"A Bigger Splash" semi-documents three years in the life of David Hockney. Titled after the painter's 1967 painting (above), it's beautifully shot, although there is sometimes not much happening. Reviews from 1974 seem to concur. If you have an interest in Hockney or art and fashion of the early 70's or just want to see what fashion shows were like back when they were fun, you should check it out.
No shade to either The Artist, which has a significant number of very attractive men associated with it, nor Meryl Streep, who certainly deserved at least two of her three Oscars, but The Oscars are now officially meaningless (assuming they were of significance to begin with.).
You'll want to go full screen to watch this couple having just anoher typical couple's conversation. All that is special in this case is that the couple in question are stormtroopers.* Spanish filmaker Vincente Bonet Martinez takes you there in Love Wars, a short to be shown at Spain's Notodo Film Fest.
*James St. James points out that not all Stormtroopers are clones of Jango Fet and thus this is not really creepy.
Mister Gustavo Motta recently introduced us to Dzi Croquettes, a performance troupe that confronted the Brazilian dictatorship in the 1970's. A recent documentary explored their history.
File this under "A Day Late", but here is a complete list of horror movies filmed in New York City.
Perhaps you know that there is a new Superman film being made because, well, of course there is, right? But what you perhaps did not not know is that this new Superman is, well, smo-king. If you want to be nerd-out about it, Superman originally didn't have facial hair at all with pseudo-science explaining that his facial hair (and fingernails and other hair) didn't grow in Earth's atmosphere. This explanation helped smooth over the indestructible factor of these elements of his body. Over time the explanation was changed so that Superman could use his heat vision as reflected in the mirror to trim his facial hair et al. Still though your Christopher Reeves and your Brandon Routh were always on the clean-cut side. This new Superman Henry Cavill is sexying it all up, no?
You can have more of these nerdish, yet gay conversations this weekend as the New York Comic Con is happening at the Javitz Center. It's completely sold out, but if you're savvy, you can stand outside and buy the entry passes of people as they leave the event. Inside you'll find lots of delectable comic-book boys and if lucky, maybe your Henry Cavill will be on display as well.
Bill Cunningham New York is now out on DVD.
Can the film tell us more than we already know? Is Limelight the touchstone of a generation the way that Studio 54 was for a generation before? Where is the movie for "Luxx" for the generation that followed? So many questions and just one movie!
Pat Benatar, Freddy Mercury, Bonnie Tyler, Billy Squier, Adam Ant, all perform on this Moroder-penned soundtrack for the original film. You can find bits and pieces on YouTube, or wait for the DVD to come out "soon" after being in limbo for years due to music rights issues.
"The X-Men surprisingly didn't explore Mystique's true mutant power: being the ultimate cockblock."
Taxi Driver is the IFC Center midnight movie this Memorial Day weekend.
First, there's this.
Also, someone had posted this trailer - for a documentary it seemed like then - a while back. I thought it looked interesting and I have to admit I thought Mr. Yahia (Uday Hussein's double) fairly handsome.
Now it seems this was a promo for the movie (trailer below) that's coming out in July and stars Dominic Cooper in the roles of both Uday and Latif (Yahia). I'd say "upping the ante" (referring to the movie and Mr. Cooper's...charms.), but I'm actually more attracted to what I thought Mr. Yahia's face looked like (which is actually Uday's face in photos from when he was younger/still tyrannical?!). Mr. Cooper (above) certainly looks nice in speedos, but no, it's actually a picture of Uday that I find is the most attractive of all three. Troubling in that whole, he-was-a-maniacal-sadistic-psychopath-so-what-the-hell-kind-of-man-am-I-attracted-to kind of way. Bad boy syndrome, indeed!
The Devil's Double is set to open July 29, 2011 and tells the story of Latif Yahia, a schoolmate of Uday Hussein who was forced to undergo plastic surgery to more closely resemble Uday and then serve as his double, surviving ELEVEN assasination attempts on "Uday"'s life over the course of his service.
