Ken Russell, who died Sunday at age 84, was a British movie director whose name was a household word a few decades ago. No more, I guess. But people are writing about his life in interesting ways, noting that he was a “provocateur,” that he pioneered male frontal nudity in the movies (Women in Love), and that he popularized a passionate and boldly specific approach to telling the story of musical lives on film (Song of Summer, the best ever film about a creative person). Among other things.
You can carry the world in the palm of your hand. You can put the universe in your pocket. You can look at a movie on a screen the size of a watch face. So it’s a perfect moment to launch “See it Big,” a series of screenings of big screen blockbusters to remind us that size does indeed matter.
Marshall McLuhan’s hundredth birth anniversary is July 21st, and, after a lull, his ideas seem provocative and relevant again. In an attempt to concoct a 7 minute “Fishko Files” radio piece about him, I found myself arguing with him all the way through his speeches and aphorisms. Whatever can be said about him, he made you think. Thinking, pro or con, while listening to Dr M, was simply unavoidable. Having finished the piece, I’m still thinking about him.
You have roughly 84 hours and some number of minutes left to see “The Clock,” Christian Marclay’s astonishing creation, now at the Paula Cooper Gallery in Chelsea, through Saturday. Admission is free. It has been mobbed, so you may have to wait a while to get in and/or find a seat.
Simon Barere was a fascinating case: a spellbinding pianist with a magical technique. His skill was super-human. Dazzling. Astonishing.