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Article Archive for August 2012

Interview: Compliance Writer-Director Craig Zobel

August 31st, 2012
Interview: Compliance Writer-Director Craig Zobel

Written and directed by Craig Zobel, the tremendous psychological drama Compliance is based on a series of true crimes in which a man pretending to be a police officer “prank”-called fast-food restaurants. Over the phone, often over the course of hours, the caller used a mix of manipulation, coercion, flattery, and sometimes bullying to convince […]

Book Review: Venice from the Water

August 31st, 2012
venice from the water

Before the advent of modern times, every visitor to Venice approached the city slowly, from the water – and according to a visually-stunning new book, Venetians very much wanted it that way.

Interview: For a Good Time Call… Star Ari Graynor, Co-star and Co-writer Lauren Miller, Co-writer Katie Anne Naylon, and Director Jamie Travis

August 30th, 2012
Interview: For a Good Time Call… Star Ari Graynor, Co-star and Co-writer Lauren Miller, Co-writer Katie Anne Naylon, and Director Jamie Travis

When Katie Anne Naylon and Lauren Miller first met at college a decade ago, they couldn’t have known the basics of their experience (their completely different personalities and styles, Katie’s past work as a phone-sex operator) would inspire their co-authored For a Good Time Call… screenplay. The R-rated but charming raunch-com For a Good Time […]

Book Review: Venice & Vitruvius

August 30th, 2012
venice and vitruvius

The ancient Roman architect Vitruvius influenced the Renaissance architect Alberti, who in turn influenced the architect Palladio and the humanist Barbaro – a strong new book traces the genealogy.

Interview: Lawless’ Matt Bondurant, Author of The Wettest County in the World

August 29th, 2012
Interview: Lawless’ Matt Bondurant, Author of The Wettest County in the World

In 2008, author Matt Bondurant published his second novel, The Wettest County in the World, a fictionalized historical account of his own grandfather and grand uncles’ real-life experiences as rural-Virginia moonshiners in the early 1930s. Bondurant based the novel on family stories and historical records from Franklin County, Virginia, about his grandfather Jack Bondurant and […]

CD of the Week – Homage to Glenn Gould

August 29th, 2012

Glenn Gould would have turned 80 next month; his legacy is celebrated with a diverse and sometimes instrumentally daring homage

Book Review: Venice – History of the Floating City

August 27th, 2012

A new social history of Venice takes readers well beyond the myth and delves into the lives of the people – princes, merchants, women, immigrants – who brought the city to life

Guest Movie Review: The Apparition

August 27th, 2012
6Technology, the replacement for thinking on your own

The Twilight film series will finally be coming to a close this fall, and with it the free rides of many of the young actors and actresses who made names for themselves in their roles …

Book Review: The Men Who Would Be King

August 27th, 2012
the men who would be king

Elizabeth I’s radical decision to remain unmarried gave hope to every aspiring suitor in the Western world – a new reprint marches us quickly through the usual suspects.

Book Review: Dialectical Disputations

August 25th, 2012
dialectical disputations vol 2

Lorenzo Valla, whose exposure of the “Donation of Constantine” was the opening salvo of modern humanism, spent years writing one long argument with Aristotle, now fully translated for the first time.

Now in Paperback: Fear Itself

August 23rd, 2012
cap speaks

In one of Marvel Comics’ grandest recent story-arcs, the Avengers square off against the Norse god of fear and his mind-controlled hammer-wielding henchmen

From the Archives: DC Comics Classics Library

August 23rd, 2012
kryptonite nevermore

DC Comics Classics Library
The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Life and Death of Ferro Lad
Jim Shooter (script)
Curt Swan (art)
Superman: Kryptonite Nevermore
Denny O’Neil (script)
Curt Swan (art)
DC Comics, 2009
The most common misconception about comic books is that they’re …

Book Review: The Lucky Ones

August 22nd, 2012

An emotionally stunning memoir about Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, where animals once fated for the slaughterhouse are given normal, happy lives

From the Archives: Buffalo in the House

August 22nd, 2012
buffalo, in the house

A Buffalo in the House, The Extraordinary story of Charlie and His Family
R. D. Rosen
Random House, 2007
Now out in paperback is R.D. Rosen’s entertaining and enormously moving A Buffalo in the House, the story of …

CD of the Week – Nicola Benedetti

August 22nd, 2012

Wunderkind violinist Nicola Benedetti delivers her best album to date with this thoughtful selection of concertos and film themes

Guest Movie Review: ParaNorman

August 20th, 2012
5I swear, it started as a lava lamp!

