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Arts

Books

Sleeping With a Celebrity

Books

Sleeping With a Celebrity

“Leading Men,” the acclaimed new novel by Christopher Castellani, is the author’s fourth. But, as he told an audience at his March 7 reading at the Calandra Italian American Institute in Manhattan, he considers it his first, or rather, “the first that was fully imagined.” His previous books (“A Kiss from Maddalena,” “The Saint of Lost Things,” and “All this Talk of Love”) formed a trilogy inspired by the gay author’s Italian immigrant parents and their travels to their home village in south-central Italy. Comment
Film

The Body as Your Tool Kit

Film

The Body as Your Tool Kit

Félix Maritaud ignites the screen as Léo, an attractive 22-year-old gay male prostitute in writer/ director Camille Vidal-Naquet’s blistering drama “Sauvage/ Wild.” Léo is seen plying his trade with various customers when not taking drugs or sleeping wherever he can (often in the street itself). Léo is not well; he has a bad cough and he’s got it bad — that is, is in love with — Ahd (Eric Bernard), a sexy gay-for-pay hustler pal who looks out for him but doesn’t love Léo back. Comment
Photo Galleries

When Giants Ruled the Art Scene

Photo Galleries

When Giants Ruled the Art Scene

Impresario is a word one doesn’t hear used too much in New York these days. It almost seems of an earlier epoch, when titans of the arts like Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, and George Balanchine strode through the city with creative electricity flying from their fingertips. They were part of a very small circle — almost exclusively white and Jewish, mostly men — who may have lived ostensibly straight lives, but both loved and made love to other men (Balanchine an exception, with his well-known pursuit of young ballerinas). They came of age in the 1930s and ‘40s and defined the arts and culture of the their times. Comment
Film

Terrors of the Body

Film

Terrors of the Body

In space, no one can hear your existential terror. Sorry for the Dad joke, but French director Claire Denis’ “High Life” returns to a mode of arthouse sci-fi that flourished briefly in the wake of “2001: A Space Odyssey” but has been commercially marginal after “Star Wars” let the geeky boys take back the genre. Denis creates a more palatable version of the misanthropy expressed in her horror film “Trouble Every Day” and incest drama “Bastards.” As she has said, “ ‘High Life’ speaks only of desire and fluids.” Comment
Music

The Ghost in the Machine

Music

The Ghost in the Machine

The Metropolitan Opera is bringing the Robert Lepage “Ring” production back for three cycles this spring. This revival features a new cast of Wagnerian stars led by Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde. he press spin is that the Lepage production has been freshened up and redesigned. Things did not, however, begin all that promisingly at the second performance of “Das Rheingold” on March 14t Comment
Theater

Little Things You Do Together

Theater

Little Things You Do Together

Take away the “battle of the sexes plot” and you get rid of a staggering percentage of storytelling both highbrow and low. From “Lysistrata” to the current movie “What Men Want” with many, many stops along the way, the tension between men and women, the ensuing power games are an endless source of drama and, very often, comedy. Comment
Theater

Enduring Invincibility

Theater

Enduring Invincibility

YouTube is rife with delicious clips of Teflon songstress Lainie Kazan from the heyday of that now-lost TV genre, variety shows. I mentioned that to her as we sat down ahead of her appearances this week at Feinstein’s/ 54 Below, and asked whether the loosey-goosey ribald comments she got from the likes of Dean Martin would fly today. Comment
Film

Our Worse Selves

Film

Our Worse Selves

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, “Get Out,” is one of the most acclaimed American films of this decade. Needless to say, his second film “Us” arrives in theaters with a lot of baggage, particularly because the reception of “Get Out” felt like a political event as much as a cultural one. Comment
Theater

Innocence Lost

Theater

Innocence Lost

Having missed reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” in high school and seeing the movie only once on TV, I went into Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation largely tabula rasa, other than knowing the story’s basic premise. This play is about as exciting as it gets. Comment

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