‘Tintin’ Star Jamie Bell Gives Us His Ultimate Playlist

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Music buff is a little strong. I am a music enthusiast,” explains Jamie Bell, erstwhile Billy Elliot and star of Steven Spielberg’s motion-capture masterwork The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn. But that’s an understatement. When the 25-year-old English actor, who also stars in heist thriller Man on a Ledge, sounds off on a dozen of his favorite songs, he can’t help but show his excitement. “I’m a very eclectic dude, so I thought I’d toss in a bit of new shit with a little bit of old shit.” And he says he’s not a music buff?

AWOLNATION, “Sail” – Fucking amazing song. I would recommend playing this at night, while driving fast with the windows down and the music loud. I’m not saying you should break any laws, but that’s how you’re going to get the most pleasure from this music. It’s a composition with a very heavy grunge bass line. Very sexy. If you’re not in a car, you might want to make love while listening to it.

Glasvegas, “Go Square Go” – This song is anthemic. It builds to an amazing, climactic crescendo. James Allan’s voice is unbelievable and he’s Scottish, so, hello!

Salem, “Sick” –  This song is kind of dark, like music from a psychiatric ward. It’s almost like a demonic voice. The album as a whole is incredible. I just heard the group for the first time this year, only a couple of months ago. There’s another song on the album called “Trap Door” that’s also amazing.

Kasabian, “Fire” – This song has been out for a long time. It’s very hackneyed—you know, it’s on the radio all the time. But it’s still awesome. I’ve had it in my headphones for the last two days. I bicycle to it. The chorus is everything, and the guitar riff is incredible. I really appreciate the group’s first album; I think I bought it when no one had heard of them. This song, specifically, I would say is their magnum opus. We’ll all be listening to it for years.

Frightened Rabbit, “Keep Yourself Warm” – I love this song a lot. My friend played it for me after a long night. The lyrics are so bold. It’s the kind of thing that shouldn’t be said, but lyric is, “It takes more than fucking someone to keep yourself warm.” It’s just a guy saying how he feels.

LCD Soundsystem, “Dance Yourself Clean” – This song is ridiculous. I heard it for the first time at a club in Hell’s Kitchen and I was so into the music, kind of bobbing and weaving, that I was like, “I have to Shazam this right now.” Thank god for Shazam—one of my favorite inventions ever. So I’m in the club and I just hold my phone up to the ceiling, dancing to LCD Soundsystem. When I listen to this song, I’m dancing myself clean, obviously. Kidding! But I’m definitely dancing, and I do a lot of beating out the rhythm on a table or any kind of surface. I’m one of those people.

The Clash, “Straight to Hell” – This song is the sample that MIA used for “Paper Planes.” No one knows that. So even though it’s old, when people listen to this song, they’re like, “Oh my god, dude, I kind of know this, it’s from Slumdog Millionare.” No, motherfucker, this is the Clash and you’re a moron. This song is so much better than the MIA version.

Young Rebel Set, “If I Was” – This is a band most people have never heard of. They’re English and they’re from my hometown, so I really want to champion them. A childhood friend from the northeast of England, who I’m still very close to, said, ‘You have to listen to these guys, they’re local boys and you have to help them out.’ I fell in love with them, so every time I do a radio show in England, I tell the DJ to put them on. It’s kind of like Mumford and Sons meets The Killers. Everyone has to download it on iTunes right now.

Fryars, “The Ides” – I forget about this song all the time. I almost didn’t put it on this list, but I had my iTunes on shuffle and it came on, and it’s like, I fucking love this song, why don’t I play this more? It’s kind of like Talking Heads. Fryars is very gifted musically. If you download this song, you’ll have a love affair with it and you won’t turn it off. It’s not a very New York song, but it reminds me of when I was there.

