On today’s show David Bianculli reviews The Central Park Five, the Ken Burns documentary about the five young black and Latino men who were wrongly accused and convicted of assaulting and raping a white woman who, in 1989, was running in Central Park. The doc airs tonight on PBS. It and the book on which it’s based by Burns’ daughter, Sarah, have brought a resurgence of public interest to the case which was a huge and controversial case and media event at the time. Among the many contemporary perspectives on it, was Joan Didion’s now-classic 1991 essay for The New York Review of Books, "Sentimental Journeys," which foresaw the fact that the boys had been wrongly convicted. If you haven’t already read it, it’s long but it is spectacular.

Image of Central Park by Sergey Semonov via My Modern Met


"Who’s ready to help me sock old Adolf in the jaw?"

WWII Female Captain America photo shoot. All props, modeling, and photography by

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The main reason I miss the dwarves' cloaks in the Hobbit films:

I understand why the cloaks and hoods were left out for design purposes, but this has tickled the back of my mind every time I’ve seen the Hobbit film.

From the Hobbit (page 29 in my copy) as the company is setting out:

That’s how they all came to start, jogging off from the inn one fine morning just before May, on laden ponies; and Bilbo was wearing a dark-green hood (a little weather-stained) and a dark-green cloak borrowed from Dwalin.  They were too large for him, and he looked rather comic.

And from Fellowship of the Ring (page 31) as Bilbo leaves the Shire:

From a locked drawer, smelling of moth-balls, he took out an old cloak and hood.  They had been locked up as if they were very precious, but they were so patched and weatherstained that their original colour could hardly be guessed: it might have been dark green.  They were rather too large for him.

Sentimental Journey

Nobuyoshi Araki published “Sentimental Journey”, a book of pictures of his wife taken during their honeymoon and “Winter Journey” a book of pictures of his wife’s last days.

When she died a few years later, the Japanese photographer thought that those pictures were the most beautiful present he could ever had.  


Nobuyoshi Araki, Sentimental Journey, 1971

These are pictures that I had never seen before because they’re not printed in the new version that compiles Sentimental Journey and Winter Journey, which shows Araki’s honeymoon with his wife Yoko and the final months before her passing in 1990.

In the preface, Araki wrote:
"These are totally different from the fake photographs you find all over the place. Sentimental Journey is my love and a photographer’s solution. But I’m not saying that these photos are real just because I took them on my honeymoon. I made love my point of departure as a photographer, and it just happened that it all started from a story told in the first person singular. (I-novel)”