Saturday, February 28, 2009

Listology: 50 Greatest Active Directors pt. 1, 50-41


This is the first of five installments in which i put my own twist on the Entertainment Weekly travesty. I present to you directors #50-41. Feel free to disagree.


50. TONY SCOTT- Seems a little strange? I'll concede. He's certainly made his fair share of superfluous fluff (Deja Vu, for example), and yet he gets a strange amount of defensive praise from cinephiles for his intensely cut-up editing and frequently recognizable visual style. He directed the deliriously high-strung Domino, brought us a lush goth vision in The Hunger, and took on a Tarantino script with True Romance.


49. ROBERT RODRIGUEZ -Rodriguez is a man with a style and a goal, he makes live action cartoons and presents viewers with entertaining visions of a world just beyond our own. He's done this for adults in Sin City, Planet Terror, and the Mariachi trilogy, and he's even stepped down to offer up over-the-top popcorn flicks for kids. Basically, if EW throws Zack Snyder mid-list, they should pause to consider the road paved by Rodriguez's adaptation of Sin City.

48. MIKE LEIGH - This English writer/director is renowned for "kitchen sink realism" and an austere dramatic sensibility that likely stems from his theater background. He consistently pulls nuanced performances from the actors he chooses to work with and delivers definitive character studies such as Happy-Go-Lucky, Secrets & Lies, and Naked.

47. WERNER HERZOG - I'll admit it, i'm no bandwagon leaping Herzog fanatic. I prefer Fassbinder when it comes to German New Wave, but recognize Herzog's contribution to art house cinema with operatic themes. Aguirre, the Wrath of God was pretty alright.

46. JUDD APATOW - Entertainment Weekly put him way up there, which is absurd, because technically Apatow is perhaps more of a talented producer as opposed to a director. However, that being said, through cult television and films like 40-Year Old Virgin, Apatow has become a tremendous influence for the rest of Hollywood, and may even have dramatically altered the romantic comedy genre. Seriously.

45. THE WACHOWSKI BROTHERS - They're like the real dorky version of the Coen Bros., or something. You might think, what else did they do other than bring us The Matrix and that Speed Racer movie? Um, they brought you The Matrix. That's enough. You may be jaded now, but remember in 1999 when that came out and revolutionized the industry? Remember? Yeah. That's visionary like a special effects Citizen Kane.

44. SALLY POTTER - She managed to faithfully translate Virginia Woolf's Orlando for the screen and soon will bring us Jude Law in drag. Potter's films are vivid art pieces and painfully detailed tableaux. Too bad her films are few and far between.

43. HARMONY KORINE - His films are like extended versions of pieces you might see in a contemporary art museum: surreal, strange, frequently uncomfortable, and often beautiful to behold. I'd put money on him being a Criterion collected director a good decade+ from now.

42. TODD HAYNES -Todd Haynes has a few problems with focusing his stories. His movies tend to get wrapped up in including superfluous scenes and tangential plots that probably shouldn't be there, but are so intriguing on their own they would be difficult to cut. He's already brought us kaleidoscopic rock projects with I'm Not There and Velvet Goldmine (both flawed, but stunning) and slickly shot America fables Far From Heaven and Safe. I can't wait to see what he does next.

41. JOHN WATERS - No one makes trash cinema like Waters. No one. With his own unique brand of camp, he magically transforms films that would otherwise go into an automatic scrapheap, into playfully satirical works of comededic brilliance. Waters blends the cloying with the ultraviolent the perverse with naive sensibility and the remarkably clever with the incredibly stupid.


Back in the Day #4: Monica

Ah yes, 1998, a time when Brandy was still in the public eye and producing chart toppers like catfight duet "The Boy is Mine" with then 18-year old Monica. Monica was positioned to rocket into the pop stratosphere, with a triple-platinum album, Grammy nods, and a string of hits, but somehow managed to fall to the wayside (she's released 3 albums since, with a 4th in 2009, but i'll be damned if i can name a song past "Angel of Mine"), as did Brandy.

But before that, in between the two aforementioned tracks, there was "First Night". With it's "Love Hangover" loop and seemingly anti-sluttist message, i ate it up as a piece of polished pop ear candy on numerous occasions as my fellow high school level math geniuses and i ironically rode the short bus back to the middle school day-in day-out. Ah yes, our bus driver was all over B96, and didn't bother to switch stations when 'dirty' tracks like Monifah's "Touch It" came on the air to corrupt our virgin ears. Those were the days of huddled giggling and listening to one wise girl explain, as if we couldn't figure it out, what Monica was referring to when she sang "i don't get down on the first night". Gasp.

And the video, don't you love the combination of fish eye lenses, baggy pants, tight t-shirts, light up floors, and back-up dancers? Takes me back.

