Archive for the arts Category


Posted in arts, culture, entertainment, movies on August 7, 2010 by Jonathan

Fun question: What if the following scene had been written in the 1940s?

To be honest, I don’t know what’s more offensive, the gratuitous use of the f-word or Robert DeNiro’s sunglasses.

For the record, I’m not one who thinks that movies need to be wiped clean of profanity. Sometimes those words are necessary. I am, however, of the belief that boundaries, for the most part, force one to be more creative, which is why whenever I turn on Turner Classic Movies I’m thankful for those restrictions that both the movie industry and the culture at large imposed on filmmakers. The movies were better because of them. (For proof, check out this video of the 100 best cinematic putdowns, and try to find any of the more modern ones that top the line Bogart gives to Peter Lorre in Casablanca.) A lack of boundaries doesn’t automatically make a work of art or entertainment worse, but it doesn’t automatically elevate it, either.

Beautiful girl and sand

Posted in arts on March 17, 2010 by Jonathan

[HT: The Dude, aka Jeff Bridges, who has an interesting website, which Execupundit brought to my attention.]

Maybe the Greeks will see it

Posted in arts, culture, movies, politics on March 15, 2010 by Jonathan

So Green Zone looks to be a flop – at least domestically. There’s a chance it could make back its money overseas, in countries whose audiences would find its politics more palatable, but I highly doubt it. Iraq is by and large stabile (or stabilizing, depending on how you look at it) and world attention has moved elsewhere, so why come out now with a film that has the subtlety of a campaign slogan from 2004?

Of course, it also doesn’t help to compete with a 3-D Johnny Depp.

My Favorite Writers – Living, Dead, and Otherwise

Posted in arts, books, culture, entertainment on March 7, 2010 by Jonathan

With apologies to those who aren’t on the list but most certainly deserve to be:

Mark Steyn, Malcolm Gladwell, C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, Alex Garland, Rob Long, Zadie Smith, Steve Martin, Dave Barry, Captain John G. Bourke, Bill Bryson, Paul Johnson, Tom Wolfe, C.J. Samson, William Shakespeare, G.K. Chesterton, O. Henry, Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, Joe Queenan, Edgar Allan Poe, and whoever writes the ingredients for Ghirardelli chocolate bars.


Posted in architecture, arts, music on February 24, 2010 by Jonathan

George Friderich Handel’s home, as viewed by Google Earth. (Yesterday was Handel’s birthday.)

“And on your left…”

Posted in arts, culture, news on February 24, 2010 by Jonathan

If you thought taking time off from school to go on a day trip to a museum was exciting when you were a kid, think of how today’s students in Vienna must feel.

God and art

Posted in arts, culture on December 1, 2009 by Jonathan

Andrew Klavan asks if God is making a cultural comeback:

It’s been a while since I’ve read Leo Tolstoy’s What Is Art? but as I remember it, the Big T complained that artists circa the turn of the 19th century had lost their faith in the false God of the church, but had not discovered the true God of the gospels and therefore had nothing to write about but sex and ennui.  A similar fate seems to have befallen artists around the turn of the 20th century as well, but I can’t help wondering if the veil is lifting.