Movies: Two big-budget flicks for the holiday weekend: “Alice” and “X-Men.” Television: On Friday, American Masters premieres “The Highwaymen,” about the country-music supergroup. On Sunday, catch up with “Caribbean Life” on HGTV. The “Roots” remake premieres Monday on the History channel. Music: The Monkees have released “Good Times!” in line with their 50th-anniversary tour. Books: Whenever people say that gays are a cultivated lot, I tell them to look at the top LGBT sellers on Amazon: nothing but junk! Sports: An NBA final with Oklahoma City will be the lowest rated ever. Finally: In New York City, the fleet is in! Which means it must be Memorial Day. Enjoy the holiday!
I found the Van Dyck show currently at the Frick in New York a bit too stately, but Peter Malone brings up some valid points about the show’s contemporary resonance: ‘Van Dyck focused on the subject’s attitude toward being in the picture, a joint venture of artist and sitter that continues to this day as a model, or a foil, for artists like Kehinde Wiley, Elizabeth Peyton, and Cindy Sherman. We might include earlier practitioners as well, like Lucien Freud and Alice Neel, or, to cast a wider net, photographers Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, and Richard Avedon.’
“I don’t have to tell a crowd of Red Sox fans that we are wired for tribalism,” said the Oscar-winning director during his commencement address on Thursday afternoon. He then called on the graduates to fight against such mistreatments through peaceful protests and by voting in the upcoming election. He didn’t call out Trump in his remarks on tribalism. Did he have to? Spielberg is a well-known Hillary supporter.
The phenomenon that is “Orange Is the New Black” is set to return for season 4 on June 12, but not much more than the recent trailer had been revealed. That changed Thursday night, when some of the cast gathered for a Paley Center screening and panel for the show in Los Angeles. Much of the talk was about season 3 and the show’s overall journey, but EW caught up with some of the cast beforehand to get some scoop on season 4. Can’t wait.
Axel Alonso (pictured) has certainly been leading Marvel in a new direction. Alonso is responsible for Marvel Comics now offering a broader array of comics than it ever has before. The San Francisco native, who began his working life as a journalist for the New York Daily News, has run Marvel comics for just under five and a half years and over the course of his tenure he’s radically changed the Marvel landscape, ridding the company of the last vestiges of a house style – the well-liked, offbeat Unbeatable Squirrel Girl looks nothing like The Extraordinary X-Men – and expanding the company’s roster of characters and creators to include more women and people of color. [photo: Judith Stevens]
Hermione Lee considers Stevie Smith, who many of us know from Glenda Jackson‘s performance in the 1978 movie “Stevie.” Lee writes: “More than with most poets, when people write and talk about Stevie Smith (1902–1971), they try to nail her down with comparisons. She is a female William Blake, an Emily Dickinson of the English suburbs, a mixture of Dorothy Parker, Ogden Nash, and the Brothers Grimm. Her reading style, which became legendary, with her cropped hair, baleful expression, little-girl dresses, and singsong lugubrious chanting voice, was described as a cross between Mary Poppins and Lawrence Olivier’s Richard III. Seamus Heaney called it a combination of Gretel and the witch. He also compared her to “two Lears,” “the old King come to knowledge and gentleness through suffering, and the old comic poet Edward veering off into nonsense.”
I doubt that Johnny Depp thinks so. His new “Alice” movie opens tomorrow, but he’s not trending for that. He’s trending because his wife, Amber Heard, is divorcing him, and his mother died earlier this week. The media are viciously pouncing on poor Mr. Depp. Although he isn’t poor: his $400 million fortune will be up for grabs by Amber — she and Depp didn’t have a prenup. It’s all a big Mad Hatter of a mess.