arts

After three members of the Swedish Academy resigned Friday, protesting its response to a long-simmering scandal, the committee known for awarding the Nobel Prize in literature has found itself in unfamiliar — and precarious — territory: Beyond examining the merits of an author's past work, as it does each year, the centuries-old group is now also facing questions about its own future.

Comedian Hari Kondabolu made a documentary in 2017 called The Problem With Apu. It's not very long — less than an hour. In it, he interrogates the legacy of Apu, the convenience store owner on The Simpsons voiced by Hank Azaria. Kondabolu talked to other actors and comics who longed for more South Asian representation, only to find that at the time, Apu was just about all there was. And Apu was not only voiced by a white actor, but he was doing what Azaria has acknowledged is a take on Peter Sellers doing an Indian accent in the movie The Party.

Alongside tamales and maybe empanadas, arroz con pollo is one of the most beloved dishes in Latin America. Every country has a version of this one-pot meal that finds chicken cooked on a bed of seasoned rice. The Latino consensus is that Caribbeans prepare it best, and it's a tossup between Cuba and Puerto Rico over who makes it best. (I especially enjoy how Dominicans do it because I can spike it with the nation's electric mojo de ajo).

David Bornfriend

A number of distinguished filmmakers, screenwriters and dancers have graduated from Miami’s New World School of the Arts. That list includes Tarell Alvin McCraney, who's play was adapted into the Oscar-winning film "Moonlight." 

But the high school's unique programs are now in jeopardy after the Florida Legislature this past session slashed all of the school's supplemental state funding by $500,000, according to The Miami Herald

You don't need me to tell you how exciting or important Marvel Studio's Black Panther has become. It's one of the most anticipated films of the year — and broke records for pre-release ticket sales.

Apocryphal stories about our nation's first president abound.

Wooden dentures? Experts say disabusing the public of this myth is like ... well, pulling teeth. (And George Washington did have several pulled, having suffered mightily from dental problems.)

Finland has a tendency to beguile. Saunas are so important that both the president and prime minister keep official ones. The country has the most heavy metal bands per capita. It's experimenting with a basic income.

As superhero origin stories go, this one is pretty low-key. No radioactivity. No other planets. Just a Swede, his love of pastry, and a noble quest for accuracy. It's a bun, it's some cream, it's ... Semla Man!

Larry Blackburn

The story of Elena Hoyos and the man who called himself Count Carl von Cosel is a Key West legend.

It's a true story if unbelievable in its macabre details. And it's been retold in histories, websites — and on stage. A new version of a musical about the story, Undying Love, is opening in Key West. On Valentine's Day.

Rowan Moore Gerety

Outside of his dreams, Juan Esquival hadn’t held his children since 1999. “Freedom,” said Elliot Ross, doing time for a string of robberies before his 22nd birthday, “is for my kids not to make the same mistake I did in life.” After 18 years in prisons across Florida, as he tuned up, guitarist Ronald “Bam” Threet said he knew exactly how much time he had left on the inside: eight months, four hours and 35 minutes. 

Flickr

“Doctor Zhivago,” the romanticized epic about the Russian Revolution, premiered in 1965 and it just screened in Cuba for the first time this week.

Hip-hop has had a steady presence in mainstream media. Successful Hip-Hop movies like "Boyz In The Hood" and more recently "Straight Outta Compton" validate the appeal the genre has on different audiences. Lately, Hip-Hop has gravitated to the playhouse. The meteoric success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s "Hamilton" is a testament that Hip-Hop may have a place in the theater.

Paul B. Goode

Update: The scheduled performance by Bill T. Jones at the Arsht Center has been canceled because of weather.

A few years ago, Bill T. Jones thought there was a good chance his nephew Lance was going to die. He was so sick. Bill T. Jones is hugely influential — as a choreographer and dancer, a writer and thinker — and when he thought his nephew was dying, he wanted to make sure his story stayed in the world. 

Odalis Garcia / WLRN News

In an empty lot near the corner of 23rd Street and North Miami Avenue in Wynwood there’s a giant statue of a man carrying a fish on his back. A few feet away there are smaller human-like sculptures arranged in a circle facing a pyramid, a sphere and a cube.

The molds for these sculptures have made the long journey from Mexico hoping that, as they are created, these pieces of art ignite conversations about how to deal with sea level rise. 

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