Really? Come on...


Proving that pop stars may not be the most intelligent breed on the planet, Rihanna and Chris Brown have supposedly reconciled and are back together. Right. Brilliant. Some unidentified source that People.com tracked down made this dimwitted statement: "They're together again. They care for each other. While Chris is reflective and saddened about what happened, he is really happy to be with the woman he loves."

Maybe it was Kanye. After all, he publically asked folks to give Chris a break and followed the plea with this confusing jumble of idiocy spit out during the taping of VH1's "Storytellers": "Michael Jackson, amazing. Michael Phelps, amazing ... He's a real fuckin' person; he makes mistakes...O.J. Simpson, amazing. Is he not? What he did, when he did, what he did. Was he not amazing, though?" [source] I mean, how else can we explain domestic abuse? Oy. Bad move.

RIP: Defamer


Hollywood-based entertainment blog Defamer has been gobbled and has been folded entirely into sister publication Gawker. The blog had been in slow decline following the departure of founder Mark Lisanti and heavy competition from sleazier TMZ and Perez Hilton fare.
Eh. Not much to say here. [Defamer]

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Real SanTIgold


































If you haven't heard....which i hadn't, until just now....Brooklyn-based electro-rapper (or whatever you'd like to call her) Santogold is no longer "Santogold" and is instead now officially "Santigold". The artist, best known for "L.E.S. Artists" (big hit overseas) off her self-titled 2008 debut album, released a statement reading "Santogold is now Santigold. She's not telling you why, that's just how it is."

The Guardian reports that Santogold was sued by Santo Gold, supposedly some sort of jeweller/low-budget filmmaker/"infomercial-based salesman" who has since released a rather appalling song in which he purports to be the "real" "one and only" Santo Gold. Um, ew?

The vastly superior Santigold, born Santi White, has wasted no time making the necessary changes. All album art, etc has been easily altered to read Santigold.

Novelty Treats: Drum Set!

Some music guy named Ron Winter made a drum set that just happens to be excellent for wasting time and entertaining oneself like a four year old loose on the interwebs. So, type away. I can't guarantee it's as satisfying as Buffy's Swearing Keyboard, but it's definitely more work appropriate...if typing to produce noise is work appropriate at all.

Trailer: The Informers



I dig Bret Easton Ellis (author of American Psycho, Less Than Zero, etc), unabashedly, no matter where academia stands on him. There's just something about the way he blends sex, drugs, and nihilism that speaks to me, or warms my twisted little heart or some shit. So when i heard they were adapting The Informers for the big screen, i was fairly excited. I thought, "yes, i could use a good 80's hedonism story right about now". Who couldn't? Anyway, there's finally a trailer, and it looks pretty decent.

ANTM Now Accepting Previously Exiled Short People

Yes, Tyra Banks and her high-camp reality show America's Next Top Model are still on the air. In fact, cycle 12 premieres March 4, and i have to admit i will (as per usual) be watching it. In traditional ANTM form, the launching of a new season signifies the start of filming for the next season. Only this time, there's a little twist.

ANTM has, for several all 12 cycles, made a point of accepting all sorts of models. Plus size, transgendered, the works. Everyone that is, except for short people. We're no good. In fact, the casting call eligibility requirements have specifically requested that only girls 5'7" and taller show up. Funny, since Kate Moss herself wouldn't make the cut. That said, Cycle 13 will, at long last, BE OPEN TO SHORT PEOPLE and nationwide casting begins this Saturday.

If i wasn't some sort of supposedly serious grad student (and didn't have issues with on camera nudity) i might actually consider showing up for the hell of it. It always looked like fun, all the photo shoots, crazy make-up, bitchiness, and swag. I always wondered if i had someone else always taking care of my deranged hair if maybe i could manage to look presentable. Posing is another story...

I'll take lessons from Coco Rocha.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Novelty Treats: Drew Struzan

Did you ever see Xanadu? Not the brilliant stage adaptation, but the Olivia Newton-John disaster? You know how the roller skating protagonist has a job painting movie poster billboards? Drew Struzan is sort of like that guy, only, you know, he doesn't paint the literal billboard, he just makes pre-poster film art and his career has probably been severely damaged in the age of Photoshop. You know his work, too. You know it well. He's the guy responsible for the instantly recognizable poster/cover art for dozens upon dozens of massively epic popcorn flicks (particularly in the 80's & 90's), but almost no one knows his name. Talk about being taken for granted.

Now you know Drew Struzan, the master of replicating Harrison Ford's face in paint. You can even buy his work. He's having a gallery retrospective at Nucleus in Alhambra, CA.

Hit the jump to see some other familiar Struzan images.

















































Yeah, Harry Potter. Acrylic and colored pencil, bitches.













