Mad Men lovers might be miffed

February 6, 2011

Daniel Mendehlson is not impressed; another piece from the New  York Review of books.  A taste:

For a drama (or book, or whatever) to invite an audience to  feel superior to a less enlightened era even as it teases the  regressive urges behind the behaviors associated with that  era strikes me as the worst possible offense that can be  committed in a creative work set in the past: it’s  simultaneously contemptuous and pandering. Here, it  cripples the show’s ability to tell us anything of real  substance about the world it depicts.


On Francesca Woodman

February 5, 2011

Nice piece in the New York Review of Books on Francesca Woodman.


The legal art forger

January 27, 2011

Here’s a piece in the Financial Times about one of America’s most notorious  forgers.  A taste:

When Gray saw the priest, she was taken aback by his appearance – he was short  and thin with sparse hair and jug ears, and looked frail and sickly. She and Mark  Tullos, the museum’s director, took him to Tullos’s office, where they had trouble  grasping his train of thought. “He had attention deficit disorder worse than anyone  I’d ever met,” says Gray. “He was constantly distracted in the middle of sentences by  shiny objects or jewellery.”


I Am Love

January 27, 2011

Rented this the other night, a film that came out in 2009, starring Tilda Swinton.  The whole film is in  Italian and Russian and is mesmerizing; shot in Milan, Nice, San Remo and London.  It’s a  “continental” film to be sure, languorously paced, erotic, with tension building quietly as the stifling orthodoxies of family and wealth are ruptured irrevocably by passion. An old story, true, but well  executed, and especially appealing to me, food is the heart of seduction.



December 31, 2009


Saberi released earlier this week

May 13, 2009

This is tremendously good news, but before one gets too ecstatic, Glenn Greenwald pens a sobering reminder of how the US treats journalists who aren’t working for access to the Pentagon. Check it out here.


Iranian-American journalist on hunger strike

May 5, 2009

You’ve likely noticed the several posts here about Roxana Saberi, the American journalist who has been sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran on espionage charges. Apparently, over the past two weeks, Saberi has been on a hunger strike, and when Iranian officials denied this, she went full on and stopped drinking water too and has since been hospitalized.

Although it’s somewhat less noticeable now, when Saberi was initially arrested, we heard too few calls of support from the mainstream press. It’s true that Reporters Sans Frontiers are now staging protests outside the Iranian Embassy, but initially, concern was coming either from Saberi’s family or diplomatic circles. This, as a wry friend observed, was because she’s professionally part of the pariah class, the freelancer.

Here’s more from the Washington Post.