Archive for February, 2008

Paris celebrated its Fashion Week this past week. Paris, for those of you who don’t know, is the birthplace for most new style ideas and trends, and because of this, is considered the most important city to the fashion world. Hence, this particular week brings out the best of the best in the industry, and celebrities of the highest distinction travel from all over the world to come support their favorite designers (note: Mary-Kate Olsen).

Yesterday, The New York Times posted a slide show of photos taken throughout the week. I want to share with you my personal picks:

Pick #1:

Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo

I dig the heart shaped stitching. Gives off a “homemade valentine” kind of vibe. It’s sweet. And this model resembles someone. I can’t think of who, though. Oh, right. She looks like this guy I know, Satan.

Pick #2:

Viktor & Rolf

I like this dress. It speaks for itself. Literally. And what a strong message it sends.

Pick #3:


Oh, I love it when people from the future travel back in time just to participate in Fashion Week.

Pick #4:

And last, but definitely not least, we have my favorite featured item of the week:

Junya Watanabe

This ensemble reminds me of a right-before-bed ritual my older sister used to practice on me called “try to suffocate my little sister.” Also sometimes referred to as the “If you don’t let me wrap this sheet around your head, I’ll punch you” game. It was a lot of fun.

I hope that out of everything we’ve seen, this trend catches on the most. Not only because of the feeling of nostalgia it stirs up, but because it is so practical.

I will say though, outside of the “head wrap,” I think Junya Watanabe’s designs are stunning.

Here are a few more designs from the same artist:

I cannot see your faces.
In its entirety

Whether or not you agree with my commentary, I hope you’ve gained some new ideas from these outfits. I know I have.

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This Island is Batshit Crazy

Makers of Lost: What the hell is going on? The following is an incomplete list of what has happened to the most telegenic crash survivors since Gilligan’s Island: Polar bears in the jungle, a murderous cloud of black smoke, time travel, and a series of coincidences that would make Douglas Adams blush.

And in the Cadillac of self-aware metaphors, next week Hurley will actually jump a shark, and it won’t even be weird.

Plus, someone must have recently accused them of not fucking with their audience enough, because I’m pretty sure the last time Sawyer said “freckles,” he winked at me.

You’re right bearclaws, I did.

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The Other Boleyn Girl: Yet another adaptation of a book that I have seen everyone in the world reading while on the subway, The Other Boleyn Girl is about two sisters competing for the love of Henry VIII. Between this and the Showtime series The Tudors, Hank has been getting a lot of play lately. Now when I picture Henry VIII, I see a fat guy drinking mead and eating a rack of lamb while decapitating people. I don’t picture Jonathan Rhys Meyers or Eric Bana. I suppose this film wouldn’t be as popular if it starred John Goodman. But it would he historically accurate. Plus, John Goodman already has experience playing an English king. It’s playing at the Park Slope Pavilion and Cobble Hill Cinemas.

Penelope: I saw the trailer for this a century ago, and then it got buried for a long time. That is probably not a good sign. Christina Ricci plays a girl with a weird nose. She was cursed and the only thing that can break the curse is true love. This is director Mark Palansky’s first feature length film, and he has put together quite a cast also including James McAvoy, Catherine O’Hara, Reese Witherspoon and Peter Dinklage. I’d wait for reviews before going to see this one. This is playing at the AMC Loew’s Village 7.

Semi Pro: Will Ferrell is starting to bore the shit out of me. He seems to be remaking the same comedy over and over again. Interestingly enough, his newest poster art suggests that he’s going to start ripping off other people too. When will Will Ferrell stop playing a loud, over-sized man-boy in ridiculous costumes for laughs? When they stop making shitloads of money I suppose. In this one, he plays basketball. And I think it takes place in the seventies. If it’s sold out you can either see something else or act out your own version by picking a random sport, putting on a costume that accentuates the awkwardness of your body, shout loud non-sequitors and overreact to everything that happens to you. This is playing at the United Artists on Court Street and the Pavilion.

Chicago 10: This is my pick of the week. It’s part animated and also a documentary about the 1968 Democratic Convention anti-war protests and the trial that followed. You can see the trailer here. The animation looks fantastic and reminiscent of Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. Also interesting is the voiceover work for the film, which features such actors as Hank Azaria, Mark Ruffalo, Dylan Baker, Nick Nolte and the late Roy Schneider. It’s playing at the Landmark Sunshine.

