Sunday, October 4, 2015


By Tahlib, curator
In the final hour of her last scheduled day of chemotherapy, Verneida quietly presented a pink bag filled with home-baked cookies to the staff, along with thank you cards. It was an act of quiet gratitude that is typical of her. In such simple rituals we show the greatest respect. In that same spirit are the current installations of Japanese ceramics curated by Takashi Murakami at Blum & Poe Los Angeles. That's why these humble ceramics (above) by Kazunori Hamana, Yuji Ueda, and Otani Workshop are our NEWS OF WEEK.

A&O Round #1 for the Religious Art of the Year

Today, A&O subscribers begin voting for the 2015 Alpha Omega Prize. Today is the first "Shortlist" of 31 most popular posts of the 2015 season. Below is the A&O Shortlist for week 1 of voting:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Movie Review: Matt Damon in ‘The Martian,’ marooned but not alone

By Manhola Dargis
Matt Damon stars as a stranded astronaut in “The Martian,” directed by Ridley Scott. Credit 20th Century Fox Film
A space western and a blissed-out cosmic high, “The Martian” stars Matt Damon as an American astronaut who, like a latter-day Robinson Crusoe, learns to survive on his own island of despair. At once epic and intimate, it involves a dual journey into outer and inner space, a trip that takes you into that immensity called the universe and deep into the equally vast landscape of a single consciousness. [link]

Movie Review: In ‘Taxi,’ a filmmaker pushes against Iranian censorship from behind the wheel

By A.O. Scott
Jafar Panahi in his recent documentary “Taxi." Credit Kino Lorber
A section of “Taxi” is devoted to an encounter between two Iranian filmmakers. One of them is Jafar Panahi, the director of this movie and one of the most internationally celebrated figures in contemporary Iranian cinema. The other is his niece Hana, a sharp-tongued tween who must make a short movie as part of a school assignment. It’s playful and thoughtful, informed by the director’s affable, patient, slightly worried demeanor. Though it is gentle and meditative rather than confrontational, the film nonetheless bristles with topical concerns. [link]

Pope Francis met & hugged a gay couple in DC before greeting Kim Davis

By Jim Yardley and Laurie Goodstein
Pope Francis Met With Gay Couple Yayo Grassi and Iwan Bagus During His Time in U.S. - NBC News
Ever since it became public that Pope Francis met in Washington with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples, the questions have been swirling.... As it turns out, the Vatican said on Friday, the pope did not mean to endorse Ms. Davis’s views. It also said he gave her no more than a typical brief greeting, despite what her lawyer described. Instead, the Vatican said that Francis gave only one “real audience”: to someone later identified as one of his former students, Yayo Grassi, a gay man in Washington who says he brought his partner of 19 years to the Vatican’s embassy in Washington for a reunion. They even shot video. [link]