“When my father died, all I ever wanted to do was protect my mother. And what kind of man would I be if I didn’t protect my mother?”
The Power of the Dog the film written and directed by the Jane Campion and based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name and is about the shifting of power. Shot mostly across rural Otago, New Zealand, the film is an international co-production between New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. The Power of the Dog covers themes of masculinity, love, grief, resentment, jealousy and sexuality.
Nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, this film has the ability to sweep the Oscar race.
Jonny Greenwood’s sweeping score underlines the action playing out on the screen. The musical undercurrent pulls at our emotions swelling them into intense waves.
This homoerotic thriller follows two wealthy ranch-owning brothers in 1925 Montana. Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) prefers working with cattle He dominates and disturbs everyone’s peace. He plays a game of wits between everyone demanding attention like a psychopath on the brink. His anger conceals deeper issues. His brother George (Jesse Plemons) is soft-spoken often at the mercy of his brother’s mean spirited teasing. When they meet Rose Gordon (Kirsten Dunst), a widow and inn owner during a cattle drive things take a turn. The kind-hearted George is quickly taken with Rose, while the volatile Phil, much influenced by his late mentor Bronco Henry, mocks Rose’s son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee), for his lisp and effeminate manner.
George marries Rose and Phil takes perceives Rose as an existential threat. He torments her as she barely hangs on. When George organizes a dinner party with his parents and the governor (Keith Carradine) to introduce Rose, he asks her to play their new piano. Rose, is so rattled by Phil’s earlier belittling that she breaks down. She begins drinking and by the time Peter who has been at school comes to the ranch Rose is a full fledged an alcoholic.
Peter is taunted until n a secluded clearing he discovers Phil masturbates with Bronco Henry’s scarf and a stash of magazines with Bronco Henry’s name on them depicting nude men. He sees Phil bathing in a pond with Bronco’s handkerchief around his neck and Phil chases him off.
Phil begins to show decency to Peter, offering to plait him a lasso from rawhide and teach him how to ride a horse. Peter goes willingly along. Peter finds a dead cow and cuts off pieces of the hide. On a fencing job, Phil injures his hand clearing the wood. Peter tells Phil about finding the body of his alcoholic father, who hung himself. He tells Phil his father told him he was not kind enough.
Rose’s alcoholism grows as Phil and her son get closer. Phil who burns the hides of the cows, he does not need has Rose defiantly giving the hides to local Native American traders who thank her with a pair of gloves. She collapses due to her alcohol consumption, as George realizes the extent of the problem and cares for her.
Despondent over the hides to finish Peter’s lasso, he tries to lash out at Rose. Peter calms Phil down by offering him the hide that he had cut from the dead cow and Phil is touched by Peter’s gesture. The two spend the night in the barn finishing the rope. We see Phil’s open wound coming into contact with the hide mixing in the solution used to soften.
Phil tells Peter how Bronco Henry saved his life by lying body-to-body with him in a bedroll during freezing weather. Phil does not answer when Peter asks if they were naked. When Phil does not show up for breakfast the following day, George finds him sick in bed, his wound severely infected. A delirious Phil looks for Peter to give him the finished lasso, but collapses. George is later seen picking out a coffin for his brother.
At the funeral, the doctor tells George that Phil most likely died from anthrax; but George is perplexed as Phil was always careful to avoid diseased cattle. Peter who skipped Phil’s funeral, opens a Book of Common Prayer to a passage on burial rites and reads Psalm 22:20: “Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog”. He pushes the lasso under his bed with gloved hands. He watches George and a now-sober Rose return home and embrace. He turns away and smiles.
Cumberbatch is marvelous under the direction of Jane Campion in her stellar drama that is sure to sweep the Oscars. He embodies a man in a crisis over masculinity and sexuality. He dominates the screen with his cold eyes and stoney façade. He shows Phil’s complicated insecurities, secrets and desires like a coiled snake afraid of its own shadow.
Dunst and Plemons, a couple in real life, bring chemistry. Dunst’s tortured Rose, is frailty personified. But the real break through performance is Smit-McPhee, who plays this role with such intrigue as to where this will all end.
Cinematographer Ari Wegner gives us the wide-open spaces of the American West, as they captures the human fragility. Both he and Campion’s give us the barren prison everyone of these characters are trapped in until the catalyst is weeded out and gone. The shifting of dynamics makes you wonder who really is a threat and a challenge. Each is wounded and anguished soul by the end is set free.
