Film, Music, Visual Arts

Pulp Fiction is Officially an “Old Movie” Now

      If you are old enough to have seen Pulp Fiction in a theater when it came out, brace yourself: this is the film’s 30th anniversary. We are as removed from its 1994 release as we were in 1994 to the 1964 release of A Hard Day’s Night, starring four young guys from […]

Why the Trial over the Eagles’ Lyrics Epitomizes Boomer Rot

      The recent brouhaha—an insufficiently flippant term—over the criminal case recently dismissed by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, accusing three men of stealing handwritten pages of lyrics by the Eagles has it all. Ever since it was filed in 2022 this case has been shoved into the headlines by boring egos and sloppy […]

Robert Motherwell’s Defining Images of Change and Strife

  Except for childhood asthma no doubt exacerbated by smoking as an adult and a series of rocky marriages, Robert Motherwell (1915-1991) led a mostly idyllic life. The child of a wealthy bank president, he grew up on California’s sunny Pacific Coast. He traveled Europe as a teen, then attended a string of Ivy League […]

Anselm Kiefer’s Appetite for Destruction

        Of all the works currently on display at the Saint Louis Art Museum we can be surest that Anselm Kiefer’s Burning Rods will never be printed for postcards in the museum’s gift shops. A massive painting that stands about 11 feet high and stretches just beyond 18 feet wide, this dark […]

New Documentary on Werner Herzog Does One Thing Well

        Writing is a vector to approximate The Mystery. If a writer, poet, filmmaker, or other artist has the luck to work over time, we call their multiple vectors a body of work, and it becomes the work of scholars and YouTubers to say what it all meant and why it is […]

Oscar Nominee The Taste of Things is Abundant with Passion

        One of the feature films shown at the 2023 St. Louis International Film Festival, which has just wrapped, was The Taste of Things. Under its French title, La Passion de Dodin Bouffant, the film won Trần Anh Hùng the Best Director award this year at Cannes and is the French submission […]

When Childhood Trading Cards and History Lessons Collide

        Two score and some odd years ago, when my second-grade friends and I tumbled out the doors of Missoula’s Lewis and Clark Elementary, Wacky Packages were for months on end our sole reason for a trip to the nearby Circle K convenience store. Clutching our spare change so hard that the […]

Evil Finds Horror in the Everyday—Then Laughs at It

    Horror is a genre I avoid. Halloween used to make it palatable, shrinking the monsters and taming irrational fears into catharsis. Then we grew scared of our own rituals. Rosy apples held razor blades! Candy was poisoned! Neighborhood kids now go to the Baptists’ Trunk or Treat instead of knocking on people’s doors, […]

How a Millais Painting Wages Elegant Battle against Climate Change

        For anyone who adores the fall season, there is something of a child’s disappointment at Christmas delayed when, after months of brutal heat and humidity, the first week of October lands in temperatures near the high 80s. There are few if any, golden and amber-red leaves for nature to unwrap on […]

Why the Clothes of My Past Stay Closeted

    In a recent New York Times column, fashion editor Vanessa Friedman fielded a nervous question about whether older women could wear vintage. “Whatever clothes you remember from your own youth will look different through the lens of now,” she pointed out. “You have changed over the years, as has your body. What may […]