Kanye West dominates the 38th Annual Pazz + Jop Critics’ Poll as albums winner, with 3250 points and 266 mentions for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, while crowd favorite Cee Lo Green snags singles winner with 187 mentions for “Fuck You.” But there’s tons more in this week’s musical retrospective of 2010, as Zach Baron opines on the rise of the douchebags (that includes you, Kanye), Rob Harvilla tells us why those two little words — or initials, if you go for brevity; that’s “f” and “u” — so resonated with us in 2010, and Camille Dodero delves into the intriguing power (see “cushiony lips/chocolate bon-bon eyes”) of a certain young Mr. Bieber. There’s more, of course.
In news, Tom Robbins writes about a film called The Third Jihad, which was used as part of mandatory counter-terrorism training of New York City police officers. It also happens to be “a spectacularly offensive smear of American Muslims,” with gruesome footage and burning American flags.
And Nat Hentoff tackles the question of racial inequality in Bloomberg’s schools, and what new Schools Chancellor Cathie Black might do to combat it.
In gossip, Michael Musto dishes on probable nominations for the Oscars (out next week!). Read for a head start on that inevitable office pool. (FYI: “Best song will be…boring!”)
In food, Robert Sietsema visits Lievito, an Italian restaurant as real, he says, “as if it had been picked up by a spaceship in the mid-calf part of the boot and deposited right on Hudson Street, with no concessions to American sensibilities or tinkering with the menu to make it more Yankee.” Disclaimer: You’re going to need pizza after reading this.
Elsewhere in food, Lauren Shockey dines on upscale Indian haunt Junoon in the Flatiron district, where there’s a waiter for every customer.
In theater, Michael Finegold gives a lovely tribute to his friend of 40 years, Ellen Stewart, founder of La MaMa, shaper of Off-Off-Broadway, who passed away last week at the age of 91.
Alexis Soloski covers Blood From a Stone, a family drama by Tommy Nohilly starring Ethan Hawke, Gordon Clapp, and Natasha Lyonne.
Have you heard of The Way Back, the movie about Soviet prisoners escaping the Gulag during WWII by trekking 4,000 miles? Watch it and you’ll feel pretty good about your own life, J. Hoberman declares — “at least for the next 15 minutes.”
Also, the Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher vehicle that was in virtually every commercial break during the Golden Globes is…good, says Karina Longworth. How about that?