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The Early Word on Five Buzzy NYC Films Stirring up Sundance

Emma Thompson in Late Night (Courtesy of Sundance Institute / photo by Emily Aragones)

Late Night
Emma Thompson plays a veteran late-night talk show host in this broadly appealing comedy—think The Devil Wears Prada meets The Mindy Project—written by Mindy Kaling and helmed by Transparent director Nisha Ganatra. Kaling also stars as Molly, a comically earnest aspiring writer and zealous comedy fan who scores a job in the show’s midtown writer’s room, which until then had been comprised of only white men. The movie is based around an array of hot-button topics: sexism, representation, workplace dynamics. But the story never gets heavy. It’s fizzy and bright, existing in a kind of exaggerated rom-com reality where women are less interested in love affairs than career drive. It was nabbed by Amazon for $13 million.

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Brittany Runs a Marathon Star Jillian Bell on her ‘Couch to 5K’ Training Journey

Jillian Bell in Brittany Runs A Marathon (Courtesy of Sundance Institute / photo by Jon Pack)

At the Sundance Film Festival, you expect to see artful indies and quirky dramas — the next Little Miss Sunshine or Mudbound or Precious. What you’re less expecting is a broadly accessible comedy in the vein of Trainwreck or I Feel Pretty, the kind of unabashedly populist laugh-out-loud entertainment you would feel perfectly fine recommending to both your midwestern grandma and your Brooklyn bartender. And yet, that’s exactly what this year’s Sundance has delivered in the sweet, sincere Brittany Runs a Marathon, which stars funny lady Jillian Bell as a 27-year-old hot mess New Yorker who decides to get her life in order.

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Snarkitecture Is Now Selling Tickets For Snark Park, Their Artsy ‘Enchanted Forest’ at Hudson Yards

A lot is happening uptown at Hudson Yards, the so-called “neighborhood of the future.” This week alone, developers unveiled the installations by Frank Stella and other artists that will be displayed across the site’s building lobbies, and it was announced that restaurateur Danny Meyer would open a 3,000-square-foot, 121-seat all-day cafe on the ground floor of The Shed, the arts center and concert hall due to open this spring with productions by Björk, Steve Reich and others. The Danny Meyer project joins others by A-list chefs like David Chang, Thomas Keller, and José Andrés.

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Art This Week: Food-Covered Faces, Chinatown Locals, and Witches

(image courtesy of Contra Gallery)

Fake Smears and Facial Food Fiascos
Opening Thursday, January 31 at Contra Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through February 15.

While playing with your food has long been understood as a childish act one grows out of, not everyone stops meddling in their munchies. Sometimes this is actually for the best; in the case of artist David Henry Nobody Jr., it’s resulted in some compelling (and sometimes stomach-turning) sculptural works featuring the artist’s head and corn, cabbage, tomatoes, lunch meat, and even a bag of corn flakes stuck around his head that then gets steadily filled with milk. That’s just a smattering of what Nobody Jr. has to offer in his new show Fake Smears and Facial Food Fiascos (say that fives times fast). Opening at Chelsea’s Contra Gallery on Thursday, it explores the absurdity of both humanity and the waste we leave behind. Keep Reading »

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Tim Heidecker Made Another Album of Wall-to-Wall Anti-Trump Songs

After dropping an album of Trump dis tracks last year, Tim Heidecker is still fighting that good fight and turning our president’s verbal poop slurry into killer tunes. Today the musician-comedian, best known as half of Tim and Eric, is releasing a new EP, Another Year In Hell: Collected Songs from 2018Up above, you’ll find a new video, created by “perfect satirist for the Trump era” Vic Berger, for the song “The Ballad of ICE Agent Ray,” a country-western tune documenting the not-so-happy trails of family separation.

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Long Live the Half King: The Chelsea Literary Bar’s Final Week, in Photos

Owners (left to right) Scott Anderson, Nanette Burstein, Sebastian Junger and reading series curator Glen Raucher outside the bar during its farewell party, 1/18/19 at 10pm.

Owners (left to right) Scott Anderson, Nanette Burstein, Sebastian Junger and reading series curator Glen Raucher outside the bar during its farewell party, 1/18/19 at 10pm.

Bartenders Eddie and Jonathan (top, left and right) with patrons during the bar's final hour, 1/27/19 at 3am.

Bartenders Eddie and Jonathan (top, left and right) with patrons during the bar's final hour, 1/27/19 at 3am.

Owners (left to right) Sebastian Junger, Scott Anderson and Nanette Burstein hanging out on the Half King's final night, 1/26/19 at 11pm.

Owners (left to right) Sebastian Junger, Scott Anderson and Nanette Burstein hanging out on the Half King's final night, 1/26/19 at 11pm.

Half King owners Sebastian Junger, Scott Anderson and Nanette Burstein and original partner Jerome O'Connor (first through fourth from left) during the bar's farewell toast, 1/18/19 at 11pm.

Half King owners Sebastian Junger, Scott Anderson and Nanette Burstein and original partner Jerome O'Connor (first through fourth from left) during the bar's farewell toast, 1/18/19 at 11pm.

Guests at the farewell party, 1/18/19 at 11pm.

