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Film, California Burning

California Burning

A great brooding thundercloud of a movie, Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood arrives as if from nowhere on a gust of critical acclaim, lowering over a landscape of barren mesas and hot, scrubby hills. Anderson's epic, no less…
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Film, There's the Beef

There's the Beef

Fast Food Nation, directed by Richard Linklater from Eric Schlosser's 2001 best-selling exposé of the McDonald's conspiracy, is an anti-commercial. It's designed to kill desire and deprogram the viewer's appetite. Linklater — who, along with Steven Soderbergh and Gus Van…
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Culture, Stage Black Gold

Black Gold

I don't mean to gush, but Word for Word's production of Oil! at the Magic may be the best play, so far, of 2001. Oil! is Upton Sinclair's novel about the Southern California oil boom of the early 1900s. It…
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Calendar, Night&Day There's Gold in Them Thar Words

There's Gold in Them Thar Words

Close to a century ago, Upton Sinclair forged the model of the writer as social critic. His 1906 novel The Jungle, about the Chicago meatpacking industry, inspired President Teddy Roosevelt to investigate and ultimately legislate improvements in the squalid and…
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