Erik Tarloff

Erik Tarloff is the author of Face-Time and The Man Who Wrote The Book.

Recent Articles

Why Bush Won't Be Nominated

Did he inhale? Did he duck the draft? Whom does he remind you of?

Last year, my wife and I were at a dinner party at which all the guests were asked to handicap the coming presidential election. It soon became apparent we were the only Democrats present; the other guests were not merely Republicans, but wealthy Republican donors (had we stumbled into the wrong dining room?). And the universal opinion among these people- it had not yet become the conventional wisdom- was that George W. Bush would be the next Republican nominee. They all seemed to be salivating at the prospect. The sight of salivating Republicans is distinctly unwelcome at a dinner party, enough to put one off one's feed. Nevertheless, I pressed some of these other guests to explain what made them so enthusiastic. Curiously, not only couldn't they answer, but they barely bothered to try. They didn't know where he stood on any important issues. Most had never heard him speak, wouldn't have recognized his voice on the other end of a telephone line soliciting contributions. As far as I...

Opus Posthumous

This last year in the arts seems to have been dominated by dead people. Maybe that isn't inappropriate when a millennium grinds to a close. For example: One of the most eagerly awaited movies of the year, Eyes Wide Shut , was released soon after the death of its director, Stanley Kubrick. Such were the circumstances of its appearance, and such was Kubrick's reputation, early critical responses were positive. It was unthinkable that the final work of a major artist could be anything other than a masterpiece. It took time before the requisite mind-set adjustment permitted the film to be judged for itself rather than for the romantic swan-song ethos surrounding it. Once that occurred, though, everyone recognized its staggering awfulness, noticed we'd been presented with a cinematic Edsel. Of course, Kubrick's fans and defenders were quick to protest that the director didn't live to complete his final edit. File that apologia under the heading Grasping at Straws. This was a film so poorly...