The Better-Than List for 2013

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

See year’s best films, reject the overrated The false politics of film culture 2013 (films exploiting race, class, sexual politics) paralleled the continued diminishment of cinephilia that has subordinated movies to TV, shifting cinema from a popular art form into political soccer games for media’s power elite. Lots of good film but also lots of [&hellip
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Secret Lives of Walter-Marty

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

Scorsese and Stiller overindulge themselves in two new films The Wolf of Wall Street and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty are the same movie. Both films deal with the ambition of working-class protagonists: Scorsese’s three-hour epic about a kid from The Bronx who becomes a Wall Street titan (Leonardo DiCaprio) charts his aggression through [&hellip
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Dangling Dylan

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

The Coens examine Pop and Self When an apparition of Bob Dylan appears in Inside Llewyn Davis, it underscores the Coen Brothers’ abiding ambivalence about their Jewishness. Dylan, the oracular pop-star-prophet -outsider from Minnesota (like the Coens) represents an advance on mainstream culture and power that troubles the Coen Brothers’ fascination with American character. Inside Llewyn Davis [&hellip
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Lisa Simpson Agonistes

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

How the Hollywood left is driving The Simpsons to the Dogs In a recent episode of The Simpsons, Lisa grows a vestigial tail, ruffled fur, a cold nose and a cocked hat. She’s evolving into Poochie the Dog, a character inserted in a classic-era Itchy & Scratchy cartoon to lampoon desperate, audience-pandering program adjustments. The [&hellip
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Pynchon Soup for the Postmodern Soul

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

Visionary author takes the modern world to the Bleeding Edge In his new novel Bleeding Edge, Thomas Pynchon uses the word “postmodern” for the first time in his fiction – a notable event in the career of this supposed American postmodern novelist par excellence. The word crops up in a few places, including a description [&hellip
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Back to the Basics of the Bard

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

Rylance re-invents Shakespeare at the Belasco It is fitting that the Globe Shakespeare company’s new repertory event appear at New York City’s most dramatically beautiful venue, The Belasco Theater. Its recently renovated, sumptuous, layered designed—both theater and sanctuary, offering volume, ornamentation and radiance–makes an on-stage performance special. Imagination and skill are represented in a jewel box–as [&hellip
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Soul for Foodies

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

The Cecil cooks up Harlem history Former Time-Warner CEO Richard Parsons and his wife opened two new restaurants in Harlem, Minton’s and The Cecil as a neighborhood restoration to bring back the local legendary 1930’s/1940’s jazz club Minton’s Playhouse and its aura. The revived Playhouse also resides in the original location uptown but has been redesigned [&hellip
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Working Class Art Hero

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

Spiegelman’s comix and more in local exhibition Much has been written about Maus, Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel that recounts the harrowing tale of Spiegelman’s parents’ experience and survival in Auschwitz. Much has been written about Spiegelman, the New Yorker magazine artist who produced challenging covers that addressed real New York issues. The Feb [&hellip
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David O. Russell’s Stock Company

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

American Hustle is GoodFellas and Boogie Nights done right David O. Russell goes to the 1970s to satirize contemporary Americana in American Hustle. If the title sounds both plain and pretentious, it takes a sense of humor like Russell’s to get over those hurdles and he does it with his new stock company of actors–great talents [&hellip
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