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  • Juliet, Naked

    Juliet, Naked

    In the annals of movie titling, Juliet, Naked must deserve a special place, since there is no one in it who is named Juliet and no one in it who is naked, though we do get a glimpse of Ethan Hawke’s underpants, if that doesn’t add insult to injury. Juliet is the title of the one album made long ago by a now nearly forgotten indy rock star named Tucker Crowe (Mr Hawke) and Juliet Naked is the title given…

  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    It isn’t telling you anything you don’t already know to say that hatred and anger are the master emotions in our public life today. Even when the media lavishes love and praise and admiration on somebody, as they have on the late Senator John McCain, the subtext of their effusiveness is often one of hatred for those — one in particular — who have been conspicuously unable fully to share in the general celebration of that worthy man’s many virtues.…

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  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Here, just for the record, are the lines from Alexander Pope’s Eloisa to Abelard from which a new movie takes its title:

    How happy is the blameless Vestal’s lot!
    The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
    Eternal sun-shine of the spotless mind!
    Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resigned.

    Generally speaking, it has not been deemed worthy of comment by those who have written about the movie that the phrase Pope applied to the untroubled conscience of a nun —…

  • 49 Up

    49 Up

    This year I went to my high school class reunion. I’m not entirely sure why, but it was a hard thing to face for me and, apparently, for a great many of my classmates as well. Three quarters of them didn’t show up. It’s an indication of the extent to which we all tend to regard our past as a guilty secret, and those who have shared it as people to be avoided. Now just imagine that your past had…