Books & Culture

Five men sit at a courtroom table.
Culture Desk

Aaron Sorkin Puts America on Trial

A review of “The Trial of Chicago 7” and Spike Lee’s “David Byrne’s American Utopia.”

The Latest

David Byrne’s Gray Suits, from “Stop Making Sense” to “American Utopia”

People gray wearing suits in David Byrne's American Utopia.

The musician’s iconic big suit, in the Talking Heads’ 1984 concert movie, was a way of setting the band apart. In his new show turned film, the outfits are a way of bringing performers together.

2:42 P.M.

How to Draw Feelings

A drawing and the illustrator make the same faces.

In an interview and a video, Liana Finck talks about cartooning as catharsis and her processes for drawing inner lives.

2:37 P.M.

Pushed to the Edge by “Beau Travail”

Denis Lavant as Galoup in Beau Travail

Our most potent aesthetic experiences are sometimes those for which we are least prepared.

12:58 P.M.

The Wunderkind Iranian Director Who Stopped Making Films

Portrait of Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf between red flowers

Samira Makhmalbaf should have joined other rising filmmakers in being considered a modern master. Instead, she hasn’t released a movie in more than a decade.

October 19, 2020

Biden’s Secret Debate-Prep Techniques

Anticipating disorder, Joe Biden practices debating in NASA’s zero-gravity simulator.

How the former V.P. is readying himself for Thursday.

October 19, 2020
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The Critics

Rita Indiana’s Songs for the Apocalypse

Indiana stands in front of seamless.

On her new album, the Dominican musician and novelist transforms?this miserable moment?into something defiant and danceable.

Martin Amis’s Turn to Autofiction

Christopher Hitchens and Martin Amis on couch.

The author’s new novel is not just drawn from his own life but structured with freewheeling digressions that mimic the experience of remembering the past.

Jennifer Walshe’s Sublime Chaos

Jennifer Walshe

The Irish composer and vocalist gives emotional shape to the barrage of information that attends online life.

“Martin Eden” Lurches with Salty,?Oceanic Appetites

martin eden

In a cooped-up age, the great escapes and far-off horizons of Jack London’s fiction feel resonant.

Goings On About Town

A “Hamilton” Star’s Left-of-Center Noise-Rap Album

Daveed Diggs holds paper cutouts.

On Clipping’s “Visions of Bodies Being Burned,” the rapper and actor Daveed Diggs, together with Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson, uses the tropes of horror to express radical politics.

Tong Reimagines Thai After-School Snacks

Catfish dish and peppers.

Banana-blossom pancakes and charred-octopus skewers are two of the kub klaem, or small plates, designed to go with drinks at a new Thai restaurant in Bushwick.

David Byrne’s “American Utopia” Comes to TV

David Byrne stands with his legs apart on street.

Part concert, part vision quest, the Broadway show, filmed by Spike Lee and featuring?a roving twelve-piece band, all in matching silver suits and bare feet, airs on Oct. 17.

Photo Booth

Mandel next to person at a deli counter of a grocery store.
Photo Booth

Mike Mandel’s Selfies from the Seventies

Curiosity is the animating force of the photographs. You start to sense that Mandel sees everyone—the stranger and the self—as members of the same team.

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Podcasts

A Visit with Elvis Costello, Plus Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren

An illustrated portrait of Elvis Costello

David Remnick speaks with the legendary musician, and two leaders of the progressive left discuss the election and the state of our democracy.

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