COCKTAIL HOUR AT THE FRICK, COVID-STYLE

“Why these vegetables together? This is the artist, sending someone to the market and presenting everyday objects in a new light.” What’s wonderful is on the one hand “the simplicity of the depiction combined with the incredible beauty, the sort of poetic feeling. You can feel the texture, the surface of the porcelain, the fabric, the wood, the glass.”

FALLOUT: THE EVIL OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

When journalist John Hersey arrived in Japan, over a year after the dropping of the bombs, he was staggered by what he found. A mother who’d clung to her dead infant daughter until the body started to decompose. Human beings who had been vaporized, leaving only shadows on the ground or walls. Residents, desperate to rebuild, who were still coming across severed limbs and charred corpses.

MOVIES AND MORE MOVIES

WOMEN’S PRISON MOVIES: Caged (1950) Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead. “She’ll be back.” Don’t miss the scene where butch sadistic prison matron steps out for her Saturday night date, lording it over and leaving the love-starved inmates to twist and turn. Turn the Key Softly (1953), dir. Jack Lee; British drama starring Yvonne Mitchell, Joan Collins (surprise) as a prostitute, Kathleen Harrison and Terence Morgan. Three women from different backgrounds are released from prison over the course of 24 hours each face a struggle to avoid returning to her criminal ways.

ON THE EXECUTION OF LISA MONTGOMERY

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins: The world revolves; the Cross stands still. I don’t know Latin, but that’s the rough translation of the motto of the Carthusian order (Stat crux dum volvitur orbis). I’ve thought of it often these past weeks. Things are happening in our world, nation, state and city […]

ROBERT MACFARLANE’S LOST WORDS

His capacity to conjure landscape is alone astounding. Add to that an astonishingly wide-ranging grasp of geography, geology, natural history, cartography, and literature. Throw in the fact that he’s no mere scholar or armchair philosopher: every book is grounded in his willingness to take on the physical hardship of mountain climbing, hiking, camping, sailing, and tramping. But what makes Macfarlane sublime is the aching longing for a lost Eden that sounds like a bass note beneath all his work.