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  • Movistar Plus Pitches ‘La Unidad’ Digitally to International Buyers March 29, 2020
    MADRID  —  Telefonica’s Movistar Plus was set to show off a pair of dramas at this year’s MipTV before the market was canceled. Now, Movistar has prepared online presentations on Monday where it will screen episodes of both series as well as conversations with producers and creatives from both series. Each show focus on terrorist […]
    John Hopewell
  • Movistar Presents New Drama ‘La Linea Invisible’ to Virtual Marketplace March 29, 2020
    MADRID – Originally planned to premiere alongside fellow Movistar Plus Original “La Unidad” at this year’s MipTV, “La Línea Invisible” will now instead screen for international buyers digitally in an online showcase hosted by the Spanish broadcaster on Monday. From “What the Future Holds” creator Mariano Barroso (“The Wolves of Washington”), the six-part ser […]
    John Hopewell
  • How DJ D-Nice’s Club Quarantine Became an Isolation Sensation March 29, 2020
    DJ D-Nice’s Instagram Live virtual dance parties have been the sensation of isolation, drawing upwards of 150,000 viewers — among them, both Democratic candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, former first lady Michelle Obama, Drake, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — and helping relieve anxiety during this time of stress […] […]
    Shirley Halperin
  • Beloved Nate ‘n Al’s Deli Closing Permanently Sunday March 28, 2020
    Nate ‘n Al Deli, a fixture in Beverly Hills and the entertainment industry for 75 years, announced Saturday that it would be closing Sunday with no plans to reopen. It had been open for takeout and delivery since restaurants closed due to coronavirus on March 15. The Beverly Drive restaurant’s Instagram message reads, “Approximately one […]
    Pat Saperstein
  • John Callahan, ‘All My Children’ Soap Opera Star, Dies at 66 March 28, 2020
    John Callahan, a soap opera star on “All My Children,” died on Saturday morning after suffering a stroke at his Palm Springs, Calif., home on Friday. He was 66. “Your bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. We are devastated–my great friend, co-parent partner, and loving father to Kaya,” […]
    Jordan Moreau
  • ‘Uncorked’ Director Prentice Penny and Star Mamoudou Athie Talk Wine, Barbecue and Family Expectations March 28, 2020
    It’s easy to feel intimidated by wine. All those hard-to-pronounce names, so many vineyards to remember. That’s the world Elijah, played by Mamoudou Athie, wants to enter in the new Netflix movie “Uncorked,” about a young man who dreams of taking the brutally difficult master sommelier exam instead of taking over his family’s Memphis barbecue […] […]
    Pat Saperstein
  • How the Coronavirus Crisis Turned Governor Andrew Cuomo Into a TV Sensation (Column) March 28, 2020
    High on the list of things that nobody could have predicted just a few weeks ago is the emergence of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a buzzy daytime TV draw. Cuomo’s expansive daily media briefings on the state of the coronavirus pandemic that has spread quickly through the Empire State have become national news, […]
    Cynthia Littleton
  • Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Return to U.S. After Coronavirus Diagnosis in Australia March 28, 2020
    Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are back home in the U.S. after they revealed they had contracted coronavirus and were quarantined in Australia. Hanks gave an update on Twitter Saturday morning, thanking everyone who had helped them in Australia and assuring people that they are still isolating themselves in the U.S. “Hey, folks…We’re home now […]
    Jordan Moreau
  • Cardi B Pledges to Start a GoFundMe for Joe Exotic From Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ March 28, 2020
    Cardi B, like most people in the world, is hooked on Netflix’s “Tiger King.” Over the past couple of days, Cardi has been tweeting about the new docu-series, which follows the bizarre story of Joe Exotic, a private zoo owner with hundreds of exotic animals who ends up in jail for hiring a hitman to […]
    Jordan Moreau
  • Ariana Grande and the ‘Victorious’ Cast Celebrate 10 Year Anniversary on Zoom March 28, 2020
    Nickelodeon fans’ dreams came true when the cast of “Victorious” reunited to celebrate the show’s debut 10 years ago. Ariana Grande, Victoria Justice and their co-stars were supposed to get together in person to commemorate the anniversary, but due to the shelter-in-place rules around the country, the cast all hopped on a Zoom call. Grande […]
    Jordan Moreau

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  • 'Strong spring storm' to blast Upper Midwest with wintry conditions this weekend March 27, 2020
    A storm emerging from the Rockies after burying the region under heavy spring snow will turn to the Upper Midwest with wintry weather this weekend, as it triggers life-threatening severe weather and tornadoes in the south-central United States. Winter storm warnings are in effect across portions of Minnesota and Wisconsin as of Sunday morning as...
  • Record-breaking heat to persist across the South this weekend March 27, 2020
    As an expansive dome of high pressure continues to remain parked over the Gulf of Mexico and the southern United States, record-challenging heat will continue for many areas that have already smashed records this week. Going into the weekend, the stretch of summerlike heat allowed, New Orleans to set daily high temperature records six days...
  • Spring's 1st widespread severe outbreak to threaten hail, tornadoes March 28, 2020
    Severe weather began to erupt across the center of the country Saturday, with the dangers of hail, wind and tornadoes set to continue overnight. The atmosphere was already volatile and primed for severe weather going into the weekend, after thunderstorms produced large, softball-sized hail on Friday across parts of Missouri. The same storm that will...
  • Thunderstorms, drenching rain to target the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes and Northeast this weekend March 28, 2020
    Waves of wet weather will continue this weekend as drenching rain and thunderstorms spread across the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Northeast through Sunday. Those itching to get outside for some fresh air this weekend will want to bring along an umbrella as rounds of rain are predicted. The same storm system responsible for severe...
  • LIVE: Tornado strikes Jonesboro, Ark. as severe weather outbreak unfolds in central US March 28, 2020
    Atmosphere conditions created all of the ingredients needed for severe weather to unleash softball-sized hail, wind and tornadoes across the central United States on Saturday.
  • Daily coronavirus briefing: U.S. death toll surpasses 2,000 as millions ordered to shelter-in-place March 27, 2020
    The coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a halt in the early part of 2020. After emerging in China’s Hubei province in late 2019, the number of cases skyrocketed and infected more than half of a million worldwide over a four-month span with the epicenter shifting from Asia to Europe and, as of late March, the...
  • Meteorologists say March could go out like a lion with more flooding, severe weather March 27, 2020
    Following widespread heat and severe weather in some locations this weekend, a storm system will cruise eastward with drenching rain and thunderstorms across the southern United States before March comes to a close. “A storm is forecast to make steady eastward progress across the South next week, but it will pull a significant amount of...
  • Nearly 40 million Americans brace for severe weather outbreak, tornado threat March 26, 2020
    Close to 40 million people may be at risk for severe thunderstorms over the central United States as a volatile weather pattern unfolds into Saturday, and AccuWeather meteorologists say some of the storms will be capable of spawning strong tornadoes. The situation may become especially dangerous with as the severe weather outbreak reaches its peak...
  • Storms to spread snow, increase flood threat across Alps and southeastern Europe March 26, 2020
    Amid the COVID-19 outbreak across the world, many are looking for some sunshine and fresh air, even from their patios and backyards. Those hoping for calm spring conditions across southern Europe will instead get saddled with wet, and in some areas, wintry weather. Two storms will combine to bring snow and rain to central and...
  • More rain to target Japan through Sunday morning, raising the risk for flooding March 24, 2020
    Several rounds of rain will target eastern Asia through the weekend, raising the risk for flooding and some snow. Periods of rain and thunderstorms first drenched parts of China through the middle of the week as a storm system organized over the country. The storm slowly shifted into the East China Sea. The heaviest rain...

