1. House hunting: 6 homes in Nova Scotia

    It never hurts to look…

     

  2. Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September

    A roundup of everything new and noteworthy hitting theaters this month

     

  3.  

  4. These real-life Rosie the Riveters changed the face of labor

    Vintage photos from the library of congress capture a time when the country ran on womanpower

     

  5. The week’s best photojournalism

    In some of the week’s most memorable images, a horse kicks up dirt, a man plummets toward the sea, and more

     

  6.  

  7. The week’s best editorial cartoons

    Artists take on the Israel-Hamas cease-fire, Burger King’s Canadian defection, and more

     

  8.  


  9. At its best, streaming video offers the potential for discovery — the chance to track down and reappraise a hidden gem which you’d never have seen otherwise. For the month of August, I’ll be counting down movies that were panned by critics when they were originally released, and arguing that they’re actually worth a second look.

    Hannah Fidell’s unsettling psychodramaA Teacher follows Diana — a young high school English teacher in suburban Texas — as she engages in a passionate and destructive affair with one of her students. It’s a premise designed to make viewers squeamish, but A Teacher is less concerned with the ethics of the affair than with its psychological impact on its fragile protagonist. 

    Lindsay Burdge turns in a fascinatingly icy performance as Diana — a woman who barely manages to cover up her deep, fundamental instability as she goes about her day-to-day life. Her affair with Eric, a charismatic student, is part of a larger obsession with remaining in a state of arrested development.  Diana is well aware of the danger he presents to her life and career, but she can’t resist indulging in the only part of her life that brings her any joy — even as the relationship begins to spin towards mutual destruction.

    At just 75 minutes, A Teacher is a spare, tightly focused character study. We never learn how Diana and Eric began their affair, and the movie wisely spends very little time on anyone apart from the two leads. (If anything, writer/director Hannah Fidell could have cut even more; the sole scene that explores Diana’s troubled relationship with her family is a misstep, over-explaining something that would be better left implied.) But in general, the film’s ambiguities are moody and effective. Fidell shoots in a series of murky, claustrophobic close-ups that emphasize how insular and dangerous Diana’s world has become. 

    A Teacher earned just 32 percent positive reviews at aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with critics dismissing it as “lifeless” and “ultimately hollow.” I understand why some would be frustrated that the film avoids digging into the depths and motivations of its characters, but I’d argue that’s one of A Teacher's secret strengths. Much of the film's nervy energy comes from being forced to guess at the true feelings of both Diana and Eric — and what those feelings might eventually lead them to do.

    Your weekly streaming recommendation: A Teacher

     

  10.  

  11.  


  12. This week I learned that alcohol boosts your sense of smell, and more

    Fun and interesting facts from around the web

     

  13. Putin warns the West: “It’s best not to mess with us.”

    Just hours after asking pro-Russian separatists to release Ukrainian troops, Russian President Vladimir Putin took a very different tone