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Excerpts from the blogs of Inquirer critics.

Playboy-taming virgins

From Carrie Rickey's "Flickgrrl"



In the laugh du jour department, this arcane bit of movie scholarship: men-about-town who settle down once they meet that special virgin. The Top 5, says E-Verse Radio, at http:// Pillow Talk (1959); Bedtime Story (1964); That Touch of Mink (1962); Gigi (1958); and On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).

This list is good as far as it goes, but it is far from comprehensive.

This underexplored subgenre of the romantic comedy flourished in the 1950s, that decade of double whiskeys and double standards. My personal favorite is The Tender Trap (1955), with Frank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds. (The Tender Trap is a good name for this type of film.) Les Girls (1957, with Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall, and Taina Elg) is pretty terrific, as is the Audrey Hepburn virgin-athon Love in the Afternoon (1957, with Gary Cooper), Funny Face (1957, with Fred Astaire), and Sabrina (1954, with William Holden and Humphrey Bogart). Oh, yes, and Flower Drum Song (1961, with James Shigeta and Miyoshi Umeki) and the original Where the Boys Are (1960, with George Hamilton and Dolores Hart), a surprisingly sharp group portrait of what were then called good girls and nice girls. In the modern era, I suppose Clueless (1995) could be included. Am I missing any playboy-taming virgins?

Nauman show & the art of refabrication

From Peter Dobrin's "ArtsWatch" artswatch

VENICE, Italy - A few of the nearly three dozen works in the Bruce Nauman show at the Venice Biennale are not the original works, but second editions refabricated with the permission of the owners. Among them are the Vices and Virtues neon ringing the top of the U.S. Pavilion, and, at the Universita Iuav di Venezia at Tolentini, Pink and Yellow Light Corridor (Variable Lights) from 1972.

The creation of an "exhibition copy" allows everyone to have their cake and eat it, too. The owner gets the prestige factor of the work's having been shown at the Biennale without having run the risk of damage by transporting it. And exhibition organizers, in this case the Philadelphia Museum of Art, can have the works they want represented.

Some refabricated pieces, made in workshops in Chicago and Venice, were re-created especially for Venice, and others had been previously re-created.

What happens to these officially endorsed impostors once the show is over?

Sometimes they are destroyed, said Alice Beamesderfer, the Philadelphia Museum of Art's head of curatorial affairs, while others live on to travel once again when a museum makes a request to borrow. The concept of refabricating might be antithetical to a world that traffics in the concept of authenticity. Then again, Beamesderfer points out, contemporary art sometimes uses materials that leave you no choice.

She remembers a piece at the museum that used real potatoes. After a while they just needed to be replaced.