Arts

Movie Interviews
4:54 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

In New Documentary, Our Economic Fall Writ Large

Jackie Siegel poses in The Queen of Versailles. She and her husband, David, were building the largest house in the U.S. before the recession soured their plans.
Lauren Greenfield Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 7:39 pm

The Queen of Versailles is a movie about a couple who set out to build a colossal 90,000-square-foot home — the biggest in America — inspired by the palace of Louis XIV, the Sun King.

In another time, this might have been the premise for a fictional film — a fable about hubris and material excess. But in our time, The Queen of Versailles is actually a documentary about the real life of David and Jackie Siegel of Orlando, Fla.

Read more
Monkey See
4:35 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Catharsis In A Cape: On Comic-Book Heroes And Real-World Violence

Emotional Armor: Superheroes like Batman (Christian Bale) function as talismans when our fears are darkest — symbols of good, and of justice, when we wonder whether either exists.
Ron Phillips Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 6:02 pm

What is Batman for?

The whole idea's ridiculous, always has been. Guy dresses up like a bat to scare criminals. Shyeah. Not something that can truly chill the blood — a snake, say, or a spider — but a bat, the sight of which causes most of us to sigh and reach for a tennis racket to shoo the little guy out the nearest window.

It's an idea a kid would come up with, which is one reason it's come in for such merciless lampooning over the years: Pow. Zap. "Holy priceless collection of Etruscan snoods, Batman," et cetera.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
3:53 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

'Tollbooth' Author Norton Juster Plays Not My Job

Courtesy of Norton Juster

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 11:45 am

Fifty years ago, a young architect named Norton Juster decided to procrastinate by writing a children's book; his roommate, a young cartoonist named Jules Feiffer, did all the illustrations. The result was The Phantom Tollbooth, which has since become a beloved children's classic.

Since Juster knows enough about The Phantom Tollbooth already, we've invited him to answer three questions about The Phantom Menace.

Read more
Television
3:43 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

MSNBC Gets Academic: Meet Host Prof. Harris-Perry

Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC's newest host, is a Tulane professor with a Ph.D. in political science from Duke. She hosts the two-hour Melissa Harris-Perry show, which airs on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Eliot Kamenitz The Times-Picayune /Landov

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 5:56 pm

Cable news channels tend to treat intellectuals gingerly — as fragile curiosities or as targets for ridicule — when they appear at all.

Not MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry. This newly anointed cable host commutes 1,300 miles each week for her eponymous program of opinionated conversation, interviews and essays that runs live for two hours each Saturday and Sunday morning.

Read more
Monkey See
1:11 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Breaking Bad' And A Little Sad

NPR

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 2:30 pm

  • Listen To Pop Culture Happy Hour

We've been doing PCHH for two years now, and we've never really talked in detail about Breaking Bad. That's kind of weird, but it's partly an artifact of the fact that it took us a while to develop an adequate background, since the only one of us who was a regular watcher from the beginning was Mike Katzif, our producer.

But this week, with me and Glen fully up to speed (along with Mike) and with Stephen and Trey recent experimenters who watched a few early episodes and then jumped ahead to Sunday's season premiere — heresy, I know, but they did it anyway — we dive in.

Read more

Pages