Arts

7:22am

Sat November 30, 2013
Books News & Features

Sherman Alexie Wants You To Be A 'Superhero' For Indie Bookstores

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:18 pm

Sherman Alexie models an Indies First tote bag. He plans to put in shifts at five Seattle bookstores this Saturday.
American Booksellers Association

Back in September, poet and novelist Sherman Alexie wrote an open letter to a group of people whom he called the "gorgeous book nerds" of the world, asking them to become "superheroes" for independent bookstores.

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7:03am

Sat November 30, 2013
Book Reviews

Emily Dickinson's Envelope Writings: 'Gorgeous' Poetry In 3-D

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 9:42 am

Readers always seem to want to get closer to Emily Dickinson, the godmother of American poetry. Paging through her poems feels like burrowing nose-deep in her 19th century backyard — where "the grass divides as with a comb," as she writes in "A narrow Fellow in the Grass."

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5:41am

Sat November 30, 2013
Theater

Around The U.S., Holiday Theater With Local Flair

Seven In One Blow, which plays at New York City's Axis Theater, is one of many recurring holiday-season productions across the U.S. that bring a distinctly local flavor and history to bear.
Dixie Sheridan

Whatever they are, our holiday traditions tend to be a mixture of the universal and the specific.

If we celebrate Christmas, for instance, we might have stockings and trees just like our neighbors, but we might also be the only ones in town who wear homemade elf hats while we open presents. It's a mix that helps us feel closer to the rest of the culture while reaffirming what's special about our own little community, family and home.

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5:40am

Sat November 30, 2013
The Salt

These Cookbook Photos Redefine What Fresh Seafood Looks Like

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 11:05 am

How to make dead fish look attractive? That's the challenge New York-based duo Shimon and Tammar Rothstein faced when they were hired to do the photography for famed French chef Eric Ripert's book On the Line.
Photos by Shimon and Tammar, Courtesy of Shimon and Tammar

How to make dead fish look attractive? That's the challenge New York-based duo Shimon and Tammar Rothstein faced when they were hired to do the photography for famed French chef Eric Ripert's book On the Line.

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2:55pm

Fri November 29, 2013
Movies

Finding 'Great Beauty' Amid Rome's Corruptions

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 6:49 pm

In The Great Beauty, director Paolo Sorrentino surveys the city of Rome through the eyes of jaded journalist Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), taking in the city's degeneracies alongside its eternal beauties.
Gianni Fiorito Janus Films

Rome is often called the Eternal City, and generations of filmmakers from around the world have sought to capture its enduring beauty on screen.

The new film The Great Beauty is the latest, a picture that casts Rome itself in the title role. After playing to critical acclaim in Europe, it opens in American cinemas this month. The film is also Italy's official entry at this season's Academy Awards.

The Great Beauty is a double-edged portrait, out to capture both the beauty and the ugliness of modern Rome.

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2:55pm

Fri November 29, 2013
Books

A Poet's Advice For Unlikely Partners: Just Dance

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 6:49 pm

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (second from left) shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry next to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (far left) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (far right) after a statement on early November 24, 2013 in Geneva.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Sometime after 3 a.m. on Sunday, international negotiators emerged from a conference room in a Geneva hotel, bearing with them weary smiles and a historic agreement. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and representatives from five other world powers had come together on a deal to freeze the Iranian nuclear program temporarily.

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7:03am

Fri November 29, 2013
Movie Reviews

A Korean Cult Thriller Gets A Spike Lee Makeover

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:04 am

After 20 years in captivity, Joe (Josh Brolin) is released into the world with a hammer and an appetite for revenge in Oldboy, a Spike Lee remake of the 2003 South Korean film.
Hilary Bronwyn Gayle FilmDistrict

Spike Lee's movies typically carry the label "A Spike Lee Joint," but Oldboy doesn't. He calls it "a Spike Lee Film," which my guess is Lee's way of saying he's a gun for hire — and that after a line of box office failures and difficulty getting financing for personal projects, he can make a fast, violent action thriller.

And as it happens, he can — a more-than-decent one. But this is also the first time I've come out of a Spike Lee film, bad or good, and not known why it had to be made. It's brutal, effective and utterly without urgency.

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7:03am

Fri November 29, 2013
Books News & Features

Warp Your Kid's Mind With Some Great Sci-Fi This Holiday Season

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 3:17 pm

Want to warp your little robots? We've got some suggestions.
Charles Taylor/iStockphoto

It worried me when my daughter didn't like Star Wars. Even though I told her there was a princess in it, she was wholly unimpressed and, from the start, a little bit creeped out by Darth Vader and all the stormtroopers. Granted, she was only 6 when I first tried to bring her into the fold of my obsession, but that was twice as old as I'd been when I'd first fallen hard for the original trilogy. It was ... disconcerting.

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5:03pm

Thu November 28, 2013
Movie Reviews

A 'Long Walk' With Mandela, But It Shorts His Story

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 7:10 pm

Idris Elba plays Nelson Mandela in a biographical film based on the former South African president's memoir.
Keith Bernstein The Weinstein Company

Some movies try to underscore their authenticity by flashing dates, names and locations on the screen. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom offers some dates and locations, but not much in the way of names. The result is a history of national transformation in which only two people really seem to matter.

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5:03pm

Thu November 28, 2013
Movie Reviews

Silent For Years, A Riot Grrrl Steps Back To The Mic

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 6:29 pm

Musician and riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna — formerly of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, now with The Julie Ruin — is the fascinating central figure in the biographical documentary The Punk Singer.
Allison Michael Orenstein Opening Band Films

To many baffled outsiders over 40, Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna was a weirdo riot grrrl bopping up and down onstage in her bra and panties, bellowing atonal revenge lyrics at anyone who'd keep her and her fellow women down.

To her ardent young following of 1990s Third Wave feminists, though, Hanna was an alt Messiah, hacking out a space for women in the punk-rock mosh pit and sounding an enraged alarm on behalf of victims of sexual assault.

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