A Fanboy's triptych


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Entertainment Weekly, You Effed Up!

So last week Entertainment Weekly put together this bogus list of the 50 Greatest Active Film Directors and every single cinephile on the planet stood up in collective opposition and yelled out "Entertainment Weekly, Imma Cut you". True story. It is, without a doubt, one of the worst and most insulting definitive lists i have ever seen put out by an otherwise credible source. It was likely the pet project of some teenager who works in the mail room. It is so bad, in fact, that i have delayed responded because i couldn't look at it. Why? Well, to begin with....

- It omits Terry Gilliam, Mike Nichols, Gus Van Sant, Werner Herzog, Lars Von Trier, and Michel Gondry.

- It puts Jon Favreau, Zack Snyder, Sam Raimi, and Judd Apatow on the list, and that's not all....they're ahead of Woody Allen, David Lynch, Wes Anderson, Spike Lee, David Cronenberg, Miyazaki, ETC.

-J.J. Abrams...with his like 2 film credits, is on the list. Yes. Mission Impossible: III really must have been some kind of fucking masterpiece to beat out the guy that brought us Blue Velvet.

- They completely screw over the auteur directors in favor of blockbuster standards with little vision. A couple good movies does not a great director make.

- Ugh. Just hit the jump to see the list for yourself. My own, revised version will be posted soon.

(Source Pt. 1)
(Source Pt. 2)


ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's 50 GREATEST ACTIVE DIRECTORS

1. Steven Spielberg
2. Peter Jackson
3. Martin Scorsese
4. Christopher Nolan
5. Steven Soderbergh
6. Ridley Scott
7. Quentin Tarantino
8. Michael Mann
9. James Cameron
10. Joel and Ethan Coen
11. Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth was good, like a more refined Devil's Backbone but what else? Not much.)
12. David Fincher
13. Tim Burton
14. Judd Apatow (I'd argue he's a better writer/producer than director)
15. Sam Raimi
16. Zack Snyder
17. Darren Aronofsky
18. Danny Boyle (Pre-Slumdog, they never would have let him get this far)
19. Clint Eastwood
20. Ron Howard
21. Ang Lee
22. Paul Thomas Anderson
23. Paul Greengrass
24. Pedro Almodóvar
25. Jon Favreau
26. Woody Allen
27. Brad Bird
28. David Cronenberg
29. Sofia Coppola
30. Bryan Singer
31. Sam Mendes
32. Mel Gibson
33. The Wachowski Brothers
34. J.J. Abrams
35. Alfonso Cuaron
36. Hayao Miyazaki
37. Mike Leigh
38. Oliver Stone
39. Roman Polanski
40. Spike Jonze
41. Richard Linklater
42. Spike Lee
43. David Lynch
44. Wong Kar-Wai
45. Wes Anderson
46. Mira Nair
47. Andrew Stanton
48. Michael Moore
49. Mary Harron
50. Sidney Lumet
And here is the rest of it.

Trailer: Lesbian Vampire Killers

I think they found the best possible way to advertise this little B-movie that (unsurprisingly) has all the fanboys buzzing. In fact, i think the trailer is pretty hilarious, which is why i'm presenting it to you now.

Fabolous Busted, Y'all Can't Deny It

The Arkansas law seized approxiamately 500-lbs of pot from a tour bus supposedly escorting rapper Fabolous from Phoenix to Boston, though Fab reportedly wasn't riding the drug mule at the time. Two other men were arrested, however, who insist the massive stash is the property of the rapper and that it was he who had loaded it all into a locked compartment with $6,500 in petty cash. (Source)

500-lbs? That's like a mountain. What kind of compartment are we talking about here? The place where you put your luggage under the bus? What's he planning on doing with that, make piles like Tony Montana with cocaine? Or is the economy so bad that signed musicians are resorting to dealing drugs?

Back in the Day #3: Masterboy

Oh man, who loves some awful Eurodance music? You? Good. Cause it's time to recall (or, more likely, introduce) German group Masterboy and their nonsense song "I Like to Like it" with some vocalist called Anabel Kay who (we can assume) is the blonde lady in this video. Yes, it has a video! With some sort of flying watermelon! And rocket ships! And an incredibly douchey looking guy with part of his hair dyed cherry red! Who knew? Not me!

But I like to like "I Like to Like it", do you like to like "I Like to Like it"? Maybe we all like to like it.

Anyway, this used to be one of those songs with no radio play during the day, but that was mixed in excessively during after hours programming. You know, when the Top 40 stations all suddenly become your one-stop source for bass pounding techno and where they still, inexplicably, seem to use Sonique's "It Feels So Good" for everything? That. For awhile, actually, i didn't know it was a real song. It was like a one minute loop that seemed to exist only in radio land. Internet music sites, in 2000, had not advanced to the point where it was incredibly easy to type a lyric into google and find the title of the song, so "I Like to Like It" was a figment that lived on as an earworm in my head. Of course, now it lives on a playlist with other random tracks by Technotronic, Erika, and William Orbit. Oh, 2000.

