Archive: March, 2010
Goddess of the Golden Age Lauren "You know how to whistle, don't you?" Bacall doesn't tweet much but she's still one of my fave celebs on Twitter (@lauren_bacall). She's classy to the point where I feel like an unkempt slob every time she unleashes her 140-character or less wit.
Recently, she tweeted some thoughts on the Academy Awards she received an honorary Oscar at a previously held ceremony and she's a member of the Academy. My favorite part is when she says that Philly-born Grace Kelly would be disgusted by current Oscar behavior. I also completely agree that today's starlet's don't know how to stand up straight.
Give it 'em, Bacall:
Favorite Bacall movie? Clearly anything she did with husband Humphrey Bogart is a classic (The Big Sleep is the best, but I also love Dark Passage, written by David Goodis). But I have to give it up for Written on the Wind, one of the best Douglas Sirk melodramas (loyal readers already know I've got a jonesin' for Sirk), about a corrupt Texas oil clan, the family friend who keeps them together (Rock Hudson) and the sensible secretary who gets caught up in their chaos (Bacall, at her loveliest). To top off all of Wind's maudlin glory is the Philly-born Four Aces' theme song:
I say former U.S. Poet Laureate and author of 12 books Mark Strand is a dead ringer for Clint Eastwood:
|Mark Strand||Clint Eastwood|
But City Paper web guru Marc Steel says he looks like the now-deceased Charlton Heston:
|Mark Strand, again||Charlton Heston|
What do you say? Do you have another old white man doppelganger for Mark Strand?
Either way, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author will give a free reading at Bryn Mawr College on Thu., March 25.
Mark Strand, March 25, 7:30 p.m., free, Ely Room of the Wyndham Alumnae House, Bryn Mawr College, 101 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr, 610-526-5000.
Corey Haim, the fresh-faced '80s child star, passed away from an apparent accidental overdose. Haim characterized the '80s in a lot of ways: juvenile, empty and mindless fun. Laid back and goofy, he was the embodiment of boys-will-be-boys controlled chaos. But that doesn't make a career. Unlike frequent onscreen BFF Corey Feldman, his persona didn't have the same ironic endurance. Say what you will about the seemingly inevitable early deaths/personal tragedies of the faded child stars, I will stop, drop anything and watch The Lost Boys or License to Drive (check out a young Heather Graham in the trailer above) anytime they are on TV.
|St. Joe Strummer|
Last week was the 30th anniversary of the Clash's London Calling show at the Tower Theatre. Local video podcast blogger Jimmy CraicHead was fortunate enough to be at the original concert and has some totally rad personal pics to prove it.
Street fashion blog Broad & Market gets to the bottom of local color. The latest style warrior, Marty, has a fondness for Yinzers and likes to look strange because it makes people smile. Don't know how you can get more selfless than that.
Design-Phan's got mad love for Louella Press, and for good reason. Check out their limited edition Philly Neighborhood Prints. You've never seen typography look so sexy.
It's raining celebs. Philebrity says Conan O'Brien's new show Justice, about the Supreme Court, is scouting locations and Variety reports Bobby De Niro will team up with local boy Bradley Cooper for Dark Fields.
Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts Rocco Landesman made a pit stop in Philadelphia last week. Our Chief Cultural Officer gives us the lowdown on the visit, which garnered Philly the esteemed headline "a model arts city." Take that, NYC
Heading to the Movie Monday screening of Where the Wild Things are tonight at the Troc? Get there early (doors at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m.) for a special sneak peek screening of the new White Stripes doc Under Great White Northern Lights.
The film will not have a traditional theatrical release, but fans are encouraged to host their screening parties on the designated White Stripes Day, or Tuesday, March 16 (order the Screening Kit by this Wednesday, March 10 to get in on the action). The kit includes the DVD, popcorn and peppermint candy for $30.
Here is the one Philly screening already set up.
Philadelphia: Secret White Stripes Day Sneak Peek
Date: March 16, 2010
Location: Philadelphia, PA, 19107 (view map)
If you'd like to win a Under Great White Northern Lights box set, a signed UGWNL DVD, and exclusive T-shirt, then RSVP here. You can also win prizes by getting your friends to RSVP. The person with the most friends RSVP'ed to the secret screening will win prizes.
For more info click here.
Full synopsis after the jump.
