Flesh And Bones

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The Ivan Albright exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago is suffocatingly beautiful.

This Chicago painter, who worked between the Wars into the 1980s, was noticed in a military hospital when he was asked to illustrate a procedure. From that point, he worked as an artist for the military and later trained along with his identical twin at The Art Institute of Chicago. He rejected his father’s “pretty” impressionist approach in favor of decadently decaying depictions.

So much of this exhibit exists within the worlds of the living and the dead — his subjects hold madly, desperately to living while their bodies, and even environments, betray them. The monk concedes that he cannot look any more spiritual. The young mother embodies the costs of bearing children. Even Dorian Gray’s desire for control causes him to careen, as the color contrasts suggest, out of control.  Continue reading “Flesh And Bones”

Singing And Standing

I didn’t watch the Oscars — I’m more interested in the awards than the ceremony — but I was moved nonetheless by Common’s and Andra Day’s performance of “Stand Up For Something” from Marshall at the 90th Annual Academy Awards, which I first read about and later watched.

This song, which was written by Lonnie Lynn and Diane Warren and nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy, challenges listeners to have the courage of their convictions, and it appears in a movie about a young Thurgood Marshall, who would later become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. For their Oscar performance, Common and Day created the spotlight design and contacted to join them on stage.  Continue reading “Singing And Standing”

Meaning and Means

I can understand, after seeing All The Money In The World, how Director Ridley Scott could reshoot the Kevin Spacey scenes, but I’m mixed after learning why and how.

This crime thriller movie, which is based upon John Pearson’s (1995) book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty, narrates Getty’s refusal to pay the ransom demands of his grandson’s kidnappers in 1973. Getty relents in the move only after he is criticized by his employee Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg), a former CIA operative, when his grandson’s severed ear is sent to a newspaper. Even so, Getty is only willing to pay the amount that he can claim as tax deductible, and he insists that his former daughter-in-law Gail Harris (Michelle Williams) must relinquish her custody rights of his grandchildren, whom he hardly knew.  Continue reading “Meaning and Means”

Just Around The Corner

Two movies have excited me since I saw them. The first is Lady Bird, which is a sweetly sad story about the love between a mother and a daughter who is searching for her identity. The other is Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which is an unexpectedly inspiring story about the grit of a woman who refuses to succumb to tragedy. Continue reading “Just Around The Corner”