Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wanda, a Landmark for Woman Filmmakers and the New American Cinema, at MoMA Tonight

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 8:58 AM

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Barbara Loden's perpetually rediscovered Wanda plays tonight at MoMA as part of their annual festival of preserved and rescued films; it'll be introduced by Sofia Coppola, Jan-Christopher Horak of the UCLA Film & Television Archive and Margaret Bodde of The Film Foundation, and will be followed by a Q&A with the film's cinematographer and editor, Nicholas Proferes, and UCLA preservationist Ross Lipman.

American women have come a long way, baby, as that annoying cigarette ad used to say, so if something’s holding one of us back these days, it’s as likely to be an internalized barrier as an external one. But those internal barriers can be the hardest ones to get past. All that conditioning most of us get to put other people’s needs first and sublimate our own desires makes it hard to map out and stick to a path. As Kathryn Bigelow told 60 Minutes, when she was asked why there are still relatively few female directors making feature films: “I think the journey for women, no matter what venue it is—politics, business, film—it's a long journey.”

So it’s no wonder a lot of people treated Barbara Loden the way Samuel Johnson did female preachers (“the marvel is not that it was done well, but that it was done at all”) when she released Wanda in 1970: After all, she was the first woman since Ida Lupino to direct a major American feature. But, as a lot of cinephiles now know, this still-obscure movie is actually done very well. An emotionally honest character study of a woman sleepwalking through her own life. Wanda looks at a type often encountered often in life but rarely seen in the movies.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Late August, Early September Is at BAM Tonight and You Should See It

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 4:53 PM

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Briefly: Late August, Early September, which plays tonight at BAM as their Assayas retro winds down, is the kind of movie you kick yourself after seeing for the first time, for not having had it in your life before now. The title refers less to the movie's time frame (it actually spans a year) than its mood—like Ozu's many seasonal films, it's an elegy with an airy touch (the light-sensitive cinematographer is Denis Lenoir, who most recently shot Carlos for Assayas, and the quietly ruminative music is by Ali Farka Touré), as Assayas follows a dying novelist (Francois Cluzet) and the circle of old friends and former lovers around him and his de facto executor (Mathieu Amalric, just breaking out). What's nearly unique (and singularly marvelous) about the film is its way of letting you learn new things about the people in it—their relationships, their pasts, what their characters portend for their futures—in every scene. It's a fully living organism—which is to say, a dying one.

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Chart of Candy Hierarchy Causes Sweet Debate

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Candy Hierarchy

Knowledgeable person and self-appointed junk food authority Ben Cohen's "Candy Hierarchy" chart (cropped above, in full after the jump) purports to rank candy bars from the best of the best (which includes Milky Way, really?) on down to the absolute worst (I dunno, Extra Strength Tylenol is kinda wonderful), a useful index with Halloween only a few days away, despite its flaws.

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The People in Your Neighborhood: Travis Johnson of Grooms

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 3:37 PM

In real life, he has eyes. We swear.
  • In real life, he has eyes. We swear.
Hey, it's The People in Your Neighborhood, our new recurring feature where we talk with notable local figures about their favorite people and places in the neighborhood they call home! In hopes that you find out you like the same things/places as a notable figure! Today we hear from Travis Johnson, singer/guitarist in Grooms, a Brooklyn-based band we've loved since they were called something other than Grooms. They play tonight at Death By Audio, along with Japandroids, A Place to Bury Strangers and Duston Wong.

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Follow LMagMusic on Twitter, Win a Vinyl Copy of Avey Tare's Excellent New Album, Down There

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 2:44 PM

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For the past few years, we've been doing all of our tweeting through one main L Magazine twitter account, @TheLMagazine, but now, for those of you who might be looking for something a bit more specific, we've set up @LMagMusic, where you'll get alerts about all The L's music-related content, plus much, much more. For example, you might learn about what I, Mike Conklin, like to listen to on Sunday mornings, or about some new Brooklyn band that Lauren Beck is obsessed with even though they've only been together for three days. If we're lucky, maybe Klingman will even tell you about what's new with all the dark, scary, keyboardy stuff he likes so much. We'll also be reporting from shows, probably live-tweeting shitty awards ceremonies, and definitely giving away lots of free stuff.

