The first one is my latest contribution to The Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog, in which I wrote up a summary of Film Forum's Evening With Claire Bloom event on Tuesday night, in which the legendary British stage and screen actress—she of, among many other films, Charlie Chaplin's Limelight (1952); Robert Wise's original 1963 The Haunting; and Charly (1968), in which she played opposite Cliff Robertson in an Oscar-winning performance— came around to the New York art-house theater and talked about her life and work. Her anecdotes and insights made for an entertaining evening of conversation.
The second one is my first attempt at an art review. The art work in question is the transfinite, a terrific new art installation from Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda. It's a difficult work to describe, though I gave it a try in my review; really, though, it's more a work to be experienced viscerally and intellectually. Ikeda's multimedia monolith is standing at the Park Avenue Armory now until June 11 (see here for more information), so if you're in New York and have the time to see it—well, it's definitely something to see!
With the help of my trusty iPhone 4, I captured some footage and stitched them together into this video, to give you all a taste. It's no substitute for actually standing in its presence, but for now, it'll do:
And oh hey, it's Memorial Day weekend! And I actually have three days off—today, tomorrow and Sunday—because of it! (As usual, though, I don't have the actual holiday off. Oh journalism...)
Normally, I would say, in a situation like this, that I'd be gearing myself for more movie discoveries this long weekend. But then I saw a midnight screening of Terrence Malick's new film The Tree of Life last night...and...oh boy! I'm going to be mulling over that experience for a while! Short version of my rough initial impressions: It's good. Really good. Some of is positively great in Malick's own distinctive ways. I'm still deciding whether I think it quite adds up to the sum of its masterful parts, so I think I'll need a second viewing to sort out my amorphous thoughts on the film before committing any of them to paper.
I do know this, though: Today, when I opened the window of my bedroom to let the breeze in, I suddenly felt an urge to make like a Malick character and wave my hand in the air as if I was touching blades of grass. I'm also looking at leaves on a tree right outside my window and all I can think about are images I took in from The Tree of Life. Malick's film may already be having more of an impact on me than I realized after walking out of Landmark Sunshine Cinema at about 2:20 a.m. this morning.
More to come, of course. In the meantime, enjoy the (hopefully long) Memorial Day weekend, my friends!