So naturally, this weekend, right before the Oscars, IFC Center kicks off an eight-week series of midnight movies, alternating Bigelow and Cameron movies, beginning tonight with Bigelow's adrenal calling-card, Point Break.
While badass women proliferate in Cameron's work—Sig Weaver in Aliens, fellow Cameron ex-wife Linda Hamilton in the Terminator movies—the only two women to have ever held Bigelow's attention for a considerable amount of time are Jamie Lee Curtis (as a rogue cop in Blue Steel), and, in Strange Days, Angela Basset (pictured), who in her sleeveless tops looks like she could probably win an arm wrestling match against an orangutan. Cameron shoots rapturous sex scenes with heavy music and lots of dissolves (and this series won't even screen Titanic, let alone "the ultimate intimacy"); Bigelow shoots brutal rape scenes (including one that demands we stare death in the face, a la Peeping Tom). Both take risks with a seriously passionate, operatic tone which permits a chortling sense of superiority; while both stage epic violence, it feels like fantasy with Cameron, while with Bigelow it feels more like a kinky exploration of the dynamics of power.
The two seem to get on quite well these days, though of course we all enjoy believing otherwise.
[It would be ] a TNT-type show [ha ha — ed.] that would pair him back up with his real-life chum and on-screen foe, Michael Emerson (Ben) - as suburban hit men juggling family issues. Though Terry asked [us] not to spill show specifics, he has spoken with Lost creator J.J. Abrams about the project and says, “I really hope this works out because Michael would be in his prime in this. We’d play kind of awkward partners.”
“It’s very sweet of him,” says Michael. “I’m all in favor of it. Any reason to work with Terry again.”
TNT-esque or not, I'm, also, all in favor of it. Emerson and O'Quinn have the best TV rapport since Seinfeld and Alexander. [A.V. Club]
One of my favorite works ("favorite" is maybe not the best word here) was an incredibly visceral, gripping and devastating series of photographs by Nina Berman of an Iraq war vet completely disfigured by a roadside bomb, back at home with his fiancee. He's a man without a face (not to mention one of his arms), at once feature-less and unmistakable, re-inserted more or less conspicuously into the suburban American landscape.
So this recent Daily News story, about a rash of subway deaths, is not going to help me relax. Eight people in the last 13 days have been hit by subway cars, four of whom have died. Some were suicides, some accidents and one was the old "I dropped my iPod."
So yeah, I'll be taking the bus home tonight, through the snow.
Robert A. A. Lowe and Rose Lazar's drawn out and elongated limbs at By and By, 522 Grand St (between Union and Lorimer Sts), 6-9pm
Michelle Forsyth's beady, techno-pointilist nature compositions (pictured) at Hogar Collection, 362 Grand St (at Myrtle), 6-9pm
Susan Newmark's post-feminist collages at Figureworks, 168 N 6th St (between Bedford and Driggs Aves), 6-9pm
Thomas Broadbent, Emily Roz and Patricia Smith work on and about paper in Space of Mind at Front Room, 147 Roebling St (between Metropolitan Ave and Hope St), 7-9pm
So, meet the next governor of New York state, Andrew Cuomo. He used to be a real dick, but he's not anymore, and he's pretty good at his current job. Plus his father was the last governor of New York to not use the power of his office to silence a domestic abuse charge leveled against one of his close aides (or at least fail to stop such a thing from happening), or to fuck whores, or to be George Pataki. So there's that.
If this investigation into his office gets hairy enough that Paterson resigns between now and the Andrew Cuomo administration, your in-the-meantime governor will be former MTA head Richard Ravitch, last seen playing the villain in Style Wars.
Seriously, researchers at UC Davis report that beer is a good source of silicon, which helps to increase mineral density in bones. Hooray! It turns out the secret silicon ingredient is hops, so now I just have to drink more of those
delicious healthy, hoppy American beers.
Researchers also suggest that drinking beer makes you fall down sometimes, but that that's ok because beer-drinkers' bones are like titanium. Everybody wins.
Hiya, Ben! You’ll notice from my chipper greeting that I’m in a good mood, and that’s because I liked Avatar! Even if that means I’m “basically a tween”. I think it’s wickedly subversive that the number one movie ever (not adjusted for inflation, thus meaningless) is about a marine who rejects the American Army and joins up with The Terrorists. Because, obviously, that’s what the film’s tall, blue tribesmen are; Cameron makes the allegories blatant, with the American contractors harvesting an energy source from lands occupied by indigenous peoples unimpressed by the occupiers’ school-building efforts. (Well, there are parallels to the American Indian genocide, too, natch.) When the Earthlings destroy the Na’vis’ “Hometree” (groan), it evoked the felling of the Twin Towers, driving home the suggestion that the Americans are “terrorists,” too.