I Don't Like It: Harem Pants



If you saw any photos from the runway shows at New York Fashion Week, you may have noticed that the 70's/80's Redux is continuing...and now we're recycling the absolute worst parts of it. Really, the parts everyone jokes about they will now be wearing. Quick, everyone, scour the thrift stores for all the crap that usually gets left behind.

Don't know what i'm talking about? A summary: Marchesa is pimping brightly colored jumpsuits with unattractive bows. Marc Jacobs showed a bright pink jacket with heavy shoulder pads that screamed "Tess McGill, wear me!". And Donna Karan? Well, they look like, no, they are the belted jackets my mother wore around the time of my birth. Holy jesus.

The worst part? This is merely an extension of the showings last fall, and thus the offending items are already trickling into stores near you. If you open the March issue of Elle, inside you will find things worse than Jessica Alba. You will find a solid 10 or so page trend report of vomit-inducing resurgences. The shoulder pads. The grandma purses. The Harem Pant.

Yes. Harem Pants. They're back. Surprise! On the Elle website, there's actually a style tip section called: "How Can I Make Spring's Slouchy Trousers Work For Me?"

My Answer: YOU CAN'T.

Elle's Answer: "But that's the beauty of them: They're unique enough that you don't need anything else to look chic. You're the girl rocking those cool pants in a roomful of boot-cut denim and overly thought-out accessories! That's a very cool thing to be." (Source)

OMG. OMFG. zOMFG. You're joking, right? First, i remember the last time this happened, and thankfully i was young enough not to be a part of it (though i did have my fair share of patterned windbreakers as a child, bad scene) and looking back, it's like we made it through a small apocalypse. Thus, i, for one, will not be participating in this trend. Hell to the naw.

When an item of clothing can be described (by fashion rags, not me) as having a "Paper-bag waist" it is not a good thing, ladies and gentlemen. These pants, with their billows of fabric, low slung crotches, and pegged legs will not make you look "coltish" and "long-limbed" (especially if you're short). They will make you look like MC Hammer possibly wearing a diaper. Thus, you know the only people who will wear these pants are tall fashionistas, and ironic-minded hipsters (Case in point: Silence & Noise already offers a slightly more tailored version of the Harem pant available through Urban Outfitters) who will (let's face it) wear anything ugly in an effort to look painfully chic (it only works sometimes).

Don't do it. If you ignore it, it will go away. This is like a gateway drug to a word of hurt. Harem pants lead to a photo album full of bad outfits that you'll be looking at in 2020 and seriously regretting. Think of future you.

Love & Squalor,

Wilde.Dash.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Random: Stiller & Portman

Ben Stiller pulls a well-timed Joaquin Phoenix. Gold.

Our Lady of Pallor

Forget the Lanvin sacks, Tilda Swinton is on yet another ritzy glam rag doing her part for avant garde fashion as art in Another Magazine's focus on British designers. The woman isn't human. This is why we love her. Note to Hollywood...you are not using the Swinton to her full potential.

Hit the jump. Click on the photos for the full image.







Superficial: Best of the Red Carpet

Yes. Like every other person on the planet, i'm going to commence gushing about a bunch of actresses and their party frocks. What do you want from me? I'm a girl who's easily distracted by sparkly objects. Besides, this year's Oscar fashions rocked it pretty hard.

My fave? Previous Best Actress winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) in piles of black tulle and dark sequins. Can it be my wedding dress? Yes. Am i getting married? No. I might have to pull a Liz Lemon and psychotically buy this so it can double as an overpriced ham napkin.

Hit the jump for Anne, Penelope, Tina, and more.....


Tina Fey in shiny shiny Zac Posen. Definitely the most glam she's ever looked for an awards show, though she's squinting a bit here. Loved the introduction to the screenplay awards by her and Steve Martin.

Penelope Cruz in vintage Pierre Balman. As Tim Gunn noted, this dress is practically twice as old as Penelope herself. It's classic. Very old school. Very Grace Kelly.

Anne Hathaway in Armani Prive, lookin' like a mermaid. Nice!

Comedic actress and Lady Apatow, Leslie Mann, brought some heavy metal to the Oscars.


Benjamin Button's mom, Taraji P. Henson, in Cavalli. A little boring, but classy and pretty. The necklace makes it all worthwhile...though i must say i found her red carpet personality a little grating.

WILD CARDS:
I love this Rodarte dress. I just don't love it on Reese Witherspoon. Darker hair, maybe...

