Arts

Arts and culture

There's a new museum in the West Bank dedicated to an iconic and controversial world figure: the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Visitors can get a peek at Arafat memorabilia and walk through the small compound in Ramallah where he was kept confined, surrounded by Israeli tanks, in the final years of his life.

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For years, Americans have been eager to visit Cuba, not just for its Caribbean warmth, but to seek out the roots of the island's music, to watch its films, to thumb through its books and meet its writers.

Fidel Castro's death Friday has again spiked interest in the country among Americans. And, with diplomatic relations thawing between the U.S. and Cuba, now more than ever it's possible to explore the island's culture at its origin.

But where to start?

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The audience squirms as the actors put on skull caps and fake beards and shout about how great it is to be a German Muslim. They call for jihad, initially as a way to self-reflect and later, as a battle cry.

The actors ask, "How can you sit here in comfort when our brothers and sisters in Syria and Iraq are being slaughtered? What does your conscience say? Do you even have a conscience?"

Inside IS, it's called, is a play for German teens about the so-called Islamic State was featured recently at Grips Theater, the largest youth theater in Berlin.

Actor Ron Glass Dies At Age 71

Nov 27, 2016
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Actor Ron Glass has died. He was 71. Glass is best remembered for his role on the sitcom "Barney Miller," where he played wry NYPD Detective Ron Harris.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BARNEY MILLER")

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H.G. Wells' eerie writing brought us time machines, aliens and a submarine, long before a real one was seen in the world. Still, one of his short stories spent decades unseen by his avid readers.

Until now, that is.

His long-unpublished story "The Haunted Ceiling" is making its way into print for the first time. In its new issue, The Strand Magazine is publishing the story — which features a man driven mad by the image of a dead woman, with her throat slit, appearing on his ceiling.

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Jack London, who died 100 years ago this week, occupies a space in which few writers can set foot. Although it's not especially unique for writers' lives to be marked by sickness and excess, London was prolific despite these constant threats to his productivity. Even as illness loomed, he managed to publish over 50 books and hundreds of articles in the last 16 years of his life.

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(SOUNDBITE OF TV THEME, "THE BRADY BUNCH")

PEPPERMINT TROLLEY COMPANY: (Singing) Here's the story...

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Today we're remembering a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls. You know the rest.

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In this season of indulgence (and overindulgence), some people will turn to the treadmill, while others turn to the Pepto-Bismol. Author Brad Thomas Parsons will reach for the bottle — specifically, a bottle full of a liqueur called amaro, which people have used as a digestive aid for centuries.

It's an herbal recipe, and "it's actually bittersweet," Parsons says.

"The bittering agents in it are actually helping your digestive system," he explains. "Four out of five doctors may not agree with everything that's working in there, but trust me."

On a recent fall morning, a large crowd clogged the steps at one of Venice's main tourist sites, the Rialto Bridge. But on this day, there was a twist: it was filled with Venetians, not tourists.

"People are cheering and holding their carts in the air," says Giovanni Claudio Di Giorgio, who helped organize the march with a grass-roots organization called Generazione '90.

The carts he refers to are small shopping carts — the symbol of a true Venetian.

You know it from the first few notes of Thurl Ravenscroft's barrel-chested performance — singing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" with the same flair he brought to playing Tony the Tiger in Kellogg's cereal commercials — Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a holiday classic.

The animated film turns 50 this year, airing on NBC about three weeks before its actual birthday. And it is, admittedly, a little weird to call a 26-minute cartoon about a green guy who learns not to steal Christmas presents an enduring masterpiece.

A "conversation" between two major artists — Henri Matisse of France, and Richard Diebenkorn of the U.S. — is taking place on the walls of the Baltimore Museum of Art. The two artists never met, but Matisse influenced Diebenkorn's work, across decades and continents.

Most television shows arrive accompanied by the question, "Is it good?" Revivals of old shows, however, often arrive with the question, "Is it necessary?"

In his defining moments on screen, Toshiro Mifune was glowering and silent, as if careful not to let slip a hint of his next move. To judge by Mifune: The Last Samurai, he was much the same off screen. Of the surviving friends, colleagues, and family members interviewed for this instructive but staid and unsurprising documentary, none has anything startling to reveal.

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Zombies, I'll admit, bore me. Kitsch, dopey, stumping around all smelly, zombies lack the machinations, the stealth, and the whiff of sex that make other creatures of the night — vampires, say — appealing.

They are, however, pure body, and thus an apt choice for a fantasy novel that deals with the corporal realities: periods, sweat, masturbation, the trials of going to the bathroom in the woods, and the way thighs chafe in the heat when their owner hides out from flesh-eating corpses.

As families gather for home-cooked food this Thanksgiving, there's one acclaimed Los Angeles chef who expresses her gratitude for local flavors by getting out in nature.

'Allied' Revives The Old-Fashioned Wartime Thriller

Nov 23, 2016

They don't make 'em like they used to, except when they do.

You would be forgiven for getting so lost in the world of Moana that the story itself becomes merely a distant hum. Disney's newest animated extravaganza takes as its inspiration the crystal blue waves and lush green island mountains of Polynesia, making the landscape into a 3-D storybook. The computer animation, so much crisper and more vibrant than the all-white X-Y planes of Frozen, turns the film into a celebration of (bio)diversity. And not a moment too soon for a world that keeps needing to be reminded that this is all worth taking some effort to save.

For yuletide misanthropes nationwide, Bad Santa has become a kind of alternative holiday tradition, the shot of Wild Turkey spiking the eggnog. What's forgotten is that Terry Zwigoff's delectably nasty 2003 comedy was a hit despite a bitter post-production struggle between Zwigoff and the studio, Miramax, which decided the film needed "heart," did reshoots (some without Zwigoff's participation), and released the film as a parent might release a soiled diaper.

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Whether you're counting votes, counting your blessings or counting olives for your martini, tomorrow is a big day.

(SOUNDBITE OF ALBUM, "BEYOND THE PALE")

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