The Weekend Report: Jan 15-18

Fashion

Rag & Bone sample sale this week
Rag & Bone sample sale this week

The Rag & Bone sample sale returns to Chelsea Market (410 West 16th St, New York) this weekend. The sale opens on Wednesday (January 13) and runs through Sunday. Hours: Wed-Fri 10:30-8:00PM, Sat 11:00-7:00PM, Sun 11:00-3:00PM.

Museums

Archibald Motley at the Whitney
Archibald Motley at the Whitney

Last chance – Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist currently at the Whitney Museum of American Art closes January 17th.

Archibald John Motley Jr. (1891–1981) was a bold and highly original modernist and one of the great visual chroniclers of twentieth-century American life. He first came to prominence in the 1920s during the early days of the Harlem Renaissance—the cultural flowering of African American art, music, and literature that extended beyond the New York neighborhood of its name to other cities, notably Chicago, where Motley spent most of his life.

Motley was born in New Orleans, but his family moved to Chicago when he was quite young, and he later became one of the first black artists to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His training there was academic, rigorously focused on the human figure, and steeped in European tradition. Motley’s sophisticated understanding of art history is especially apparent in his sympathetic portraits, but it was a history that he challenged and advanced with his raucous scenes of everyday urban life.

As the work on view in Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist eloquently attests, Motley rightly holds a place among the great American modernists. The artist created a far more daring visual language than many of his contemporaries, fusing vivid narrative with dizzying spatial distortion and jarring hues to produce striking settings for characters of diverse racial backgrounds and social classes.

Movies

Best bets for a few recently opened movies . . .

Anomalisa
Anomalisa

Anomalisa – A lonely motivational speaker goes on a business trip to Cincinnati, where he meets an extraordinary stranger who might be able to change his negative view of life. This stop-motion-animation feature was penned by lauded screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, who also co-directs alongside Duke Johnson. I am not normally a fan of animation but this movie is getting great reviews and buzz.

The Revenant
The Revenant

The Revenant  – In 1820s America, frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) joins a pelt-gathering expedition along with his teenage son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck). When attacks by Arikara Indians claim the lives of many of the men in the party, Glass leads a small group on a new path back to a U.S. fort. While attempting to hunt game on the journey, Glass is mauled by a grizzly bear and horribly wounded. Assumed he’ll be dead soon, Glass is left under the care of roughneck John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), and the young and inexperienced Jim Bridger (Will Poulter) as Hawk watches on in horror. Fitzgerald betrays Glass and leaves him for dead, alone and unarmed. Glass nurses himself back to health and charts a course of revenge. Directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu.

The Hateful Eight
The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight – Bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his dangerous prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) encounter a treacherous blizzard en route to her sentencing in Wyoming. During their stagecoach ride they come across another bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), and former Confederate rebel leader Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins). Seeking refuge from the weather, the group chart a course for a mountain cabin to wait out the storm. There, they meet four other traveling strangers (Tim Roth, Demián Bichir, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern) with whom they must share the stuffy confines until the end of the blizzard. Tensions eventually boil over as each individual has his or her own agenda in this inventive Western, which is set in the aftermath of the American Civil War and written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Sisters
Sisters

 

Sisters – SNL alumni Tina Fey and Amy Poehler co-star in this comedy about two daffy adult sisters, one an irresponsible single mom and the other a kindhearted nurse, who decide to throw one last wild party at their childhood home before it’s sold by their parents. However, their bash ends up going disastrously awry.

 

November 27 – 29

Movies

Once the tryptophan wears off after your Thanksgiving feast the following look like some of the better bets for the weekend new releases.

The Danish Girl
The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl – This movie was inspired by the remarkable love story of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. After standing in as a female model for a painting by his wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander), Danish artist Einar (Eddie Redmayne – already getting buzz about an Oscar nomination) becomes enamored with his feminine identity and begins living as a woman named Lili Elbe. Wegener stands by Lili as she explores her true self and eventually undergoes the world’s first gender reassignment surgery in the 1920s. Directed by Tom Hooper.

