a driving curiosity to observe the behavior behind the tabloids that Marcy brings to her second novel.

To read my interview visit The House Next Door at Slant Magazine.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Spacemen from Space!

Ian W. Hill’s “Spacemen from Space: An Exciting New Serial for the Stage in 6 Thrill-Packed Episodes!” is mindless entertainment for the couch potato set – and I mean that as a compliment. Presented by Gemini CollisionWorks and The Brick Theater, Inc. the show is a mash-up mash note to a bygone era, a time when men were men, women were dames, and jet pack-propelled superheroes saved the world – or something to that effect. What “Spacemen from Space” lacks in coherence and continuity it certainly makes up for in zany homespun fun.

To read the rest of my review visit Theater Online.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Expendables

“The Expendables” is the latest vanity project from the youth-obsessed Sylvester Stallone, who directed, co-wrote, and stars in this film about Barney Ross, leader of a band of mercenaries tasked to overthrow a South American dictatorial regime at the behest of the CIA (represented by a profanity-spewing agent played by Bruce Willis). And with its rote gunplay and geriatric-paced running time, it's also the most boring action flick of the summer. Simply put, “The Expendables” is in dire need of less “Rambo” firepower and more of “Rocky’s” sweet-science finesse.

To read the rest of my review visit Slant Magazine.

Neshoba: The Price of Freedom

Neshoba County, Mississippi may be located in our nation's good ol' (boys') South, but its psychic terrain bears more in common with post-genocide Chile or Rwanda. The site of the "Mississippi Burning" murders (in which three civil rights workers, two New York Jews and a Mississippian black, were tortured and killed by the Ku Klux Klan in 1964), the city of Philadelphia is still feeling the shallow grave-buried pain over four decades later. Like Rwanda's Hutus and Tutsis, the murderers and their relatives, and the family members of those tortured and killed, continue to live side by side.

To read the rest of my review visit Slant Magazine.

Family Affair

“Family Affair” is director Chico Colvard's very personal search for answers as to why his three sisters continue to keep in their lives the father who sexually abused them as children. The abuse only came to light after Colvard, at the age of 10, accidentally shot the eldest girl in the leg. (Believing she would die, she decided to spill the beans in an effort to save her siblings from further abuse.) Through standard home-movie footage, old photos, and present-day interviews with relatives (including sisters Paula, Angelika, and Chiquita, their estranged German-Jewish mother, and even their ailing African-American father), Colvard has painstakingly attempted to assemble as many pieces of his family's history together in an effort to make sense of the unthinkable. Unfortunately, the fragments never quite fit into a cinematic whole.

To read the rest of my review visit Slant Magazine.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August 5 – Well Seasoned: Stories from Pros with Some Experience Under Their Belts

Hot in the city? Join me for the next Red Umbrella Diaries (“stories of sex and money” series) where I’ll be reading an excerpt from Under My Master’s Wings.