Monday, May 23, 2011

Trailer: The Muppets

I don't have to say anything, right?  Obviously, this is a thing that everyone I know will be seeing.  If they're not seeing it, I'm just not their friend anymore.  Line = drawn.

Timberlake + Samberg + Gaga

It's not the best in the series of Andy Samberg/Justin Timberlake SNL digital shorts, but it has its moments.  Love it or hate it, it's a weekend highlight that simply can't go unmentioned... 

Revised (and Extended) Gender Bender: My Favorite Drag Stars and Androgynes

For some reason (I'm guessing there's a particular image I just happened to file right), the Pop Candy Arcade post that consistently receives the most traffic is one I did in February of 2009 in which I talked Sally Potter's film Rage and made a short list of my favorite "on-screen gender benders."  Literally thousands of people have stumbled upon my little blog because of this post

Looking at that post now, it's a hot mess.  It was written prior to the period in which I began resizing photos or linking to my own saved sources, several images are missing, and something feels incomplete.  Because of its apparent on-going popularity and my complete dissatisfaction with the state it currently exists in, I've decided to re-do it...

(Read More)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

There's an idea for you...

Update: Von Trier becomes the Official Antichrist of Cannes

In the wake of his poorly conceived Nazi joke, Lars Von Trier has officially been banned from the remainder of this year's Cannes Film Festival.  This is, of course, after Von Trier released an official apology/explanation and the comment had been widely dismissed as a joke.  This morning the Board of Directors announced that the surly Danish director was "persona non grata, effective immediately" because he expressed comments that were "unacceptable, intolerable, and contrary to the ideals of humanity and generosity that preside over the very existence of the Festival" [source]  Rumors are flying, most notably that the real straw that broke the Board of Directors' back was a jab at the French in Von Trier's apology, where he said "I think the Holocaust is the worst crime in humanity that I can remember… I believe that it’s an especially delicate subject down here, because the French have a history of being extremely cruel to the Jews.”  Yes, Lars, keep shoveling.

Seriously though, let's take a step back. This is absurd.  I'm in complete agreement with The Playlist writer Oliver Lyttelton, who summed it up thusly:
"Yes, the director was being a prize ass, to the surprise of absolutely no-one. But we’d think that the official reprimand, and subsequent apology would have been the end of the story, without the need to blacklist the director. If Von Trier had stood up and outlined racial supremacist views, that would have been one thing, but he was nowhere near that, and even clarified his views at the time, and to ban Von Trier from the festival only a few days after parading Mel Gibson, a man on record as making genuinely racist and anti-Semitic statements, down the red carpet for the out-of-competition premiere of “The Beaver,” a move designed to generate publicity just as much as Von Trier’s comments were, is an act of staggering hypocrisy."  [source]

That's right.  Mel Gibson can stay and play, but Von Trier?  He's got to go...

Now, let's watch this again, because I'm in love with it:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Photo Lab: Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

Entertainment Weekly released this cover shot today.  It's the first official image of Winter's Bone actress Jennifer Lawrence as our teenage huntress in The Hunger Games.  The up-until-recently blonde starlet is making this work better than expected, I think.  While I still pictured Katniss as more along the lines of new Miu Miu muse Hailee Steinfeld, this might just work.

I know you're probably sick of hearing about the series already, but I'm pretty hopeful about the film adaptations.  The books aren't fantastically well written, nor are they as indisputably classic as the Harry Potter series already is.  They are, however, entertaining and rather vicious, not afraid to kill off likable characters or let their heroes suffer a bit. My big hope, though, is that The Hunger Games will be the antidote to the truly damaging Twilight series.  Katniss is the opposite of Bella, and we need a strong film and literary heroine that can take care of business without locking herself away to swoon for three months.  I've still got my doubts on some of the casting, but sometimes a group of virtual unknowns can work out for the best (um, Daniel Radcliffe, I hear you're richer than Prince William, true?).

The Trouble with Young People...

This is a street interview conducted by I Hate Young People.  It is also proof that EMI shouldn't have blocked the proliferation or release of Danger Mouse's Grey Album.  These children.  They need the Grey Album.  They need the Grey Album and someone's used Rock Band disc.

Melancholia at Cannes, Lars Von Trier Causing Trouble

The good news: Lars Von Trier's sci-fi delving into depressive personalities Melancholia got astoundingly good press after its screening at Cannes.  The film, which follows a wedding taking place in the midst of the planet's demise, is being hailed as a positively gorgeous, absorptive, aesthetically miraculous work of cinema with killer performances from its ensemble cast (including Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, and (one of my favorites) Charlotte Gainsbourg).  As we already know: I was one of the minority who adored the havoc wrought in Antichrist, so you can bet that this has been at the tip top of my must see list for going on a year.  Melancholia's positive reception represents a near 180 for critics in the wake of the aforementioned bit of psychological horror.  This film supposedly possesses little of Antichrist's provocation or controversy, leaving viewers to wallow in the lush imagery without crossing that genital mutilation line.

So, of course, in the wake of making a 'safer' film, Von Trier brought the controversy to the press conference and made a poor, poor joke comparison in which he professed to "be a Nazi."  Naturally, this got blown out of proportion for those who cared.  If you read the full transcript it becomes clear that the incident was definitely a moment of idiocy on behalf of Von Trier, but also a moment in which a slightly 'crazy' man tries to cover up a faulty filter by running his mouth trying to explain.  I think I see what he was trying to say.  He's a bit of a bully who psychologically (based on rumor) seems to think himself a sort of holy victim.  He also certainly has a knack for egoism, grandeur, and cinematic nihilism.  Still, he should know better.  Avoid Nazi comments that are anything but negative at all costs, people.  Really, this is one of those situations where he should just stick to making movies and never try to talk unless he's making an entry in The Five Obstructions (which is totally a series project now, guys!  He's going to work with Martin Scorsese!).  So, Lars Von Trier is a dumb ass, but also a really interesting artist.  This is nothing like Mel Gibson, is what I'm saying.   Read the episode here and witness how it spirals out of control. 

