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Film News & Reviews

Hardy Boy Dives ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ to Fast and Furious Action

The original Mad Max, the 1979 nihilistic low-budget death derby starring a beautiful yet crazy Aussie unknown, Mel Gibson, was the movie that first turned me on to action. This was testosterone, baby, and I was an estrogen-pumping college student in Berkeley catching Manhattan and Meatballs and ...

Kristen Wiig Embraces Black Comedy ‘Welcome to Me’

In the burnt-toast black Sundance comedy, Welcome to Me, SNL alumna and Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig goes dark and bipolar without losing her shield of likeability. It’s really a superpower to be marveled at, like the ability to carry on a long conversation without looking at one’s ...

Review: ‘Woman in Gold’ Glitters

Helen Mirren has become like Meryl Streep: nearly every time she has a leading role a little alarm goes off that signals “Oscar.” In this deeply emotional drama with a surprisingly light touch from Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn), Dame Helen plays Maria Altmann. Who? The Jewish ...

Thomas Bayrle, American Dream, 1970.

Art Break: Must-sees at the New Museum, Eldridge Street and ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, June 18, 2018 This week, Art Break shines the spotlight on the New Museum of Contemporary Art, located on the Bowery. Since its founding in 1977, the institution has given New Yorkers a front row seat to the international contemporary art scene, ...

Bill Frisell

Versatility Rules at the Eclectic Alt-Guitar Summit, Starring Bill Frisell ...

By David Rubien, Contributing Writer, June 15, 2018 When a large percentage of jazz guitarists under the age of 50 tell you that their primary influence was Jimi Hendrix, you know something interesting is going on. While the guitar has become as prevalent in jazz as almost any ...

Steve Tibbetts

Steve Tibbetts's 'Life Of' Is Both Endlessly Expansive and Deeply ...

By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer, June 14, 2018 Guitarist Steve Tibbetts’ long association with ECM has produced nine albums that span influences from Southeast Asian gamelan to Americana to jazz fusion. His 2018 release, Life of, is a quiet, meditative record that Tibbetts describes as a “sequel” to 2010’...

Anika Noni Rose

'Carmen Jones' Is Back — And She's Still Smokin' Hot

By Helaine Feldman, Contributing Writer, June 13, 2018 'Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?' She’s still the fictional character in a popular series of mystery video games that have been around since 1985. A question for 2018 might be: Where in the world is Carmen Jones? ...

SLK dancer

Life In Focus: Preparing for Performance in Ballet Class

By Juliana Crawford, Contributing Photographer, June 13, 2018   [caption id="attachment_55885" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] A stretch before class begins; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_55889" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] At the barre; photo: Juliana Crawford.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_55886" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] It's changement ...

Harlequinade at ABT

Review: A Nearly Forgotten 'Harlequinade' Leaps Again at American Ballet ...

By Sheila Kogan, Contributing Writer, June 12, 2018 The choreography of Marius Petipa is practically synonymous with classical ballet. His ballets Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote are part of the repertoire of major and minor ballet companies all over the world and are frequently ...

Ariel DeAndrea: Crane 45

Art Break: Ariel DeAndrea's Photorealism at Louis K. Meisel and ...

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, June 11, 2018 Art Break has been reflecting on the phrase ‘thinking outside the box’ and the ways it can be interpreted. For instance, you could think outside the box if you decided to measure time in images instead of numbers. ...

Russell Malone © Chris Drukker

Jazz Notes Intel: Guitarist Russell Malone Gets Saluted; Dafnis Prieto ...

By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, June 8, 2018 Maestro guitarist Russell Malone thanks six-string elder Kenny Burrell for giving him invaluable advice thirty years ago to advance his career. “Kenny told me to always be consistent,” the 54-year-old Malone said in a phone conversation from his ...

Kariné Poghosyan

Review: Pianist Kariné Poghosyan Finds Unexpected Connections to New York ...

By Joshua Rosenblum, Contributing Writer, June 8, 2018 You might not expect works by Bartok, Rachmaninoff, and Khachaturian to be included in a recital purporting to celebrate New York, but pianist Kariné Poghosyan would remind you that the first two composers both emigrated to the Big Apple ...

Charles Strouse

TODAY: Composer Charles Strouse Celebrates His 90th Birthday

By Don Adkins, Managing Editor, June 7, 2018 The headline could read "Home Town Boy Makes Good." Ninety years ago today Charles Strouse was born in New York City and would go on to become one of the most iconic musical theater composers of the last half ...

Check into ‘The Second Best Marigold Hotel’ – Film Review

If there is such a thing as a warm-bath movie, The Second Best Marigold Hotel defines it. Even the title is intended to keep expectations low. Directed by John Madden, SBMH is entertainment that pairs perfectly with a meal of Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Korma, following in the safe footsteps of ...

