It must be exhausting, looking for an escape route every time you enter a room. I'd never caught Captain Jack Sparrow doing that before Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, but there's a new director at the helm this time — Rob Marshall, who made the musical Chicago — and I guess he wants you to be aware of his action choreography.
Woody Allen isn't religious, but he has a rabbinical side, and over the last decade his films have become more and more like Talmudic parables for atheists. On the surface, these movies are streamlined, even breezy, and they often have voice-over narration to get the pesky exposition out of the way fast. Philosophically, Allen has settled on resignation, a cosmic shrug: There's no God, no justice, people are inconstant, life is meaningless — so where do you wanna eat?
With the White House having raised expectations in advance, President Obama's speech Thursday about the Middle East and North Africa left many people in the region disappointed.
Obama was attempting to square a difficult circle. He wanted to reaffirm America's support for democratic aspirations, but at the same time did not want to worsen a rift with allies such as Saudi Arabia about the pace of change.
Over the years, I've participated in a number of online chats and live blogs, but today was the first time I interviewed a person that way while they were in the same room with me. Following President Obama's Mideast policy speech today, I had a chance to sit down with Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser and author of the speech. I was joined by Mark Lynch, aka @abuaardvark, of FP.com's Mideast Channel.
At the risk of hurting Jon Huntsman's chances at the Republican presidential nomination (some conservatives are leery of him in part because of his growing mentions in the mainstream media), let me recommend a piece by NPR's Liz Halloran on his visit to New Hampshire.
Credit Stanley Kubrick / 'LOOK' Magazine/Library Of Congress
There are at least two major reactions I have whenever I hear the earliest jazz musicians talk about the roots of jazz. The first is the chills, like, "These guys were present at the creation! And they have charmingly unusual, aged accents!"
The wonderment eventually wears a little, which leads to the second reaction: How we think about jazz now is not how what they thought about it then. The language the pioneers had for their creations was so inexact, so undefined that you begin to wonder just how much has been lost in translation over the years.
Famous for cunningly wrought crime stories — his Infernal Affairs series begat Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning The Departed — the Hong Kong director Andrew Lau scouts new territory, both emotional and geographical, in the Beijing-set melodrama A Beautiful Life. He successfully balances satire and sentimentality in the first half, but loses his bearings in the sappier second part.