Take the Grand Tour

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

Thrilling to the Met’s merge of painting and music By pairing Pachelbel’s Canon in D with images of men and women struggling up a foggy mountainside in The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser, Werner Herzog created an unforgettable portrait of the eternity of human suffering.  Its effectiveness drew from the interplay between music and image: the [&hellip
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Mission to Nowhere

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

Cuaron’s juvenile sci-fi lacks gravitas The opalescent object Planet Earth that opens Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity belongs to Kubrick’s 2001. It’s a shorthand image–evoking intellectual contemplation and wonder that Cuaron doesn’t earn. Cuaron borrows it without (pardon the expression) gravitas. The phenomenon of creation dresses up a tale of survival written by Cuaron with his brother, [&hellip
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The Spoiled Brats of Ganja and Hess

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

Rebooting the Black stoner comedy in Newlyweeds Harvey Weinstein may call 2013 “a great moment” for “great black filmmakers” just because he happens to be releasing three high-profile films with Black subjects, but the first real sign of new life and energy in movies about Black Americans is the low-budget Newlyweeds, written and directed by [&hellip
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Only Engage

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

Soto-Diaz and Bisbing shows stay connected and personal These days we’re nothing if not connected. And so is our art; one of the most salient features of contemporary art is the drive for inclusiveness—for the dismantling of the last barriers between art object and viewer, using new technologies, novel mixtures of media, and site-specific installations.    [&hellip
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A Thriller-in-Transition

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

Villeneuve’s Prisoners vs. Alvarez’ C.O.G. Keller Dover is a modern man possessed of Biblical rage when his six-year-old daughter and a neighbor’s child are kidnapped in Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners. Dover (played by Hugh Jackman) is also a Pennsylvanian who loves to hunt, craft and is caught up in the difficulty of providing for a family [&hellip
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Mother of a Notion

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

Winnie Mandela’s big screen white wash Winnie Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s first wife, keeper of his flame during his years of incarceration before falling to the vicissitudes of South African revolution and her own ego, should be a great role for a real actress yet the part went to singer Jennifer Hudson who won an Oscar [&hellip
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Serenading the Little Sparrow

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

Tribute to Edith Piaf on the 50th anniversary of her death  Few singers have won so many the hearts as French songstress, Edith Piaf. Known as “The Little Sparrow” because of her diminutive stature and nervous energy, she became a universal symbol of love, loss and sorrow from the 1940s until her death in 1963 [&hellip
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Natural Born Killers

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

Blue Caprice sentimentalizes tragic history In the low-light neo-noir visual scheme of Blue Caprice, dark-skinned actor Isaiah Washington is automatically a silhouette, an emblematic obscure object of both dread and desire. Washington portrays John Muhammad, the elder member of the two-man team responsible for the Beltway sniper killings over three weeks in 2002. French director [&hellip
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The Britten Season and More

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

A few bets on the ‘first semester’ of the classical-music season    The classical-music season is divided into two semesters, in a sense—though the second semester is far longer than the first. At any rate, I will make some recommendations for the first semester. We will begin with the New York Philharmonic. In concerts starting [&hellip
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