Author

Gregory Kirschling

Stefan Kanfer

It’s hard to write a great book about Marlon Brando, who, four years after his death, remains the most elusive of subjects. Even Brando himself botched the assignment; his 1994 memoir, Songs My Mother Taught Me, is famously kooky but unreliable, written to pay the bills. Somebody is the first major bio to appear since the star died, but it shows, like other books before it, that we may never get a full handle on the legend.

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John Leguizamo, Haley Joel Osment, ...

When, more than 30 years ago now, American Buffalo burst onto the American stage, its profane, staccato poetry helped turn David Mamet into David Mamet. And David Mamet, in turn, helped us get used to the idea that stage and screen art can be vulgar but exhilarating at the same time. The problem with the current revival of American Buffalo, now playing on Broadway, is not only that there’s nothing especially startling about the play anymore; what really hurts is the listless execution, which doesn’t tap into the ugly beauties of the work.

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Mathieu Amalrie answers our questions

French actor Mathieu Amalric plays a wayward son in A Christmas Tale and the bad guy in Quantum of Solace

Do you get recognized a lot now for Playing the lead in ‘The Diving Bell and The Butterfly’? I have a normal life in France, because I try not to go on many television shows. So when people recognize me, it’s because they saw my films, which is nice.

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Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers

A couple of best-selling books (The Tipping Point, Blink) and a forest’s worth of must-read New Yorker articles into his career, Malcolm Gladwell has turned himself into the literary world’s Mr. Wizard. Expertly versed in not only science but business and psychology, Gladwell is a poufy-haired showman with a knack for explaining anything to everybody, from dog whispering and fads to disposable diapers and snap judgments.

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Stephen King's new short stories

A couple of years ago, Stephen King agreed to edit an edition of the annual Best American Short Stories book series. He hadn’t written short fiction in a while, and he specifically wanted to see if reading hundreds of other people’s stories would inspire him. Boy, did it. He got in the groove (”It was like catching a beat,” he says), and now he’s ready with Just After Sunset, his first story collection in six years.

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Actors who play themselves

In JCVD, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself as a sensitive fella who doesn’t always solve problems with his fists. Okay, we buy that. But how plausible are other actors’ versions of themselves?

Least Plausible BILLY ZANE Zoolander When Zoolander faces off against Hansel at a party, bald Billy Zane is there to provide backup. But everybody knows Billy Zane is second banana to no man.

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