We all know the manchild Mozart of Milos Forman’s 1984 biopic Amadeus. As embodied by a manic, braying Thomas Hulce, the precocious and haunted composer supposedly loved nothing more than scandalizing, amusing, or exasperating friends and enemies alike with juvenile pranks and scatological humor.[...]
In 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award, taking home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her turn as Mammy in Gone with the Wind. To quote a friend, there’s a lot happening in the 1:40 minutes that document her acceptance speech.[...]
Chess has been experiencing a surprising revival as of late, with the World Championships making headlines for the first time in years. As it was during the days of Bobby Fischer and later Garry Kasparov, the resurgence is largely the doing of one man: Norway’s 23-year-old chess phenom, Magnus Carlsen.[...]
When I was younger, I often found myself disagreeing with something I’d read or heard, but couldn’t explain exactly why. Despite being unable to pinpoint the precise reasons, I had a strong sense that the rules of logic were being violated.[...]
Does any name in film history carry such vivid associations with the western as John Wayne’s? Maybe Sergio Leone, Italian director of the Clint Eastwood-starring “Man with No Name” trilogy, comes in second.[...]
Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo might have been a critical disappointment when it came out in 1958, but it definitely had one of the most eye-catching poster designs in cinema history.
The poster was designed by Saul Bass who also did the movie’s groundbreaking title sequence.
The work of Hannah Arendt has been in the press recently for two reasons in particular: first, the 50th anniversary of her book Eichmann in Jerusalem, published in 1963 from reports she filed for The New Yorker on the 1961 trial of the archetypal Nazi bureaucrat.[...]
Image by Carl Van Vechten, via Wikimedia Commons
My two favorite William Faulkner novels are, without a doubt, Absalom, Absalom! and The Sound and The Fury.
The country music classic “I’ve Been Everywhere” was first recorded by Lucky Starr in Australia in 1962, then later adapted by Hank Snow, various other artists, and eventually the great Johnny Cash.[...]
In “George Washington’s Extreme Makeover,” novelist Douglas Coupland imagines the first President of the United States of America science-fictionally transported “from atop his horse somewhere in the Virginia countryside into a Level 3 clean room 500ft beneath that exact same spot some 230-odd years later, circa 2014” where “a crew of doctors, de[...]