Applause! Applause?

Normally, my single question to you at the end of this post would be posed via Twitter or Facebook. But so many smart classical-music mavens are my Artsjournal neighbors that I thought I might borrow some of your tidewrack readers for just one time.Recently I saw and heard the Met's production of Richard Strauss's Capriccio, starring Renée Fleming, at a fairly comfortable, stadium-seating multiplex cinema in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York.The theater was almost full -- and I may have been the youngest customer. I was truly happy … [Read more...]

Susannah York, ‘Tom Jones,’ JFK, ‘Killing of Sister George’

I'm back in the writing saddle after quite some time, and it took unexpected memories of an underknown movie star to do it. The helicopter-shot hunting sequence in Tony Richardson's 1963 Tom Jones brought that equestrian cliche to mind, because in it a saddled Sophie Western is plucked off her runaway steed by a steed of another kind, the ready, randy Mr. Jones. Yes, Susannah York died recently. She had ensorcelled my adolescent eyes not once but twice, the second time as creepy Childie in 1968's The Killing of Sister George. We … [Read more...]

Answers to ‘Out There’ Movie Quiz

At the end of the previous entry -- "Baseball Barf, Excreted Espresso, Carole Lombard" -- I asked readers to find the hidden film titles that peppered the deathless prose and send them in, winner and list to be posted. We finally have a victor, though competition wasn't exactly stiff: cinephile Bill Stern of Los Angeles, who is also director of the Museum of California Design. Upon compiling the list, however, this writer realized that the contest is inherently unfair, because almost any noun, and even some gerunds and a few quirky … [Read more...]

Did Judy (Garland) Cause Stonewall (Riots)?

June 22 is the 40th anniversary of Judy's death -- like Marilyn's, the result of an overdose that whether accidental or intentional will never be clear. Some think that Garland's gargantuan two-day funeral -- 20,000 fans and friends attended -- was the last straw for the harassed and brutalized drag queens, faggots, dykes and proto-twinks who were pushed, hit, arrested and shoved into a big wagon early the next morning by the cops who raided the Stonewall Inn. What was happening on Christopher Street? That sinkless, mob-owned, wretched bar … [Read more...]

Spilt (Harvey) Milk

      While waiting for embargoed reviews of Milk, you may wish to see my just-posted Obit Mag essay about Harvey Milk and the potential rebirth of present-day gay activism. It's great to have any kind of Obama-esque inspiration, but I am still convinced that solid changes come from real and metaphorical streets. … [Read more...]