Victor Frankenstein
Victor Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein – Told from Igor’s (Daniel Radcliffe) perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Victor Von Frankenstein (James McAvoy), and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today. After the monster puts the scientists and others in grave danger, it’s up to Igor to save Frankenstein from the monster, and for himself.

Legend
Legend

Legend – The film tells the story of the identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray (played by Tom Hardy), two of the most notorious criminals in British history, and their organized crime empire in the East End of London during the 1960s. The film is adapted from John Pearson’s nonfiction tome The Profession of Violence.

Museums

And should you live in New York City Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style recently opened at the Met’s Costume Institute.

Jacqueline de Ribes The Art of Style
Jacqueline de Ribes The Art of Style

The exhibition focuses on the internationally renowned style icon Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, whose originality and elegance established her as one of the most celebrated fashion personas of the twentieth century. The thematic show features about sixty ensembles of haute couture and ready-to-wear primarily from de Ribes’s personal archive, dating from 1962 to the present. Also included are her creations for fancy-dress balls, which she often made by cutting and cannibalizing her haute couture gowns to create nuanced expressions of her aesthetic. These, along with photographs, video, and ephemera, tell the story of how her interest in fashion developed over decades, from childhood “dress-up” to the epitome of international style.

 

Weekend Update: Nov. 20 – 22

Theater

Hamllton on Broadway
Hamllton on Broadway

Hamilton (opened August 6) – While technically not a newly-opened show I include in this post as I was able to see it only recently. I confess that when I first read about the show I had my doubts (a historical musical? Rap? Hip-hop?) but the Public Theater pedigree and rave reviews inspired me to buy a ticket (which I had to buy months in advance to get a decent seat). The show is original, fresh, energetic and the themes most definitely of-the-moment. A must see.

A View From the Bridge
A View From the Bridge

A View From the Bridge (opened November 12) – the play transferred with cast intact from its critically-acclaimed London run (Olivier awards for Best Actor, Best Director and Best Revival). I almost didn’t see this show having seen the revival several years ago with Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johanssen (with so many new shows to see why see one I have seen before?). I am glad I did – the awards and acclaim are well-founded and the differences between the productions are substantial. The staging is so spare that the powerful  performances and themes of the play are brought into stark relief to great effect.

Movies

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2
The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 (November 20) – In the conclusion (finally!) of the film series, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) stakes her claim as the leader of District 13 and leads the revolution against the brutal dictatorship of President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and the Capitol.

Secret in Their Eyes
Secret in Their Eyes

Secret in Their Eyes (November 20) – Billy Ray directs this adaptation of Juan José Campanella’s 2010 Argentinian film.  Julia Roberts, Chiwetel Ejifor and Nicole Kidman star in this thriller about a close-knit team of investigators whose partnership is strained when their latest murder case involves the daughter of one of their own.

By the Sea starring the Pitts
By the Sea starring the Pitts

By the Sea (November 13) – Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa (Angelina Jolie-Pitt), a former dancer, and her writer-husband Roland (Brad Pitt), an American writer, travel the country together in an attempt to rebuild their marriage. They settle in a small coastal town and bond with a few if its quirkier inhabitants. The film was written and directed by Angelina Jolie-Pitt. Reviews are mixed but when have they not been for a production with which Angelina is involved?

Love the Coopers
Love the Coopers

Love the Coopers (November 13) – Four generations of the Cooper family come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration. As the evening unfolds, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn the night upside down, leading them all toward a surprising rediscovery of family bonds and the spirit of the holiday. Based on the reviews the strong cast (Diane Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Amanda Seyfried, John Goodman, Olivia Wilde) can do nothing to save this holiday stinker.

Museums

Jackson Pollock at the MoMA
Jackson Pollock at the MoMA

Jackson Pollock (MOMA opens November 22) – This exhibition offers a concise but detailed survey of the work of Jackson Pollock (American, 1912–1956). It tracks his artistic evolution from the 1930s and early 1940s, when he made loosely figurative images based on mythical or primeval themes, to the late 1940s and early 1950s, when he pioneered the radical abstractions for which he is best known by pouring and dripping paint onto canvas or paper.

