Cultural Czarina

3.12.2009

By Out.com Editors

From the sands of the Sahara to the mountains of northeastern China to the Konyak tribes of India, sophisticated thrill-seeker and humanitarian Zelda Kaplan has just about seen it all. These days the 92-year-old socialista spends her evenings ping-ponging about Manhattan, regaling hipster artists, the fashion elite, and A-listers like Pen'lope Cruz with her amazing multicultural tales. Bringing her impressive history and worldly expertise to the table, Kaplan offered her critique of an eclectic, globe-spanning set of new releases, including a Broadway show about the 30-year evolution of a sexually ambiguous friendship, a Cannes Jury Prize'winning film about a seemingly content Japanese family on the verge of a breakdown, and the sophomore LP from Brighton, England's indie spook princess Bat for Lashes (a.k.a. Natasha Khan).

The Story of My Life, a musical about a decades-long friendship between a big-city author (Will Chase) and a small-town bookstore owner (Malcolm Gets)
'I don't think these characters realized they had something deeper between them until the end of the play, and I hope their relationship was more than a friendship. But where's the Sturm und Drang, the confrontation? This show is seamless, but it's a seamless bore. Six out of 10.'
The Story of My Life is playing at New York City's Booth Theater.

Tokyo Sonata, acclaimed director Kiyoshi Kurosawa's drama about a pride-obsessed family living a life of denial and deception in modern Japan
'The film dragged and I felt more like a voyeuse than a participant until three quarters of the way into it, when the mother realized and encouraged her young son's talent as a pianist. It brought me back to my pre'World War II days when my family members used to play classical music. We are so lucky to have that sort of beauty in the world. Seven out of 10.'
Tokyo Sonata opens in New York March 13, with openings in select cities to follow.

Two Suns, Bat for Lashes' album of contemporary fables exploring chaos, balance, the divided self, and 'metaphysical ideas concerning the connections between all existence'
'She must be superintelligent to think this way. She's a thoughtful young woman and well-schooled musician, but I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with her. You'd have to be a masochist! I'd simply say, 'Bye, bye, baby.' I'm too lazy to be a drama queen. It's pleasant listening, though. Seven out of 10.'
Two Suns is available April 6 on Astralwerks.

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