Andrew Hultkrans

  • Mike Kerry and Chris Hall, The Ballad of Mott the Hoople, 2010, black-and-white and color film in 35 mm, 103 minutes.
    film December 14, 2011

    All the Old Dudes

    NAMED AFTER AN OBSCURE NOVEL by Willard Manus about a circus freak, Mott the Hoople were one of the emblematic rock bands of the early 1970s, their many stylistic phases—hard rock, singer-songwriter, country rock, glam—paralleling the genre shifts of the period. Like the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, Mott were a cult band before the category existed, and like Lou and Iggy, they enjoyed a midcareer resuscitation from the original fan–rock star, David Bowie.

    Originally a semimanufactured group consisting of four yobs from Herefordshire and a minor genius from Northampton, Mott were put together

  • David Cronenberg, A Dangerous Method, 2011, color film in 35 mm, 99 minutes. Sabina Spielrein and Carl Jung (Keira Knightley and Michael Fassbender).
    film November 18, 2011

    Scream Memories

    THE ARC OF DAVID CRONENBERG’S career as a director mirrors that of an idiosyncratic underground band that slowly finds mainstream acceptance, its skills improving as its aesthetics plane out to inoffensive craftsmanship. Formerly a true innovator in the disreputable genres of horror and science fiction, the Canadian filmmaker was for a quarter century perhaps the greatest living example of the auteur theory, his films exploring extreme physical and psychological mutation with the single-mindedness of an obsessive still-life painter, examining and reexamining the same source material from every

  • Paul Holdengraber and Errol Morris at the New York Public Library. (Photo: Jori Klein)
    diary November 08, 2011

    Trial and Errol

    ERROL MORRIS IS FASCINATED by the unreliability of images, memories, and the symbiotic, if often deceptive, relationship between them. It seemed fitting, then, that his mere appearance at the New York Public Library last Wednesday night served (for me) as an object lesson in one of his obsessions. While I had been aware of Morris and his remarkable, idiosyncratic documentaries since at least The Thin Blue Line (1988), I’d somehow gotten it into my head that he looked like the subject of his 1999 documentary Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (the titular Mr. Leuchter—bespectacled,

  • Left: Rick Rubin, Russell Simmons, and the New York Public Library's Paul Holdengraber. (All photos: Jori Klein)
    diary October 20, 2011

    For the Record

    FROM A CRAMPED NYU DORM ROOM to an SRO event at the New York Public Library, Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin have come a long way. So too has the culture. When the men responsible for introducing hardcore hip-hop to a thoroughly unprepared Reaganite America are honored at one of this city’s most venerable institutions, things have changed. And Simmons and Rubin can lay claim to the title of prime instigators of that change, having racked up an impressive array of firsts: first white rap group (Beastie Boys), first B-boy teen idol (LL Cool J), first rap-rock hybrid (Run-DMC’s “Rock Box”), first

  • Roman Polanski, Carnage, 2011, still from a color film in 35 mm, 80 minutes. Penelope Longstreet, Michael Longstreet, Alan Cowan, and Nancy Cowan (Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz, and Kate Winslet).
    film September 30, 2011

    Roman Holiday

    “HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE,” the money line from Jean-Paul Sartre’s play No Exit (1944), could easily serve as the subtitle to the latest film by Roman Polanski, master director and controversial exile. Based on the award-winning 2006 play Le Dieu du Carnage (God of Carnage) by French playwright and novelist Yasmina Reza, Carnage is a minor, stagey film that returns the Polish filmmaker to the physical and emotional claustrophobia of the boat in Knife in the Water (1962) and the apartment in Repulsion (1965), as well as to the misanthropic gallows humor of Cul-de-sac (1966). The narrative draws on

  • Left: Ken Kesey. Photo: Ted Streshinsky. © CORBIS. Right: Timothy Leary and Neal Cassady. Photo: Allen Ginsberg © CORBIS. From Alex Gibney and Alison Ellwood, Magic Trip, 2011, color film in 16 mm, 107 minutes.
    film August 05, 2011

    More the Merrier

    IT WAS ONE OF THE GREAT UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES in American history: Hoping for a truth serum or psychological weapon, the CIA tested the powerful, still-legal psychedelic LSD on human volunteers during the late 1950s and early ’60s in research hospitals and mental wards across the country. The project, it was later revealed, was called MKULTRA, and one of its unwitting subjects was the young, soon-to-be-famous novelist Ken Kesey, a creative writing grad student on a fellowship at Stanford. Kesey also worked the night shift at a local “nut house,” as he put it, and his experiences caring for

