Monthly Archives: November 2012

49 posts

The Walking Dead Recap: “Say the Word” (Season 3, Episode 5)

I went out of town at precisely the wrong moment (though being in Washington, DC on election night was a thrill) and missed recapping arguably the most important episode of the series so far. Rest in peace, Lori, T-Dog, and Carole (?), and mazel tov on the new addition! It’s […]

Vincent van Gogh: Self-Portrait with Straw Hat

Art Review: Becoming Van Gogh, Denver Art Museum

But it was at that moment that he discovered Japanese prints, rapidly assimilating all he could of a tradition of two-dimensional design defined by line and color, rather than depth and shadow. The compositions of Japanese masters such as Hokusai and Hiroshige seem to have provided Van Gogh with an aesthetic framework, a way of constructing images more congenial to him than the Classical tradition of the west.

Book Review: Through the Eye of a Needle by Peter Brown

Brown writes that Christian leaders had to carefully deploy Church resources, spiritual and financial, to create a new society to take over after the Roman one had collapsed. In the place of Roman municipal buildings and fortresses came Christian basilicas, monasteries and what Brown brilliantly calls “a coral reef of institutions devoted to intercession,” hospitals, hostels and eventually schools administered by the Church. This was the civilization of the Middle Ages, the foundation of a new vision for the Western world.

Movie Review: Lincoln

As expected, Day-Lewis breathes life into Abraham Lincoln. And, as expected, he’s fantastic to watch, even if this isn’t a “call the Academy Award race for Best Actor over!” performance. From his work alone, Day-Lewis gives a humility and humanity to the ex-President that the script by Tony Kushner simply cannot achieve.

Movie Review: Skyfall

Our latter-day Bond, played to perfection by Daniel Craig, has re-energized the character created by novelist Ian Fleming and encompasses both the class and style typified by Bond in the early years of the now five-decade old franchise. The super spy’s latest outing, Skyfall (a.k.a Bond 23), is not only a humble homage to the earliest films (Dr. No, Goldfinger), but also a gigantic leap forward in terms of the character’s mythology which has been, up until now, rather blurry.

Movie still: Vincent Cassel as Jacques Mesrine

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Mesrine: Killer Instinct, Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 — #51

Jacques Mesrine was one of the most notorious criminals in France during the 1960s and 1970s. Part John Dillinger, part John Gotti, the egotistical bank robber, kidnapper and escape artist became a hero in the French tabloids and in the working class slums of cities like Paris and Marseilles despite his penchant for violence and cruelty.

Early Review: John Dies At The End Starring Paul Giamatti

The lead two actors have good chemistry, Clancy Brown is always a welcome sight, and the script is funny. Even when the plot falters, the movie maintains its sense of humor and commitment to the premise of showing how two painfully average 20-somethings would fare when given the task of saving the Earth.

Book Review: Prosperous Friends by Christine Schutt

A mile wide and an inch deep? Not Christine Schutt’s Prosperous Friends. Quite the opposite. It’s a compact 205-page spare-prose novel with a wickedly deceptive rose-colored antimacassar of a book jacket. With those rudimentary tools, it rips the façade off of marriage, much the way a smiling nurse s l o w l y eases a bandage from your wound, and then when you’re good and trusting, rips off the entrenched last bit.