Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Next Madison Square Park Artist, Jaume Plensa, Getting Big-Headed

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Jaume Plensa Sculpture Madison Square Park
While we're still digging the shit out of Jim Campbell's pixelicious lightbulb video sculpture installation in Madison Square Park (on view through February), ArtDaily drops news that the next artist to take New York's most high-profile public art venue has already been selected: Barcelona-based sculptor Jaume Plensa. Specifically, the Spaniard will be installing a new site-specific sculpture titled "Echo" (quite similar to "Dream," pictured), which will be a 44-feet-high head of a 9-year-old girl, slightly squeezed. What will a giant white head look like plunked down in the middle of Madison Square Park? Probably exactly like the Photoshop facsimile we just whipped up, right after the jump.

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IFC Center Flooding the Zone with Year-End Releases of Foreign Films

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 3:57 PM

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As The L's film section gears up to run our individual writers' Top 10 Lists (coming next week!) and our second annual film poll (coming in January), I, The L's film editor must make difficult and important decisions about what films are eligible. This year, as we hope to "engage the reader in a conversation," we'll stick to films that've seen a theatrical release, and wait for next year for major festival titles set for a 2011 theatrical bow—this is a fairly standard policy with polls, though in recent years indie distributors, trying to decorate films with valuable year-end critical laurels, have borrowed a strategy from studios chasing Oscar eligibility, giving late-breaking, sometimes limited-run theatrical openings to festival favorites, the idea I guess being to that if critics who loved Hunger or 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days at Cannes and Toronto and NYFF don't get to vote for it the year of its festival run, it'll be buried in next year's release calendar.

I don't really like this strategy—not everybody gets to go to Cannes, or even NYFF (especially at The L, where even I have to pick my spots)—but I see the appeal. (If I recall, voters in the indiewire poll were mostly just confused.) This year, The IFC Center is doing something a little different, offering buzzer-beating runs to five subtitled movies (so far), mostly from IFC Films, less to make the most of 2010 fest-circuit momentum than as now-or-never propositions for films that are mostly leftovers.

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Teachers Apply for Cathie Black's Old Job

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Can anyone account for her whereabouts the night Batmans parents were killed?
  • Can anyone account for her whereabouts the night Batman's parents were killed?
Several educators have applied for the chairperson of the board gig at Hearst Publications—the job opened up by Cathie Black, whom Bloomberg recently tapped to lead the city's schools, despite her lack of education experience. The stunt was organized by the Green Party. "I feel confident that Hearst Publications will grant a waiver and accept my application," former-lieutenant governor candidate Gloria Mattera said in a press release. "To help get me up to speed, I have already gone to the library and checked out several books on how to publish a magazine."

It's all very funny, but this is of course a very serious matter.

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An Ode to Wolf Parade, Before They Leave on "Indefinite Hiatus"

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Cold chilling, like theyll be after they go on hiatus
  • Cold chilling, like they'll be after they go on hiatus
Word came yesterday that one of Montreal's finest indie-rock megabands — not that one, the other one — will take a break for an undetermined length of time after they play a few last gigs in early 2011. While this presumably means more outputs from co-leaders Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner's side projects, Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs, this still hurts. I'm hurting. I fear the worse: that since 2005's universally praised Apologies to the Queen Mary, Wolf Parade has generally gone under-appreciated by the masses, and the band will eventually stop caring. They'll lose each other's addresses and grow their hair long (it's already happening!) and will never again join together to record another album reminding us that rock music can be both off-kilter and full throttle. To cope, let's watch a few of their career highlights in chronological order, yes? Yes.

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Bright Eyes to Play Radio City in March, Presale Starts Tomorrow

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 1:59 PM

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Word comes today that on February 15th, after a three-year absence, Bright Eyes are set to return with a new full-length, their seventh, entitled The People's Key. They've got two shows scheduled right now—one of them is at The Royal Albert Hall in London, and the other is right here at Radio City Music Hall, on March 9th, with Superchunk and Wild Flag (Have Bright Eyes signed to Merge, you think?). Tickets range from $25-40, and the presale starts tomorrow at noon, when "a limited number" of tickets will be available. The general sale is on Saturday at 10am.

