cultural commentarypop culturereview

Dark Vocation

Watson basically teaches Sherlock how to be in a human relationship, and unlike previous Sherlocks, this one slowly concedes that following a life philosophy other than “everyone must serve my genius” might actually be a wiser way to live.
April 21, 2017

The Call of the Library

Of all the good books I received as Christmas gifts this year, one has captured my heart: You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf from Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia (Bloomsbury, 2016). I realize it’s hard to imagine a geekier volume than a history of…
January 13, 2017
pop culturereview

Patience with the Puzzles

That is not what I got with Arrival. Instead, this film, directed by Denis Villeneuve, manages to be riveting and meditative at once. Rather than marching us through a briskly paced action thriller, Villeneuve invites us to dwell in the mysteries of language, time, and…
November 25, 2016

Mystery in the Minster

Ron and I happened upon a remarkable endeavor while visiting York last month, and I’m so glad we spotted the posters, plunked down our pounds sterling, and settled ourselves into tight seats on scaffolded risers for a three-and-a-half hour spectacle: the York Minster Mystery Plays.
July 8, 2016

Teaching Us To Number Our Days Aright

“There are no good choices.” I remember saying that to my mother three years ago when we hit the first major decision point in what would become a long sequence of no-win decisions. My father had fallen again, crossing undeniably over the threshold to dependence.…
May 15, 2015

Exodus Movie Wrestles With God

Director Ridley Scott had me at the thundering hooves. I should not have enjoyed the two-and-a-half hours I spent watching Exodus: Gods and Kings—there are so many things wrong with it. But who can resist cast-of-thousands battle scenes, Egyptian palace intrigue swathed in gold lamé,…
December 12, 2014