In the summer of 2007, shortly after the release of their 6th album "Icky Thump", The White Stripes headed north of their hometown of Detroit to embark on an ambitious journey across Canada. The plan was to play a show in every province and territory in Canada, from B.C. to Newfoundland to Nunavut. "Having never done a tour of Canada, Meg and I thought it was high time to go whole hog...from the ocean to the permafrost" says Jack White. "We wanted to play out of the way towns that don't usually get shows...the shows are better, it's better for the people, it's a better experience, it's way more unique, something interesting is going to happen...hopefully."
White called upon filmmaker Emmett Malloy to come and document this trek for the band. Malloy had directed videos for the band in the past, and seemed eager to hit the road with them. Equipped with a couple of 16mm cameras, and a few other documenting devices, the band and crew all headed north. The end result was Under Great White Northern Lights.
Under Great White Northern Lights is a visual and emotional feature length film documenting The White Stripes making their way through Canada and culminating with their 10th Anniversary show in Nova Scotia. The film documents the band playing shows all over Canada; from local bowling alleys, to city buses, and onward to the historic Savoy Theatre for the 10th Anniversary show. A show that turned out to be the longest show the band had ever done on stage together.
The film captures intimate moments of Jack and Meg both on and off stage as they travel through some of the most remote parts of the northern Yukon Territory. Along the way, they have some nice casual conversations about their ten years together, fire cannons, play some of their biggest songs together on stage, and even play a "one note show." The cameras were there to capture every waking moment.
What Northern Lights does best, is document one of the most enigmatic bands in the world, playing to local crowds in small towns. Some of these towns were so small that many of the locals had no idea who The White Stripes were â they just knew something big was going on in their town. This forced a band that had been together for a decade to go back to a place reminiscent of the first shows they ever played together. For the first time in a long time, no one knew who they were and they had to make a first impression with their music. The live footage captured in this film shows that Jack and Meg were clearly ready for this.
Beyond the live footage, some of the films most memorable moments happen off-stage â offering an insightful look into the very private and complex world that is The White Stripes. It was shortly after this tour that The White Stripes cancelled their fall tour of the United States â making the ten year Anniversary a truly pivotal milestone for this legendary band.
The graphic novel is a much misunderstood genre of art. While most people associate it with superheroes like the Watchmen, it actually can stand as a unique and important form of serious, contemporary storytelling.
First Person Arts celebrates the genre with this evening's program at Bryn Mawr, "Warning: Graphic Content." Participating artists Daniel Heyman, Jamar Nicholas and Josh Neufeld tackle diverse issues in this multimedia presentation. The goal is to explore the relationship between the image and the memoir and why this marriage is so important in effective graphic storytelling.
Neufeld narrates the floods of Hurricane Katrina in graphic memoir format. In A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, Neufeld introduces five diverse characters as they experience the struggles of post-Katrina life. The novel forces us to take a more realistic look at what happened in New Orleans in the aftermath of the storm.
A broad spectrum of human life is seen throughout Neufeld's book. We see his characters face the choice to leave pets in the flood waters. Others cannot find their loved ones. Bodies and boats float in the streets; people are forced to live off sparse, rationed foods. Through these gripping images, we are not only able to understand the plight of Katrina's victims, but truly empathize with them. This, along with the engaging and meticulous artwork, creates a graphic window into a very real world.
In true comic book fashion, A.D. takes on simple color and design patterns. The pages adopt two-toned color shades with black outlining. This effect is successful on the page, and engages the reader in its muted yet striking appearance. Despite this minimalism, Neufeld's artistic talent is apparent through his attention to detail, both facially and in the presentation of the city of New Orleans and the destruction that engulfs it.
While staying simple and traditional in its design, the content and character development of A.D. is superior in its complexity. We meet our characters a week prior to Katrina, and this allows the reader to truly get to know them.
Elsewhere in "Warning: Graphic Content," myriad efforts in graphic art are applauded, from Daniel Heyman's depictions of Abu Ghraib prisoners to Jamar Nicholas' adaptation of Fist Stick Knife Gun.
The translation from page to screen is also celebrated in a screening of Persepolis. The film combines two of Marjane Satrapi's graphic memoirs this year's One Book, One Philadelphia selection to cinematically illustrate her childhood during the Iranian Revolution.
Overall, "Warning: Graphic Content" sheds light on loyally depicted historical and personal events in a format that is both entertaining and enlightening.
Tue., March 9, 7 p.m., $15, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 W. Lancaster Ave., firstpersonarts.org.
|photos by Julia West|
The band never said a word.
