For space scientists, the ultimate question is: Does life exist in the vast reaches of the cosmos? But for the rest of us, an equally pressing question is: Will a truly intelligent and watchable film about space exploration ever be made?
In the mid-1980s I served on a jury for a murder trial in Philadelphia. It soon became apparent that none of us jurors were “peers” of the defendant or his victim— the legal ideal. The same applies to the six women jurors who recently acquitted George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin. So what's the decisive factor in a jury's verdict?
Do you have what it takes to be truly banal? Let me count the ways.
Andrei Codrescu grew up in Communist Romania, where printed words were deemed more dangerous than bombs. Now he lives in a virtual world inundated with too many instantly disposable virtual words. Ah, but he has a solution.
By making art from ordinary objects, Duchamp and his colleagues sent a message: It's not the work of art but the work of imagination that's essential to creativity.
In a culture of disposable commodities, certain hand-held objects— like cell phones and iPods— seem to retain the quality of totems or fetishes. But no piece of machinery resonates with the feel of childhood control like a gun.
What could be more threatening to a dictatorship than an artist who acts like a free man? That is the question posed by Alison Klayman's graceful documentary about the Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei.
You're down the shore, with six days to go. How many more miniature golf courses, mermaid key rings, seashell villages and jellyfish in your newspaper before your brain turns to applesauce?
What James Joyce did for Dublin, Commotion Festival is doing for three emerging Philadelphia neighborhoods— that is, savoring the poetry in the lives of ordinary urban people and places.
The magical but realistic novels of Carlos Fuentes are compendiums of pulsating narratives and capacious realms of knowledge. He wrote in a genre that raises questions at a time when all forms of story are suspect and knowledge is represented as what anyone can locate on the Internet.