Jews, Swedes, and the Shoah, and other films
October 19, 2012

Reviewing new French, Swedish, and Swiss films.

Tarzan turns 100
October 05, 2012

What the Spanish-American War can tell us about the ideological core of the original Tarzan story:

The Square and the Flair
August 02, 2012

BEFORE HE EARNED his reputation as one of the best ad men in politics, before he wrote for several major television shows, and long before he became Mitt Romney’s top campaign strategist, Stuart Stevens found himself in Cameroon, face to face with a machine-gun-wielding soldier looking to shake him down. It was 1988, and a few weeks earlier, Stevens had deposited himself in the nearby Central African Republic to pick up a friend’s Land Rover and drive it back to France. But the trip was a disaster from the get-go. Local officials confiscated the car and refused to release it.

The Universalist
August 02, 2012

Before 2013 begins, catch up on the best of 2012. From now until the New Year, we will be re-posting some of The New Republic’s most thought-provoking pieces of the year. Enjoy. ALONZO KING is not a celebrity. He is virtually unknown outside the dance world, and even to insiders he is something of an outsider, a choreographer-monk working away with a small troupe of devoted dancers in San Francisco. It is not that his work has gone unrecognized: he has won dozens of awards and made ballets for companies as diverse as the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and the Royal Swedish Ballet.

Aurora and Batman
July 24, 2012

How startling to see the speed with which the film business can respond to audience taste. Within hours of the massacre at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, (far quicker than the removal of the Joe Paterno statue), Warner Brothers were in action. Premieres in Paris and Tokyo were cancelled. Most of the players in the movie—writer-director Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, and Anne Hathaway—issued statements of sorrow.

Street Fighting Man: How a Former Anarchist Revolutionary Plans to Save Europe
July 13, 2012

Europe's 1960s protest movement sought to chart a path to political power in the interest of a socialist agenda—a “long march through the institutions” is what they called it.

The Lost Leader
July 12, 2012

James Joyce: A New Biography By Gordon Bowker (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 608 pp., $35) THERE ARE CERTAIN artistic geniuses who demand that we should know their lives in detail, since for them the story of their lives is a living component of thewider story of their art. In this new biography of James Joyce—the first major one since Richard Ellmann’s monumental Life, now fifty years old—we encounter again an oft-told tale.

Stanley Kauffmann on Films: Older Times and Now
July 12, 2012

The Well Digger’s Daughter Farewell, My Queen Gypsy THAT ENDEARING AND ENDURING French actor Daniel Auteuil, who was born in 1950, whose first film was in 1974, and who has since then made several dozen, has had an unusual idea. He has chosen to re-make a film that was famous before he was born and to make his directing debut with it. Also, we might say, his second acting debut.

Anatomy of a Wishful Viral Rumor
July 05, 2012

The 2012 campaign isn’t the first to be marked by rumors and distortions. But it’s already setting new land-speed records for the time it takes a tossed-off comment or flat-out falsehood to develop into a “fact” accepted by half the political world. The “report” that Obama would be traveling to Paris to hold a European fundraiser on the Fourth of July was just the latest example of partisan lying.  Every time it happens, supporters of the rumor’s target bemoan the gullibility of their partisan counterparts. How could anyone think Obama was born in Kenya?!

The Alibi of Ambiguity
June 07, 2012

Unlikely Collaboration: Gertrude Stein, Bernard Faÿ, and the Vichy DilemmaBy Barbara Will (Columbia University Press, 274 pp., $35)   IdaBy Gertrude Stein Edited by Logan Esdale (Yale University Press, 348 pp., $20)   Stanzas in Meditation: The Corrected EditionBy Gertrude Stein Edited by Susannah Hollister and Emily Setina (Yale University Press, 379 pp., $22) ON SEPTEMBER 29, 1951, an oddly dressed young woman appeared in an alley adjacent to the municipal hospital in Angers, a town southwest of Paris.