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Arts and Culture

Melanie Barocas

Back in the days of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, ballroom dancing was all the rage. Then came the 1960s, when partner-dancing moved off to the sidelines. But ballroom is back on the dance floor – both socially, and increasingly as a competitive sport.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The original Lost in Space, an Irwin Allen series that aired on CBS for three seasons in the 1960s, was a marginal ratings success with seemingly outsized cultural impact. The show is still remembered for its campy humor, its catchphrases, and its not-possibly-designed-in-any-decade-but-the-1960s robot.

Netflix's new Lost in Space, on the other hand, tells the Swiss-family-Robinson-in-space story as a relatively serious family drama with super high production values and the mostly serialized narrative that's become the custom on prestige TV. The Nose has thoughts.

It's Complicated
Roberta Friedman

This week saw the end of an era in Cuba, as Raul Castro stepped down from the presidency on Thursday. During the island’s decades of comparative isolation, film and art have offered rare glimpses into life in Cuba.

Will Clayton / Creative Commons

Joe Biden is seriously thinking about running for president in 2020. He's got a wealth of political experience and institutional knowledge. He's vibrant and in good health.  He's also seventy-five-years-old. Many of us are quietly wondering if he's too old for the job.

Brandon Giesbrecht / flickr creative commons

So, when Prince died (which was two years ago), we announced that we were finally going to retire our theme song (which is a Prince song). And then we promptly did... nothing at all.

Over the last few weeks, though -- and in typical Colin McEnroe Shovian fashion -- we've decided that this non-problem is a big problem. And so, in order to try and hopefully finally fix this non-problem big problem, we're doing a whole show about theme songs -- ours and other people's.

A large retrospective celebrating the photographer Nicholas Nixon has come down 10 days early, amid sexual harassment allegations against the artist.

Nixon, 70, is best known for "The Brown Sisters," a series of portraits of his wife, Bebe, and her three sisters, taken every year for more than four decades. The sisters stand close together, always in the same order. They stare intently at the camera, not smiling.

Diana Crane remembers the first time she saw it, years ago at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She says she sat in front of it for over an hour.

Connecticut State Library, State Archives Picture Group 034

One of Connecticut’s most highly decorated World War I veterans is featured in a new animated film, opening in theaters nationwide Friday. He warned his fellow soldiers of a possible gas attack, located wounded men in the field, and even helped to catch an enemy spy hidden in the Allied trenches.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Wes Anderson is a... particular sort of filmmaker. With his typewriters and his pipe smoking. With his monochrome sets and props and costumes. With his perfectly symmetrical compositions. The one place where Anderson's tweeness is maybe softened a bit is in his old-school, stop-motion, animal-centric animated films. There was Fantastic Mr. Fox. And now there's Isle of Dogs. Dogs isn't without its own problems, though. The Nose weighs in.

DonkeyHotey / Flickr

What is real is no longer a question for philosophers alone. In today's world, it's a question we all contend with on a daily basis. Online, on television, in print and in public discourse, facts, feelings, and flat-out lies all share the same stage.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Walt Disney’s hit film "Black Panther" broke new ground as the first mainstream superhero movie with a predominantly black cast and plenty of strong leading women. The film’s music also opens new doors: introducing authentic African sounds into an action-packed Marvel movie score. Central to those sounds is the talking drum from West Africa which can be heard sailing above many of the orchestral and choral arrangements.

Now that it has permission from the Massachusetts high court, the Berkshire Museum says it will start auctioning off part of its art collection next month.

Jellaluna / flickr creative commons

In 2016, a Swedish brewery offered for sale artisanally-prepared potato chips. $59 for five chips in what looks like a jeweler's box. They sold out. Crazy, right?

But be honest: Have you gone to more than one place looking for just the right coffee bean or golden beet or ...something? Meanwhile, behind all this posturing, what do Americans really cook and eat?

Warner Bros. Ent.

Ernest Cline's novel Ready Player One is a futuristic nostalgia bomb that lovingly apes Spielbergian 1970s and '80s pop culture. Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of Ready Player One could have been a self-aware, winking paean to the current Urban Outfitters kitsch for which Spielberg's somewhat responsible. Instead -- and perhaps not surprisingly -- it's a bigger, nostalgia bombier futuristic adventure filled with more decades' worth of pop culture references even than the book is. For better or worse. The Nose has thoughts.

Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public Radio

Last fall, President Donald Trump announced that he wanted the federal government to stop funding the National Endowment for the Arts. Reaction to that proposal was swift and bipartisan -- and in fact, in the budget that passed last month, there’s not a cut, but a tiny increase in arts funding. 

Jamle / flickr

They smell better, they're better at sensing temperature changes and they can handle more pain. These are just a few of the actual differences between redheads and the rest of us. But while having red hair does come with certain advantages, there are more than a few disadvantages as well.

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