Critical Review

Critical Review

'Black Futures’ explores what it means to be Black and alive right now

While forward-thinking, Black Futures is simultaneously about Black pasts and Black presents.

What happens when true believers have to confront scientific facts?

A lively and mostly persuasive argument that the Shroud of Turin is not Jesus Christ's funerary cloth, but was instead likely fabricated by an artist in the 1350s, and then slowly embraced by Catholic officials who saw an opportunity for profit.

How do we break free? Giving our full attention seems a good place to begin.

Polyphemus, on view at Goucher College’s Silber Art Gallery, is an installation that takes its title from Homer’s Odyssey.

Lu’s highly disciplined art engenders a timeless rendering

The colorful abstract paintings of Linling Lu at Hemphill Fine Arts in Washington, DC seemed at first to be formal abstractions but expanded into spiritual, cultural, and personal visions.

Anthology featuring nine authors from around the US and Canada delivers bite-sized portions of terror

The horror and trauma here are more implicit and embedded into the place, more chronic than acute, and all too familiar.

With each letter, Bobbi Rush elevates written language and transforms it into song

Short, spiritual, succinct, and sincere, Language of the Crow is a primer on liberation, self-discovery, introspection, and intuition.

Nothing happens without the audience in The Institute for Counterfeit Memory, a play that arrives in a cardboard box

The experimental nature of this play is not simply for the sake of experiment but to highlight all of our assumptions that make us comfortable and therefore passive, forgetful, and complicit.

In the museum’s effort to foreground experience over spectacle, the pendulum swings too far

In truth, I am drawn to Glenstone for the same reasons I question its efficacy.

'The Right Girls' follows young transgender women trying to cross the US border, but falls victim to many typical vérité pitfalls

Without trans persons behind the camera, the spectacle of The Right Girls offers few answers for those of us with a personal stake in the outcome of this journey. 

Leilani’s debut brims with the potential energy of a young artist battling precarity

Global pandemic notwithstanding, the future was always bleak. But the desire for the good life, or some semblance of it, is a stubborn flame.

Bombarded by all of this awful surreality, you might start to think that everything out there could very well be cake

It's like reality is bending.

The best queer stories acknowledge pleasure’s colorful origins, unflattering or otherwise

Each vignette is a high-wire act, teetering along the razor’s edge separating shame and desire, passion and violence, actualization and obliteration.

Offill delivers news of the coming doom in clear, piquant prose, arranged as glimmering diaristic fragments

Weather takes an atmospheric view of dread, from domestic to existential, that is particular to our 21st-century life.

Director/writer Eliza Hittman's new film Never Rarely Sometimes Always 

Never Rarely Sometimes Always is something of a procedural, except the procedure here isn’t a police investigation or anything along those lines, it’s an abortion.

Director Louie Schwartzberg, who has made a name for himself over the past few decades because of his ravishing time-lapse photography, has likely found the ideal subject to suit his schtick in Fantastic Fungi, a movie about the inarguable special-ness of mushrooms

Fantastic Fungi is also a portrait of a community of mushroom obsessives—who journalist Eugenia Bone beautifully describes as, “bloated pleasure-seekers with a scientific bent.”

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