Wonder Wheel – Trailer – WONDER WHEEL tells the story of four characters whose lives intertwine amid the hustle and bustle of the Coney Island amusement park in the 1950s: Ginny (Kate Winslet), an emotionally volatile former actress now working as a waitress in a clam house; Humpty (Jim Belushi), Ginny’s rough-hewn carousel operator husband; Mickey (Justin Timberlake), a handsome young lifeguard who dreams of becoming a playwright; and Carolina (Juno Temple), Humpty’s long-estranged daughter, who is now hiding out from gangsters at her father’s apartment. Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro captures a tale of passion, violence, and betrayal that plays out against the picturesque tableau of 1950s Coney Island.
Eugene Richards’ impact on photojournalism can’t be overerstated. Richards’ work inspired a generation of photographers—including this one—to pick up a camera and document the lives of those who slip through the cracks of society. Unflinching in tough situations—from photographing his own wife’s death to documenting users deep in the heart of a drug den—Richards has been able to bring viewers face to face with a life many don’t know or don’t want to acknowledge.
Eugene Richards: The Run-On of Time, his first full museum retrospective, is long overdue. Hosted first by the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, then moving to the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, this collection of 146 photos, 15 books, and a selection of “moving images” serves as a reminder, for those of us who were once so moved by his photographs, to throw ourselves into the world, camera in hand, of why we started. It’s also a refreshing splash of inspiration to a new generation of photographers experiencing Richards’ mastery for the first time.
The images are searing, compassionate, brutal and beautiful, all at once. The show pulls work from every major body of work throughout Richards’ career: from his early days in the Arkansas Delta, to crack houses in Brooklyn, to the post-9/11 landscape, to his quieter work on the Dakota plains.
Where Richards excels, though, is not just as a photographer, but as a social documentarian, someone who knows what it means to carry the responsibility and privilege of telling someone else’s story with empathy.
All photos by Eugene Richards, courtesy of the George Eastman Museum.
Gabriel García Márquez’s Work Was Rooted in the Real
Gabo lives. The extraordinary worldwide attention paid to the death of Gabriel García Márquez, and the genuine sorrow felt by readers everywhere at his passing, tells us that the books are still very much alive. Somewhere a dictatorial “patriarch” is still having his rival cooked and served up to his dinner guests on a great dish; an old colonel is waiting for a letter that never comes; a beautiful young girl is being prostituted by her heartless grandmother; and a kindlier patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, one of the founders of the new settlement of Macondo, a man interested in science and alchemy, is declaring to his horrified wife that “the earth is round, like an orange.”
We live in an age of invented, alternate worlds. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, Rowling’s Hogwarts, the dystopic universe of “The Hunger Games,” the places where vampires and zombies prowl: These places are having their day. Yet in spite of the vogue for fantasy fiction, in the finest of literature’s fictional microcosms there is more truth than fantasy. In William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha, R. K. Narayan’s Malgudi and, yes, the Macondo of Gabriel García Márquez, imagination is used to enrich reality, not to escape from it.
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” is 47 years old now, and despite its colossal and enduring popularity, its style — magic realism — has largely given way, in Latin America, to other forms of narration, in part as a reaction against the sheer size of García Márquez’s achievement. The most highly regarded writer of the next generation, Roberto Bolaño, notoriously declared that magic realism “stinks,” and jeered at García Márquez’s fame, calling him “a man terribly pleased to have hobnobbed with so many presidents and archbishops.” It was a childish outburst, but it showed that for many Latin American writers the presence of the great colossus in their midst was more than a little burdensome. (“I have the feeling,” Carlos Fuentes once said to me, “that writers in Latin America can’t use the word ‘solitude’ any more, because they worry that people will think it’s a reference to Gabo. And I’m afraid,” he added, mischievously, “that soon we will not be able to use the phrase ‘100 years’ either.”) No writer in the world has had a comparable impact in the last half-century. Ian McEwan has accurately compared his pre-eminence to that of Charles Dickens. No writer since Dickens was so widely read, and so deeply loved, as Gabriel García Márquez.
The great man’s passing may put an end to Latin American writers’ anxiety at his influence, and allow his work to be noncompetitively appreciated. Fuentes, acknowledging García Márquez’s debt to Faulkner, called Macondo his Yoknapatawpha County, and that may be a better point of entry into the oeuvre. These are stories about real people, not fairy tales. Macondo exists; that is its magic.
The trouble with the term “magic realism,” el realismo mágico, is that when people say or hear it they are really hearing or saying only half of it, “magic,” without paying attention to the other half, “realism.” But if magic realism were just magic, it wouldn’t matter. It would be mere whimsy — writing in which, because anything can happen, nothing has effect. It’s because the magic in magic realism has deep roots in the real, because it grows out of the real and illuminates it in beautiful and unexpected ways, that it works. Consider this famous passage from “One Hundred Years of Solitude”:
“As soon as José Arcadio closed the bedroom door the sound of a pistol shot echoed through the house. A trickle of blood came out under the door, crossed the living room, went out into the street, continued on in a straight line across the uneven terraces, went down steps and climbed over curbs, passed along the Street of the Turks, turned a corner to the right and another to the left, made a right angle at the Buendía house, went in under the closed door, crossed through the parlor, hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs . . . and came out in the kitchen, where Úrsula was getting ready to crack 36 eggs to make bread.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
There are far fewer fingertips smudged and squeaky with newsprint ink today than there were even an armful of years ago. Now, there are soon to be tens of thousands a week less, as The Village Voice ends an epoch, removing newsstands that for 62 years contained the lean and mien of an unparalleled city. (It has to be said that oftentimes, in my experience, those stands were as likely to be filled with bottles of urine as they were papers, though I only got there after the door was free to open.)