‘Poor Things’ Thrills at New York Film Festival
The 61st annual New York Film Festival started with a day of historical rainfall in the city, but it didn’t stop film lovers from coming out to experience the beloved affair.
A fantastic Main Slate selection in this year’s festival is the much-anticipated “Poor Things.” From auteur extraordinaire Yorgos Lanthimos comes this bold new projecting, which stars Emma Stone, who is brought back to life by a mad scientist. She plays a young woman who runs off with a lawyer on an adventure across the world. Free to explore, she finds her purpose as well as a sense of equality and liberation.
Based on the novel by Alasdair Gray, comes this feminist Frankenstein tale. This is part fairy tale and part horror story that all take flight with a delightfully twisted bang as we witness a women who gain control of her own body and mind. It is a glorious and edgy feast for the eyes all while passing along a poignant message of what it mean to be an individual. Power only comes with freedom to be you as the journey of Bella has us understand.
The Searchlight Pictures release screened to a panel of press and industry where Lanthimos was joined by cinematographer Robbie Ryan, costume designer Holly Waddington, composer Jerskin Fendrix, and production designers James Price & Shona Heath, with NYFF programmer Rachel Rosen.
The audience adored “Poor Things” and the lively conversation that focused on this meaningful piece of art screened at NYFF – take a listen for yourself here.
It was simply a divine way to kick off the film festival.
The Glorious Corner
SQUARE ONE SCORES — (Via Square One) As we near its publication date of October 3, 2023, Square One is excited to share the news that Booklist has given a positive review to Secrets of Successful Women Invenbtors.The review is now online and appears also in the September 15, 2023 print issue edition of Booklist (the flagship publication for the American Library Association). See below for an excerpted review quote: “[P]roves that America can indeed be the land of invention opportunities for women . . . includes inventing how-tos and remarks from experts on intellectual property, public relations, social media, funding resources, and the like. This inspirational tome on do-it-yourself inventing would make a great pairing with other related practicums.” —Barbara Jacobs, Booklist This is our second book with acclaimed writer and longtime Inventors Digest columnist Edith G. Tolchin, whose first book with us is Secrets of Successful Inventing was in 2015. About the new book and Ms. Tolchin’s longstanding experience within the industry, Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran has this to say: “Edith G. Tolchin has spent her entire career working with inventors. In Secrets of Successful Women Inventors, Edith highlights some of the greatest top-notch successful women inventors and reputable service providers, all eager to share their stories and advice. In her easy-going, personable style, Edith has gleaned the ‘cream of the crop’ from each of these impressive women. It’s a gift to anyone who’s ever had a winning idea but nowhere to go and no roadmap to birth their vision.”
Secrets of Successul Women Inventors will be available in both paperback and digital/eBook formats starting October 3, 2023 wherever books are sold.
Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0757005241?tag=squareonepubl-20
THE MORNING SHOW — The Apple TV+’s 4th episode The Green Light was a somewhat scattershot one. As a faithful viewer since Season One, this third season -with essentially a whole new crew and series of writers- has been a season of the writers trying desperately trying to familiarize themselves with their characters.
This episodes does reference some past moments, with Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) in particular. It also develops the relationship between Jon Hamm and Jennifer Aniston – in fact, after a rather odd rendezvous at Coney Island -of all places- they take Hamm’s helicopter (essaying an Elon Musk-like Paul Marks) to Cory Ellison’s (Billy Crudup) home in East Hampton and lands on the beach in front of his house, signaling that the Marks-deal to buy UBA is back on. As Ellison says, “Alex Levy brought home the bacon.”
There was one scene that besides being totally disturbing, I could’t quite figure out why it was there at all. Stella Bak (Greta Lee) was at a restaurant with two ad men, angling for a series of ad buys and they started drinking heavily. At one point Stella asked the waitress to keep her drinks coming, but with water. Then the ad men challenged Stella to see if she was really drinking and asked the waitress to lean over the table and lick up a spilled drink … and, giving her a $20,000 tip. The waitress did and later Stella collapsed with anger in her limo. In the post #Me To era, this scene was totally disturbing and totally not needed. Kind of disgraceful if you ask me.
But, disregarding that questionable scene, the episode was good and bodes well for the rest of the season.COCKER POWER — We received an advance copy of Mark Bego’s Joe Cocker: With A Lot of Help from His Friends (Yorkshire Publishing) and really enjoyed it. It’s Bego’s 68th book – after efforts on Michael Jackson; Bonnie Raitt; Sade; Madonna; Freda Payne; Sade; Billy Joel; Elton John and many others – and stands as one of his strongest.
