FROM A.O. Scott
'Better Living Through Criticism' In 2012, New York Times chief film critic A.O. Scott described the movie The Avengers as "a snappy little dialogue comedy dressed up as … a giant A.T.M. for Marvel and its new studio overlords, the Walt Disney Company." Samuel L Jackson, one of the film’s stars, tweeted in response, "Avengers fans, A.O. Scott needs a new job! Let’s help find him one … he can ACTUALLY do!" A Twitter storm erupted. But Scott says Jackson raised a valid and vital question. What is the job of a critic and how should it be performed? Scott talks to Madeleine about his new book, which attempts to answer that question.
Biopics, 'They Are A-Changin' The biopic has become a Hollywood staple, particularly about popular musicians. There have been Oscar-winning films on Ray Charles and Johnny Cash , following a familiar formula of drug-induced decline and redemption. None of those personalities have been as willfully mercurial as the bard, Bob Dylan . Director Todd Haynes has attempted to capture his essence by making not one film but many, using not one actor to play Dylan, but many. A.O. Scott, film critic for the New York Times , has more on the provocative I'm Not There .
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."
Terrorism in London: Lessons for the US This weekend’s terrorist attack in London left seven people dead and almost 50 injured. London police fatally shot the attackers, and ISIS claimed responsibility.
Shaking up the USDA, 'The Beef Cookbook' and 'Tartine All Day' Peggy Lowe explains why Trump’s pick for USDA Secretary is rattling rural America. Dario Cecchini talks future plans for Chianti ramen, and Richard Turner shares cuts from “PRIME: The Beef Cookbook.” Writer Matthew Sedacca looks at the controversy behind liquid smoke. Jonathan Gold tries Chengdu-style dishes, and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine fills us in on the latest. Plus, chef Michael Beckman shares a recipe for cactus confit.