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Pee-Wee Drops by Kenny Scharf's Bowery Mural

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Kenny Shcarf and Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens) at Bowery and Houston

Yesterday one aging emblem of never-ending childlike wonder visited another when Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman, in leather) dropped by the corner of Bowery and Houston, where Kenny Scharf (in hoodie) was hard at work and nearing completion of his new mural. Curbed was on the scene to watch two worlds of nostalgia collide.

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Cash-Strapped Domino Developer Responds

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Before the holiday break, we reported that the developer behind Williamsburg's gargantuan Domino development, CPCR, might not have the money to move forward, and might be forced to seek a new business partner. The project's spokesman, Richard Edmonds, recently responded.

“As we’ve always said would be the case for the construction phases of the project," he wrote in an e-mail, "we’re in the process of raising funds and seeking a development partner."

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Meet Your 2010 Bad Sex in Fiction Winner ("Like an Otter Through Wet Sand")

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Not entirely surprising, this.
  • Not entirely surprising, this.
Hearty congratulations to Rowan Somerville, who last night in London was crowned winner of the Literary Review's annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award for 2010, on the perhaps inevitable merit of passages in his novel The Shape of Her. He beat out nominees including the overenthusiastic former Blair spin doc Alastair Campbell, and Jonathan Franzen, for at least one passage in Freedom I can think of (it involves a bathing suit wedgie).

The Bad Sex in Fiction Award did consider a work of nonfiction for the first time, the Guardian reveals in its report, looking closely at Tony Blair's new mem before concluding "that the passage was too brief to merit it."

The winning passages from Rowan Somerville's The Shape of Her, courtesy again the Guardian, after the jump. It may be slightly NSFW, unless your W is a S place for rhythmically seesawing verbs and copious animal similies:

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Win Tickets to the 2nd Annual BK Hookup Naughty Office Holiday Party

Then go home and watch Die Hard by yourself when you don't score!

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

The most acclaimed Christmas movie of all time.
  • The most acclaimed Christmas movie of all time.
It’s that time of the year when it’s perfectly okay to flash your colleagues and drunkenly hit on your boss. And like a true Christmas miracle, the BK Hookup is back for their 2nd annual Naughty Holiday Office Party, hosted by our friends at Fucked in Park Slope and people we don’t know at all at Eaters Digest NYC. Pose with sexy Santas for naughty Christmas card photos and get free rubdowns from massage therapists that will be making their way through the crowds. Watch out for $3 Busch beers to keep you feeling frisky all night. If that’s not hot enough for you, Josh Greenfield of EverydayAppetite.com will have his sandwich bar up to keep you energized, and DJ Car Stereo Wars will be blasting tunes all night to keep you in the mood. Tickets are $10 in advance at Ticket Web, and $12 at the door, but we’re giving away five pairs of free tickets. All you have to do is tweet us your sexiest hookup story: in 140 words or less, of course.

FIPS and Eaters Digest NYC Present:

BK HOOKUP'S 2nd Annual NAUGHTY HOLIDAY OFFICE PARTY

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 8, 7-11PM

THE BELL HOUSE

149 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY

(718) 643-6510

thebellhouseny.com

And Here's David Lynch's Debut Chilwave Single

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 11:06 AM

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I prefer his earlier collaborations with Angelo Badalamenti (a bit of which you can see here beginning at about 5:30), frankly, but "Good Day Today," which David Lynch has just dropped, apparently, is at least a passable iteration of recent trends in rudimentary retro synthpop-textures given a mellow effects wash-over. And his usual sense of cryptic lyrical yearning is evident in the lyrics. Did he auto-tune his vocals, or just sing them backwards and rewind them? Be sure to listen at least up until the "Paper Planes" part at 2:03.

