Entries by Jay Ruud

Movie Review: The Drop by Michaël R. Roskam

Lonely and laconic bartender Bob Saginowski’s life seems to take a turn for the better when he finds a wounded puppy in a trash can in the yard of a woman named Nadia. He adopts the dog and begins a very cautious and tentative relationship with the woman as well as the dog. It seems […]

Contest Question for September 10

Mary Wollstonecraft died on this date in 1797 at the age of 38, 10 days after giving birth to her daughter, who would become the author of Frankenstein. Wollstonecraft wrote novels, a children’s book, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, and philosophical treatises, and is remembered today chiefly for her Vindication of […]

Contest Question for September 3

DON’T START WITH ME: What famous novel by what important writer begins with this paragraph (in English translation):   On May 20, 1859, a hatless gentleman somewhat over forty years old, wearing a dusty coat and checked trousers, came out on to the doorstep of a little country inn on the X— Highway and inquired […]

A Review of Calvary by John Michael McDonagh

John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary, the follow up to his 2011 triumph The Guard, finally made it to central Arkansas after some weeks of limited release in the United States. The film premiered at Sundance early in the year, and opened in Great Britain and Ireland in April, where it won the IFTA (Irish Film and […]

Contest Question for August 27

DON’T START WITH ME: What famous novel, by what famous novelist, begins with this passage?   When Caroline Meeber boarded the afternoon train for Chicago, her total outfit consisted of a small trunk, a cheap imitation alligator-skin satchel, a small lunch in a paper box, and a yellow leather snap purse, containing her ticket, a […]

A Review of Boyhood by Richard Linklater

I’ll admit up front that when I heard about how Richard Linklater’s new film, Boyhood, had been filmed over a period of twelve years to follow the life of a fairly typical American boy, Mason (played by the remarkable Ellar Coltrane) from first grade through college orientation, with the same actor playing the boy over […]