Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2007

Today my visiting-from-LA sister and I braved the midtown crowds, Christmas-crazed and gift-bogged that they were, to venture up to the MOMA. I was there during the erstwhile summer months to check out the Richard Serra exhibit – but it was sis’s first trip in a while. The initially daunting line notwithstanding, the entrance fee (one genuine student and one fake student: $8 off the entrance price!) paid and complimentary coat check checked, we headed into the depths to check out this “art” thing.

In one of the first main galleries we encountered HUGE wood pieces – a convoluted and slightly arthritic looking ladder was suspended above our heads and extended into the horizon. Or rather, as your eye traveled up the length of the ladder you saw that the physical narrowing of the piece itself tricked your eye into thinking it was significantly longer than it actually was. The same was true for a contraption with a huge base of treated wood that was topped with a long, unfinished piece of wood that extended into the air and narrowed to a deceiving point.

ladder
“Ladder for Booker T. Washington.” Am I as long as you think I am?

The most interesting art for me retains a flickering quality, where opposed ideas can be held in a tense coexistence. – Martin Puryear, 2007

I like reading the artists’ quotes and curators’ statements at exhibits like this. Being left alone to contextualize a roll of paper suspended from the ceiling and dribbled with ketchup and graphite can be a daunting task – at least when I’m reading I know the right spot to nod or furrow my brow. So I guess Martin Puryear’s quote above, whose art I was so admiring, helps me get the juxtapositions of space and solid, flexibility and rigidity, that he’s getting at with his pieces. But all these highfalootin’ words can’t do justice to the strength, comfort, and appeal of these huge wooden pieces.

Upon viewing Puryear’s gallery as it continued on the 6th floor, I decided that the dude has a thing for dinosaurs. (Who doesn’t?) Several pieces significantly resembled brontosauruses (brontonsauri), with lofty necks extending at a graceful angle from a grounded, boxy base.

puryearlever.jpg
“Lever #1.” I look like a dinosaur.

Another theme running through Puryear’s work was a recreation of lattice work that at first glance looked pliable, and on second look was revealed to be rigid pieces of wood coaxed and stapled and glued into curving, organic looking shapes. The space inside these overturned baskets was a nice place to dwell mentally, and I imagined curling up comfortably inside a few of the larger ones.

Brunhilde
Big enough to hide in. Small enough to love. “Brunhilde”

So instead of taking a trip all the way up to Sturbridge Village to see quaint handicrafts, take a shorter trip to the MOMA and see quaint handicrafts, rendered in mammoth proportions. When a lot of art is exhausting to look at and doesn’t leave me feeling any better equipped to do, well, anything, Puryear’s sculptures really did seem to have something to say about the relationships between carved wood and the hands that carve them, and the natural world and the Brooklyn world we live in.

Martin Puryear’s exhibition is at the MOMA through January 14, 2008.

The MOMA costs $20 for adults and $12 if you still have your student ID. Every Friday 4-8 PM is free. The cost of admission also gets you into PS 1 for free if you go within a month.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

                   

                                   God Bless Us. Everyone.

Read Full Post »

New York is a vicious town in terms of dating. I think this relates to the following three conditions of the City:

1. Everyone is so freaking cool/hot/rich, that either one or both of the people involved in a given hook-up is basically calculating their chances with everyone else in the room.

2. Everyone works a lot (because it’s so expensive to live here), so unless you meet someone cool/hot/rich at work, you’re not able to spend as much time as you should hanging out in other places filled with the single and lithe.

3.  It ain’t Louisiana and we’re not marrying the guy who knocked us up when we were 16 (sorry, Jamie-Lynn. Cheap shot.)

So you can understand why online dating (so to speak) is so popular in these parts. I mean, witness the volume of doin’-it-related posts on CL in a day. Or the number of people who you know personally who have slept with half of nerve.com’s members and all of the tattooed girls on the Onion personals.  But obvs, no one hits up eHarmony because they’re all gay-hating Christians. And no one wants to tap that. Believe me. But yes, even online dating is a struggle in this dog-eat-dog (if you’re into that sort of thing) scene. Thank God the fine people at Crazy Blind Date have heard our frenzied prayers.

