Category Archives: culture

Photography

A few years ago, somewhere, I discovered the Breton photographer Guy Le Querrec. I was smitten. Splendidly observed for telling gesture and detail, often catching people being human in humorous ways, his photographs can be visited again and again. So … Continue reading

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Ozu’s “Late Spring”

Some time ago I watched Yasujiro Ozu’s “Late Spring” again, in part to examine the parallels between that beautiful film from 1949 and a French one released in 2008, “35 Shots of Rum” by Claire Denis. In the bonus section … Continue reading

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Sprezzatura

Reading Robert Calasso’s “Tiepolo Pink” this week, I was encouraged to give some thought to that very Italian quality, sprezzatura.  Calasso uses it as a conceit, or a prism through which to view the entire body of work by the … Continue reading

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The ending

One winter night among friends recently the unthinkable was spoken: it is quite possible the last 50 years or so in the West have been an anomaly in the history of humankind, not to be repeated in our or our … Continue reading

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Musings on Bloomsday

Today is Bloomsday, the date of Leopold Bloom’s meanderings and musings through Dublin as created by James Joyce in the great 20th century novel, “Ulysses.” I’ve been revisiting some of my youthful passions lately — France, European painting, foreign art … Continue reading

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Ciao Firenze

It’s like an overgrowth of algae, too much of a good thing. An infestation of indestructible pests. A herd of Michelango fans. A party of gelato seekers.  A siege of shoppers. What they miss in descending on Florence in droves … Continue reading

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Andrei Tarkovsky and Italy

Years ago I saw a film by the unique, mysterious cinema artist Andrei Tarkovsky that included an early scene at an Italian hot springs town. What was immediately arresting about the scene was the film’s image of the town, which … Continue reading

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