Jon Caramanica

  • Motion Capture

    Davide Sorrenti excelled at the part of photography that takes place long before a camera comes into play. He got people to relax, to be vulnerable and unselfconscious. (To be naked, too, sometimes.) Small and young and rapscallionish, he slid into complicated situations with ease, arrogance, and poise. He was the sort of photographer people in front of the lens wanted to please, because in his big-ego, small-package cocksureness, he seemed privy to some idea of beauty or freedom that maybe, if you let him snap the picture, you might access too.

    In ArgueSKE 1994–1997 (IDEA, $95), the first

  • Licensed to Spill

    Few acts in pop-music history have a reputation quite as lenticular as that of the Beastie Boys. As such, their new memoir Beastie Boys Book (Spiegel & Grau, $50) seems to pinball from one reputational-perspective tug-of-war to the next. Are Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA innovators or carpetbaggers? Serious musicians or stumblers onto greatness? Agents of positive cross-racial understanding or flimsy bridges between cultures? Curious creative-class kids or schmucks?

    All of the above, according to the stories told, and some merely hinted at, in this enjoyable but carefully circumscribed book, which