Cocker may not be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – but he should be. The year Cocker died, Billy Joel interviewed in a documentary about the life of Cocker, admitted he hand delivered a petition to get him included in the hall before his death. The Hall refused and he has not been inducted.
That said, I continue to hear his version of “With A Little Help From My Friends” literally every day on NY’s Q1043.Bego adds: “The idea of writing this book about Joe Cocker first came about over a year ago when I was approached by a movie producer to write a screenplay about the life and music of this legendary singer. I became so engrossed with him as a subject that I was inspired to take it a step further and write an entire book about Joe’s often self-destructive life. In many ways, Cocker was like the Vincent Van Gogh of rock & roll … a genius, but self-destructive.”
With a tremendous foreword from Melanie – his Woodstock-compatriot – it’s a great read – and is out officially November 16. As an added plus, there’s a special launch event for this book which will be revealed next week. Stay tuned as it’s pretty spectacular.And Bruce Morrow (aka Cousin Bruce) gave the book a rave review on his Saturday-night pre-show video. Bravo!
I watched Saturday’s CBS This Morning and just loved it. Anchors Michelle Miller, Dana Jacobson and Jeff Glor were just terrific. In-between was another great Anthony Mason piece of U2’s opening at Vegas’ Sphere. Mason told me later on “it was absolutely jaw dropping. And U2 wasn’t even sharing their best stuff. When that shot of the desert filled the screen, and our TV camera couldn’t capture its depth, I could have sat down and stared at it for hours” …
RIP Don Famularo and Happy BDay Barbara Pepe!NAMES IN THE NEWS ––Anthony Pomes; Rudy Shur; Bill Amendola; Desmond Child; Maria Vidal; Shep Pettibone; Gerry Galipault; Joe Loris; Butterball; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Kent and Laura Denmark; Tyrone Biljan; Anthony Pomes; Robert Funaro; Maureen Van Zandt; Greg Evans; Bruce Haring; Dan Mapp; Rich Dart; John Billings; and CHIP!
Events For October
The Statue of Liberty’s birthday, Oktoberfest, Open House New York, pumpkins, Halloween and more wait for your attention this October.
Events this month include:
- An intimate “Evening with Brian Stokes Mitchell” (October 5).
- 2023 Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition (October 14 and 15)
- Actress and creator of the “Red Table Talk” series Jada Pinkett Smith (October 16).
Magic Hour at the Moxy Times Square, 485 7th Ave, has pink theme’s right now it’s “Pink Pumpkin Patch.”
Open Streets Columbus Avenue, every Sunday from 68th to 77th street from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- October 1, 2023
- October 8, 2023
- October 15, 2023
- October 22, 2023
- October 29, 2023
Until 10/15: Hispanic Heritage Month. Look for parades, events, film festivals, and more.
Until 10/31: OctoberFest the Loreley Beer Garden, 7 Rivington Street (between Bowery and Chrystie) will be serving sausages and pretzels as well as German beer from liter steins and boots. On Sundays at 3 p.m., there’s a delicious free pig roast. There’s also a haunted beer garden starting on 10/18.
Until, 11/1: The Color Factory has 14 immersive exhibits that engage all the senses in an exploration of the art and science of color. The museum works with local artists, designers and creatives to bring the designs to life. This Soho immersive art museum will present Haunted Hues, a Halloween-themed takeover.
Until 11/4: Blood Manor, haunted house’s 20th season at 359 Broadway. This year three new rooms, and brand-new costumes by designers from Abracadabra, Manhattan’s iconic Halloween store. Immersive experience, professional actors, set designers and makeup artists, with twisted characters and jumpscares at every turn.
Until 1/7/24: Manet/Degas, this exhibition examines one of the most significant artistic dialogues in modern art history: the close and sometimes tumultuous relationship between Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas. Born only two years apart, Manet (1832–1883) and Degas (1834–1917) were friends, rivals, and, at times, antagonists who worked to define modern painting in France. Through more than 150 paintings and works on paper.
10/3: Rooftop Cinema Club Midtown, 60 West 37th Street, will present Mean Girls, Rosemary’s Baby, Paranormal, The Exorcist, The Shining, American Psycho and other cult classics as well as Hocus Pocus and Halloween.
