The Cannes Film Festival's board of directors did the right thing in expelling Lars von Trier from the festival today. The decision came only a day after Von Trier, a Danish director who was raised an atheist, though told that his father was Jewish, made outrageous comments about Hitler.
It isn't the best week for Tony Kushner. Earlier this week he was waylaid CUNY's board of trustees, after a right-wing Israel supporter who sits on the board convinced the school to rescind an honorary degree because of the playwright's criticism of Israel (first, I say with admittedly churlish pride, reported by my Jewish Week colleague, Doug Chandler).
This week I wrote my Culture View column on Maira Kalman's new exhibit at The Jewish Museum. I've got a pet obsession with her work, and figured that it would have been near impossible to leave my utterly self-conscious bias behind for the sake of a more "critical" review. So instead, I used it as an occasion to look at the same illustrations of hers I love--with all their winsomeness, humor, wit, vivacity and even occasional sadness--and simply view them in another light.
In the journalism trade, there is dependable genre we call the "quirky" story. Editors love them because our readers do: they offer a churlish delight in the abnormal, the strange, the off-beat. For the most part, they're harmless, fun throw-away stuff that lend a respite from the otherwise moribund front-page fare.