Jonathan Demme’s Offbeat America

By James Kaplan The New York Times Magazine March 27, 1988 In a dim room high above the controlled chaos of Times Square, Jonathan Demme is watching a movie. To be more precise, the director is looking over the shoulder of his film editor, Craig McKay, at an editing...

Damn Black Sox

By Bruce Buschel GQ June 1988 It is World Series weather in Indianapolis. Thirty-five degrees. Charlie Sheen is dancing around center field, trying to warm up. He is worried about his arm tightening up before the big throw. He worries whenever he can. He worries about...

“May I Kiss You on the Forehead, Sam?”

By Jon Bradshaw New York December 29, 1975/January 5, 1976 It was practically dawn and the weather, he noted with particular pique, was diabolic. On mornings like these, he preferred to rise late. He liked to walk down to the Yale Club and play a little squash. He...

Oedipus Rocks

By John Eskow New Times May 29, 1978 Karl Wallenda plunges to his death, and the man beside me booms out “Gawd!” In the slow-motion TV replay, Wallenda’s last-second grab for the wire seems to sum up everyone’s will to live, in one gesture. Then he falls. It’s a...

Kim Philby and the Age of Paranoia

By Ron Rosenbaum The New York Times Magazine July 10, 1994 The Heart of the Matter The presence of the Philby papers in London was still a closely guarded secret when I stumbled on them through an inadvertent slip by Graham Greene’s nephew. I’d found him, the nephew,...

A Comedian of Guilt

By Albert Goldman Life Feb. 7, 1969 The publication of a book is not often a major event in American culture. Most of our classics, when they first appeared, met with disappointing receptions, and even the much-ballyhoed best-sellers of recent years have rarely cut a...

Catherine the Great

By Joan Juliet Buck Vanity Fair April, 1989 “Do you blow your money? I mean, just blow it?” she asked. “There’s a vertigo in going too far—the thrill that produces—especially if it’s likely to put you in an impossible situation. And then, cash worries are easier to...

The Stacks Chat: Derek Cianfrance

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader May 20, 2020 When you watch a movie by Derek Cianfrance you know you are witnessing something deeply personal. No mistaking that. There is nothing light or frivolous in his work. Best known for his features Blue Valentine, A Place...

Cher And Altman on Broadway

By Jennifer Allen New York Magazine February 1, 1982 Cher had been careful to chew two of the quarter-size vitamin pills before swallowing them, she says, but they tasted so bitter that she decided to down the third one whole. It jammed, horizontally, in her windpipe,...

On Revision

By Nora Ephron From Nora Ephron Collected November, 1986 I have been asked to write something for a textbook that is meant to teach college students something about writing and revision. I am happy to do this because I believe in revision. I have also been asked to...

Swifty Lazar Is a Big Deal

By Jennifer Allen New York Magazine July 18, 1983 The beautiful lady and the reporter sit facing each other on wicker sofas in the lady’s small but elegant Los Angeles office. They are silent, sheepish, like schoolgirls who have been collared in the hall by a teacher...

Remembering Gil Schwartz (and Stanley Bing)

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader May 4, 2020 Let’s take a moment to celebrate the one and only Gil Schwartz who passed away a couple of days ago. Some of his grief-stricken pals were kind enough to offer some of their memories and we are the richer for it. Take it...