Mario Testino: In Your Face and British Royal Portraits

You’ve seen the famed photographer’s work in the pages of Vogue and Vanity Fair and for the top fashion houses like Gucci and Dolce and Gabbana.  Now step into Mario Testino’s world with a splashy exhibition at the Museum of Fine ArtsIn Your Face is the Peruvian-born Londoner’s first U.S. museum show and evokes his dizzying schedule shooting celebrities, supermodels and super-select soirees.  The more sedate and reverent companion show British Royal Portraits features Testino’s lengthy history photographing the British royal family.  Don’t miss his stunning portrait of the late Princess Diana which was among her last. 

Glittering Images by Camille Paglia

The best-selling author of Sexual Personae is back and this time she’s put the art world in her cross-hairs.  Cultural critic and provocateur Camille Paglia crafts a thin, gorgeous volume of exceedingly well written essays on more than two dozen great works of art from sculpture at the Acropolis to Andy Warhol. Also find her passionate proclamation for the man she considers to be the world’s greatest living artist: George Lucas.  It’s Paglia’s attempt to lure a populace  stymied by visual chaos back to the serenity of art. And for a charge, indulge in Paglia’s blistering introduction which takes aim at third-rate artists, elitist ivory tower types and sanctimonious atheists.  Buy it for the wonderful art history…and for the edge.

Anna Karenina

There are only so many ways to tell Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and yet the team of director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) and screenwriter/playwright Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) have found a new one.  Keira Knightley stars as Anna, the married woman who scandalizes 1874 St. Petersburg society with her blatant love affair.  Inspired by an historical account that depicted the upper crust of imperial Russia as individuals consumed with carrying themselves as though they were always on-stage, Wright and Stoppard set much of the film inside an actual theater.  Unconventional and clever, the film features a high caliber roster including Jude Law, Matthew Macfadyen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.  Even so I was quite ready for the petulant Anna to meet her fate by the film’s end.