Escape Into Life Digest No. 36


Lars Henkel

Book Review: Morris Berman’s Destiny….. As Christopher Fry wrote “The course of events is incredible.”  These three intriguing novellas explore the personal and metaphysical underpinnings of that age-old and always immediate question: is the thread of our lives already spun by Fate or do we have Free Will and therefore the power to change that incredible course of events. Berman’s previous work examining the development of human consciousness (The Reenchantment of the WorldComing to our Senses and Wandering God: A Study in Nomadic Spirituality) brings an extraordinary theoretical depth to his novel, but the result is pure story. Berman’s characters  struggle to transform their lives and change their fate with surprising results. Readers will certainly emerge from Destiny ready to take a closer look at the twisting threads of their own lives.

Music Review: Take Care, Take Care, Take Care by Explosions in the Sky…. EIL contributor Luke Grundy, gives a thumbs up to the four-piece Texas post-rock group Explosions in the Sky. These recording artists are perhaps best known for their work on the score for the 2009 film Friday Night Lights. If you are put off by the non-descriptive labels that are the scourge of our post-modern, post-impressionist, post-Einsteinian world, and the post-rock label in particular, take a cue from Grundy and tune into this offering for a work composed in haunting movements for moments of memorable listening.

Art News Headlines…. Our Woman About Town, Laura Lawson, provides a vivid look at the latest happenings in the world of Arts and Letters. She reports the death of Hedda Sterne, one of the original group of American Abstract Expressionists immortalized in the 1951 Life Magazine photo “The Irascibles” and on the recovery by Spanish investigators of two missing masterpieces by Goya and El Greco.  Exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the MNAC in Barcelona come to life and lure readers to explore Courbet’s footsteps in Spain or examine the influence of fine art on the Record Album in Boston. Choose from a variety of tantalizing tidbits for inspiration from the rapidly-spinning turntable of art world affairs.

The Poetry of Sandy Longhorn…. Mysterious and elusive, Longhorn’s fairytales and parables are picked out in crimson and field colors that remind the reader of ends and beginnings and beginnings of ends. As true stories defy order or coagulation so, do Longhorn’s graceful adaptations defy and define human losses and our strange methods of excavating them.

Art Videos: Tilt-Shift Trip to Disneyland….. April, with it’s cruel reputation and moody madness, is perhaps the perfect month to enjoy a tilt-shift look at a familiar world. Using depth of field to play tricks on our imaginations and our winter-deadened eyes, tilt-shift photography is a funhouse ride in itself. Add the strange realities of Disneyland in France and expect refreshment. March 2011 marks the ninth anniversary of Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée, France.Jennifer Fickley-Baker, social manager at Disney, shares with us the remarkable tilt-shift video made by 4,000 photographers over a seven month period.

Movie Review: Kick-Ass…. The movie Kick-Ass has the expected hype and the prerequisite poor reviews to recommend it to fans of the Comicbook-to-Movie genre — but does it live down to its street cred hype? Starring a super-hero without superpowers, aided by the dubious efforts of side-kicks Nicholas Cage and Chloe Moretz (and who is the side-kick to whom?), the film is bursting with energy, ideas, and the blood and guts realism that can dropkick a fantasy into a visceral blow to the gut.  Fans will be …. well Fans, and everyone else will find a great reason to pretend not to enjoy the post-superhero, superhero movie.

 

Stacy Ericson is an editor and photographer who is interested in imagery both in word and in art.  Her work often reflects her roots in the western states and her abiding interest in other cultures, ancient languages and religion, and visceral passions. She lives and works in Boise, Idaho. and her poetry, fiction, essays, and photos can be found at the old bouquet.