Film & Television

Film & Television

Art and Film: Giacometti’s petulant eye

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson /  Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti was renowned for his inability to finish artwork. It’s tempting to caricature that kind of chronic dissatisfaction as precious narcissism and feigned perfectionism. But it’s also too easy, and in Final Portrait, writer and director Stanley Tucci – better known as an […]

Film & Television

Art and Film: Red scares

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Two current movies about Russia, both gloriously snide but in different ways, open with discrete artistic performances. In Armando Iannucci’s impeccably sardonic and irreverent The Death of Stalin, it’s a Mozart piano concerto, going out live on radio. The producers of the broadcast have neglected […]

Film & Television

Art and Film: Amy Jenkins hosts death

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / During and after the AIDS epidemic, gay artists like Carlos Alfonzo, Ross Bleckner, Robert Gober, and Keith Haring used visual art to convey the tragedy of mass premature death that gutted the art world, as well as the political injustice of the U.S. government’s refusal to […]

Film & Television

Art and Film: Dedicated followers of fashion

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / In the brilliantly obtuse Phantom Thread, a paradoxically epic chamber piece, Paul Thomas Anderson explores the way in which romantic union constrains and energizes creativity. Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis, archly perfect in his purported swan song) is a creepily narcissistic and unctuous haute-couture dressmaker. The […]

Film & Television

Art and film: Bruce Conner, escape artist

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Evident in the transfixing Bruce Conner retrospective “Bruce Conner: It’s All True” at MoMA is a probing eye that seeks out departure of one kind or another. Eclectic and countercultural, his rather Rauschenbergian arc reflects the artist’s energetic and sometimes unsubtle insistence on embracing the […]

Film & Television

Art and Film: Women with dogs

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Two new films concern edgy women of the New York art scene: Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict and Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog, a moving meditation on dying and love. Vreeland builds a portrait of the visionary gallerist, proto-feminist, and renowned libertine […]

Film & Television

Art and Film: Painter-Spy in Bridge of Spies

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Bridge of Spies begins and ends with a painting. Steven Spielberg’s latest film is a penetrating and affecting consideration of the Cold War, based on a celebrated real-life spy swap between the United States and the Soviet Union. The painter in question is Rudolf Abel […]