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California Literary ReviewMarch 2010 | California Literary Review California Literary Review

Archive for March, 2010

William’s Weekly DVD Heist: 3-30-10

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William
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Bibbiani

March 30th, 2010

Hot on the heels – or shall we say paws – of Alvin & The Chipmunks comes the greatest squeakquel ever made, which at last introduces the Chipettes into the modern mythology, much as The Dark Knight reintroduced an iconic new Joker into the pop culture lexicon.

The Wonderful World of Maira Kalman

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Alix
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McKenna

March 29th, 2010

Well, Susan, 2004-05 by Maira Kalman [Image source: How Blog] The intelligent curating at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art always makes a walk through its galleries worthwhile. The ICA should also be lauded for the tremendous variety of subjects and media that it tackles. In past years, the small museum has explored video art, experimental […]

Happy Birthday, NC-17!

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Julia
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Rhodes

March 29th, 2010

The basics of the MPAA’s rating system (from here). Oh, NC-17. You’re like that friend who’s always getting stupid at parties and killing everyone’s fun. And yet it’s impossible to ignore that person, and when it’s time to blow out the candles everyone shows up anyway. Cinematical notes that this year marks the 20th birthday […]

Movie Review: Hot Tub Time Machine

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Julia
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Rhodes

March 27th, 2010

A hot tub repairman cum “mystical time traveling guy” (Chevy Chase) warns the men that “the whole system can go haywire if you change one little thing.” So of course they enter the night planning to relive it just as it originally happened, but that proves impossible and hilarity ensues. Jacob, who wasn’t born yet in 1986, flickers on and off throughout the movie, driving home the idea that one misstep could mean he’ll never be alive. Nick calls his cheating wife in 1986, when she was nine years old, to berate her over the phone.

The Weekly Listicle: Time Travel At Its Best!

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William
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Bibbiani

March 26th, 2010

Since there are relatively few “Hot Tub” movies to recommend, Julia Rhodes and I (William Bibbiani) have decided to present some of our favorite Time Travel movies in this edition of… The Weekly Listicle!

Museums: Attracting a Younger Crowd

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Alix
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McKenna

March 25th, 2010

Brooklyn Museum iPhone Application Museum-goers today are very different than they were one hundred years ago.  Art institutions have been updating their communications and marketing strategies in order to attract and hold the attention of socially active, tech-savvy visitors.  A recent special section on museums in the New York Times explores some of the ways […]

The Great Music Videos #2: “Thriller” (dir. John Landis)

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Julia
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Rhodes

March 24th, 2010

Jackson as a zombie in “Thriller” William Bibbiani noted in the Great Music Videos #1 post that music videos are effectively commercials. They’re produced to sell copies of albums, to “sell” a musician to the public, or at the very least to boost (paid) MP3 downloads. Michael Jackson’s video for “Thriller” straddles the line between […]

William’s Weekly DVD Heist: 3-23-10

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William
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Bibbiani

March 23rd, 2010

Frankly, after three Free Willy movies I can’t help but wonder if maybe the universe is trying to tell us that this whale is supposed to die. Maybe the Free Willy franchise has evolved into a condemnation of man’s efforts to control nature, which even with the best intentions is the height of hubris.

A CLR Interview with The New Year Parade Filmmaker Tom Quinn

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Julia
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Rhodes

March 22nd, 2010

The New Year Parade: A taut, small-scale family drama from independent filmmaker Tom Quinn. Tom Quinn’s 2008 film The New Year Parade follows a family of four as they struggle to stay afloat in the midst of infidelity, divorce, confusion, and coming of age. Twenty-five-year old Jack McGonagul (Greg Lyons) and his sixteen-year-old sister Kat […]

Iran’s Cultural Heritage Under Threat

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Alix
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McKenna

March 22nd, 2010

In addition to depriving Iranians of their cultural property, a decision to turn over the artifacts to the Rubin plaintiffs would have grave effects for the museums involved and cultural institutions in general. Four American institutions could be divested of objects currently in their collections and unable to use them for research purposes.

When Film Critics Lose a Bet, Part 1: The Oscar!

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William
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Bibbiani

March 21st, 2010

(The Oscar) has a reputation as one of the biggest turkeys in Hollywood history, in large part due to its inclusion in The Golden Turkey Awards, a book dedicated to cataloguing the worst films ever made. To film critics, The Golden Turkey Awards are rather like The Necronomicon, except that both the book and the horrors that it calls forth are terrifyingly real.

Movie Review: Repo Men

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William
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Bibbiani

March 20th, 2010

The only way it could be more topical is if there was a subplot about Sandra Bullock’s marital difficulties, and to its credit Repo Men is extremely dedicated to this high concept that lampoons and condemns the American health care industry in equal measure. The resulting ratio of ambition to entertainment value is, alas, less than equal, resulting in an uneven but ultimately entertaining film that somehow never quite lives up its full potential.

The Weekly Listicle: Dystopian Futures

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Julia
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Rhodes

March 18th, 2010

The March 19 release Repo Men is about a near-future in which organ transplants are simple, commonplace procedures and citizens can save their loved ones or prolong their own lives on a payment plan. Unfortunately, the moment customers fall behind on their dues, the Repo Men hunt them down to take back what’s owed—no matter […]

I Myself Have Seen It: Photography & Kiki Smith at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle

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Laura
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Haertel

March 18th, 2010

Contemporary sculptor and print maker Kiki Smith has been photographing and exhibiting her work for three decades. Smith grew up in a family where “life wasn’t worth living if you didn’t make art.” As the daughter of minimalist sculptor Tony Smith, Kiki assisted her father with his large-scale sculptures by folding and gluing together geometric cardboard models.

The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano

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Julia
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Braun Kessler

March 17th, 2010

A startling achievement in a first novel, the work seems to have already touched a chord since it has taken Italy and Europe by storm and sold copies in the millions. It was undertaken by a young Italian physicist at age 27, who tells a haunting story. Better yet, he’s a natural, adept with characterization, knowing how to captivate and hold his readers.

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