Go Ahead, Pull a Rabbit Out of Monday’s Hat

Frédérik SisaA&E, TheatreLeave a Comment

Merciless as it was, the 20th century did leave behind some pleasant ghosts amidst the carnage of technological development, such as the spirits of vaudeville and cabaret. Decades after its Golden Age and long after cinema ascended to the entertainment throne, vaudeville’s influence, if not its classical form, is unmistakable in today’s media. I remember two TV shows I used … Read More

Crimson Peak: Spirited, but Lacking Soul

Frédérik SisaA&E, FilmLeave a Comment

Crimson Peak

Review of Crimson Peak.  Guillermo del Toro’s ode to Gothic literature begins with one of those typically useless warnings: “Beware Crimson Peak!” Not something actionable like, “Don’t trust Thomas Sharpe and his sister” or “Stay away from Allerdale Hall if you value your life.” No: “Beware Crimson Peak,” delivered to a terrified little girl by her dead mother’s frightful apparition. … Read More

Forget Buddhism. Meet the Buddha.

Frédérik SisaA&ELeave a Comment

Bronze statue of the Buddha at Kamakura, Japan. Photo: Vilem Skarolek

A review of Buddha for Beginners by Steven T. Asma. Say “Buddhism,” and the free-association machine will gin up everything from the Dalai Lama, self-immolating monks, and robed meditators to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Kung Fu movies, and that chubby laugher with no hair. Or, perhaps, “Buddhism” will simply considered as yet another category among the world’s … Read More

Disjointed Breathing Room Suffocates Its Good Ideas

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Mary Lou Newmark, Charles Reese, and Eileen T'Kaye in Breathing Room. Photo: Ed Krieger

Review of Breathing Room, on stage at the Greenway Court Theatre.  I can appreciate an avant-garde piece as much as the next open-minded traditionalist, except when it feels like a strained, even failing, rearguard action to unify fragmentary ideas into a cohesive whole. The point of Breathing Room is well-taken: A call for reconnecting with nature as an antidote to … Read More

Throw Tom Cruise from the Plane

Frédérik SisaA&E, FilmLeave a Comment

Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa and Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.

Review of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation.  So the plot is screwier than a screw factory’s assembly line, the villain’s motives more nebulous than a studio executive’s cigar smoke, fidelity to Bruce Geller’s vision a product of wishful marketing, and Ethan Hunt miraculously harder to kill, let alone bruise, than Bruce Willis in the Die Hard series; this latest entry in … Read More

The ICT Raises Excellent Fences, Breaks Down Barriers

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Michael A. Shepperd, Karole Foreman, Theo Perkings, and Christopher Carrington in August Wilson's Fences at the ICT Long Beach. Photo: Suzanne Mapes

A review of August Wilson’s Fences, on stage at the International City Theatre in Long Beach. Although the timing is coincidental, it seems entirely appropriate that the ICT should stage August Wilson’s Fences while the Black Lives Matter movement coalesces and generates momentum. Where the political system, supported by a domesticated media, has failed to build a politics of inclusion, … Read More

A Social Network That’s Better Than Facebook

Frédérik SisaA&E, NewsLeave a Comment

Image: Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a few years since I gave Facebook the big ol’ combat boot. The lack of privacy, the company’s sleight-of-hand business model, the constant platform tweaks – it all prompted a principled stand against a company that embodies corporate surveillance, the commoditization of personal interactions, and the hijacking of the user experience. Add to that information bloat, and there … Read More

Mr. Holmes and the Adventure of the Missing Point

Frédérik SisaA&E, FilmLeave a Comment

Sir Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes

If creativity is a body, then fan fiction at its worst acts as a degenerative disease. A character or story is removed from a creator’s influence and subjected to the mutating effects of wish fulfillment, replacing an original concept with a derivative. The pathology comes partly from over-extension – more is good, goes the reasoning, and even more is even … Read More

Walk This Way: Walking with Xero Shoes

Frédérik SisaA&E1 Comment

Xero Shoes' Amuri Cloud Barefoot Sandal. Photo: Xero Shoes

[Frederik’s Note: Xero Shoes provided  me with a pair of barefoot sandals to review. All opinions expressed are 100% mine.]  The most telling moment in Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix’s appearance on Shark Tank isn’t the moment they refuse a shark’s offer, as dramatic as it is, but rather when they walk onto the set wearing the barefoot sandals that … Read More

Poetry: Lotus Pond – 2. Remembering What Was Forgotten

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Photo: Lynn Greyling / publicdomainpictures.net

[Author’s note: This is the second poem in my “Lotus Pond” cycle. For the first poem, The Secret of Crossroads, click here.] Lotus Pond 2. Remembering What Was Forgotten Sarcophagus in the red forest’s vale, limestone island in a grassland crawl where blooms, waves bright amethyst sowbread. Saffron eye shuts beyond high frosted peaks. The atmosphere whispers cool and tender. Billowed cloak, … Read More