IN THE REVIEW

My Dream Team

Senator Specter: Didn’t it cross your mind … that your evidentiary position would be much stronger if you had made some notes? Anita Hill: No it did not. Senator Specter: Well, why not? Anita Hill: I don’t know why it didn’t cross my mind. Senator Specter: Well, the law of …

Makes the Going Great

“Every other week someone says that books are dead or dying, that…the obliteration of distinguished literary houses and imprints in the age of the corporate takeover [is] synonymous with the inevitable disappearance of books. The hearse followers mournfully announce that no one reads these days, can’t read, won’t read…. The …

Testing, Testing… …

[A national-security official] suggested that I not publish my information on the link between organized crime and Russian nuclear-weapons security…. [A]nother well-informed national security analyst told me…”Yes, our public posture is Pollyannaish, but there is some value in not panicking the whole world.” —Seymour Hersh, The Atlantic Monthly, June 1994 …

Prime Suspects, USA

Criminal justice, Janet Reno has said, must “put away…the truly violent, what I call the ‘mean bads.’ ” But she faces administrative problems. (Viewer discretion advised: theatrical blood and some language.) “I dislike being addressed as ‘Ma’am,’ ‘General,’ or ‘Madam Attorney General.’ I should have said so before. What counts …

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Short Cuts

directed by Robert Altman, screenplay by Robert Altman and Frank Barhydt, based on the writings of Raymond Carver

Short Cuts: Selected Stories

by Raymond Carver
At the outset, but not for long, the twenty-two principal characters in Robert Altman’s new movie, Short Cuts, are vibrating with relatively well-founded panic. Black helicopters flying in formations more like the Valkyrie assault in Apocalypse Now than like the hovering med-evacs in MAS*H are spraying agricultural pesticide from the …

Kings of Comedy

Between Flops: A Biography of Preston Sturges

by James Curtis

The King of Comedy

written by Paul Zimmerman, directed by Martin Scorsese
The American filmmaker Preston Sturges had a supreme gift for making people laugh without representing the world as better or worse than it is. It was worse than usual during the Depression and World War II, when, from 1933 (the year he finished a first draft of The Great McGinty) …

The Rape of the Voice

Diva

directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix, screenplay by Jean-Jacques Beineix and Jean Van Hamme. (adapated from the novel by Delacorta)
There’s humour, which for chearful Friends we got, And for the thinking Party, there’s a Plot. —Thomas Betterton, or Anne Bracegirdle, or William Congreve, or Anonymous: from the Prologue to Congreve’s Love for Love One of the current hits in Paris is Milan Kundera’s play Jacques et …