Arts & Entertainment

Hilton Als on Jean-Luc Godard

New York Review of Books

Hilton Als
Godard’s Women

Cinema is a gift in that it allows for exposition—the betrayal of secrets—in frame after frame, actress by actress.

Jerry Brown
On the Downbeat

Joan Didion was gentle in person, and quiet-spoken, but ferocious in her honesty.

Malise Ruthven
The Long Reach of the Satanic Verses

The violent controversy over Salman Rushdie’s novel can be traced back to the early days of Islam.

Erin Maglaque
Rome Was His Laboratory

By the time of his death in 1729, the astronomer, historian, and archaeologist Francesco Bianchini had been an aide to three popes and confidant to one Polish princess and an exiled king.

David Shulman
Cosmic Oceans Squeezed into Atoms

The idiosyncratic wisdom of the Tirukkural’s poetry is about aliveness, perhaps the most elusive of human goals.

Larry Wolff
The Struggle Over Verdi

The mood of urgency and unease in La Forza del Destino—the opening performance of this year’s Parma Verdi Festival—also hangs over Italy ahead of Sunday’s national elections.

In the Review’s December 18, 2014, issue, Hilton Als wrote about Diane Keaton’s life and career on the occasion of the second volume of her memoirs, Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty. “Keaton’s signature characters,” Als observes, “are women who do not know who their ‘I’ is but nevertheless ‘more or less’ rush to the podium, hiding to be seen.”

Hilton Als
The Good-bye Girl

“And there it is, again and again: grit and ardor as the defining characteristics of the American arrival myth. In both her books, Keaton emerges as a heroine traversing the American West and East and then West again looking to pitch her tent so she can devise her own magic show not so much for the delectation of men—except if they’re as elusive as Keaton herself—but always for her mother’s love and approval.”

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