Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Film

Magic

It was the age of levitations and decapitations, of ghostly apparitions and sudden vanishings, as if the tottering Hapsburg Empire were revealing through the medium of its magicians its secret desire for annihilation.” So writes Pulitzer Prize–winning author Steven Millhauser in “Eisenheim the Illusionist,” one of the finest stories in his 1990 collection The Barnum Museum.
Film

Unrehearsed

The first act of the satirical comedy Little Miss Sunshine has an affable scattershot loopiness. Frank (Steve Carell), an English professor hospitalized after a suicide attempt (he broke down upon losing his male grad-student lover to an academic rival), is released into the hands of his sister, Sheryl (Toni Collette).
Poetry

Deflate

In autumn I wrestle the plastic water slide
to the ground, my legs like bellows riding the sides,

then pinch the thick airholes into slits
to hear the sizzle of release. A slight wind lifts

my husband’s early summer breath
into September air. It is as if

the lung of summer in the body of the world
is collapsing. I grip the plastic and furl

the bottom toward the top, trapping air
too slow to exit. Geese above me flare

and part; a thatch of brown grass below
dies. Those who claim their losses know

the exquisite pain of letting go. I drag
the slide into the cellar, where it will sag

in a dank corner until June, when once again
small bodies will skim down its inflated spine

beyond our reach. Breathe, boys, breathe,
we pant, then slacken our jaws, unclench our teeth.



















Film

Repackaged

If you’ve never seen a film written and directed by Woody Allen, then you’ve missed about one a year for a biblical generation. Those who have seen them all are like the old-timers in the congregation of a long-serving minister: they know that Allen is apt to repeat his standard themes, retell his favorite jokes and rely on a well-worn bag of tricks.
Film

Heroes

When it was announced that Oliver Stone would be directing a film about the downing of the twin towers on 9/11, there was a collective gasp. Would Stone focus on one of the many conspiracy theories about the disaster, as he did in JFK? Would he transform the story into a mythical tale of good versus evil, as in Platoon?