Lost for decades, the original session tapes for classic Fania Records artists like Hector Lavoe, Celia Cruz and Willie Colon were recently discovered gathering dust on a shelf in a warehouse in rural New York.
LOS ANGELES — Even decades after her death in 1975, political philosopher Hannah Arendt remains a figure of intense controversy, a situation the woman who said “there are no dangerous thoughts, thinking itself is dangerous” would doubtless approve of.
As revealed in “Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt,” a thoughtful, nuanced examination of a complex thinker, Arendt’s willingness to challenge certainties and go against the grain lent her thoughts on topics such as totalitarianism and the plight of refugees a force and originality that make them surprisingly relevant today.
Directed by Israeli documentarian Ada Ushpiz, who has degrees in philosophy and history as well as filmmaking experience, “Vita Activa” closely examines Arendt’s “active life” with the goal of putting us inside her formative experiences, the better to reveal who she was and where her attitudes came from.
There are interviews with old friends and academic experts and extensive use of filmed interviews Arendt herself gave (mainly for German television) as well as the effective reading of excerpts from her essays and letters by actress Alison Darcy.
“Vita Activa” concentrates, not surprisingly, on the celebrated notion of “the banality of evil” that Arendt came up with while covering the Israeli trial of one of the prime movers of the Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann, after coming to view him as not much more than a functionary who only carried out orders.
“She believed him, she saw him as a little man,” says Holocaust authority Deborah Lipstadt, and as a result, says Leon Botstein, a friend who is now president of Bard College, “people went berserk.
Diabolical, coldblooded, racist, horrifying. Not the sort of qualities you associate with Sir Patrick Stewart, a global darling for his wise, kindly roles in “Star Trek” and “X-Men.”
But being cast against type is just what he wanted when he signed on as the clever, regal villain of writer/director Jeremy Saulnier’s punishing thriller “Green Room.” A thinking person’s fright film, it caused quite a stir at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals.
NEW YORK — What is that indefinable quality that makes an actor a star?
Jessie Mueller, who won a Tony in 2014 for her performance in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” helped me once again answer this question.
A rare piece of movie memorabilia from Prince's 1984 classic film "Purple Rain" is hitting the auction block.
Prince donned the black and white blazer with leather sleeves while riding a motorcycle with co-star Apollonia Kotero.
"It's definitely the most important piece of screen-worn Prince clothing that's ever come up for auction," said Joe Maddalena, president of the Calabasas, California-based auction house, Profiles in History.