Arts & Entertainment

Film Review: ‘Mr. Turner’ deserves Best Picture at Academy Awards

Friday, Feb 20 - What the film has conjured up is a splendid caricature. Timothy Spall plays Turner as a ruddy, bristled, open-pored brute and grunts his way through the movie, offering contortions of face and body that by some acting alchemy are not only persuasive but strangely compelling.

Film Review: ‘American Sniper,’ a disturbing hero

Saturday, Feb 14 - Kyle has no doubt that he is fighting for both his country and his notion of God and for protecting his brother soldiers. He manifests almost no guilt about what he has done, though one knows that among his victims there are innocents as well as genuine terrorists.

‘The Last Hotel: A Novel in Suites’: Suite 42

Friday, Feb 13 - Suite 42: “Simmering in a thick iron pot overnight, the potatoes, onions, garlic and kidney beans had melted with the beef, creating a cholesterol paste made for masonry, not a mortal mouth. Chicken shmaltz was the secret ingredient in her cholent.”

Poem: Some enjambment evening  

Saturday, Jan 31 - Sure, you remember Bob and Ray, no doubt, as I do with the soft New England brogue one of them had. But wait -- who was that rogue (Three syllables,) the roving racetrack tout?

‘The Last Hotel: A Novel in Suites’: Suite 52

Friday, Jan 30 - Suite 52: Amber, who isn’t what she seems and encourages illusions in others. And Faye, who proclaims: “Oh, to be a sexual siren at 60…” she told her reflection. “The not being put out to pasture quite yet. Keeping it up, pulling it in, the body dancing.”

A successful restaging of ‘Heroes’ at Ghent Playhouse

Monday, Jan 26 - I am thrilled with the newness of this play in Ghent, the excitement of discovery of new things I had not noticed the first time around. All of the participants should clap each other on the back and take personal credit for jobs well done in a play about jobbers who want things done right.

‘The Last Hotel: A Novel in Suites’: Lobby

Friday, Jan 23 - Saul could’ve bought the Last Hotel in 1972. Saul recalled that Otto Stern, the original owner, offered to sell it to him. “I can’t take the aggravation no more,” he had told him. He wanted $125,000 in cash. It was a steal.

Bits & Bytes: Lenox Lit Crawl; Berkshire Music School concert; Erik Hoffner photography exhibit

Wednesday, Jan 21 - “I thought it was important to portray the subjects of this story primarily with old-fashioned black and white film, since this is a venerable relationship between the farms and these traditional breeds which is now being rekindled. Many of the portraits I was able to create have an antique feel and seem to speak through the centuries.” -- Photographer Erik Hoffner, whose photo exhibit is now on view at Galerie Giroux in Great Barrington

Poem: Sunset

Sunday, Jan 18 - My mother-in-law is in love,/at 84, Rose found Milt, 86,/in the dementia ward/of Paradise Gardens in/Sarasota, Florida.

Letter from Paris

Sunday, Jan 18 - "In late autumn, when the slants of light incline towards melancholy, when the vegetable world is shadowed by decay, and when I –- perversely and right on cue –- am full of bright cheer and boundless creativity, the temptation to drop in on my favorite Paris cemetery is irresistible." This month's Letter from Paris is dedicated to the brave journalists of Charlie Hebdo. Ars longa.

‘The Last Hotel: A Novel in Suites’: Suite 62

Friday, Jan 16 - Installment 13: Fred, the scavenger in Suite 62, on his daily round: "On the street, Fred hopped on his bike. As soon as he started pedaling, the wind and car exhaust in his face, he got the feeling. He was totally free! Free as a NYC pigeon. Neither rain nor snow could keep him off his bicycle, the best fastest and cheapest way to get around the city."