The XX, “Intro” – Dude. What’s going on? Why is this song only two minutes long? That really pisses me off. You could make it at least a five-minute song. It’s unbelievable. I’ve played it like 50 or 60 times since I downloaded it. I listen to it anytime, but usually I have to be in a bit of a mood, a kind of woe-is-me, self-pitying, unattractive mood.

Q Lazzarus, “Goodbye Horses” – This is another oldie. It might sound familiar because it’s the music that Buffalo Bill dances to in Silence of the Lambs. It’s a very ’80s androgynous kind of song. Silence of the Lambs is one of my favorite films of all time. I don’t put it on and dance like Buffalo Bill or anything, but it’s just a great song. It’s not exactly glam-rock, but I do love late-’70s glam-rock like T. Rex and Bowie. They’re the most attractive males ever to grace the planet. I think what they did for music, sexuality, and androgyny is unbelievable. We need more of that.

Kanye West and Jay -Z, “Why I Love You” – I think Jay-Z is unbelievable. He can do no wrong, but this song is just really great… the chorus will be stuck in your head for days, and if you work in an office, you’ll start whistling it or singing it. Guaranteed, your whole fucking office will be singing it with you. I promise. Give it two days.

Kicking It in Greenpoint With MTV Star Peter Vack

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"I don’t want to sound like I’m badmouthing Manhattan,” Peter Vack says as he strolls up Manhattan Avenue in the North Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint, “But the one thing I really love about Brooklyn is that the interesting places here are owned by actual people.” Vack still lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, but he’s planning a move to the old Polish enclave—now equal parts hipster and kielbasa—where he spends a considerable amount of time filming I Just Want My Pants Back. While the MTV show depicts typical twentysomething Brooklyn anomie at large, it’s set mostly in Greenpoint. “I think it’s important that we actually film here rather than in a studio or in Los Angeles,” he says.

On a crisp morning in October, the 25-year-old actor took us on a tour of his favorite local antique stores and cafes. “There’s such an appreciation right now for old items and artifacts,” he says. “I think we’re drawn to those things because you can feel them. They’re not digital, like so many things today… they’re real.”
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Five Leaves – 18 Bedford Ave., 718-383-5345
I’m always tempted to come here when I’m in this neighborhood. It’s such a great spot. The funny thing about Five Leaves is that it’s fairly expensive. I feel like it blows every hipster’s cover by proving that they have money. The place is always packed with all of these people who are trying to be artistic types. There’s clearly money in Greenpoint. But the food is delicious. They have these great things called Devils on Horseback, which are baked dates with bacon wrapped around them. They’re amazing! And I like to bourge it up a bit sometimes and get oysters. I feel like Five Leaves is kind of the entryway for Greenpoint; it’s right on the cusp of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, and it’s almost like an initiation. Step One of Greenpoint: Go to Five Leaves.
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Franchesca Mini Market – 1074 Manhattan Ave., 718-383-0463
This is one of the locations on the show. One of the main characters is a bodega owner, and we all frequent this store and have our morning-after discussions. It’s also a great local Greenpoint mini-mart where you can get all sorts of things, from religious icons to Olde English.
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Word – 126 Franklin St., 718-383-0096
I’ve always wanted to be an actor, and I feel like I can contribute to the world of films and TV. But if I felt I could contribute to literature, I would totally try. I’m so moved by great books, and I do aspire to write a novel. Even if I wrote the shittiest novel in the world, just to have a novel would be enough. Word is such a quaint little place to sit and read. It feels so much better to buy a book from somebody who doesn’t work in a corporate chain.
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Luddite – 201 Franklin St., 718-387-3450
My dad opened up a pizza place in Crown Heights, and once, when we were looking for some stools, I discovered this place. We found these beautiful stools here called Toledo stools, and they’re, like, 90 years old. They’re so well-made and were probably used in some industrial place. But they really were perfect for
the restaurant, because we were going for an aesthetic that suggested it had been around for a long time.
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Kill Devil Hill – 170 Franklin St., 347-534-3088
I stumbled upon this place when I had some downtime. It really charmed the hell out of me. The owner curates the most interesting items and has a really cool mix of new and old stuff. Like this belt buckle that can hold your Metrocard. You walk in there and feel like you’ve gone back in time to the ’40s or the ’50s. The owner also does denim repair; I have some jeans I should bring to her. The rents aren’t super expensive around here, so people can bring to fruition these cool, quirky, really idiosyncratic business ideas.

