Arts

5:27pm

Thu March 13, 2014
Movie Reviews

Twins Or 'Enemy' — And What Could It All Mean?

Jake Gyllenhaal acts with stunning control and specificity in his double role as two lookalikes.
Courtesy of A24

Strange and stylish and surpassingly dark, Denis Villeneuve's Enemy — especially paired with the same director's recent cop thriller Prisoners — makes a strong case for star Jake Gyllenhaal as maybe our most enigmatic young leading man.

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5:03pm

Thu March 13, 2014
Movie Reviews

Middle-Aged Souls Channel Teen Rebellion, Just For A 'Week-End'

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 6:33 pm

A middle-aged British couple (Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent) attempts to re-create the sizzle of their Paris honeymoon in Le Week-End, from director Roger Michell.
Music Box Films

Nick and Meg have gotten into a bit of a rut in Le Week-End, and to get out of it they're "celebrating" — if that's the word — their 30th anniversary by heading back to a city they last saw on their honeymoon. Nick has even booked a room in the same hotel — which is not, alas, quite the way Meg remembers it. "Beige," she sniffs.

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5:03pm

Thu March 13, 2014
Movie Reviews

With A Spelling-Bee Subversion, Jason Bateman Breaks Bad

In the central relationship of the brisk comedy Bad Words, Guy Trilby's (Bateman) sour runs up against 10-year-old competitor Chaitanya's (Rohan Chand) sweet.
Focus Features

As the star of Arrested Development, Jason Bateman became best known for being the most mature member of the emotionally stunted Bluth family; the roles that followed were largely of the same tone, casting the actor as the affable, mild-mannered, often put-upon nice guy.

Always playing the straight man amid casts of clowns must have created some built-up performance envy, because in his directorial debut he trades in Mr. Nice Guy for Mr. Guy Trilby, finally getting to play an apparent case of severely arrested development himself.

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5:03pm

Thu March 13, 2014
Movie Reviews

Sex, Smokes, And Deneuve On The Move

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 5:13 am

In a twist of sorts on the typical male- or youth-driven road movie, Catherine Deneuve plays an older woman playing young.
Cohen Media Group

Unhinged by crises both monetary and amorous, a provincial Frenchwoman tells the employees at her restaurant, "I'll be back." Then she takes off in her ancient rattletrap with no escape plan beyond an illicit smoke and a drive to clear her addled head. Turns out she'll be gone a while.

Yes, there's a road movie in Bettie's cards. Yes, there will be formative ordeals. And yes, the payoff will be uplift, along with one of those toothsome al fresco country lunches where Mediterranean types wave their arms around and argue in friendly fashion.

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5:03pm

Thu March 13, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Big Men,' Doing Big Business In Africa's Oil Fields

The big men at the center of Big Men are public, private and everything in between.
Jonathan Furmanski Abramorama

There are three categories of schemers in Big Men, Rachel Boynton's illuminating documentary about the oil business in West Africa: businessmen, politicians and bandits. Sometimes, though, it's hard to tell the types apart.

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5:03pm

Thu March 13, 2014
Movie Reviews

Boy Scouts, Bad Girls And The Hitler Youth

Teenage is composed almost entirely of archival footage, including images of American and British flappers of the 1920s.
Oscilloscope

Painted lips, slicked-back hair and pumping fists form the core of Matt Wolf's documentary Teenage, an impressionistic history of how our concept of the teenager came to be. Composed almost entirely of dazzling archival footage — young people laboring, exercising, fighting, dancing, drinking and playing — the film traces the history of the teenager from the late 19th century to 1945.

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4:47pm

Thu March 13, 2014
Arts & Life

Amtrak Opens The Door To Writing On The Rails

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 6:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Things can take off fast on Twitter. And that's what happened when a couple of writers expressed how much they like riding trains, Amtrak specifically. It started with an idea: Wouldn't it be great if Amtrak would offer writers a chance to ride the rails for free and do some writing along the way? Soon, the idea was being tweeted and retweeted, and Amtrak replied: Sure.

NPR's Leah Binkovitz explains.

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4:47pm

Thu March 13, 2014
Book Reviews

When You Befriend A Killer, You Can't Not Write About It

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 11:07 am

In addition to Blood Will Out, Walter Kirn is the author of four works of fiction and one other work of nonfiction.
Beowulf Sheehan Courtesy of Liveright Publishing

Nonfiction writers often have to go scrounging for their dream subject. They may buy themselves a ticket to some far-flung place, or join an Iditarod team, or start researching a historical figure who seems to have led a colorful life. Sometimes, writers are fortunate enough to already have a personal passion for one subject, and writing a book about it seems only natural.

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3:12pm

Thu March 13, 2014
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

When Art Is Queer

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:48 pm

Sheila Pepe, Your Granny's Not Square, 2008, Crocheted shoelaces and yarn, 84 x 144 x 48 in.
Courtesy of the artist

On Tuesday I visited a small public space in New York City, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. I went there to see an exhibit called Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community and to seek an answer to a question I'd pondered ever since first hearing of the museum the week before:

Is there such a thing as gay and lesbian art?

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2:44pm

Thu March 13, 2014
The Salt

Top 5 Ways Asparagus, A Rite Of Spring, Can Still Surprise

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 6:35 pm

From the botanical to the economic, spring's iconic vegetable still harbors surprises.
Sharon Mollerus/Flickr

As the snow melts, even in Minnesota, and daylight lingers into evening, people who like to eat with the seasons know what's coming: asparagus.

"Asparagus means the beginning of spring. It's spring!" says Nora Pouillon, chef and founder of Restaurant Nora in Washington, D.C. Later this month, she'll revise her menu, and it will certainly include asparagus with salmon, and asparagus soup.

It's an elegant vegetable, Pouillon says, and unique: "Sweet and bitter at the same time."

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