Criticism

Cracked Actor

The film career of David Bowie. In the summer of 1983, a man calling himself David Bowie appeared on the cover of Time magazine. With his blond coif and portfolio of smooth platinum hits, this tanned and tailored crooner of what he dubbed “positive music” seemed a man apart from the shape-shifting, gender-melding ’70s pop…

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Absence of Malick

A new DVD of The Thin Red Line suggests Terrence Malick is as much a mystery to his actors and crew as he is to us. Even before it arrived in theaters at the end of 1998, the World War II drama The Thin Red Line was a film defined by unexplained absences. Its director,…

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Mad Men’s greatest subject was women in the workplace.

Matthew Weiner’s great subject wasn’t masculine self-invention or the advertising business or the 1960s—it was women in the workplace. here are many ways to choose the best-ever line from seven hugely quotable seasons of Mad Men. You could pick a salient passage from the Draper Doctrine of market-driven nihilism. You could open a pot of…

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Mother of Invention

On Jenny Offill’s Dept of Speculation for BookForum. In 1999, Jenny Offill published her first novel, Last Things, written in the voice of a girl caught between her passive scientist father and her mother, an increasingly unstable fabulist who takes her daughter on the run to nowhere in particular. Startlingly assured in inhabiting a child’s…

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Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up the Bodies By Hilary Mantel

On Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies (BookForum) Hilary Mantel’s 2009 novel, Wolf Hall, was an extraordinary achievement, a work of historical and artistic integrity that nonetheless managed to be a hit across genders, generations, and sensibilities. I know a twentysomething male worshipper of Thomas Bernhard who loves it, and I know a retired female…

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