The Voice had most — all, it can seem — of the world’s best music writers pass through its pages. Below you’ll find a lot of words by some of those writers, whose work collectively smudged millions, people who remember reflexively the importance of a sentence’s contour, a well-placed swear and a well-executed takedown. It’s easy to say nobody cares any more — about music, about writing, about anything… but reading the stories below, that seems pretty impossible to believe. — Andrew Flanagan
Robert Christgau — music editor from 1974-2006, forever the Dean of American Rock Critics
Walking to Veselka for coffee with the great Carola Dibbell midway through a hectic Thursday morning, I found time to b**** about how NPR thought I could polish off a single shining anecdote that summed up my experience of the music coverage at The Village Voice. I mean, really. That coverage wasn’t the center of my life from 1974 until 2006 only because Carola was. I don’t want to merely call it my professional life, however—emotion was always a crucial part of it, for me in my own writing and in the writers I sought out for the first 10 of those years, when I was the music editor. The Voice provided autonomy and a sense of fellowship like no other outlet while paying enough to keep me and Carola afloat in an East Village that’s now very nearly as chimerical as the online-only Voice itself.
So I b*****d, to the above effect. Whereupon Carola proved her greatness yet again by coming up with two anecdotes worth repeating inside of 45 seconds, one for me and one for her. Sum up they don’t‑-in 2015 I published a memoir called Going Into the City that makes a pass at that feat and doesn’t sum up either. But at least they have the right flavor.
The Goldwater Rule was meant to prevent psychiatrists from politicizing their authority. But now it’s muzzling them in the midst of a vital public debate.
Photograph by Alex Brandon / AP
At his rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night, Donald Trump remarked, of his decision to take on the Presidency, “Most people think I’m crazy to have done this. And I think they’re right.”
A strange consensus does appear to be forming around Trump’s mental state. Following Trump’s unhinged Phoenix speech, James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, said on CNN, “I really question his … fitness to be in this office,” describing the address as “scary and disturbing” and characterizing Trump as a “complete intellectual, moral, and ethical void.” Last week, following Trump’s doubling-down on blaming “many sides” for white-supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Senator Bob Corker, a Republican of Tennessee, said that the President “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence, that he needs” to lead the country. Last Friday, Representative Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat of California, introduced a resolution urging a medical and psychiatric evaluation of the President, pointing to an “alarming pattern of behavior and speech causing concern that a mental disorder may have rendered him unfit and unable to fulfill his Constitutional duties.” Lofgren asked, in a press release, “Does the President suffer from early stage dementia? Has the stress of office aggravated a mental illness crippling impulse control? Has emotional disorder so impaired the President that he is unable to discharge his duties? Is the President mentally and emotionally stable?”
The class of professionals best equipped to answer these questions has largely abstained from speaking publicly about the President’s mental health. The principle known as the “Goldwater rule” prohibits psychiatrists from giving professional opinions about public figures without personally conducting an examination, as Jane Mayer wrote in this magazine in May. After losing the 1964 Presidential election, Senator Barry Goldwater successfully sued Factmagazine for defamation after it published a special issue in which psychiatrists declared him “severely paranoid” and “unfit” for the Presidency. For a public figure to prevail in a defamation suit, he must demonstrate that the defendant acted with “actual malice”; a key piece of evidence in the Goldwater case wasFact’s disregard of a letter from the American Psychiatric Association warning that any survey of psychiatrists who hadn’t clinically examined Goldwater was invalid.
The Supreme Court denied Fact’s cert petition, which hoped to vindicate First Amendment rights to free speech and a free press. But Justice Hugo Black, joined by William O. Douglas, dissented, writing, “The public has an unqualified right to have the character and fitness of anyone who aspires to the Presidency held up for the closest scrutiny. Extravagant, reckless statements and even claims which may not be true seem to me an inevitable and perhaps essential part of the process by which the voting public informs itself of the qualities of a man who would be President.”
These statements, of course, resonate today. President Trump has unsuccessfully pursued many defamation lawsuits over the years, leading him to vow during the 2016 campaign to “open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.” (One of his most recent suits, dismissed in 2016, concerned a Univision executive’s social-media posting of side-by-side photos of Trump and Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who murdered nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015; Trump alleged that the posting falsely accused him of inciting similar acts.)
