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  • 'The Founder' is the latest film to give business moguls a tough time

    'The Founder' is the latest film to give business moguls a tough time

    There’s a scene in “The Founder,” the new film about how Ray Kroc established the McDonald’s fast-food empire, during which Kroc explains his business philosophy. “Business is war,” he says. “It’s dog eat dog, rat eat rat. If my competitor were drowning, I’d walk over and put a hose right in his...

  • What do you see? The curious allure of Linda Stark's playful imagery

    What do you see? The curious allure of Linda Stark's playful imagery

    Condensation is at work when droplets of water form on glasses filled with cold drinks and when winter storms dump tons of snow in the Sierra Nevada. Freud used the same term to describe the ways dreams form: collecting and compressing memories and inklings until they cohere into stories that follow...

2017 MOVIE AND TV PREVIEW

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  • When the presidency and television ratings collide

    When the presidency and television ratings collide

    In his first statement as White House press secretary, Sean Spicer conveyed the top priority of his boss, America’s first reality-TV star/executive producer president. For Donald J. Trump, it was all about ratings, ratings, ratings. “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration,...

  • Aziz Ansari took to the 'SNL' stage and delivered some stand-up logic to Trump

    Aziz Ansari took to the 'SNL' stage and delivered some stand-up logic to Trump

    “Saturday Night Live” couldn’t have planned a better guest host for its inaugural-weekend show than Aziz Ansari. Or at least that’s the conclusion many came to after the writer-actor-comedian delivered the opening monologue. Ansari, who made a name for himself as Tom Haverford on “Parks and Recreation,”...

  • The quiet protest, amid bombs bursting, of Kronos Quartet

    The quiet protest, amid bombs bursting, of Kronos Quartet

    The symbolic meaning of the string quartet, the most perfect ensemble, is that of harmony raised high. Four string players, like of instrument family and mind, performing daily for years and often decades, were initially meant to voice the essence of four-part harmony along with displaying the...

  • 'I ain't got no love': Why Donald Trump's musical choices matter

    'I ain't got no love': Why Donald Trump's musical choices matter

    The words felt like private thoughts found in an old diary and newly exposed to fresh air. “If you try acting sad, you’ll only make me glad.” “I ain’t got no love, I ain’t the kind to meet.” “Regrets, I’ve had a few — but then again too few to mention.” Yet this wasn’t the sour fruit of opposition...

  • 'Split' shocks the box office — and Vin Diesel's 'xXx' sequel — with a $40-million debut

    'Split' shocks the box office — and Vin Diesel's 'xXx' sequel — with a $40-million debut

    Competing with a presidential inauguration, multi-city marches and big-budget Hollywood productions, M. Night Shyamalan’s creepy psychological thriller “Split” pulled off a surprising victory its opening weekend, pulling $14.6 million Friday for an estimated weekend gross of $40.2 million. The...

  • Sundance: Revisiting the Smiths of Montana

    Sundance: Revisiting the Smiths of Montana

    On one level, the outstanding Sundance drama “Walking Out” tells a very simple father-son wilderness survival tale. But just below the surface, roiling emotional complications add meaning and difficulty at every turn. Similarly, the story of how this film, which premiered Saturday night in Sundance’s...

  • Sundance: 'The Big Sick' offers an early cure for the festival blues

    Sundance: 'The Big Sick' offers an early cure for the festival blues

    The Sundance Film Festival’s early days may have been overshadowed by the one-two punch of Friday’s presidential inauguration and Saturday’s women’s march, but this 33rd annual edition has slowly but surely roused itself to life. The festival laid claim to its first major crowd-pleaser on Friday with...

  • Sundance filmmakers and local businesses steel for women's march

    Sundance filmmakers and local businesses steel for women's march

    “Eight years ago was an amazing day,” said Emmy-winning film producer Julie Goldman (“Life, Animated,” “Weiner”) on a palpably subdued inauguration morning at the Sundance Film Festival. “Today is the opposite.” Sundance veterans can vividly recall Inauguration Day 2009, when attendees of the prestigious...

  • Sundance: ‘Landline’ doesn’t connect, but ‘Novitiate’ is worthy of praise

    Sundance: ‘Landline’ doesn’t connect, but ‘Novitiate’ is worthy of praise

    “The inauguration is over, so you can turn off your cellphones!” That was the Sundance Film Festival’s director, John Cooper, introducing the Friday afternoon screening of Gillian Robespierre’s new comedy, “Landline.” For those of us who chose to bury ourselves in movies rather than pay attention...

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