29 October 2010

The Movie Map: The Sequel

Yesterday, The Daily What published a map of the United States from Redditor subtonix, with film titles instead of state names. The goal was to find movies that best represent US states. Ambitious? Yep. Really vague? That too.

What are we really going for here?  A sense of place? Movies that were shot in that state or just based there? And what the heck are we supposed to do with states like California and New York that have libraries far too extensive to narrow it down to one iconic film. Plus, I just didn't really like this list. Fast Times at Ridgemont High for California? Jesus Camp for North Dakota AND Missouri? The Shawshank Redemption for Maine?

So instead of getting all CAPSY in the comments section...my friends and I made a new map.

It's not perfect. Some states just really don't have any good options. I refuse to put Jesus Camp in North Dakota so that's just blank. So is Delaware. Seriously, look at their wikipedia pages, the choices are slim.  Also, even though I committed to titles for some states, I'm still not thrilled with them (127 Hours for Utah, Sling Blade for Arkansas) and I'm open to suggestions. Finally, some states just have too many good options that I just couldn't choose.

What do you think?

Special thanks to @smitty4657 and @mcslaven.

26 October 2010

Here Comes My Baby

When nothing you do is original, and everything even vaguely twee, hipster, or precious can be mocked mercilessly (and sometimes deservedly), and categorized and stereotyped immediately, any attempts at pop culture homage seem destined to fail.  Now that the brilliant Alex Blagg has parodied the insidious alternative wedding trend, we're all kind of doomed to be conventional if only to save ourselves from the embarrassment of this painfully accurate parody of the folks who fancy themselves unique. If it's vanilla and if you're not trying too hard, who can really judge it?  This is especially true after finding out from an excerpted N+1 article that apparently the real modern hipster movement only lasted till about 2003...and everything since has been derivative.

And yet, there are some brave souls out there still. Consider "Sean and Hayden." Instead of mailing a normal save the date, they created a short film in the style of...WES ANDERSON. Yes, Wes, the twee-est of all the twee directors destined, I think, for some sort of Burton-esque backlash in the next few years. Proof? The preppies covet Margot Tenenbaum.

Anyway, Sean and Hayden's save the date is a love letter to Rushmore and they got it all right, from the font, to the music, to the images. And you know what? It's actually kind of charming.

25 October 2010

She Just Likes to Fight

Carey Mulligan is just getting cooler by the day. Proof? She's broken up with the slimy seeming Shia LaBoeuf and is living at a $69/night Best Western in Los Angeles.

photo by Mikael Jansson for Interview

But not all Best Westerns were created equal.  This particular branch is home to the super hip/not hip at all/isn't that the point late night diner the 101, where I've seen my fair share of 20-something celebs picking at sweet potato fries in the early morning hours, and I don't even live in Los Angeles.

(via New York Magazine)

22 October 2010

Now Playing: The National's "Guest Room"

What's old is worth watching again. A testament to the quality of fan videos, here's The National's "Guest Room" shot in a hazy Los Angeles.  We miss being deviants, indeed.

20 October 2010

The Trailer Series

In a bout of nostalgia for the Gia Coppola directed Opening Ceremony short "Non Plus One", I realized that I failed to really consider her co-director, Tracy Antonopoulos. Little exists about her online besides an uninspiring twitter account, a random blog post claiming she's a film student at NYU, and a series of Vimeos from about 8 months ago that includes a series of trailers for fake movies. They're charming, pretty fantastically (but forgivably) unoriginal, and just make me hope that Ms. Antonopoulos continues making more fun shorts. She's friends with a Coppola for goodness sakes. Couldn't be that hard...

The Corner (Trailer Series) from Tracy ANTONOPOULOS on Vimeo.

Girls (Trailer Series) from Tracy ANTONOPOULOS on Vimeo.

runAWAY (Trailer Series) from Tracy ANTONOPOULOS on Vimeo.

19 October 2010

Vast Carelessness and Boats Against the Current

This week in on again, off again rumors, it looks as though Baz Luhrmann's plan to direct a new version of The Great Gatsby is back on, according to Vulture.  The all-too ubiquitous F. Scott Fitzgerald novel has been adapted for the screen four times, beginning with a silent version in 1926 (a lost film...no prints exist).  Of course the most famous adaptation at this point is the generally despised 1974 attempt, directed by Jack Clayton, and featuring Mia Farrow and Robert Redford. I wish I could have found some of the original reviews to cite as well, but none were easily findable.  Upon the release of the DVD in 2004, however, Roger Ebert took the occasion to write a scathing review, lambasting the movie for being too faithful to the book and failing to actually capture the spirit of it.