Which reminds me: Thanks to the good people at Carpark Records, we're giving away one copy (on vinyl, of course) of Down There, the debut solo album from Animal Collective's Avey Tare. It officially hits shelves today, and it's very good: I've got a review of it in the issue of The L that comes out tomorrow, but I'd say it's deserving a few ticks higher than the 7.9 it got over at Pitchfork yesterday. If you're interested, here's what you'll need to do:

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More CMJ: Photos of The L's Party at Our New Favorite DIY Venue

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 2:12 PM

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Free music, and at a place where paper lanterns hang from the ceiling. I wish all Saturdays were like this. We put photographers Christina Tse and Nadia Chaudhury to work capturing a few of our favorite local (counting Jersey and formerly NYC-based) bands who played Live at the Pyramids for The L's CMJ party on Saturday. Lots of pictures after the jump and even more over at our Facebook page.

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Norman Foster Explains Flashy New Bowery Gallery's Elevator

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Sperone Westwater on the Bowery
Last month former Meatpacking District art space Sperone Westwater threw open the doors to its massive new palace on Bowery, one block north of the still prettier New Museum, further cementing the Lower East Side's status as New York's second-most-important neighborhood for contemporary art (sorry, Soho, UES and 57th Street). The building, designed by British architect Norman Foster's firm Foster + Partners, features a glass facade revealing the bright red elevator or "moving room" inside. Foster discusses the "Wow!" factor of having visitors step directly into an elevator shaft, and the integration of Guillermo Kuitca's inaugural exhibition into the moving space, after the jump.

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Just Bear With Me Here: The Twelve Best Images from "Rock Week" on Dancing With the Stars

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 12:50 PM

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As I've discussed here a few times in the past, one of my favorite things in the entire world is when people who very, very clearly don't know anything about rock music are forced to act like how they think people who like rock music might act. It makes for some of the most unbearably cringeworthy shit you will ever see—like my go-to image of Celine Dion playing air-guitar, or the dreaded "Rock Week" episode they do every year on American Idol. Well, last night, Rock Week came to Dancing With the Stars, and it was a gift that just kept giving and giving and giving.

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Great Artists Who Died Virgins, According to the New Yorker

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 12:13 PM

This guy never had sex.
  • This guy never had sex.
In last week's New Yorker, Adam Kirsch's fine review of the almost hilariously dire poetry of Giacomo Leopardi notes of the scoliosis-stricken 19th Italian Romantic that

"His deformity effectively barred him from having any sort of romantic life, except for the few unrequited loves recorded in his poems, and he probably died a virgin."

(Emphasis added.)

Noting that the subject died a virgin, or probably died a virgin, is a surprisingly frequent trope among New Yorker critics! Dig:

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2011 Venice Biennale Gets Convolutedly Capitalized Name, Venetian Godfather

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 11:30 AM

venice biennale
Over the weekend the 2011 Venice Biennale's power-rankings-leaping curator Bice Curiger announced broad thematic details of next year's event:
La Biennale is one of the world’s most important forums for the dissemination and “illumination” about the current developments in international art. The title of the 54th Exhibition, ILLUMInations literally draws attention to the importance of such developments in a globalised (sic) world.

Meaning... lots of light and video art by international artists? Okay... The choice of a Venetian artist as symbolic emblem of the high-stakes show makes a little more sense.

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Dancing About the Drug Wars: A Chat with Kickstartable Choreographer Gabriella Barnstone

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 10:22 AM

The local choreographer and director Gabriella Barnstone is currently soliciting contributions via Kickstarter to support her dance theater piece Nuevo Laredo, which will debut at Dixon Place next spring. We emailed with her about the piece and the pitch:

In what ways can dance portray current events in general?

I think dance can portray current events in the same way any medium of art can—by bringing something to light and maybe looking at it through a different lens. So whether or not the drug wars in Mexico have been on someone's radar, by coming to see this piece they will either perk up their ears, or come to think about it in a way that may be different from reading about it in a newspaper or listening on the radio.

