Winter Maker Break

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Winter Maker Break 2017

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DOcember

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Dunkirk

Dunkirk

Summary

Christopher Nolan's WWII epic is everything you'd expect those four words to entail.

Detroit

Detroit

Summary

Kathryn Bigelow's latest is "an audacious, nervy work of art, but it also commemorates history, memorializes the dead and invites reflection on the part of the living. In scale, scope and the space it offers for a long-awaited moral reckoning, it's nothing less than monumental," says the Washington Post's Ann Hornaday. The Force AwakensJohn Boyega stars.

Mother!

Mother!

Summary

There were precious few movies in 2017 I was more excited for than Mother! Probably in part because the incredible winning streak Darren Aronofsky was on in my memory (Requiem for a Dream! The Wrestler! Black Swan!) omitted Noah and The Fountain. Even if I had remembered Noah, though, there are few prospects more appealing than a horror movie from the director of Black Swan. Thing is, despite the studio giving it a throwbacky Grindhouse-style trailer, it's not a horror movie. Or, if it is, it's a wholly unsuccessful one. It's moderately more successful as a grand allegorical think piece slathered with a thick dollop of violence. It's most successful on purely technical terms, but that's hardly enough to carry it. I've thought a lot about Mother! in the weeks since I saw it, and I still don't think I liked it, but, hey, that's something.

It

It

Summary

It is currently the 4th-highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. Everyone in America should be crossing their fingers right now that the studios attribute this to the fact that It is far better than It needed to be. Instead It will almost certainly be counted as just another point in the all-America-wants-is-more-remakes ledger. Alf: The Movie, coming your way in 2019!

Brawl in Cell Block 99

Brawl in Cell Block 99

Summary

S. Craig Zahler is two films into his directing career and it's already a doozy. 2015's Bone Tomahawk was a connoisseur's blend of genre tropes and gruesome violence and Brawl in Cell Block 99 is more of the same, meant in the best possible way. The genre in question has shifted from Western to Prison Thriller, and the big names have changed from Kurt Russell to Vince Vaughn (whose performance drew a general critical reaction of "oh, yeah, we forgot this guy was a pretty good actor") and Don Johnson, but it has maintained its essential S. Craig Zahlerness.

The Last Republicans

Author or Artist

Mark K. Updegrove
The Last Republicans

Summary

George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush-A Father, a Son, and the End of an Era

A groundbreaking look at the lives of George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, the most consequential father-son pair in American history, often in their own words.

In this endearing, illuminating work, presidential historian Mark K. Updegrove tracks the two Bush presidents from their formative years through their post-presidencies and the failed presidential candidacy of Jeb Bush, derailing the Bush presidential dynasty. Drawing extensively on exclusive access and interviews with both Bush presidents, Updegrove reveals for the first time their influences and perspectives on each other's presidencies; their views on family, public service, and America's role in the world; and their unvarnished thoughts on Donald Trump, and the radical transformation of the Republican Party he now leads. In 2016 George W. Bush lamented privately that he might be "the last Republican president." Donald Trump's election marked the end not only to the Bushes' hold on the White House, but of a rejection of the Republican principles of civility and international engagement and leadership that the Bushes have long championed. The Last Republicans offers revealing and often moving portraits of the forty-first and forty-third presidents, as well as an elegy for the Republican "establishment," which once stood for putting the interests of the nation over those of any single man.

Why Bob Dylan Matters

Author or Artist

Richard F. Thomas
Why Bob Dylan Matters

Summary

When the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Bob Dylan in 2016, a debate raged. Some celebrated, while many others questioned the choice. How could the world's most prestigious book prize be awarded to a famously cantankerous singer-songwriter who wouldn't even deign to attend the medal ceremony? In Why Bob Dylan Matters, Harvard Professor Richard F. Thomas answers this question with magisterial erudition.

A world expert on Classical poetry, Thomas was initially ridiculed by his colleagues for teaching a course on Bob Dylan alongside his traditional seminars on Homer, Virgil, and Ovid. Dylan's Nobel Prize brought him vindication, and he immediately found himself thrust into the spotlight as a leading academic voice in all matters Dylanological. Today, through his wildly popular Dylan seminar--affectionately dubbed "Dylan 101"--Thomas is introducing a new generation of fans and scholars to the revered bard's work. This witty, personal volume is a distillation of Thomas's famous course, and makes a compelling case for moving Dylan out of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and into the pantheon of Classical poets. Asking us to reflect on the question, "What makes a classic?", Thomas offers an eloquent argument for Dylan's modern relevance, while interpreting and decoding Dylan's lyrics for readers. The most original and compelling volume on Dylan in decades, Why Bob Dylan Matters will illuminate Dylan's work for the Dylan neophyte and the seasoned fanatic alike. You'll never think about Bob Dylan in the same way again.

Three Daughters of Eve

Author or Artist

Elif Shafak
Three Daughters of Eve

Summary

The stunning, timely new novel from the acclaimed, internationally bestselling author of The Architect's Apprentice and The Bastard of Istanbul.

Peri, a married, wealthy, beautiful Turkish woman, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground -- an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past -- and a love -- Peri had tried desperately to forget. Three Daughters of Eve is set over an evening in contemporary Istanbul, as Peri arrives at the party and navigates the tensions that simmer in this crossroads country between East and West, religious and secular, rich and poor. Over the course of the dinner, and amidst an opulence that is surely ill-begotten, terrorist attacks occur across the city. Competing in Peri's mind however are the memories invoked by her almost-lost polaroid, of the time years earlier when she was sent abroad for the first time, to attend Oxford University. As a young woman there, she had become friends with the charming, adventurous Shirin, a fully assimilated Iranian girl, and Mona, a devout Egyptian-American. Their arguments about Islam and feminism find focus in the charismatic but controversial Professor Azur, who teaches divinity, but in unorthodox ways. As the terrorist attacks come ever closer, Peri is moved to recall the scandal that tore them all apart. Elif Shafak is the number one bestselling novelist in her native Turkey, and her work is translated and celebrated around the world. In Three Daughters of Eve, she has given us a rich and moving story that humanizes and personalizes one of the most profound sea changes of the modern world.