Author Archive

Morality Never Sleeps

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

Costa-Gavras returns to form in Capital In a third of the time it took Olivier Assayas to turn 70s terrorism into a epic hipster rave (replete with post-punk soundtrack) in Carlos, Costa-Gavras exposes the nature of social and financial compromise–moral terrorism–in Capital. This timely story of how Phenix Bank, a French financial institution, replaces its [&hellip
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Headless Hacks

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

Director and writer hacks behead The Counselor Novelist Cormac McCarthy must have been a fan of Breaking Bad since he steals its plot–its essence–for The Counselor, the film billed as his “first original screenplay.” The combination cynicism-and-pretense that motivates this crime film about a lawyer (Michael Fassbender) who gains wealth from assisting clients in drug [&hellip
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19 Comments

Why Glass Menagerie Persists

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

Zachary Quinto wants to be the Tom Wingfield for his era. In the new Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ 1945 play The Glass Menagerie at the Booth Theater, Quinto presumes a modern Sad Young Man interpretation of the play as Williams’ autobiographical gay memoir, making Tom (Williams’ nickname) an archetype of the regret-filled gay youth [&hellip
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6 Comments

Stop Carrie-ing On

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

DePalma’s classic trashed in remake It was impossible for Kimberly Peirce to direct a remake of Carrie that could live up to Brian DePalma’s 1976 original. Two cultural events got in the way.  First, political correctness so dominates our culture that the mythological aspects in Carrie’s reverse-Cinderella story (a repressed, unpopular high school girl goes [&hellip
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7 Comments

The Old Man and the Oscar

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

Robert Redford baits the Academy in tuneless sea chantey One of the major Academy Award bloopers occurred in 1984 when Robert Redford was nominated Best Actor for The Sting and not The Way We Were (both were released in 1983). He seemed miscast and distant in the former but movie-star idolized and emotionally committed in [&hellip
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Lives of the Saints

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

Binoche and Bergman make modern spiritual films Every Bruno Dumont film resembles an essay. He tells a story as we are accustomed to seeing in mainstream cinema but his focus on plain faces and unprepossessing behavior produces a distinct meditation–this time, in Camille Claudel 1915, on the life of sculptress Camille Claudel, protégé and former [&hellip
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56 Comments

Can’t Trust It

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town Downtown

12 Years a Slave uses sadistic art to patronize history Brutality, violence and misery get confused with history in 12 Years a Slave, British director Steve McQueen’s adaptation of the 1853 American slave narrative by Solomon Northup, who claims that in 1841, away from his home in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., he was kidnapped and taken [&hellip
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34 Comments

Shaky-Cam Politics

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

Race and politics sink Captain Phillips Paul (shaky-cam) Greengrass makes another mess of recent political history in Captain Phillips. This time Greengrass fakes a docu-drama about the 2009 incident when the Maersk Alabama ship, piloted by Vermont merchant marine captain Richard Phillips, was seized off Africa’s eastern coast by Somali pirates, then rescued by the [&hellip
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32 Comments

Dee Dee Sharp

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

Bridgewater returns to Broadway in Billie Holliday triumph At first Dee Dee Bridgewater’s impersonation of Billie Holliday in Lady Day at the Little Shubert Theater seems an odd misuse of talent in this Broadway production imported from its London run (where Bridgewater got an Olivier Award nomination). Bridgewater’s strong, tall stage presence and ringing voice [&hellip
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130 Comments

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