City of Men: A sequel to City of God seems superfluous to me, but this is getting decent advanced reviews thus far. From what I can tell, it abandons the characters from the first movie and tells the story of two friends who are drawn to opposite sides of a gang war. Which…is the exact same plot as the first one. So if you liked City of God, but really wanted to see the exact same movie performed by different people, this is for you. If this turns into a franchise, I’m excited for City of Dragons. This is playing at the Angelika.

Also, Paranoid Park is playing tomorrow night at BAM. It hasn’t been released wide yet. This is Gus Van Sant’s latest film. Tickets still seem to be available. Scarface is the midnight movie tomorrow night at the Sunshine, and there’s a midnight screening of Sixteen Candles at the IFC Center tomorrow night.

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Oh my god, this show is so bad. Did you watch it? Because I did. And I want my money back. I want NBC to reimburse me for my hour that is now forever lost.

I know “Quarterlife” doesn’t deserve any attention, but you know when something is so bad you have to talk about it? This is how I feel about “Quarterlife.” Hence, I will briefly go over the main points of the soon to be defunct show.

The protagonist, Dylan (a girl), exposes her roommates’ secrets on her video blog and something shocking happens, they find out. Chaos ensues.

Apparently while attending college Dylan lived in a closet, preventing her from ever witnessing the consequential shitstorm that occurs after someone discovers their roommate complains about them on their livejournal, I mean blog. Otherwise her naivety wouldn’t have her thinking no one reads or, I guess in her case, watches her blog. Anyway, this is basically what we, the viewers, find out from Dylan’s rantings:

Danny and Deborah are a couple.

Deborah and Danny

But Jed is in love with Deborah.


But Dylan is in love with Jed.


But Andy wants to sleep with Dylan.


And no one cares about the slutty alcoholic actress.


That’s basically it. The entire series. Right there.

I know you’re thinking that there must be at least one redeemable aspect of the show. Like the dialogue. Maybe the dialogue makes up for .25life’s bad plot lines. Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that.

[Here’s a playful scene between Jed and Deb where they’re throwing some disgusting mayonnaise at each other. Remember, Jed wants to share his life with Deb. And now Deb knows this. But she’s with Danny. So things are awkward. Enjoy.]

Deb: YOU are disgusting
Jed: I’m disgusting?
Deb: Yes.
Deb: You disgust me.
Jed: Well you know what, YOU disgust ME.
Deb: I do?
Jed: Absolutely.
Deb: Why do I disgust you?
Jed: You don’t disgust me.
Deb: Then why did you say I disgust you?
Jed: Because I always speak in opposites.
Deb: So, I don’t disgust you?
Jed: No.
Jed: You fill me with….
Deb: With what?
Jed: Longing.

Deb: Oh, Jed.
Jed: Shut up, Debra.
Deb: I can’t shut up.
Jed: I don’t want you to.
Deb: You don’t?
Jed: I love your voice too much.

SO good. I wonder if this script was written during the writer’s strike, so NBC sought out someone random to write this scene. And that random person was me. In 6th grade. Because these lines are eerily similar to a scene of a play I wrote with a friend in junior high. I’m just saying. I no longer keep in touch with this person, and she has the original copy.

But seriously. NBC? Directors? Producers? Did you not see the show before it aired? When shooting did you not think to yourself, “Maybe we should rethink some of these lines, and the overall plot. Because, I’m just going to put it out there, this show sucks.”

I simply don’t understand. WHY ARE YOU SO BAD, “QUARTERLIFE”?

Oh well. On the upside, this frees up one more hour a week on my DVR. Which I need. To make room for all those IFC movies I intend to record but will never watch.

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Tonight, we have the Top 10 Men singing ’70s hits. Yawn. I’m liveblogging anyway because I’m bored and feeling twitchy. And as my roommate can attest, I take any excuse possible not to wash dishes.

I present, American Idol season seven, week two, night one: “Rock is like an attitude. It’s not something you have to prove.” (Randy)

Michael Johns

First guy, you had a really rough time until you got to the chorus and remembered it from a Ford commercial in like 1997. I mean, I would be nervous too, if I were you.