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Top Book News provided by The New York Review of Books©

  • Pandemic Journal
    A running series of brief dispatches by New York Review writers documenting the coronavirus outbreak with regular updates from around the world, including Tolu Ogunlesi in Lagos, Merve Emre in Oxford, Yasmine El Rashidi in Cairo, Keija Parssinen in Granville, E. Tammy Kim in Brooklyn, Adam Foulds in Toronto, Tom Bachtell in Chicago, Ivan Sršen in Zagreb, Sue Halpern in Ripton, Michael S. Roth in Middletown, Ben Mauk in Penang, Martin Filler in Southampton, Eula Biss in Evanston, Richard Ford in East Boothbay, George Weld in Brooklyn, Nilanjana Roy in New Delhi, Ursula Lindsey in Amman, Zoë Schlanger in Brooklyn, Dominique Eddé in Beirut, Lucy McKeon in Brooklyn, Yiyun Li in Princeton, Caitlin L. Chandler in Berlin, Nick Laird in Kerhonkson, Alma Guillermoprieto in Bogotá, Lucy Jakub in Northampton, Rachael Bedard in Brooklyn, Hari Kunzru in Brooklyn, Minae Mizumura in Tokyo, Jenny Uglow in Keswick, Sylvia Poggioli in Rome, and more.
  • Plagues and Pandemics: Further Reading
    Aside from world war, nothing has the capacity to touch every citizen on the globe like a pandemic. History has much to teach us about facing the spread of an invisible enemy. Why were warnings ignored? How are ecology and public health intertwined? Who stands to lose when a cure is inevitably found and the developed world moves on? We’ve grappled with these questions in the Review before, through early accounts of the plague, histories of mosquitoes and rats, Philip Roth’s fictional account of polio season, and more.
  • ‘Since I Became Symptomatic’
    Being a single parent is like being a parent except you’re always alone. Being a single parent in quarantine is like being a parent except the inside of your mind has become an insane asylum echoing with the sound of your own voice reading the same picture books over and over again. My daughter and I haven’t left the apartment in four days, ever since I became symptomatic. When I wake with my heart pounding in the middle of the night, my sheets are soaked with sweat that must be full of virus. The virus is my new partner, our third companion in the apartment, wetly draped across my body in the night.
  • Pandemic Economics: ‘Much Worse, Very Quickly’
    Last week, Goldman Sachs predicted jobless claims could easily hit 2.25 million this week—seen by some as scaremongering but, it turned out, too optimistic. On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced jobless claims of nearly 3.3 million, up from 281,000 the week before. The highest number of new claims in a week previously was 695,000 in 1982. Based on data already seen, it is plausible GDP numbers will drop more than 10 percent in the second quarter of 2020 across many OECD countries, where nearly 1.3 billion people live. Over the last decade or so, the social safety net has been gutted—and now we are paying the price: we have vulnerable communities that simply do not have the resources to withstand such a nasty economic or health shock. This virus changes everything.
  • Illness & Crisis, from Medieval Plague Tracts to Covid-19
    When the plague arrived at Catalonia’s doorstep in April 1348, the learned physician Jacme d’Agramont wrote to address the “doubts and fears” rising around him. He laid out, in a treatise written in Catalan to the civil authorities in his hometown of Lleida, a set of reasonable preventative measures that anyone could take. The air was likely putrefied because of sin, so confession should be the first priority. Sex and baths must be avoided, because they open one’s pores and allow noxious airs to enter. A fearful imagination would only make matters worse.
  • ‘Everyone Is Isolated’: An Interview with Yuan Ling
    Ian Johnson: You’ve written both fiction and nonfiction. What would be the best way to approach Wuhan? Yuan Ling: The virus causes isolation and shutdown, which mirrors the isolation and shutdown in Chinese society, and also because it was directly the result of controlling speech and clamping down on “rumors.” This is symbolic. During normal times, people aren’t free but they don’t feel it, but now everyone feels their unfreedom. 
  • In Brazil, Bolsonaro Gambles on a Coronavirus Culture War
    Bolsonaro was supposed to be against the idea of the populace forming large crowds in the streets, but he began tweeting out videos of the demonstrations around the nation, obviously encouraging more of the true believers to hit the streets. Then he decided to go out himself, after all. Defying his own health minister, he greeted supporters at close quarters and posed for selfies. No mask this time. For some people, this was the last straw. Parts of big cities erupted in “panelaço,” the ritual banging of pots and pans.
