Arts and culture

Director Scott Frank On Netflix's 'Godless'

Nov 26, 2017

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There are a lot of reasons to shop locally this holiday season, but my favorite one is that, in some small way, it helps keep alive the promise of the uncanny. The sensation that something's not quite right, perhaps even taboo, is serendipity's mysterious sibling. It's a feeling that's endangered in our painfully transparent era, and completely absent from the hygienic, efficient process of shopping via search term.

The rock band Big Thief recorded its second album, Capacity, at a friend's house in upstate New York last winter. Lead singer Adrianne Lenker, guitarist Buck Meek, bass player Max Oleartchik and drummer James Krivchenia devoted entire days to each song.

There was a time when people who ate a plant-based diet were considered weird or exotic or somehow out of the mainstream — by meat lovers anyway. But over the past decade that has changed in large part because well-known figures, such as quarterback Tom Brady, musician Paul McCartney, and hip-hop star RZA, have become vocal advocates.

But that's also because of food writer Mark Bittman.

Recommendations Wanted: Holiday Playlist

Nov 25, 2017

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When President Obama announced in December 2014 that the United States would be restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba, the members of Major Lazer knew they wanted to be a part of it.

Late one Thursday night, the hippest cafe-bar in the village of Majdal Shams pulses with strobe lights. The dance floor is packed. Beloved hometown band Hawa Dafi — Arabic for "warm breeze" — is playing a live concert.

Early the next morning, another soundtrack rocks the village.

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"It was on a dreary night of November, that I beheld my man completed ..."

In the two centuries since publication, Mary Shelley's novel about an obsessive student and his creation has taken on, fittingly, a life of its own. But it is in itself a mystery, eluding attempts to produce a definitive version — and as with other modern myths, it has been shaped anew with every generation. It's a story, both on the page and behind it, that refuses to be simple.