Author Archive

Bleak Cheek

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

Alexander Payne gets Lost in Nebraska By shooting his new film Nebraska in black and white, writer-director Alexander Payne reveals his phoniness. The contemporary-set story about an old man, Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) who travels from Montana to claim a Publisher’s Clearing House prize in the neighboring state Nebraska, has that stark, sad look of [&hellip
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151 Comments

Adieu and Reminder

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

Hours is Paul Walker’s final gift Paul Walker’s demise makes his new film Hours especially poignant–as it was always intended to be. Hours is another of the genre films that Walker regularly appeared in and made distinctive. His specialty was the action film where stress defined personality through a character’s approach to morality, the law, [&hellip
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223 Comments

Knocking the Messenger

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

Langston Hughes’ dream gets deferred in Black Nativity Watching Black Nativity is such a wearying experience I see no point pretending that its positive message about the Black America Family is good enough for anyone. This is a case where the messenger (s) must be blamed for ruining the message. As one of the increasingly [&hellip
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66 Comments

Putting Life in Context

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

Chen Kaige composes a sweeping digital-age epic with Caught in the Web Unlike The Social Network, which burnished the legend of Mark Zuckerberg founding Facebook while glamourizing the derangement of social values and personal relationships, Chen Kaige gets directly to the social, spiritual point in his masterly new film Caught in the Web. Chen balances [&hellip
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102 Comments

Pioneer/Horror Story

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

McConaughey tries too hard in Dallas Buyers Club How do you tell Ron Woodroof’s story so that it is both informative and enlightening? Woodroof, a not-altruistic Texas shitkicker who drank, drugged, chased tail and conned people, contracted AIDS in the mid-80s then became a self-made entrepreneur. He rejected the prescribed drug AZT (a prophetic decision), [&hellip
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70 Comments

No Thinking Allowed

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

Hunger Games 2 never catches fire By the time Philip Seymour Hoffman enters The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with his usual post-Oscar smugness, viewers are so worn out from the brackish color and over-complicated plot nonsense that no one in the audience I saw it with laughed upon hearing Hoffman’s character name, Plutarch Heavensbee—or maybe [&hellip
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62 Comments

All About Face

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

Paul Giamatti and Phil Morrison unravel indie cynicism   The reliably dyspeptic Paul Giamatti can also show a kind face although few filmmakers bother to feature that aspect, probably because it can veer into self-pitying mush (as in Cinderella Man, his Oscar-consolation-nomination after being snubbed for Sideways) but director Phil Morrison reins Giamatti perfectly in All [&hellip
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82 Comments

What is the Best Film of 2013?

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

Bellocchio and Antonioni films answer important questions If Michelangelo Antonioni’s La Notte opened today, it would be the best film of 2013–and the most relevant. Though originally released in 1962, Antonioni’s masterpiece speaks to the crisis of affluence and license that also describe our contemporary social conundrum where the acceptance of capitalist privilege (and the [&hellip
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182 Comments

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