Author Archive

Freeze-dried Disney

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Thawing out the clichés and commercialism of Frozen Disney Animation is no longer simply Disney Animation as proven by the mega-blockbuster Frozen (to date: over $300m gross). This neo-fable has social prognosis and prospective commercial potential prefabricated into its mytholgy. Frozen’s tale about two temperamentally different sisters, the frolicking, touchy-feely Anna (Kristen Bell) and the [&hellip
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Pop Origami

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Doug McGrath Reimagines Broadway’s Jukebox Musical One of the best aspects of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (at the Stephen Sondheim Theater) is seeing book writer Doug McGrath’s origami treatment of American pop music history. McGrath, who has directed the excellent films Infamous and Nicholas Nickleby) starts with bio-pic basics about singer-songwriter Carole King’s life [&hellip
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86 Comments

Spin Viewer

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Re-watching 2013’s Best DVDs It was a rich year for new theatrical releases but the DVD releases have also been extraordinary. Film History lessons begin here: Nashville (Criterion) Following Disney’s years-ahead lead packaging Blu-Ray discs with digital copies of new releases, Criterion finally begins offer movies-worth packages of classic films. No better example illustrates this [&hellip
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Evergreen Joy

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Erasure turns seasonal songs into radical praise At Christmas time we forget that seasonal songs can also be praise songs. This comes clear in Erasure’s new release Snow Globe, a Christmas album built around the tradition vs. modernity tension of the holiday season–and yet an evergreen subject. Praise songs suit singer-lyricist Andy Bell, one of [&hellip
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26 Comments

The Better-Than List for 2013

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

See year’s best films, reject the overrated The false politics of film culture 2013 (films exploiting race, class, sexual politics) paralleled the continued diminishment of cinephilia that has subordinated movies to TV, shifting cinema from a popular art form into political soccer games for media’s power elite. Lots of good film but also lots of [&hellip
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25 Comments

Secret Lives of Walter-Marty

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Scorsese and Stiller overindulge themselves in two new films The Wolf of Wall Street and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty are the same movie. Both films deal with the ambition of working-class protagonists: Scorsese’s three-hour epic about a kid from The Bronx who becomes a Wall Street titan (Leonardo DiCaprio) charts his aggression through [&hellip
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138 Comments

Dangling Dylan

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

The Coens examine Pop and Self When an apparition of Bob Dylan appears in Inside Llewyn Davis, it underscores the Coen Brothers’ abiding ambivalence about their Jewishness. Dylan, the oracular pop-star-prophet -outsider from Minnesota (like the Coens) represents an advance on mainstream culture and power that troubles the Coen Brothers’ fascination with American character. Inside Llewyn Davis [&hellip
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28 Comments

Back to the Basics of the Bard

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Rylance re-invents Shakespeare at the Belasco It is fitting that the Globe Shakespeare company’s new repertory event appear at New York City’s most dramatically beautiful venue, The Belasco Theater. Its recently renovated, sumptuous, layered designed—both theater and sanctuary, offering volume, ornamentation and radiance–makes an on-stage performance special. Imagination and skill are represented in a jewel box–as [&hellip
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David O. Russell’s Stock Company

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

American Hustle is GoodFellas and Boogie Nights done right David O. Russell goes to the 1970s to satirize contemporary Americana in American Hustle. If the title sounds both plain and pretentious, it takes a sense of humor like Russell’s to get over those hurdles and he does it with his new stock company of actors–great talents [&hellip
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313 Comments

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