In Honor of Spectre and all Things Bond

The latest and twenty-fourth move in the Bond franchise opens this weekend. In honor of the opening – and the last of the Daniel Craig movies – below are some highlights from Spectre as well as the first twenty-three.

Everyone knows there are lots of expensive items in every Bond film (how does he support that lifestyle? And how many Tom Ford suits does he ruin in the field?) The article here explains every expensive thing in Spectre.

Everyone has their favorites Bond movie (and favorite Bond – mine is still Sean Connery followed closely by Daniel Craig). Fansided ranks all of the movies in the series. And for a data-driven approach to the series Marketwatch captures the Bond legacy with six charts.

The Cars

Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger
Aston Martin DB5

While many different marques have made appearances in Bond films, Aston Martin has long had a special relationship with Bond. The DB5 above made its first (but not last) appearance in Goldfinger. The DB10 in Spectre was built specifically for the movie (and only 10 were produced). Here is a full list of Bond cars from the past fifty years.

The Gadgets

Nothing defines a Bond movie better than the gadgets. This story highlights the best Bond gadgets. And if the best aren’t enough the sixteen minute clip below highlights “every James Bond gadget ever.” My personal favorite? The Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger (about 1:20 minutes into the clip).

The Destinations

One of the key features of the Bond films are the exotic locations. Bond travels the world and does it in style – he dresses perfectly whether he is in the Swiss Alps or on a beach in Jamaica. And yet never seems to have to carry luggage. . . Esri UK compiled a very cool interactive map that shows every Bond destination over the past 50 years.

The Martini

James Bond's Vesper Martini
James Bond’s Vesper Martini

The Bond Vesper martini is unusual in that the recipe calls for both vodka and gin and made its first appearance in Casino Royale:

“Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”

Watches

Rolex Submariner Ref 6538
Rolex Submariner Ref 6538

Rolex famously declined to sponsor Albert Broccoli’s first Bond film so Albert gave his personal Rolex to Sean Connery to wear in the film. Hypebeast has compiled a list of every watch Bond ever wore.

The Girls

And last but not least . . . every Bond girl from every film.

The Weekend Report: November 6 – 8

Movies

Spotlight with Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Liev Schreiber
Spotlight with Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Liev Schreiber

Spotlight (opens November 6) – Under the direction of new editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), the Boston Globe delves into decades worth of child abuse claims against the Catholic Church. Led by Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) the journalists begin to uncover a massive network of sexual abuse and willful ignorance perpetrated by the Church within the city of Boston. Facing political opposition and resistance from the far-reaching influence of the Church, the reporters undertake an explosive exposé on the corrupt system. Directed by Tom McCarthy and based on the true events of the 2002 investigation by the Globe, the star-studded Spotlight also features Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci.

Trumbo with Bryan Cranston and Elle Fanning
Trumbo with Bryan Cranston and Elle Fanning

Trumbo (opens November 6) – A tense yet inspiring biopic of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston), who earned the wrath of anti-Communist forces when he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Spectre with Daniel Craig
Spectre with Daniel Craig

Spectre (opens November 6) – A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind Spectre.


Museums

Picasso Sculpture at the MoMA
Picasso Sculpture at the MoMA

Picasso Sculpture at the MoMA through February 7. A retrospective exploring what is probably the least familiar aspect of Pablo Picasso’s work. Occupying the Museum’s entire fourth floor, the exhibition features more than 150 sculptures organized chronologically. It aims to advance the understanding of what sculpture was for Picasso, and of how he revolutionized its history through a lifelong commitment to constant reinvention.

The Weekend Report: October 30 – November 1

Theater

Gin Game opened October 14
Gin Game opened October 14

The Gin Game – Two-time Tony Award winner James Earl Jones squares off with three-time Emmy and Tony Award winner Cicely Tyson in D.L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Gin Game. I saw the play recently. I am glad I had the opportunity to see these two masters work. James Earl Jones is 84 and Cicely Tyson is 90 so there won’t be many more opportunities. The play is directed by Leonard Foglia (Master Class) in this brand-new Broadway production.