Lanvin again, but, where Tilda and the Red Carpet meet....this is definitely an improvement. I'd never wear it, but i'm not her.

Miley Cyrus looks like Christmas. True story. Like, a snow covered fir tree. This outfit is getting slammed hardcore, but i actually think it's a good choice for the young pop tart and is a rather gorgeous gown ruined by the addition of that heinous belt. No belt? Sold.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Knee-Jerk Reaction: Oscars


30-minutes over, but i'm not complaining. The Oscars was every bit the spectacle it should be and then some.

Love: The stage construction, on-deck orchestra, crystal curtain, and shifting screens.

Supporting Actress nod for the deserving Penelope Cruz.

Hugh Jackman's happy-go-lucky (yet slightly silly) hosting antics.

The intimate round table presentation of the acting awards.

The beyond brilliant movie making process storyline & presentation of the (usually) less than thrilling technical awards.

Judd Apatow's short film for 2008 Comedy.

Ben Stiller as Joaquin Phoenix. Unexpected. Possibly his best performance in years.

The gushing cult of Meryl. That woman deserves it.

The overwhelming number of sequins. I don't normally do this, but i really feel a best dressed post coming on....


Not Loving: Sean Penn beating out Mickey Rourke for Best Actor. Really?

The weird and rather uncomfortable "musical is back" song and dance number, and Best Song cut up. Beyonce & Hugh Jackman don't make a great team. Also, singing selections from Grease while razzle-dazzled out just doesn't work. Awkward...

Incredibly awkward: Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black presenting the animation awards. Bad jokes, shaking hands, I almost felt bad for Aniston as she humiliated herself while directly in the regal line of sight of Brangelina. Also, who thought having someone present an award that they're actually involved with was a good idea?








Friday, February 20, 2009

Random: Man on Pole



This is a pole dancing man. He likes pole dancers so much he actually wants to be one. He set up a pole in his basement/garage/house and videotapes his practice sessions. Then his wife calls him to dinner. They had pot roast.

Whaaaaaaaa?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seen and Heard: Telepathe



Brooklyn, NY's Telepathe (pronounced Telepathy) delivers quirky soundscapes with semi-sinister images. Their album Dance Mother is currently only available overseas, but there's little doubt hipster USA will soon change that. Check out the video for "So Fine", but ignore that wig. That's just unexplainable.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Trailer: Lymelife



Culkins! Every time you've given up on them, they resurface. Look for Macaulay on NBC's upcoming show Kings. See? They're back.

Oh, Chuck...

From the March issue of Bazaar, I give you Chuck Bass and Mrs. Robinson (Ed Westwick and Helena Christensen). I love it.

The question is, who's seducing who? My vote goes to Chuck. Jailbait!

Hit the jump.







Love, Love

The first images of inaugural issue of Love have surfaced online in time for Fashion Week, and it looks as fabulous as anticipated.

Love is the new project of Pop editor Katie Grand, who's gone maverick from an already maverick publication probably in an effort to prove to you that she remains far edgier than you, tragic hipster. Quelle surprise. Like Pop, Love is once again biannual, and will likely be on the pricey side of subscriptions. Sigh. Le sigh. Le massive sigh. Ugh, wallet, please fill thyself.

Hit the jump for some web-scoured page scans from Love.




[Source]

Trailer: Observe and Report (NSFW!)

I was attending a conference last week that basically had nothing to do with any of this, so that's my official excuse as to why i'm late on posting the NSFW red-band trailer for Seth Rogen's new darkly comedic Observe and Report aka: the superior Paul Blart.

Here's a sparkly sparkly sketch of the snazzy blue Kodak Theatre set-up for this Sunday's Oscars. Dear Hugh Jackman: I expect your tux to match the drapes. There will be dancing.

Random: Pride and Predator

It's probably pretty safe to say that Jane Austen and the heroines she created were no match for Ellen Ripley. They may be masters of social decorum, but etiquette will not help them when vicious 8-foot creatures crash into their manor houses. In a game of Who Would Win in a Cage Match, i would usually think it a safe bet to argue that 19th century English ladies would be fucked over properly during an alien invasion...


...However, soon, we'll be finding out for sure. The Guardian is reporting that Elton John's production company (yeah, who knew?) Rocket Pictures is developing a movie i wish i'd thought of first. That's right, ladies & gents, get ready for Pride & Predator, directed by some sort of unheard of genius named Will Clark (he made the short The Amazing Trousers).

The concept seems to be exactly as you would expect. Monsters invade from space. Austen-y ladies take up arms. Hell yes.

Producer David Furnish had this to say: "It felt like a fresh and funny way to blow apart the done-to-death Jane Austen genre by literally dropping this alien into the middle of a costume drama, where he stalks and slashes to horrific effect," [SOURCE]

While there's no word on whether or not the film will actually feature Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy fending off aliens with pitchforks and revolvers, i'm fully behind that, and advocate an alteration of the novel's opening line to "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a .50 caliber rifle and Carl Weathers."

