Arts & Life

Arriving in supposedly liberal Europe, a refugee is hounded by the authorities but saved by a handful of scruffy outsiders. If the scenario of Aki Kaurismaki's The Other Side of Hope sounds familiar, that might be because it's essentially the same as the plot of its predecessor, 2011's Le Havre. The principal distinction is that the Finnish writer-director's latest comic melodrama is darker and more directly tied to current events.

Woodyland In Bad Decline: 'Wonder Wheel'

Nov 30, 2017

Fate, in the Woody Allen sense, is when human error and circumstance join forces to make your life miserable. So maybe there's something fateful in the fact that Wonder Wheel, his first movie in a decade to get a holiday release, happens to be coming out during a winter of extreme discontent in entertainment, thanks to revelations of men who have for decades abused their positions of power to harass and harm women. One of the key reporters behind those revelations?

Though Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space is commonly cited as the worst film ever made, he released a far more compelling failure three years before with Glen or Glenda, a semi-autobiographical melodrama about a cross-dresser, played by Wood under the pseudonym "Daniel Davis." Glen or Glenda has all the staggering ineptitude of Plan 9 — most memorably, Bela Lugosi's armchair commentator shouting "Pull the string!"— but it has the added benefit of being nakedly personal, a plea for tolerance from a man who has chosen to reveal a closely guarded secret on s

Jim Nabors, the comic actor best known for his years playing Gomer Pyle, one of TV's most lovable goofs, has died at the age of 87. Nabors' husband, Stan Cadwallader, confirmed to The Associated Press that the actor and singer died at home in Honolulu.

Jonathan Bethony admits the breads he'll be churning out at Seylou Bakery & Mill, which just opened this month in Washington, D.C., might not appeal to everyone.

The dark crusts of his pain au levain have a charred appearance and complex flavors to match their hue. Inside the loaves, a toothsome chewiness gives way to the tang of sourdough and a taste that can only be described as distinctly wheat-y.

The Aspen Institute has unveiled the nominees for its first-ever fiction prize, a potpourri of 20 works plucked from across the world. Novels, short story collections, English-language or in translation — whatever their differences, each of the nominees "illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture," in the estimation of Aspen Words Literary Prize judges.

Teen Angst Has A Body Count In 'I Am Not Okay With This'

Nov 30, 2017

Sydney, the teenage protagonist of Charles Forsman's graphic novel I Am Not Okay With This, has all the usual problems of her age group — plus one. And that one problem takes this spare slice-of-life story from merely downbeat to sobering and haunting.

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"England's First Black Princess!" lots of media blared a variety of that this week, immediately after the official announcement of what several tabloids have been speculating about for months: Prince Harry, brother of Prince William, son of Charles and Diana, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, is engaged. His intended, Meghan Markle, is American, divorced, three years older than the prince — and biracial. Which has led to a lot of breathless reporting that she is the first black member of the royal family.

Arthur Herman is most famous for his bestselling book from 2001, How the Scots Invented the Modern World, but he's started to find a pattern in writing history based around the collision of two great figures. The Cave and the Light, published in 2014, pitted Plato against Aristotle, and his 2008 book Gandhi and Churchill was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction for its dramatic examination of empire. Herman continues in that vein in his authoritative new book, 1917.

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International Man Booker Prize winner László Krasznahorkai's new book isn't quite as depressing or hopeless as the author's reputation might lead you to think. And Krasznahorkai does have quite the reputation — Susan Sontag once called him the "contemporary Hungarian master of apocalypse," and he's often compared to masters of grotesquery like Nikolai Gogol. But The World Goes On, while it features an array of disheartening narratives, feels more like a celebration of tiny moments of odd, inexplicable joy.

Among the many movies opening for the holidays is one with a new take on an old story. The Man Who Invented Christmas, starring Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer, is about Charles Dickens and the creation of A Christmas Carol. It's a distinctly literary tale — which isn't surprising, since one of the film's producers is a well known bookseller taking his first dip in the world of film.

After the sudden death of his wife, Michelle McNamara, in April 2016, comedian Patton Oswalt felt himself falling apart. He began drinking and eating bad food and he struggled with insomnia.

"I was beginning to kind of kiss the edge during those months," he says. "I felt like I was fading out of the world ... just sort of treating myself like I had already died."

“False Friend”

Author: Andrew Grant   

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Pages: 282

Price: $27.00 (Hardcover)

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And now a little post-Thanksgiving edition of The Call-In.

(SOUNDBITE OF CORDUROI'S "MY DEAR")

A new biography of famed chef and cookbook author Paula Wolfert was recently published, featuring — you guessed it — some of her delicious recipes.

Wolfert has been called the Julia Child of Mediterranean food in America. She once spoke eight languages and could tell how a piece of bread was leavened with one bite. Thanks to her detailed writing, top chefs in the U.S. say she taught them to treasure flavors from the Mediterranean.

But a few years ago, Wolfert was diagnosed with dementia.

There are a lot of reasons to shop locally this holiday season, but my favorite one is that, in some small way, it helps keep alive the promise of the uncanny. The sensation that something's not quite right, perhaps even taboo, is serendipity's mysterious sibling. It's a feeling that's endangered in our painfully transparent era, and completely absent from the hygienic, efficient process of shopping via search term.

dikman (Igor Dykman( [Flickr]

Keeping your pet safe during the holidays begins with choosing decorations carefully, and making sure you don't create an environment that will tempt your furry friend to get into trouble.  Remember, Santa may be watching!

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"It was on a dreary night of November, that I beheld my man completed ..."

In the two centuries since publication, Mary Shelley's novel about an obsessive student and his creation has taken on, fittingly, a life of its own. But it is in itself a mystery, eluding attempts to produce a definitive version — and as with other modern myths, it has been shaped anew with every generation. It's a story, both on the page and behind it, that refuses to be simple.

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Food waste is a huge problem globally — starting with our own refrigerators. Over this Thanksgiving week, Americans will throw out almost 200 million pounds of turkey alone, according to figures from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

But before you toss that bird, read on. We asked Massimo Bottura, one of the world's best chefs, to help us figure out what to do with our holiday leftovers.

When was the last time you picked up a book and really looked at how it was made: the typeface, the feel of the paper, the way the words look on the page? Today, when people can read on their phones, some books never even make it to paper.

Once, bookmaking was an art as refined and distinct as the writing it presents. And in some places, like Larkspur Press in Kentucky, it still is.

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In the family drama The Tribes of Palos Verdes, in theaters this week, the warmly maternal actress Jennifer Garner plays a mother from hell. Not that her Sandy Mason is one of those ubiquitous gorgons who have eaten friends and family for dinner since movie time began, from Bette Davis's coldly bullying mater in 1942's Now, Voyager through the ice- queens in two incarnations of The Manchurian Candidate (1962 and 2004), all the way to (coming December 8th!) a wickedly funny and scary Allison Janney as Tonya Harding's monster mom in I, Tonya.

Before they dress their turkeys, mash potatoes or pull piping hot pies from the ovens this Thanksgiving, people will tie on aprons.

It's the stories and people behind those aprons that have delighted EllynAnne Geisel for years.

The new movie Call Me By Your Name is based on a beloved novel of the same title by André Aciman. It tells the story of two young American men who fall in love one summer in Northern Italy. Elio, 17, is played by Timothée Chalamet (Lady Bird), and Oliver, 24, is played by Armie Hammer (The Social Network, The Lone Ranger).

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