1 "Selma," an ambitious, deeply moving drama about the 1960s civil rights movement, has triggered a noisy quarrel. The film plays fast and loose with the facts as it tells the story of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s groundbreaking 1965 voting-rights march from Selma, Ala., to the State Capitol in Montgomery. If we examine "Selma" as film using artistic license on its own terms, not as propaganda or journalism, it is outstandingly good, with brilliant acting (David Oyelowo owns the lead) and beautiful cinematography.
2 Edith Pearlman and her story collection "Binocular Vision" came out of nowhere in 2011 and went on to win the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Her new collection, "Honeydew," is just as finely wrought. These 20 stories are all about connections — the way we long for them, the way we savor them, the way we respect them. In "Tenderfoot," a poker-playing widow makes a living doing pedicures in her home, as her neighbor spies on her. In "Castle 4," an anesthesiologist talks tenderly to his patients. These characters are quirky and vulnerable, and it is clear that Pearlman has great affection for them. Readers will, too.
3 Once you get past the long, pretty haircuts on the guys in the band, the new vinyl and digital reissue editions of Trip Shakespeare's first two albums seem as undated as they are uncategorizable. The idiosyncratic but sophisticated Twin Cities pop/rock band — featuring brothers Matt and Dan Wilson; the latter's future Semisonic mate, John Munson, and Elaine Harris — sound charmingly uncertain on the 1986 debut "Applehead Man" but come into their own on 1988's "Are You Shakespearienced?" In both cases, Omnivore Recordings packed in fun liner notes and tacked on a handful of worthy bonus tracks, including an early demo of Munson's seasonal favorite "Snow Days."
4 The brilliantly exasperating David Hockney embraced the fun-in-the-sun lifestyle of Los Angeles in the 1960s and celebrated its sybaritic beauty in lush paintings of swimming pools, winding roads and pretty boys. Now back in England, Hockney, 77, remains outspoken, witty, self-absorbed and prodigiously energetic in the poignant and sometimes funny, warts-and-all "David Hockney: The Biography, 1975-2012," the second well-sourced volume by Christopher Simon Sykes. "Hockney Paints the Stage," Walker Art Center's influential 1983 show inspired by his opera designs, gets a whole chapter.
5 We were pleasantly surprised to discover that Verdant Tea in south Minneapolis has had a makeover to Verdant Lounge. Under the new ownership of chef Ozzy Amelotti, the Asian-oriented teas are still served, but the revised menu has an Argentinian flavor, with empanadas, lomitos (sandwiches) and flank steak. The breakfasts are hearty, and the evening meal is traditionally lighter than the lunchtime repast. Of course, tango dancing is in the works. 2111 Franklin Av. E., Mpls. verdantlounge.com