The Palindromists: Was it a rat I saw?

By C.J. Hirschfield Longtime word nerds like myself have been delighted by recent documentaries that celebrate letters and the wondrous ways they can be arranged. Films include Obit, about New York Times obituary writers, Wordplay, which covered a major crossword puzzle tournament, as well as Spellbound and Spelling the Dream, which welcomes us into the […]

The Fight…Continues

By C.J. Hirschfield They ride all forms of public transit, lug around pounds of paper, eat on the run, stay in modest hotels where they practice alone in front of the mirror, and lament all of the time they have to spend away from their families. They are the unsung human rights superheroes, and the […]

JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE

by C.J. Hirschfield At age 79, and after 60 years of activism, John Lewis is still organizing; still mobilizing; still legislating. Oh yes, and he’s definitely still dancing. In the illuminating and luminous new documentary, John Lewis: Good Trouble, acclaimed Bay Area director Dawn Porter (Trapped, Gideon’s Army) creatively and conscientiously chronicles the life and […]

OAKTOWN: The Joys of Spicing in Place

by C.J. Hirschfield The experience of walking into Oaktown Spice Shop across from Oakland’s Lake Merritt was unique. You’d stop, inhale deeply, and smile. You’d immediately engage with the staff– and other customers– about what spices they’d suggest for various dishes, and just feel thankful that such a special place exists in the neighborhood.

Cranky– and Curious–about Cuisine

By C.J. Hirschfield When a 97 -year-old cookbook writer is called “the Mick Jagger of Mexican cuisine,” and the “Indiana Jones of food,” you know there’s gotta be a story there. There is, and a fascinating one at that. Directed by Elizabeth Carroll and available for virtual screening now, the new documentary Diana Kennedy: Nothing […]