TNR Film Classics: ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (January 6, 1947)
December 16, 2011
Frank Capra, Hollywood’s Horatio Alger, lights with more cinematic know-how and zeal than any other director to convince movie audiences that American life is exactly like the Saturday Evening Post covers of Norman Rockwell. It’s a Wonderful Life, the latest example of Capracorn, shows his art at a hysterical pitch. Capra’s moralizing, which is driven home in films packed with absurdly over-simplified characterizations and unbearable whimsy, is presented with great talent almost wholly through visual detail.
Bringing Back Mr. Smith
January 06, 2011
This is a shockingly bad report from Wall Street Journal news reporter Corey Boles: If a few of Senate Democrats had their way, Jimmy Stewart’s character in the classic film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” would have had a harder time blocking a Senate vote. In the 1939 movie, a Senate freshman spent all night talking in a classic filibuster, the decades-old right of any lawmaker to block legislation on the Senate floor. But a group of Democrats believes Republicans have abused the practice.
Supreme Leader: The Arrogance of Anthony Kennedy
June 16, 2007
Jeffrey Rosen on Anthony Kennedy's moralistic tendencies.
Thank You For Sharing
June 05, 2006
Now celebrating her twentieth year as the host of the world's most influential talk show, Oprah Winfrey is to television what Bach is to music, Giotto to painting, Joyce to literature. Time magazine hit the nail on the head when it recently voted her one of the world's handful of "leaders and revolutionaries." (Condoleezza Rice wrote Oprah's citation: "She has struggled with many of the challenges that we all face, and she has transformed her life. Her message is empowering: I did it, and so can you.") Like all seminal creative figures, her essential gift lies in her synthesizing power.
Tramps Like Who?
December 15, 2003
Bruce Springsteen's America: The People Listening, A Poet Singing By Robert Coles (Random House) Thirty years ago this fall, Bruce Springsteen released his first album, Greetings from Asbury Park, New Jersey. I knew from whence he greeted, having grown up in the same state a few years behind him.One of Springsteen's teenage bands, the Castiles, had been the entertainment at my friend Doug's eighth-grade graduation party; so when Columbia Records sent the twenty-four-year-old and his new group, the E Street Band, on a tour of midsized Northeast colleges to promote his record debut, Doug and I d