When Man Man played a sold out show at the Troc last Friday they didn't feel the need to introduce songs or band members to the hometown crowd. And forget about a little friendly banter. The songs were intended to lean up against each other, the euphoric buzz in the audience was meant to remain uninterrupted. As a result of this voodoo the sea of bouncing bodies became one creature that singer Honus Honus (aka Ryan Kattner) could control with one finger and a madman eye.
Then there was the crowd-surfing, and who knew that that still happens? When the stage diving began, Honus Honus was high-fiving, saluting, and mock kicking the brave and the cocky who had slithered their way up there. The crazy monkey-child who took a running start and simply ran on top of the audience got bonus lunatic points. But the winner came after Honus Honus hoisted himself onto the speakers and managed his way up to the Troc's balcony where he straddled one lucky audience member. At this moment a desperate and adoring fan scaled the balcony to meet his hero who, tragically never saw the kid or wanted to dodge him and turned to made his way back to center stage, leaving the dejected boy to fearfully plop on the crowd from far too high. This wasn't even half of the theatrics.
Decked out in warpaint and white tennis gear, Man Man are gifted musicians as well as entertainers. A few costume changes put the frontman in a trench coat, then a sequined top. Later, while all the other members hid behind their instruments and stands, the band's singer dumped baby powder on a drum as Pow Pow (Christopher Powell) played. With a masterful drumroll the powder turned into eerie puffs drifting across the stage. After the remaining members popped up from the hiding spots they rocked two instruments at once. Like Chang Wang (Billy Dufala) with a big old saxophone slung over a bass guitar while standing behind the marimbas. Kind of impressive. At one point Honus Honus held up two sets of keys, shaking them frantically. Even then he didn't speak directly to the audience, just gestured until hundreds of keys were pulled from pockets and rattled in the air, making the song come off the stage and live momentarily in the crowd.
To further demonstrate the band's appreciation for their Philly audience, they came out for two encores. The set list consisted of a mix of new tunes and classics, and the beauties from Rabbit Habbits ("Mister Jung Stuffed," "Top Drawer") got everyone the most excited. But when parts one and two of the night's encore came it was the gems from Six Demon Bag that thrilled. "Engwish Bwudd" and "Ice Dogs" were the two greatest moments of the show. They were the most intimate, with the crowd singing in off-key unison and Honus Honus nearing exhaustion, crouching and repeating with everyone in the entire Trocadero, "This ship won't sail, and this heart won't die."
The fave of the evening.
Well, well, well boys and girls, last night was what sadly may be the most anticipated event of my year ... The Academy Awards (I kid, I kid ... or do I?). I was actually quite pleased with this year's ceremony: Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin had fantastic rapport, the writing was generally humorous (so much so that I actually enjoyed jokes coming out of Robin Williams' mouth) and even though I was all hot and bothered about the 10 best picture nominees, all was well in the end because The Hurt Locker beat the shit out of Ferngully for Adults.
I'll admit I was at first a little disappointed by the gowns, but today, having dedicated far too much time looking at this slideshow, I realized that there were quite a few fabulous numbers strutting down that red carpet, and they deserve to be praised.
Kathryn Bigelow She looked great, and even better, she pulled off the best. revenge. on. an. ex. ever.
Gabourey Sidibe What a wonderful night she must've had, and she really looked beautiful, charming, adorable and lots of other heart-warming adjectives. Also, one of my favorite things about last night was listening to everybody try to pronounce her name.
Zoe Saldana One word: WOWZA. Some other words: Givenchy couture, bulbous ruffles descending into all sorts of purples, light pink crystal bustier. All very good words.
Zoe Kravitz Why was she here? What does Zoe Kravitz actually do besides have really attractive parents? Is that a career? Rumer Willis seems to have done something with it. As much as I question Z. Krav's purpose and worth, I can't deny that girl's style. I love velvet and big bows and chiffon skirts, and all three of those things are hard to pull off, but gdamnit, she done did it.
Mo'nique It was a tribute to Hattie McDaniel! She had gardenias in her hair! She has an apostrophe in her name! You know, Mo' never shaves her legs, like, as a rule. It was the mofo-ing Oscars and her legs were as hairy as Robin Williams' knuckles. LOVE her!
Amanda Seyfried She's starting to get on my nerves for some reason, but she's pretty and more-than-marginally talented so I better get used to having her around. I enjoyed her dress last night, though I must add that a giant sparkly ball gown is a safe choice and I tend to prefer that my ingenues be risk-takers (see: Zoe Saldana). The dress looks spectacular from the side, and I appreciate that she toned down her hair to let the gown speak for itself, because it had a lot to say.
