Romantics Anonymous, directed by Jean-Pierre Améris. My son called me and said, “I’ve just found your next favorite movie. It’s got three things you’ll love: chocolate, a romantic awkwardness you can believe in, and a guy who sweats so much around women he has to run to the restroom and change his shirt.” And for a fun evening with other cinéastes, you can count the allusions to The Sound of Music. Also, notice how the director, Jean-Pierre Améris, uses the camera lens like a pair of glasses, seeking to correct his own debilitating shyness. Délicieuse!
Poèmes, Works by Maurice Ravel, Olivier Messiaen and Henri Dutilleux; Renée Fleming, soprano; Orchestre National de France, Seiji Ozawa, conductor. Any new work by Henri Dutilleux (b. 1916) needs to be considered a major event. Perhaps unparalleled among composers since 1950 for his attention to details, harmonic sophistication and orchestral timbre, Dutilleux can be considered the final representative of the great Gallic tradition dating back to Debussy and Ravel.
The Blanco Sessions, by Janis Martin. In 1956, RCA signed “the female Elvis,” 15-year-old rockabilly pioneer Janis Martin. But a secret marriage and a pregnancy soon led the label to drop her. In 2007, neo-rockabilly powerhouse Rosie Flores coaxed Martin out of retired obscurity and produced a comeback album for her. Martin died later that year, and Flores has finally raised the funds to release the project. Martin sounds fantastic on this set of mostly classic material. Her range dropped a bit over 50 years, but her rhythm and phrasing are as punchy as ever.
These sermons, selected and introduced by Isabel Best, range in time from Bonhoeffer's pastoral tenure in Barcelona to a few months after the start of World War II.
The runaway slave narratives compiled by Devon Carbado and Donald Weise are as moving as any story by Suzanne Collins or J.R.R. Tolkien.
Susan Cain contends that introverts are both misunderstood and underappreciated. She finds this infuriating.
According to Robert Wuthnow, well-educated Americans have reconfigured their religious language in terms of reasonableness—and thus retained a place for the supernatural in everyday life.