Friday, April 30, 2010

Sam Fuller, Newspaperman

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Before mass culture became pop culture, the reigning forms in the public sphere were the tabloid and the picture-show; the headline and the credit sequence were the virtual talismans of some wildly imagined global village. Just as journalists searched for stories with the lure of a good photoplay, Hollywood cribbed plots from the papers and focused more than a few films on the activities in the newsroom itself. Film Forum's Newspaper Picture series spans the early 30s, when the figure of the reporter appeared frequently as the archetypal street-smart wiseacre, through the mid-70s, when Watergate heralded the pinnacle of the powers of the press, ironically occurring just as the snap-crackle-pop of the daily news was being converted into the delirious onslaught of 24-hour infotainment.

Early on though, the movie set and the newsroom weren’t so much sparring partners as confreres, and no figure exemplifies this quite as well as director Samuel Fuller, who started his career as a young boy selling newspapers on the street, and through pure moxy talked his way into being a crime reporter by the time he was 17.

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Your New Nightmarish Weekend at the Movies

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 8:52 AM

A Nightmare on Elm Street: I didn't much mind when Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes horror production company went about its lucrative business, remaking 70s and 80s horror staples like Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Amityville Horror; none of what I've seen have been good, but if they want to lie to themselves that removing the roman numerals constitutes a "reimagining," hey, it's not the worst of Bay's crimes. But Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street is actually a terrific horror movie, creepy and fun with a far better hook than so many slasher series. Accordingly, the new Nightmare (not to be confused with New Nightmare, the last real Freddy sequel, which is old enough that it served as Wes Craven's dry run for Scream, which is about to be fourquelized) at least manages to scrounge up a hook its PlatDu sibs lacked, and not just not employing professional horror-drainer Marcus Nispel: hiring Jackie Earle Haley to play the new Freddy Krueger, presumably less quippy than when we last saw him, decapitated but winking at the camera at the end of Freddy vs. Jason. Unfortunately, everything else in the Nightmare ads points to the Platinum Dunes aesthetic: music-video covers of your favorite horror scenes; slick production values, no discernible personality, apart from the guttural voice Haley honed in Little Children, Watchmen, and Shutter Island. But Haley is there, so I'll be checking out Nightmare for his performance, and to suss out whether New Freddy is physically fit to fight New Jason.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bill Murray's Ten Rules for Happiness

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Bill Murray
This NY Mag piece, ostensibly a "guide" to eating dinner with Billy Murray (should you ever have the chance), is really just a cleverly framed item about the writer having dinner with the man during Tribeca. But you know what another framing device might've been, besides "What to Say to Bill Murray When You See Him on the Subway"?

"Bill Murray's Ten Rules for Happiness."

Here then, based on the account of a single dinner with Bill Murray, are those rules (in no particular order of importance):

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Tribeca Film Festival Dispatch: Visionaries

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Visionaries screens once more at this year's festival, on Saturday morning.

A dippy and earnest documentary about avant-garde and experimental film in America. Twenty-five years ago, the Emmy-nominated director of this film, Chuck Workman, made an eight minute collage of scenes from classic Hollywood films called Precious Images that won him an Oscar; so with appropriate inversion, he’s now made a documentary about the American avant-garde as a pedestrian, traditional talking-head documentary.

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Single-Function Site What The Fuck Should I Make For Dinner? Has Some Recipe Suggestions for You

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Lots of expletives on this single-function website What The Fuck Should I Make for Dinner?, which recommends recipes at random (usually from Epicurious) whenever you visit or hit reload. You can even click the "I Don't Fucking Like That." button and it'll suggest something else. It's like the Russian Roulette of cookbooks, but with a "skip" button.

What The Fuck Should I Make For Dinner?

There's even a vegetarian option! (NextRound)

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On the 2010 TIME 100 List's Empoverished "Artists" Section

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Ashton Kutcher Demi Moore P. Diddy
  • "You're leaving me and Jamie for this old woman!?"
TIME's annual list of 100 influential people they were able to find other influential people to write 300 words about was published today and, perusing the "Artists" section, almost every pairing of subject and author is very promising, and in most almost every case the result is very disappointing—Victoria Beckham, writing about Marc Jacobs, hasn't let me down this hard since Spiceworld.

