THE QUIET ONE

There seems to be no end to the fascination of the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s. Especially when it comes to classic rock and especially when those musicians feel as familiar as childhood friends; unfortunately, there is an end to the exciting stories to be told and material to be mined.

The Quiet One isn’t a bad documentary on Bill Wyman, the bassists for The Rolling Stones from 1962 to 1993, or a bad documentary in general. It just suffers from arriving too late to the party to add much to a well-worn story. Continue reading “THE QUIET ONE”

WALKING ON WATER

Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, known simply as Christo, is an 83-year-old environmental artist. Along with his wife, Jeanne-Claude, who died in 2009, Christo found notoriety in large-scale temporary art projects. They wrapped Paris’ Pont Neuf Bridge in 450,000 square feet of sandstone fabric; they shrouded Berlin’s Reichstag in silvery textiles; and they constructed an 18-foot high, 24.5-mile long fence in Sonoma, California out of nylon and steel cables. Art critic David Bourdon called it, “revelation through concealment.” But the passing of Jeanne-Claude brought Christo’s work to a halt. Like all artists, the number of unrealized projects was numerous, and, for a … Continue reading WALKING ON WATER

HALSTON

Who was Roy Halston Frowick? He was the man who stuck a pillbox hat on Jackie Kennedy’s head before her husband’s inauguration in 1961. He was the gay kid from Des Moines, Iowa who brought New York fashion to both Paris and Beijing. He was the man who sold his line and name to JCPenney, claiming he wanted to “dress all of America.” He was friend to Liza Minnelli, inspiration to Andy Warhol, and regular at Studio 54. And on March 26, 1990, Halston died from AIDS-related complications. He was 57. Halston is the latest documentary from Frédéric Tcheng, whose … Continue reading HALSTON

THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD

When the heir of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated on June 28, 1914, the movies had just learned to walk. D.W. Griffith’s masterpieces — racists and otherwise — were still a year or two off, a mere four months had passed since Cecil B. DeMille directed the first feature in the sleepy orange grove of Hollywood, California, and the world had only met Charlie Chaplin a few months prior. It would be another 13 years before synchronized sound became standard, another 22 until three-strip color film was available, and a full four decades before movie audiences began … Continue reading THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD

OF FATHERS AND SONS

Syrian documentarian Talal Derki has gained the trust of one Jihadist family and is allowed to document their life for two years. In those two years, Osama (13) and Ayman (12) will go from everyday children playing games of soccer and jacks to the next slate of Jihadist soldiers, whether they want to or not. Not that Osama or Ayman voice any interest in life outside Jihad. Maybe they don’t have one — though we do learn in a late voiceover that Ayman is pursuing education instead of soldiering — or maybe Derki never asked. His main subject, Osama and … Continue reading OF FATHERS AND SONS

CHEF FLYNN

By the time Flynn McGarry was ten, he knew he wanted to be a chef. By twelve he was hosting a French Laundry-inspired supper club in his Studio City, California home. When he was fifteen, he made the cover of the New York Times Magazine for his pop-up dinners in New York, L.A., and San Francisco. Fame and fans came fast, as did his critics, but McGarry soldiered on. Without the distraction of high school, McGarry kept his goal singular: be the best chef he could. He relocated to New York City’s Lower East Side, and in 2018 McGarry opened … Continue reading CHEF FLYNN

INFINITE FOOTBALL (Fotbal Infinit)

  Laurențiu Ginghină wants to change how the game of soccer is played. Why? In 1987, Ginghină fractured his fibula during a match and could no longer play. A year later, the mis-healed fibula placed undue strain on his tibia, further handicapping him. Refusing to blame either himself or his opponent for the injury, Ginghină blamed the game. Surely there must be a safer way to play soccer. His solution: tweak the playing field, lop off the corner and turn the rectangular field into an octagon. This would also increase the dynamics of the game, as players tend to run … Continue reading INFINITE FOOTBALL (Fotbal Infinit)

THE CHINA HUSTLE

Capitalism, as The China Hustle supposes, isn’t just a way for hardworking people to get ahead, it’s the perfect system to con, cheat, and fraud your way to the top. The hustle in question: reverse mergers that allowed roughly 400 Chinese companies to be traded on Wall Street (100 of which are still trading and worth $1.1 trillion) resulting in a severe economic crisis. As the talking heads explain, Chinese companies are not allowed to be listed and publicly traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ. But if the Chinese company in question merged with an American company that had previously … Continue reading THE CHINA HUSTLE

WHOSE STREETS?

A riot is the language of the unheard. — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On August 9, 2014, at approximately 12:03 p.m. Central Daylight Time, 18-year-old Michael Brown, a black man, was shot and killed by 28-year-old police officer Darren Wilson, a white man, in Ferguson, Missouri. Just minutes before the shooting, Brown was reported in connection with a convenience store, QuikTrip, theft; when Wilson and Brown’s paths crossed, a struggle ensued and Wilson shot Brown 12 times, with the twelfth shot delivering the fatal blow. Brown was unarmed and, according to witnesses, had his hands raised in the position … Continue reading WHOSE STREETS?

ESCAPES

duŸenŸde \dü-en-(,)dā\ noun: the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm To make it in Hollywood you got to have duende and Hampton Fancher has duende in spades. Born July 13, 1938, in East Los Angeles, California, to a merchant marine and a dancer of Mexican/Danish descent, Hampton Lansen Fancher III was a kid bursting to get out. Terrible at school, he voluntarily removed himself and hopped a freighter out of Galveston, Texas and headed off to Spain. He studied flamenco dancing and named himself “Mario Mantejo.” He was 15. No path to Hollywood is typical and as Fancher … Continue reading ESCAPES