• Cinephilia

    Review: The Favourite

    About a decade ago, when I was a young, budding, innocent cinephile, I heard about this film, Dogtooth. You must see it, they said. Naive and trusting as I was, I did just that. And I was never the same again.  Dogtooth is filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos’s break-out feature about grown siblings confined to their home by over-protective parents. Claustrophobic as that may sound, things go very, very quickly from strange and intriguing to flat out weird, leaving one to wonder just what boundaries Lanthimos and co-writer Efthymis Filippou have left to cross. That film went on to garner an Oscar nomination, and Lanthimos went on to make more weirdly wonderful films,…

  • Just This

    All I Want for Christmas…

    I have an Amazon Wishlist that I keep fairly up to date, but you know, where’s the fun in that? As I got to thinking about this holiday season, I decided to take a cue from the various bloggers and doers who I follow and craft a wishlist of my one. It may be a bit aspirational, but if we can’t dream big on a wishlist, what are we even doing here? Houseplants & Planters Last summer, I finally got around to adopting a couple of houseplants. Convinced I had a brown thumb for the longest time, I hesitated to bring anything requiring watering into my apartment. But I’ve had…

  • City Stories

    ‘Tis the Season | Holiday Theater in Chicago

    Christmas Carol

    For two years running now, I’ve made it my own little holiday tradition to see American Blues Theater’s annual production of It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago. The show is an absolute treat, a word-for-word performance of the film script…except as an old-timey radio play. Each year, the actors are wonderful, the spirit is festive and I shed more than a few tears as George Bailey realizes he’s already the richest man in the world. When the opportunity came up to see it again this year for Third Coast Review, I snapped it up…along with about a half dozen other holiday season productions around town. Before I knew it,…

  • Just This

    Listen to This: Christmas 2018

    Listen, I’m not gonna lie: I started listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween. And I wish I could say it’s just to be able to put together this annual playlist for you, and not because…well, because basically the other 10 months of the year are just me waiting for it to be holiday music season. I’ve been making these playlists every year since at least 2009, which means we’re nearing a decade of festive tracks compiled with love, from me to you. And I really do enjoy it. Some years are easier than others, and sometimes I worry I’ve used up all the good Christmas songs. But new…