ROUND-UP April 25-May 9, 2019

"The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center’s annual Contemporary Photography Exhibition has been one of my most anticipated arts events all year. I previously wrote about last year’s two-person show (or, rather, two small shows in the same gallery) and this year’s exhibitions were no less captivating. While Claire A. Warden’s Mimesis and Arielle Bobb-Willis’ At Zephyr do not play off one another as easily as Christine Elfman’s Even Amaranth and Mark Jayson Quines’ NOBODY, they are each impactful, thoughtful bodies of work that prove that there is no shortage of talent available to the PPAC."
"Sometimes casting choices are just so natural that you wonder how it hadn’t happened already. Haley Lu Richardson as Louise Brooks is one of those perfectly serendipitous pairings of historical figure and actor. Richardson’s interpretation of Louise Brooks is insouciant and flirtatious, mixing the energy of her role in the underrated Support the Girls with some of the pathos she showed us in Columbus (my favorite movie of 2017) just beneath the surface. Even when the classic bob wig looks fake (and my god, does it look fake), she simply dazzles, to the extent that you wish the movie was about her. The fact that The Chaperone focuses more and more on Norma as the narrative continues means it gets just a little less exciting."
"If the fact that Diane has a horrible secret from her past weren’t included in the film’s basic synopsis, Diane’s downright saintly behavior would undoubtedly clue us in to the fact that she’s certainly not perfect—that the other shoe is going to drop, because no one is that good all of the time. And drop it does, but in subtle ways derived from organic conversation between characters, rather than cliched, dramatic confrontations marked by screaming and throwing things. There are confrontations about the thing that Diane did, but they’re always grounded in realistic emotion and naturalistic acting."