The films of Joel and Ethan Coen pose a challenge: How do we reconcile their wildly disparate tones? Consider O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a burlesque of Homer's Odyssey centering on three stumblebums — but with a soundtrack assembled by T Bone Burnett of heartfelt historical gospel and country music. Ditto The Ladykillers: venal idiot characters, soaring African-American spirituals. The ridiculous and the sublime sit side by side, with no spillover.
Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour: Catching Fire And Gifts
Taped in the run-up to Thursday night's Sound Of Music performance, this week's round-table podcast is not a review of it, but a consideration of the live event in general. Are we all just performance ghouls, waiting around for people to fail? What is it fair to ask from a live performance? And what happens if a horse has an unfortunate moment in a theater?
Our second segment brings back one of our favorite things (har har), the Regrettable Television Pop Quiz. Thrill to extravagantly bleeped cursing! Wonder about the appropriate and safe temperature for raw chicken!
Doris Lee's <em>Thanksgiving</em>, circa 1935, was, even then, a nostalgic look back at the quintessential American food holiday. "At a time of economic struggle, <em>Thanksgiving</em> offered a creation story for the nation that could unify the population around a familiar meal of turkey, stuffing, and all the trimmings," says Oehler. (Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase Prize Fund)
Credit Courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago
<p>Francis W. Edmonds' <em>The Epicure</em>, 1838, is one of the earliest depictions of a tavern meal in American history, says Judith A. Barter, curator of American art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She says it represents America at a political crossroads between urban and rural ways of life and styles of government. (The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund)</p><p></p>
Credit Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Raphaelle Peale is considered the first American professional still-life painter. His <em>Still Life - Strawberries, Nuts, &c.</em>, 1822, exemplifies early American efforts to showcase the bounty of North America. (Gift of Jamee J. and Marshall Field)
Edward Hopper's iconic <em>Nighthawks</em>, 1942, embodies the increasing isolation of young professionals in the cities, and stands in sharp contrast to Norman Rockwell's <em>Freedom From Want</em>, depicting a loving couple bringing a giant turkey to the family table, painted the same year. (Friends of American Art Collection)
Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 4:29 pm
In the age of celebrity chef fetishism and competitive ingredient sourcing, it can be hard to remember that there was a time when restaurants didn't exist in America.
Before the Civil War, most people ate at home, consuming mostly what they could forage, barter, butcher or grow in the backyard. But just because food choices were simpler back then doesn't mean our relationship to what we ate was any less complicated.