Mimi Sheraton
Noah Fecks

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're speaking with Mimi Sheraton about food - the ethics of food, the idea of fad diets, and how to eat responsibly.

Mimi Sheraton is a noted food and restaurant critic. She is also a board member for The New York Council for the Humanities and she served as the scholar advisor on the Council's new "Food Fight" Reading & Discussion series.

  Few could explain, let alone seek out, a career in criticism. Yet what A.O. Scott shows in his new book: Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth is that we are, in fact, all critics: because critical thinking informs almost every aspect of artistic creation, of civil action, of interpersonal life.

Drawing on the long tradition of criticism from Aristotle to Susan Sontag, Scott shows that criticism was and always will be the breath of fresh air that allows true creativity to thrive.

A.O. Scott joined The New York Times as a film critic in January 2000. Previously, he was a Sunday book reviewer for Newsday and a frequent contributor to Slate, The New York Review of Books, and many other publications.

  John Lahr is an acclaimed theater critic. Since 1992 he’s been the Senior Drama Critic for The New Yorker magazine.

He’s the author of such books as Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, and the brand new, Joy Ride. The book is a collection of Lahr’s New Yorker profiles and reviews which explore the lives of the theatricals.


  Nobody knows movies like Thelma Adams. So, we wanted to talk with her about Sunday night’s Academy Awards and find out her thoughts on possible winners and losers on film’s biggest night.

She is currently a Yahoo! Movies Contributing Editor, film critic and Oscarologist. She was the film critic at Us Weekly for eleven years from 2000 to 2011, following six years at the New York Post. She has twice chaired the New York Film Critics Circle.


  From his early 70s dispatches as a critic for the Village Voice on rock and roll, comedy, movies, and television to the literary criticism of the 80s and 90s that made him famous, to his must-read cultural reporting for Vanity Fair- James Walcott has had a career as a free lance critic and a literary intellectual like none other.

With his new career-spanning collection Critical Mass: Four Decades of Essays, Reviews, Hand Grenades and Hurrahs- he gives us his best critical essays and cultural journalism.

  This morning we spotlight the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and their upcoming "Based on the Book: Bestseller Cinema" presentation in Haverford, PA on Nov. 16.

Film Critic Bill Wine will discuss the psychological difference between reading a book and viewing a film.

Bill Wine has been writing about and teaching film throughout his career, serving as a movie critic for magazines, newspapers, radio and television and online. He served as the movie critic for Fox Television for twelve years, earning eight Emmy award nominations and winning three Emmy awards. Wine has been the movie critic for the CBS station KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia since 2001. He has also written for The Village Voice, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and many other publications. He is the Tenured professor of film, La Salle University and he joins us to tell us more.

Famed film critic, writer, and film historian Richard Schickel has written a retrospective of Spielberg’s career (Steven Spielberg: A Retrospective). We speak with him about the book and he shares his thoughts on the director’s latest film.

Film clip audio copyright DreamWorks Pictures and 20th Century Fox

Henry James has had many biographers, but Michael Gorra has taken an original approach to this great American novelist, combining elements of biography, criticism, and travelogue in re-creating the dramatic backstory of James’s masterpiece, Portrait of a Lady. Literary critic Michael Gorra joins us to discuss Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece.