Subject: Mike Nichols Is Bad for Broadway
Re: "Culturebox: Starstuck"
From: Angela Marie
Date: Aug 8 2001 9:47 a.m. PT
First, almost half the "Hollywood transplants" named started in theater (not just Streep, Kline, and Spacey, but also Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, etc.). It can't be bad for theater when properly trained actors return to the stage with more acting experience and the ability to draw a crowd besides. Furthermore, two of the three problems mentioned with The Seagull (lack of ensemble, poor handling of the drama) fall squarely on the shoulders of the director. The problem, therefore, is Mike Nichols. I would argue that transplanted directors are a much more dangerous trend in theater today. If film and stage acting are miles apart, film and stage directing have light years between them. A stage cast, no matter how talented, can never escape the albatross that is a director with no vision.
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Subject: Thank You, David Edelstein
Re: "Movies: Acid Redux"
Date: Aug 10 2001 10:17 p.m. PT
I'm glad somebody is finally telling the truth about Redux. It is understandable for critics to be enthusiastic about seeing what Coppola added but the way they have vomited all over themselves claiming that it is now, finally, a "true masterpiece" is downright hilarious. What will be funnier still is watching them clean up that mess a few years from now. I can already see the essays, "The Pleasures of Staying on the Boat, Redux Reconsidered."
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Subject: Has Wright Read Kass' Discussions of Cloning?
Re: "The Earthling: Fearful New World"
Date: Aug 13 2001 10:04 a.m. PT
Robert Wright has every right to disagree with Leon Kass' belief that we should forgo some of the potential benefits of cloning-related research, but to claim that Kass' opinions are based simply on a vague sense of revulsion (and sloppy analogies to Brave New World) is simply not true. …
In fact, what has made Kass' writing so valuable a contribution to the debate is that he does not fall back on faith or religious concepts about life's sacredness (which Wright back-handedly admires for their greater clarity) in making his arguments. Instead, he articulates the relevant first principles involved, as well as the possible societal consequences of moving towards commodification and design in how we think about life and bring new people into this world.
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News Quiz Populism: The "Bring Back the News Quiz" movement is growing. Its leaders have been protesting on all the Fray boards. In "Culturebox," star poster WillV has Frank McCourt blurbing for News Quiz: "... [I]ndispensable for an understanding of the universe and beyond." In "Today's Papers," Django Has the Blues writes the following: "News Quiz is now fully funded by the Feds."
Gory Beard: Most of the Fray action this week was inspired by this "The Gist" about the meaning of Al Gore's new whiskers. A third of posters called the beard a pathetic public attempt to get over the humiliation of defeat. A third said the pundits should just leave the man alone. And the rest took Slate to task, asking if there weren't more newsworthy issues to cover.
Curse of the Bambino: As usual, a "Sports Nut" about the Boston Red Sox has brought out hordes of heckling Yankee fans. (Red Sox fans do the same to pieces about New York.) The question Sports Nut grapples with is whether Jimy Williams is a good manager. Arv has this illuminating answer: "Red Sox suck!!! Go Yankees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"