  • Pandemic Journal, March 17–22
    Dispatches on the coronavirus outbreak from Madeleine Schwartz in Brooklyn, Anne Enright in Dublin, Joshua Hunt in Busan, Anna Badkhen in Lalibela, Lauren Groff in Gainesville, Christopher Robbins in New York, Elisa Gabbert in Denver, Ian Jack in London, Vanessa Barbara in São Paolo, Rachel Pearson in San Antonio, A.E. Stallings in Athens, Simon Callow in London, Mark Gevisser in Cape Town, Sarah Manguso in Los Angeles, Ruth Margalit in Tel Aviv, Miguel-Anxo Murado in Madrid, Tim Parks in Milan, Eduardo Halfon in Paris, Anastasia Edel in Oakland, and more.
  • ‘Pale Horse, Pale Rider’: A Story of the 1918 Flu Pandemic
    Miss Hobbe had passed through, carrying a tray. “My dear child,” she said sharply, with a glance at Miranda’s attire, “what is the matter?”  Miranda, with the receiver to her ear, said, “Influenza, I think.”  “Horrors,” said Miss Hobbe, in a whisper, and the tray wavered in her hands. “Go back to bed at once... go at once.”  “I must talk to Bill first,” Miranda had told her, and Miss Hobbe had hurried on and had not returned. Bill had shouted directions at her, promising everything, doctor, nurse, ambulance, hospital, her check every week as usual, everything, but she was to get back to bed and stay there. 
  • What ‘Distributive Justice’ Means for Doctors Treating Covid-19
    The Italian guidelines’ specific recommendations include common-sense best practices such as seeking the ethical and practical opinion of other providers or senior staff when making a charged decision, encouraging all patients to make advance directives and clarify their wishes in the event of rapid deterioration—we should all do this; I now have one taped to my refrigerator—and providing absolute transparency and continual communication with patients and families, particularly when resource rationing is involved. In other words, doctors are advised to use their own judgment in allocating care and resources to those patients most likely to benefit.
  • Bigger Brother
    What we’re learning is that the symbiosis between capitalism and privacy was maybe just a phase, a four-hundred-year fad. For capitalism is an adaptive creature, a perfect chameleon; it has no disabling convictions but seeks only profit. If privacy pays, great, but if totalizing control pays more, then so be it.
  • Stuck
    Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians are every bit as oppressive today as they were a decade ago. It is, however, much harder to claim that ending the occupation should still be a top US priority because it would stabilize the region and strengthen American interests throughout the Middle East. Israelis look at their two recent military withdrawals—from southern Lebanon in 2000 and from Gaza in 2005—and see their occupying forces replaced with missile-firing Islamists: Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. Withdrawing from the West Bank, most of them believe, would endanger the roughly 60 percent of Israel’s population that lives nearby. The occupation gnaws at the nation’s moral and democratic fiber and poses a risk that there will be more non-Jews than Jews ruled by the Jewish state. Still, Israelis believe that withdrawal would be even more dangerous. As many say, we are stuck; better stuck than dead.
  • Helping Hitler: An Exchange
    To the Editors: On the substantive issues relating to the current Hohenzollern restitution debate, my former Cambridge colleague David Motadel and I are largely in agreement. Neither of us wants to see castles and parklands disappear from public ownership into the hands of the former reigning family. But I must object to his glib misrepresentations of my role in this dispute.
  • Lovesick
    There is a box in my apartment labeled “Old Not Good Photos.” This is an understatement. Most of the photos are two-and-a-half-inch squares, showing little blurred black-and-white images, taken from too far away of people whose features you can barely make out, standing or sitting alone or in groups, against backgrounds of gray uninterestingness. They are like the barely flickering dreams that dissipate as we awaken, rather than the self-important ones that follow us into the day and seem to be crying out for interpretation.