I swear to Jesus H. Christ in a glass box on Wyckoff Street that this is a real thing, and not just content reverse-engineered by the will of SEO algorithms made animate.

Good Day Today by threeminutesthirtyseconds

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And Now, Because It Exists, Let Us Watch The Walkmen Cover "Holiday Road"

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 10:32 AM


We were devoted fans of The A.V. Club's Undercover series around here, and to our delight, they're at it again—only this time, rather than forcing bands to choose a cover song from a pre-assembled list, they're simply requiring that whatever song they choose be somehow related to Christmas. For the first installment, they've got The Walkmen covering "Holiday Road," and it's a perfectly enjoyable introduction to the series, what with the Santa hats and all. Now that I think about it, though, they would have been much better off with one of the more melancholy Christmas songs, like, say... this. Also, I really hope someone covers this. And this, obviously. And also a million others, which we'll talk about quite a bit in these next few weeks. I am already crying.

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The Rare Khrustaliov, My Car!, a Furious Cataract of Stalinist Memory, Screens Tonight

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 9:47 AM

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Tonight at BAM, Light Industry continues their "couchsurfing" tour of like-minded venues (they're in the process of moving) with a screening of the late-Yeltsin-era classic Khrustaliov, My Car!, introduced by the redoubtable Kent Jones, of the World Cinema Foundation.

Packed like a cannon with all manner of satiric shrapnel, hubbub, terror, brio and Surrealist invention, Alexei German Sr.’s fabled, never-released-here 1998 monstrosity Khrustaliov, My Car! was only the fifth film the neglected Russian master made in 40 years, but if you were to distill out his films into character threads, narrative secrets and visual energy, you’d have the equivalent of a busy Soderbergh-sized oeuvre. Absurdist to the point of derangement and inhabited like a madhouse, the film touches down, like all of German’s, as a Soviet memory, of 1953 on the eve of Stalin’s death, and a bustling snow-covered village where the anti-Jewish purges are ongoing, and where a livin’-large Red Army general (Yuri Tsurilo) becomes targeted for inevitable Gulag exile.

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Street Artist The Tailor Uses Cab Doors as Canvases

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 9:01 AM

The Tailor Street Artist

Our new favorite street (road?) artist goes by The Tailor and turns the cab-hailing silhouettes on New York City taxi cab doors into famous people and characters, including Karl Lagerfeld, Mr. T, Zeus, Waldo, Wonder Woman, Lady Liberty (pictured) and so on. It's like bombing rich people's subways. Have you seen of his/her/their work riding around town? (ANIMAL)

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Retired Electrician Announces He Owns 271 Picassos; Art Theft Agency Seizes the Lot

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Picassos
  • "Bonjour. I run a DIY gallery from my house that deals exclusively in early-20th century Picassos."
Pierre Le Guennec, 71 (pictured), a retired electrician who lives humbly in Mouans-Sartoux, a small town above Cannes in the South of France, had his collection of 271 Picassos authenticated by the artist's estate back in September, after which the estate sued and accused him of theft, and the French anti-art trafficking agency swooped in and seized the works in October. French paper Libération reports that Le Guennec worked for the modernist painter during the last three years of his life, installing an alarm system for him. The electrician has claimed at times that Picasso gave him the works, including Cubist collages, figure studies, small paintings and more (Libé has a nice slideshow), and on another occasion that his widow Jacqueline Picasso gifted them to him. The collection is valued at about $79 million, or approximately 929,411 and three quarters electronic home security systems, which should be more than enough to keep a snooping electrician from stealing an old man's art. (ArtInfo, images courtesy AFP/Getty Images, Libération)

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We're on iTunes Now, and You Can Be Too!

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 3:29 PM

The L Magazine is on iTunes!