Is traditional online dating too time consuming? Do you feel you know too much about the strangers you’re going out with? Do you feel the potential to be involved in some kind of date rape scenario is too low?

Well, you can stop worrying! At Crazy Blind Date, you fill out a questionnaire about your neighborhood, schedule and vague interests, and some kind of algorithm will find you a blind date. But you won’t really know anything about them. And they give you a picture, but they intentionally blur it. For fun! Get it? And then just to be safe, you meet in a public place.

I’m not even making this up. This is how they market themselves:

“We like to keep things simple. That’s why on very short notice we can set you up on quick dates with total strangers at public places like bars and coffee shops. You’re not allowed to see their picture or even communicate.”

So, I’m spoken for and I have like, a little bit of self respect. But I would really like someone I know to try this and tell me how it goes.

Read Full Post »

I haven’t seen everything I want to see this year (which is why I’m holding off on the top ten films of 2007) but I can confidently say that these were the worst. I don’t mean worst in the Norbit sense either. These are the films that could have been great or interesting, but ultimately sucked.

Across the Universe: I’ve already expressed how much I hated this movie once on this blog, but here it is again. A collection of 60’s cliches, hammy dialogue and poor acting, Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe is an embarrassing piece of work in an otherwise solid career. Honestly, if hippie culture was anything like this, maybe Nixon was right.

The Brave One: This movie really should have been called Jodie Foster Kills New York. Not only is this film bizarrely inaccurate (apparently you can’t walk two blocks in Manhattan without being raped and killed) but it was also just poorly executed. By the end it has dissolved into such a shitty action movie that Jodie Foster literally looks at one of her victims and says “Now who’s the bitch?”

Death at a Funeral: It seems Frank Oz wrote this script, realized it didn’t have a personality, and then injected the personalities of other farces right into it. Between the tired “guy trips on acid by accident and does crazy things” bit and the ongoing panic joke that Peter Dinklage is a gay midget (he’s gay and small! Get it?), I was ready for this movie to end within ten minutes of sitting down.

Smokin’ Aces: My expectations weren’t particularly high for this film. I was a fan of Joe Carnahan’s Narc a few years ago, and while Smokin’ Aces looked like another Quentin Tarantino rip-off, I thought he might be able to bring something fun and original to the table. Instead of a fun shoot-em-up movie however, Carnahan actually asked us to give a shit about these characters. Oh yeah, and there’s a plot. Who the fuck does this guy think he is?

Zodiac: While director David Fincher deserves praise for this tireless research and accuracy, he seems to have forgotten that he was making a movie and not a recreation of a crime for Court TV. I saw this with several friends and I’m pretty sure we all fell asleep. Fine, maybe we were kind of drunk.

Worst Casting: John Travolta in Hairspray. Travolta looked terrifying and sounded like a drunk, southern drag-queen trying to do a Dr. Evil impersonation while swallowing marbles.

Worst use of CGI: I Am Legend. This film had me going until I got my first glimpse of the crazy zombie (not vampires like in the book) “infected” bad guys. It gave the film a cartoonish vibe that ruined all of the suspense that followed.

Worst Amount of Product Placement: Transformers and Disturbia. Shia LaBoeuf had a big year with two blockbuster films. He also managed to promote a shitload of products in these films. After watching Transformers and Disturbia I had this weird urge to drive my Ford truck to Bed Bath and Beyond while listening to music that I downloaded on iTunes.

Worst Advertising Campaign: Good Luck Chuck. I remember walking out of my apartment hungover one morning and almost vomiting at the sight of a half-naked Dane Cook with a shit-eating grin on his face.