Fashion Gallery: 5 Models Who’ll Be Burning Up Runways in 2012

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As part of our 2012 New Regime issue, we scoured the world’s runways, model houses, and shopping malls to find five of fashion’s freshest and most promising faces. Introducing, in no particular order, Kristina V, Kolfinna K, Megan Will, Veronika Vilim, and Janice Alida. Check out our exclusive gallery featuring all five, after the jump. Photography by Jason Kim. Styling by Christopher Campbell. 

The Original ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’ Noomi Rapace Puts Lisbeth Salander Behind Her

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Noomi Rapace is staring at a spot right above my head and speaking excitedly. Her every movement is magnified—her eyes swell and recede, the color leeches from her tousled bob, and her hair goes momentarily white. She’s wearing what looks to be a violet sweater, though it’s hard to tell. It’s 3pm here in New York, which means it’s 9pm in Stockholm, where Rapace lives. Our Skype windows are doing some weird things. I barely recognize her. Not because of the bad connection, but because she’s smiling.

Like most, I’m used to seeing a scowl—and sensory organs studded with no small amount of metal. Since 2009, Rapace has been all but synonymous with Lisbeth Salander, the punked-out hacker-heroine featured in the Swedish/Danish film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series. “I felt like she lived in me,” Rapace says of her motorcycle-riding, vengeance-seeking alter ego. “My Lisbeth was my Lisbeth. I gave her my life and my soul for one-and-a-half years, and then I was finished.” She sighs, her face double-framed by her living room door and my computer screen. “I’m so done with her.”
While the rest of the crew popped champagne bottles and toasted to the films’ final take, Rapace puked in a soundstage bathroom. “My whole body was just kind of throwing Lisbeth out of me,” she says. Rapace spent the next week feeling traumatized and disembodied, her face still full of holes, mohawk collapsed. “I was like, I don’t know who I am anymore!” she adds, pushing a few strands of hair away from her face to reveal a pair of earrings. They are long, chainlike, and affixed to her lobes with golden talons. “It’s almost like you’re coming out of a…” She struggles for a moment, trying to articulate what it’s like to exorcize a fictional character. The earrings twinkle. “It’s like you’ve loaned yourself to someone else.”
With the release of two big-budget crowd-pleasers this December, Rapace will get to relinquish Lisbeth for good, though she only stars in one of them—as a conspiratorial soothsayer alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. The film hits theaters just five days before American director David Fincher unveils his frenetically hyped adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Rapace will get to watch someone else suff er the many indignities foisted upon Lisbeth Salander—all while she herself rides the wave of her first Hollywood blockbuster.
Subways and skyscrapers are already plastered with the steely profile of Rooney Mara, the young woman who plays Lisbeth in Fincher’s film, and who—nose ringed and properly Manic Panicked—bears an uncanny resemblance to Rapace. Some fans might think it unfair—or at least, typical—that Rapace’s Lisbeth will be supplanted in the public imagination by a younger, glossier, American version (Rapace is 32; Mara, who graced the November cover of Vogue, is 25), but Rapace seems downright thankful for Mara, who could very well be her best defense against typecasting—the bane of any good actor blessed and cursed by a career-making role. “I’m pretty sure that they will do something completely different with her,” she says.
Rapace is only in Stockholm for a single night. She has just returned from London, where she was promoting Sherlock Holmes, and she’s leaving in the morning for Italy. In the year-plus since Millennium wrapped, she’s taken on an array of roles, all proof that she’s no one-hit wonder. She recently starred in two Scandinavian indies: Pernilla August’s domestic drama, Beyond, which won this year’s Nordic Council Film Prize and was submitted as Sweden’s 2011 Oscars entry; and Pål Sletaune’s horror film, Babycall, which was an official selection at the International Rome Film Festival. Her biggest star turn yet—in Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel, Prometheus, due out in June—is still a ways off . It still might be too soon to tell if Rapace will become Tinseltown’s hot new European import—the next Penelope Cruz or Marion Cotillard—but it doesn’t seem far-fetched. “I think she’ll have a big shot,” says legendary Hollywood producer Joel Silver, who worked with Rapace on Sherlock Holmes. “I think she’ll have a giant career.”
Hollywood has always loved a good Swedish bombshell (see: Anita Ekberg, Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo, not to mention Ingmar Bergman’s never-ending string of paramours), but Rapace transforms herself too drastically in her roles to be considered a sexpot. And she’s hardly a typical Swede. She isn’t repressed. She isn’t blonde. Her bone structure is more Slavic than Scandinavian (her cheekbones alone could score a contract with IMG). Rapace’s late father, a Spaniard from whom she was estranged, worked as a flamenco singer, and she spent much of her childhood in Iceland. By the age of 15, she had moved  alone to Stockholm to study acting. Rapace doesn’t really think of herself as a Swede. She says she feels more like an alien.
