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Arts & Culture

The Lens: Twin Peeks

May 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Two things you will learn from the new documentary "Lynch," which plays May 23-25 at Webster University on a double bill with "Eraserhead":

The Lens: Dental Work

May 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Compared to the current flings with torture and Asian-influenced weirdness currently dominating the horror market, Mitchell Lichtenstein's "Teeth," recently released on video, could practically be described as charming and innocent, though its content, the story of a teenage girl who has an extra set of teeth in the wrong place, is anything but that.

Silent movies aren't

May 9, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon:  Some people hate silent movies even more than subtitled foreign movies. The problem they have in common is the reading requirement. In a foreign movie, you can’t watch the action while you read the bottom of the screen. If they talk much or too fast, you know the translation will be simplistic and probably “cleaned up.”

Melissa (holding Ditto), Derek, David and Steve Squires have Mother's Day together.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Beacon | 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Staff Sgt. Melissa "Missy" Squires can look at her photos from Iraq now:

  • The dramatic pictures of her Missouri National Guard unit, the 203rd Engineer Battalion, Company B, digging through the rubble of the U.N. building after a terrorist attack in August 2003.
  • The dozens and dozens of pictures of life on base, her unit's construction projects and posing with friendly Iraqis.
  • The video clips of her convoy crawling through a congested Baghdad neighborhood searching for an alternate route home after reports that an IED was waiting for them somewhere on the roadside.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The National Park Service will consider improvements to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, including a design competition for the area and a better connection between the Memorial and downtown.

The St. Louis riverfront and Arch grounds could be transformed by the Arch's 50th birthday – Oct. 28, 2015 – by a major new cultural attraction.

Sen. John Danforth's statement about the Arch

May 8, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The National Park Service will consider improvements to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, including recommendations by Walter Metcalfe, Peter Raven and Robert Archibald.

The Danforth Foundation is pleased that the National Park Service is initiating a public planning process that will consider improvements to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. We appreciate the Park Service's responsiveness toward our report of last August and its hard work in moving the issue to this stage.

Commentary: Recommendations for the Arch

May 8, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: 

Last summer, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay asked us to offer our counsel about how St. Louis can transform its Riverfront into a world-class destination for the people of our region and visitors.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Before Thursday morning, St. Louis civic leaders who have been actively promoting a revitalization of the St. Louis riverfront sat south of square one in the progress department, in a holding pattern, maintaining hope perhaps, but definitely sitting still. The sticking point was the reluctance of the National Park Service to consider any changes or alterations of the grounds of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the site of the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse to its east.

Carolyn Hewes Toft, whose name is synonymous with historic preservation in St. Louis and whose reputation as a relentless advocate for the built environment and sound urban planning spreads nationwide, announced she will leave the Landmarks Association of St. Louis Inc. in September.

A dom for the Wash U lawschool courtyard - 33 pxls, 2008
David Kilper | WUSTL Photo Services | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: You might think an injunction would be required to shut down a major American law school for a day. But Monday, the locks were thrown and faculty and students were told to go home not because of legal action but because of the installation of a two-part, 60-ton framework atop the Washington University School of Law’s Anheuser-Busch Hall.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Meanness abounds, and David Mamet has always taken an almost unseemly amount of delight in rooting it out, usually in places you would already expect to find it.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Filmmaker Socheata Poeuv once asked her father to describe the worst part of his life under the Khmer Rouge, the nightmarish regime that ruled Cambodia from 1975-1979 and was responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million people from starvation, disease or execution.

It was the silence, her father said.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In the picture on the sweatshirt they gave me, they are so small. My basketball team. They are not small because they are in grade school. They are small.

And there, standing next to me in a triple-threat pose is one of smallest girls, one with red hair and an infectious grin: Emily Starkloff. She was one of a trio of players on my eight-person roster who either hadn't passed the 5-foot mark or just barely crossed it.

Rich Eichhorst's group sets up special train excursions including mystery destinations, sleeper-car trips and theme adventures. (300pxls, 2008)
Jay Jordan | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: That’s National Train Day chugging down the tracks and scheduled to arrive May 10.

Amtrak, the national passenger railroad, has picked that day for its celebration because it marks the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869. On May 10, 139 years ago, dignitaries drove a golden spike linking the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads in Promontory Summit, Utah, officially uniting the United States by rail.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: By the time you read this, Scott Parkman should be packed up and setting off for Boston, where he’ll begin a new phase of an already quite successful career as a conductor and composer.

At Powell Symphony Hall, the St. Louis Beacon’s neighbor here in the Grand Center neighborhood, Parkman was assistant conductor of the St. Louis Symphony and music director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. His most profound and enduring legacy lives with hundreds of young men and women who worked with him and for him in the Youth Orchestra.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Chuck Berry turned 81 last fall, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that a couple of dozen singers whose average age is 80 have earned international acclaim singing rock and roll. Indeed, many people associate rock music predominantly with youth. That's a mistake you certainly wouldn’t make after seeing a rousing new celebration of life called “Young@Heart,” which opens with a 92-year-old woman declaiming with an appropriate British monotone the chorus to the Clash’s punk classic, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

Harriet Hosmer's Beatrice Cenci
Provided by St. Louis Mercantile Library

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Harriet Hosmer wasn't born in St. Louis. She didn't grow up here or, in fact, live here for very long.

But the woman who would go on to carve her own way as a neo-classical sculptor in a man's world was changed by her time in St. Louis. And she left her mark, including some of her work, in several significant places.

2008 photo of Sally Van Doren (300 pixels)
Provided by Ms. Van Doren

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The St. Louis region has long supplied spiritual and intellectual nourishment to poets, both born-here poets and poets who’ve migrated here. The list of names stuns you: T.S. Eliot; Marianne Moore; Sara Teasdale; poets laureate of the U.S. Mona Van Duyn and Howard Nemerov; and Eugene Redmond.

Book cover, Black Olives
Provided by the publisher

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Martha Tod Dudman gained respect and renown as a writer of brutally honest nonfiction – "Augusta, Gone" and "Expecting to Fly" – that laid bare her personal and familial relations. So we had to ask how much of "Black Olives" is based on fact.

Collecting in the Heartland: Perfume bottles

Apr 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Perfume bottles come in an amazing array of colors, shapes and styles. Filled, they can offer up wonderful aromatic scents, triggering old, familiar memories. Empty, they can be dazzling objects of art, delicate little treasures of glass, silver and porcelain.

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