I somehow doubt that the film will make use of the actual Predator monster, but I wholeheartedly approve if it does. Who knows? Predators are humanoid, and while they would certainly do their share of hunting and flaying, perhaps a proper English welcome could turn them to the other side.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Back in the Day #2: Meredith Brooks



Oh, Meredith Brooks. Forget her massive hit single "Bitch". Even though i (and quite possibly every person within 15 years of my age) have done my share of in-car belting to that particular song, i never really liked it. I mean, let's face it, "Bitch" was not so much good listening as it was the musical equivalent of all those glitter stickers and self-branding t-shirts the late 90's/early 00's were famous for. Every girl was like, hell yes, I am a 'bitch'. I am a 'sinner', a 'saint', a 'diva', a 'goddess', 'sexy', a 'disco queen', and _________. And yes, if you must know, i am a tremendous bitch. Also, a disco queen. However, i did little teenage identifying with the song simply because i objected to the way it sounded (which was, essentially, like Alanis Morissette, who i despised utterly and completely from age 11 on). It was boring. So while i may have been a bitch, i had no interest in being a boring one.

So, i ignored Meredith Brooks. Which was fine, really. But she had this other single, right? That single was "What Would Happen". Now, it's not an incredibly memorable song, but it is better than "Bitch", and so, every couple years teenage me would remember that this song existed and go through brief periods of listening to it. Not once, not twice, but kind of a lot. For about a week or so. I would catch it like a cold. Ya know.

No elaborate details or anything, but when one is a rather dorky 16-year old girl and one has a crush on a boy, the song "What Would Happen" is like some sort of anthem to your hypothetical relationship. Like, "What would happen if we kissed?" Fuck, what WOULDN'T happen!? THE.WORLD.WOULD.IMPLODE. And we would be like one and it would be like perfect and OMFG ________ would be jealous. MULTIPLE EXCLAMATION POINTS. Ok. My thought process wasn't exactly like that, because at that age i read a lot of Ayn Rand, but you get the point: this song was inadvertently made for the day dreams of acne-plagued teenagers.

It's still a decent song, fairly seductive in a 90's teen movie way. And i'm still pathetic with the opposite sex. Plus, the video (which i don't think i'd really ever seen) features an oddly creepy male model type clutching at his coat like he's young Snape or something.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Trailer: Inglourious Basterds (!!!)



Oh shiz, it's finally here...the teaser trailer for Tarantino's WWII bloodbath Inglourious Basterds!
Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a Nazi movie i can get behind.

Excuse me while i go geek out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Novelty Treats: Hello Kitty + MAC




MAC has teamed up with beloved cartoon cat Hello Kitty to create a line of sickeningly charming cosmetics & accessories that i can't help but want in spite of myself. MAC, who has previously created lines with/for Barbie, Fafi, Heatherette and currently has a Dame Edna collection, has stamped the It-Kitten's image on everything from nail lacquer to powder blush.

There's little doubt that adult women will be the ones sure to make these the must-have items of the season. Go for it. Embrace your inner child.

Seen and Heard: Empire of the Sun


Tripped-out psychedelic Aussie band Empire of the Sun makes songs that sound a bit like MGMT and elaborate videos that look like Tarsem Singh, the musical. Fronted by Luke Steele (formerly of The Sleepy Jackson), i'd say they're one to watch. I'm digging the overall result's 80's fantasy/sci-fi vibe and incredibly lush mad-cap theatricality, even if it veers a bit towards the preposterously cheesy.

The above video is a new one for their track "We are the People", hit the jump for their first video "Walking on a Dream".

.

Thank You, Ron Rosenbaum


Slate.com writer Ron Rosenbaum has penned an extensive and scathing article on why Kate Winslet's Nazi flick, The Reader, might be a contender for the "worst Holocaust film ever made" title. Finally, someone has pinpointed exactly what left me antsy and uncomfortable with the film (and most Holocaust-themed works in general) and its undulating, unceasing praise.


While i don't think The Reader has a shot in hell at actually winning Best Picture, its nomination leaves me bitter enough. Now with reasons other than the movie's mediocrity and conception as simplistic Oscar-bait! And more fiber! Thank you, Ron Rosenbaum, for providing me with the ammunition i required.


Read the article. You're not illiterate like Hanna.

Monday, February 9, 2009

RiRi's S.O.S


19-year old R&B singer Chris Brown and mega-pop star girlfriend Rihanna dropped out of their Grammy performances last night after Brown turned himself in to Los Angeles authorities and was arrested on assualt charges in the wake of a domestic dispute early Sunday.

