Movies: Two strong possibilities: “Star Trek into Darkness,” about you know what, and “Frances Ha,” which is Noah Baumbach’s black-and-white dive into hipster Brooklyn and which one wag called “Annie Ha.” Television: “SNL”‘s season finale features Ben Affleck and Kanye West. On PBS, “Mr. Selfridge” — a gigantic piece of cheese featuring a miscast Jeremy Piven — is now on its eighth episode. Thank God it’s the end. Music: Indie rock — Vampire Weekend, The National — is taking back the CD charts from the divas. And when did pop/rock become so French: Phoenix, Daft Punk? Books: Sonali Deraniyagala’s “Wave” ruthlessly chronicles the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that horrifically snatched from her all that mattered. Beautiful. Sports: If the Knicks collapse on Saturday then it’s back to baseball. (Especially the Mets’ pitcher, Matt Harvey.) Finally: The pundits who say that Republicans have waited five years to put the screws to Obama seem to have forgotten the past five years.
Emmelie de Forest of Denmark is the bookies’ favorite in tomorrow night’s Eurovision finale. The Guardian advises Americans, who have been slow to warm to the contest: ‘You may have heard Eurovision derided by antimodern haters as some kind of tacky, overblown kitsch festival – and in the years since the fall of the Iron Curtain, some western Europeans have not hesitated to add a racist tinge to their derision, calling it a silly display only fit for Slavs and Balts. Pay them no mind. Eurovision only looks like a singing competition. Read more »
Is it a real-life “Bling Ring“? A visit from the ghost of Cary Grant in “To Catch a Thief”? Whatever the inspiration, $1 million worth of Chopard jewelry has gone missing from Cannes, where they would have been worn by stars on the red carpet. It’s a good thing that Cara Delevingne (pictured) already had her moment in Chopard at “The Great Gatsby” premiere. Maybe the surfeit of recent movies like “Gatsby” that make people think they are supposed to aspire to luxury items is also upping the appetites of cat burglars.
Lots of season finales last night. I didn’t watch “American Idol,” though I think the right person won. I likewise missed “Scandal,” cuz I’m so far behind and Washington is offering a bounty of real-life scandals these days so why should I depress myself further by watching the antics of Olivia Pope who, by the way, does not look good in all that white. I caught only the series end of “The Office.” [Spoiler alert.] Read more »
Ralph Fiennes is to star in a Turgenev adaptation called “Two Women.” This is good news: the actor has an intuitive feel for Russian material, even though I think that the “Onegin” in which he starred was unmoving. If I anticipate eagerly “Two Women,” I find it annoying that the news reports of the project fail to mention that the Turgenev on which it’s adapted is a play usually called “A Month in the Country.” I prefer that title to “Two Women,” but maybe the producers thought the latter had a frisson of lesbianism or at least catfight rivalry.
It was 100 years ago that the most famous scandal in the history of the arts took place, at a swanky new theatre in Paris. Anyone who was anyone was there. The cosmopolitan German aristocrat Count Harry Kessler said that “it was the most dazzling house I’ve ever seen in Paris.” What drew them on the night of May 29, 1913 was the whiff of something potentially outrageous: a brand-new ballet from the Ballets Russes and its impresario, Serge Diaghilev (left). What gave the event an extra frisson was that this “Rite of Spring” was the product of the most savage of all these so-called “Northern savages: Igor Stravinsky (right). He Read more »
Festival season is here, but forget the big names, there are some thrilling smaller acts to be seen. Six labels reveal theirs. The only act I know at all here is the offering from Basick, billed as ‘The home for metal that doesn’t sound like your preconceptions of metal.’ It’s The Algorithm. Meh, meh, and more meh.