The “Great” Books We Hate?

“We are all impressed, and a little cowed, by great reputations; so when we confront the works themselves but fail to appreciate their achievement, their technical skill and their freight of wisdom, we assume that the fault must lie in ourselves ­ in our limited grasp, our philistine blindness. But sometimes we hit back and allow ourselves the luxury to say, ‘No, no, it’s this damn book that is wrong; it’s this crappy plot and its flat-as-a-flounder characters, and this dismal dialogue’.”

Critic: Surviving The Middle

Dominic Papatola says the toughest thing about being a critic is surviving the middle. “Working the edges is the most satisfying part of this gig: Any critic who tells you there isn’t perverse fun in writing a really nasty review is either lying to you or so generous he really shouldn’t be in the business. And the experience of a truly sublime night of theater is worth enduring 50 bad ones. But what of those nights that are neither black nor white — the scores and scores and scores of shows that run in a spectrum from pretty bad to pretty good? Those are the ones that will kill you — or burn you out, anyway — and there are lots of them.”

Trailer Fatique

Has anyone noticed there seem to be more trailers at the movies these days? Yes. “It’s the strongest marketing tool at a studio’s disposal. They’ve done surveys that indicate that moviegoers absolutely love trailers. But there is a point at which it becomes too much. What is that point? What number of trailers is optimal, and what number results in trailer fatigue?”

A New Take On Dracula And Films About Dance

A new black-and-white silent film of a dance set to the story of Dracula captures movement on screen in a fresh way. “Made for the CBC, ‘Dracula: Pages From a Virgin’s Diary’ adapts choreographer Mark Godden’s ballet as a black-and-white silent melodrama, and happily, it marks a frenzied, hallucinatory departure from what viewers have come to expect from both Dracula and dance movies.”

Broadway’s British Invasion

British directors seem to have taken over Broadway. “No fewer than eight major British directors have been gainfully employed this season on Broadway. And three of them — Jonathan Kent, David Leveaux and Sam Mendes — are reviving the kinds of time-honored Broadway musicals that were once the sole province of American creators. The transatlantic shift in directorial talent hasn’t happened overnight.”