Top Picks: Van Gogh blooms, Matt Damon thriller, classic opera, and more

London's National Gallery recreates Van Gogh with flowers, Matt Damon stars in a 'romantic thriller,' PBS hosts Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, and more recommendations

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    Van Gogh's 'A Wheatfield With Cypresses'
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    Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon are discussed in Fire and Rain, a new book by David Browne that dishes about 1960s musicians.
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A date with destiny?

Matt Damon and Emily Blunt star in this small valentine of a romantic thriller, The Adjustment Bureau (out on DVD June 21). Its lighthearted exploration of fate versus free will has a sci-fi twist, using nifty shifts between physical worlds, with doors acting as portals to other places. The love David (Damon) feels for Elise (Blunt) turns out not to be part of a preordained plan – that's when the men in hats and business suits appear, skulking about trying to keep things on track.

Singing tragedy

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Operatic passion heats up PBS this summer with its "Great Performances" presentation of Donizetti's Lucia Di Lammermoor. Tune in to see the superb Natalie Dessay sing the title role on June 26 in this elegant performance. Check local listings for time.

Van Gogh blooms

With the help of 8,000 potted plants, Van Gogh's A Wheatfield With Cypresses has been re-created on the western side of London's National Gallery as part of its carbon-reduction plan. The living painting is part of a General Electric/National Gallery collaboration and will keep growing until October. For a view of the "living wall" go to www.gereports.com/van-gogh-ecomagination-style/.

Educated travel choices

When is it better to fly or drive? BeFrugal.com has a new calculator that weighs the costs, time, and carbon footprint of both options. Plug in a few essentials, such as distance, number of travelers, type of vehicle, time, etc., and the Fly or Drive tool will do a quick comparison for you. Sometimes the carbon impact information is the most surprising.

Mellow fellows

As the psychedelic 1960s came to a close, a new era of music was on the cusp. The Vietnam War raged on, but the '70s dawned with a quieter, more introspective kind of sound. Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water"; The Beatles' "Let it Be"; supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Deja Vu"; and "Sweet Baby James" (James Taylor) dominated the airwaves. Fire and Rain, a new book by David Browne, dishes the drama and details of how it all went down.

Child's play

For one night in movie theaters nationwide, conductor Gustavo Dudamel takes audiences on a journey into the world of symphony, conducting, and the power of music to transform lives. Dudamel: Let the Children Play airs June 23 and travels to far-flung countries to tell the stories of young people who have experienced the joy of music. For ticket information go to FathomEvents.com.

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