King Charles III opening night November 1
King Charles III opening night November 1

King Charles III – Winner of the 2015 Olivier award for best new play which opens on Broadway on November 1 after a successful West End run.  This drama of political intrigue was written by Mike Bartlett and directed by Rupert Goold. King Charles III has been deemed “the most insightful and engrossing new history play in decades” by Ben Brantley of The New York Times. This production explores the people underneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of Britain’s democracy and the conscience of its most famous family.

China Doll opening November 19
China Doll opening November 19

China Doll (opening night November 1) –  Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award winner Al Pacino and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet join forces in a riveting story of a man of means, ready to walk away from it all to start a new life with his young fiancée. Directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Clybourne Park).

Fashion

The James Perse sample sale is back from October 27 to November 1 at 260 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Find signature knits at savings of up to 75% off retail prices. For more information: James Perse Sample Sale

Movies

Rock the Kasbah opens October 23
Rock the Kasbah opens October 23

Rock the Kasbah – Barry Levinson directs Bill Murray in this comedy-drama about a down-and-out music manager who follows a USO tour to Afghanistan to visit his one remaining client, in the process discovering a talented young singer who he sneaks into Kabul to compete on the country’s popular reality talent show “The Afghan Star.”

Suffragette opens October 23
Suffragette opens October 23

Suffragette – In this galvanizing feminist drama, a working-class laundress (Carey Mulligan) in 19th century London becomes radicalized when she meets a brave cadre of women organizing to obtain the vote. Also stars Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep.

Our Brand is in Crisis opens October 30
Our Brand is in Crisis opens October 30

Our Brand is Crisis – This satirical comedy gives viewers an inside look at the high-stakes, win at all costs world of politics. Sandra Bullock plays”Calamity” Jane Bodine who is hired to work on the campaign of a Bolivian presidential candidate that has fallen behind in the polls. She faces off against her rival Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton) who is working on the opponent’s campaign and is looking for every opportunity to antagonize Jane. Produced by Oscar-winning producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov.

TV

Angel from Hell starring Jane Lynch
Angel from Hell starring Jane Lynch

Angel from Hell (premiers November 5, 9:30PM CBS) – stars Jane Lynch as Amy, a colorful, brassy woman claiming to be a guardian angel to Allison, an organized seemingly perfect young woman. Did I mention it stars Jane Lynch?

The Weekend Report: Recent Movie Openings

Movies

I am a little behind in my usual weekly movie opening postings. Below find a few top picks from recent and upcoming releases.

Mississippi Grind opened September 25
Mississippi Grind opened September 25

Mississippi Grind (opened September 25) – Ben Mendelsohn plays Gerry, a down-on-his-luck, lifelong gambler who connects with sharply-dressed, quick witted Curtis, played by Ryan Reynolds. The two of them plan a road trip to a legendary high stakes poker game in New Orleans. The vagaries along the way reveal the duo’s true characters and motivations and they form an undeniable bond. The movie received great reviews – and I am definitely a fan of Ben Mendelsohn since I saw him in Bloodline – although the critic reviews seem to be higher than audience exit reviews.

The Walk starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt
The Walk starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The Walk (opened September 30) – The Walk is the true story of Philippe Petit, and his group of recruits who together plot and achieve the impossible: an illegal wire walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. The critical reviews have been strong – if you can stomach the high wire views (and I can’t) it looks like a good flick. Directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The Martian
The Martian

The Martian (opened September 30) – Although presumed dead and left behind after a fierce storm during a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies he must find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. While NASA and a team of international scientists work to bring “the Martian” home, his crewmates plot a daring rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Directed by Ridley Scott. In addition to Matt Damon the cast includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs (opened October 9) – Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.

Truth starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett
Truth starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett

Truth (opens October 16) – Cate Blanchett stars as producer Mary Mapes and Robert Redford stars as Dan Rather. The movie tells the true story about the 60 Minutes expose of George W. Bush’s military service in advance of the 2004 election. Producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) received a tip from a source that claimed to have documents proving that President Bush received privileged treatment in the National Guard to avoid service in the Vietnam War. After Dan Rather (Robert Redford) presented the segment, the unverifiable nature of the documents created a whirlwind of controversy pitting Mapes and Rather in a battle for their journalistic lives.

