Friday, December 31, 2010

"Remember, No Man is a Failure Who Has Friends." Happy New Year! [cries]

Posted By on Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Yup. Happy New Year.

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New Year's Resolution Generator, Obviously

Posted By on Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 2:13 PM

New Years Resolution Generator

The fortune cookie-like suggestions on the timely single-function site, New Year's Resolution Generator, range from the completely pathetic (see above), the yawn-enducingly practical ("This year I will floss"), the oddly specific ("This year I will eat a whole tomato like an apple") and the potentially lifestyle-upending ("This year I will carry a purse"). Need to make a resolution? Try it out. (TheDailyWhat)

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So Overwrought it Sinks Like a Stone

Posted By on Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 12:18 PM

stone.jpg
The Best Of lists are finished; the polls, voted in. But Henry Stewart is still scrambling to catch up with some of the movies he missed in 2010, at least so he can tell you whether to bump them up in your queue or feel guilt-free for deleting them. Today, the last day of 2010, he discusses John Curran's Stone.

The cynical Stone is set-up like those neo-noirs John Dahl used to make in the 90s, except it’s stripped of any and all urgency. It does, though, retain the high-minded pretension toward something more meaningful that you’d get from, say, The Last Seduction. In this case, it’s an exploration of sin—its roots and its costs, themes underlined by the frequent snippets of religious talk radio smeared on the soundtrack. AM chatter is one of the pleasures enjoyed by Robert DeNiro’s parole officer; another is illicit intercourse, which he gets from an affair he reluctantly enters with the sexpot wife (Milla Jovovich, in the panty-less, Linda Fiorentino femme fatale role) of one of his cases (Edward Norton).

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Year-End Movie Typography Treat: The End Titles of Every MGM Movie Between 1925 and 1970

Posted By on Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 11:31 AM

MGM End Titles

Last year the Movie Stills Collection posted an epic assemblage of every "The End" title from Warner Bros. movies available on DVD from between 1924 and 1967, and now, just in time for The End of 2010, the Collection's curator, Christian Annyas, has done the same with every available MGM end title from between 1925 and 1970. The one above, with its view of Times Square in the early 40s (from, hint, a film that co-starred Joan Blondell and Lana Turner) seems especially apt. Enjoy "The End" of 2010. (DesignYouTrust)

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Uncanny Visions on Creepy Tumblr Muppets With People Eyes

Posted By on Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Muppets With People Eyes

Mike Lacher, the internet humorist behind The Michael Bay-ifier and other funny websites, used his spare time on Christmas eve to launch the creepy childhood nightmare Tumblr Muppets With People Eyes, in which furry puppets' beady eyes are replaced with realistic human eyes, like some terrifying Hans Christian Andersen about a girl who becomes trapped inside her favorite doll or, scarier still, Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Or it's just a funny-stupid Tumblr where obviously fake puppets acquire incongruously realistic eyes. (TheDailyWhat)

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Porn-Erasing Artist Stephen Irwin Dead at 51

Posted By on Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Stephen Irwin
Stephen Irwin, a Louisville, Kentucky-based artist whose work (pictured) has been represented by Lower East Side gallery Invisible-Exports since 2008, was found dead at the Louisville art collective Zephyr Gallery on Monday morning. A member of the group for about a decade, Irwin has an exhibition on view at the gallery through tomorrow, and was found there by fellow artist member and longtime friend Chris Radtke when she arrived around 11am on the 27th.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Will Ryman's Rose Sculptures to Sprout on Park Avenue

Posted By on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Will Ryman Park Avenue roses

Bowery-based sculptor Will Ryman, whose large, rough-hewn figurative sculptures have become increasingly visible over the last ten years, will be planting some of his trademark roses on Park Avenue in his first public art show early next year.

