The late Robert Morse shines in the film "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"

“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (1967) is a delightful musical comedy movie sure to put a smile on your face. Robert Morse, in the movie “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (Photo credit: Robert Morse, the star of the movie, plays J. Pierpont Finch, a young man in his... Read more »

French jazz guitarist, known for adding music to Woody Allen films, appears in Chicago

Stephane Wrembel, and his band, at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo credit: Lawrence Hartmann) Chicago received a much-needed shot in the arm on Friday night, April 22, at 8:00 p.m. when the Stephane Wrembel Quintet took the stage at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, 4802 N. Broadway. Wrembel, one of... Read more »

"I Never Sang for My Father" (1970) showcases knockout performance by veteran actor Melvyn Douglas

The best thing about the 1970 film “I Never Sang for My Father” is a knockout performance by the veteran actor Melvyn Douglas. Douglas plays Tom Garrison (think garrison, as in military), a bombastic, charming, irascible retired businessman and alpha male, 1970-vintage. Gene Hackman, early in his career here, plays Tom’s young adult son, a... Read more »

"Joe" (1970), starring Peter Boyle, is a powerful film about hatred

“Joe” (1970) is a powerful film about hatred. Joe Curran, played by Peter Boyle, is a young husband, father, and steelworker living in Queens, New York. We’re in late 1960’s/early 1970’s America, the time of the Vietnam War overseas and culture clashes here at home. Curran’s basement in Queens is stocked with rifles, a pistol,... Read more »

Woody Allen's new film, "Rifkin's Festival," is a delight

Woody Allen’s newest film, “Rifkin’s Festival,” is a delight. It’s light-hearted, filled with lively jazz tunes and European flavor, and proof that the 86-year-old writer-director is as good or better than he’s ever been. I watched the film recently on-line, via Google Play Made in 2020, the whole film has a light, European-flavored touch and... Read more »

Three poems

(Untitled) And a coffee Says, No, Not today. Today you go to see the sisters at the Convent of Our Holy Day. Today you sing an opera a folk song a poem written by a child born in the pasture during a respite from the war   (Untitled) And the music filled the room With... Read more »

This Year (poem)

The winds have blown hard this year. The sins of the Earth Have settled in its soil. Men open their eyes To a different life. Ten angels Battle ten devils. A husband Leaves his wife.   And yet…   There is a quiet And a still. A woman hums a song As she climbs up... Read more »

Three (short) poems with the answers you've been looking for

(Untitled) There’s something in this room. I don’t know what it is But I feel it And taste it. It’s pressing me down And it smells like death.   Why can’t you let me be To say my prayers To the children of the morning?   (Untitled) All day the sun Fills this glass of... Read more »

Three (short) poems written on a cellphone

Poem 8-15-20 You spread your angel wings Like an eagle’s Across the night sky And the stars shine and blink But offer no way home For you And your armies Of the desolate   Poem 8-15-20 In the place Of laughter In the place of sadness Paris and Dresden St. Louis and New York The... Read more »

New movie watch-from-home recommendation: "Driveways" (2019), starring Brian Dennehy

“Driveways,” a 2019 film that was just released on-line early this month, is a small, quiet movie about loss in our lives, death, and how we make it through somehow, with help from connections, to family and friends. The plot involves a mother, Cathy, and her young son, Cody, who travel to the home of... Read more »