Guests at the farewell party, 1/18/19 at 11pm.

Guests at the farewell party, 1/18/19 at midnight.

Guests at the farewell party, 1/18/19 at midnight.

New York Times photographer Caitlin Ochs (left) with friend after shooting The Half King's farewell party, 1/18/18 at 11pm.

New York Times photographer Caitlin Ochs (left) with friend after shooting The Half King's farewell party, 1/18/18 at 11pm.

Soccer team members after practice at Chelsea Piers in The Half King's back room, 1/19/19 at midnight.

Soccer team members after practice at Chelsea Piers in The Half King's back room, 1/19/19 at midnight.

Patrons in The Half King's dining room, 1/19/19 at 8pm.

Patrons in The Half King's dining room, 1/19/19 at 8pm.

Author and journalist Reniqua Allen (2nd right) with The Half King's reading series host Glen Raucher (1st right) and Books on Call founder Andrea Shane (1st left) at the conclusion of The Half King's final literary event, 1/21/19 at 9pm.

Author and journalist Reniqua Allen (2nd right) with The Half King's reading series host Glen Raucher (1st right) and Books on Call founder Andrea Shane (1st left) at the conclusion of The Half King's final literary event, 1/21/19 at 9pm.

Sebastian Junger and Scott Anderson at the conclusion of their farewell conversation, 1/23/19 at 9pm.

Sebastian Junger and Scott Anderson at the conclusion of their farewell conversation, 1/23/19 at 9pm.

Attendees of The Half King's farewell conversation, 1/23/19 at 9pm.

Attendees of The Half King's farewell conversation, 1/23/19 at 9pm.

Longtime Hugo Boss employees Oscar Castillo (top, center) and Eoin O'Sullivan (first right) with their co-workers in their regular corner, 1/23/19 at 10pm.

Longtime Hugo Boss employees Oscar Castillo (top, center) and Eoin O'Sullivan (first right) with their co-workers in their regular corner, 1/23/19 at 10pm.

Player and fans from the Chelsea Piers adult hockey league having their final meet-up at The Half King, 1/23/19 at 11pm.

Player and fans from the Chelsea Piers adult hockey league having their final meet-up at The Half King, 1/23/19 at 11pm.

The Half King's staff with their closing count down during the bar's last three days.

The Half King's staff with their closing count down during the bar's last three days.

The Half King's owners and past staff during their reunion party, 1/25/19 at 11pm.

The Half King's owners and past staff during their reunion party, 1/25/19 at 11pm.

The Half King's original opening staff from 2000 during reuniting for the bar's closing,  1/25/19 at 11pm.

The Half King's original opening staff from 2000 during reuniting for the bar's closing, 1/25/19 at 11pm.

Attendees of The Half King's final night with a portrait of the late Tim Hetherington, 1/26/19 at 11:30pm.

Attendees of The Half King's final night with a portrait of the late Tim Hetherington, 1/26/19 at 11:30pm.

Patrons having a nightcap during The Half King's final night, 1/27/19 at 12a.

Patrons having a nightcap during The Half King's final night, 1/27/19 at 12a.

Longtime employee Paolo Delmar with DJ Rich Green (top, 3rd and 5th from left) joined by the staff of nearby restaurant Tia Pol (right, seated) as they closed out The Half King on its final night, 1/27/19 at 3am.

Longtime employee Paolo Delmar with DJ Rich Green (top, 3rd and 5th from left) joined by the staff of nearby restaurant Tia Pol (right, seated) as they closed out The Half King on its final night, 1/27/19 at 3am.

Bartender Eddie (center) with Anna Zorina Gallery director Marie Nyquist as they closed out The Half King on its final night, 1/27/19 at 3am.

Bartender Eddie (center) with Anna Zorina Gallery director Marie Nyquist as they closed out The Half King on its final night, 1/27/19 at 3am.

Patrons closing out The Half King on its final night, 1/27/19 at 3:30am.

Patrons closing out The Half King on its final night, 1/27/19 at 3:30am.

Guests at the farewell party, 1/18/19 at 9pm.

Guests at the farewell party, 1/18/19 at 9pm.

The Half King's past staff and friends reuniting for the bar's closing, 1/25/19 at 11pm.

The Half King's past staff and friends reuniting for the bar's closing, 1/25/19 at 11pm.

Photographer Lauren Welles with friends at her

Photographer Lauren Welles with friends at her "NYC: From Beach to Street" exhibition during the bar's final night, 1/26/19 at 11:30pm.

The drink menu for The Half King's farewell party on 1/18/19.

The drink menu for The Half King's farewell party on 1/18/19.

Receipt from The Half King's final hour, 1/27/19 at 3am.

Receipt from The Half King's final hour, 1/27/19 at 3am.

Chelsea lost its Cheers on Sunday morning as The Half King closed up shop after 18 years. Some knew the bar for its journalist owners– Sebastian Junger, Nanette Burstein, and Scott Anderson— but those who came to bid it farewell during its final week constituted a mix of media types, local workers, Chelsea Piers athletes, gallery visitors, and lots of fresh faces from the West Side’s new residential skyline.
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