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Art Heist That Sounds Funny: Three Swedes Convicted of Munch Theft

Posted By on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Munch Theft
Munch theft—which sounds like one of those Trix-y, Lucky Charms-like, Sugar Crisp-ian cereals wherein a spokes-creature or group of sugar-high children have to steal their breakfast in increasingly hallucinatory cartoon commercials—is the crime of which three men have been convicted in Sweden, where they stole three paintings from the Malmo Art Museum, including one by dorm room poster staple (and really amazing proto-expressionist symbolist painter) Edvard Munch. CBC News reports that the museum hadn't even noticed the theft until, in October, police found the paintings while investigating another crime. In addition to Munch's "Two Friends", which is valued at $1.5 million, the three thieves (only one of whom will serve jail time, a mere six months at that) made off with works by Swedish painters Gustaf Rydberg and Paer Siegaard. Their names, though, don't lend themselves quite so perfectly to cerealization. (ArtForum)

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Have You Seen This Awesome Timelapse Video of the Blizzard Yet? It's Awesome

Posted By on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 10:53 AM

So, yeah. I'm pretty sick of talking/reading about the snowstorm. This timelapse video of the blizzard, filmed in Jersey by Michael Black, however, is really cool.

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.

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Broadway About to Go Really, Really Dark: 14 Shows Closing in Next Three Weeks

Posted By on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Dark Broadway
Every January many Broadway productions close after the holiday ticket sales binge, but the number of recently-flopped and long-running shows dimming the lights for good in the next three weeks (especially on January 2) is pretty unprecedented. Maybe the disaster-prone box office glutton Spider-Man musical scared them away. This will also enable a slew of new shows opening in February to make the deadline for Tony nominations. Here's a nice list of all the productions about to end their runs, in case you have generous relatives coming into town this weekend who want to take you to a Broadway show.

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The Leopard: The Party Where You Cry

Posted By on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon are very, very good-looking.
  • Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon are very, very good-looking.
Starting New Year's Eve and continuing through the 13th of January, Film Forum presents a new print of The Leopard, Luchino Visconti's 1963 adaptation of the Prince Giuseppe de Lampedusa's classic novel.

The Party Where You Cry—we've all been there, but chances are we weren't shedding tears for something so grave as the death of an entire class structure and way of life, like Burt Lancaster's melancholy Prince Don Fabrizio Salina. The ball scene that comprises The Leopard's full final third is justifiably famous, and the purplish claret, tawny flames in vintage candelabra, and fading frescoes look better than ever in this ravishing new restoration (cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno approved the process, which makes his Technirama compositions bloom again). "Straddling two worlds and ill at ease in both," the Prince stands helplessly by as Italy in 1860 moves toward Garibaldi's revolution and unification. In awe at the Leopard's graceful deportment and dignity, you mourn with him.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Street Artists Create Dumpster-Diving Santa Installation

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Luzinterruptus Santas installation

Wanting to remind Madrid's more fortunate of the city's increasing homeless population and the municipal government's recent outlawing of taking food from the trash (€700 fine!), Spanish street art collective Luzinterruptus created this dumpster-diving Santas installation on the evening of December 23. Photographer Gustavo Sanabria tailed them through central Madrid during "Shopping With Santa," showing Mr. Claus engaging in all kinds of naughty behavior. So much for street art's rampant consumerism. (unurth)

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The Pleasant Familiarity of Red Riding: 1974

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 1:56 PM

redriding1974.jpg
The Best Of lists are finished; the polls, voted in. But Henry Stewart is still scrambling to catch up with some of the movies he missed in 2010, at least so he can tell you whether to bump them up in your queue or feel guilt-free for deleting them. Today, he discusses Julian Jarrold's Red Riding: 1974, which he was pleasantly surprised to learn not only stars Andrew Garfield, but features a supporting turn from Eddie Marsan!

As an archetype, the private detective is a relic—even for stories set in the early '70s. The closest we come in this age is The Investigative Journalist, which is why, in Red Riding: 1974, it's the scruffy cub reporter (Andrew Garfield) for The Yorkshire Post who takes the Marlowe-grade beatings and torturings from crooked cops when he gets Too Close To The Truth.

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Helpful Charticle Distinguishes Between Street Art and Graffiti

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Graffiti vs Street Art

The distinction between street art and graffiti has always seemed like a bit of a line in the sand (or, um, a tag on a subway car?), but this chart mapping the brains of prototypical graffiti writers and street artists is about as concise and cynical a breakdown as one could hope for. See the full-size version here. (GOOD, RepresentLondon)

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The Longest Snow Day Ever

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Dear Reader,
As you surely have no doubt noticed, things have been unusually quiet around these parts over the holidays. I will cite a deadly cocktail of post-Christmas depression and endless snow as the reason for our blogging lethargy (well, except for the office android Benjamin Sutton 3000); and as I do so, I will forewarn you that we're not likely to get a whole lot more prolific as the New Year approaches, because most of us are busy planning our outfits. See below for footage of one of our editorial meetings over the break.