  • An Outside Chance
    Bernie Sanders has never, as Ronald Reagan did in his famous ads in 1984, said a cheery good morning to America. He has been saying, over and over, We’re. Not. Crazy. Or, as he puts it more flatly in Outsider in the White House, “The ideas I was espousing were not ‘far out’ or ‘fringe.’ Frankly, they were ‘mainstream.’” In an era when “mainstream” is a favored term of political abuse, Sanders may be the last major politician to want—indeed to need—to embrace it.
  • The Sweet Smell of Hipness
    Glenn O’Brien was the leading boulevardier of my particular subgenerational pocket, the one that thrived in lower Manhattan from the last days of the hippie era until sometime around the end of the 1990s. He was an exemplary if atypical citizen of its culture, and something of a figurehead as it evolved from local, fringe, […]
  • Love Among the Ruins
    Anyone who lives under the sign of things Cuban—as a national on the island, an exile in the diaspora, or (like me) an American-born descendant of Cubans—knows what it’s like to contend with the persistent scrutiny of one’s political views by both Cubans and non-Cubans.
  • Working-Class Women and Warren
    To the Editors: Caroline Fraser was unduly harsh in her assessment of Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy. Invoking the pathos of her working-class upbringing and gender struggles is no different than Bernie Sanders invoking his forebear’s immigrant status (a Pole who knew no English and who arrived penniless) as a way to relate (successfully, one might add) to the Latino experience. She may seem mawkish but her personal stories resonate with working-class women.
  • In the Time of Monsters
    What’s the difference between good and fun when it comes to art? Good is an egg—a slippery, laden, fragile word. Good works of art aren’t necessarily about good people—in fact, they’re usually not—nor are they necessarily created by them. Fun is a gun—a shiny, blunt, punchy little word—easy to pull, hard to look away from. Fun seems universally appealing, but it can quickly turn cruel.
  • ‘A Once-in-a-Century Pathogen’: The 1918 Pandemic & This One
    In 1918, almost everyone had been exposed to some type of influenza before, meaning most people could count on a degree of immunity. The result was that the Spanish flu infected only a third of the world’s population. By contrast, no one has any immunity to the new coronavirus—hence the estimates that as much as 80 percent of the world’s population could have been infected by the time the pandemic will have run its course. The greatest reason for concern, though, is that so far, SARS-CoV-2 appears to kill about 2 percent of confirmed cases. That is a very similar mortality rate to the Spanish flu.
  • Garden of Painterly Delights
    A bright, blowy day in London. Blue sky, tumbling white clouds. The trees are budding in the parks, and even the brown Thames seems to sparkle. Could spring be coming? We are fed up with snow and floods and sad, bad news. Many of us—myself including—simply want to get into the garden. In tune with this mood, thank goodness, the Garden Museum in Lambeth is showing an exhibition called “Sanctuary: Artist-Gardeners 1919–1939.”
  • Into the Uncharted Zone: Diao Yinan’s ‘The Wild Goose Lake’
    The Wild Goose Lake is not by any means the first Chinese film to be set in Wuhan, but it’s rare to hear an entire cast speak the Wuhan dialect and see the city’s real locations—especially its lake and “urban villages”—feature in a high-profile film. Today, it is the coronavirus outbreak, not Diao’s film, that has put Wuhan on the world map. Yet the film seems, if anything, to have taken on a darker poignancy since it premiered four months ago at the New York Film Festival.
  • Chile: Notes from a Revolt
    The most confrontational protesters want no return to a nation that is falsely unified, pretending we are all friends, a nation where some loot and exploit and lie and others suffer—the real looters, they assert, are the corporations, not those who steal from stores. They want no return to normality when “normality is the problem,” as one of the most popular slogans goes. These radicals, impatient and anarchic, do not appear to have a strategy that can achieve their utopian goals. But is my perspective distorted by the trauma of witnessing, nearly fifty years ago, how the peaceful Allende revolution was derailed by some of the Socialist president’s own most extreme supporters, who scared the middle classes with their wild rhetoric and actions, and gave ammunition to its most implacable adversaries?
