Arts & Life

Nick Spero has a big secret.

It has to do with where to find one of the most sought-after mushrooms of the fungi world: the morel.

A grand jury in New York indicted Harvey Weinstein on Wednesday on charges of rape and criminal sex. Weinstein once towered over Hollywood, and it is likely he would still be making movies and meeting with young actresses had more than 80 women not come forward against him.

When you watch The Graduate, do you identify with the parents? Do you grow impatient scrolling to your birth year in online drop-down menus? Is a night of continuous, unmedicated sleep one of life's greatest pleasures? If so, Pamela Druckerman says, you might be in your 40s.

Druckerman thought that being in her 40s would be a "delicious secret." But, it turns out, others noticed, too. Salespeople steered her toward anti-aging creams. Her daughter observed: "Mommy, you're not old, but you're definitely not young anymore."

'A Kid Like Jake' Doesn't Have Enough Jake

May 31, 2018

Some movies are meant to be genre-nonconforming, and we'd all be a lot happier if they were able to exist like that. But we live in a genre-binary society, where films need easy loglines. A Kid Like Jake is about wealthy, white New York parents who try to leverage their four-year-old son's gender experimentation in order to land him a scholarship to an elite private preschool. It has the soul of a sharp class satire, and occasionally flirts in that direction. Yet it must present itself as an earnest social issues drama in a bid for wider acceptance.

Stuffed with references to classic crime flicks, American Animals is British writer-director Bart Layton's clever and assured bid to rival Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino. The film is highly self-conscious, but no more so than its real-life antiheroes, a quartet of Kentucky college kids who study The Killing and Reservoir Dogs to plan a heist that turns out to be poorly scripted.

To date, the Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur has made one film about a fisherman who survived in freezing water after his boat capsized off the Ireland coast (The Deep), another about a blizzard that wiped eight climbers off the summit of Mount Everest in 1996 (Everest), and now one more about a hurricane that pummeled a yacht in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, leaving its sailors wounded and badly off-course.

Deep into Rodin, Jacques Doillon's quietly satisfying portrait of the famed French sculptor, a group of stuffy sponsors circles Auguste Rodin's almost completed statue of France's beloved novelist Honore de Balzac. Rodin (Vincent Lindon) has given the writer an enormous gut (he used a pregnant young woman and a draft horse rider as models for the belly), which the artist made capacious enough to house, in his imagination, the teeming characters who peopled the 19th-century writer's stories. And, perhaps, his appetites.

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Growing up in his grandmother's home in Durham, N.C., in the era of Jim Crow, former Vogue magazine editor André Leon Talley often felt like a misfit. Bullied for his clothes — which he describes as beautiful, but not overly flashy — he remembers feeling alone.

Then, when he was around 9 or 10, he stumbled onto an issue of Vogue at the public library. Paging through the magazine, he was captivated — it was was like traveling down a "rabbit hole," he says, into "a world of glamour."

Energy, the new book from acclaimed author and journalist Richard Rhodes, starts off not with a scientist or inventor, but with a notable name from a different field: William Shakespeare. The Bard of Avon isn't usually associated with physics or power generation — but he was present when his business partners, Richard and Cuthbert Burbage, ordered the razing of the Theatre in London, with the salvaged wood being used to open the now legendary Globe. (Whether their actions were strictly legal is unclear.)

This post gives away in great detail the events of the series finale of FX's The Americans. If you are reading it and you have not yet watched the finale, you are about to find out everything that happens. Are we clear? OK, then.

Let's dispense with the obvious first: This is not your typical ice hockey pregame show.

I didn't know how much I needed a laugh until I began reading Stephen McCauley's new novel, My Ex-Life. This is the kind of witty, sparkling, sharp novel for which the verb "chortle" was invented.

I found myself "chortling" out loud at so many scenes, I even took screenshots of certain pages and started texting them to friends. Some of those friends texted back, "Love this!" or, "Send more, quick!" To which I replied, "Support the arts! Buy the book!"

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Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

Actress Roseanne Barr says she was "Ambien tweeting" at 2 in the morning when she posted a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser in the Obama White House, that caused ABC to cancel her TV show.

A few weeks ago, Facebook users got an unexpected bit of morbid advertising when they were targeted with ads hawking "funeral potatoes" from a Utah company known as Augason Farms. Many of them immediately took to Twitter, wondering a.) what on Earth funeral potatoes were and b.) why on Earth they would want any.

One of the oldest and most distinguished Spanish language theaters in the U.S. is housed in a converted Manhattan brownstone. "It started actually as a private house," explains Robert Federico, executive producer of Repertorio Español.

The space is tiny — rickety wooden stairs lead backstage and small props are stored in the hallway. The sets are designed to be stashed flush against walls behind black curtains.

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We've all been there - a darkened theater, the reminder to silence your phones, of course, and then...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM")

BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD: (As Claire) What is that thing?

CORNISH: ...It's movie trailer time...

From intestinal distress to family dysfunction, writer David Sedaris has spent decades sharing some of the most intimate aspects of his life. Still, there are some topics that make him uncomfortable.

"Nothing makes me more self-conscious writing in my diary than if I'm writing about something good," he says.

Cataloging achievements or compliments doesn't sit well with him: "I just think, 'God, if anyone were to find this diary, I would look so bad, congratulating myself here,' " he says.

Helen DeWitt's Some Trick seems less like a story collection and more like a series of notes from some vast, alien intelligence, not quite human itself, but capable of picking apart human habits with startling precision. DeWitt's characters are savants, weirdos, and artists, often trying to achieve their ends against the best efforts of the well-meaning and conventional people around them.

StoryCorps

Meredith Portman always knew she wanted to be a mother, so after being a foster mom she adopted her daughter Brianna. Meredith sat down with her mom and Brianna at StoryCorps in Mobile to reminisce about Brianna’s adoption day and share their hopes for the future...


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Reading The Game: The Long Dark

May 27, 2018

I love the quiet of The Long Dark — the essential, soft and rounded naturalness of a world absent the things of man.

A love story between a black Army nurse and a white German POW during World War II? You couldn't make that story up — and Alexis Clark didn't. The former editor at Town & Country is an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of Journalism. I spoke with her about her new book, Enemies in Love, and what she learned about hidden Army history and the human heart.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.


What was the inspiration for this book, what got you rolling?

Rose McGowan says she would "absolutely" like to testify if given the chance against Harvey Weinstein. McGowan spoke to NPR's Michel Martin a day after the mogul turned himself into police in New York after months of fighting sexual abuse investigations.

"I have had to have his arm around me and smile in photos," McGowan says on Weinstein embracing her at public events. "The cameras would flash and you're just kind of out of your body and [think], 'Don't cause a scene and just go with it,' because what else are you going to do? You're trapped.

NOAA Photo Library [Flickr]

A military or war dog can be a soldier's greatest asset and the enemy's worst nightmare.  They are loyal, intelligent,  and they have an average accuracy rate of 98% in sniffing out bombs, gas, drugs and enemy forces.   It's no wonder that most of them are adopted by former handlers when they retire!

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If Stonehenge Monument were an ice cream, it would be a delicious bowl of vanilla blended with bits of oats and hazelnuts and honey swirls.

At least according to Hannah Spiegelman, a small-batch ice cream maker in Baltimore who explores the sweet — as well as salty, spicy and even a little nutty — sides of historical people and places through A Sweet History, her blog, Instagram feed and occasional pop-up stand of the same name.

W. Kamau Bell On The Meaning Of Patriotism

May 26, 2018

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