Arts & Culture

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

In October 1971, South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol died under suspicious circumstances in police custody. An inquest the next year found that he committed suicide by jumping out of a 10th floor window at a Johannesburg police station.

But today, a Pretoria judge reversed that finding, saying that Timol was murdered and that the apartheid police holding and interrogating him were responsible.

The fall of Harvey Weinstein has been rapid in the week since The New York Times reported that he had been settling sexual harassment claims for decades. And as more women tell their stories of upsetting encounters with the powerful film executive, Weinstein's problems are moving beyond his now-tattered reputation to legal and financial troubles.

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A new play in New York centers on Palestinian militants who hid from the Israeli army for over a month in 2002 inside Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity. NPR's Neda Ulaby reports that "The Siege," not surprisingly, is controversial.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Our elders didn't warn us enough about the dangers of angry, selfish men, possibly because some of them were angry, selfish men themselves. So consider the films of writer-director Noah Baumbach to be an education. Baumbach has long delighted in mocking the egomaniacs in the art world, crafting biting dark comedies around minor figures with major attitudes. He's come closer than anyone to discovering just where the breaking point lies between talent, stature, and awful behavior.

In a hospital in the late 1950s, the wheeze and ca-chunk of the respirators sound like the inside of an Industrial Age factory, only the product being churned out is another few seconds of life. Compared to the elegant organism that is the healthy human body, the inflation and collapse of the pump is a tired accordion, and the hose connecting the machine to the patient's neck is bandaged and ungainly.

In the anxious years after World War II, crusaders for decency accused many comic books of promoting deviant behavior. In the case of Wonder Woman, at least, the bluenoses were entirely correct. Some of the vintage Wonder Woman panels reproduced in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women are seriously kinky.

That was intentional and, in a way, high-minded. Briefly a professor of psychology, Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston wanted to bring his DISC theory (Dominance, Inducement, Submission, Compliance) to the pubescent masses.

Near the midpoint of director Dome Karukoski's Tom of Finland, artist Touko Laaksonen (Pekka Strang) sits on a bench, catching up with the man who was once his superior officer when they served in the Finnish army during World War II, years before.

"We've started a motorcycle club," he says. Pauses."Without the motorcycles."

'The Foreigner' Is Cold As Ice

Oct 12, 2017

No ticket-buying constituency is likely to feel well-served by The Foreigner, a chilly marriage of political thriller and latter-day Liam Neeson-style geriatric revenge-o-rama. Neeson, of course, pivoted to the throat-punching game late in his career. Jackie Chan, The Foreigner's top-billed star, has been making action films his entire professional life. As a physical artist, he's of the cinema's all-time all-timers, Buster Keaton and Bruce Lee in one compact, now-63-year-old frame. His athletic gifts have always been buoyed by a warm and likable screen persona.

The second Friday the 13th of 2017 is upon us, so we've assembled a playlist of songs for the superstitious and non-superstitious alike.

If you have even a tinge of concern, we would urge you to avoid black cats, walking under ladders, opening umbrellas in doors, and definitely do not accept any invitations to cookouts, late-night bonfires or sleep over trips to Camp Crystal Lake.

Maayan Silver

Six years ago, Will Lautzenheiser was starting a job teaching film at Montana State University, when he started to feel a pain in his leg. After his first two classes, he went to the hospital where he went into total organ failure. In a matter of days, a strep infection had caused Will to lose his arms and legs.

A nation's flag embodies a defining aspect of its identity. It could be related to geography (the rising sun in Japan), nature (the maple leaf of Canada or the cedar of Lebanon), religion (the Christian cross or the Islamic crescent and star), political ideology (the hammer and sickle) or mythology (the Welsh dragon).

In a new book on flags, A Flag Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of National Symbols, Tim Marshall explores how a "piece of colored cloth" can arouse profound emotions of loyalty, love and pride in the breasts of its citizens.

natbasil / Fotolia

The fall theatre season is well underway across town.

Producer-director David Fincher is attracted to stories and characters that are dark and complex. That's certainly true of Mindhunter, his new police drama series for Netflix — though the connections that led him there are pretty straightforward.

Way back in 1995, Fincher directed Se7en, the ultraspooky serial-killer drama starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as detectives on the trail of a murderer played by Kevin Spacey.

The Alt.Latino team is so grateful for the positive feedback to our periodic "Music Magazine" shows — and now, we're happy to present the Fall edition.

This week we put the spotlight on two playwrights, one of whom you probably know, the other someone you should.

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