Home Blog

This week’s episode of The Rundown is a little different.
It’s been impossible to ignore what’s going on in the US right now – the mood, atmosphere, feelings and rallying against the proposals and policies of the new president Donald Trump that have been taking place in the days since the inauguration.
I’ve been encouraged by the action that people are taking to stay socially active, so this episode features artwork inspired by this new era. I ran to the Petzel Gallery, the New-York Historical Society and Museum of the Moving Image where Shia LaBeouf‘s art collective has an installation running for the next 4 years, or as long as Trump is president.

This is a route that’s about 8 miles, if you do it all in one go. If you want to check it out yourself, here you go:

 

During my 6 days at Sundance, I saw 20 films, so my Top 6:
6️. Trophy: a doc that uses incredible cinematography to flesh out issues around how to look after the animals of our world. Urgent, compelling & fascinating.
5️. Patti Cake$: a feel-good film with a breakout star. Get ready to know the name Danielle Macdonald – and also to have the catchy PBNJ song stuck in your head for days after seeing the film about a Jersey girl who spits rhymes & owns her sass through tough times.
4️. Wind River: from the man who wrote the Sicario & Hell or High Water scripts comes his directorial debut. Jeremy Renner, in his best role to date, at least IMHO, plays a hunter who is roped in to help solve a murder crime on a Native American reservation.
3️. Mudbound: Dee Rees’ follow-up to Pariah, in which she gives us Garrett Hedlund & Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton‘s Eazy E) as 2 men who served in WW2 returning to racist Mississippi in a brutal film, but a necessary testimony to times gone by. Also starring the fantastic Mary J Blige.
2️. A Ghost Story: the premise is simple – a man dies and becomes a ghost that haunts the house where he & his wife lived. He even looks like the simple ghost a child would dress up as – a sheet with 2 eyes cut out. But the depth of emotion I felt watching this film belies all of that. It’s a beautiful meditation on time, love and life, and the last scene will absolutely take your breathe away – if you fall into this film and let it.
1️. Call Me By Your Name: yes, this is a queer story but love is love is love is love is love, and so it’ll move you no matter your sexual orientation. It’s a wonderful, sensual, engaging film that I wanted to wrap myself up in for longer than its running time. Armie Hammer & Timothee Chalamet star in Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s masterpiece. The music, the cinematography, the dialogue make it the best kind of film experience – where you walk out the cinema and feel like something inside you has shifted and you’ll never be the same again.
*Special mention: John Trengove’s brave film about masculinity & male initiation, The Wound, and Jordan Peele’s clever & funny-til-it-turns-scary horror, Get Out.
Pic: Bennett Slater’s 33 Years of Sundance from the Morgan Spurlock-curated exhibition.

On the Sunday it opened, I headed off to one of my favourite places in the city, the Museum of Moving Art, for its Martin Scorsese exhibition. It’s an incredible tribute to his career, but also to the city that birthed the famous director and his equally famous movies. Shortly after, I watched Silence, his passion project (aren’t they all?) 25 years or so in the making. It’s a film I’m still thinking about weeks later, because of the themes it touches on and the scenes it created. So, in this vein, I’m excited to share this week’s episode of The Rundown: Scorsese’s New York.

I had considered doing individual Rundowns for some of his most well-known, and well-loved movies, and may still do that, but for now, here is the route for this 6-mile jaunt through Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, Goodfellas, and a tip of the hat to his Oscar-winning The Departed.
scorseseroute

 

I was a little too excited when the 2nd Avenue Subway opened on New Year’s Day. But to understand why, you need to have lived on the Upper East Side for the past 6 years, with its constant construction, drilling and dust, and covered-up structures. But I soon became excited for another reason – the art. It’s like an underground museum there, and on this episode of The Rundown, I take you through the works you’ll find, while hopping on and off the trains.

I jump onto the train but as the doors close, I realize it’s not the one I need. Looking at my phone to re-arrange my route, my eye catches this kid in a hoodie playing with a Rubik’s Cube. I watch as the kid turns the sides around, over and over, clicking and clacking, and boom, gets all the colours aligned! I look around to see if anyone else saw, but it’s just me with my jaw on the ground.
Kid hands the cube back to the woman sitting next to him, and she re-configures it, eyes cast towards the ceiling, as if her mind is far away.
I watch again in awe, as the kid turns the sides over and over, clicking and clacking. This time the sound of fingers working quickly and deftly has attracted the attention of more eyes, and then, boom! Kid gets it again! Those of us who witnessed it, look at each other in delight.
Kid hands the cube back to the woman and she mixes the colours back up again, eyes once again cast towards the ceiling. “This is better than show-time,” I say out loud. To which this guy with his pants half-hanging down his body replies: “I’m about to take the cap around for this kid.”
Going for a third time, the kid clicks and clacks the cube, this time all eyes in the train are on him. Boom! He does it once more! We all cheer! And clap! And hurrah! And the kid gets a fright and looks up, as the hood slips to reveal a face and I realize he’s a SHE (I shoulda known!)
An elderly lady hands her a dollar bill. “I could only ever get two sides right,” she says. “Well done to you, young lady.” And then someone says: “Merry Christmas!” and another chimes in, “yeah, Happy Holidays!”
I smile and high five the kid as I get off to go catch the right train. Walking into it feeling all warm and fuzzy, I’m hit by the smell of urine and there are fries smashed all over the floor.
Oh, New York City, this love only deeper grows.