At the moment, Rapace isn’t filming anything, but she’s reading scripts and meeting with directors, as well as getting ready to buy an apartment in London and beginning work on a new project that will bring her to New York. She has traveled every week since August, but if anyone is resilient to grueling migratory patterns, it’s her. “I’m not sentimental at all,” she says. “I don’t have a home that is my home.” If it weren’t for family, it seems like she might not visit Stockholm at all, but it’s where her ex-husband, the actor Ola Rapace, lives. (The two chose the surname ‘Rapace’ after they were married; it means ‘bird of prey’ in French.) They’re still good friends and share custody of their eight-year-old son, Lev, who’s enrolled in school in the Swedish capital.
Rapace has a noticeable, but unplaceable accent. At the start of our conversation, before I get used to hearing her speak, she sounds almost Australian. She rarely makes grammatical errors. It’s hard to believe that only two and a half years ago, she barely spoke any English, a handicap she attributes to irregular schooling and a precocious enthusiasm for partying. After a press conference for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo left her speechless and self-loathing—“like a monkey in a zoo”—she made immediate amends. She began a daily regimen of CNN and BBC (sans subtitles) and became fluent in about a year. Within the first few weeks of rehearsing Sherlock Holmes, she stopped translating lines in her head—a crucial development when you’re being paid to react to other people. She now dreams in English, and just a few weeks ago, she texted her mom from London, not realizing until after she’d sent it that the message wasn’t in Swedish.
Rapace approaches her work with the same autodidacticism that she did the English language. Pressed for time to prep for Sherlock Holmes, she researched the role with the focus of a student cramming for the Bac—she practiced choreography with a Gypsy dance coach, translated her lines from English to Romani and back again, and swore off exercise for five months. (“In Victorian London, no one was working out. Obviously.”)
She insists on having significant say in every script, including permission to ad-lib scenes and edit lines for psychological realism. “I like Noomi because she’s ballsy,” says Guy Ritchie. “She’s smart and committed to doing the best she can. She’s always full of ideas.”
When I ask Rapace about Elizabeth Shaw, the archaeologist she plays in Prometheus, she gives me a long soliloquy on Elizabeth’s biography. Mind you, this information isn’t even in the movie: her mother’s death, her father’s faith, her childhood travels to Africa, her grades at Oxford. She follows each fact with sound analysis. Though a successful career in acting requires a sort of simulated schizophrenia, Rapace’s approach appears strikingly sane. The more she prepares, she explains, the less she has to think—which is the whole point.
Rapace excuses herself to get a glass of water, leaving me with a peek into her apartment. In the next room, I can make out a panoramic painting of what looks like a clawed wolf. Then I remember the earrings—and, of course, her adopted surname. I hear footsteps, and then everything turns black as she adjusts herself in front of the monitor. Rapace’s face reappears on screen. She confirms: It’s a bird.
As her career takes flight, Rapace is keeping a close eye on the quality of the scripts she’s sent. Movie stardom is a paradoxical thing. Fame compromises craft, just as craft compromises fame, and this seems to be Rapace’s big concern—that being recognized might eclipse her ability to fully assume a character’s life. Before starting work on Sherlock Holmes and Prometheus, she had her doubts about Hollywood. She feared that she’d be forced to do things she didn’t want to do, that she might have to surrender some of the freedom she was used to having. “But I’ve been so lucky!” she says, almost singing the last syllable. “Those two movies have been amazing to work on, people have really embraced me.” She is growing more animated. “I think I’ve been spoiled,” she says, not at all solemnly, before going on to assure me that her goal is to punctuate the blockbuster work with small, indie movies. “I don’t want to be stuck.”
That’s an understandable fear when you consider what a liability Lisbeth Salander could have been. However narrowly Rapace escaped eternal association with that role, the threat of confinement still looms. Going too big too fast could jeopardize her liberty to choose the parts she wants. Nevertheless, she’s reluctant to talk about her career in pragmatic terms. She’d prefer to describe the mental intricacies of the work itself. “I don’t like pretending,” she says, rolling her eyes. “I don’t like fake.” She pronounces the word with disgust and then laughs at herself. More twinkling. “That’s quite awkward. It’s kind of what we do all day.”
Photography by Yu Tsai. Styling by Brad Goreski.

