The 25 Best Coming-of-Age Movies Ever Made

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood continues its seemingly inevitable move towards world domination, expanding to more theaters over the weekend and capturing the imaginations and hearts of even the most jaded moviegoers. Meanwhile, Naomi Foner’s evocative Very Good Girls also opened last weekend, with a welcome female take on that whole “becoming a grown-up” thing. In other words, it’s a very good time for the coming-of-age movie, where maturity is gained and lessons are learned and lifelong memories are made, so with that in mind, we’ve rounded up a few of our all-time… Read More

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“Why Stop at Pencils?”: David Rees on His New TV Show, ‘Going Deep,’ and Unconventional Career Path

David Rees may be the most sincere motherfucker on the planet. Whether you know him for his cult comics Get Your War On and My New Fighting Technique Is Unstoppable, which combined post-9/11 Bush-era political anxiety with the bland comfort of clip art and torrents of eloquent swearing, or his mastery of artisanal pencil sharpening — summed up in 2012’s book How to Sharpen Pencils — Rees has been a talent for the age after irony, tapping into our worries and obsessions with his inherently comical pursuits. … Read More

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10 of the Most Depressing Places in Literature

After reading Tara Isabella Burton’s American Reader essay, “The Geography of Melancholy,” it’s natural to find yourself thinking about the most depressing cities, towns, and municipalities in literature. Burton points out that, in the real world, “Nearly every historic city has its brand of melancholy indelibly associated with it — each variety linked to the scars the city bears.” She also connects writers and the cities that influenced them — “Baudelaire’s Paris, Zweig’s Vienna, Morris’s Trieste.” There are many more, of course — here are a selection of other depressing places and the writers they inspired. … Read More

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‘True Blood’ Season 7 Episode 6 Recap: Take a Number

No TV show says summer to us more than True Blood, its Southern Gothic atmosphere and pulpy pleasures providing the perfect complement to sweaty evenings spent drinking mint juleps at home after another exhausting day in the hot sun. The show alternately drives us crazy and enthralls us, and its final season is as silly as ever. This week: Bill goes to the DMV, and finds vampire Walter Jr.! … Read More

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‘The Leftovers’ Season 1 Episode 5 Recap: “Gladys”

At this point, I’ve come to terms with the fact that every episode of The Leftovers — no matter how much I may like it — will be drowning in despair and inevitably leave me with an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness as the credits end. That said, I still wasn’t prepared for the violent cold open in “Gladys.” … Read More

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‘Masters of Sex’ Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: “Fight”

For a while there it felt like Masters of Sex was starting to develop the same problem as Nashville: too many characters, not enough development. So “Fight” comes as a welcome relief. All episode long, Bill and Virginia play house — naughty, nasty house — and uncover each other’s secrets in the process, much like we do early in the process of falling in love. I wish every episode of Masters of Sex were like this: a fever dream dressed up in a luxurious hotel robe instead of a lab coat. The show took stunning risks — in the boxing symbolism that could have felt played, in the emotional vulnerability between two leads who typically tiptoe around their feelings, in committing to a single storyline, in attempting historical accuracy a la Mad Men — and they all paid off. Welcome to the big leagues, Masters of Sex. … Read More

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10 Poetic Tributes to Cats

Esteemed American poet T. S. Eliot had a deep love of cats, evidenced in his 1939 collection of humorous poems, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The whimsical work was originally composed to amuse his godchildren and friends, but earned the admiration of feline fanciers the world over (and inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats). And Eliot isn’t the only poet with a fondness for four-legged furballs. We’ve collected ten other poems for pussycats — tributes to their mystique and reflections on their place in our (lesser) human… Read More

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Striking Photos of Empty New York City Locations in the 1960s

It’s hard to imagine a perpetually populated New York City spot like Penn Station free of people, but photographer Duane Michals captured the quiet side of the iconic locale, and others, in his Empty New York series. Started in the 1960s, Michals explored the streets of New York during the early morning hours, capturing shops, parks, and subway cars. His striking work was the subject of a recent exhibition at DC Moore Gallery that closed in May.

“It was a fortuitous event for me [to discover the work of Eugene Atget in a book]. I became so enchanted by the intimacy of the rooms and streets and people he photographed that I found myself looking at twentieth–century New York in the early morning through his nineteenth-century eyes,” the artist stated. “Everywhere seemed a stage set. I would awaken early on Sunday mornings and wander through New York with my camera, peering into shop windows and down cul-de-sacs with a bemused Atget looking over my shoulder.”

Michals reinterpretation of the metropolis is theatrical and sometimes eerie, bringing an unexpected philosophical resonance to everyday spaces like a laundromat. See more of these rare gelatin silver prints in our gallery.

Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art will exhibit Michals’ other work from November 1 through February 16. Visit DC Moore Gallery through the end of the month to see the paintings of Robert De Niro, Sr., father of actor Robert De Niro. … Read More

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The Most Ridiculous TV Show Concepts in Pop Culture

“Jonathan Chase, master of the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man … Manimal.” Thus begins the 1983 NBC series Manimal, starring Simon MacCorkindale as a rich playboy who shapeshifts into various animals to help the police solve crimes. Manimal was canceled after only eight episodes, but gained a cult following thanks to its bonkers premise. Earlier this week, news broke that Will Ferrell and company are set on creating a “live-action/animation hybrid” feature film version of Manimal. The whole crime-fighting man-panther thing is pretty weird, but Manimal has a lot of company when it comes to television shows boasting absurd storylines. We uncovered some of the strangest, including a few classics and several you might have missed. … Read More

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20 Mind-Bending Aldous Huxley Book Covers

Today marks the 120th birthday of English novelist and prolific essayist Aldous Huxley. The Brave New World author’s scathing critique of the mass media and the government (and their use of technology) positioned him at the center of intellectual discourse and made him one of the most widely read science fiction authors of his time. Huxley’s vision of a dystopian society, his experiences with psychedelics, and his fascination with parapsychology and philosophical mysticism are evident throughout his works — and his book covers. Inspired by the author’s mind-bending tales and theories, enjoy this collection of Huxley book cover art worthy of his surreal stories. … Read More

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