Worst Movie Featuring a Good Performance: Alpha Dog. Justin Timberlake made Alpha Dog, Nick Cassavetes’ poorly written juvenile crime drama, almost worth watching. Almost. While Emile Hirsch did his best Fred Durst impersonation and Ben Foster pretty much let the throbbing veins in his head do the acting for him, Timberlake came through with a sincere and powerful performance. Call me crazy, but I think the kid’s going to be big.

Worst Historical Representation: 300. Did you know that Xerxes was a ten foot tall trans-gender alien who sounded like Mr. T? Or all Persians are freakish, scarred creatures who like to experiment with their sexuality? Thanks for the history lesson 300!

Worst Film Title: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. I don’t think a film title has ever made me want to strangle a puppy as much as this one.

Worst Looking Movie That I’m Still Weirdly Excited to See in the New Year: I Know Who Killed Me. Lindsay Lohan as a stripper? Okay. A weird double personality plot? I’m with you. Clones and robot arms??? Holy shit. It may not have been a good year for LiLo, but at least she can rest assured that stoned college kids will be watching this movie for years to come.

I’ll be back soon with the best of the best of 2007!

Read Full Post »

She’s been caught wasted. She’s been in jail. She’s made a sex video. But now Paris Hilton really just wants to be taken seriously. Her agent threw a bunch of projects at her, but she threw them all back saying “No! This is the year that Paris Hilton makes a name for herself. I want to star in Hottie or Nottie!” The film is being released next February and is apparently about Paris Hilton’s relationship with a girl who has come back from the dead and wishes to feed on her brains.

Photobucket

Read Full Post »

Washington Post reports that “Jet From Supermassive Black Hole Seen Blasting Neighboring Galaxy”.

The very first line of the article tells us that this is “an act of galactic violence…”

 Holy shit! Is this how they sneak it in, under the radar, that we’re not only in an unwinnable war against terrorism, but an INTERGALACTIC WAR too??? Let’s read on.

“What we’ve identified is an act of violence by a black hole, with an unfortunate nearby galaxy in the line of fire,” said Dan Evans, the study leader at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge. He said any planets orbiting the stars of the smaller galaxy would be dramatically affected, and any life forms would likely die as the jet’s radiation transformed the planets’ atmosphere.

Um, OK Dan Evans. So what we learned from the above paragraph is:

  1. A distinguished astrophysician describes this as an act committed by a BLACK HOLE. Like, it decided to do this. Is he relying on the fact that we KNOW that black holes are prescient? Is this how he’s slyly telling us what the government already knows? Hmmm….
  2. Any life forms would likely die as the jet’s radiation transformed the planets’ atmosphere…. there are likely other forms of life in other galaxies? Fascinating!
  3. This could happen to our galaxy?

 castle-sky.jpg

The extinct space-ilization I plan to discover in my career as a cosmonaut.

If a jet were to hit Earth, Evans said, it would destroy the ozone layer and collapse the magnetosphere that blankets the planet and protects it from harmful solar particles. Without the ozone layer and magnetosphere, he said, much of life on Earth would end.

Merry Christmas!

Read Full Post »

When I first read this headline “Jackson to take part in New Line-MGM ‘Hobbit’” on googlenews, how excited was I? Visions of a coke-snorting Jacko with hairy feet danced in my head.

bubbles.jpg

Our name is Bilbo Baggins.

One click further told me that it was, in fact, Peter Jackson. Directing the prequel to LOTR. Shooting will begin 2009. That is still cool. I guess.

In a prepared statement Jackson said, “We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth.” Does he speak in the royal we? Does he wish he’d been knighted? Is he anticipating my complicity in his delight? Because that last one, that’s the truth of it.

After a breathless viewing of the final chapter of LOTR I remember my sister turned to me, tears glistening in her eyes, and said “I am so so sad that I will never get to see them again for the first time.”

peterjackson.jpg

2009, I’m comin’ for you!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »