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.

 

Top “Best of” Lists of 2015

This is the time of year when every organization and person creating some sort of content comes out with their “Best of 2015” lists. Rather than come out with my own lists I have culled a few interesting ones for you to enjoy.

First up – a compilation of GoPro videos from the team at GoPro. Some truly awe-inspiring and amazing footage. I think I need to get out more.

And for an overview of the best in pop culture from the past year: Wired’s top pop culture in 2015 .

Best Pictures 2015

Some great images but even The Atlantic couldn’t avoid a cat pic (see number 8): 2015 in pictures from The Atlantic. And if the 40 from The Atlantic isn’t enough for you feel free to wade through the top 100 photos of 2015 from Time magazine.

Best Movies 2015

A few best movie lists : NY Times best movies of 2015Rolling Stones Magazine’s top 10 movies from 2015Vulture.com best movies of 2015

With a few days off this week I am catching up on movies and have seen Spotlight, The Big Short and Carol. The first two are great (but be prepared to be angry after seeing The Big Short). Carol is beautifully shot and acted but I didn’t feel the connection between the two lead characters that apparently everyone else on the planet did.

Best TV 2015

Best TV: Vulture.com best TV shows of 2015TV Guide best TV shows of 2015. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of binge-watching the Netflix series Jessica Jones – do yourselves a favor and take some time this weekend. The episode “Twelve Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” is also a hilarious classic.

Best of Broadway 2015

Best of broadway 2015: New York Theater blog best of 2015. And conveniently all in one place – top reviewers give their top 10: Top 10 of the top 10 – best in NY Theater 2015. My picks: Hamilton, Fun Home, An American in Paris, King Charles III, A View from the Bridge, Skylight, Something Rotten and Constellations. Hir showed up on a number of lists – I thought the play was a little strange but I love just about anything with Christine Nielson.

Best in Food 2015

Eater NY best new restaurants in 2015. I am embarrassed to say I have been to only a few of these. I am most looking forward to Bruno, Santina, Lupolo and Upland (see link to best new burgers below. . . )

Best new burgers in 2015 (limited to New York City unfortunately): Eater NY best new burgers in 2015. Sad to say I have had none of these – the Upland burger is the one I am most interested in trying!

The Lighter Side of 2015

For a little comic relief – the video below is a few funny clips early on.

And last but not least – a bit of eye candy (and yes I think Racked knows that no one really cares about the resolutions . . . ): Racked NY hottest trainers and their resolutions for 2016

 

Don’t See – Therese Raquin

Therese Raquin opened a month ago at Studio 54 and stars Keira Knightley in her disappointing Broadway debut. Keira spends the first act giving sullen, constipated looks to the audience at the end of many of the scenes. While the looks were meant to convey stifled passions swirling inside her they simply made her character seem unintelligent. She is also very often speechless when asked questions by the other characters. If this was the direction she was given she should have just said no.

By far one of the best parts of the production was the set and staging (an actual river on stage!). Kudos to Beowulf Boritt for the sets as well as to Jane Greenwood for costumers and Keith Parham for lighting.

Judith Light delivers a strong performance as Madame Raquin which stood out in sharp contrast to Keira’s. But the sets and Judith’s performance are not enough to earn a thumps up for Therese Raquin.

 

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.

Asserbo Summer House – Denmark

The site is located in the woodlands between the coastline and the lake of Arresø on the Nothern part of the island of Zealand. A clearing was created in the dense vegetation, leaving a few trees to provide shade and to create a sense of depth on the site. The summer cottage is, in essence a timber clad raft, supported by a number of wooden pillars. The cottage hovers just above the grass.

Asserbo House Exterior Front
Asserbo House Exterior Front

The raft folds up and around the internal space and the ceiling ends in a large cantilevered canopy which stretches out above the terrace. The fold creates a simple frame around the internal space and terrace which works as one space with large sliding doors which connects the inside with the outside. The facades are clad in black horizontal boards, while the underside of the cantilever is clad with slim, untreated timber louvers beneath translucent panels allowing fine strips of sunlight into the house.

Asserbo House Interior 2
Asserbo House Interior 2

A clean geometric shape and floor-to-ceiling windows help set the Asserbo House by Christensen & Co apart from your common summer cottage. The whole of the space is defined by a continuous timber surface that forms the enormous deck, back wall, roof, and canopy. To help support it, a series of wooden pillars goes around the front and sides and serve to break up all the glass without ruining the views of the surrounding vegetation of Zealand Island.

Asserbo House Side Exterior
Asserbo House Side Exterior

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 Lust List: 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing

1955 MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SL ALLOY GULLWING
1955 MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SL ALLOY GULLWING

The Gullwing is one of the most iconic car designs of all time. Since only 2% of them are aluminum this model is only one of 29 ever built. Along with the sought-after body, this example features desirable upgrades like a Sonderteile engine outputting 215hp, a sports suspension, Rudge knock-off wheels, and a two-piece luggage set.

For both the jet set and the burgeoning sports car crowd, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing,” as it became known reigned supreme. The car was nicknamed for its unique roof-hinged doors. The car had it all – gorgeous proportions, brilliant race-bred engineering, and blistering performance made the Gullwing one of the most desirable vehicles of all time.

This example sold for the mid seven figures earning it a place on the lust list.

 

1955 MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SL ALLOY GULLWING

1955 MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SL ALLOY GULLWING

More Fall TV: This week’s premiers

TV

Indian Summers premiers September 27 on PBS
Indian Summers premiers September 27 on PBS

Indian Summers (September 27, 9pm PBS) -Drama set in 1932 following the final years of British colonial rule in India. Think Downton Abbey in the Himalayas.

Blood & Oil premiers September 27 on ABC
Blood & Oil premiers September 27 on ABC

Blood & Oil (September 27, 9pm ABC) – A couple looks to cash in on the modern-day oil boom in North Dakota. Stars Don Johnson. If the show is half as sexy as the posters it should be worth a season or two.

Quantico premiers September 27 on CBS
Quantico premiers September 27 on CBS

Quantico (September 27, 9pm ABC) – A look at the lives of young FBI recruits training at the Quantico base in Virginia. Another procedural show? Remains to be seen if worth the time.

The Last Man on Earth premiers September 27 on Fox
The Last Man on Earth premiers September 27 on Fox

The Last Man on Earth (season 2 premiers September 27, 9:30PM Fox) – Almost 2 years after a virus wiped out most of the human race, Phil Miller only wishes for some company, but soon gets more than he bargained for when that company shows up in the form of other survivors. Stars Will Forte, January Jones and Kristen Schaal. I watched the first few episodes of the first season and wasn’t impresses. But since it achieved a second season maybe I will give it another chance.

CSI finale airs September 27
CSI finale airs September 27

CSI (September 27 9PM CBS) – tonight is the finale with a few of the departed series regulars returning.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah premiers September 28
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah premiers September 28

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (premiers September 28, 11pm Comedy Central). Will Trevor help us move beyond Jon?

The Grinder premiers September 29 on Fox
The Grinder premiers September 29 on Fox

The Grinder (premiers September 29, 8PM Fox) – Television lawyer Dean Sanderson moves back to his small home town after a stint in Hollywood thinking his time on TV qualifies him to run his family’s law firm. Stars Rob Lowe and Fred Savage.

Code Black on CBS
Code Black premiers September 30 on CBS

Code Black (premiers September 30, 10PM CBS – The staff of the LA County Hospital emergency room treat patients under difficult circumstances. Another emergency room show but stars Marcia Gay Harden. . .