“We wear the mask”: Todd Phillips’ Joker and Paul Laurence Dunbar – BLARB

We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, And mouth with myriad subtleties.   Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, [...]

‘Beanpole’ Director Kantemir Balagov: A Q&A

Kantemir Balagov explains the origins of his Russian historical drama, the best international film not nominated for an Oscar this year. In a couple of quick years, Balagov has become one of the great young hopes of international cinema — a director who can tell complex, resonant stories and who has the stylistic dexterity of [...]

The Whistlers (2019) – IMDb

Not everything is as it seems for Cristi, a policeman who plays both sides of the law. Embarking with the beautiful Gilda on a high-stakes heist, both will have to navigate the twists and turns of corruption, treachery and deception. — Read on m.imdb.com/title/tt7921248/

The Amazing Poster Art From the ‘Golden Age’ of Magic | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine

At the turn of the 20th century, magician Harry Kellar commissioned a poster to advertise one of his most famous tricks, “The Levitation of Princess Karnac,” in which he appeared to make a hypnotized woman—whom he claimed was a Hindu princess—hover in mid-air. The illustrated poster depicts Kellar dressed in a stiff tuxedo with his [...]

The Best Movies of 2020 So Far

From a fervent animated romantic fantasy to a brilliant depiction of trauma and loss in Russia at the end of World War II. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Courtesy of the Studios We’re already a few months into 2020, which means it’s time to start up our running list of the best movies of the year to date. [...]

‘Babylon Berlin’ Season 3: The Best Show You’re Not Watching

The series is a historical drama about the Weimar period of Berlin — think Cabaret, opulence, extreme poverty, avant-garde innovation, genderqueer performance, Surrealism, and the imminent pendulum swing of reactionary cultural conservatism (nationalism and Nazis). It’s a historical moment where many different kinds of thinking exist all at once, all crammed into the same growing, vibrant, [...]

My Dog Tulip – New York Review Books

The distinguished British man of letters J. R. Ackerley hardly thought of himself as a dog lover when, well into middle age, he came into possession of a German shepherd. To his surprise, she turned out to be the love of his life, the “ideal friend” he had been searching for in vain for years. [...]

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti — Movie Tie-In Edition – New York Review Books

On July 1, 1959, at Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan, the social psychologist Milton Rokeach brought together three paranoid schizophrenics: Clyde Benson, an elderly farmer and alcoholic; Joseph Cassel, a failed writer who was institutionalized after increasingly violent behavior toward his family; and Leon Gabor, a college dropout and veteran of World War II. The [...]

Adaptation. (2002) – IMDb

Directed by Spike Jonze. With Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Tilda Swinton. A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt 'The Orchid Thief' by Susan Orlean for the screen. — Read on m.imdb.com/title/tt0268126/