Your Weekend: A Selective Guide

Movies: What? You’re not chomping to see “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2“? I liked the novel “Child 44” is based on. But the movie? Television: On Friday, American Masters rebroadcasts its look at Jascha Heifetz. On Sundays, NBC has turned into The Bible Network. Music: I don’t listen much to country music, but every year I shore like watching “The Country Music Awards.” Books: David Brooks, one of the biggest blowhards in the field of political punditry, has a new book, “The Road To Character.” Sports: The NHL playoffs, the only postseason in which New York teams perform well lately, are underway. Finally: I haven’t checked the news today: has someone else announced for President?

Gawking At Don Quixote

Colm Tóibín writes: ‘The Frick is running at the moment a small and brilliantly coherent show based on the relationship between the French artist Charles Coypel (1694-1752) and images from “Don Quixote.” Between 1714 and 1734 Coypel made twenty-seven paintings of moments from the novel (in 1751 he made one more), some of which are hanging in this show. The most distinguished French engravers of the age used these paintings for works that are also Read more »

Versailles Movie Looks Lovely

I can’t wait to see the period drama “A Little Chaos,” which is out today in the UK and on June 26 in the U.S. It promises to bring all the beauty of the Gardens of Versailles to the big screen. Directed by Alan Rickman, the movie has Kate Winslet in the lead role and Rickman himself as Louis XIV, as well as Matthias Schoenaerts (pictured) as André Le Nôtre, the grand Versailles gardener. Find out more about him here.

Rihanna’s “American Oxygen”: Controversy?

If Rihanna was looking to make a splash with her new single “American Oxygen,” she exceeded expectations by creating a tsunami of talk and controversy. Commenting on the idea of the American dream (or lack thereof), the song simultaneously serves as both a biting commentary and patriotic anthem, and is a wild departure from her previous single, “Bitch Better Have My Money.” This track is from a more “serious” Rihanna – a Rihanna that has something to say. Intercut with images of the American flag, you see film of the burning twin towers on September 11, Ku Klux Klan horsemen galloping past Read more »

“The King And I” With Barbara Cook

For months I’ve been telling people to get tickets to two shows in New York: “Hamilton” and “The King and I.” The downtown run of the former has been a tough ticket for months, but luckily the musical is moving to Broadway in July. The latter opened last night to terrific reviews (read them here), and now getting good seats will be “Hamilton”-difficult. I went to the “King” opening and will post thoughts later on Lincoln Center Theater‘s website. In the meantime, here’s what Barbara Cook said about the “King” production she starred in — at New York’s City Center, in 1960, with Farley Granger (I know, I know). Cook said: ‘There was a wonderful sexual Read more »

Tarantino’s Latest: Hateful?

I laughed when I read Jeff Wells’s comment about the director’s latest project, “The Hateful Eight”: ‘How much farther can Quentin Tarantino crawl up his own ass in search of material for his latest cinematic swagger dance?’ More here.

What Is The Bronx, Anyway?

Benjamin Wallace-Wells asks the question, adding: ‘Interest in the place has been escalating, just a bit. Earlier this year, Netflix announced that Baz Luhrmann will direct a forthcoming drama series about New York in the 1970s whose central story line will involve the early days of hip-hop in the Bronx. This is both a ludicrous project to give to Luhrmann and an ingenious one, early hip-hop being party music and there being no director so vigorous in his staging of parties than Baz Luhrmann. The break dancing is going to look great, and Read more »