Review: ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ is Bloody Good Fun

With all this snow, I need to laugh. I’ve been reading John Waters’ Role Models, which is screamingly funny when it’s not seriously scary discussing Charles Manson, or to quote Mr. Waters: “the ultimate hippie bogeyman.” And, keeping to the theme of things that are ...

‘Fifty Shades’ of Tame – Film Review

I recently watched the feminist fantasy Outlander on STARZ. The explicit nature of the sex surprised me. In one particular scene, the 18th century Scottish kilt-wearing brute Jamie spanks his time-travelling 20th century wife Claire with a stout belt on her bare bottom. Jamie Fraser has the nerve ...

‘Mommy’ Dearest Emotional Horror Movie of the Season – Film Review

Like the bastard child of John Cassavetes and Ingmar Bergman, prolific French Canadian film director Xavier Dolan has made an exhilarating, intimate family drama that digs deep and plays dirty. Mommy is a character study of a warm-blooded widowed single mother, Diane (Anne Dorval) and her virile ...

Review: Michael Mann Can’t Crack the Code in Chris Hemsworth Technothriller ‘Blackhat’

I love me some Michael Mann. You may, too: the manly men that enthrall him and the strong emotional bonds between partners and rivals; the intense close-ups; the balletic action and the driving anger; the saturated color and the exotic locales. Heat. TV’s Miami Vice and the ahead-of-its-time ...

Office Politics Gone Wild — Must-see Movie ‘Two Days, One Night’ with Marion Cotillard – Film Review

Naturalistic and probing, in Two Days, One Night, Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (The Kid with a Bike) tell an apparently simple, linear story with astonishing depth. Recovering from depression, wife and mother Sandra (Oscar winner Marion Cotillard) returns to work at a solar panel ...

Stephen Sondheim’s Musical ‘Into the Woods’ is as Bewitching as Meryl Streep – Film Review

Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, as directed by Rob Marshall, from James Lapine’s screenplay, is movie musical bliss – better than Marshall’s Oscar-winning Chicago and so much better than his miscast, misbegotten Nine. From the prologue ...

Chris Rock Pushes ‘Top Five’ onto my Top Ten – Film Review

Some things just don’t compute. The bullying racist exposed in Scott Rudin’s vile Sony-leaks emails to chucklehead CEO Amy Pascal (pick up the phone!) doesn’t align with Rudin’s name as Producer on the credits of Chris Rock’s movie Top Five, a project written, directed ...

Benedict Cumberbatch Bristles with Brilliance in Authentic ‘The Imitation Game’ – Film Review

Taking its place among those handsome biopics the British do so well, The Imitation Game tells the fascinating (and ultimately tragic) story of mathematician Alan Turing. A day after the UK enters the Second World War, the Cambridge-educated Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) arrives at Bletchley Park, ...

Mr. Turner: Timothy Spall’s Must-see Portrait of the Landscape Artist as a Wheezy Lout – Film Review

Timothy Spall grunts, gurgles and sputters playing J. M. W. Turner — the English painter whose stunning landscapes helped define the Romantic era — in Mike Leigh’s magnificent Mr. Turner. His is the eccentric performance that seems to resonate with Oscar voters. The round-faced British ...

Miles Teller Clashes with J.K. Simmons in the Manhattan-set Jazz Drama ‘Whiplash’ – Film Review

Various

When ambitious young musician Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) strives to be a Buddy Rich class drummer, he nearly dies trying in a charged battle of wills with his thorny professor Terence Fletcher (J. K. Simmons). The buzzy Sundance hit that won both the Audience and Grand Jury Prize vibrates with ...

Jennifer Lawrence Pouts and Protests Through ‘Mockingjay – Part 1’ – Film Review

“Now I’m condemned to a life of jumpsuits,” complains Tribute Escort Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) early on in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. She might have been referring to the entire third part of what is now, unlike the book trilogy, a four-part saga in the ...

Michael Keaton Pecks at Fame in ‘Birdman’ – Film Review

Whether you remember Michael Keaton as the guy who threw away the Batman franchise before comic books were king, or the comic genius of Beetlejuice, the actor is the crazy spinning center of Alejandro G. Inarritu’s Birdman, which closed the 52nd Annual New York Film Festival and exited Venice ...

Interview: Hilary Swank stands tall, dives deep discussing ‘The Homesman’

   

I had a chance to have tea with two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank at the Hamptons International Film Festival in the lobby of the Maidstone Hotel. We discussed her scrubbed down, soulful role as Mary Bee Cuddy in Tommy Lee Jones’s The Homesman, one of my favorite movies of 2014. The Nebraska ...

Oscar Winners Hilary Swank and Tommy Lee Jones Amaze in ‘The Homesman:’ Film Review

With The Homesman, Director/Co-writer/Star/Texan Tommy Lee Jones confounds again, making brilliant American cinema on the back of the blockbuster dime he earned for Men in Black and The Fugitive, among many others. His taste is no-nonsense, astringent in its view of human nature, and unsentimental ...

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