David Denby took on Dogme95, the tongue-in-cheek "vow of chastity" conceived by a group of Danish directors, in the Sept 13 issue of The New Yorker. His no doubt brave and bold effort might seem a little behind the times, given that the Dogme95 manifesto was issued four years ago, exhaustively discussed last year in the wake of Thomas Vinterberg's brilliant film The Celebration, and disparate American talents like Harmony Korine and Paul Morrissey have announced that they intend to make Dogme95-certified movies.

Denby's disquisition on the subject is inspired by the fact that his favorite movies in a recent Danish film series, Bleeder and Pizza King, were not filmed under Dogme95's strictures. (These include using only ambient light, shooting exclusively on location, and setting films in the here and now.) But along the way, he slandered a pair of the best films produced in recent years: Korine's Gummo (not a Dogme95 film), which he sideswipes as "a scuzzball atrocity" which "caused a tiny ripple in 1997" -- making me wonder if he actually saw the movie, or simply read Janet Maslin's near-slanderous misreading of it in The New York Times; and Dogme95 drafter Vinterberg's brilliantly scripted modern-day Greek tragedy The Celebration, which Denby calls, for no apparent reason, "overwrought and glib." Former New York writer Denby was brought in to The New Yorker to shore up the film section, which had been doing just fine in the hands of the deeply funny and very smart Anthony Lane. Denby's humorless carping is certainly no antidote to Lane's fittingly light tone. They're just movies, after all! Relax!

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The 5th Avenue Theatre is shopping for a new artistic director. That's a funny sentence to me. I used to think, in my non-jock way, about the oddity of swimmers and runners having coaches. What do they say to their athletes? "I want you to run really, really fast. In fact, I want you to run so fast you get all the way around the track before any of the other runners do." Similarly, I like to imagine what the artistic director of a touring-musical venue like the 5th Avenue thinks about: "I'm not sure that Grease really speaks to the contemporary condition. We should book Fame instead."

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Kristin Newbom is looking for someone to kiss. Not just anyone; candidates seeking to smooch on the brilliant playwright behind Alles Warpenwüferweft and bluestory must pass an elaborate screening process, including a long quiz which asks such questions as "Who would make a better lover, Superman or Batman?," and "What's cuter, a monkey or a kitten?," or "How many pottles make a gallon?"

The successful candidate had better have a hardy set of kissin' lips, 'cause he's going to be kissing her for a full hour and a half. Why? The makeout session'll be taped for use as a projection in Happy?, the Compound theater collective's fall show at Consolidated Works. As it happens, I recently spoke to New York artist Charles Goldman, who for an art piece, taped himself kissing his then-girlfriend for an hour. The kissin' video didn't directly lead to the breakup of his relationship, but they did have a moratorium on smooching for a while afterwards. Think you have the right stuff? Write to the Compound at 922 NW 50th St. #1, Seattle, WA, 98107.

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