Self-Portraits Of Notables Unearthed By Renegade Art Archivists

Jennifer Lawrence, renowned thespian and overnight self-portraiture sensation.

In what contemporary scholars are calling one of the largest disseminations of heretofore unseen art in recent years, dozens of examples of self-portrait photography by notables in the entertainment industry have been uncovered by renegade art archivists and released free to the art-appreciating public through the internet.

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The Synesthesia of John Hughes

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Uncle Buck (1989) | Dir. John Hughes

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Is Neo-Noir The Worst Genre?

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In his review of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Armond White opens by declaring that “Neo-noir must be the worst movie genre. It’s an excuse for juvenile filmmakers to pretend cynicism while their imbecile audiences pretend sophistication.”

I can certainly see where he’s coming from. I haven’t seen A Dame to Kill For yet, but I have seen more than enough attempts at neo-noirs that think all there is to the genre is a femme fatale and an anti-hero in a trenchcoat. I’m talking about mediocre, flailing films like Max Payne—or worse, the attempts to bring noir to hip, younger settings like Assassination of a High School President and Lucky Number Slevin. They’re movies that look at the classics of the genre, fall in love with the aesthetic, but have no idea why or how that aesthetic works as it does. As Armond so aptly points out, Sin City and its ilk are all “pretending that it still means something to call a sexy woman ‘dame.’”

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Posted in All Posts, Brad's Essays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jenna Ipcar on ‘Frank’

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Frank (2014)
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson
Written by Jon Ronson & Peter Straughan
95 min.

Spoiler-free.

Sometimes all you need to see is a still from a movie and you know it’s worth watching. That’s how I felt about Frank—the imagery looked so unique that I knew I’d have to give it a shot. I mean come on, Michael Fassbender running around in a papier-mâché head making off-kilter electronic music? Say no more, I’m there.

Funny enough, the concept is not actually unique to the film. The giant mask frontman character is actually based off musician and comedian Chris Sievey, aka Frank Sidebottom, cult hero of 1980s Britain. Frank Sidebottom’s weird brand of humor seems to have inspired many—there’ evens a statue of him in his hometown of Timperley– not to mention the film’s co-writer, Jon Ronson, who was part of Sidebottom’s band for a time.

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Let’s Be Real About ‘Let’s Be Cops’

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“The community that denies to a portion of its members their plain rights under the law has severed the only safe bond of social order and prosperity. The evil works from a bad center both ways. It demoralizes those who practice it and destroys the faith of those who suffer by it in the efficiency of the law as a safe protector.” – Benjamin Harrison, 1889

Let’s Be Cops (2014)
Directed by Luke Greenfield
Written by Luke Greenfield & Nicholas Thomas
104 min.

Everyone’s first response to Let’s Be Cops is to wince at the timing—a film about frat boy cop antics released the week a town is besieged by a police paramilitia. But really, when you get right down to it, when would be good timing here? What is this movie’s best case scenario? America’s toughest week in a long time is really the only time this 21 Jump Street ripoff has anything more to offer us than tepid chuckles.

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Posted in All Posts, John's Reviews | 2 Comments