I didn’t hear what any of the judges said because I was washing dishes.

Jason Castro

I think you’re white and you have dreads – this is a huge initial flaw. You should look into this. But you have a cute face, you play guitar, and you have an okay voice. You’ll go far, little ethnically questionable boy from Dallas.

Randy suggests that if you take away his guitar, he wouldn’t be that good. I agree. Paula just vomited on herself.

Luke Menard

OMG – you are currently in an alarmingly popular a cappella group. I like that. And he’s singing Queen. Eek, that was a hard high note for you. But if you’re getting all up in Freddie Mercury’s shit, you should goddamn know better.

Future Idolers, you all should only sing Queen songs (but have them arrange the really high notes out of them) because everyone sounds awesome singing them. They are uniformly not boring.

Randy said he sang a tough song (haha – and said “wheelhouse”). Uh, duh. Thanks Randy. Go eat some wings.

Simon scolded the crowd for booing him. I wonder if he gets into like really nasty dom/sub play when he gets home. I don’t know if he’d be creepier as an austere mistress or a leather-clad weepy crawler. I’ve been listening to too many Savage Love podcasts.

robbie.jpgRobbie Carrico

Whoa, Robbie! Stars don’t have hair like that. Fix it! Now!

Ugh, well your car racing hobby (Robbie) certainly explains the bandana/Axl Rose hair.

Let’s see how you sing.

Ew. Hot Blooded? Foreigner? You nasty. Just give up now. You’re giving America herpes through the TV screen. I don’t even have HD and I’m worried about my sexual health right now.

Why will Paula stand up for literally anyone? Why doesn’t she have standards? It’s like she LIKES herpes. And Simon likes it. What the fuck is going on here?

Danny Noriega

This kid is like the bitchy David Alchuleta. It’s important not to confuse these two. They are both tiny little boys, but one is good and one is evil. This one’s evil. And gay. And not in the way I like.

He kind of looks like those Japanese school girls with like, the SERIOUS hair cuts and weird clothes. They can probably sing better than Danny though.

The judges seem to like how he sings. They’re telling him to think less. I don’t think that’s possible.

David Hernandez

David’s got a sexy walk. I wish I didn’t have such a fuzzy picture so I could see if he was hot.

He’s definitely doing the best of anyone so far. Those fucking background singers sound flat as always. That must be hard to sing with.

Holy ass. The last 5 words of that song were spectacular. He wins. Randy agrees. Paula agrees (of course). Simon agrees. They should hire me to work on this show.

Jason Yeager

You’re incredibly bad. Not six notes in the song and you’ve already squashed my will to live. How does it feel to be so powerful?

Also, performance-wise, he has a significant gesturing problem. Seriously, way too much dude. Nice ass though. Randy is not impressed. Mildly offended that he chose the Doobie Brothers. Simon says, “awkward and ordinary…it’s like you were drunk at a party.” Seacrest is appaled at Simon’s tactlessness.


Good performance so far, despite the ridiculous back-up singers. They should be fired.

Yeah, he’s a really great singer, but I think he might be cursed with a face too ugly to win American Idol. He has a radio face, if you know what I mean.

Randy’s right though. He does have a sense of ease and humor about him. Simon refuses to pronounce his name right. That might be just as hurtful as saying he’s too ugly to win Idol.

david_c.jpgDavid Cook

“I’m kind of a geek for vocab.” Hah – and then they do a montage of him saying big words. American Idol, you’re totally retarded.

Not a bad voice. For, like, Bon Jovi.

I was wondering what he was going to do with that guitar strung around his neck. He played a 4 second solo. It just doesn’t look cool enough to warrant that. And then he threw his pick into the audience. The judges enjoyed his performance. Simon thinks he’s a pussy because he likes crosswords. Ooh and he just talked back! Hisssss…

And by the way, he needs a new official picture. Stat.

David Archuleta

Goddamn it. He’s too cute. Oh Jesus. And he’s singing “Imagine.” But he’s murdering the arrangement. I’ll reserve my judgement till the end, hoping for the best.