A creepy, touching stop-motion masterpiece from the creators of “Coraline”

Book Review: The Kingmaker’s Daughter

August 20th, 2012
the kingmaker’s daughter

Best-selling author Philippa Gregory’s new novel tells the story of Anne and Isabel Neville, the Wars of the Roses … and a certain misunderstood bad boy.

Book Review: Terrible Swift Sword

August 19th, 2012
terrible swift sword

An engaging – perhaps a touch too engaging – new biography of fourth four-star general in U.S. history: Phil Sheridan

Interview: ParaNorman’s Writer and Co-Director Chris Butler and Co-Director Sam Fell

August 17th, 2012
Interview: ParaNorman’s Writer and Co-Director Chris Butler and Co-Director Sam Fell

It seems the world of animated features for children is forever growing more crowded, more competitive, louder, and more about marketing and studio brands than genuinely imaginative and entertaining works. But every year (a couple times, if we’re lucky) an animated film comes along that doesn’t pander to kids and fast-food toys and leaves grown up […]

Classics Reissued: The Brontes

August 17th, 2012
the brontes

The passionate, complicated Bronte family is the subject of Juliet Barker’s massive, definitive biography, now given a sumptuous new edition

Book Review: James Madison

August 16th, 2012
james madison

An accessible, well-researched new biography takes a largely approving look at America’s fourth president, James Madison.

Guest Blu-Ray Review: The Lorax

August 15th, 2012
the lorax and zac efron

Dr Seuss’ beloved children’s classic about environmentalism gets a less-than-lovable Hollywood remake

Guest Movie Review: The Bourne Legacy

August 14th, 2012
6We’ll see this face-off sometime in the future

Jeremy Renner steps into Matt Damon’s action-shoes in the latest instalment of the “Bourne” series!

Book Review: The Oxford Handbook of Thomas Middleton

August 13th, 2012
oxford handbook of thomas middleton

A magnificent multi-voiced celebration of the weird and wild career of that Jacobean jack-of-all-trades, Thomas Middleton

Book Review: Fatal Colours

August 12th, 2012
Fatal Colours

A lively new account of the bloodbath of Towton, one of the key battles of the Wars of the Roses

Interview: Celeste and Jesse Forever’s Co-Writers and Co-Stars Rashida Jones and Will McCormack

August 10th, 2012
Interview: Celeste and Jesse Forever’s Co-Writers and Co-Stars Rashida Jones and Will McCormack

These days, for the sake of promotion, it doesn’t hurt for a smaller indie film to have a “meet cute” story behind it. In the case of the alt-minded romantic comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever, the hook is that co-writers Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation, Our Idiot Brother) and Will McCormack dated briefly but intensely […]

Book Review: Spartacus – Morituri

August 10th, 2012

In the latest spin-off novel from the hit “Spartacus” TV series, a spectre of death is haunting our gladiators even when they’re not at work!

Book Review: The Spymaster’s Daughter

August 10th, 2012
the spymaster’s daughter

The daughter of Queen Elizabeth I’s chief of espionage has a mind of her own, and in addition to being a dutiful wife to Sir Philip Sidney, she has the makings of an intrepid intelligencer.

Book Review: Star Trek: Forgotten History

August 9th, 2012

All the time-jaunts of the legendary U.S.S. Enterprise, contained – and explained – in one novel? Inconceivable!

Book Review: Jack 1939

August 9th, 2012
jack 1939

The improbable star of Francine Mathews’ new WWII-era spy thriller: a thin, frail, relatively obscure ambassador’s son from Brookline, Massachusetts named Jack Kennedy.

CD of the Week – Clifford Curzon

August 8th, 2012

A teeming new multi-volume box-set from Decca showcases the magisterial piano performances of Clifford Curzon

Now in Paperback: Demon Fish

August 6th, 2012
watson and the shark

Now in paperback: Juliet Eilperin’s gripping and personality-filled study of sharks and the people who study them

Guest Movie Review: Total Recall

August 6th, 2012
6Somehow I don’t think quotI didn’t do itquot will work

Critics tend to scoff at remakes. To many, these copies represent the worst that Hollywood has to offer, blatantly repeating stories that were successful in the past, rather than risk trying anything new. As movie …

Comics: Legion of Super-Heroes – Hostile World

August 4th, 2012
element lad

Legion of Super-Heroes: Hostile World
Paul Levitz (script)
Francis Portela (art)
DC Comics, 2012
The company-wide “New 52” reboot that DC Comics has used to re-envision (and, they hope, revitalize) their comic book line is nearly a year old. …

CD of the Week – Arnold Schoenberg’s Songs

August 1st, 2012

Who knew that the avant-garde Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg wrote so many songs? They’re brought together in a revealing new four-disc collection.

