November 14, 2013 |
Master documentarian Frederick Wiseman makes his films his way, and the way he makes them is reflected in how we experience them. "At Berkeley" is Wiseman's 38th doc in 43 years, and each of them, as titles like "Public Housing" and "Boxing Gym" indicate, examines a different institution. "As in all my documentaries," Wiseman writes in "Director's Notes" for his new film, "I had no idea of the themes or structure until I was well advanced in the editing. " Similarly, audiences won't fully understand the themes of this long and thoughtful film until they've experienced it for themselves.
November 14, 2013 |
It seems there is nothing Dana Goodyear won't put in her mouth. Pig ears, beef hearts, crickets, stink bugs and ox penis are just a few of the things she knowingly chews up and swallows. In her new book, "Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture," she goes deep into the counterculture of the foodie movement, unearthing black market butter dealers and unethical caviar hustlers; haute cuisine presented in apartments and endangered species served in pricey sushi bars.
November 13, 2013 |
A portrait of actress Farrah Fawcett created by Andy Warhol is at the center of a legal dispute that is scheduled to head to court on Wednesday. Ryan O'Neal, who had a long relationship with the late actress, is fighting the University of Texas at Austin over possession of the painting, which the university claims to own. The parties are set to square off Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. At the time of her death in 2009, Fawcett bequeathed art that she owned to the University of Texas at Austin, which she attended before hitting it big in Hollywood. The university had reportedly received one Warhol portrait of Fawcett, but O'Neal is in possession of another that is virtually identical.
November 8, 2013 |
History, as we all know, is framed by events. But it also grows from relationships, both personal and political, and is framed by how the actions of particular players in specific circumstances set the course for the future. In her sweeping new history, "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism," Doris Kearns Goodwin focuses on the relationships among Roosevelt, Taft and those pesky muckraking journalists and how their individual behaviors influenced not only one another but also the nation.
November 1, 2013 |
The peril of reading literary short stories is that one tends to encounter characters who behave not like you or me but like the kind of people one finds only in short stories. Despite the realist tradition in which these poor souls are usually trapped, they aren't quite believable. With the subtlety of a train lumbering through town, protagonists dutifully observe the present, reflect on the past and yearn for something in the future that's just out of reach. Although the landscape is familiar, their outsized troubles are compressed to facilitate change and foster closure in a way that isn't achievable in real life.
October 24, 2013 |
Prince George's christening portraits have arrived! OK, now we can officially gush about how cute Prince George is ... Prince William and his wife, Catherine, the former Kate Middleton, baptized their 3-month-old baby Wednesday and have unveiled four highly anticipated official family portraits that were shot by celebrity photographer Jason Bell after the 35-minute ceremony. The tiny prince, who will eventually be named the head of the Church of England when he is crowned, was christened during a small private ceremony at the Chapel Royal in London's St. James's Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury , Justin Welby.
October 17, 2013 |
"Breakfast with Lucian," Geordie Greig's juicy, eye-popping book about Lucian Freud, the notoriously priapic painter best known for raw portraits that stripped his sitters bare in every sense, doesn't pretend to be objective or comprehensive. Greig offers a fond but by no means whitewashed account of how Freud's spectacularly messy life relates to his extraordinary body of work as "the greatest realist figurative painter of the twentieth century. " A grandson of Sigmund Freud, the budding artist escaped from Nazi Germany to England with his family when he was 10, in 1933.
October 16, 2013 |
The Rembrandt self-portrait that the Getty Museum recently purchased for an estimated $25.1 million has been cleared by British authorities for export and is expected to arrive in Los Angeles within one to two weeks, according to Timothy Potts, director of the museum. In May, the Getty announced its purchase of "Rembrandt Laughing" from a dealer. The small-scale oil painting, which depicts the artist with a mirthful expression, is believed to have been created around 1628. Soon after the announcement, British authorities put a freeze on the export license for the work.
October 12, 2013 |
Two presidential campaigns and 40 years of marriage and child-rearing behind her, Ann Romney finds herself in a surprising place: atop the bestseller lists with her own agenda in first position. Romney's new cookbook, "The Romney Family Table," started as an effort to stitch together family recipes. But at a time when her husband Mitt's loss in the 2012 campaign was still raw, she began writing and "it just flowed out. " Critics have mocked the book as a study in domestic perfection served on Oscar de la Renta tableware, but Romney said she wanted to show that their life "wasn't always perfect" and that raising five boys could be more than a little frustrating.
October 10, 2013 |
Returning to the country her family fled years earlier because of persecution by the Khmer Rouge, Kalyanee Mam has crafted a deeply felt portrait of Cambodia. Her documentary "A River Changes Course" is a profile of three families in different parts of the Southeast Asian nation - a remote northern jungle, a floating hamlet on the Tonle Sap River and a village outside Phnomh Penh - that captures the country at a crucial juncture on the industrialization spectrum. However emblematic their struggles are, the people Mam follows over several years are vivid individuals, whether they're facing a poor rice harvest, dwindling fish supplies or deforestation in the name of progress.