10/4 – 11/11:”Dreams of Dracula: An Immersive Masquerade Experience” recreates the classic Dracula universe as a brand new vampire theatrical adventure. Head to Musica NYC, 637 West 50th Street. Two floors and six rooms across 25,000 square feet for a heady mix of immersive theater, dance and decadent masquerade.
10/ 5 – 6: NYC pop-up “Love Me (Bar)Tender,” with Elvis-themed cocktails, music from Memphis bands and a photobooth. It’s sold out, but sign up here to get alerts.
10/6 – 8: The New Yorker Festival. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Misty Copeland and more. Live conversations, musical performances, and more, hosted by the magazine’s acclaimed writers and editors. The Festival brings together today’s most influential voices for a one-of-a-kind event in New York City.
10/12 – 15: The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival has 80-plus events that include more than 500 chefs from around the world. Tastings, classes, dinners, late-night parties, drag brunches and demonstrations. Across the boroughs. This year, The Cookout, will celebrate hip-hop’s 50th Anniversary.
10/17 – 31: Black Lagoon is a Halloween pop-up cocktail bar at Pretty Ricky’s (101 Rivington Street). The experience features a curated cocktail menu of eerie Halloween-themed drinks created by Ramage and Hayes, macabre dens festooned with frightfully fun decor.
10/20- 27: Open House New York Weekend Festival. Access the city’s main buildings for 3 days. All sorts of buildings can be visited, from the very historic to modern apartments or industrial buildings that are scattered all over the five boroughs. There will be tours, lectures, performances and events around the meaning of architecture and urban design. All the information about this cool event can be found here.
10/27: The Balloon Museum is officially set to take over Pier 36 at The Seaport in 80,000-square-foot space, and is scheduled to run through January 14, 2024. You can expect a 4,000-square-foot ball pit, inflatable lava lamps and the sorts of infinity rooms that you’ll itch to post about on Instagram.
10/31: The Village Halloween Parade where zombies, ghouls, witches, monsters, giant puppets and more take to the streets for a night of costumed revelry. The parade rolls out at 7pm. Sixth Ave becomes most congested with spectators between Bleeker and 14th Sts, so we suggest setting up camp at either the head (Spring to W Houston Sts) or tail (14th St to 16th St) of the parade.
10/31: The Annual Pumpkin Flotilla at Central Park. As is gets dark around 6:30 pm, carved pumpkins are released into the Harlem Meer and will be float around for 30 minutes. The spectacle draws hundreds of visitors to the northeast corner of Central Park.
The Glorious Corner
JESSE L MARTIN — We caught the debut of Jesse L. Martin’s The Irrational Monday night and really enjoyed it. I’ve been aware of Jesse since his role in Broadway’s Rent and he’s really tremendous. He was great on Law & Order as Ed Green (10 years and 9 seasons); and his role on the CW’s The Flash (as Joe West) was simply terrific.
The show, based on the book by Dan Ariely and created by Arika Mittman, certainly reminds one of The Mentalist or Instinct. This first case isn’t wondrous by any means, but Martin’s charisma carries it all through.
Lauren Holly (NCIS) is in it too, thought her one-scene was over and out in a flash.
I hear the third episode of the show is magnificent, so stay tuned. Don Johnson said many years ago that Don Johnson was made for TV … so is Martin!
SWENSON OUT — (per Deadline) Will Swenson will play his final performance as Neil Diamond in Broadway’s A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical on Sunday, Oct. 29, producers announced today.
A replacement for the starring role will be announced at a future date.
“It’s been the thrill of a lifetime to get to stand in Neil’s shoes,” Swenson said in a statement. “It’s been such an incredible honor to get to know Neil, to tell his powerful story, and bring his amazing songs to Broadway audiences every night. I’m immensely proud of the moving, beautiful show we made. I will miss it very much.”
A reason for Swenson’s departure was not disclosed, but his planned departure date suggests a year-long contract coming to a close: He and the bio-musical began previews at the Broadhurst Theatre last Nov. 2 (official opening was Dec. 4).
“Making A Beautiful Noise with Will Swenson was a deep and wonderful experience,” said director Michael Mayer. “The true affection he has for Neil’s work and life is palpable in every aspect of his tremendous performance. I will miss him terribly, of course, but will always treasure our time together, and very much look forward to the next show we do.”
