The Masterpiece Too Horrible To Recommend: Francine Prose on Haneke’s Amour

Francine Prose–(what an excellent last name!)–titles her review of Michael Haneke‘s Amour ‘A Masterpiece You Might Not Want to See’, (New York Review of Books Blog, 7 January 2013) and begins with the following: Michael Haneke’s Amour is the ultimate horror film. With its portrayal of the shocks, the cruelties and indignities to which old age and disease subjectContinue reading “The Masterpiece Too Horrible To Recommend: Francine Prose on Haneke’s Amour”

RIP Ravi Shankar

I was born in an obscure small town in Central India: Maihar. If that name is known outside of its local, provincial, confines, it is almost certainly due to the Maihar gharana of Indian classical music. (From Wikipedia: ‘In Hindustani music, a gharānā is a system of social organization linking musicians or dancers by lineage or apprenticeship, andContinue reading “RIP Ravi Shankar”

Coming For You with Chuck D and Public Enemy

In reviewing Jay-Z‘s book Decoded—a collection of lyrics with extensive commentary–(‘Word‘, The New Yorker, December 6 2010) Kelefa Sanneh writes: Too often, hip-hop’s embrace of crime narratives has been portrayed as a flaw or a mistake, a regrettable detour from the overtly ideological rhymes of groups like Public Enemy. But in Jay-Z’s view Public EnemyContinue reading “Coming For You with Chuck D and Public Enemy”

Respecting the President and ‘The Ideology of Kingship’

In reporting on the second presidential debate, Charles Blow writes: There is a fine line between feistiness and testiness. Romney has never negotiated that line well in debates and last night he fell over it again. At one point he scolded the president — the president of the United States! — “you’ll get your chance in aContinue reading “Respecting the President and ‘The Ideology of Kingship’”

Movies on Philosophers: Rare, Hard to Make, Desirable

Having viewed the rather disappointing Chopin: Desire for Love over the weekend, I’m struck again by how difficult it seems to be to make movies about artists, writers, or perhaps creators of all kinds. My viewing also served to remind me that movies about philosophers’ lives are exceedingly rare, and the few that have been made–or rather, that I am awareContinue reading “Movies on Philosophers: Rare, Hard to Make, Desirable”

Seamus Perry on Samuel Palmer and the Laying Bare of the Artist

A quick pre-disclaimer: Pardon me for referencing the London Review of Books two days in a row, but that’s what weekend-catching-up-with-a-stack-of-unread reviews can do to you. In reviewing Rachel Campbell-Johnson‘s Mysterious Wisdom: The Life and Work of Samuel Palmer (‘The Shoreham Gang‘, LRB, 5th April 20120), and in particular, on Palmer‘s ‘The Valley Thick with Corn,’Continue reading “Seamus Perry on Samuel Palmer and the Laying Bare of the Artist”