The left-leaning psychiatric community was shamed by the Fact episode for having confused political objection and medical judgment, and came under pressure from the American Medical Association, whose members had largely supported Goldwater over Lyndon Johnson. The A.P.A. adopted the Goldwater rule in 1973; Dr. Alan Stone, my colleague at Harvard Law School, was at the time the only member of the A.P.A.’s board to oppose the rule, as a denial of free speech “and of every psychiatrist’s God-given right to make a fool of himself or herself.” Stone, who has served on the A.P.A.’s appeals board, told me that a few members over the years have been sanctioned or warned for Goldwater-rule violations, but that the A.P.A. eventually gave up enforcing it, because of the difficulty of providing due process to the accused.
Since the nineteen-sixties, there have not been jazz musicians as artistically significant and generally popular as Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, or Bill Evans. Today, jazz music is a miscellaneous collection of wide-ranging and disputed genres that stands to the side of American culture. How did the train go off the tracks? A listen to Ellington and Evans both playing an Ellington standard, “In a Sentimental Mood,” on the same hot Thursday night in New York City—August 17, 1967—offers a few clues. Here is Ellington’s version at the Rainbow Grill, with the tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves, along with John Lamb on bass and Steve Little on drums. And here is Evans’s version at the Village Vanguard, with Eddie Gomez on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums.
Ellington, in the twilight of his career, had several long residencies at the Rainbow Grill, a restaurant and ballroom on the sixty-fifth floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Ellington would work on new music during the day (with the passing of his collaborator Billy Strayhorn, in May, 1967, Ellington’s final decade would see a much higher percentage of original music solely from his pen) and, in the evening, would play for dinner, dancing, and listening. This functional gig was a different experience than the glamorous concert tours that the full band made during the year. Yet each night at the Rainbow Grill high society, music fans, and hangers-on came together to see Ellington. You never knew who would drop by: Judy Garland, Tony Bennett, a Rockefeller.
For the summer of 1967, Ellington brought in an octet with the legendary veteran Ellingtonians Cat Anderson, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Lawrence Brown, and Harry Carney, accompanied by a young, mainstream rhythm section. They played the hits and a few minor new pieces. (A bootleg of a complete set came out recently on the Gambit label—an imprint for collectors who don’t mind potential illegalities). Everything is enjoyable, but the highlight is the Gonsalves quartet and “In a Sentimental Mood.”
Ellington packs a whole history of composition into only two and a half choruses. The first chorus is piano in D minor/F major, the “old style,” fairly close to the first 1935 recording. After the “old-style” chorus, Duke modulates to Bb minor/Db major for Gonsalves’s entrance, the same key used for the “new-style” version of “In a Sentimental Mood” tracked with John Coltrane, in 1962. Gonsalves’s greatest fame was authoring twenty-six choruses of shouting blues on “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” at the Newport Jazz Festival, in 1956, a moment that many credit with revitalizing Ellington’s career. However, Gonsalves was also one of the greatest ballad players, and his silky, furry, almost murky legato here is pure delight.
Gonsalves’s mastery is only to be expected, but the sixty-eight-year-old Ellington is still full of surprises. Playing with Coltrane, Ellington’s “new-style” arrangement had a mournful raindrop piano part that was dramatic and distinctive. At the Rainbow Grill, Ellington doesn’t play many of the raindrops but goes all out in rhapsodic style: heavy block chords, cascades, even a long left-hand trill underneath pointillistic right-hand stabs. It would be hard to find ballad accompaniment this busy anywhere else.
Downtown, the vastly influential keyboard artist Bill Evans was enjoying another run at the Village Vanguard. He was a regular at the club, with his 1961 LP “Sunday at the Village Vanguard” well on its way to canonization. When he was in residence, Evans would put a table from the front by the back stairs, come early, and drink coffee while reading the racing news.
In 1967, you could still get a hamburger or a turkey club sandwich at the Vanguard, but there certainly was no dancing. It was a nice, quiet audience for Evans that night. This recording of “In a Sentimental Mood,” which was released on the Verve double LP “California, Here I Come,” has less audience noise than “Sunday at the Village Vanguard.”
Few things are more delightful than a dog running on the beach. Except, maybe, a dog surfing on a beach.
Dozens of dogs — and more than 1,000 people — showed up to the second annual World Dog Surfing Championships Saturday in Pacifica, Calif.
Dog surfing is relatively new — the first competition was in San Diego 12 years ago.
And while the event may seem silly, competitive dog surfing is growing quickly, with contests in Hawaii, Florida, Texas and as far away as Australia.
Dogs compete solo, just dog and board, or tandem, with either a person or with another dog.
The dogs are scored by a group of three judges.
“No. 1 is stay on the board and No. 2 is looking happy,” Sam Stahl, one of the judges explained. “No one wants to see a dog terrified at the end of a surfboard.”
At the event, an Australian kelpie named Abbie Girl not only stayed on her board, but maneuvered it, too.
Her board is custom built for a dog — it’s short and has a bright orange blaze down the bottom with her name on it.
The Audi Power of Four Race Series kicks off tonight in Aspen Snowmass. Registration is still open on site. Hefty steel trail running & bike medals happily made in Ridgway, CO by metal artist Lisa Issenberg of Kiitella. The 50K and Vertical K trail running races are both part of the US Skyrunning Series.