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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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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Mac and Mandy Get Apocalyptic

Written by Valerie Gladstone on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Star power comes to Henry Street Settlement   A Biblical-size flood has swept away almost everything on earth, leaving two lone survivors who have lost the ability to speak and can only communicate in song and dance. To keep up their spirits, they sing of the rise and fall of civilization to tunes ranging from Rodgers and [&hellip
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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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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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The Bard Meets Bart

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

Classic stagings of classics and TV Shakespeare’s plays have lasted over 400 years–and it’s not only because directors love to dress them up in vintage or contemporary clothing to show their current relevance. And if Shakespeare isn’t the world’s greatest playwright, he’s pretty damn good by any standards–so good that most of his major characters [&hellip
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Going Dutch

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

“Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals,” a jewel of an exhibition, represents the collaboration of two gems of institutions: the Frick and the Mauritshuis, both of which showcase small but world-class collections in stately mansions. While the Mauritshuis undergoes a renovation and expansion of its home in The Hague, it has loaned a selection of seventeenth-century Dutch [&hellip
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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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