Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

No, we weren't just looking at the women. The fashion at the Republican and Democratic conventions gave us clues about everyone — men, women, politicians and celebrities. Don't even get us started on the delegates (really, that's a photo essay of its own).

The boys-club mentality of the finance industry has long extended into finance films, as well. From the razor-sharp original Wall Street to the violent satire of American Psycho to our current era of bank statements both serious (Margin Call) and farcical (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Big Short), movies about money tend also to be about the destructive nature of the male ego. Whenever penthouse-suite guys compete in these films to see who can swing the bigger pile of green, innocent people get hurt.

Halfway through Tallulah, an unwieldy but affecting showcase for Ellen Page and Allison Janney, Lu (Page), a drifter suddenly confronted by an enormous responsibility stares up at blue sky above Washington Square Park and muses about gravity. What if it just stopped? What if we left these earthly bounds and floated off into the ether? It's not a suicidal fantasy on Lu's part, though circumstances have landed her in a terrible spot. She just wants to be free.

Indignation, a first feature written and directed by the distinguished indie producer James Schamus (now in his 50s), begins and ends with an old woman gazing wistfully at floral wallpaper. She lives in an institution of some kind — assisted living, or a mental hospital, and the flower motifs clearly signify something to her, a past sadness or happiness or both.

This Time Out, Matt Damon's Not Feeling The 'Bourne'

Jul 28, 2016

Once upon a time, a hugely successful spy franchise lost its star. A more affordable, less charismatic actor was secured for one underperforming installment before the original guy was coaxed back for a much-ballyhooed homecoming sequel set largely in Las Vegas.

His art appeared in a range of places, from the Navy News and Tales from the Crypt to Time and TV Guide. Jack Davis, a founding member of Mad magazine, has died at 91. The influential cartoonist was one of the humorists known as the "Usual Gang of Idiots."

Davis' knack for dry caricature created iconic parodies for Mad, spoofing TV and films from High Noon to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Gone with the Wind and M*A*S*H.

While many are calling this election a bitter contest, one Philadelphia business has found a sweet side to the electoral process — by reviving a patriotic tradition dating back centuries: clear toy candies.

Made of sugar, water and maybe a little coloring boiled to the correct temperature, then poured into elaborate molds, clear toy candies are a Pennsylvania tradition. With the Democratic convention in town this week, Philadelphia's renowned clear candy maker, Shane Confectionery, is putting out these sweet sculptures with a political theme.

Flour seems innocuous. We've long been warned to wash our hands after handling chicken, and to cook our hamburgers well. We wash lettuce that came straight from the field. But really, flour?

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminded everyone that flour is, in fact, a raw, uncooked food, just like those fresh greens. Yes, it can make you sick.

Here's how Alfred explains villainy to Batman in The Dark Knight: "Some men aren't looking for anything logical like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

Baz Luhrmann seems aware that as an Australian writer-director who first became known for Strictly Ballroom, he isn't the most obvious choice to produce a drama series about the origins of hip-hop in the South Bronx in the late 1970s.

From the moment Netflix announced that it would be bringing back Gilmore Girls for four 90-minute episodes making up a sort of mini-season called Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, fans have wondered how long they'd have to wait and in what shape they'd find Lorelai and Rory Gilmore after years away. On Wednesday, Netflix announced an arrival date of Nov. 25 and showed critics the first two minutes of the first episode, "Winter."

Times are tough for Chesapeake oysters.

For one thing, they used to be bigger. "If you look at what people were saying back in the 1600s and 1700s about oysters, people had to cut them in half before they could even eat them," says Denise Breitburg, an ecologist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

'You Will Know Me' Says No, You Won't

Jul 28, 2016

Megan Abbott's novel You Will Know Me, like her other books, thrums with the edge and energy of teenage girlhood; the wild want, the wild daring, the wild selfishness that — as one of the girls' moms says — you're only really allowed when you're young. "Remember that kind of wanting? That kind that's just for yourself? And you don't even have to feel guilty about it? You wouldn't know to."

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