Film, Music, Visual Arts

A Young Artist Fleshes Out Philosophy

    Done right, philosophy is as charming, irritating, and deliberately provocative as a toddler asking, “But why? Why? Why?” Yet too often it is presented only in rigid black letters, a gray page of text stripped of imagination, the ideas a strain to visualize. Becky Moon intends to change that. She started as a […]

What Miniatures Can Reveal

      You were expecting fairy houses? Look elsewhere. For her MFA thesis, Amanda Kelly has been miniaturizing hoards. Spinning wee vases on a tiny pottery wheel, carving bevels with tiny woodworking tools, painting minuscule, perfect letters with a two-haired brush. With surgical focus, she creates little worlds that render chaos safe. You can […]

Watching Rashomon in the Age of Disinformation

      Released five years after the surrender of imperial Japan in World War Two, but at least two decades before Americans would start loathing Japan’s prowess in mass-producing fuel-efficient compact cars, Rashomon had the immediate disadvantage of provoking xenophobic reactions. Even in the early nineties, as a college student attempting to bond with […]

Digging into the Murder of Gallerist Brent Sikkema

  I am sick of skimming. The news brings one battle, betrayal, or death after another, washing over me without really registering. So when my eye lands on an opaque, terse announcement that a New York gallery owner was killed in Rio de Janeiro, I read every word. Determined to go deep for a change, […]

Lost at sea with Richard and Linda Thompson

        I hear that Marcel Proust’s hero is plummeted into the past after eating a wafer whose French name sounds like my cousin Madeline, the wife of an Italian butcher in Jerseyville, Illinois. It is going to be music, not cookies, for my plunges into the past. I recently listened to Richard […]

How Radiohead’s OK Computer Accelerates the Passing of Time

        Nostalgia travels at the speed of sound. This is the obvious conclusion after watching four, five or—why the hell not?—twenty-five old MTV-era music videos archived in YouTube’s vast URL indices. The age of a person’s cultural tastes, on the other hand, travels far faster. So fast that if you search for […]

Hollywood Goes for the Partisan Jugular with Civil War

        “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” is easily the most famous film-script shorthand, if not legerdemain, for what we mean when we say that fiction has outrun or beaten reality at its own game. Film fans everywhere know it as the most famous line from the 1962 John Ford […]

Is Mickey Mouse Evil, or Are We?

    I used to grin when our most cynical friend, a British leftist, ranted about The Mouse, his shorthand for the Disney empire and therefore for all the evils of late-stage capitalism. But with Mickey emerging from his legal cage of copyright protection, his true nature is open for speculation. “Mischief,” we called it […]

Why, and How, the Colors of Mental Health Matter

      St. Louis’s Cherokee Street district is where you are most likely to find a late-night bowl of vegan chili or a stroll through neighborhoods on the cutting edge of gentrification. What you least expect is an impromptu exploration of mental health through brain scan imaging recast as visual art. Neuro Blooms, an […]

Poor Things, Us

    I walked out of Poor Things delighted by its ending—and wistful about my own life’s start. Oh, to have entered adulthood free of all conditioning! To have blurted my thoughts as they popped into my head; followed my desires heedless of others’ cautions; acted on impulse, without shame or guilt or fear…. A […]