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Jim Campbell Explains His Flickering Madison Square Park Installation

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Light artist and electrical engineer Jim Campbell discusses his brand new sculptural installations, Scattered Light, which just went up and switched on in Madison Square Park. This will look so amazing when it snows! (ANIMAL)

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Private Bus Service Actually Means No Bus Service

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 8:56 AM

This is what the livery vans looked like, which may have also contributed to nobody wanting to hop in for a ride.
  • This is what the livery vans looked like, which may have also contributed to nobody wanting to hop in for a ride.
This summer, the Taxi and Limousine Commission sought livery vans to pick up the slack, and passengers, along now-defunct MTA bus routes; after a month of operation, the Brooklyn Paper reports, two of the three pilot routes have already been discontinued, due to nobody riding them.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Hell Yea! Cyprien Gaillard Wins Top Prize for French Contemporary Artists

Posted By on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Cyprien Gaillard
Paris-born, Berlin-based 30-year-old artist Cyprien Gaillard (pictured), a personal favorite whose monumental video work "Desniansky Raion" (2007) you may have sat and watched, as though hypnotized, at the New Museum's Younger Than Jesus exhibition, and whose tiny photo-essays can currently be seen in MoMA's The Original Copy exhibition, won this year's Prix Marcel Duchamp on Saturday at the FIAC art fair in Paris. ArtInfo reports that the young video and conceptual artist upset favorites Céleste Boursier-Mougenot and Camille Henrot to take the €35,000 prize, which also comes with a solo show of new work at Paris's Centre Pompidou (the national museum of modern and contemporary art) to open in September 2011. This year's jury was presided over by the Pompidou's director Alfred Pacquement. Check out a couple of his awesome video works after the jump.

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Freddy's Bar Rises from the Dead, to be Reborn in South Slope

Posted By on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Oh good. Atlantic Yards casualty Freddy's has finally found another home. The beloved Dean Street institution (seriously, a working bar for over a hundred years) will relocate to South Slope, Fifth Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets, to be specific.

Suck it, Ratner.

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Hell, Yes! Flowery Facade Facelift for New Museum

Posted By on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Ugo Rondinone and Isa Genzken at the New Museum

An inside source told Hyperallergic that Ugo Rondinone's iconic "Hell, Yes!" (2001, above left) sculpture, which has adorned the facade of the New Museum's new Bowery building since it opened in December of 2007, will be coming down next month to be replaced by Isa Genzken's "Rose II" (2008, above right) in December. The 62-year-old German artist's stainless steel, aluminum and lacquer flower, as you can probably tell, is huge (26 feet tall to be exact), although very much in the same Pop-ironic vein as Rondinone's rainbow-shaded sculpture, no? How about some Anselm Kiefer up on there?

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Filmed in Brooklyn: Your Bored to Death and Boardwalk Empire Recaps

Posted By on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Zoe Kazan
  • Zoe Kazan, possibly somewhere in Brooklyn.
Bored to Death
Season 2, Episode 5

The team behind Bored to Death is certainly having fun—but, in the same way I wish it of the central characters, I wish the show would take itself a little more seriously. Maybe I’m missing the point, especially if the point is simply to send up popular NYC stereotypes—poking fun at them while demonstrating that most clichés, especially the ones well worn, possess some element of truth. This week, we have overreacting stroller derby Brooklyn moms, down-and-out Indian limo drivers, six degrees of Kevin Bacon, and the ringing death knell of print journalism.

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CMJ vs. #Offline Fest: Or What We Learned This Weekend About Music and Branding

Posted By on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 2:11 PM

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Ok, having slept for like, a full day, let’s dust ourselves off and talk about Pitchfork’s #Offline Festival, what it suggests for the future of CMJ, Pitchfork, and for novelty purposes, the state of live music in 2010.

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New Tumblr Things Organized Neatly Appeals to Our Obsessive Sense of Order

Posted By on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Things Organized Neatly

The same principle behind our beloved Bookshelf Porn Tumblr informs Things Organized Neatly, an elegantly structured found photo blog filled with images of all types of objects placed prettily, carefully, and just so. (TheDailyWhat)

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10 Pieces from the Met's Collection for the Police Art Classes

Posted By on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 12:50 PM

For five years now, Amy Herman has been teaching a class called "The Art of Perception" to law-enforcement agents of every level, from the Secret Service and CIA on down to the NYPD. CBS tagged along with Herman and a group of detectives during a recent visit to The Met, and though they spent most of their time looking at a John Singer Sargent, we can think of at least ten better pieces from the Met's collection for sharpening police's perceptions.

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