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Excerpts from the blogs of Inquirer critics.

The drive-in: Camden County's mark on film

From Carrie Rickey's "Flickgrrl"


The drive-in, that convergence of two late 19th-century technological innovations, cars and cinema, was born in Camden County one sultry June 75 years ago. "The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are," advertised innovative exhibitor Richard Hollingshead Jr., who opened the first drive-in on Admiral Wilson Boulevard, charging 25 cents, the price of a ducat at a conventional movie house, but offering the advantage of not having to dress up (as people did in those days) or worry about the conduct of your children.

Despite having grown up in Southern California, where drive-ins grew like kudzu, I was too much the movie purist to see films in that context. I liked the industrial architecture of drive-ins, but disliked the tinny sound from the speaker hooked onto the windshield. I saw only one film at one, Sam Peckinpah's

The Killer Elite

(1975), with my brother-in-law, Laurence, at the late, lamented art deco treasure, Los Angeles' Pan Pacific, and we could barely understand the dialogue. Of course, drive-ins weren't really for seeing movies, but for necking, and that's not why we were there.

I was the kind of girl who suggested going necking after the movie.

Still, when I see scenes of drive-ins in movies such as


(1978) and


(1968), or rock odes to the passion pit like "Your Mama Don't Dance," I get nostalgic for an experience I never really had.

Your favorite drive-in movie experience, or song?

Dylan on Obama

From Dan DeLuca's "In the Mix"


Bob Dylan hasn't exactly endorsed Barack Obama. The always elusive, often obfuscating songwriter has been fleeing the Spokesman of a Generation tag ever since it was pinned on him in the 1960s. He once said: "I've never written a political song. Songs can't save the world. I've gone through all that." But he was uncommonly direct when asked last week about American politics by the Times of London.

He said this: "Poverty is demoralizing. You can't expect people to have the virtue of purity when they are poor. But we've got this guy out there now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up - Barack Obama. He's redefining what a politician is, so we'll have to see how things play out. Am I hopeful? Yes, I'm hopeful that things might change. Some things are going to have to."

Dylan talked to the Times because he has an art show opening in London. So there's not much music discussed, though he does say, "The music world's a made-up bunch of hypocritical rubbish," though he probably actually said


, not


. And when asked about what future painting projects he has in mind, he says he's interested in "the idea of a collection based on historically romantic figures. Napoleon and Josephine, Dante and Beatrice, Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas, Brad and Angelina. . . . "

Dylan's back at the Borgata on Aug. 16.

A time for roses

From Virginia Smith's "Kiss the Earth"


Friends are e-mailing photos of their roses, all in spectacular bloom right now. Mine, too, and this


has fueled a desire to buy even more. My current favorites run the gamut from groundcover roses like 'Good and Plenty' - the color of those scrumptious pink and white candies - to 'Happy Chappy,' a pink-gold-apricot that are blooming up a nice, compact storm in the garden, to several fragrant climbers that are doing their thing on the fence out front. I looked for climbers that are repeat bloomers, very disease resistant and fragrant. There is so much hype out there about plants - and roses are no exception. . . .