Latest Articles


What’s driving the East-West Highway?

Eminent domain! The government's ability to seize land for a public purpose strikes terror into the hearts of many landowners.
Taxpayer dollars, secrecy, and private interests
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 04, 2012
review Chimpanzee

Review: Chimpanzee

Following in the footsteps of African Cats , this Disney-distributed documentary combines breathtaking wildlife footage with silly, self-conscious voiceover narration aimed at preschoolers.
Disney-distributed documentary
By MILES HOWARD  |  April 27, 2012

Days of future past

Science-fiction films have been with us since Edison’s 1910 version of Frankenstein , but they bloomed in the ’Nam era, nourished by a volatile cocktail of cultural ingredients.
'SF-1970' at the Harvard Film Archive
By MICHAEL ATKINSON  |  June 18, 2010

Review: Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

The cheeky title conjures up belovedly tacky 1950s Japanese sci-fi films, but Jessica Oreck’s actual effort is a pallid, thinly poetic documentary essay about Japan’s obsession with insects.
Pallid documentary on Japan's insect obsession
By GERALD PEARY  |  June 04, 2010

Physics lesson for Diamon

Newton’s laws of gravity and motion are universally understood laws, not subject to anyone’s opinion.
Letters to the Portland editor, May 21, 2010

Warning buzz

Right now there are millions of bees pollinating blueberries in Maine.
Going Green
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  May 14, 2010

Nature studies

“A bird feeder,” Hamilton writes in her artist statement, “creates an intensified microcosm of the trials and hardships of avian existence.”
New works by Catherine Hamilton and Susan Twaddell
By GREG COOK  |  May 07, 2010

Lady of Leisure’s Prison Memoir

In prison, Piper Kerman had to get used to, among other trials, a bathroom infested with insects.
Crook Book Dept.
By VALERIE VANDE PANNE  |  May 07, 2010

Island ventures

Living on an island can be like living in your parents’ basement.
USM show uncovers Peaks
By NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  March 26, 2010

Beautiful garbage

"Trash" at AS220's Project Space (93 Mathewson Street, Providence, through January 29) focuses on our love-hate relationship with garbage
‘Trash’ — and more — at AS220 and Project Space
By GREG COOK  |  January 22, 2010

Of Doctor Tremendanus and the giant furry jellyfish

It was New Year’s Eve and in the belly of the Roxy nightclub, away from the teeming Bright Night crowds, there were monsters on the loose: creatures with protruding noses, googly eyes, and spindly legs.
 Monsters, Inc.
By ABIGAIL CROCKER  |  January 08, 2010


Group hug

Things aren’t always what they’re called — we know that flying fish don’t fly and starfish aren’t even fish.
The crooked folk of Cuddle Magic
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  December 18, 2009


Rachel Berwick's art is concerned with conjuring ghosts — in particular the spirits of creatures or peoples near extinction or already died out.
Rachel Berwick conjures ghost birds in Zugunruhe
By GREG COOK  |  December 11, 2009

Over the coals

Not so fast, Mike!
Letters to the Boston editor, December 4, 2009
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  December 04, 2009

Review: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Nicolas Cage is at his best in Bad Lieutenant
Knight of the Iguana: Nicolas Cage at his best
By PETER KEOUGH  |  November 27, 2009

We're killing the oceans

I meet world-renowned undersea photojournalist Brian Skerry at Legal Seafoods, across from the New England Aquarium, where he's the explorer in residence. He orders a chicken Caesar salad.
Is it too late to save the seas that sustain us?
By MIKE MILIARD  |  November 20, 2009


Boston rat rampage

Residents say that if you jam a leaf blower in the earth virtually anywhere in Allston, furry bottom feeders will be blown out of every crack and hole in sight and rain down like unsavory screeching meatballs. North Enders joke that something similar wou
Thanks to the global economic collapse, which has stalled initiated construction projects, Boston’s rat population is surging
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 06, 2009

Interview: Lars von Trier of Antichrist

Maybe it’s the blurring effect of the Skype technology through which I’m interviewing him as he sits worried and Buddha-like in his headquarters in Denmark (he has a phobia about airplanes, among other things), but Lars von Trier seems like an okay guy.
The director on the redeeming qualities of Antichrist
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 23, 2009

Monkey Business

Craig Cook remembers when friends tried to draw him out of a deep depression — by offering to get him a monkey.
Boston's an academic city, even for capuchins who attend Brighton's Monkey College, where they are trained to be live-in lifesavers for the disabled
By MIKE MILIARD  |  October 23, 2009


It's not quite right to call "Do It! Show It! Sing It! Work It!" the AS220 biennial.
AS220’s ‘Do It! Show It! Sing It! Work It!,’ and Holly Ewald
By GREG COOK  |  October 23, 2009

Killer plants, ‘without remorse’

On display behind a glass enclosure at the New England Carnivorous Plant Society's seventh annual show was a rare book, not a plant.
Beautiful but Deadly
By RICHARD ASINOF  |  October 02, 2009


No new age

Yes, this Boston jazz trio incorporates the sounds of seals, tree frogs, and crickets. Yes, one of them is a working ecologist. Here's why you shouldn't hold that against them.
Earthsound is for real
By JON GARELICK  |  September 25, 2009

Holy landscape!

Ken Burns worships America's spiritual resource
Ken Burns worships America's spiritual resource
By CLIF GARBODEN  |  September 25, 2009

The queen of Cambodian cooking

Makara Meng, co-owner of Mittapheap World Market, welcomed me to her relative's suburban house in South Portland for an authentic Cambodian dinner.
Her friends call her 'So Peep'
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  September 25, 2009

Hey, hey, we're the Monkees

The law of averages says if you put 100 monkeys in a room with 100 computers, they'll eventually write a workable national health-care bill. Apparently, that rule doesn't apply to 100 US senators.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  September 04, 2009

Review: The Cove

There's something at stake here, and it's not just the conscience of Ric O'Barry, who as the former dolphin trainer for the 1960s television show Flipper feels responsible for the planet's porpoise fetish.
Secret dolphin slaughter revealed
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 07, 2009

bird list

Close encounters

Laura Jacobs, who was the dance critic here at the Phoenix in the mid 1980s, is the author of Landscape with Moving Figures, a collection of writing from the New Criterion that's as polemic as it is poetic. But she's also a novelist. Like Women About
Keep your eye on this Bird
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  August 07, 2009
dogfish list

Every Friday there's an art walk

This Friday, as the first Friday of every month, Portland art-lovers will wander the streets, checking out the latest and greatest our galleries, museums, and shops have to offer. Nearby communities have their own versions, too.
Portland’s creativity is on display any time you care to look
By ANNA PEROCCHI  |  August 07, 2009

Review: In the Loop

Six years ago, Armando Iannucci's slick and merciless political satire might have drawn more blood, but even now it blows away the recent satiric competition with its sharp, sardonic screenplay and uncompromising cynicism.
Armando Iannucci wags the war
By PETER KEOUGH  |  July 24, 2009

Quake and Shake

A tenderhearted yarn spinner tells an anxious little girl a story about a talking bear hawking honey. A nerdy young debt collector comes home to find a six-foot amphibian bent on recruiting him to save Tokyo from a natural disaster. Both scenarios emanat
Company One meshes Murakami; Orfeo compacts the Bard
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  July 24, 2009