The Top 15 Best James Spader Performances

  James Spader started his long acting career as a teenager in a minor role in the 1978 film Team-Mates, received his first big role as Brooke Shield’s brother in the 1981 film Endless Love, and has acted non-stop in a wide variety of film and television productions since 1984. For an actor with nearlyContinue reading “The Top 15 Best James Spader Performances”

Consider the Lily

  To Lily The lily, once in battle with the rose for the title of “queen of flowers”, has experienced many ups and downs in popularity throughout the years. In Shakespeare’s Henry VIII , Queen Katherine declares “Like the lily that once was mistress of the field and flourish’d / I’ll hang my head andContinue reading “Consider the Lily”

Realism and Dialogue

  “God,” declared a girl I once watched Network (1976) with, “who talks like that?” The only right answer is “no one”: the movie was rightly called out on its preposterously verbose dialogue, which nears parody. It is lucky that the next day I watched a John Ford western, with stiff, wooden but somehow believableContinue reading “Realism and Dialogue”

The Dreaded 30

It is impossible to pass through life in a university without hearing someone complain about aging. Almost every time someone announces their birthday it comes with a sigh and a disenchanted remark about the passage of time. Judging by the students’ expressions and words, you would think they had just been at a syndicated AmericanContinue reading “The Dreaded 30”

The Disappearance of the Hatchet Job

In 2012, review aggregator website The Omnivore launched the Hatchet Job of the Year award, given to the “the writer of the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review” of the last year in Britain. The prize was a year’s worth of potted shrimp donated by The Fish Society. By now defunct, the award was onlyContinue reading “The Disappearance of the Hatchet Job”

One Hundred Years without Jack London

Jack London, who died exactly 100 years ago, was an American author mostly remembered for “dog stories”, as London himself termed them laconically. The Call of the Wild and White Fang are novels about dogs in the Canadian wilderness, bestsellers in their time that continue to be taught in schools and adapted into film andContinue reading “One Hundred Years without Jack London”

An International Orgy in Suburbia

My roommates were not happy when I told them an Australian, two Israelis, and two Spaniards were going to sleep over on the weekend. When it turned out there were actually eleven Spaniards, I was promised a “good talk”, which has not yet occurred. The spoils will, I am sure, be worth the pain. ForContinue reading “An International Orgy in Suburbia”