Tired of not being available in the iTunes store? Single-function site Now on iTunes offers the next best thing: a customized, linked, illustrated and typographically accurate semblance of you (or anyone/thing/place) available on iTunes. Some surprising new arrivals in the iTunes store: MC Jesus, Bill Gates, The Sarkozys, The L and, of course, iTunes. (TheDailyWhat)

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Beautiful James Franco and Anne Hathaway to Host Oscars, Beautifully

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 2:37 PM

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Every year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, mindful of the competition Hollywood faces from cheaper home-viewing options and the distractions of other media, uses the Oscars to remind us how much we love the movies—usually by running montages of favorite clips. "You like movies, don't you? Sure you do," is the message underlying these 3-minute compendiums of beloved past winners, or horror films, or historical dramas, or whatever.

But the best advertisement for the movies are movie stars themselves. The best part of the Oscars—aside from the in-memoriam montage, obvs—is the otherworldly beauty and effervescent good-humored charm of major Hollywood stars, who all get together to share inside jokes as they celebrate each other, upon the completion of another successful year of representing America's most hopefully deluded image of itself. This is why people like watching the Golden Globes: it's like the Oscars but with stars of film and television getting drunk and friendly, just like us. The Academy seems to have taken note of all this: this year's Oscars will be hosted by the famous, young, beautiful and frequently smiling James Franco and Anne Hathaway. We predict that they will be very likable.

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L TV: At the Housing Works Fashion for Action Party

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Housing Works rules. They may just be our favorite charity in the city (c'mon, you can buy supercheap books, clothes, furniture, all for a good cause: fighting AIDS and homelessness). So, every year they have a big ol' fashion bazaar bonanza in which over a million bucks worth of stuff goes on sale for 50-70 percent off. It's all about the deals, people. We sent videographer extraordinaire Emmanuel Cruz to check it out.

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Brooklyn Heights Cinema Owner Arrested in Half-Million Dollar Fraud Case

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 1:31 PM

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Last week, federal prosecutors in Manhattan arrested Norman Adie, owner of the Brooklyn Heights Cinema (and former owner of the Pavilion in Park Slope), charging him with securities and wire fraud. It's alleged that Adie attracted $530,000 in investments for an expansion of the Henry Street twin cinema—plans were to add two more screens, and possibly to add multiple stories of condominiums—but instead shuffled the money between accounts, using it "on personal expenses and to keep his struggling theaters afloat." (He also owns a couple of screens in Pennsylvania.) Which is both surprising and maybe sadly unsurprising given the realities of indie film exhibition in the city right now.

In January of 2008, the Brooklyn Paper reported on the Brooklyn Heights Cinema's expansion plans:

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Filmed in Brooklyn: Boardwalk Empire is Almost Over, and That's Ok

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Boardwalk Empire
Boardwalk Empire
Season 1, episode 11: “Paris Green”

In Boardwalk Empire’s penultimate season one episode, we learn—minus any fanfare—that the Commodore is Jimmy’s father. That Jillian was 13 when the affair took place (and that Nucky was essentially her pimp) flavored this disclosure with a tasty bit of scandal, but at this point, it’s difficult to care. The discovery that someone has been poisoning the Commodore is pretty juicy, but the setup—a victim we barely know; suspects (like Jillian) we have only just learned had access to the Commodore—reads more like the opening scene of murder-mystery dinner theatre than the climax of a long dramatic season. (For the record, I think (hope?) the maid did it—she tried to take away that bowl of biscuits that Jimmy blames for making him sick). Believing along with everyone else that he is inches from death, the Commodore tells his son that “the wrong man is running Atlantic City.” Now that he is resurrected, how will the Commodore act on his belief?

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L Mag Missed Connections: Did You Write Me a Handwritten Letter? Are You From Jersey?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 12:01 PM

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  • The key to NYC magazine success is wearing your shoes on your hands.
A little bit of housekeeping here:

About two months ago (?) I received a rare thing at the L Magazine offices—a handwritten letter. It was from a nice young man in New Jersey who was interested in getting into the writing game, specifically, I think, the magazine side of things. It was a good letter, and in the end he really just wanted some advice from me, as someone who's allegedly "made it"—advice I was more than happy to give (uh, be talented and work hard?).

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