It has since been revealed that Rihanna herself was the assault victim and identified Brown as her attacker. Details on her injuries are unknown, but according to Radar Online, the singer was seen being wheeled in on a gurney and was later heard "screaming" and "crying", while her staff was "very shaken".

Brown was charged with making criminal threats and has been released on $50,000 bail with a court date set for early March.

Personally, i'm pretty alarmed by this bombshell and hope that if the reports are true, Rihanna is wise enough to ditch this relationship FAST. Abuse is not cool, kids. Not cool at all.

BAFTA


In case anyone has been doubting that Slumdog Millionaire is going to take home Best Picture at the Academy Awards in two weeks, i've got some additional supporting evidence for you.

The film took home the BAFTA (that's the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award) for Best Film this weekend and also picked up trophies for Best Director (Danny Boyle), Music, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Sound and Cinematography.

Oddly enough however, while it was also nominated in the Best British Film category, it lost to James Marsh's documentary Man on Wire. Interesting, no?

Also taking home awards were the usual suspects: Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler (Lead Actor), Kate Winslet for The Reader (Lead Actress), Penelope Cruz for Vicky Christina Barcelona (Supporting Actress), and (of course) Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (Supporting Actor).

For the full list, click here.

Grammy Run Down



The best thing about last night's overblown Grammy Awards? Definitely Radiohead's performance of "15 Steps". They took home an award for Best Alt. Rock Album of the Year, but were beaten down for overall Album of the Year by the terrible twosome of Robert Plant & Alison Krauss. Ah well, who really pays attention anyways?

Dare i ask, where were Radiohead's other three band members? Am i missing something? Were they lost somewhere in the USC drumline?

Also, check out the one-night only formation of the "rap pack" - Jay-Z, Kanye, T.I., and Lil Wayne with very pregnant bouncing ladybug M.I.A.


Otherwise, the Grammy's were, as per usual, rather dull and random. Apparently at some point they handed out these awards, though it was difficult to tell when these things happened.

Additional questions i have:

1. What was with Katy Perry's fruit-theme? And was it just me or was her singing and dancing on par with Britney's notorious "Gimme More" number?

2. Were Coldplay's Sgt. Pepper outfits necessary? I'm gonna go with no. Especially when Chris Martin's lady Gwyneth Paltrow was clad in a killer sparkle mini-dress.

3. Someone please, please, please explain to me how Lil Wayne can beat out folks like Jay-Z & Lupe Fiasco. Please. I so do not understand.

4. Bono took his glasses off. Underneath them he had on heavy eyeliner. He's not a man who pulls that off well. Thoughts?

The full list of winners is here.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Novelty Treats: Kinky Cameos


New York-based jewelry designer Jennifer Kellogg has created a line of Kinky Cameos that are perfect (if you've got insanely deep pockets) for that Victorian-obsessed friend of yours.

I'm digging Kellogg's pieces cause they've got that nostalgic feminine vibe while managing to quirkily expose the undercurrents of raging repressed sexuality that era is notorious for.

Unfortunately, Kellogg's objets d'art are all hand-carved and original and dotted with small precious gems and such, so the necklaces will set you back $2,000+.

Impoverished hipsters can only hope for a knock-off line, or go for the $280 "O Face" cuff links.

Novelty Treats: New Kids on the Glock



If you thought you were so over the omnipresence of Justice don't be so sure.

New Kids on the Glock, "Minneapolis' premier glockenspiel duo", has stripped Justice of their heavy-handed bass and layered electro beats and delivered an alarmingly dead-on rendition of "D.A.N.C.E." that will be (literally) ringing in your ears whether you make it to the end of the video or not.

Source

Trailer: Big Man Japan

Old news, I saw this trailer a while back, and the film was actually made in 2007. But...mega-absurd schlock-mockumentary Big Man Japan was apparently screened at Comic Con the other day, which got me thinking, people who haven't seen this trailer probably, well, should.



















I'll be honest, generally, i pretty much ignore the Grammy awards. The categories are a jumble and the nominees are (typically) safe and mediocre.

But, this year's performance line-up is fairly impressive. And now, NME is claiming that Radiohead will be joined on stage with the mammoth University of Southern California marching band. Thom Yorke & Co. always put on a good show, and adding that sort of sound could be remarkable.

No word as to what the song of choice will be. They're nominated for "House of Cards" off their last album, In Rainbows, but i can't quite imagine that arranged for USC. We'll see.

If you haven't heard, the 51st Grammy Awards will also feature about-to-pop M.I.A., Coldplay, U2, Kanye West w/ Estelle, Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, and a tween sugar rush dream bill featuring the Jonas Brothers and a supposed merger of jilted Jonai-lovers Miley Cyrus & Taylor Swift (OMFG, dramz).

