The Contender

The current explosion of radical politics made me turn to a Marlon Brando biography I’ve had on my shelf for a few months.‘The Contender’ is a fascinating delve into the life of one of the centuries best actors and most exciting cultural figures.Even before he was famous for his stage performance in Streetcar Named desire’, …

Noir Nights

I’m a long-time fan of film noir, but this lockdown has allowed me to start delving a bit deeper, both re-watching old classics like ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ and discovering new gems like ‘Detour.’What struck me very forcibly was how strangely Un-American the genre is in one respect – they are very fatalistic. We …

Evelyn Hofer

Evelyn Hofer is a photographer best known for her work in the fities and sixties including these wonderful images from a reissued collection of her New York photos. As an adopted son of the city, I love her take on Gotham.

The Long Day Closes

Terence Davies is a film maker largely unknown in much of America. His brand of visual art house is not shall we say ‘box office’ but is visually stunning. This is particular true of his work set in his native Liverpool, a city I also spent many formative years in. Perhaps his most beloved work from …

The Beats are Back.

If you’re looking for someone to blame for the existence of hipsters, look no further than the beatniks. The iconic fifties youth group, made famous by one of their earliest practitioners Jack Kerouac, are clearly the template in look and attitude for many a modern-day Williamsburg trendy judging by the images in Larry Fink’s recently …

Shot in New York

  Sometimes a photo is about so much more than what it depicts. Such is the case with William Klein’s 1954 image. What we literally have is an image of child pointing a toy gun at the photographer. The look on his face is one of aggression, his face screwed up like a man about …

Gone Fishing.

Up to the this point the word fisherman has always conjured images of trawlers full of cod, tended by heavily bearded men in Aran knit sweaters. Hardly the stuff to set the pulse racing. Then I came across Iwase Yoshiyuki’s iconic images of Japanese Ama women in the 1950’s harvesting seaweed and diving for turban …

Murder is my Business

Having recently seen one Weegee exhibition at the Steven Kasher Gallery, it seemed I hadn’t got quite enough of the man. So I went to see another exhibit of his work ‘Murder is my Business’ at the ICP Gallery in midtown.  This proved to be one of my better decisions. The tile is a bit …

Vivian Maier: Street Photographer.

Born in New York in 1926, Vivian Maier was a Chicago nanny who went out in her spare time and took street photos without seemingly telling anyone. Following her death in 2009, there’s been much interest in her work bringing her posthumous critical success worldwide. I went to see a showing of her images at …