Like it or not, The Great Gatsby has a fan base that is vast and devoted. It's a terribly resonant tale and has become so common in pop culture that sometimes it seems more in fashion to proclaim that the book is actually lacking as a work of great art.  And to commit something so popular to film?  A dangerous venture to say the least.  It's no surprise to anyone that people judge adaptations of favorite novels in a much harsher light than new stories. And rightly so. Remember Bogdonavich's Daisy Miller? Scorsese's The Age of Innocence? Wright's Pride and Prejudice?

Then again, Luhrmann was the reason most of my peers began to like Shakespeare. Our 7th grade English teacher was elated, to say the least.

The word is that Luhrmann would like to cast Rebecca Hall or Natalie Portman as Daisy, Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay, and Tobey Maguire as Nick.  I'm hopeful that Ms. Hall will be better than Ms. Farrow at capturing Daisy.  Although the lovely and waifish Mia Farrow might always be what I see when I picture Daisy, her performance, according to Ebert, was "all squeaks and narcissism and empty sophistication."

18 October 2010

Argyle, Frills, and Tights: The Carefree Girls of Seventeen in the 60s

Seventeen magazine put together a wonderful slide show of vintage covers alongside some dated advice from each issue. (For example, in 1945, a section advised girls that boyfriends in the navy overseas would appreciate care packages of "foot powder, saddle soap, and sun lotion.")  I'd be really interested to read some of these articles, if only to find out what a "Pancake Party" is.

Alas, all we have are the covers and what the Seventeen editors with access to all of the archives chose to convey.  That said, it is fun to take a look at what the teens were wearing, or at least aspired to wear, in the 60s. Things definitely seemed to get better for the outfits as the decade went on.  My personal favorite is the turtleneck dress from the 1968 cover.











15 October 2010

The Junior Varsity on The Social Network

The Junior Varsity rolled out a brilliant series on The Social Network this week.  Some really thoughtful and funny writing.

Mike on Class, the "So What?", and Our Generation

14 October 2010

New Robyn!

Though it won't be officially released till November 22nd, Robyn has released 5 versions of "Indestructible" on her Songcloud account.

Indestructible by robyn

(via Discopop)

Belle and Sebastian and Nostalgia

Tonight Belle and Sebastian are playing at the Daughters of the American Revolution, Constitution Hall (oh, DC, you make me laugh sometimes). I expect every 25 to 35 year-old in the audience to be overcome with soul crushing nostalgia and wistful joy.

13 October 2010

Getting Kicked Out of the Igloo

Girls are getting meaner, younger, according to The New York Times. It's probably the fault of Hanna Montana. Or the mother. It's almost definitely a class thing. And certainly a cleanliness thing (kids totally notice when you're too poor to have your private school outfit laundered daily).   

But of course this shocking trend is also based on about four case studies.  Anyone who actually experienced childhood knows that no matter what the child psychologists say, bullying amongst girls did not begin after the 5th grade in some bygone era. It begins, and has always begun, pretty much as soon as kids start interacting with each other.  

At this point I've come to accept the very particular case of Times "trend" stories, if only because they seem to be written in some sort of vacuum void of relevant cultural references and general life experiences and therefore are always kind of amusing.  But let's assume for a moment that there is something real happening here. That somehow bullying is beginning earlier. What should we do?  Having gotten too caught up in anecdotes about Strawberry Shortcake t-shirts and vague statements from Arne Duncan, the Times seems to have forgotten to offer up a larger point.

Basically the only piece of cautionary advice the article gives is that singing along to Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and Jay-Z ("Single Ladies" is called out by name...they're talking about you Arianna) at age 2 will only lead to cellphone requests and Lady Gaga at age 8.  It also makes sure to remind that none of the cool kids actually like The Jonas Brothers or Miley Cyrus. And just in case you were wondering, parents are usually powerless to regulate. 

12 October 2010

Blue Valentine: The ACTUAL Trailer

Ok, before I turn into the official tracker of all things Blue Valentine, this past week was an exciting one - a true, teaser trailer was released and the MPAA decided that the film would carry an NC-17 rating.

The Internet is in a semi rage over the harsh rating.  As the folks over at The Playlist point out, this sort of rating will definitely impact distribution, thus those who don't live in Los Angeles or New York will probably have a pretty slim chance of actually seeing the film in theaters on December 31st.

For now, though, please enjoy the sweet and heartbreaking teaser set to Ryan Gosling's goofy rendition of "You Always Hurt The One You Love."

A Very Stella Evening

Because commercials are quick, easy, and probably very lucrative, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola have teamed up to direct a jazzy one-minute spot for Stella Artois. 

Silly girl, trying to play with technology!  She's little more than a cute prize, after all. 


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