  • The Righteous Mayor of Vibraye
    Aristide Gasnier had already been mayor for fifteen years and was nearly seventy when the Nazi occupation began, in 1940. No doubt, this length of service gave him the moral authority in the community to carry out his bold conspiracy against the occupiers; even the local gendarmerie went along with it. Gasnier ensured that the Jewish refugee hideaways got food tokens, and issued them with new identity papers. For our friend Huguette, to learn at last—and in these times—that her family’s escape from the Holocaust was not just a random act of kindness from a couple of strangers but a concerted act of communal resistance has been deeply heartening.
  • A More Perfect Union: Can Organized Labor Win in 2020?
    In 2016, Trump won over many blue-collar workers—losing the vote in union households by the smallest margin achieved by a Republican since Ronald Reagan trounced Walter Mondale in 1984. Anyone paying attention to the 2020 campaign can see that the Democratic candidates have learned from Clinton’s loss. In their speeches and platforms, they have focused on lifting workers, especially blue-collar workers. Trump is a conman nonpareil who has fooled millions of workers into believing he is their champion. No institution in society is better positioned than organized labor to disabuse workers of that demagogic notion.
  • Ellroy Confidential
    Dark rooms. Beethoven. Dogs. Red-haired women. Oedipal fantasies. These memories and constituent parts of childhood became the baggage Ellroy carried into his new adopted family: the fraternity of detectives. “I very simply gave my heart to the police officers on the occasion of my mother’s death,” Ellroy told me. He never took it back. It lives and breathes in the friendships he enjoys with cops and in the avatars he created in his fiction, from The Black Dahlia (1987) to the recent novels Perfidia (2014) and his most recent, This Storm (2019). The discipline of writing, from age thirty, became a lifejacket that kept Ellroy afloat above the tide of decrepitude that shaped his early years.
  • Moms 4 Housing: Redefining the Right to a Home in Oakland
    Globally, homes are increasingly treated as commodities. We are so accustomed to trusting brokers, bankers, and landlords to buy, sell, and rent as they see fit that we have stopped expecting our governments to ensure decent, affordable shelter. How is it that social housing now seems less natural than trading in tranches of residential debt? Moms 4 Housing, an Oakland-based collective of black mothers, is a growing movement inspiring change: community control of land, redefinition of private property through cooperatives and land trusts, and a constitutional right to housing.
  • Heat, Haunting & Heartache: A Young Filmmaker’s Louisiana
    The temperature is ninety degrees, with seventy-two percent humidity. Do you know how hot that feels? The National Weather Service tells us 107 degrees, warns that prolonged exposure or strenuous activity will put you in danger of serious illness. If you have not felt such stay-still heat, those facts may not mean much, and this line, perhaps the most important in Phillip Youmans’s first feature film, Burning Cane, may slip by you, as it comes not from an on-screen character but from a disembodied voice on the radio, between announcements for a blue crab sale and a lost dog search. It helps explain the hazy quality of Youmans’s haunting, brilliantly original drama, much as a jazz man once explained to me why New Orleans’s music sounds as it does: The people always been pushin’ up against the water.
  • A Winter’s Night at the Bolshoi, 1985
    “Mama,” I shouted at the top of my lungs, waving the ticket victoriously. “I got it! Orchestra!” Unlike my mother, I didn’t see a man running toward me. It was just that suddenly there was nothing in my hand, still raised above my head. I only saw him running away—with my ticket—pushing aside some passers-by, the crest of his red shapka bobbing between fur coats and dublyonkas, then disappearing into the snow, along with Romeo and Juliet, the rising star Nadezhda Pavlova, and everything good in this world. 
  • ‘We Have to Win Purple States’: An Interview with Michael Bennet
    Susannah Jacob: Is this country and its democracy, with all their problems, too far gone? Michael Bennet: Donald Trump ran for president arguing, “I alone can fix it.” That’s what he claimed, and that’s exactly the opposite of how this is supposed to work. How it’s supposed to work is millions of us, as citizens of the United States, fulfill our responsibility to the republic in which we live and actually ride to the rescue, or, as Thomas Jefferson said, answer the fire bells at night. There’s no one else to do that in a democracy.