That was so good. He’s the Barack Obama of American Idol Season Seven. He is going to pwn everyone else so fucking bad.

Paula wants to “squish you, squeeze your head off and dangle you from [her] rearview mirror.” She’s probably on drugs, no?

Yes you are.

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NBC premieres its new series, “Quarterlife,” tonight at 10p.m. I’m hooked already. It’s produced by the same people who brought us “My So-Called Life” and “thirtysomething.” Wonderful.

Not much is known about “Quarterlife,” but given its title and its producers, I think we can make the assumption that this series will include one super hot guy, one nerd, a smart female, a hot chick who may be battling a learning disability, and a whole lot of angst. However, judging from the photo below, this initial character analysis may be off…or completely on point. Let’s find out, shall we?

The Cast

Well, it’s obvious who the “nerd” is. However, I think we all know this man is no nerd. He is a hipster. He’s sad though. He cannot look at the camera. Don’t stare at him; he wants to be left alone.

The other two male characters, well, they make me think no “super hot guy” exists on this show after all. Unless…it’s that man in the middle? The one gazing directly into our eyes? He who does not shy away from eye contact is considered confident and is therefore, successful with women. So, are we together here? By process of elimination, man in middle = hot one?

I’d prefer avoiding discussion of the final guy altogether, but it is my duty to unjustly characterize everyone in this photo. So, let me begin by criticizing his off centered sweatshirt that edges on Jennifer Beals territory, and how it makes me uncomfortable. Fix your shirt, man. You look weak. Amplifying these awkward feelings (felt by me)– his yearning over the female next to him. This is reminiscent of Brian Krakow’s unrequited affection for Angela. I could barely deal with a 15 year-old Krakow, I do not want to know the pain of witnessing him at 25.

Now, the women. Starting from the left, this girl looks like she has dealt with an eating disorder at some point. She went to rehab, and is slowly coming to accept herself and her looks. She hides behind her long, hippie-esque hair and is unsure of her place in life. She needs guidance. I want to help her.

Blondie looks fun. But also looks like she might take herself too seriously. (White cardigans are a telltale sign of uptight behavior.) However, She enjoys drinking with her girlfriends and can laugh at a good joke. Until a quip is made about her rich background. She finds no humor in jokes about money or, her idol, Kate Hudson.

Then we have a smart, laid back, anxious about life, beautiful brunette disguised in a raggedy sweatshirt and old (navy) jeans. While attending a prestigious college she thought the world was her oyster, but once thrust into the real world after graduation she comes to the hard realization that no amount of schooling can prepare you for this thing we call…life. Hence, we will watch her character progress from a self doubting 20-something afraid of failure, to a successful professional at an established publishing firm.

Okay, seriously, I have no idea what this show is about. But there are six characters, all around the age of 25, who I think live in Southern California. I doubt this show will make it past its first season. Shows revolving around post-college adults rarely last. I’m sure it has to do with no one from an older crowd being interested in reliving those first couple years out of college, since most of us spent that time either confused or clinically depressed. And the younger crowd just want to watch shows like “Gossip Girl.” And I can’t blame them for that, since “Gossip Girl” is the BEST SHOW ON TELEVISION, EVER.

I’m still tuning in tonight, though.

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A couple weeks ago, McCain reached out to the Obama campaign and agreed to only use public financing for the general election in Fall 2008 if Obama kept his previous promise to also use public funds. For a while, it seemed like Obama was in a tough situation. Either he would break his previous promise to use only public funds, which would injure his credibility on ethics issues, or he would be forced to lose his massive fundraising advantage over McCain by accepting parity in funds.

The New York Times reports that Obama tried to avoid this double bind by adding conditions to an agreement to accept public financing that would include promises to limit other types of campaign spending (527 groups and DNC/RNC spending). I agree with the NY Times that this attempt was very disingenuous, as his comments last year about public financing made very clear that he thought candidates had an ethical demand to use public financing (which would preclude recent attempts that sound more like a child saying “if he doesn’t, why should I”). However, this response has appeared to limit much of the damage McCain had hoped to leverage against Obama in the press.

