Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ and the Tragedy of Time in Artistic Lives

Mortality has its own way of haunting everyone, but for me it often manifests as vague anxiety about running out of time. In the short term, that means constant, low-level resentment over the inability to write or travel or even sleep as much as I’d like. What upsets me more, though, is when I get to thinking about the half-century or so I have left on this planet (if I’m lucky), and I remember that even if I dropped all my responsibilities and started devouring them in earnest, I could never read all the great books that have ever been published. I won’t ever finish watching every brilliant film or hear every transcendent piece of music or take in every masterpiece of visual art, either. And what if I had any ambitions about adding to that canon? … Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 3 Episode 17: “Flesh and Blood”

Every halfway decent TV show that is built on multiple storylines and suspense has at least one episode per season when everything comes together. “Flesh and Blood,” the penultimate installment of Scandal Season 3, was that episode. Not only did it bring together everything from the terrorist plot to the election to young Jerry Grant’s paternity, but it even briefly managed to get most of the show’s major players into the same room, for a scene that kicked off a whiplash-inducing hour of nonstop action. … Read More

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Lars von Trier Doesn’t Hate Women. So Why Won’t the Myth of His Misogyny Die?

Any other bride would panic if the stretch limo carrying her to her wedding got stuck en route, too long to make a tight turn on a narrow country road. Not Justine, though. Her face lights up with perverse glee. She laughs. And we have our first sign that the heroine of Lars von Trier’s Melancholia does not respond to the world around her in precisely the way she’s supposed to. … Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 3 Episode 16 Recap: “The Fluffer”

What does Olivia Pope want? Three seasons in, that’s become the central question of Scandal, the protagonist’s internal conflict surpassing even the most suspenseful storylines about the White House, B-613, terrorism, the election, and even the love triangle and family ties that place Liv at the epicenter of each drama. And it’s a question that’s becoming increasingly hard to answer as talk of white hats and black hats has blurred into a whole lot of moral gray area, and our heroine has received and refused countless opportunities to give it all up and start living “in the light” like a normal human being. … Read More

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Who Will Front Nirvana If the Band Reunites to Play the Rock Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony?

Amid a week so steeped in Nirvana nostalgia that it’s begun to inspire incisive meta-commentary, something close to honest-to-goodness Nirvana news has emerged: Krist Novoselic sent a tweet that implies he’ll be performing his former band’s songs at next Thursday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. … Read More

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Breathtakingly Beautiful Closeup Photos of Butterfly Wings

The beauty of butterflies, the loveliest of all insects, has hardly gone unheralded — but this series of photos by Linden Gledhill is sure to make you even more appreciative of their aesthetic qualities. Using a macro lens to zoom in on tiny sections of their wings, Gledhill (who’s trained as a biochemist) reveals breathtaking multicolored fish-scale patterns that resemble lush fabrics and vibrant works of abstract art. Click through for a selection of images from the series (spotted via Colossal), and visit Gledhill’s Flickr page for many more butterfly-wing photos –  among other fascinating series. … Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 3 Episode 15 Recap: “Mama Said Knock You Out”

No TV drama beats Scandal when it comes to sheer volume of insane plot twists, but it’s not every week that the show manages to funnel them into an episode that resonates on a thematic level. That’s what made “Mama Said Knock You Out” such a refreshing hour of television: it slowed down the story long enough to explore the impact of nearly three seasons’ worth of constant upheaval on Scandal‘s characters. The episode centered around family, both literal blood relations and the bonds of love and trust isolated people build with kindred spirits. … Read More

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Did ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Screw Up Its Teacher-Student Love Storyline?

In the years since Gossip Girl locked itself into a Chuck-and-Blair death spiral and Skins sent its final cast packing, no TV series has taken hold of the teenage-girl — and, clearly, adult-woman-who-can’t-resist-a-teen-soap — imagination like Pretty Little Liars. A murder mystery about a quartet of high-school girls tormented by an unseen villain known as “A,” it has maintained its audience’s rapt attention through four seasons (with a fifth scheduled to premiere in June) by constantly changing the game and juggling its ever-evolving whodunit with typical teen-drama storylines: academic pressures, family strife, and most of all, romance. … Read More

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‘Scandal’ Season 3 Episode 14 Recap: “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”

Another Washington power player bites the dust — and interpersonal tensions run higher than ever in American politics’ most exclusive social circle. Last week, I predicted that if Jake’s bullet ended up inside anyone (I mean, besides his and James’ two faceless associates), it would be David. Today, I think it’s time to admit how terrible I am at predicting where Scandal is going with just about anything. … Read More

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The Uncomfortable Gender Politics of “My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection”

Cohabitation: it’s an endless series of compromises, all supposedly worthwhile in the name of true love and cheaper rent. We don’t just share our homes and beds with our spouses and significant others — we also share a lifetime’s worth of possessions, and the obsessions that drive us to amass them. That is, perhaps, one of the basic human truths that made a Tumblr called My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection, in which a woman has set out to review each of the 1500 items in said collection, a viral hit. … Read More

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