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Ode To An Everly

Ode To An Everly

Remembering a radiant voice   Phil Everly is the man who introduced harmony to rock ‘n’ roll.  People habitually refer to him and brother Don as if their voices were interchangeable.  Dead wrong.  Funky Don is the lyrical acid-voiced one, while celestial Phil is the one with a honey-voice.  Don’s twisted soul kept Phil’s airiness...
Dangling Dylan

Dangling Dylan

The Coen Brothers  examine pop and self in Inside Llewyn Davis 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...
Shit-kicker Blues

Shit-kicker Blues

McConnaughey tries too hard Dallas Buyers Club    How do you tell Ron Woodroof’s story so that it is both informative and enlightening? Woodroof, a not-altruistic Texas shitkicker who drank, drugged, chased tail and conned people, contracted AIDS in the mid-80s then became a self-made entrepreneur. He rejected the prescribed drug AZT (a prophetic decision), researched...
Joy in Darkness

Joy in Darkness

Lester Johnson makes art of locality   The dark brooding men that are hanging on the walls at Steve Harvey Fine Art Projects these days are a powerful presence in a tiny gallery. The exhibition ”Lester Johnson: Dark Paintings” consists of six paintings and two drawings. Small in number, they inhabit the gallery with a strength that is...
The Bard Meets Bart

The Bard Meets Bart

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, although this Summer’s Shakespeare in the Park saw a sensational 40’s swing dance version of A Comedy of Errors by director Daniel...
Keigwin on the Canvas

Keigwin on the Canvas

Local choreographer gets busy at the Joyce Theater   New York native, Larry Keigwin stretches himself as a choreographer. In the 10 years since he founded Keigwin +Company, he has staged Fashion Weeks’s opening event, “Fashion’s Night Out: The Show,” won awards for his choreography for the off Broadway productions of Rent and The Wild Party,...
Seeing the City as Art

Seeing the City as Art

How Jan Gehl redesigned New York  If you empty it out, they will come. This is the working premise of Danish architect Jan Gehl.  Here is your chance to learn about the chap responsible for all the initial bitching about those silly looking chairs in Times Square when traffic was forbidden and space opened up...
Beneath Life’s Melody

Beneath Life’s Melody

Une Chambre en Ville goes inside Demy’s closet  Dominique Sanda, the androgynous siren of Bertolucci’s The Conformist and 1990, appears in Jacques Demy’s Une Chambre en Ville wearing a luxurious fur coat and nothing underneath. She trolls the streets of Paris to escape her confining marriage, looking for a way out–a room with a view to...
Shops Around the Corner

Shops Around the Corner

Times Square memorabilia shops keep Broadway alive According to the New York Times, a massive influx of tourists has made Times Square such a hot retail market that rents have jumped 42 percent in the past year, forcing out local enterprises in favor of multinational chains that can afford the going rate of $2400 per square...
Power and Passion Play

Power and Passion Play

Another perspective on DePalma’s newest film, examining the master director’s form. Introducing our’ new film critic Binx Bolling who joins the CityArts crew committed to bringing thinking back to the arts. Check in with Binx’s regular insights on movies and modern art. Binx recently reviewed Austenland. The final, overhead shot of Brian De Palma’s Passion twists...
Six Degrees of Collaboration

Six Degrees of Collaboration

BalletCollective’s present-tense dance at the Joyce  Adopting a film festival model, the Joyce recently presented a twelve-day dance festival showcasing independent artists working outside large established institutions.  The festival, called “v6.0,” gave New Yorkers unprecedented opportunity to enjoy six ballet-based companies, ranging from neoclassical to contemporary, from across the US. On August 14 Troy Schumacher’s...
It’s Time for Kronos

It’s Time for Kronos

Popular Quartet begins three-week season at Lincoln Center Out of Doors   “It’s our biggest festival,” says David Harrington, the Kronos Quartet founder and violinist, referring to Lincoln Center Out of Doors. It opens a three- week season on July 24 with a five-day program celebrating the famed music group’s 40th anniversary.  He is on the...
Ryan and Nic Meet Leo and Marty and Stanley and David and Park

Ryan and Nic Meet Leo and Marty and Stanley and David and Park

Only God Forgives is a decadent drag act Ryan Gosling plays DiCaprio to Nicolas 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,...
Like Father, Like Ingenue

Like Father, Like Ingenue

Will Smith guides his son through Hollywood Darwinism in After Earth Boys without fathers are the target audience for Will Smith’s After Earth. Its story of a boy Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) trying to live up to his father Cypher Raige’s (Will Smith) survivalist code is a potential blockbuster, combing futuristic whimsy with street hardness...
Punch-drunk Humanism

Punch-drunk Humanism

Time to revisit the great Terminal Bar  As an alternative to the patronizing media praise of Portrait of Jason, consider Terminal Bar, a non-exploitive documentar. Review originally printed Oct. 15, 2002 New York Press. “I’m trying to tell people what‘s happening. If you don’t put it down on paper nobody knows.” That’s an ironic commentary...
Operatic Politics

Operatic Politics

Chile’s Violeta on screen When Salvador Allende first addressed his citizenry after winning Chile’s 1970 presidential election, he did so under a sign that read, “No Hay Revolución sin Cancion”: There is no revolution without songs. In this case, those songs would have been nueva canción, or “new song,” a quasi-political artistic movement spearheaded by...
Different for Girls?

Different for Girls?

Potter at her peak with Ginger and Rosa Did Simone DeBeauvoir have a bubbly personality?” Ginger (Elle Fanning) asks her BFF. And Rosa (Alice Englert), without a care about DeBeauvoir’s philosophical stature, reasons that the cluelessly academic titan “Hasn’t read Girl. These two 1960s British teenagers, fans of pop magazines like Girl, new music and...
Where the Artist Is

Where the Artist Is

Su Friedrich rezones bohemia post-Boorman As Su Friedrich’s Gut Renovation (now playing at Film Forum) made the filmmaker’s case against the politics of economic and neighborhood change, I envisioned an ideal double-bill: Gut Renovation should ideally be seen alongside John Boorman’s 1990 masterpiece Where the Heart Is. Not sure if Friedrich knows that film but...
A Fan’s Delight

A Fan’s Delight

Bryan Ferry makes an orchestral dare Once considered progressive rock, Bryan Ferry had led his seminal 70s-80s band Roxy Music to play jazz-like arrangements all along. It’s no surprise that this tireless innovator has converted some Roxy Music songs into a new instrumental experiment, an album of instrumentals titled The Jazz Age performed under the...
Good Faith vs. Bad Faith

Good Faith vs. Bad Faith

D.W. Griffith’s vision of Lincoln returns Every Lincoln movie is a test of its maker’s faith—in America’s history and its people (the audience). D.W.’s test in the 1930 Abraham Lincoln was complicated by the necessity to counter his great, notorious 1915 film The Birth of a Nation. Kino’s new Blu-Ray release (using the Museum of Modern...
Two Lincolns

Two Lincolns

D.W. Griffith’s vision returns in tandem with Spielberg’s dream Nothing at the movies this year tops the still-revelatory prologue of D.W. Griffith’s 1930 Abraham Lincoln. Kino Classics finally restores on Blu-ray the complete MoMA print with its usually excised–suppressed–opening sequence. For the first time in American cinema–until Steven Spielberg’s Amistad (1997)–Griffith visualizes the slave trade’s...