I may actually have to remember to watch.

Back in the Day #1: Harvey Danger

Paranoia, paranoia, everybody's coming to get me...

I remember the first time i heard this song. It was about 5 in the morning, MTV still played videos, and i was dazed and staring blankly at the cabin television set as Froot Loops and milk dribbled from my mouth. I was thirteen years old, and preparing to hike with my then nature-crazed parents across roughly thirteen miles of Rocky Mountain trail on this, my family's masochistic idea of 'vacation'. And yet, the early mornings, painful blisters, power bar binges, and neon rain ponchos were far better than being back home and in middle school. Needless to say, Harvey Danger's outsider angst spoke to me. I enjoyed the lyrics, the tragically hip 90's crowds, the way the band just didn't quite fit in any of the scenes. I became a girl possessed. My waking hours within the cabin walls were spent waiting for MTV to just play the video again. Or, to even just run the quick 30-second trailer for Disturbing Behavior (in which the track was featured) so i could hear any piece of this mystery song.

I didn't see the video again until the dawn of youtube. This is true, and part of why i was disenchanted by MTV long before my parents finally gave in to cable. But "Flagpole Sitta" has, is one form or another, been a constant and necessary part of my music library since the day i taped it off Q101.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Gender Bender: Sally Potter’s "Rage" & My Favorite Androgynes



It's all over the newsfeed, kids, Jude Law is dragging it up for all-too-absent auteur Sally Potter's (Orlando, a personal fave) film Rage. Law apparently delivers a raw performance as a celeb-'super mode' named Minx alongside a cast that includes literal "action-transvestite" Eddie Izzard, former Wong Foo-er John Leguizamo, actual porcelain doll Lily Cole, and major bad-ass Dame Judi Dench. Who's excited? This kid. I love me some trannies.


To celebrate, let's take a look back at some of my favorite on-screen gender-benders.









1. John Cameron Mitchell as Hedwig (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) - No one pulls off glitter lipstick and flipped out wigs quite like Mitchell in this indie rock musical of his own creation. With the East German accent and botched sex change operation, Hedwig is queen of the androgynes.


2. Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Rocky Horror Picture Show) - It's quite possible that Tim Curry is responsible for the sexual confusion of millions of young Americans. I mean, my god, those legs! He pulls off fishnets and heels far better than 95% of the women i know. True story. This transvestite from Transylvania also makes it socially acceptable for males to leave the house in corsets and pearls. For that, we must love him.

3. Tilda Swinton as Lord/Lady Orlando (Orlando) - Based on the Virginia Woolf novel of the same name, Swinton plays the seemingly immortal titular character who (over lifetimes) magically undergoes the transformation from effeminate Elizabethan male to full-on female overnight (without the aid of surgery or conscious decision). The film is gorgeous, and gives us no reason to doubt that in the moors and castles of England, such characters are thriving still.

4. Johnny Depp as Bon Bon (Before Night Falls) - He steals the show and manages to make the rest of this Schnabel film seem bland. Barely present, but unforgettable.


5. Hugo Weaving, Terence Stamp, & Guy Pearce as Mitzi, Bernadette, & Felicia (Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) - It's been a very long time since i've seen this. But it's an Aussie classic, and who doesn't love that long before he was Agent Smith Hugo Weaving was on-screen under two tons of eyeshadow?

6. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Lola (Kinky Boots) - The movie is adorable, really. The heir to a failing men's shoe business looks to re-invent the company through the production of drag-specific items. Lola is his accidental muse and business partner. She also performs a few show-stoppers.


7. Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, & John Leguizamo as Vida, Noxeema, & Chi-Chi (To Wong Foo...) - Call me crazy, but in terms of lead roles, all three of these actors can count these performances as near the top of their respective careers. Especially you, Snipes.


8. Felicity Huffman as Bree (Transamerica) - The desperate housewife made a big leap from her primetime soap opera to this indie role as a pre-op transgendered male who learns he fathered a child in his one hetero experience. The man voice! The nude scene! The ways in which you will never see Huffman in the same light again = so many.


9 Nathan Lane & Gene Hackman as Albert & Senator Keeley (Birdcage) - 'Nuff said.

10. Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie (Tootsie) - Dustin Hoffman does not an especially attractive woman make. But, Dustin Hoffman does a fine comedic performance make. So good, in fact, that the film was nominated for Best Picture back in '82.

11. Georges Du Fresne as Ludovic (Ma Vie en Rose) - No, it's not the Edith Piaf movie. Yes, young children can also drag it up. Ludovic identifies with girls, enjoys wearing dresses, and has plans to marry the boy next door in this sweet French film.


12. Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan (I'm Not There) - Proof that Blanchett is actually capable of just about anything acting-wise. Anything.

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