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Blue Valentine: Ryan and Michelle's High School Wedding

Posted By and on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Blue Valentine
Hey, it’s Mutual Oscarbation, our awards season feature in which Benjamin Sutton and Henry Stewart find out what sorts of movies Academy members are watching in the Future Room. This week they become very blue watching Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine.

STEWART:
Ben, I've been struggling for roughly 48 hours over whether or not I should say this out loud, whether or not I'll calm down with the passage of time. But in the days since we saw Blue Valentine my enthusiasm hasn't waned: Ben, I'm as riveted watching Ryan Gosling act as I am watching Brando in movies from the 50s! I'm not kidding you, man! If you had asked me last week to make a list of the best acted American movies of all time, it would have been a bunch of Elia Kazan films; if you asked me today, Blue Valentine might have knocked Baby Doll off the list. For real!

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Your Last Weekend at the Movies of 2010/First One of 2011

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 9:01 AM

There is no life situation to which a quote from Happy Go Lucky is not in some way applicable.
  • There is no life situation to which a quote from Happy Go Lucky is not in some way applicable.
Another Year: "Another year" perfect describes my intent to see a Mike Leigh movie. So far, I never have. A Netflixed copy of Happy Go Lucky is on my coffee table as we speak. My wife totally saw Topsy Turvy. I've heard Naked is tops [You heard right. -Ed.] and I've seen plenty of Woody Allen-sounding-or-resembling movies that probably aren't as good as Secrets and Lies (I don't know if the movie itself resembles Woody, or just the title, because I haven't seen it [It doesn't. -Ed.]). This one sounds a touch less kitchen-sink miserable than some of the other movies I've avoided for the past ten years, which allows me to think: hey, maybe I'll give this one a shot. Is it possible that I will? Yes. What would I bet on it? Hmm, how about this copy of Happy Go Lucky [No dice: already own it. -Ed.]?

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stalking Prospect Park's Doomed Geese

Posted By on Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Group Poop
  • Group Poop
While walking the dog through Prospect Park on an afternoon just before Christmas, I passed the Peninsula, where several dozen geese were milling about like grade school students before the morning bell. We walked over to find out what was up, and discovered that this wasn't their afternoon hanging-out spot—it was their post-lunch pooping grounds! Have you ever seen geese poop?

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The Guilt-Ridden Rapper: Top 5 G. Dep Songs

Posted By on Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 2:37 PM

G. Dep
G. Dep, the Harlem-based rapper who released his uneven but promising major label debut Child of the Ghetto on Bad Boy in 2001 before disappearing from the scene, made headlines again earlier this month when he confessed to a shooting in 1993, not knowing that the victim had died from his injuries. Now he's facing 25 years-to-life in jail. Too bad; he was a pretty good MC.

1. "Danger Zone": G. Dep's homage to his Harlem 'hood (like the same-named Big L track) was an amazing showcase for his monotone voice and internal rhyme-filled verses.

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Dogtooth's Infinite Allegories

Posted By on Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 12:43 PM

dogtooth.jpg
The Best Of lists are finished; the polls, voted in. But Henry Stewart is still scrambling to catch up with some of the movies he missed in 2010, at least so he can tell you whether to bump them up in your queue or feel guilt-free for deleting them. Today, he discusses Giorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth, which, he believes, is the only Greek movie he has ever seen.

What if someone rewrote The Village so that instead of terrible, it was engaging, challenging, maybe a little mysterious? In Dogtooth, three semiologically scrambled children have been raised in a fortified, isolated house where they're taught that "telephone" means salt shaker and "sea" means arm chair. They exercise, re-watch home videos of themselves, and test each other's endurance (e.g., how long can you keep your finger under boiling water?). And the boy, at least, has mechanical intercourse with an outsider, a prostitute, brought in by their mad industrialist father.

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