Author Archive

It’s a Nerd, Nerd, Nerd, Nerd World

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

Computer Chess is Mumblecore’s first gear shift Whatever else is going on in Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess, it is also–unmistakably–a satire on film culture’s extinction. The weird weekend gathering of chess and computer geeks at an early 80s conference (they’re testing whether a machine can outplay a human being) is deliberately antique-looking; it becomes a [&hellip
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22 Comments

Smelling a Rat

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

The Wolverine’s decomposition of a summer blockbuster As I sat down at the AMC Empire cinema in Times Square for that evening’s all-media screening, I could smell a dead rat–and then The Wolverine confirmed it. It wasn’t the first time that an all-media screening took place in that filthy, Crossroads-of-Consumerism flea pit (very recently a [&hellip
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3 Comments

Blues For Mr. Allen

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

A Madoff parody that’s ripe for sniping Cate Blanchett’s singularly obnoxious character in Blue Jasmine blocks our empathy. First because she’s such a phony–having changed her name from the mundane Jeanette to the pretentious Jasmine (“My mother’s favorite flower”), next because she embodies superciliousness (comically indifferent to everyone’s interest besides her own love of couture-brands [&hellip
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162 Comments

Ryan and Nick Meet Leo and Marty

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town

Only God Forgives is a decadent drag act Ryan Gosling plays DiCaprio to Nicholas Winding Refn’s Scorsese–acting out an adolescent idea of manliness in Drive and now Only God Forgives. But sulky Gosling lacks DiCaprio’s hammy brio just as Refn lacks Scorsese’s flamboyance, so he mopes and broods; practicing a weak swagger amidst Refn’s brutal, [&hellip
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40 Comments

Toys Are Rust

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

Dusting off Del Toro’s fatally childish Pacific Rim After Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel brought visual ingenuity, emotion and moral gravity to the sci-fi spectacular, it’s hard to settle for over-the-top childishness like Pacific Rim. Director Guillermo del Toro favors frivolous exaggeration–the world under attack by Kaiju, gargantuan sea monsters. Mankind fights back by building [&hellip
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59 Comments

Swaghili: Learn It. Know It. Live It

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

Why Kanye West’s New Slaves matters Performance art is dead. At least it felt that way until Kanye West’s New Slaves–an in situ projection that played in 66 cities around the world. Kanye’s single-take recitation of the song “New Slaves” stared back at its spectators, a rare, unexpected video reminder cinema’s power when writ large. [&hellip
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4 Comments

Men with Movie Cameras

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

In Museum Hours and Upstream Color, two American filmmakers become disciples of Dziga Vertov  Go back to Dziga Vertov’s 1929 Man with a Movie Camera, the still striking montage experiment (available on Kino Home Video) to find the root concept of two recent art movies, Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours and Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color. Museum [&hellip
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19 Comments

Diary of a Statistic

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

A star turn becomes social protest in Fruitvale Station Young Black males rarely get such a smoothly beautiful portrait as in Fruitvale Station. Actor Michael B. Jordan (who was the Obama-like candidate for Student Council President in last year’s Chronicle) gives this year’s most powerfully affecting performance in Fruitvale Station. From making love to his [&hellip
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570 Comments

Mid-Year Reckoning

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

Tallying the year’s best films — so far That Kanye West’s outdoors projection New Slaves was the most exciting cinematic event of the first half of 2013 sets a high standard. But it’s been an exceptionally fine movie year so far which makes the mid-year reckoning full of excellence, an interconnected story of good cinema. [&hellip
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11 Comments

The New McCarthyism

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

Heat proves girls can be gross too Pity Sandra Bullock rehashing her straight-laced shtick from many years and one Oscar ago as FBI agent Ashburn in The Heat. Instead of graduating to mature, sophisticated comic fare, the likable Bullock falls victim to Hollywood’s box-office sexism, the New McCarthyism.  Bullock’s desperate, unfunny routines in The Heat [&hellip
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170 Comments

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