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Posted inArts & Culture

Cafe Lumiere

Hou Hsiao-hsien’s most minimalist film to date (2003) is a bracing return to form, a provocative and haunting look at Tokyo and the overall drift of the world that’s slow to reveal its secrets and beauties. Commissioned by the Japanese studio Shochiku as an homage to its famous house director Yasujiro Ozu, it references Ozu […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Katrina: State of Emergency

What with all the scandals and indictments since Katrina, it’s easy to forget that Bushco’s bungling of the matter occurred recently, just over four months ago. And the disaster got a lot of play in the media–especially as the backdrop against which, journalists assure us, they finally rediscovered their balls. Perhaps as a result, this […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Torture Question

The decision to use torture at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib can be traced to the highest levels in U.S. government, and much of the value of this excellent documentary by Michael Kirk, broadcast on PBS’s Frontline last October, lies in its comprehensively mapping how the policy got carried out. Kirk reveals the pecking orders and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Juan Carmona

Guitarist Juan Carmona was born and raised in Lyon, France, but his roots are in Spain, and he has a deep affinity for Spanish flamenco in its purest form. He began playing guitar at ten and later moved to Paris, where he studied and eventually taught flamenco at the National Conservatory of Music. But in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kathie Klarreich

Early on in her stay in Port-au-Prince, writes Kathie Klarreich in her new memoir, Madame Dread: A Tale of Love, Vodou, and Civil Strife in Haiti (Nation Books), she saw a crowd and followed it. It led to the temporarily unoccupied home of a retired general, where people were engaged in dechoukaj, or “uprooting”–systematically and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Valentine Victorious

Here endeth “The Valentine Trilogy,” which follows a single character–often, but not exclusively, known as Elliot Dodge–through adventures in three pop genres. The first installment was a western; the second, a samurai tale; and this one is a superhero saga set in 1930s Chicago. Think Road to Perdition meets Stupendous Man from Calvin and Hobbes. […]