Thursday, March 14, 2024


The knight  (Max von Sydow) playing chess with death (Gunnar Bjornstrand) is one of the most iconic scenes in the history of cinema. The "Odessa Steps" sequence from Potemkin, replete with the nurse's silent scream, is another. You know when an icon has become a cultural meme when it begins to be parodied, as Woody Allen did in his famous New Yorker piece "Death Knocks." Is there a modern day Odysseus who returns home once again, only to be recognized by his dog Argos? Everyman today navigates the medieval world of an inquisition (QAnon) within a plague (the pandemic). Remember the movie Seven, with its garish retribution? Are Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un and yes Donald Trump, today's Terminators?

Listen to Joan Baum's review of The Kafka Studies Department by Francis Levy on NPR

and read Mark Segal's review of Hallie Cohen's "Mi Ricordo: Roman Watercolors" show in The East Hampton Star

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