  • Triple Canopy deputy editor Molly Kleiman with artists Toby Heys and Lisi Raskin.
    diary July 29, 2011

    Culture Wars

    WHEN SUN TZU WROTE The Art of War in the sixth century BC, he probably wasn’t thinking of artists, let alone Toby Heys and Lisi Raskin, the two artists who delivered presentations on the weaponization of culture on Tuesday night at Art in General. He was, however, advising his readers to exhaust every strategy short of physical combat to defeat their enemies, and that, Heys and Raskin showed, is the aspect of war for which art and culture have been conscripted to play a part, particularly since the dawn of communications technology and electronic media. Sponsored by Triple Canopy, this (literally)

  • Left: Marie Losier, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, 2011, still from a color film in 16 mm, 72 minutes. Right: Billy Corben, Limelight, 2011, color film, 92 minutes.
    film May 03, 2011

    Love Is the Drug

    TRIBECA (THE NEIGHBORHOOD) has evolved so dramatically over the past fifty years—from nameless industrial district to second SoHo to celebrity nesting zone—that it was fitting, if entirely coincidental, that I chose to attend two documentaries about radical transformation in the tenth year of Tribeca (the film festival).

    The first, Limelight, directed by Billy Corben, tells the tale of the rise and fall of New York’s club scene—retroactively embodied by ur–club kid/amateur murderer Michael Alig—through a pocket biography of Peter Gatien, the undisputed king of 1980s–90s Manhattan nightlife as

  • Left: Ben Williams and Victoria Vazquez of Elevator Repair Service. Right: Poet Eileen Myles. (Photos: Brett W. Messenger)
    diary April 06, 2011

    No Hard Failings

    WHEN BOB DYLAN wrote “There’s no success like failure” in 1965, little did he know that his Beat generation mentors (the original slackers) would be thoroughly out-slothed by subsequent cohorts, primarily my own (Generation X), to the point where a bunch of talented youth from Triple Canopy can hang an event on failure, be successful, and look good, if appropriately maudit, while doing so. Indeed, these busy Y-sters have distilled and perfected the deception of cloaking themselves in the distressed sartorial aesthetic of their predecessors while being, in truth, fiendishly ambitious and competent.

  • Writer Jean-Pierre Dupuy, MoMA director Glenn Lowry, Cabinet editor D. Graham Burnett, writer Pierre Cassou-Noguès, and art historian Carrie Lambert-Beatty. (All photos: Dorothy Hong)
    diary February 03, 2011

    Lie to Power

    UPON ENTERING the New York Public Library’s South Court Auditorium on Friday for “Art / Truth / Lies: The Perils and Pleasures of Deception,” a panel on art hoaxes and “parafictions,” I was passed a survey that (I assume) was handed to every attendee of every event at the Franco-American liaison dangereuse known as the Walls & Bridges festival. Sponsored and curated by the Villa Gillet, a “unique cultural institute interested in thought in all its expressions” whose very existence points up the cultural chasm between France and America, the festival seeks to mingle writers, artists, theorists,

  • Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski, Lemmy: 49% Motherfker, 51% Son of a Bitch, 2010, stills from a color film, 117 minutes.
    film January 13, 2011

    Born to Raise Hell

    NEAR THE BEGINNING of this amiable, humanizing documentary, an enthusiastic Motörhead fan tells the filmmakers, “If they drop an atomic bomb, the only things left will be cockroaches and Lemmy!” A justifiable assumption, to be sure, about this seemingly indestructible lion of prog, metal, punk, and, above all, rock ’n’ roll: Born Ian Fraser Kilmister in England on Christmas Eve, 1945, Lemmy has subsisted on Jack Daniel’s, Marlboro Reds, and the three S’s (speed, strippers, and slot machines) for most of his adult life. He’s one of the few celebrities walking today—Iggy Pop and Keith Richards

  • Left: Artists Slater Bradley and Ed Lachman. Right: Whitney Museum chief curator Donna De Salvo with Whitney Museum director Adam Weinberg. (Photos: John Arthur Peetz)
    diary November 02, 2010

    Dead Again

    ENTERING THE WHITNEY last Thursday night to catch the debut of Shadow, a video collaboration between artist Slater Bradley and cinematographer Ed Lachman, I was feeling underdressed. The lobby and the second floor (where the video was screening) were populated by the kind of well-heeled young aristocrats that one usually finds at, well, a charity gala for the Whitney. (Characteristically, the real socialites seemed to be huddled around the bar and potato chips downstairs.) Unfortunately, I had missed the plethora of models surrounding Patrick Dempsey at the actual Versace-sponsored Gala three