Winter Music Reviews: Chairlift, The Duke Spirit, Crystal Stilts

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Hospitality, Hospitality (Merge)
We’re always up for some early ’90s-style indie-pop, and this album’s a charmer. Not every track is a gem, but when these Brooklynites hit their mark, their music is as fun and infectious as it gets. “Friends of Friends” belongs on every college radio playlist worth its salt. And speaking of campus, here’s another standout: “Liberal Arts,” wherein vocalist Amber Papini sings about the futility of pursuing “a B.A. in English Literature / instead of law or something more practical.” The album is perhaps a bit twee for some tastes, but what Hospitality do they do very well: idiosyncratic pop that’s catchy without falling into verse-chorus-verse predictability. (Fun fact: the “Su Chia, Su Chia, Su Chia!” chorus of “Betty Wang” is the title character’s Chinese name).

Chairlift, Something (Columbia)
Remember Chairlift, the twinkly ’80s-influenced pop trio with songs so irresistible they even landed one (“Bruises”) in an iPod commercial? In the three years since their debut album, the group has contributed an ace cover to a Bowie tribute album, and singer Caroline Polachek has lent her vocals to the make-out anthem “You and I” by chillwave chart success story Washed Out. The band—now a duo—also lost founding member Aaron Pfenning to a solo career. But they’ve certainly retained their knack for blending electro, synth, and dream-pop into appealingly off-kilter ear candy. Though Something seems to lack a song with the crossover potential of “Bruises,” the songwriting is better, as is Polachek’s vocal prowess. Leadoff track “Sidewalk Safari” is more propulsive and innovative than anything Chairlift has recorded to date. It might be the crowning achievement of a band that transforms Reagan-era new wave into something fresh and endlessly listenable.
Fionn Regan, 100 Acres of Sycamore (Heavenly Recordings)
Irish folk troubadour Fionn Regan—a former UK Mercury Prize nominee—invites more Nick Drake comparisons after having retreated to a barn in Spain to record his own Bryter Layter, which is to say, a deeply personal singer-songwriter album with voice, guitar, and piano, all dressed up with strings. His subdued vocals, finger-picked guitar, and poetic lyrics occasionally yield lovely moments, like “For a Nightingale,” a gorgeous love song for the NPR set. While there’s undeniable elegance and artistry throughout, the hooks are few and far between. Too little of the album resonates beyond the quiet, melancholy vibe that makes 100 Acres of Sycamore a chore to get through in one listen. Easy to admire, difficult to embrace.
Leila, U & I (Warp)
