Books and Arts

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.

Martha Stewart: Original Hipster
December 06, 2012

For the past twenty-plus years, The Martha Stewart Empire (not its real name, of course, but who doesn’t think of it that way?)—led by their taupe pant-suited leader—has dutifully monitored the cult of domesticity. The media has gleefully followed Martha’s ups and downs. With recent news of major financial blunders, Martha Stewart may be down, but don’t count her out.

A Terrifying New Quasi-Documentary About a Woman's Mysterious Death
December 05, 2012

Joyce Carol Vincent lay dead in her London flat for three years before being found. A disturbing new film asks how this could have happened.

Jeff Zucker Is Just What CNN Needs: A Theatrical Tyrant
November 29, 2012

What’s an old-timey media brand being murdered by the Zeitgeist to do? There’s the Washington Post route: Hire a series of quietly competent executives to manage the inevitable decline, while investing in more booming sectors, like hospice care. Or you can go for the flash and the buzz, the zazz and the bling, by bringing on the former wunderkind who ran into a rough patch but seems destined for a comeback. You can go for Jeff Zucker. CNN has chosen door number two.

Life of Pi's Clumsy 3D Storytelling
November 28, 2012

 “I think it's one of the most noble risks we have ever taken.” This comes from an executive at Twentieth Century Fox, the studio that gave us Sunrise, Shirley Temple, and The Robe. When a corporation has ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, talk of nobility is often a warning sign of stupidity. So sane producers may have read Yann Martel’s 2001 novel, seen that it was selling 9 million copies across the world, and concluded that there was no need for a movie of Life of Pi—the same escape clause I raised a week ago in connection with the latest Anna Karenina.

Ironing Out the Wrinkles—The Complexities of Madeleine L’Engle
November 27, 2012

Leonard S. Marcus’s Listening for Madeleine responds directly to Cynthia Zarin’s image-distorting New Yorker profile.

Blue Rooms: The Sad, Slicing Lyrics of Lorenz Hart
November 26, 2012

IN 1962, ALMOST TWENTY years after the lyricist Lorenz Hart’s death, his melodist partner Richard Rodgers told Diahann Carroll that “you can’t imagine how wonderful it feels to have written this score and not have to search all over the globe for that little fag.” Ouch. And yet, as Gary Marmorstein’s thoroughgoing—if occasionally conjectural—biography makes clear, Hart seems to have thought even less of himself than Rodgers did.

The Hirshhorn Bubble Exposes the Problem with Event Art
November 20, 2012

The Hirshhorn wants to get into the spectacle game. It should stay on the sidelines instead.

Law School Confidential—How to Fix Legal Education
November 20, 2012

It might be time not just to rely on law schools to change themselves, but to encourage or even require them to change.