Today, Obama receives much better news on this front as the FEC announced that McCain will not be able to withdraw from the public financing system for the rest of the primary season. This not only will limit McCain to spending only 5 million for the next few months if the ruling holds, but also takes away the moral high ground from McCain, as he took out a loan with tricky stipulations that required public financing as a guarantee for the loan.

Personally I believe that Obama and McCain should both stop squabbling over this issue and happily eschew public funding. Right now campaign laws are still not rigorous enough to prevent corporate money from influencing the race even if candidates do take all public funds. If Obama or McCain wish to take the high road, they should privately fundraise at all stages of the election and be transparent in their efforts to not take corporate donations. For Obama especially, this would be the wisest choice, since he can likely raise much more than the 84 million provided by public funds through his expansive small donor base.

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The Oscars have come and gone again. This is what you might have missed:

  • Ellen Page’s “I wonder if I can make her head explode” expression when Barbara Walters made her sing and play guitar on the pre-show interview.
  • Gary Busey menacingly telling Ryan Seacrest that he really wanted to pick his brain and then groping Jennifer Garner on the red carpet.
  • Trying to figure out the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.
  • The Bourne Ultimatum randomly winning three Oscars (one more than There Will Be Blood).
  • More Miley Cyrus than anyone asked for or knew what to do with.
  • Not nearly enough Julian Schnabel.
  • Brad Bird’s insanely nerdy speech when he won for Ratatouille.
  • Cynthia Wade, Brooklyn resident, winning for best Documentary Short.
  • Daniel Day Lewis’ speech which included the sentence “I’m looking at this gorgeous thing you’ve given me and I’m thinking back to the first devilish whisper of an idea that came to him and everything since and it seems to me that this sprang like a golden sapling out of the mad, beautiful head of Paul Thomas Anderson.” That’s fucking hot.
  • Across the Universe and Norbit will never be referred to as “Oscar Winners.”
  • Nostalgia. SHITLOADS of nostalgia.
  • Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova performing and then winning for Best Original Song.
  • The “In Memoriam” segment, which will forever have an audience reaction of “Oh man, that guy died? No shit…”
  • A collection of actors (including Tom Hanks and Renee Zellwegger) who seemed incapable of opening their eyes on stage.
  • A typically anti-climatic ending with No Country For Old Men winning Best Picture in an unexceptional (but not as frustrating) Oscars ceremony.

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News came today that Ralph Nader intends to once again join the presidential race, running as the Green Party nominee.

In 2000, I was a pretty strong advocate of his running for President because I believed that the country was leaning towards the left and that, by including Nader in our national conversation, we would continue to make great strides toward a more free, more equal U.S. Sometimes, I thought, it was important to just have someone making the case for idealism and egalitarianism. Sad as I am that Bush won in 2000, I still don’t blame it on Nader, but only because of the electoral college system. Gore just didn’t win the electorates he needed. Tragically, for sure.

In 2004, I and every other Democrat were so horrified by the direction of the country that no one voted for Nader. We were of the opinion that when the country is teetering on the edge of complete moral, social, political and ethical failure, primarily you’re just looking for the regime change. Our votes in ’04 were completely pragmatic.

But now, in 2008, there will most assuredly be a regime change. Even Republicans are so disgusted by the direction of the country, that they demand better leadership. However, Nader really should not run this time, just as he should not have run in 2004. This time around, Democrats have two very promising potential nominees. Like Nader, both take healthcare, international diplomacy and fiscal responsibility very seriously. Both of them will take the country forward and out of this mire that Bush has left us in.

Nader just has no place here. Previously, his role had been to remind Democrats that they weren’t just “anti-Republican.” We have ideals. We have a vision for the United States that protects its people while promoting the rights and liberties that we hold dear. We remember that protection includes making sure that people can go to the doctor when they’re sick and that it doesn’t involve invading sovereign nations. We remember that those rights include speaking out freely when we disagree with our national leadership. We remember that while we are all different people, we can agree on that which is just.

So I was going to make this joke that since the Democrats have his go-to issues covered, Nader was now going to be running for those who have been alienated from this election cycle – white men. But actually, this isn’t a joke. This time, Nader is running against his principles by undermining those who have a chance to make positive change.

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Melty the Meltman

Today, on the corner of 32nd and Broadway:


He’s probably dead by now.

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