What did you do in the war, Dad? In spring of 2006, Film Forum premiered Rialto's reissue of the long unavailable Army of Shadows, Jean-Pierre Melville's autobiographically informed epic of the French resistance, 37 years after it was released in France and nearly 33 years after Melville's death, and suddenly, the ineffable, geometrical, stoical cool of his gangster movies gained a personal resonance previously unimagined. Here, as in Bob the Gambler or Le Samourai or Le Cercle Rouge, were trenchcoated outlaws enacting macho honor codes with an understatement that you could call Zen—not because Melville was filling in a philosophical backstory for the fetishized gestures of American B-movies, but because resigned fatalism really is the only way to go when enlist for a war you've no choice but to fight and no chance to survive. Melville, an insurgent in his own country during the German occupation, didn't learn all his best moves from the movies after all.
Polish-American street knitter Agata Olek, whose work we spotted in Dumbo a couple months ago, brought a much more ambitious project to beautiful fruition for two precious hours yesterday before it was taken down and blanketed in snow: she covered Wall Street's "Charging Bull" sculpture in her trademark neon crochet patterns. This is easily the best thing that has ever happened in the Financial District ever. (ANIMAL)
Hey, it snowed. Here's what the streets of New York City look like this morning, as painted by young local artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
You know, let's not forget how fantastically political It's a Wonderful Life is. Frank Capra was a genius.
Merry Christmas you wonderful old town. (And a big "fuck you" to the Mr. Potters of the world—you know who you are.)
Yes, according to various traditions, it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And so, I offer:
"Santa's Secret Service Flies First Class, or An Alternative Explanation for Ocular Ruin"
A Christmas story consisting, like so many others, of total bullshit.
The blogging couple that keeps Garden Melodies recently posted their latest feat, a model of Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous work, the Fallingwater house in rural Pennsylvania. Daring and delicious, it cantilevers out over a Bear Run made of green icing. Yummy holidays everyone. (BoingBoing)
L.A.-based illustrator and former Pratt student Rob Sheridan creates creepy, clean, retro scenes filled with monsters, aliens, video game characters and children, some of whom meet unfortunate ends, like the tots in his seasonally (in)appropriate work above, "Presents Opening Children" (2010), which, BTW, is available as a print if you're looking for the perfect late-holiday gift. Inexplicably, you can't have it shipped pre-wrapped in a child. (DesignYouTrust)
You could almost call this movie Inspector Nick Charles: though it's peppered with minor profundities, it's an airy trifle—a warmly written and acted jumble of character studies. Claude Chabrol reportedly wrote this engaging, popular-appeal potboiler for star Gerard Depardieu who, now thick with age (and a nose like Karl Malden, mon dieu!!), plays a famous-but-retired police detective pulled into a Chandler-esque mystery, filled in with fleshed-out characters—as per usual with Chabrol, the story is far less important than the people in it. (The story includes a lot of fraternal bickering, sibling rivalry with a no-good brother who, in the film's best joke, arrives in the middle of the night with ominous Tchaikovsky music blaring...from the taxi! "Could you turn that down please?")
Oh Holiday Inn, you're so good:
Antawn "Big Boi" Patton was in town last night in support of one of the best albums of 2010, but when he, his DJ and hype man took the Terminal 5 stage around 9:35 they launched into a feverish medley of songs from at least a decade ago. Big Boi tore through a suite of classic Outkast tracks, barely pausing between "ATLiens," "Rosa Parks," "So Fresh, So Clean," "Mrs. Jackson," "B.O.B." and others, much to the delight of a very young, very white and very drunk audience that seemed more familiar with Stankonia than Sir Lucious Leftfoot—I've honestly never seen so many fights at a hip-hop show before, not even at a raucous Alkaholiks show four years back. Last night's set was a simple three-man show, spinning from early Outkast to recent solo material and points in between for just over an hour.
Its restaurants wouldn’t receive one-sixteenth the attention they get if so many food writers and bloggers didn’t live there or nearby. There are better places to eat in Red Hook, Downtown Brooklyn and in unfashionable Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge. The stomping ground of subsidized slackers who spend fortunes trying to look poor, Williamsburg needs a one-year media blackout. Maybe it will encourage restaurants to prepare themselves for real-world scrutiny.
Yes, I know it gets tiresome when we continuously champion our favorite chefs, but I just had to share this series of videos I recently found on the internet. In them Jason Marcus, executive chef of Traif, one of the L Mag's top five Brooklyn restaurants of 2010, makes his delicious bacon donuts for one Josh Ozersky. Now, I used to work with Mr. Ozersky over at the sadly defunct Feedbag and he is not one to lavish hype on hip new Brooklyn restaurants. He did, however, seem to enjoy his puffy donuts that had been sprinkled with bacon and served with coffee ice cream.
Indiewire's annual film poll, which started a few years ago to pick up the alternative press's stock-taking slack during a transition period for the Village Voice film section, now shares an overwhelming number of its voters with the reconstituted Village Voice Media poll, so it's no surprise that both indiewire's voters (of which I'm one) and the VVM's have picked
Fincher's Sorkin's The Social Network as the year's best. (The usual suspects—Edgar Ramirez, Jacki Weaver, etc—are the same in the acting categories as well.)
The more interesting stuff is going on in the margins.
So great, they watch it every Christmas in Sweden. Seriously.
Finally a good break from hectic weekdays..
I would normally agree with the other comments on this board. Or I'd simply stop…