Arts

Arts and culture

A 63-Year-Old Lifeguard

Jul 8, 2018

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

You know it's been a long year when people ask for summer reads and you find yourself recommending Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thievesin which Indigenous North Americans band together to escape government hunters in the wake of societal collapse — as a comforting story. (Hey, at least everybody's banding together.)

The Joyful Cities Of Bodys Isek Kingelez

Jul 8, 2018

The Congolese artist Bodys Isek Kingelez had a vision of the future — and he built it out of soda cans, bottle caps, cookie packages, matchboxes, colored paper and corrugated cardboard.

More than 30 of his wildly colorful architectural models are now on display in "Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams," a new exhibit at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

The artist (1948–2015) sculpted fancifully shaped buildings and metropolises decorated with all manner of arcs, curves and ornamental flourishes.

Steve Ditko, the comic-book artist best known for his role in creating Spider-Man, has died at the age of 90.

Ditko is credited with helping to popularize the Marvel Comics universe, whose characters today can be found everywhere from blockbuster films, to television shows, to theme park rides, to merchandise. Working alongside artists Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Ditko was a creative force behind characters like Dr. Strange, the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man.

A new movie is coming from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson — former pro wrestler, current action movie superstar. It's called Skyscraper.

It brings together lots of threads. The world's tallest building! On fire! With thousands of people inside! Including the hero's beautiful family! Johnson is of course the hero, a one-legged war veteran who must save the day.

There are lots of scary moments, lots of tension, and — if you are afraid of heights — lots more tension. The director, Rawson Marshall Thurber, is writing and making his second film with Johnson.

When you're caught up in the turmoil of the moment, it can be good to take the long view. So: Meet actress Marsha Hunt.

Now 100 years old, she was part of the golden age of Hollywood, and then the golden age of live television. She lived through the McCarthy era and survived the Hollywood blacklist and still held onto her ideals.

On the floor of a Zen Buddhist worship space in an apartment building in Washington, D.C., about 15 people recently sat on meditation cushions. They chant sutras and meditate, in complete silence, for a full 30 minutes.

And then one of the lay leaders of the All Beings Zen Sangha, or congregation, conducted a "little exercise."

"It's very simple," said Mark Stone. "If you could take out your screens, stay on them for 12 minutes, doing what you usually do."

Anne Tyler's latest novel is about a woman in her 60s who marries young, has two children and is widowed young, remarries — and finds her life truly changed, late in the game, by a phone call asking for help, that was probably made in error. (Though that doesn't make it a mistake.)

The new book — Tyler's 21st — is called Clock Dance. It has a saguaro cactus on the cover, but Tyler's novels almost always lead to Baltimore, which is where she was when we spoke.


Interview Highlights

On the creation of Willa, her main character

Editor's note: This story includes frank descriptions of sexual matters depicted in the movie.

Before moving to India, I thought Bollywood was all demure, G-rated eyelash-fluttering. Boy meets girl, their families don't approve, but they get over it in the end — and everyone breaks out into synchronized dance moves.

You remember them if you grew up in the 1980s or '90s, leering at you from drugstore racks: a morbid parade of covers featuring skeletons graduating from college or playing piano or dressed as surgeons and cradling babies; covers of teenagers brooding in attics and creepy kids, all with peekaboo die-cut covers opening up to reveal gorgeous art of menacing grandmothers and chortling, flame-shrouded demons, their titles embossed in gold foil: The Seeing, The Searing, The Sharing, The Spawning, The Suiting.

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