Daily Archives: July 3, 2024


France’s renowned Arles photo fest goes ‘beneath the surface’

Arles, France — One of the world’s most renowned photo festivals, in the French town of Arles, returned this week with a timely ode to diversity at a moment when France is turning towards the far right. The Rencontres festival, which runs until Sept. 29, is spread across 27 venues in the ancient cobbled streets of this former Roman town in Provence and has been running since 1970. This year’s theme is “Beneath the Surface,” seeking to delve into diversity without the usual caricatures around minorities. The star exhibition is a …


What was the ‘first American novel’? On this Independence Day, a look at what it started

NEW YORK — In the winter of 1789, around the time George Washington was elected the country’s first president, a Boston-based printer quietly launched another American institution. William Hill Brown’s The Power of Sympathy, published anonymously by Isaiah Thomas & Company, is widely cited as something momentous: the first American novel. Around 100 pages long, Brown’s narrative tells of two young New Englanders whose love affair abruptly and tragically ends when they learn a shocking secret that makes their relationship unbearable. The dedication page, addressed to the “Young Ladies of United …


Robert Towne, Oscar-winning writer of ‘Chinatown,’ dies at 89

NEW YORK — Robert Towne, the Oscar-winning screenplay writer of “Shampoo,” “The Last Detail” and other acclaimed films whose work on “Chinatown” became a model of the art form and helped define the jaded allure of his native Los Angeles, has died. He was 89. Towne died Monday surrounded by family at his home in Los Angeles, said publicist Carri McClure. She declined to comment on a cause of death. In an industry that gave birth to rueful jokes about the writer’s status, Towne for a time held prestige comparable to …