Arts and culture

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

There are things you could quibble about in the array of nominations announced today for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.

No best drama series nomination for CBS' The Good Wife, though several stars got acting nods. No acting nomination for Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, though she plays about eight different roles on BBC America's clone-focused adventure drama. No best variety show nod for John Oliver's increasingly stellar Last Week Tonight on HBO. And a best TV miniseries nod for Lifetime's dreadful Bonnie and Clyde?

The Corpus Christi Church in Manhattan, where iconoclastic comedian George Carlin once attended school and which he later ridiculed in some of his monologues, has a new street address: George Carlin Way.

The New York Times calls what's being described as a clerical error "an irony of Carlinesque proportions." The church fought a street named after the comedian since the idea was proposed three years ago.

'Apes' For A New Age, With Little Use For Us

Jul 10, 2014

It's the end of the world as we know it, and the apes feel fine. As for humanity? Not so much, but Dawn of the Planet of the Apes doesn't care so much about their feelings. This dawn is well past mankind's twilight.

Ayad Akhtar is a novelist, actor and screenwriter. And when his first play, Disgraced, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2013, he also became one of the most talked about new voices in American theater.

Long before this buzz, though, Akhtar grew up in a Muslim family with roots in Pakistan. He mines this background to bring the inner lives and conflicts of Muslim Americans to the stage. His plays often feature cutting dialogue and confrontations steeped in the tension between Islamic tradition and personal evolution.

In a more market-driven neighborhood of the movie business, Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz's comedy about two retired gents let loose on Iceland would surely be released under the title Geezers Do Geysers. And the modestly budgeted, charming Land Ho! is a caper of sorts, made less in snooty-indie opposition to the Grumpy Old Men franchise than as a fond goosing of the buddy movie, plus kooky innovation.

Banned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi could hardly have found a more engaging surrogate than the four-legged co-star of Closed Curtain, the second movie Panahi has directed since he was officially forbidden from doing so. Making his entrance by hopping from the duffel bag that's hidden him, the dog called Boy embodies Iranian outcasts at their friskiest.

'Empty Hours' Pass, But Little Is Said

Jul 10, 2014

There's a beautifully revealed detail early in Aarón Fernández's The Empty Hours. It comes soon after the film's protagonist, 17-year-old Sebastián (Kristyan Ferrer), arrives in Veracruz, Mexico, to look after his uncle Gerry's motel for a few weeks. Gerry (Fermín Martínez), who has to leave town for a series of medical tests, gives Sebastián a tour of the premises, shows him where he keeps the cleaning supplies, takes him into one of the rooms, and explains an essential part of the cleaning process: There must always be a box of paper tissues next to the bed.

Eileen Ford, who is credited with inventing the modern modeling business and in the process launching the careers of supermodels such as Lauren Hutton, Christie Brinkley and Naomi Campbell, has died at 92.

A spokeswoman who handles public relations for Ford Models confirmed Wednesday's death, which follows a fall Ford took last week at her New York apartment.

Usually when characters age in movies, they're covered with makeup and outfitted with prosthetics — or directors use different actors as the characters grow older. But in the new film Boyhood, none of that is necessary.

The film takes place over the course of 12 years, and it was shot over the course of 12 years. So we watch the actors getting older for real, which gives their characters a sense of authenticity.