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Since I'm from California, I sometimes dare to dispute the seemingly popular East Coast belief that my home state is a cultural wasteland.

A rough but accurate gauge of national resilience: When dictators fall, how soon do filmmakers rise again? In the case of Argentina, the recovery was impressively quick.

Toward the end of January, I received an invitation to a press opening for "Manet and the Sea," at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The last few years have seen renewed interest in the Weathermen.

Not wanting to curse Charlie Kaufman with too much praise, I'm tempted to say that his nonexistent twin Donald is the best American screenwriter since Preston Sturges.

Courtney Love's new record is called America's Sweetheart. Take that. It's a name that has been used facetiously by the press to describe her.

So Mel Gibson has been persecuted all the way to the bank.

My friends had one question for me after I saw Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ: Is it anti-Semitic?

Solo theatrical performances are like ads. Everyone claims to hate them but nevertheless finds the good ones irresistible. A good ad acts like a tonic, making a new idea easy to swallow.

Since Miles Davis died on September 28, 1991, the merchandising machine has been in overdrive, pushing repackaged classics (Kind of Blue, Sketches of Spain), niche compilations and

Blogs

The Nation's critic in 1931 said the museum would abet the snobbery that believes "American painting is a second-rate affair."

April 27, 2015

This week's Altercation includes reviews of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra's tributes to music icons and the darkly comedic Broadway hit Hand To God.

April 23, 2015

The best live shows, audiobooks and Eric's funeral playlist: it's all inside today's Altercation.

April 14, 2015

The best response to the new Daily Show host’s sexism would be to put more women in the writers’ room.

March 31, 2015

Eric responds to his critics and reviews the best shows of the week in today's Altercation.

March 25, 2015

"Everybody thought everybody was fooling everybody. And both of us were probably right to a certain extent, everybody was fooling each of us."

March 19, 2015

The best TV shows, albums and concerts: it's all inside today's Altercation.

March 12, 2015

A win for the Edward Snowden documentary is a win for democracy.

February 23, 2015

For people who truly care about this issue, there's more to do than glory in Ms. Arquette's acceptance speech.

February 23, 2015

The ’60s crooner was a pioneer for women’s and LGBT rights in the entertainment industry and for social justice everywhere.

February 19, 2015