P. Diddy on Ashton Kutcher is worth reading if only for this part, "for a while, with Jamie Foxx, we were a rat pack, hanging out, going to clubs," which evokes some really spectacular nights out with that trio, until: "I remember one night he was with Demi, maybe for the first time, and a couple of weeks later he called to tell me he was in love. That was the end of our clubbing." Aw... Bros before hos, Ashton!

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New Blog Rock That Font Is Dedicated to Album Cover Typography

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 3:24 PM

The three dudes behind Rock That Font take turns looking at beautifully-designed album covers and focusing our attention on typography. As seems all but obligatory in such a discussion, there's a long entry about Vampire Weekend, Wes Anderson and Futura, but they also treat more unexpected subjects, like the Psychedelic Furs' All of This and Nothing and its lowercase Univers. Obviously, a million suggestions for album covers whose atypical type should be discussed spring to mind, and here are a few:

typographic album covers

Got a favorite type of album cover? Let us know below. (TheDailyWhat)

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Times Exclusive: Racist Killer Has Several Friends of Color!

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 2:56 PM

The most naive man in the world, apparently, is Manny Fernandez, of the New York Times, who visits in a Long Island prison with Jeffrey Conroy, the local teenager just convicted of fatally stabbing a Hispanic man during a "beaner hopping" spree with his friends.

Mr. Fernandez is stunned, stunned I say, by the revelation that a convicted killer could have more than one side to his personality: He's boyish, he loves his family, he used to help out around the neighborhood and was involved in youth sports! (He's a lacrosse player, natch.)

Fernandez is also astounded by the seeming paradox of prejudice persisting unexamined in the mind of someone who knows several nonwhites. The story opens with an anecdote about that time that Conroy felt bad for a migrant worker, and contains many comically po-faced details: He "counted several Hispanics among his closest friends, including the girl he had been dating off and on for years, Pamela Suarez, who is Bolivian."

And I love this:

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Drake's "Find Your Love" is Some Serious Bullshit

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Or, to quote my favorite comment from over at Rap Radar, where you can stream the track, "I fucks with this song. But this shit ain’t no single to get drake poppin." Also, though: "I hate when the internet make people opinion up make your own opinion then go from there ……have your own set of ballz………" So go forth, everyone, and have your own ballz.

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Notes From America's Favorite Sport: The Montreal Canadiens Upset the Washington Capitals in the NHL Playoffs (Umm, Hockey)

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 2:17 PM

habs fans
  • Hate the sin... hate the sinners.
America cared about hockey for a brief week during the Winter Olympics... that was nice, but it didn't last long. But there is one thing America always cares about, no matter what the sport, and that's the underdog story... Which brings us to last night's hockey game, in which the very worst team in the playoffs, the Montreal Canadiens (16th out of 16) defeated the Washington Capitals (best team in the regular season) in game seven of their first-round playoff series. As upsets go, this one's pretty huge, pitting a team that barely squeaked into the post-season vs. a team that had only lost five games on home ice all season. It also saw the game's most exciting player, Alexander Ovechkin, up against a team not even sure who its starting goaltender was going to be; no one saw this coming.

How do I feel about this? Well, I'm conflicted...

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De La Soul to Headline 2010 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 1:47 PM

The best outdoor hip-hop show of the summer that doesn't take place at a stadium in New Jersey or Long Island is Brooklyn Bodega's Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, which they've just announced will be headlined this year by De La Soul. Last year the concert at the old Tobacco Warehouse in Dumbo featured Brooklyn MCs Pharoah Monch, Styles P and dead prez, but the Roots' Black Thought made a surprise appearance and really stole the show. That's not likely to happen when De La takes the stage along with an as yet unannounced set of supporting and opening acts. A quick check of my calendar confirms that the date of the show, July 10 (tickets on sale May 3), is a Saturday, so they had better open and/or close with this.


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Shakira Meets with Phoenix Officials to Discuss Arizona's Immigration Law

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Shakira is in Phoenix, Arizona today, where she'll meet with the city's mayor and chief of police, "to learn more about how the law will be implemented if it goes into effect this summer," the Associated Press reports, citing "Trevor Nielson, her political and philanthropic adviser."

I, too, would like my political and philanthropic adviser to get me a one-on-one with the Phoenix chief of police and mayor, giving me an opportunity to voice my concerns about the potential racial profiling implications of Arizona's terrible new immigration law. (I would also like to get a job as Shakira's "political and philanthropic adviser.") Arizona governor Jan Brewer could sadly not meet with the diminutive "Underneath Your Clothes" songstress, as she was, sadly, "booked."