As ambitious and dynamic as anything she’s ever done, this collection of dance floor avant-pop and aural experimentation from Björk collaborator and Aphex Twin disciple Leila Arab is equal parts playful and menacing. Believe it or not, its stylistic curveballs are even more challenging than those that that filled her 2008 album, Blood, Looms, and Blooms. The unsettling but compelling “All of This” and “Welcome to Your Life” could be classified as fractured haunted house techno pop. Leila seems to be daring us to find beauty within the ugliness; the one-minute, twenty-second “Interlace” is pure speaker–shredding noise. In the context of the surrounding din, the comparatively low-key, hypnotic instrumentals “In Motion Slow” and “Eight” provide some of the album’s unassuming highlights. Rough going as it may seem, adventurous listeners will find U & I invigorating, if also a bit disturbing.
Crystal Stilts, Radiant Door (Sacred Bones)
Crystal Stilts’ previous album, In Love with Oblivion, largely followed the formula that first earned the group darling reviews in 2009: ’60s-inspired garage rock drenched in reverb with droning vocals that sound like they were recorded in a cave. Their new EP is cut from the same cloth, with a few minor variations. Upbeat opener “Dark Eyes” features handclaps and a great sparkling guitar line. Frontman Brad Hargett’s muffled, slightly off-key baritone remains largely buried throughout, except on “Still As the Night,” where he steps into the spotlight just long enough to expose himself as the sonic doppelgänger of Beat Happening’s Calvin Johnson. On the closer, “Frost Inside the Asylum,” the bandmates wear their Velvet Underground influence proudly on their sleeves. Consider this a brief but worthy addition to their catalog.
The Duke Spirit, Bruiser (Shangri-La)
With their third release in seven years, The Duke Spirit continue a run of fine, fierce rock albums that leave you wondering why the British band isn’t better known
stateside. The aptly-titled Bruiser is the leanest, toughest sounding collection of songs yet, without a loser in the bunch. The guitars crunch and squall impressively throughout, while singer Liela Moss turns in another assured vocal performance, by turns snarling (“Cherry Tree”) and sultry (“Homecoming”), sometimes even in the space of one song (“Sweet Bittersweet,” “Bodies”). Perfect music for the gym, car, or bedroom. 
Jonsi, We Bought a Zoo Soundtrack (Columbia)
There’s always been something cinematic about the expansive musical soundscapes of Iceland’s Sigur Rós, so it’s no shock that Sigur fan Cameron Crowe tapped frontman Jónsi to score his forthcoming film, We Bought a Zoo. The album contains several songs from Jónsi’s 2010 solo album, Go—a surprise U.S.
Billboard chart success—plus one of Sigur Rós’ signature songs, “Hoppípolla” and a half-hour or so of new work composed by Jónsi, which will make this of immediate interest to fans. Not to damn with faint praise, but the music on We Bought a Zoo is generally likable and uplifting, which is to say, exactly what one would expect from a soundtrack to a family film.

