Monthly Archives: April 2013

46 posts

Head to Head: A Haunted House v. Scary Movie V

Every year, similar seeming movies will be released shortly after one another. For the first installment of Head to Head, I will compare this year’s horror spoofs A Haunted House and Scary Movie V. There will be spoilers, but for these movies, I can’t imagine anyone caring.

Movie Review: Oblivion

Director Joseph Kosinski, who helmed the vapid and cartoonish TRON: Legacy, uses every frame of Oblivion as a canvas on which he can project the massive adventure he wants audiences to experience. Kosinski, who made a sizable impression on the industry with his commercial work, has a background as an architect and his eye for details and contrasting imagery is front and center in this film.

Movie still: The Untouchables

100 Greatest Gangster Films: The Untouchables, #28

In the midst of a dinner party in his honor, Capone (Robert De Niro) takes out a Louisville Slugger and delivers a tribute to baseball as the All-American sport. As his underlings smoke cigars and chuckle in agreement, Capone circles a huge round table—finally stopping behind one nodding toadie. He briefly speaks of betrayal and then applies a few Ruthian swings to the employee’s skull.

Book Review: The Books that Shaped Art History, Edited by Richard Shone and John-Paul Stonard

Clark’s The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art received glowing reviews upon its publication in 1956. Among its many virtues, The Nude reasserted the primacy of classical art in the Western world during the dark, drab Cold War era. America’s Abstract Expressionism confronted Soviet Socialist Realism in a long, drawn-out propaganda campaign. Clark showed that there was an alternative to such cultural brinksmanship. Art lovers, tired of ideology, were greatly pleased.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Blue-Headed Indian Doll

Art Review: Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico, Denver Art Museum

So many amateur painters have painted the swelling volumes of the church of San Francisco de Asis at Ranchos de Taos, and so many tourists have admired the blue skies and bold colors of northern New Mexico that these things threaten to become visual clichés. One of the virtues of this show’s wealth of katsina images is that they not only highlight what made O’Keeffe’s work distinctive, they also remind us of her place in the larger narrative of twentieth-century American art.

Mad Men Recap: “The Collaborators” (Season 6, Episode 3)

All the main characters are tangled in complex collaborations, whether willingly or unwillingly, sexual or chaste. Everyone’s wrestling with guilt in this episode, handling and mishandling situations as a result. Don Draper is, as ever, standing at the center of the tempest, acting as though he’s a port in a storm when really he’s rocking harder than anyone else.

Movie Review: Upstream Color

The problem with writing this review of Upstream Color is that I’ve only seen it once. This isn’t to say that the movie will make complete sense upon subsequent viewings, but it definitely requires multiple watches (plus access to Wikipedia, fan theories, and frame-by-frame analysis) in order to begin to appreciate what writer-director-actor-composer-fundraiser-distributor Shane Carruth accomplished with his second feature about the “subjective experience of life,” relationships, and several other intangibles.

The Office Recap: ‘Stairmaggedon’ (Season 9, Episode 19)

How many episodes of The Office: An American Workplace did they release to the press? Assuming that each “night” corresponds with a “season,” Senator Lipton did not appear until Season 7 and he was not officially outed until Season 9. Does each episode focus on a different character instead? Also, the poor documentarians had one thing of public interest in all their footage, and the news had to go and spoil it.