Swenson has been one of Broadway’s go-to leading men since his breakthrough performance in 2009’s Hair, and he has since starred on the New York stage in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Little Miss Sunshine, Waitress and Assassins, among many other shows.
In addition to Swenson, the cast of A Beautiful Noise features a principal cast of Mark Jacoby as the aged Neil Diamond, Robyn Hurder and Shirine Babb.
The musical includes a score of Diamond’s hits, a book by Anthony McCarten, direction by Mayer, and choreography by Steven Hoggett.
He’s pretty tremendous as Diamond. I didn’t see the show straight away, but absolutely loved it when I did. His exit of kind of short notice … but let’s see what happens.
SHORT TAKES — How about those snappy new graphics for NBC’s Today Show. Introduced a week ago, they certainly look more relevant and certainly more fun. They did the same for Nightly News a week ago. Per TVNewser:The network said the decision to unveil a new logo and graphics for Nightly was made as a way of appealing to younger viewers who primarily consume news using digital media. It’s safe to assume is true for Today, the youngest-skewing of the linear morning shows that boasts a robust digital presence. Here’s their whole story:
The next Rolling Stones single, “Sweet Sounds of Heaven,” is tremendous. Mick hasn’t sounded this good in years and Lady Gaga is an added treat. Magnificent! Take a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEJd5xtbEPY …
Donnie Kehr and Cori Gardner’s Rockers On Broadway (their 30th edition) is coming up on Monday, October 16 at SONY Hall.
Joining honoree Melissa Etheridge will be KT Tunstall and Debbie Gibson, Simon Kirke, Dan Finnerty and Ty Taylor … Happy Bday Chuck Taylor!
NAMES IN THE NEWS –— Anthony Noto; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Paul Lester; Ian Harrison; Magda Katz; Pete Townshend; Miko Blanco; Brad LeBeau; Mal Evans; Derek Taylor; Andrew Sandoval; Rick Rubin; Bill Adler; Cory Robbins; Manny Bella; Race Taylor; Scott Shannon; Buddy Blanch; Steve Walter; Benny Harrison; and BELLA!
Midnight Moment For October Presents Circadian Nocturne
In October from 11:57pm – 12am, artist Anna Ridler introduces a new kind of countdown clock in Times Square. Using complex algorithms to explore non-human ways of keeping time, Ridler’s Circadian Nocturnefeatures AI-generated animations of night-blooming and night scented flora – queen of the night cactuses, the moonflower, night-blooming jasmine, night phlox, and evening stock. Painterly petals slowly blossom into a dreamlike garden — chronobiological clocks set against the mechanical and digital structures that set the pace of our contemporary lives.
Created with artificial intelligence and a high-tech machine that can keep time at an atomic level, Circadian Nocturne also pairs modern, highly precise computerized timekeeping methods with the often unpredictable and imprecise imagery created by autonomous digital software and is part of an ongoing project exploring time and technology. Welcoming this tension, Ridler visually obscures tech-based accuracy with something more organic and in sync with the natural landscape.
Launching in the fall, an artist-designed mobile app featuring a smaller, single screen version of the project and an original musical score by composer William Marsey will accompany the Times Square presentation of Circadian Nocturne, allowing for more intimate experience of the work from anywhere in the world.
Based in London, Anna Ridler is an artist and researcher who works with systems of knowledge and how technologies are created in order to better understand the world. She is particularly interested in ideas around measurement and quantification and how this relates to the natural world. Her process often involves working with collections of information or data, particularly datasets, to create new and unusual narratives.
Ridler holds an MA in Information Experience Design from the Royal College of Art and a BA in English Literature and Language from Oxford University along with fellowships at the Creative Computing Institute at University of the Arts London. Her work has been exhibited at cultural institutions worldwide including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Barbican Centre, Centre Pompidou, HeK Basel, the ZKM Karlsruhe, Ars Electronica, Sheffield Documentary Festival and the Leverhulme Centre for Future Intelligence. She was a European Union EMAP fellow and the winner of the 2018-2019 DARE Art Prize. Ridler has received commissions by Salford University, the Photographers Gallery, Opera North, and Impakt Festival. She was listed as one of the nine “pioneering artists” exploring AI’s creative potential by Artnet and received an honorary mention in the 2019 Ars Electronica Golden Nica award for the category AI & Life Art. She was nominated for a “Beazley Designs of the Year” award in 2019 by the Design Museum for her work on datasets and categorization.
Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.
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