Cronenberg on Cronenberg

David Cronenberg is infamous for his unique style of horror filmmaking. His films–among them The Fly, Naked Lunch, and Dead Ringers–gaze with icy formalism on worlds where biology has gone mad. They’re a catalogue of physical breakdowns, sexual dysfunctions, florid mutations and hallucinations. His latest, Spider, based on Patrick McGrath’s novel, stars Ralph Fiennes as […]

Louise Erdrich — The Rakish Interview

Louise Erdrich is fighting sleep. This explains a lot. It’s said that the threshold between sleeping and waking—the lucid yet lawless terrain of twilight—is a cracked door to enlightenment, a conduit to the divine. How apropos that, here in the grainy borderlands of consciousness, the Minneapolis novelist puts pen to paper and struggles (yes, struggles) […]

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Brilliant Corners

Can an all-night jazz club in downtown St. Paul survive on nothing more than caffeine, nicotine, and donuts? The owners of Brilliant Corners hope so. The plan is to fill this hip new space with all kinds of jazz, from the most modest local ensembles to major national acts—charging covers accordingly, and serving up nothing […]

Natural Wonders— Children’s Environmental Art

We love the Bell Museum, we really do. It is old, humble, a little bit musty, and very, very quiet—those carpeted walkways through the exhibit halls are ever so effective at creating a pleasant hush. It’s the perfect antidote to the sense-jangling overload that can be the adult experience at the larger, glitzier family museums […]

Jerry Rudquist: A Life’s Work

It is one of life’s mordant ironies that Macalester art professor Rudquist, who often painted skulls, would pass away in 2001 of brain cancer. But Rudquist had a streak of mordancy himself, expressed in such comments as “Bone, of any species, is an extraordinarily beautiful material.” This overview of his career does show the more […]

Skin 2003

Naked people have not yet become boring to the artists of the world. When Icebox owner Howard Christopherson put out a call for artworks based on the human nude, he was sent so many entries—500, from seven countries—that he doubled the size of the show. In total, 112 artworks made the cut, encompassing photography, body […]

Salt Fish & Bakes

Playwright Gavin Lawrence garnered good notices for Cut Flowers, a dark and often angry drama set among low-wage workers in Washington. His latest, warmhearted family comedy, Salt Fish, has a lighter touch. It’s based on the history of his own family, which emigrated here from the South American country of Guyana, and especially his grandmother, […]

Friedrich von Schiller’s Mary Stuart

In the classic arts, things remain decidedly nationalistic. Just as the Italians get most of the credit and attention for opera, the English seem to command center stage in dramatic theater. And bridging the two, though often dismissed, are the Germans, who not infrequently bettered their cultural neighbors in both categories. Wagner, no matter what […]

Christian McBride Band

Christian McBride made his name as a bright light among jazz bassists with five progressively more adventurous albums on the Verve label, culminating in 2000’s Sci Fi, which found him more sure-footed as a bandleader and skillfully interweaving the threads of his previous work. He moves over to Warner for his new fusion-friendly Vertical Vision, […]

Boiled in Lead

There’s been no new Boiled in Lead record since 1998’s best-of Alloy, but nobody’s yet come along to take over the reins as Minnesota’s premier Irish band. Though even that title is ironic—or perhaps we should say Eire-onic—since the BiL crew’s penchant for rock and world rhythms makes clear that shamrocks are not the only […]