Gore Vidal

August 1st, 2012
Gore Vidal

For most of your long life, you looked to this uneasy translation with a mixture of dread and prurience, and now it’s upon you (“townsman of a stiller town,” from a poem you professed to …

Those Feet

August 1st, 2012

This summer’s London Olympics take us back to 1981’s Chariots of Fire, the 1924 Olympics, and the poetry of William Blake. The connection? All remind us of the fragility of glory and our endless wish to make the past present.

We Could Have Beaten Kennedy…

August 1st, 2012

Lyndon Johnson rained destruction on Vietnam and championed civil rights, amassed a secret fortune and fought for the needy. His paradoxical life continues in the fourth volume of Robert Caro’s epic biography.

A Certain Kind of Loneliness: Thoughts on Bri Hurley’s Making a Scene

August 1st, 2012

“I was seething with unchanneled anger, frustration, and a maddening inability to express myself. In other words, I was perfect for hardcore.” Steve Danziger on a misspent youth at CBGB.

The Adam of Your Labors

August 1st, 2012

Expensive new Batman movies have become a Hollywood ritual, but the character has been thrilling readers – and reflecting a constantly-shifting culture – for seventy years

Today He Wrote Something

August 1st, 2012

Matvei Yankelevich’s poetry may seem direct and plainspoken, but as a new collection shows, his verse reveals a long battle with the uncertainty of language.

Divorce Corps

August 1st, 2012

History’s most famous divorce shook the world and changed history, but it took much more than a king snapping his fingers to make it happen – obscure men on fast horses risked their livelihoods and their lives to line up the paperwork.

Good in the Good Sense: Antonio Machado

August 1st, 2012

The great Antonio Machado loved his native Spain and was disgusted by its descent into fascism; that fusion of enchantment and grief vivifies his unforgettable poetry.

A Writ of Certiorari

August 1st, 2012

A contentious Supreme Court in the headlines is hardly a new thing – nor is the Court being used for partisan politics and the brinksmanship of history, as Noah Feldman’s Scorpions makes clear

Photographic Fictions

August 1st, 2012

“A few years ago I started sleepwalking, and (while inconvenient) this is kind of exciting to me, because it’s pretty much exactly the mood I’m going for in anything I create.” — a chat with cover artist Adrianne Mathiowetz

One More Favor

August 1st, 2012

a poem

American Aristocracy: The Gods of Copley Square – Fanfare

August 1st, 2012

HH Richardson waxing, Louis Sullivan watching: America’s first school of architecture at MIT. To science and technology add art and religion, and immigrants sculpting the sister of the Statue of Liberty.

It’s a Mystery: “Every man has his price”

August 1st, 2012

Two scalpel-sharp political thrillers that mark the welcome return of the thoroughly winning, charismatic protagonists: Charlie Muffin and Joe DeMarco.

‘Glory, Maiden, Glory!’: The Uncomfortable Chivalry of Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe

August 1st, 2012

You think you know Ivanhoe: it’s the original swash-buckling adventure story, full of fights, escapes, ambushes, and then, of course, a happy ending. But what you see if you look more closely may make you think twice about its chivalric ideals.

Aloof in Ceasar’s Empire

August 1st, 2012

In Soviet Russia, Joseph Brodsky was persecuted by the authorities, but memorized by ordinary people. In the capitalist West, he was feted by the authorities, but ignored by ordinary people. Perhaps it’s just as well he thought reality “nonsense or a nuisance.”

Appearing As Edgar’s Father

August 1st, 2012

Bostonians take pride in the fact that Edgar Allen Poe was born in their city, but there’s a good deal more to the story of that birth than literary tourists ever learn – indeed, there may be more to it than anybody’s ever known.

A Man Without Divisions

August 1st, 2012

“He calls you a swine,” Walter Lippmann once wrote of H.L. Mencken, “and he increases your will to live.” A reissue of Mencken’s 1926 rabble-rouser Notes on Democracy shows the journalist at his insulting, rejuvenating best.

August 2012 Issue

August 1st, 2012

from Useful Fictions by Adrianne Mathiowetz