Arts & Culture

Critics’ picks: Romanian TV miniseries ‘Umbre’ shines

Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1670-72, oil on canvas
Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1670-72, oil on canvas From the Leiden Collection, New York, courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art

1 Umbre: Through the wonders of streaming, Americans are used to finding quality TV series from the U.K., Scandinavia and Australia. But Romania? The country may not be on our radar, but perhaps it should be, considering this fascinating and gritty eight-episode miniseries about a man who leads a double life as a taxi driver and thug. It was produced for HBO Europe and is streaming on Acorn.tv, the site originally known for importing British and Aussie TV. It’s good to see it expand its range.

Cary Darling

2 Burroughs: The Movie — Criterion Collection on Blu-ray/DVD: Long thought lost, this 1983 documentary about influential and controversial author William Burroughs was rediscovered in 2011. Newly restored, it arrives in stores Tuesday on Blu-ray and DVD. Extras include an audio commentary from Jim Jarmusch (who was a sound recorder on the film), outtakes, a 23-minute “experimental edit” of Burroughs and an interview with director Howard Brookner.

Preston Jones

3 Vermeer: There are only 36 known Johannes Vermeer paintings in the world and one of them is headlining the Dallas Museum of Art’s exhibition “Vermeer Suite: Music in 17th Century Dutch Paintings,” which opens Jan. 17. It’s free and will include works by seven of Vermeer’s contemporaries, all on the subject of musicians performing.

Gaile Robinson

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