Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

The fall of Harvey Weinstein has been rapid in the week since The New York Times reported that he had been settling sexual harassment claims for decades. And as more women tell their stories of upsetting encounters with the powerful film executive, Weinstein's problems are moving beyond his now-tattered reputation to legal and financial troubles.

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A new play in New York centers on Palestinian militants who hid from the Israeli army for over a month in 2002 inside Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity. NPR's Neda Ulaby reports that "The Siege," not surprisingly, is controversial.

In a hospital in the late 1950s, the wheeze and ca-chunk of the respirators sound like the inside of an Industrial Age factory, only the product being churned out is another few seconds of life. Compared to the elegant organism that is the healthy human body, the inflation and collapse of the pump is a tired accordion, and the hose connecting the machine to the patient's neck is bandaged and ungainly.

In the anxious years after World War II, crusaders for decency accused many comic books of promoting deviant behavior. In the case of Wonder Woman, at least, the bluenoses were entirely correct. Some of the vintage Wonder Woman panels reproduced in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women are seriously kinky.

That was intentional and, in a way, high-minded. Briefly a professor of psychology, Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston wanted to bring his DISC theory (Dominance, Inducement, Submission, Compliance) to the pubescent masses.

Near the midpoint of director Dome Karukoski's Tom of Finland, artist Touko Laaksonen (Pekka Strang) sits on a bench, catching up with the man who was once his superior officer when they served in the Finnish army during World War II, years before.

"We've started a motorcycle club," he says. Pauses."Without the motorcycles."

'The Foreigner' Is Cold As Ice

6 hours ago

No ticket-buying constituency is likely to feel well-served by The Foreigner, a chilly marriage of political thriller and latter-day Liam Neeson-style geriatric revenge-o-rama. Neeson, of course, pivoted to the throat-punching game late in his career. Jackie Chan, The Foreigner's top-billed star, has been making action films his entire professional life. As a physical artist, he's of the cinema's all-time all-timers, Buster Keaton and Bruce Lee in one compact, now-63-year-old frame. His athletic gifts have always been buoyed by a warm and likable screen persona.

Our elders didn't warn us enough about the dangers of angry, selfish men, possibly because some of them were angry, selfish men themselves. So consider the films of writer-director Noah Baumbach to be an education. Baumbach has long delighted in mocking the egomaniacs in the art world, crafting biting dark comedies around minor figures with major attitudes. He's come closer than anyone to discovering just where the breaking point lies between talent, stature, and awful behavior.

Producer-director David Fincher is attracted to stories and characters that are dark and complex. That's certainly true of Mindhunter, his new police drama series for Netflix — though the connections that led him there are pretty straightforward.

Way back in 1995, Fincher directed Se7en, the ultraspooky serial-killer drama starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as detectives on the trail of a murderer played by Kevin Spacey.

Sound Opinions Remembers Tom Petty

9 hours ago
soundopinions.org

Monday, October 16, 2017 at 9 PM

Through four decades of success, Tom Petty entertained audiences around the world. Nationally respected rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis pay tribute to a man who defined classic rock. Petty died at age 66 after suffering cardiac arrest in his Malibu home October 2. Throughout the show, Jim and Greg play excerpts from an exclusive Sound Opinions interview with Tom Petty from 2003.

It's not uncommon for comics to be influenced by depression, anxiety or troubled childhoods, but Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon insists his comedy doesn't come from a dark place.

"I was always a happy kid," Fallon says. "I remember there was a report card from kindergarten and the comment from the teacher was, 'Jimmy smiles too much,' which was very interesting. ... I think I would smile even when I was getting yelled at."

With 'Voices In The Dark,' An Artist Missteps

16 hours ago

If you flipped through Voices In the Dark and only paused on certain pages, you might get the wrong impression of artist Ulli Lust. Some of Lust's drawings in this adaptation of Marcel Beyer's World War II novel are startlingly off-putting: ugly, grubby hodgepodges with no sense of composition or artistry. When she draws battlefields, cities in the throes of bomb attacks or streets full of rubble, Lust scribbles ferociously until each page is overfull.

Historical Veggies Take Root In D.C. War Garden

16 hours ago

Rob Gimpel is usually thinking about getting tulip bulbs in the ground this time of year, but right now he's ready to harvest pumpkins.

It's an unusual activity for Gimpel, the lead gardener of the areas around the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., but one that he's been thoroughly enjoying as part of this year's War Garden project. The project commemorates the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War I in 1917 — when such veggie plots — also referred to as "victory" or "liberty" gardens — were first conceived as part of the war effort on the homefront.

The only known Leonardo da Vinci painting in private hands is heading to auction.

The portrait of Jesus Christ, Salvator Mundi, was only recently confirmed to be by Leonardo. This piece was thought to be a copy of a destroyed original. And it's still not clear where the painting was, exactly, for more than a century.

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