The Colombian-born singer has in recent years been a more vocal advocate for social causes worldwide. She recently protested America's practice of detaining illegal immigrants, by dancing in a cage in the "She Wolf" video.

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Creditors at BAM: Marriage as Hand-to-Hand Combat

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Weeknight theatergoing: holders of $25 tickets to the upper gallery were ushered down to fill empty orchestra-level seats at last night's performance of August Strindberg's Creditors at BAM (in a production from London's Donmar Warehouse, directed by Alan Rickman). This was one time, though, that I wouldn't have minded a god's-eye view.

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Brooklyn State Senator Kevin Parker Calls Republican Colleagues "White Supremacists," Should've Gone Further

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 12:23 PM

  • A traditional Albany "circle of death" ceremony.
If there's one thing the American body politic can handle with intelligence and decorum, it's the deeply complicated legacy of slavery, specifically the latent injustices of a programmatically racist economic system and the grievances resultant thereof. Hahaha, totally j/k.

So when State Senator Kevin Parker (Brooklyn represent!) calls some of his Republican colleagues in Albany "white supremacists" for the way they interviewed a black Power Authority nominee (N.B. not a Black Power authority nominee), is anyone really surprised?

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MoMA and P.S.1 Name Artists for Next Month's 2010 Greater New York Survey of NYC Artists

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 11:53 AM

2005 Great New York at PS1
In a press release sent out yesterday, MoMA and P.S.1 announced the names of the 68 artists and collectives whose new and recent works will appear in this year's edition of their quintennial Greater New York show at P.S.1 (May 23-October 18), which is sort of like the Modern's response to the Whitney Biennial, except focused on local artists—although you'll notice quite a bit of overlap with this year's NYC-centric Biennial.

The full list is after the jump, but some names that immediately stand out are: abstract texture painter Tauba Auerbach, irreverent anti-art market collective The Bruce High Quality Foundation, parodic performance artists the Delusional Downtown Divas, video and video game artist Brody Condon, tape installation artist Franklin Evans, gender-performing video artist Kalup Linzy, choreographers and video artists robbinschilds and appropriation artist Hank Willis Thomas. The list technically isn't finalized, but...

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Tiger Woods Had Affairs with 120 Women

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Yup. Talk amongst yourselves.

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Goldman-Sachs, The Ben Greenman Musical

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Noted librettist and Literary Upstart spokesjudge Ben Greenman has focused his angry, angry sense of humor on the recent civil suit brought by the SEC against Goldman-Sachs i-banker Fabrice Tourre, who "spings" things like this:

When poor homeowners
Get the axe
We load gold
Into our sacks
We sell off short
And break their neck
Uh oh, look out
Here comes the Sec"

(I wonder what Harold Ross would've thought of these... Or hell, sometimes I wonder how Ross would've approached "blogging." Shit, can you imagine A.J. Liebling writing a food blog: "It was with some hesitation, and no small amount of engineering acumen, that I arranged myself at the high, shared tables of Momofuku Noodle Bar, tucking myself in shoulder to shoulder with fellow New Yorkers all desperate for... soup.")

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Area Youth Likes Skinny Ties and Early Jazz Fashion

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 10:33 AM

You Should Dress Like: Gordon
I really like the "You Should Dress Like" slideshow features about local youth who dress really well. Not necessarily because I am, in fact, going to start dressing like them, but rather because they remind me that fashion as art as personal expression is still a real thing (without which cities would suck).

So go forth, and dress like Gordon.

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Two Quotes About God from the Book I'm Reading Right Now

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 10:05 AM

"When one considers the soaring monument of art and toil and tears and song and love built up across the centuries in hope of God, one feels... what does one feel?"


"Please pass the Ajax Flavor-Sealed Canned Tuna that He hath sent us in His wisdom and His mercy."



Waiting for Bieber Tracks Twitter Users Begging to be Followed by Justin Bieber

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Justin Bieber is a young pop star about whom I know virtually nothing, even though I've recently watched him get his purple hat stolen like a latter day Harold and the Purple Crayon, and saw him bungy jumping in New Zealand, but the fans whose tweets show up on this comically Beckettian new website, Waiting for Bieber, must feel like they know him really well, because they have no qualms about begging and pleading for Bieber to follow them. (TheDailyWhat)

Waiting for Justin Bieber

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