  • After the EU Turned Greece into a Refugee Warehouse, a Backlash
    Today, more than one hundred and twelve thousand asylum-seekers are bottlenecked in Greece, more than one third of their number on the islands. As the government is scrambling to come up with an effective deterrent to new arrivals, local politicians around Greece have revolted against a refugee presence they see as overwhelming their communities. In early February, some two thousand asylum-seekers on Lesbos marched in protest, and police showered them with tear gas canisters and stun grenades. In the wake of that disturbance, far-right mobs of local Greeks armed with clubs and other weapons went out hunting for refugees. “Things are going to explode in all the camps, especially the closed ones,” one asylum-seeker warned.
  • Pedro Costa, Filming the Saga of Lisbon’s Cabo Verdeans
    Costa’s earlier films have shown how his country’s history has left Cabo Verdeans wounded in ways that even he still struggles to understand. Vitalina Varela emphasizes that, even among the people connected by this collective experience, a gendered chasm yawns wide. Men have flocked to Portugal for work, while many women have stayed behind. This divide between the masculine sphere of hard metropolitan labor and the feminized motherland breeds fierce antagonisms. In one scene, Vitalina lets her fury lash out: “When you see a woman’s face in the coffin, you can’t imagine her suffering.” An enmity this deep seems irreparable within a world as drawn to stasis as Costa’s. Yet the film ends on a note of hope, even a kind of resurrection.
  • Evacuation from China, Quarantine in the UK: A Covid-19 Dispatch
    The coronavirus is imagined in the media, and in some people’s minds, as a disease that comes from meat hung outside, from exotic animals caged, from people willing to eat things that they shouldn’t. Never mind that the original vector is still unclear. Some kinds of criticism become a way of affirming a superior civilization, from a far-away land where epidemics could never happen. Covid-19 has thus mutated into a matter of image and character. The Chinese face has become a way of wearing disease.
  • The Winking Satire of ‘Agrippina’
    Agrippina the opera may thus appear as a bizarrely comic prequel to a nightmarish era of Roman history, as its producer for the Met, David McVicar, seems to hint by putting the ensemble atop a row of funereal plinths at the end of the production. Only the servant Lesbus, a figure invented by Handel’s librettist Grimani, sits apart on the stage during the finale, laughing as the curtain descends. He holds a book in hand—a copy of Tacitus, as one discerns through opera glasses, in which these grim destinies can be read. He alone stands outside history, observing its perverse twists from an ironic distance.
  • Kathleen Collins’s Ecstatic Self-Discovery
    Black women filmmakers—not invented yesterday and invented by no one but themselves—have persistently been making imaginative work in spite of the many obstacles and restrictions they’ve faced. Losing Ground (1982), by the filmmaker, playwright, and novelist Kathleen Collins, is a particularly incandescent example of filmmaking as a process of defiant self-creation. The work of black women in American cinema has in fact always been less about canons than archives—prioritizing the recovery of such omissions in order to disrupt dominant structures. The projects of recent black women filmmakers like Ja’Tovia Gary’s Giverny I (Négresse Impériale) (2017) and Garret Bradley’s America (2019) show this continuing evolution. Their exquisite films weave archival fragments into their contemporary footage to generate new visual meaning. That Collins's Losing Ground is both a predecessor and, in the sense of release and sensibility, a contemporary to these films is fitting.  
  • The Real Meaning of ‘Religious Liberty’: A License to Discriminate
    This past January, on national Religious Freedom Day, President Trump announced a new set of recommended regulations that will make it possible for essential care providers receiving government funds to discriminate on the basis of religion. All of them will be allowed to exercise faith-based discrimination in hiring. None of them will henceforth be under any obligation to inform the people receiving their services about secular alternatives, nor will the government be required to provide them. This is what “religious freedom” has come to mean in Trump’s America. Through the unlikely person of President Trump, the Christian nationalist movement has seized the levers of power at the heart of government. This is just the beginning.

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