Steve Earle, the renowned country music rebel, once said of his early mentor: "Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole wide world, and "I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that." A bold statement -- but in certain regards, Van Zandt's influence stretches as
In "A Room of One's Own," Virginia Woolf asks her readers to imagine that Shakespeare had a sister. Woolf contends that such a woman, regardless of how gifted she might have been, would have had no chance to be Shakespeare's equal; she would have been denied the education afforded her brother and lef
During the climactic battle scene in Kurosawa's "Ran," the camera gazes on soldiers pierced with arrows or thrust against burning battlements. In the castle tower, a patriarch searches in vain for a sword with which to commit hara-kiri. As our eyes take in the tragedy, we hear neither the cries of me
In the new wave of Japanese contemporary music, Akira Nishimura is the front-runner for the "heterophonic concept." Using droning melodic variations, Nishimura creates a spacious kind of zen spikiness that can either calm the soul or mystify the mind.
Nishimura exhibits a particular concern with t