They say the average age of the Friars Club is deceased, but a surprising number of new members are not yet collecting Social Security, let alone pushing up daisies. For the third year running, the annual Roast has shined a spotlight on a Friars Club in transition. Once a smoky lunchtime festival of bad taste held behind locked doors, the Roast is now a glitzy, black tie, made-for-television event that fills the Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton. With ticket prices starting at $250, nearly 2,000 guests gathered Oct.
Vitaly Komar, clad in all black, huffed up the stairs of the Center for Jewish History with a reporter in tow. “I like this place,” said the one half of an internationally known Russian artist team. “It’s like a club house, not white and antiseptic like most museums that can feel like a hospital.”
In 1999, before the intifada deepened Israeli and Palestinian mutual distrust, Israeli artists Bosmat Alon and Tirtza Even visited the West Bank to shoot a video critical of Israeli policies to curtail Palestinian life.
Introduced by Israeli leftist activists to former political prisoners and ordinary families, Alon and Even spent months in the contested outskirts of Hebron and the cramped streets of the Deheishe camp near Bethlehem.
There were plenty of words last Sunday morning on East 92nd Street, but not the sort The Jewish Museum had hoped for when it planned a provocative exhibition of contemporary art meant to rekindle dialogue about Holocaust memory.
About 100 yeshiva students, politicians, Holocaust survivors and other community members, most of them from Brooklyn, directed chants of “Shame on You” and “Don’t go in” toward anyone who approached the museum’s front doors at the 10 a.m. opening of “Mirroring Evil: Nazi Imagery/Recent Art.”
In an inspired piece of programming, two neglected comedies will be screened back-to-back this Saturday at the American Museum of the Moving Image.
Both “Bye Bye Braverman” and “The Plot Against Harry” capture an unusual slice of Jewish life in outer-borough New York in the late 1960s, yet are largely unknown, overshadowed by the comedy of Woody Allen and the urban dramas of Martin Scorcese.
Only the gentlest prodding gets Dave Isay and Henry Sapoznik to sputter superlatives about “The Yiddish Radio Project,” the serendipitous act of cultural reclamation they co-produced, which airs on National Public Radio starting this Tuesday.
“It’s like opening King Tut’s tomb,” says Sapoznik. “It’s like the Rosetta Stone,” says Isay.
A few years ago, Jane DeLynn was having a hard time selling her most recent novel. Commercial publishers were not lining up to buy “Leash,” a nihilistic story of a lesbian’s sadomasochism, with the shocking conclusion of her opting to have her hands bound and her vocal cords cut to live her life as a dog.
An admired, if not widely known, author of three novels and a story collection, DeLynn decided her best option was to go with Semiotext(e), an obscure but influential publisher of French theory and avant-garde literature.
How do you measure intellectual influence? Richard Posner, author of the hotly debated new book “Public Intellectuals,” rates 546 public intellectuals by media mentions, Web hits and scholarly citations from 1995-2000. Certainly, top scorers like Henry Kissinger (12,570) and Salman Rushdie (7,688) occupy large space in current public discourse, but what about someone like Robert Warshow, a cultural critic who died in 1955 at the age of 37? He nets a paltry cumulative score of 190.
In the aftermath of last week’s deadly terror attack, all eyes focused on the fervent rescue effort in Lower Manhattan. With thousands of people buried under mountains of steel and concrete, cultural enterprise suddenly seemed frivolous and art openings, lectures, parties and awards ceremonies nationwide were canceled or postponed.