<p>Rhys Ifans plays the Elizabethan aristocrat Edward de Vere in Roland Emmerich's <em>Anonymous</em>. The movie speculates that de Vere, not Shakespeare, was the real author of the bard's works.</p>
Credit Reiner Bajo / Columbia Pictures
<p>Johnny Depp plays American journalist Paul Kemp in<em> The Rum Diary, </em>a movie based on a Hunter S. Thompson novel. Kemp travels to Puerto Rico to work at <em>The San Juan Star</em>, a Puerto Rican English-language newspaper.</p>
Two new films show how tough it is to do justice to good writers on-screen. Johnny Depp certainly means to do right by his pal Hunter S. Thompson in The Rum Diary. He played Thompson in Terry Gilliam's rollicking but not especially watchable Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and narrated a documentary about him.
<p>Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight on <em>The Office</em>, is featured in the new PBS miniseries <em>America in Primetime</em>, which examines the archetypes on television today.</p>
<p>Larry David, the co-creator of <em>Seinfeld</em> and the star of <em>Curb Your Enthusiasm</em>, appears on <em>America in Primetime</em>, along with Norman Lear, Rob Reiner, Alec Baldwin and Diablo Cody. </p>
Almost every time TV takes a look at itself, and tries to explore or explain what it does as a medium, the result is a major disappointment — at least to me. I want TV to take itself seriously, but it almost never does. Every show about TV is either one of those dumb "Top 100" lists that networks like E! and VH1 crank out every month, or it's a show that's built entirely around the guests it can book, the clips it can afford, and the shows on its own network it want to promote.
The title of Deer Tick's new album, Divine Providence, is a pun: The band hails from the capital of Rhode Island. But the other side of the pun is sarcastic. There's little on the album concerning divine providence or care. Nor is the band provident — frugal or prudent — about its talent and music. Group frontman John McCauley continues to sing as though the primary idea is to shred his vocal cords.
Many of Degas' nudes have their backs turned to the viewer. Above, Degas' pastel work, <em>After the Bath, Woman Drying Her Neck</em>, 1886-95.
Credit Photo Musee d'Orsay/rmn / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
<em>Two Bathers on the Grass </em>(1886-95) is one of the works featured in <a href="http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/degas-and-nude">Degas and the Nude</a>. The exhibit is on display at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts through Feb. 5, 2012. The show then moves to Paris, from March 13 to July 1.
Credit The Brooklyn Museum / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Degas' nudes — including his 1886 work, <em>The Tub --</em> depict the everyday awkwardness of real life<em>.</em>
Credit Musee d'Orsay/rmn / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Musee d'Orsay in Paris have two of the world's best collections of the work of the French postimpressionist Edgar Degas. The two museums have collaborated on an important show called Degas and the Nude, which includes pieces from major museums and private collections all over the world. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz, who lives in Boston, was moved by the show, which also triggered a sweet personal memory.
Steve Jobs did his last product launch last March, for the iPad 2. At the close, he stood in front of a huge picture of a sign showing the intersection of streets called Technology and Liberal Arts.
It was a lifelong ideal for Jobs, the same one that had drawn him to make his famous 1979 visit to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, or Xerox PARC for short. That was where a group of artistically minded researchers had developed the graphical user interface, or GUI, which Apple's developers were to incorporate into the Lisa and the Macintosh a few years later.