The quality holiday fare keeps on coming to the movie theaters and PJM's David Freeman once again picks out the gems and makes his Oscar predictions. His favorites this week include Atonement, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, and Juno.
Holiday time means movies - folks have time off from work to see them and Oscar season means the studios are rolling out their best. PJM culture critic David Freeman offers his recommendations.
Noel Coward became famous for his witty hilarious plays that revolved around cocktail chat. But he was also a globe-trotting "gentleman spy." His letters help reveal how he "gave the best part of himself, his suave, debonair, hopelessly show biz personality and temperament to his country," writes PJM's David Freeman.
With all of the controversies and public spectacle surrounding him, it was easy to forget what a fine craftsman Norman Mailer was, writes PJM's David Freeman. When it came to the work of the literary icon who died last week, "it didn't matter if a reader disagreed because you knew that soon there would be another, perhaps conflicting view." Other PJM views on Mailer here and here.
Gossip and rumor have always been around, but today, once something is posted on the Internet, it spreads around the world instantly and never goes away. Perhaps this powerful medium needs some stricter policing, asks Daniel J. Solove in %%AMAZON=0300124988 The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet.%% PJM's culture critic David Freeman has a review.
Doris Lessing has been named this year's Nobel Prize winner in literature, and PJM culture critic David Freeman has done the hard work and reread the author's 635-page The Golden Notebook. His conclusion: there have been better, but there have been worse.
John Le Carr√©? Graham Greene? Real life spy stories can be even more amazing, as PJM culture critic David Freeman discovered reading Ben Macintyre's %%AMAZON=073935454X Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love and Betrayal,%% the biography of double agent Eddie Chapman.
David Freeman continues his survey of the major works of recently-deceased cinema genius Ingmar Bergman. Last time it was the brooding Wild Strawberries, this time it's the epic %%AMAZON=B000305ZYS Fanny and Alexander%%.
PJM's David Freeman treats himself to Wild Strawberries, a "touchstone of the cinema" and a prime example of the ageless magic of the recently deceased film genius Ingmar Bergman.
David Freeman reviews %%AMAZON=0060822120 The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World%%, by Lucette Lagnado; the story of a family forced to leave the old Cairo of cafes and English officers for the unfamiliar shores of Brooklyn.
On-screen chemistry and the Iraq War's literary legacy are explored in PJM culture writer David Freeman's notebook this week, as he reviews the Catherine Zeta-Jones film No Reservations, and the new novel %%AMAZON=0061189391 Last One In%% written by Nicolas Kulish, formerly an embedded reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
Those who love the art of film are in mourning this week for Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni, two brilliant and uncompromising pillars of the world of cinema. PJM's David Freeman on the indelible mark of two directors who never went Hollywood.
Long before the antics of Lindsay Lohan and 24-hour CNN and Fox News, there were drunken stars and frantic coverage of absurd stories. David Freeman points out in his Notebook this week that outrageous antics by actors and journalists are old hat in Hollywood, as he reviews a new British novel, and a special edition of a classic Billy Wilder flick that has just been released on DVD.
What's in a name? Quite a bit, says PJM culture writer David Freeman, and even more so when a name isn't really a name -- it's a pseudonym. Freeman also offers his take on the controversial documentary "Sicko." Flaws and all, he says, if it takes Moore's ham-handed grandstanding to get Americans better health care, so be it.
A Mighty Heart - a romantic tragedy Americans are staying away from A Mighty Heart because they just don't like movies where they know the good guys will end up dead and sad, theorizes David Freeman in his notebook this week, adding that Angelina Jolie's powerful performance as Mariane Pearl reminds us she can shine on screen and not just in the tabloids. He also offers his take on the latest novel by Salman Rushdie's ex, Marianne Wiggins -- and shares a Hollywood war story.