Meryl Streep The most beautiful and wonderful and talented woman on that red carpet. And she always dresses her age, which I really admire. It was nothing special, but she looked radiant.
Sandra Bullock I haven't seen The Blind Side, and I am very suspicious of the hype, but Ms. Bullock has pulled out all the stops this awards season (sartorially, that is). Especially loved the lipstick with this outfit. The train was delightfully glamorous, and the flowery brocade business up top was really quite incredible. Plus, I think it gets shinier towards the bottom. I looove shiny.
Helen MIrren Remember what I said about Meryl? Just copy and paste that here, but add something nice about her big rack.
Kate Winslet What can I say? It was shiny and it fit like a dream. Her hair was the most flattering shade of blonde and it was styled just right: simple and elegant. Also, did anyone else notice that they played the Titanic theme song when she came on stage to announce Best Actor? That was exciting.
Vera Farmiga I couldn't decide if I liked this or only felt so-so about it. I definitely love the color, but I think it could do with fewer ruffles. I think it wanted me to think it was amAZing, but I don't do what dresses tell me to do. Jean shorts, maybe. Dresses no.
Diane Kruger This dress was a major letdown as far as I'm concerned. I've been looking forward to The Krug's Oscar outfit since before the Globes, and this was just blah blah blah. A nice gown, I suppose, but not Oscar-worthy by any means. It was frumpy. Hmm, I hope that's not because she's depressed ... or because she's having relationship problems. Oh god.
Penelope Cruz Wow, a red dress that hugged your curves. Really out there ,Penny. I expect more from you. I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and believe that the reason for this mediocrity is because you are simply too preoccupied having passionate, crazy, Spanish, Almodovar-style--which-means-l
Carey Mulligan I don't feel strongly about this dress either way, which in itself is sort of a problem. At least this one is several steps above both her Globe and SAG choices, in both fit and style. I dug the bejewledness of it all, and the unusual cut of the skirt, but I feel like there has been something missing from each of Carey's outfits this awards season and last night was no exception. The most obvious problem was her hair color, but I was also bothered by the general lack of color in the ensemble.
Demi Moore She looked really tan, so that's good, I guess. But I don't know why she was there. Honestly there should've been far fewer ruffles on this number. Plus, homegirl really needs to eat something.
Cameron Diaz Yeah yeah, she looked fine. But she sucks majorly.
Tina Fey I wish I didn't have to put Tina on this list. But this thing made you look awfully hippie and it really looked like it could be purchased at David's Bridal. One of the things I do love about T.F. is that nerdy writer inside who still doesn't quite fit in at these grand masturbatory Hollywood affairs.
Sarah Jessica Parker Doesn't Perez Hilton call her SJPeePee? Because her dress was definitely the color of urine. She better play her cards right, because I'm almost to the point where I can no longer enjoy watching Sex and the City reruns on TBS at midnight. God forbid my distaste for Sarah Jess should grow so strong that I am forced to throw away my copy of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Please don't make me do it. Please.
George Clooney's Italian Date This new nameless, faceless flame of my soulm8 surely can't last long. I mean, she accessorized a red satin dress with a red satin shawl and a red satin clutch. Once again, please.
Rachel McAdams The cut was very flattering, but that's about it. I suppose in theory I liked the watercolor print, but would like to know the reason why the colors all seemed to be inspired by different consistencies of sewage.
Miley Cyrus She looked nice and all but she seems to be allergic to standing up straight. My friend Mike said she looked like she was pooping. I love Mike.
Mariah Carey Will never make it on a best dressed list. Ever.
Charlize Theron Rosettes? On your boobies? For reals?
Kristen Stewart Just sucks. And apparently, she can't stand still and read from a teleprompter at the same time. Or stand up straight for that matter. And judging by how awful her hygiene seems, she actually might have been pooping. (That's right, that another poop joke. Deal with it.).
What say you? Who did we miss? Who did you love? Who, more importantly, did you hate? Weigh in on the stars' gowns in the comments.
Why bother with my analysis when you can read Josh Middleton's piece on Swallow Your Pride, featuring an extensive interview with Wing Bowl champion Bill "El Wingador" Simmons?
Then go see it tonight at National Mechanics
Swallow Your Pride screening, Mon., March 8, 9 p.m., free, National Mechanics, 22 S. Third St., 215-701-4883, nationalmechanics.com.
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