A new film with a sickening plot is screening at Cinema Village this week and - true to the typical PR script these things seem to follow - it is the subject of much outrage and disgust in the press and "censorship" from the MPAA and other like industry-governing (or nation-governing, if you're Spain) bodies with the predictable result fulfilling the whole "there is no bad publicity" trope. In this instance, you've got a first-time feature film director from WAY outside the Hollywood establishment who may not be making money hand over fist (yet), but may be doing much more nicely than he would have had he made a more "mainstream" flick.
The point of this post is not, however, to bemoan, question or address the unfortunate premise of modern mass marketing which is that the lowest common denominator attracts the largest audience (in other words, the basest aspects of human nature are - by definition, really - the broadest base for connecting with people across cultures, creeds, races, age and gender. Additionally, the assumption seems to be that our basest impulses are sexual, gluttonous, violent and greedy as those are the impulses to which most productions and media programming seem to appeal. The question of whether this assumption is correct is, likewise, left to be addressed elsewhere.). Instead, to my mind, this "controversy" over viewing depraved acts - fictional or no - begs some vital questions regarding our cultural beliefs.
The film, a gut-(and soul-, according to many critics) wrenching story of a porn star's return from retirement, takes the premise "rape, or be raped" both literally and to the extreme. This post also isn't (really) about the film, however. Rather this post is about the culturally held values and beliefs to which I referred earlier. The question (one of many) begged is one of censorship vs. freedom of access to troubling, potentially destabilizing, instigating or corrupting information or ideas.
As a culture, we have long held that an open exchange of ideas and the freedom of expression are immensely valuable and to be protected - at nearly all costs - from censorship or silencing.
In the context of a disturbing expression of questionable worth (if such a thing can be attributed to a work) to any viewer like the film referenced, our belief in the value of freedom from censorship is thrown into sharp relief, making it the easier to examine.
Let's do, shall we?
In essence, in championing freedom of expression over censorship, we've made a group decision (whether consciously or in recent memory, or not) to reject the idea that someone else knows what's best for us, individually, better than we do. Despite a long history (all of it, really!) of the subordination of our individual will to the collective will, which was, more often than not, a manifestation of one man's will (whether a king, pope or what-have-you), as well as the continued subordination of our will to, first, our parents and then, the law of the land and its enforcers, we've adopted this ideal that we should be the ultimate arbiter of what is appropriate, safe and beneficial for us to view, hear, say, etc.
In adopting this ideal, do you see how we've accepted responsibility for our own well-being from those who were traditionally tasked with protecting us and who were seen as better equipped (wiser; more knowledgeable; ordained and endowed by God) to know what was best for us?
Own it, then.
Be discerning. Hone your judgement about what is beneficial to your development. Make decisions. Choose. Perhaps you choose not to develop. That's also a viable option. The point is, whatever you choose, do so consciously. Think about what you're doing; where you're going; what you're seeing and how it's affecting you. Take ownership of yourself and your life.
In the end, this movie is exactly that. A movie. Realistic and potentially soul-scarring as the depictions may be, they are (at least I hope hope HOPE) fictional. That said, the idea of the visual (whichever you react to most viscerally, let's say) is potent enough on its own, despite this. Don't just be scarred or shocked or grossed out or appalled though. Delve into your reaction to it. Don't let it have the final say. Own your reaction to it just as you own your decision to expose yourself to the visual (if you do).
Additional thought: Perhaps question why the reaction to this movie (or the particular scenes at least) among viewers is so violent (ha!) while gruesomely realistic and gory murder or war scenes are often barely remarked upon in the press.
All that said, I leave you with some links to learn more about the movie with the warning that this is some pretty depraved shit and - to reiterate the point of this post - I urge you not to follow the links mindlessly, if you do at all.
As for the title of the post and the baby connection, you'll have to research that yourself. I take no responsibility for what you may find...
The Holy Mountain, an Alejandro Jodorowsky film from 1973, is screening at MoMA PS1 from May 22 - June 30, 2011.
The following comments on The Holy Mountain trailer (above) allude to misgivings many experience with regards to Jodorowsky's surreal, visually arresting films. If you are unable to find anything you like about his films, please talk to me as I would like to understand you and your tastes better.
More about Alejandro Jodorowsky may be found via his website.
Below, some screen shots to give you ideas (somewhat NSFW?).