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Weird Lessons from Macbeth

Justin Kurzel’s new film adaptation of Macbeth benefits from gorgeous cinematography and a highly effective—even overpowering—soundtrack. The scenery and costumes are luscious without seeming showy, and the whole production moves along at a neat clip, clocking in at just over one hundred . . . . Continue Reading »

Politics and the Arts

Jed Perl warns in the August 25 issue of the New Republic of a new threat to the arts. Art for art’s sake has been displaced by a view of “art as a comrade-in-arms to some more supposedly stable or substantial or readily comprehensible aspect of our world.” Art is losing its “purposeful purposelessness” and is becoming a bondservant to “some more general system of social, political, and moral values.” It’s hardly news, Perl knows, when art is enlisted for some extra-artistic cause. The new danger is that many have drawn the conclusion that “art has no independent life.” Continue Reading »

The Catholic Writer Today

I For years I’ve pondered a cultural and social paradox that diminishes the vitality and diversity of the American arts. This cultural conundrum also reveals the intellectual retreat and creative inertia of American religious life. Stated simply, the paradox is that, although Roman Catholicism . . . . Continue Reading »

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