Monthly Archives: September 2009

MUSIC REVIEW: Cliff Richard and the Shadows reunion

By Ray Bennett LONDON – It seemed like a good idea to catch Britain’s evergreen pop star Cliff Richard as he kicked off his big 50th anniversary reunion tour with his original band the Shadows, who went separate ways 20 … Continue reading

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THEATRE REVIEW: ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – There is much to admire in the National Theatre production of Tony Kushner’s translation of “Mother Courage and Her Children” Bertolt Brecht, especially Tom Pye’s dynamic set design and Duke Special’s inspired music. But it … Continue reading

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When Mackenzie Phillips was fired from ‘One Day at a Time’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Mackenzie Phillips has written a memoir titled “High On Arrival” in which she says that she had an incestuous relationship with her father, John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. Family members have fallen … Continue reading

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Recalling my great friend Mark Schwed on his birthday

From too much love of living, From hope and fear set free, We thank with brief thanksgiving Whatever gods may be That no man lives for ever; That dead men rise up never; That even the weariest river Winds somewhere … Continue reading

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THEATRE REVIEW: ‘The Shawshank Redemption’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Fashioned more to take advantage of the enduring popularity of the 1994 movie, the stage version of “The Shawshank Redemption”, which moved to the West End following a good run in Dublin, succeeds as entertainment … Continue reading

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VENICE FILM REVIEW: Michele Placido’s ‘The Great Dream’

By Ray Bennett VENICE – A kind of Italian “The Way We Were” although without that film’s epic ambition, Michele Placido’s “Il Grande Sogno” (The Great Dream) tells of a love triangle set against the political turmoil and student protests … Continue reading

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VENICE FILM REVIEW: George A. Romero’s ‘Survival of the Dead’

By Ray Bennett VENICE – George A. Romero’s latest zombie fest, “Survival of the Dead,” is a polished, fast-moving and entertaining picture whose mainstream success will depend on the mass audience tolerance of its tendency to become an abattoir of … Continue reading

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VENICE FILM REVIEW: ‘Around a Small Mountain’

By Ray Bennett VENICE – Jacques Rivette’s “Around a Small Mountain” (36 vues du Pic Saint Loup) is a fable about chance encounters and lost love set against a small traveling circus in France but it feels more like the … Continue reading

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VENICE FILM REVIEW: ‘Between Two Worlds’

By Ray Bennett VENICE – Striking images and the suggestion that life is a series of random events that might be repeated make “Between Two World”, Vimukthi Jayasundara’s tale of life in Sri Lanka, intriguing. With no narrative arc, the … Continue reading

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VENICE FILM REVIEW: Fatih Akim’s ‘Soul Kitchen’

By Ray Bennett VENICE – Filled with boisterous good spirits, Fatih Akim’s “Soul Kitchen” tells of a young Greek-German man’s attempts to make a success of a funky restaurant despite a series of mishaps. The film won the Special Jury … Continue reading

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