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Books

The Heavy Absence of Star Presence

If trying to grasp screen presence is like reaching for the stars, James Harvey shows noble reach in his book, Watching Them Be.

Film

Howard Hawks and John Wayne Defined a Genre with 'Red River'

It’s nearly impossible to not get roped in by the easy banter of the dialogue, the epic drama, and the luminous images of this quintessential Western.

Reviews

War Is Failure, Art Is Victory!

In Art and the Second World War, Monica Bohm-Duchen honors the unsung infantry of artists.

Film

The Chilling Effect of Noh Theater on Akira Kurosawa's 'Throne of Blood'

Throne of Blood plays with Noh's frightening incongruity, its delicacy of movement expressing mortifyingly indelicate actions, as when Washizu and Asaji deflate like punctured blow-up dolls as they resolve themselves to treason.

Music

Lou Reed Owned the '70s

Perhaps because it represented his formation as a solo artist, his manifestation of “Lou Reed”, as opposed to “Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground”, Reed owned the '70s more than any other decade.

Reviews

Hate for Orson Welles, Italian Style

Orson Welles In Italy is a key corrective resource for an under-examined portion of Welles' career. If America was resentful of his talent, Italy was downright mean.

Film

The Magnificently Mutilated Ambersons

Though Citizen Kane has cemented his place in film history, The Magnificent Ambersons -- especially had its original ending been kept -- would prove Orson Welles one of Hollywood’s greatest masters of tragedy, if not the greatest.

Film

John Cassavetes at His Most Intense, Searching and Experimental

Cassavetes' aesthetic, both in front of and behind the camera, was less Method immersion than mad (as in gleeful) exploration, skirting the emotional edge without tripping into or wallowing in cathartic excess.

Film

20 Thrillers with a Side of Capers

Each film in The Best of Warner Brothers 20 Film Collection: Thrillers asks, in some or form or another, Where does your loyalty lie, with the guys or your girl?

Reviews

Pablo Picasso's Internal Massiveness, Compressed

Renowned art historian T. J. Clark works hard to give a true sense of what's actually going on in Picasso's canvases. And a lot is going on.

Books

There's Too Much Glissando in 'Text and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll'

Through a series of chapters interspersed with interviews, “interludes”, “Q&A”’s, reviews and obituaries, Warner attempts to plot the links between Beat and rock, not only through music and lyrics, but also personality, even clothing.

Reviews

'Understanding Art' Brings You Nose-to-Nose with Rembrandt and the Boys

This series documents the Louvre study days, wherein paintings are taken off the walls, unscrewed from their frames, pulled from their glass casings, and put on easels to be eyeballed by a group of international professionals.

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Bloomsbury Academic

Reviews

The Digging Goes Deep in James Chandler's 'An Archaeology of Sympathy'

Discussing Laurence Sterne, Friedrich Schiller, Adam Smith, Lord Shaftesbury, Charles Dickens, Joseph Conrad, Mary Shelley, D. W. Griffith, Frank Capra and others may seem culturally crowded, but Chandler is so learned, his prose so lucid, that he weaves them together with impressive dexterity.

Reviews

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Boar? 'Richard III'

O glorious restoration! Laurence Olivier's eye-popping, frightening, rousing and at times, quite moving Richard III gets the royal treatment.

Reviews

Charlie Chaplin Murders a Myth in 'Monsieur Verdoux'

This film represents not only the death of a myth, but its willful execution. The Tramp Is Dead. Long Live Chaplin!

Books

Love as a Visual Phenomenon: 'The Progress of Love'

This contemporary exhibition charts love's progress and regress, its undress and redress, experienced through a variety of cultural lenses.

Reviews

You Can't Keep a Good Hook Down: 'The Holy or the Broken'

Residing within Leonard Cohen’s Tower of Song is the Power of the Hook. Simplicity is a hook’s primary attribute: It must be so simple that even a toddler can sing along.

Books

Luscious Delight in Exclusive Access: 'Forever Young: The Rock and Roll Photography of Chuck Boyd'

Though Chuck Boyd shot “onstage, backstage, in the studio and elsewhere” and was essentially “with the band”, he was also fundamentally apart, in a place more penumbral and isolated, like a hovering Eye on guard.

Film

More Than Any Other New American Director, Francis Ford Coppola Reminds Me of Orson Welles

Lifted from over a 40-year period, the Francis Ford Coppola: 5-Film Collection showcases the director's flexibility under circumstances dire and ideal. It also confirms his auteurist consistency.

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Santa Monica


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