Winter Movie Reviews: ‘Carnage,’ ‘Shame,’ ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’

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The easiest way to shock the bourgeoisie is to hold up a mirror, something Carnage director Roman Polanski knows a thing or two about. Adapted from the Tony-winning play by Yasmina Reza, this barbed and lively film owes everything to its exceptional leads—Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, and John C. Reilly—and is so agoraphobic it could almost have been filmed on a stage set. The scene is contemporary Brooklyn, with its peculiar liberal clash of granola and BlackBerrys. Two couples, one haughty in its feigned lack of pretension, the other pretentious in its delusions of grandeur, meet in an apartment one winter afternoon to discuss an afterschool brawl that involved the child of one pair thwacking the offspring of the other with a stick. It doesn’t take long for everything to come apart at the seams. After several hysterical monologues and a prodigious amount of vomit courtesy of Ms. Winslet, what remains is a miasma of hypocrisy and self-delusion, which is not to say the whole affair isn’t terribly funny. If nervous laughter is a sign that you’re too close to home, Carnage cuts to the quick. —Megan Conway

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Novices to the smoke-and-mirrors tactics of the espionage thriller might require a second viewing to keep track of who’s double-crossing who—frankly, even who’s who—in this twisty adaptation of John le Carré’s classic genre novel. Awash in a Cold War palette of iron grays and military browns, Tinker, Tailor resurrects a familiar spycraft storyline: expose—and then whack—the mole. A Soviet spook has breached the highest level of British intelligence, known as “the  Circus,” and it’s up to Gary Oldman, playing le Carré’s mild-mannered but brilliant protagonist, George Smiley, to sniff him out. Along the way, the actor proves once again that he’s as much chameleon as he is human. With a roster of the best actors Britain has to offer, including Tom Hardy and an oily Colin Firth, and fastidious dedication to the minutiae of le Carré’s world—from thinning hairlines to duplicitous stares—director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) prods the viewer into doing what every good spy must: look closely, then look again. —Ben Barna
With Shame, British fine artist Steve McQueen secures his place as one of the world’s most uncompromising—and controversial—filmmakers. Reuniting with Michael Fassbender, star of his 2008 debut, Hunger, about the famous hunger strike led by IRA prisoner Bobby Sands, the director takes on the topic of sex addiction. While Shame is beautiful to look at, what we see ain’t pretty. Fassbender plays Brandon, a calculating Manhattanite whose sterile apartment and insatiable appetite for flesh leave him one chainsaw away from Patrick Bateman country, were it not for a flicker of conscience. That inner voice only grows louder when Brandon gets a surprise visit from his bohemian sister (Carey Mulligan), a lounge singer named Sissy who desperately wants to connect to her brother. In the film’s most wrenching scene, she croons a version of “New York, New York” that brings Brandon to tears, his mysterious inner turmoil literally spilling over. McQueen’s New York is glassy and cold, built for anonymous encounters. It’s only when those encounters get too personal that Brandon is overcome by the film’s titular emotion. —BB
Man on a Ledge
While English majors might be inclined to fish for metaphors, Man on a Ledge takes its title quite literally. The film stars Sam Worthington as Nick Cassidy, a man on the ledge of a building who’s threatening to swan dive to his death. Why? Well, his motives are obscure at first. But as events progress and Cassidy—a former police officer and current fugitive—is joined by a police psychologist (the always-welcome Elizabeth Banks) who tries to talk him down, it becomes clear that this escapade is a smokescreen designed to help his young brother (Jamie Bell) pull off a daring diamond heist, one that will clear Cassidy’s name. As a crowd gathers, the would-be jumper ascends to folk hero status, evoking shades of Al Pacino’s Sonny Wortzik in Dog Day Afternoon. Worthington is no Pacino, but he does do an admirable job of keeping us invested in Cassidy’s fate by injecting moments of levity—pausing, for instance, to wolf down a cheeseburger—that soften these precarious proceedings. —Hillary Weston
In the Land of Blood and Honey
It’s hard to ignore the question that dogs this film: Should audiences cut debut writer-director Angelina Jolie slack for trying something new, or should they condemn the actor-bombshell for making a vanity project? Set in a land torn apart by political strife—it is Jolie, after all—Blood and Honey considers Bosnian
painter Ajla and Serbian nationalist Danijel, who fall in love on the eve of the intractable Bosnian War of the 1990s. In the first scene, they’re dancing in a nightclub. Then, in what’s perhaps an overly literal moment, a bomb explodes. The film veers toward The Night Porter territory when Ajla is brought to a Serbian military camp in the hills outside Sarajevo, where Danijel, the son of a warlord, placates his troops with captive Bosnian women. Ajla and Danijel rekindle their affair, and it’s here that the film begins to find its pace and center of gravity. Blood and Honey contains moments of beauty and credible ambiguity. Its greatest strength might be that by the end, you’ve forgotten entirely who’s calling the shots. —MC

