Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Film

Is Anybody There?

The low-budget English production Is Anybody There? is now reaching screens in the United States, thanks to the presence of Michael Caine in the lead role. The action takes place at Lark Hall, a family-run nursing facility. As one aging resident dies, another arrives to take over the bed—a cycle of life and death accepted mostly with a nod and a shrug.
Poetry

Cold comfort

The way Herod liked to listen to John the Baptist,
summoning him from his cell for private chats
but could make no sense of what he said; the way
Festus kept the apostle Paul locked up for two years
because he enjoyed hearing him talk, although his words
made him afraid; the way the German guards, terrified
by night bombings, sought out Pastor Bonhoeffer,
even though he was, by his own account, a provider
of cold comfort, writing to a friend, “I can listen all right,
but hardly ever find anything to say. Yet perhaps the way
one asks about some things and is silent about others
helps suggest what really matters”—did not stop
the sharp rap on the prison door or the words “get ready
to come with us” as if for one more quiet conversation
about what really matters.
Film

The Soloist

The Soloist is a rarity—a triumph-of-the-spirit movie in which the hero's triumph is ambiguous. It's a movie about accepting small successes and living within your limits.
Film

Goodbye Solo

An old Senegalese proverb says, “An elder who dies is like a library that burns.” This belief is at the heart of the small but moving independent film Goodbye Solo, directed and co-written by Ramin Bahrani. It’s also the conviction that drives the main character, Solo (Souléymane Sy Savané), an upbeat Senegalese immigrant to the U.S.