Critics' Picks: The London Olympics, 'The Barnes Collection' and Satyajit Ray
Three things Seattle Times writers love this week: inspiring competitors in the London Olympics, the PBS documentary "The Barnes Collection" and the delightful films of Satyajit Ray.
We need a little something to root for, yes? Start at the summer games, with equestrian Hidecki Hoketsu, 71 — and his horse, Whisper, 19. Continue with blind archer Im Dong-hyun; runner and former "Lost Boy" Lopez Lomong; and weightlifter Sarah Robles, whose painful forearm deformity doesn't keep her from lifting 568 pounds on a good day. The games continue through Aug. 12 (www.olympic.org).
Melissa Davis, Weekend Plus editor
'The Barnes Collection'
This documentary doesn't go into the controversies surrounding the Barnes Foundation art collection's recent move from suburban Philadelphia to a new facility in the city's downtown core. But it does capture the collection's beguiling character and the odd nature of its founder. On one hand, Barnes, a working-class kid who struck it rich, was an egalitarian who wanted to share his love of art with "the plain people." On the other hand, he felt that good paintings were "more satisfying companions than the best of books — and infinitely more so than very nice people." (10 p.m. Friday on KCTS.)
Seattle Times arts writer
Dropped by the Bollywood series at Seattle Asian Art Museum to see the late Satyajit Ray's 1977 film "The Chess Players" — a seriocomic historical drama about the Brits' last push into India — and was reminded yet again of the artful technique, storytelling brilliance and broad humanity of this film master. For years, only half a dozen Ray films were available on DVD in this country, and most people thought of him only in terms of the epic "Apu Trilogy." But there is so much more. Try "The Big City," "The Stranger" (aka "The Visitor"), "The Music Room" or, indeed, "The Chess Players." A world of delight awaits you.
Paul de Barros, Seattle Times arts writer