The Apocalypse Art Prize

bring the kids!: Benefactors of the Apocalypse Art Prize are hoping artists will respond to Thomas’ encouragement to explore an artistic language with a long shelf life as well as a source of subjects with endless opportunities “for imaginative representation.”Participation in the competition is free and open to all during the year 2013. Winners will be announce June 1, 2014 and awarded prizes according to the age category of the participant.1. Participants 16 years and older compete for … [Read more...]

Interview with Director Noah Baumbach about “Frances Ha”

in the Washington City Paper: WCP: Along with location, the film’s pop-heavy, throwback soundtrack is also one of the most striking elements. Can you talk about the motivation behind the music?NB: I wanted the music to be big and romantic and celebratory and hopeful. I wanted it to feel good. That was the case with all the pop songs I used, they were all songs that I would always play and immediately want to play again as soon as they’re over. It’s an almost indicative quality to a great pop … [Read more...]

“The Sheep from the Goats”: I review “What Maisie Knew”

at AmCon. Spoilers. There may not be many movies with happy endings more heartless than the one in What Maisie Knew.The new adaptation of Henry James’s novel about divorce as seen through the eyes of a small child does some things really well. All of the acting is great, especially Onata Aprile as six-year-old Maisie and Steve Coogan as her art-dealer father. Cell phones are used terrifically to create a sense of parental distraction, chaos, and irreconcilable conflicting demands.We s … [Read more...]

Hope Stumbles Eternal: “Frances Ha”

The director of The Squid and the Whale made a movie with the star of Damsels in Distress, and it's about friendship between women, forgiveness, and coming to terms with your life. Ordinarily this is the kind of sentence I end with, "...and then I woke up." But no! Frances Ha is real, it's in DC at E St Cinema and Bethesda Row, and it is a really good, small slice-of-life movie. I don't know that it's earthshaking but it is about two hours of Greta Gerwig being thoroughly luminous, with her big … [Read more...]

From George Eliot, “Middlemarch”

This was not the first time that Mr. Bulstrode had begun by admonishing Mr. Vincy, and had ended by seeing a very unsatisfactory reflection of himself in the coarse unflattering mirror which that manufacturer's mind presented to the subtler lights and shadows of his fellow-men; and perhaps his experience ought to have warned him how the scene would end. But a full-fed fountain will be generous with its waters even in the rain, when they are worse than useless; and a fine fount of admonition is … [Read more...]

“All-Weather Friends”: me on Wallace Stegner

at Acculturated: All three novels of marriage I’ve looked at so far have a certain sense of the privacy of marriage, which can become isolation. In fact, the focus has narrowed with each novel: Extended family and community are essential parts of Kristin Lavransdatter, but its heart remains with Kristin’s marriage and home; the isolation of the married couple is part of the point of How to Be Good; and Gilead gains much of its force from the sense that the dying narrator is increasingly sepa … [Read more...]

So Many Steps to Death: Revisiting “Brideshead Revisited”

Hey, so I read Brideshead Revisited again. I was in college the first time. Probably read the entire book drunk. Can't think of a better introduction to it! Anyway, here are some scattered thoughts on re-reading it, all of which are ridiculously spoilerous. Seriously, if you haven't read it, SKIP THIS POST and just go read it. It's short! It's phenomenal. I loved it even more the second time. You'll like it more if you don't know what's coming.* The contrast between the "heavy," plodding … [Read more...]


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