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Film: Chef

The opening minutes of Jon Favreau’s Chef demonstrate why it might be the best food film since Ratatouille. Carl Casper (Favreau), a respected executive chef in LA, maneuvers into the kitchen. We...

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Music: Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande’s voice is great. Like, seriously great. It was great in her 2013 debut, Yours Truly, and it’s still great in her new album My Everything. That’s a constant. What...

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Our boyhood

The first fifteen minutes of Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s latest and most ambitious film, are unremarkable. It’s 2002 and Mason, a floppy-haired six-year-old, lies in a field of Texas grass, his...

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Film: Transcendence

Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister makes his directorial debut with Transcendence, a large-scale sci-fi film about the future of artificial intelligence. Johnny Depp plays Dr. Will Caster, who runs an...

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Movie: Nymphomaniac

Everything leading up to Nymphomaniac—its extremely graphic, heavy metal-filled trailer, the posters featuring the actors miming orgasms—has made it out to be an intense and highly provocative film. While...

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Mac matured

Mac DeMarco isn’t pushing an agenda, nor does he think himself the bearer of some timeless message. He doesn’t fetishize novelty over accessibility, and he doesn’t take himself too...

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Movie: Noah

In 50 years, I can’t imagine what we’ll tell our grandchildren about Fox News. “Yeah, not really sure what was going on there. Don’t even ask about the Westboro...

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Theater: La nozze di Figaro

The overture starts off with a buzzing and an empty stage. As the strings whisper busily to each other, several characters dressed as servants appear, carrying various pieces of...

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Sugar crush

I didn’t always love Korean pop (usually shortened to K-pop by fans of the genre). With its cloying sentimentality, ridiculous costumes, and insistent hooks, the whole genre reeked of...

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Film: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is indeed grand and unapologetically Andersonian in its quirkiness and obsessive aesthetic. Even so, as an Anderson skeptic myself, I was...

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Music: Ricky Eat Acid

Sam Ray’s latest and most accomplished full-length album as Ricky Eat Acid begins with a brief voiceover from Coma Cinema frontman Mat Cothran, one of Ray’s frequent collaborators. “I...

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Music: St. Vincent

Never underestimate Annie Clark. All three of her earlier releases, under the moniker St. Vincent, showcased a unique blend of versatile musical talent and catchy accessibility (her 2007 debut...

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Kevin plays Pokémon

Confession: I’ve never played Pokémon, Red or Blue. My first was actually Pokémon Yellow, playing on the Game Boy Color that my sisters and I somehow shared (the logistics...

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No new tricks

In the midst of an after-hours heart-to-heart in the corridors of the White House, President Walker (Michael Gill) suggests, “Let’s assume that in one of these chairs, staring at...

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Music: Angel Olsen

Fierce and light and young. Angel Olsen sings that line over and over at the end of “White Fire,” the standout track from her sophomore album Burn Your Fire...

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Music: Sun Kil Moon

Sun Kil Moon’s sixth LP Benji is really more a series of stories set to music than a compilation of songs with lyrics. His songwriting style reminds me of...

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Movie: La grande belleza

How many of the foreign films nominated for an Academy Award this year have you seen? That’s okay—forget I asked. I’m guilty, you’re guilty. Everyone’s guilty. All are punished....

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Movie: Thor: The Dark World

Let’s level with each other, shall we? I didn’t go to Thor: The Dark World with anything serious in mind, and you certainly aren’t going to either. I went...

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Music: The Men

The Men’s new release Campfire Songs is more low-fire than it is lo-fi, with tunes that seem to come out as the coals are burning red. The best way...