ARTS AND LIFESTYLE
The accidental assassin
By Steven Snyder
The degree to which Andrew Piddington’s “The Killing of John Lennon” will enthrall audiences is proportional to how close those viewers felt to the one-time pop icon; how devastated they were in the days after his cold-blooded assassination at The Dakota in December of 1980.
KOCH ON FILM
Put on a ‘Smiley Face’
By WILL McKINLEY
Calling a movie “the best stoner comedy of all time” might be considered faint praise. After all, other recent entrants in this category have been about as funny as a $50 bag of Washington Square Park oregano. But with “Smiley Face,” a slapstick farce starring a sleepy-eyed Anna Faris, Director Greg Araki has single-handedly redeemed a genre that has heretofore considered repeated utterance of the word “dude” to be Algonquin Roundtable-worthy wit.
Up close with the master of modern-day portraiture
By Stephanie Murg
An artist sits before a painting in progress and pauses to appraise his work as the smoky voice of Etta James wafts through his Lafayette Street studio. He goes right for the periwinkle, loading up a brush with oil paint and then daubing onto the canvas a large dot, the smallest in a series of brightly colored concentric circles, like those that floated through the work of the Delaunays and Kandinsky. The form is beautiful on its own, but take several steps back and a miracle occurs: a massive grid of these softball-sized abstracts combines to form a stunningly photorealistic portrait of a face you want to scrutinize for hours. Behold the mastery of Chuck Close.
Who wears Jane Jacobs’s mantle in today’s New York?
By David Halle
Though not its avowed intention, the Municipal Arts Society’s terrific Jane Jacobs exhibition offers material for a long overdue re-evaluation of the famous urban scholar. While her sky-high reputation amongst most people who care about cities is in no need of revision, the exhibit affords one a chance to grasp exactly what she stood for and did, and in the process determine who is really entitled to claim her mantle in today’s New York City.