Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews "That's a Serious Thing," a new reissue featuring trombonist Jack Teagarden. Kevin says the album shows how Teagarden brought a country influence into jazz. The album's on the RCA/Bluebird label and it features Teagarden performances from 1929 to 1957.
Unlike other film critics, Stephen Schiff isn't so troubled by the ambiguous ending of Spike Lee's third movie. Schiff admires the way Do the Right Thing smartly grapples with race relations, but he's frustrated by how inconsistent the characters are, a directorial flaw that serves the sometimes twisting plot.
Fleming was a well-regarded author whose book, The Make-Believers, was ignored by large publishing houses and readers alike. Guest critic Stuart Klawans says the novel deserved more attention, and hopes a new reissue will help it find a bigger audience.
Television Critic David Bianculli previews this week's "American Playhouse" presentation on PBS titled "The Trial of Bernhard Goetz." Goetz was acquitted last year of assault charges stemming from his shooting of four black youths in a New York City subway car after, Goetz contended, the youths tried to rob him. The trial, which dominated the New York City press for several weeks, was known as "The Subway Vigilante" trial.
Film Critic Stephen Schiff reviews "Cry Freedom," starring Kevin Kline as South African journalist Donald Woods, and Denzel Washington as anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko. The movie portrays the friendship that developed between Woods, a white reporter, and Biko, one of the leading foes of apartheid. "Cry Freedom" is directed by Richard Attenborough.
Book Critic John Leonard reviews The Dresden Gate the novel by Michael Schmidt that explores the misbegotten efforts of Europeans to export their systems of civilization - religion, government, culture - on the Latin American soul.