Lindsay’s Freedom & the Sundance Festival Kick Off January’s Key Events

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January 3—Lindsay Lohan is released from rehab, no joke. (Because aren’t Lindsay jokes played out by now?) 5—Cirque Du Soleil hopes to un-stiffen those upper lips when its limber show, Totem, premieres at London’s Royal Albert Hall. 10—Although we wouldn’t really call Matt LeBlanc an actor, he plays one on TV! Showtime’s Episodes premieres tonight, in which Joey portrays a version of himself.

11—The Salvador Dali Museum gets a $35-million new home in St. Petersburg, Florida, where the sun is so hot it could melt a clock. 12—Baltimore MC Rye Rye, apparently the queen of redundancies, celebrates her debut album, Go! Pop! Bang!, released yesterday. 14— Michel Gondry and Seth Rogen release The Green Hornet, a movie about a superhero who erases the memories of chicks in an effort to bang them. 16—At the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards, Robert De Niro receives the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award for his distinguished work in The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, that film with Eddie Murphy, and the other one about the cabbie. 19—The Los Angeles Art Show and London Art Fair both kick off today. They’re essentially the same thing, except Ed Hardy only sponsors one of them. 20—The Sundance Film Festival begins. It’s the only film festival with more snow on the streets than in the bathrooms. 21—Baltimore Restaurant Week begins. It’s like NYC Restaurant Week—without all the great restaurants! 28—Gus Van Sant releases Restless, a documentary about how audiences felt watching Gerry. 29—Sorry, supper fans: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal opens at London’s Mandarin Oriental.

Meet 10 Models Destined to Become Super

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Recently, we scoured through pages and pages of lookbooks, in order to find the freshest faces modelling has to offer. We think we’ve done just that with this collection of ten girls who are turning heads on catwalks from Milan to New York. And after the jump, see video of the girls at their exclusive BlackBook photoshoots. Photography by Tony Kim, styling by Christopher Campbell, and video by Kirk Larsen.



Anne Sophie






Meet the Winner of Our Visual Art Contest, Ruben Ireland

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One man’s leftovers are another man’s masterpiece, at least in the case of U.K. artist Ruben Ireland, who’s extended his creative palette to include a few unusual elements. “Steak-and-kidney pie has thick oils and juices that can create an incredible variety of dark, murky browns and light, crispy browns,” he says, detailing the possibilities of making art from food. “It also gives the paper a strange kind of sheen.”

Thanks to his whimsical ideas—and unconventional methods—the 23-year-old Middlesex University graduate recently beat out 362 contenders for the top spot in the BlackBook-sponsored Society6 virtual art collaboration. Driven by an appetite for translating the limitless dimensions of human characteristics onto paper (“I just find humans so interesting,” he says), Ireland uses personal sketches, photographs, paparazzi snapshots, and, yes, assorted meats, to shape his contemporary illustrations.

“Digital art is going to revolutionize the way we work, but it’s still important for the artist’s hand to remain visible in every piece,” says Ireland, who carefully enhances traditional handwork with digital alterations. “It feels more personal, which is why I combine the two. It adds energy that most digital-only pieces lack.” For Ireland, a commitment to classic techniques and a passion for seeking out new materials are second only to the determination to perfect his aesthetic. “Negative criticism is my favorite,” he says. “It’s more important to be told that you’re a bit rubbish, and learn how to get better, than to be told that you’re great and stay the same forever.”