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These Days: Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Film: Before we arrive and the new version of “Beauty And The Beast” (a not bad but shallow adaption of the movie, Grade: B), let’s wait awhile and rewatch Jean Cocteau’s vastly superior “La Belle Et Le Bete” (Grade: A). The late great Pauline Kael -my favorite critic of all time, wrote: ” “Perhaps the most sensuously elegant of all filmed fairy tales. As a child escapes from everyday family life to the magic of a storybook, so, in the film, Beauty’s farm, with its Vermeer simplicity, fades in intensity as we are caught up in the Gustave Dore extravagance of the Beast’s enchanted landscape. Jean Marais is a magnificent beast.” If you want to track how far we’ve fallen compare the two.

POTUS: Claims the UK helped FOTUS spy on him. Here are two words I never want to hear again: explosive and unsubstantiated in the same sentence. With this guy it is always verdict first. Life is one long breaking news scroll at the bottom of my screen and I am sure just about everyone is sick to death of it.

Theatre: I only just missed the theatrical music version of “Groundhog Day” in London last year (more than made up for it with an early viewing of “Harry Potter And The Cursed Child”) so I am thrilled to be going to a matinee today.

New Music: I worry I am becoming an old fuddy duddy when I read raves for what I consider clearly mediocre albums by the likes of Laura Marling, Pitbull, Rick Ross, Real Estate and more. On to the singles.

Old Music: Prince is still written and still on hold. In  the interim I am shrugging through Press To Play and watched Aloha by El a coupla months ago so have my thoughts more or less in order.

Sports: My money is on Villanova but I’ve always been an optimist. And so the Knicks season sputters to an end and still that horrible man James Dolan refuses to do the right thing and sell them.

Death:  John Andariese, Knicks Broadcaster Known as ‘Johnny Hoops,’ ;  the man behind the renovation of Radio City Music Hall, architect Hugh Hardy, harp blues great James Cotton,; record producer Tommy LiPuma; and finally Dr. Henry Lodge, author of “Younger Next Year”,” about exercising and abstaining from fast food for a longer life, dead at 58.

POTUS and FOTUS: what’s the biggest similarity between Trump and Obama? they both spent their political capital on Health Care.

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