Books and Arts

"Zero Dark Thirty" Has All the Depth of a John Wayne Movie
December 21, 2012

Chastain's character has the depth and personality of a placard, but if you like World War II films, you’ll enjoy this.

"You Might Even Say It Blows!"
December 21, 2012

Have we reached the end of the pop Christmas canon?

Bret Easton Ellis, Twitter Psycho
December 20, 2012

Is his social-media presence performance art, or just a bored guy looking for attention?

Why Can't Hollywood Get Technology Right?
December 19, 2012

Why are shows like "Homeland" so bad at depicting how technology actually works?

How Ravi Shankar Paved the Way for the Concert for Sandy Relief
December 14, 2012

Ravi Shankar--who died this week at 92--established the model for the all-star benefit concert.

The Beauty and Inhumanity of Oscar Niemeyer’s Architecture
December 12, 2012

Don’t believe it when you read that Oscar Niemeyer, the Brazilian architect who died this week only days before he would have turned 105, was the one who took the chill off modernist design with his flamboyantly curving, white thin-shell concrete buildings. That’s the sort of nonsense that gets peddled in obituaries and haigiographies, particularly when a charismatic charmer distorts the historical record to inflate his own contribution, takes credit for the innovations of others, and outlives—by decades!—his competitors.

The Best Movie of the Year: Michael Haneke's Amour
December 12, 2012

Amour is an unsentimental film about an intense, selfish love,

The Mystery Behind Frank O’Hara’s Most Famous Poem
December 10, 2012

IN SEPTEMBER 1966, a reading took place at New York University’s Loeb Center, near Washington Square. Less than two months had passed since Frank O’Hara’s death on Fire Island, and the event took on the flavor of a memorial for the recently departed poet. In his memoir, the poet’s longtime roommate Joe LeSueur recalled listening in shock as Kenneth Koch read a remarkable poem of O’Hara’s, which, until that moment, it seemed no one had ever heard. “We were not only moved by the poem,” LeSueur wrote, “but mystified as well.

The Many Wonders of Christopher Walken
December 07, 2012

Walken is one weird dude. But he's also so much more than that.

How A Sixties Pop Singer Became One of Today's Finest Vocalists
December 07, 2012

Few sons have the chance Bill Charlap has had, a chance to watch his mother grow up. Charlap, the jazz pianist, is appropriately revered as an interpretive musician of rare taste and sensitivity. On and off since 2005, he has performed and recorded with Sandy Stewart, the veteran singer of popular standards—who is also one of Charlap’s parents.

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