Bridge of Spies starring Tom Hanks
Bridge of Spies starring Tom Hanks

Bridge of Spies (opens October 16) – Tom Hanks stars as the American attorney tasked with negotiating the release of a U-2 spy plane pilot who was shot down over Russia at the height of the Cold War.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

The Weekend Report: September 18-20

Movies

Everst opens September 18
Everst opens September 18

Everest (opens September 18) – This adventure docudrama is set in 1996 when a severe snowstorm on Mt Everest devastated simultaneous expeditions and resulted in the deaths of eight climbers. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, and John Hawkes.

About Ray opens September 18
About Ray opens September 18

About Ray (opens September 18) – After Ray, a young woman (Elle Fanning), decided to transition from female to male, her announcement is met with both opposition and support from her mother (Naomi Watts) and her lesbian grandmother (Susan Sarandon). She must also obtain the legal consent of her absentee biological father (Tate Donovan).

Sicario opens September 18
Sicario opens September 18

Sicario (opens September 18) – Emily Blunt stars as an idealistic FBI agent working a dangerous stretch of the US-Mexican border who becomes embroiled in the ruthlessness and corruption surrounding the FBI sting against the escalating war against drugs. A finalist for the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Also stars Josh Brolin as Blunt’s superior officer and Benicio Del Toro as a defector from the Mexican drug cartel.

Sleeping with Other People
Sleeping with Other People

Sleeping with Other People (opened September 11) – Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie star as two romantic failures who lost their virginities to each other in college. They meet again years later after years of serial infidelity and self-sabotage which lead them to swear that their relationship will remain strictly platonic.

 

The Weekend Report: Aug 7 – 9

Movies

Missioni Impossible - Rogue Nation
Missioni Impossible – Rogue Nation

Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (opens July 31) – Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) returns for yet another top-secret assignment to eradicate the Syndicate – an International rogue organization committed to destroying the IMF.

I ventured out in the muggy New York City heat to see it today (and froze in an overly air-conditioned theater). An enjoyable summer popcorn flick – maybe all the better for its familiarity? Expect a few twists in the plot, exotic locations and some interesting exploits from the 53 year-old Mr. Cruise. Also stars Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin and Simon Pegg.

 

Ricki and the Flash starring Meryl Streep
Ricki and the Flash starring Meryl Streep

Ricki and the Flash (opens August 7th) – Meryl Streep plays a musician who leaves her family of three to follow her bliss and play in a rock cover band. When her daughter’s marriage hits the skids she returns home to try to make things right. She may not be a guitar god, but she had a true deity (Neil Young) to teach her. Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jonathan Demme.

TV

Wet Hot American Summer from Netflix
Wet Hot American Summer from Netflix

Wet Hot American Summer (Netflix, July 31) – Wet Hot American Summer finally gets its long-awaited coming. David Wain and Michael Showalter revive their beloved teen flick as an eight-episode miniseries. And they bring back the original cast, so many of whom went on to stardom — Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd — as well as newcomers like Jon Hamm, John Slattery and Kristen Wiig.

 

Must See – Trainwreck

Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader
Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader

Amy Schumer is fast-becoming one of my favorite comics – I recently saw a review which called her a “female Louis CK.” She wrote the screenplay for Trainwreck and Judd Apatow directed.

The movie packs lots of emotion in its two hours – smart, funny, poignant and sad. Amy (Amy Schumer) is a writer for a men’s magazine who is given an assignment to write an article about Aaron (Bill Hader), (a straight-laced surgeon who specializes in sports injuries and is also works for Doctor’s Without Borders). The two connect through the interviews for the article she is writing but have very different views on relationships. Amy’s father indoctrinated her at a young age to not believe in monogamy. Aaron is much more traditional. You can imagine the push and pull as Amy gets dragged into a relationship. While the plot follows pretty traditional romantic comedy lines, it is laugh-out loud funny (really) and Amy’s character is a bit of a fresh take on a female lead.