Author Archive

Up and Down at NewFest

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

What’s missing, what’s visionary and what’s wrong at LGBT event Why isn’t Julian Hernandez’s new movie I Am the Hope of This World part of NewFest? The 25th annual showcase of LGBT films (at Lincoln Center, Sept 6 to 11) should be centered on work by world-class filmmakers like Hernandez whose first three previous films [&hellip
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Trash, Rehash and Innovation

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

Late DePalma, Early Fassbinder in new releases After decades of inspired, always modern, genre-revising work, Brian DePalma finally goes derivative in Passion. His remake of Alain Corneau’s 2010 Crime d’amore isn’t up to the level of that well-cast but trashy film. DePalma merely rehashes its plot–moving the story from Paris to Berlin where a diabolical, [&hellip
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Its Name Is Mud

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

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints misremembers the aesthetic of 70s films Like molasses in January, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is a slow-moving, dull cliché, an art cliché. Director David Lowery tediously imitates the style of 1970s American Renaissance movies in this agonizing tale of an outlaw couple Bob (Casey Affleck) and Ruth (Rooney Mara) in 1930s [&hellip
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From Ghetto to Gallery

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

Jay-Z bifurcates performance art in Picasso Baby Rappers were always welcomed by the art world–a fact of the downtown avant-garde as captured in Blondie’s 1981 Rapture music video–even before Kanye West and Jay-Z deliberately sought art world approval. Jay-Z’s new music video Picasso Baby not only crosses the Black Curtain of limited, ghettoized knowledge, it [&hellip
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The Six Eschateers

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

Edgar Wright arrives at The World’s End “Bluebloods!” Simon Pegg and Nick Frost shout, standing beneath the bright light of realization in The World’s End. At the climax of their pub crawl over “the golden mile” of their hometown Newton Haven, these British lads Gary King (Pegg) and Andy (Frost) retrace their youth along with [&hellip
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The GPS Dance

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

Urban romance takes a spin in The Happy Sad When Pet Shop Boys released Very (their finest album?) 20 years ago, its AIDS-era sensibility was a landmark in pop sexual identity. Probably too subtle for mainstream recognition, its sophistication can yet be universally appreciated. The territory explored on Very’s opening track (“Can You Forgive Her?”) [&hellip
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Run, Forest, Run

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

Civil Rights history gets trivialized in Lee Daniels’ The Butler “The room should feel empty when you’re in it,” says Clarence Williams III, instructing his waiter-trainee on the etiquette of black servitude in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. It’s a funny line for this film since director Lee (Precious) Daniels always makes a big noise when [&hellip
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124 Comments

Not Schlong on Talent

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

Even Lindsay Lohan gets insulted by The Canyons Hard luck Lindsay Lohan couldn’t have made a worse movie than The Canyons had she directed it herself. As the film’s producer, she made the poor decision to hire Paul Schrader as director, putting herself in the hands of a filmmaker who reduces her to a T&A [&hellip
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Faith, Hope and Cinema

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

Makhmalbaf’s new masterpiece explores religious need The secular tendency that dominates today’s movies makes the spiritual inquiry in The Gardener even more remarkable. It is the bold new film by one of the great international moviemakers, Iran’s Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who typically, transcends genre; here mixing the religious feeling of Biblical epics like Frank Borzage’s The [&hellip
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