Author Archive for Alan Zilberman

Buyer & Cellar’s Michael Urie on Playing Barbra Streisand in a One-Man Show

Extreme wealth allows eccentricities to proliferate and blossom in its owners, turning normal folk into divas that can't function outside their own self-made worlds. And if Buyer & Cellar (currently showing at the Shakespeare Theater’s Sidney Harman Hall) is to be believed, Barbra Streisand is no exception.
When playwright and avowed fan Jonathan Tolins got his hands on My Passion for Design, a [...]

The Foul and Fabulous Art of Potty Photography

Steve Gottlieb didn't always intend to take pictures of toilets. Before he became a photographer, Gottlieb was a corporate lawyer. Soon, though, photography called. The job runs in the family: Gottlieb's father is William P. Gottlieb, a photographer who made a name for himself with his "Golden Age of Jazz" series, which includes portraits of Duke [...]

D.C. Independent Film Festival: Sons of the City, Reviewed

Written and directed by Marcus Richardson, a Howard University graduate who studied film, Sons of the City is a coming-of-age story with a local perspective. It tells the story of Joe, a young man who grew up in D.C. and studies business at Howard. He does not belong in either world, exactly: His classmates don't [...]

D.C. Independent Film Festival: Despite the Gods, Reviewed

Most behind-the-scenes documentaries about the making of films make the process look utterly hellish. Practical problems—stemming from things like special effects, the shooting schedule, or an unexpected rainstorm—can undermine the director's vision. Actors' egos are fragile. Despite the Gods, the documentary by filmmaker Penny Vozniak, shows how these problems can be exacerbated when an American shoots [...]

Oscar Isaac Talks Inside Llewyn Davis

The world is failing Llweyn Davis, the titular hero of the latest film by Joel and Ethan Coen. Set primarily in Greenwich Village during the early 1960s, Inside Llewyn Davis shows a week in the life of a folk musician struggling to maintain his notion of authenticity in a world that’s indifferent to it. He’s [...]

Stand-Up Comic Bill Burr on the World Series, Bad Analogies, and Scary Hecklers

With his red hair and thick Massachusetts accent, comedian has Bill Burr amassed a legion of devoted fans—and that started even before his stint on Breaking Bad.
Burr's comedy specials give him a platform to articulate his particular worldview, which is crude but not without a kernel of bluntness. His dog, his girlfriend, and sports are among [...]

One Track Mind: Typefighter, “Much”

Standout Track: “Much,” the first single from Typefighter’s forthcoming debut LP, The End of Everything. The track blasts open with a surge of power pop, pulls back with several slow-burning verses, then explodes all over again. “Heyyyyoh!,” wails guitarist and vocalist Ryan McLaughlin, 28, who seems to understand the simple but killer formula of a [...]

DC Shorts, Showcase 11: Lies, More Racism, and Cake

Love and romance are easy subjects for a short film. They're easy to relate to, for one thing: Who doesn't want a little romance in their lives? More importantly, most love stories do not require many complex characters. Two is the minimum, and the tension between them is plain to see. There are many love [...]

DC Shorts, Showcase 2: Experimental Narratives, Life on a Bike, and Creepy Dolls

Short films offer an opportunity for filmmakers to experiment with genre and narrative. In DC Shorts' Showcase 2, we see the product of some of those experiments. A handful of the selections strip away plot until there's barely anything left. But the best short in Showcase 2 (The Morning After) is also the most conventional, [...]

One Track Mind: The Raised by Wolves, Sadie Hawkins

Standout Track: No. 3, "Freddy Freaker," from Sadie Hawkins, the debut album from Bethesda band The Raised by Wolves. An ideal end-of-summer track, it channels straightforward power-pop, layering synths over bright guitars. But it's the guitar work of Ben Eskin, 23, that pushes the song into memorable territory. At first, he's content to sound like [...]

...