Monthly Archives: May 2010

27 posts

Movie Review: Sex and the City 2

Abu Dhabi, in case you were unaware, is the “new Middle East” and Dubai is “over.” With its blinding ivory dunes, gold-tipped mosques, and shimmering blue oceans, the possibilities for beauty here are endless. But we’re meant to remember that the loveliest things in the frame are the shoes, the clothes, and the four main characters, so DP John Thomas drops the ball on the scenery, opting instead for decorator porn and an “ooh shiny, diamonds and beautiful cars!” sensibility (because, you know, women love the shiny).

Movie Review: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

The adventure really kicks in when Dastan is framed for his father’s murder and goes on the lam with only the princess – who really hates his guts – and the dagger, which he soon learns can briefly reverse the flow of time. Together they must clear Dastan’s name, reveal the true murderer and, because the stakes apparently weren’t high enough already, save the world.

Art Review: Kurt, at the Seattle Art Museum, Explores Kurt Cobain’s Influence on Contemporary Artists

Nearby, Jeffry Mitchell’s portrait as Kurt is arguably the hidden gem of the exhibit. Self-Portrait as Kurt Cobain in the Style of Jay Steensma features a skull wearing a blond wig amongst a thickly painted sea of grey. (Steensma was a “mystic” artist famous for his paintings of grey, Northwestern landscapes).

Book Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson

Lisbeth Salander is broken, maybe beyond repair. Wanted for three murders in Stockholm, she shows up in the Emergency Room in Goteborg still breathing but with a bullet in her head. Her other wounds have been patched with duct tape, an improvisation the doctor on call admires as he preps her for life-saving surgery assisted by an American surgeon with a blood alcohol level that’s off the charts.

Art Review: Albrecht Dürer: Virtuoso Printmaker at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The earlier prints from each series are flatter, the lines more bold and calligraphic, the details stranger. The later images show the rising influence of the renaissance: the figures bear their weight in sophisticated contrapposto stances, the realistically-rendered bodies are more beautiful. It’s illuminating to see these works grouped together, to follow their stories in and out of changing historical styles and Dürer’s own artistic and intellectual development.

Pritzker Prize goes to Bowery Museum’s Architects

The 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize was awarded to the Japanese duo, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. Their firm, Sanaa, is responsible for creating some of the most daring and elegant buildings of the last decade, including the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (2007), and the 21st Century museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan.

Bret Easton Ellis: Film requires the male gaze, female directors need not apply

Movieline printed an interview with author Bret Easton Ellis, whose most famous work is probably American Psycho, which director Mary Harron translated into a bizarre little film starring Christian Bale in 2000. Bret Easton Ellis in a publicity shot (from here). Ellis’s books are infinitely dark, angry, and sometimes downright […]

Book Review: Where the Dark and the Light Folks Meet: Race and the Mythology, Politics, and Business of Jazz by Randall Sandke

Sandke offers no critical commentary about this piece of advice that was given Armstrong after he left New Orleans: “When you go up north, be sure and get yourself a white man that will put his hand on your shoulder and say, ‘This is my nigger.’” Nor does he state that there was anything objectionable about black musicians being allowed to play in Storyville brothels and cabarets, but never to be customers. The same went for “black and tan” nightspots like New York’s Cotton Club, where blacks made music and waited tables, while “tan, tall and terrific” showgirls entertained the exclusively white clientele.

What summer should have been: Camp in Movies and TV

It’s already mid-May, guys. Summer’s nearly upon us. “Summer” means something different to everyone, but universally it seems to include any or all of the following: steamy weather; fresh produce; chirping crickets; blooming flowers; heat mirages rising from the pavement in front of your car; exhausted, sunburned limbs; and tossing […]