December 13, 2002
Mike Leigh's All or Nothing is an exhilarating movie about sadness and renewal, set in a London housing project. It's an unlikely follow-up to Leigh's brilliant Gilbert and Sullivan extravaganza, Topsy Turvy. But in its own way All or Nothing is piercingly musical, too, from the first shot of a girl pushing a mop through the hall of an old-age home while an elderly woman advances toward her slowly, with a cane, resisting help. In lesser hands the material would be dreary. Mike Leigh, both a superb filmmaker and a humanist, grasps the rhythmic beauty of the scene and turns it into a poem on the duty of the young character and the determination of the older one. Leigh has a way of depicting force of habit that accentuates the positive even when what's happening is negative.
September 7, 1997
They wanted to say goodbye to someone they felt they knew.Thousands of people left messages and a field of flowers at Kensington Palace, Princess Diana's London home; stood in line for hours to sign a book of condolences at St. James's Palace, where her body lay before the funeral; performed the equivalent task by signing a guest book on the Internet; or wrote a few brief words at British embassies and consulates around the world.One wreath of white flowers outside the consulate in New York stood 7 feet high.
September 8, 2011
O, say can you see relief (pitchers) in the future of professional baseball in Maryland? The losing team's fan's simultaneous lament and cry of hope that there's always next season has grown a little more poignant as the years have gone by. The Baltimore Orioles have been in a slump that will soon be measurable in decades rather than years. The bright star of Cal Ripken Jr. and his exemplary work ethic kept fans interested locally even as the Orioles organization closed up shop before the start of the postseason year after year.
February 20, 2011
Miguel Cabrera is one sad, hurting dude. His Tigers aren't doing too well either. It's hard to know who to feel worse for at this point — Cabrera, with a drinking problem that dwarfs his super-sized bat, or Mike Ilitch , the unusually generous, optimistic owner who in the last four years has invested about half-a-billion dollars in a team built around Cabrera. Or maybe tough manager Jim Leyland . He guided the Tigers and Marlins to the World Series in 2006 and 1997 — two of only five years he has managed when the most talented player on his roster wasn't Barry Bonds or Cabrera.
May 1, 2011
Thursday, April 27, was an extremely sad day for the United States of America. That a sitting president should feel the need to release his birth certificate in order to quell nasty rumors about his eligibility to hold office was shocking, but then to hear even that did not wholly satisfy the doubters, some of whom are now questioning his college records, is almost unbelievable. I cannot help but think this is a result of prejudice. Because he is biracial? Has an unusual name? I had been hopeful that we Americans had progressed beyond that.
July 14, 1994
They had gathered at a West Baltimore rowhouse wearing black tuxedos and fancy dresses, preparing to mourn a 79-year-old family leader who died Sunday and was to be buried this morning.Instead, they pulled up to the Edgewood Street house to find firefighters digging through debris, pulling out a stack of charred Bibles that were part of a family collection, and ambulances whisking the deceased man's widow and daughter to the hospital.The wife, Georgia Hamlin, 77, and daughter, Joyce Black, 59, were dressing for the funeral when an air conditioner on the second floor overheated and ignited, fire officials said.
September 11, 1994
If only for a few hours, the turmoil of a country hundreds of miles away did not dominate Walter Rolton. Amid the strains of reggae and calypso music at the 13th annual Caribbean Festival, he almost forgot the unrest in Haiti.But concern for his homeland and the strife among his fellow Haitians is never far from his mind."Yes, I do think of there much, very much," Mr. Rolton said yesterday as he sat against a tree at Druid Hill Park and watched thousands of festival-goers. "Sometimes you think about it too -- much and you do nothing else.
March 19, 2000
The stone lions standing guard at the BMA remind us that their real-life counterparts have a less than noble existence. The lions have never looked happy. From the day some 70 years ago when they took their guard posts at the steps of the Baltimore Museum of Art, they have greeted each sunrise with a scowl. To visitors they present growling, brow-furrowed faces of Teutonic intensity, as if the sculptor changed course after starting a bust of Beethoven. No one in authority at the museum knows who made the cast stone lions or exactly when they appeared.
January 18, 1991
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When three Navy officers in dress uniform knocked on the door of Michael Scott Speicher's Jacksonville home at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, his wife, Joanne, knew why they were there -- to tell her that her husband had been shot down in the Persian Gulf."
March 23, 1992
Despite the recession, The Prime Rib restaurant (average dinner check $50-plus) was packed on Friday night for two sittings, with revelers also jammed three-deep around the piano and the bar. Eight blocks southwest, because of the recession, Our Daily Bread soup kitchen, 411 Cathedral St., was similarly packed Saturday and yesterday at noon, quietly feeding 650 hungry men, women and (sadly) little children. Because the soup kitchen, open 365 days a year, desperately needs money and staple food items, please phone director Steve Tuttle, 659-4000, for specific needs, delivery details, etc. (I take or send a $100.