This is slightly different from the supposedly leaked list that floated around the internet in December of last year, the most notable change being the omission of Nicki Minaj, who arguably has more buzz than anyone else on this list right now, and whose absence underlines the predictable yet no less disappointing dearth of female MCs on the Freshmen list. That being said, these are all pretty good bets, my personal favorites being Big Sean (a signee to Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music label), J. Cole (who made a big splash with a guest verse on Jay-Z's Blueprint 3), and Donnis who has at least one amazing song that I will use any excuse to listen to again, after the jump.
Like other Jones films, Massillon, his debut doc-journal, plays as archaeological excavation and quintessential Americana. The images are mostly a series of Benning-like portraits of frontier suburbia, the skeletons of local life—swing sets, factories, and rows of houses—against mountains, forests, skies, matched by sounds of chirping birds and highway cars. The main soundtrack, as if exorcising the demons behind the repressive walls of the sunny visuals, is Jones recalling personal encounters growing up gay, not wanting to go to church, and middle-school wrestling matches, then discussing the etymology of gay legal terms: these are rendered in the guileless American vernacular of high school hallways and dairies and Paterson that is as clear in intent as it is beguiled by reason. Jones can sound like Encyclopedia Brown documenting his own sex life; his cold, protective pose, in image and voice, is always of a mock-scientist, trying to treat his material as dead because it’s not: the accumulation of snapshots has its own mystery in montage and its own weight in personal history as social history—and social history as personal history. A ground-level portrait of American infrastructure leading to and from John Gianvito and Matthew Porterfield—memories, images and words, play the essential architecture—the place it captures with precision is as much Massillon the city as the mindset; Massillon ends by restaging the beginning, many years later, but with a wealth of new connotations: nothing’s been exorcised, but Jones, like the film, ends with some comprehension of how he got to where he started.
The Times piece is quick to point out that the complaint didn't come from local residents, Midwestern tourists or art critics who consider the piece an empty and exploitative attempt to generate buzz (though, ahem, there are some of those), but from cops. Hanford is back in the window now—hopefully not developing hypothermia in this weather—the NYPD having lost interest, much like everyone else. Reed's exhibition wraps up on March 21.
Moody building refurbisher Daniel (Romain Duris) is persecuted by a stalker (Jean-Hughes Anglade) who watches him sleep, gets drunk and passes out naked in his place, tacks up photos with Daniel's face scratched out, and proclaims his love for him. But then, everyone persecutes and is persecuted in the latest from the director of Queen Margot and the bracing Gabrielle. A stranger slaps an innocent, pleasant-faced Métropolitain passenger in the first scene, and the abuse continues from there. Daniel loves Sonia (Charlotte Gainsbourg), but she persists in a cruel aloofness. His old friend Michel (Gilles Cohen) is crippled with depression, which manifests itself in his boorish insufferableness. Even the stalker has it pitiably rough—Daniel is remarkably tolerant of him, but isn't above literally kicking him to the curb, too.
Legendary hip-hop drummer and producer ?uestlove, best known as one of The Roots' two long-standing members, is an associate producer on the Bill T. Jones-choreographed Broadway musical Fela!, about the life and music of Afrobeat pioneer and activist Fela Kuti. In this recent video essay he talks about the ways that Kuti's life, politics and music have influenced hip-hop culture, from Leaders of the New School up to Mos Def, noting that like the musical pioneer, "hip-hop is extremely familiar with a... polygamy of sorts." (NahRight)
Basically, the only way I can deal with listening to Republicans bend and squirm and not say much about anything is to make jokes.
Because only humor can save us from the fire of our anger.
Head behind the jump for an amazing quote from Chuck Grassley. (For this morning's liveblog of a bunch of dudes sitting in a square talking, head here.)
...downtown urban America in the poverty parts of the city...
Which is some real Marvin Gaye-level poetry there, mother mother, ain't no love in the poverty parts of the city. Or you could put a funky backbeat on it, for that Superfly-era Curtis Mayfield feel.
We went on for a while in this vein, Jonny and I did, laughing and chortling and making fun, but then I stopped to consider: it's actually pretty remarkable that when Chuck Grassley slips into an anachronistic vernacular, he betrays a frame of reference that extends all the way up into the mid-70s.
Think about how old all these guys are. Occasionally, something like Ted Stevens's "series of tubes" speech will remind us just how long it's been since these guys were at the age to be up-to-date on popular culture. Why should we expect Ted Stevens to be totally comfortable around the internet, or Chuck Grassley to use up-to-date urban terminology? I still don't know whether my cellphone can take pictures, and I am young enough to be evolved from Ted Stevens.
Chuck Grassley is 76 years old. When Chuck Grassley was my age, he literally had to masturbate to black and white photographs of women in one-piece bathing suits and tiny hats, and maybe the occasional pillowfight kinetoscope.
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