In other Cannes news, The Tree of Life was met with some boos (what!?), and my other must see, We Need to Talk About Kevin is apparently just as startling and dramatically taut as Lionel Shriver's original novel (read it, please, like right now...before the movie comes out).  Our lady Tilda Swinton is cleaning up on awards buzz, and knowing the role: I believe it.  She will win everything.  Eva is a fantastic character, Swinton is a brilliant actress, and I can't wait to see this story brought to the screen.

Looks like this might be the year in which my favorite actresses of 2009 (Gainsbourg for Antichrist, Swinton for Julia) are vindicated for being gypped of all awards. Either that, or they'll be snubbed again and I will be the most angry.  Let's hope for the former.  This is some serious drama that I am so ready for...

Photo Lab: Nature. It's vast.

I've gone back and watched these gorgeously shot time lapse nature shorts by TSO Photography a few times now and have decided it's time to just go ahead and share them with you.  TSO is a landscape photographer from Norway and yes, I am that person who stumbled upon these before going to bed and was like 'whoa...'
My guess is that you may be, too.  Well worth a look.

The Aurora from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

Mixtapes Mixtapes

Did you know that my other blog (with the other divine miss M.), the film only one titled Love & Squalor sometimes features movie-inspired playlists curated by yours truly?  Well, it does indeed.  Scroll through all that exist thus far by clickin' here, then subscribe to our little criticism blog or follow us on Facebook to stay on top of new mixes as they appear.  Last night's was an old school-loaded blend built off of Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank.  Animal Collective meets Biggie meets KMD.  No New Order on this one.  Not yet...

Will Not Quote Aerosmith, Sorry

This cover of Dossier, featuring famously androgynous male model Andrej Pejic has been censored by both Barnes & Noble and Borders because (you guessed it) the chains feared that their patrons would look at Pejic, mistake him for a lady, and be scandalized by his bare chest.  The stores are now stocking the new issue in opaque modesty banners, which raises some really interesting, gender bending questions, I think.  What is it about Pejic's cultivated look: a pasty, feminine, stick thin, zero point, that makes people so uncomfortable in this particular image?  Men are shirtless on magazines all the time, they're just typically a tad more ripped or well known; there to sell you fitness or rock and roll.  I'm intrigued by the arguments that crop up around what I think is a perfectly tasteful, unsurprising cover shot.  We don't see male body image brought up very often in fashion's bad press, and I know many a dude who, from the neck down, share the at-risk-for-lung-collapse frame.  Is this a new double standard?  An appropriation of an old one?  What do you think?

Pejic is an interesting case, and I've been following him since last season's runway shows.  He's a 19-year old Serbian/Australian kid with white blonde hair who is, basically, positively gorgeous in terms of runway modeling.  He walked the men's wear and women's wear runways for Gaultier this year, and we've got to wonder: is this a breakthrough?  Or, is it a dude sneaking in on another lady's job?

Novelty Treats: Analysis of a Cosby Sweater

Generally, I tend to avoid jumping too much on the 'look at this novelty tumblr' bandwagon, but this little case study runs near and dear to my heart.  The Cosby Sweater Project seeks to archive and catalogue the various shirt patterns of the Huxtable clan.  It sounds like an extensive bit of obsession, and it's one I'm all about as The Cosby Show is pretty much (um, bar none) my favorite sitcom from the growing up years.  Worth a look for the OCD pop culture scientists amongst us.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Seen & Heard: Battles (NSFW)

Flashing images, stripes, and repetition.  I kind of really like this video.  It makes Battles sound so peppy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Review: Bridesmaids

By now you've likely received a memo from the internet.  It read: "dear person using me, if you are a dude, watching Bridesmaids will not result in loss of your balls. Don't be an ass.  Love, the Internet."  You should listen to the internet.  You spend a lot of time together.  While the TV ad spots do a poor job of differentiating the Judd Apatow-produced Bridesmaids from your generic, "chick flicky" 27 Dresses or Bride Wars (i.e.: pounding a poorly placed P!nk song over cheap physical gags and "eeee, weddings!" we are girls and this is so girly shenanigans) it is a pure, unadulterated comedy for masses both female and male.  You've heard that Bridesmaids is the "female Hangover," perhaps, or that it proves that "women are funny."  Both of these are fairly misogynist generalizations.  That said, yes, this film does bear some resemblance to the Hangover in that it's also a wedding party comedy.  And, indeed, these women are very, very funny...

finish this review @ 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Through the Jasmine in my Mind

Woke up this morning and just hated everything.  Redecorated for summer.  Ready to reboot and post incessantly...ya dig?  Let's make like a Tumblr and picture post our way into summer.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: Thor

Thor is the next step in Marvel's slow progression towards the on-screen merging of the Avengers in 2012.  Later this summer, they'll take a second with Captain America.  In gathering the team, they're also forming a virtual galaxy of supporting characters and major actors in minor roles.  Where last summer's Iron Man 2 teetered on the verge of being too full of subplots and introductions, Thor takes those numbers and doubles them: distracting you from a mediocre comic book hero with mortal and immortal realms full of folks you know crammed into roles that feel almost like mere cameos.  This is, in some respect, the problem with Thor...


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