Arts & Life

Book Reviews
7:02 am
Fri February 7, 2014

You'll Get Lost In The Haunted World Of 'Annihilation'

Eric Nyquist Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 11:25 am

I sat down with Jeff VanderMeer's new book, Annihilation, on a snowy afternoon, cracked it open, and hated it from word one.

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Fine Art
3:28 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Behind The Movie, Tales From The Real-Life 'Monuments Men'

Ettlinger at age 22, after his stint in the army.
Courtesy George Ettlinger

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 4:17 pm

It's not often that a big-budget Hollywood film turns its attention to art historians and curators. But that's the subject of The Monuments Men, opening this weekend at a multiplex near you.

George Clooney stars in and directs the story, about a special group of soldiers tasked with protecting the masterpieces of European culture during the chaos of World War II and its aftermath. But as you might expect, the real story of the Monuments Men — and women — is messier and less glamorous than the Hollywood version.

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Movie Reviews
7:16 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Plenty Of Heart, Not Much Art In 'Monuments Men'

Frank Stokes (George Clooney), Walter Garfield (John Goodman) and Sam Epstein (Dimitri Leonidas) are part of a World War II platoon ordered to rescue stolen art from the Nazis in The Monuments Men, directed by George Clooney.
Claudette Barius Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:04 pm

There's a fascinating tale to be told in The Monuments Men, George Clooney's new film based on the true story of a search for looted art stolen by the Nazis during World War II. In real life, with fighting still raging on the battlefields of Europe, a small team of art experts searched urgently for tens of thousands of missing paintings and sculptures. The movie's audience will search for something a little different.

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Movie Reviews
6:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

'Lego Movie': A Goofy Toy Story That Genuinely Clicks

In The Lego Movie, ordinary-guy Emmet (Chris Pratt) is expected to save the world with the help of a rebellious crew that includes Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman).
Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:24 pm

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Movie Reviews
5:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

A Horror Comedy With 'Everything' And Then Some

Simon Pegg (Sean of the Dead, Star Trek) plays Jack, a writer gone paranoid while working on a book about 19th-century murderers.
Gaiam Vivendi

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Movie Reviews
5:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

The Holocaust Recalled, Again, Through The Eyes Of 'The Unjust'

In 1975, Shoah director Claude Lanzmann interviewed Benjmain Murmelstein, the last surviving Elder of the Jews of the Czech Theresienstadt ghetto, at his home in Rome. The resulting film is The Last of the Unjust.
Cohen Media Group

With a running time of more than nine hours, Claude Lanzmann's monumental 1985 documentary, Shoah, was never destined to become a mass audience draw. But this sober, taxing, utterly absorbing attempt to document the Holocaust grows ever more essential precisely as our collective memory is increasingly eroded by the reductive shorthand of emaciated bodies or piles of shoes discarded by concentration-camp inmates as they went to their terrible fate. For Lanzmann, understanding trumps empathy.

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Movie Reviews
5:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Family Matters, With A Dose Of Pharmaceuticals

Josiane Balasko and Michel Blanc
A BORREL Courtesy of Rialto

Josiane Balasko's Demi-Soeur suggests that modern pharmaceuticals can abet the storytelling in an old-fashioned sentimental farce: A dose of Ecstasy is all that's required to activate the relationship between Nenette (Balasko), a 60-year-old with the understanding of a first-grader, and her previously unknown half-brother Paul (Michel Blanc).

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Book Reviews
4:51 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Book Review: 'Trieste,' by Dasa Drndic

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's been nearly 70 years since the end of World War II, but Croatian writer Dasa Drndic makes the war and its countless horrors feel fresh and urgent in her latest novel "Trieste." Ellen Elias-Bursac translated the book into English.

Alan Cheuse with our review.

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Author Interviews
4:51 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Perfume's Scents Of Subversion? Sweat, Musk And Patchouli

A combination of musk with a traditional floral scent made Chanel No. 5 a revolutionary fragrance.
Hiroko Masuike AP

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:55 pm

Barbara Herman has spent the better part of the past six years taking a deep nosedive into the world of vintage fragrances. Her quest has been to find the bold, sexy and downright odd smells that have defined women over the decades.

The result is a book called Scent And Subversion: Decoding A Century Of Provocative Perfume. It explains how, at the turn of the 20th century, most perfumes were still just one note, floral. Then, a now-iconic perfume came along — one that combined musk with a traditional floral scent.

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Television
4:51 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Rest Easy, Bill: After 4,000 Clinton Jokes, Leno's Run Wraps Up

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:55 pm

Thursday marks Jay Leno's last night hosting The Tonight Show on NBC. He's told a lot of jokes over the years, but his most common target has been Bill Clinton — so says a study from the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. Professor Robert Lichter explains why he's spent more than 20 years of his life cataloging late night TV jokes.

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