Dusty Wright's Culture Catch - Smart Pop Culture, Video & Audio podcasts, Written Reviews in the Arts & Entertainment http://culturecatch.com/node/feed en What Is Nothingness? http://culturecatch.com/node/3780 <span>What Is Nothingness?</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/530" lang="" about="/user/530" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Elizabeth Stevens</a></span> <span>October 17, 2018 - 10:01</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/115" hreflang="en">gallery show</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/583" hreflang="en">Allen Hansen</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/584" hreflang="en">Lichtundfire</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-10/allen-hansen-paintings.jpg?itok=uyi2tt7U" width="1080" height="698" alt="Thumbnail" title="allen-hansen-paintings.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p><em>Allen Hansen: The Atmosphere of Nothingness / Or 0 </em></p> <p><a href="http://www.lichtundfire.com" target="_blank"><b>LICHTUNDFIRE</b></a>, 175 Rivington Street, New York, NY</p> <blockquote> <p>"You’re going to have two jobs for the rest of your life -- can you accept that?"</p> </blockquote> <p>This is what someone said to me before I headed off for the East Coast from Kentucky back in 1987, to paint and study art history. So, the question is -- how do we move forward and remain passionate in an environment that has now become so economically driven that the forest and the trees seem to have been left in the rear view?</p> <p><a href="https://sites.google.com/site/allenanthonyhansen/home" target="_blank">Allen Hansen</a> has remained true to his calling as a visual artist, a painter's painter. What most don’t seem to grasp in today’s breakneck non-organic art world is that one of those "jobs" is unconventional -- it's faith and practice.</p> <p>Hansen's painting is a dark, warm sublime. He has moved forward from landscape into his own vast horizon, developing lush abstractions that play on a cool palette that’s as warm as everyone's radiators kicking in this month. His balance is near-to perfect, absolutely his own, and the result of years of development, focus, and dedication.</p> <p>Allen arrived in New York in 1979 from California, and after getting a "do everything" internship with Mary Boone (the second job), he had found his Oz and never looked back. This was a completely different time for the contemporary art world in New York, romantic and community driven. I spoke with Allen about this recently, and he considers himself fortunate to have been active during that time; and it was this experience that steered him to the business of professional logistics and art moving for the past thirty years, landing him today at SRI Fine Art Services as Head of Client Relations.</p> <p>This is another reason I wanted to contribute commentary on his most recent series of seven works from 2018 that were on view at Lichtundfire last month. When I am not researching or writing about the art world, I too work within it, in my case at Gander &amp; White. These positions are demanding, and from my own experience, one can only survive them by having a certain brand of conviction, and an understanding of the artists, collectors, and galleries that manage to exist within its unique ecosystem.  The fact that he was able to produce these artworks in the midst of helping others navigate the complexities of today’s commercial art culture is a highly impressive prospect.</p> <p>Allen mentioned to me that after many years of life lessons, he now balances his painting life and his daily work from a house in Asbury Park, New Jersey that he and his wife bought fifteen years ago, and where they keep his studio and their sanity. Many come to New York to practice art every day, but very few manage to stick it out like Allen has for forty years.  To see his latest work is a testament to something not so easily and not so often well done. Good Show!</p> <p><a href="https://sites.google.com/site/allenanthonyhansen/home" target="_blank">Allen Hansen</a> is also represented in New York by Carter Burden Gallery.  We will look for more work coming in 2019.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3780&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="jD0tYYRHB0vNlZ0hN1NX0PpK3dn9u2lhRZkL_PGUBWc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:01:42 +0000 Elizabeth Stevens 3780 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3780#comments An American Singing About... http://culturecatch.com/node/3779 <span>An American Singing About...</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/168" lang="" about="/user/168" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Jay Reisberg</a></span> <span>October 14, 2018 - 19:22</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/148" hreflang="en">Cabaret</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/581" hreflang="en">vocalist</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1430" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-10/steve_ross-birdland.jpg?itok=WVCoWVDo" title="steve_ross-birdland.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo credit: Ron Spivak</figcaption></figure><p>Steve Ross: <i>An American in Paris</i></p> <p>Birdland Jazz Club, NYC</p> <p>October 1, 2018</p> <p>Steve Ross took to the piano in front of a sold-out audience for <i>An American in Paris, </i>his show of both French and American songs. These songs about (or taking place in) the "City of Lights" had been written and/or sung by the greatest performers in French and American popular song culture. This presentation was, as per Steve's tradition of excellence, another superb offering from the man dubbed "The Crown Prince of New York Cabaret." Whatever Steve puts his voice and fingers to, takes on a fresh, original, and personal glow, yet retaining the pure essence of the original.</p> <p>Steve commenced with a piano overture, which included, "I Love Paris," "Sous le Ciel de Paris," "I Will Wait for You," and closed this overture with a voice rendering of "Valentine"-- a song which Maurice Chevalier premiered in 1925, and which was to become the song most closely associated with him, his "Over the Rainbow" so to speak, (until the advent of <i>Gigi</i>).</p> <p>The overture properly wet our appetite for the body of the show, which included songs and melodies by (or identified with) Charles Aznavour, E.Y. ("Yip") Harburg, Charles Trenet, M. Phillipee Gerard, Jacques Brel, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Steven Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Bob Merrill, and others. A great deal of material was covered in the nearly hour-and-a-half show, which -- via Steve"s informed pacing -- went by so quickly, that by the end I felt he had just begun.</p> <p>After the overture, he opened the show proper with a spirited rendition of Aznavour's "Le Temp." This was more timely then I'd first thought, for at song's end he announced that Charles Aznavour, at 94, had passed that morning at his home at Mouriès in southern France -- hence the evening was rightly dedicated to him. Aznavour, was a titan of the French song, as a singer and a song writer, who I'd first seen when I was 18 in his initial Los Angeles appearance and has remained one of <i>le plus bon </i>singers in <i>any</i> language.</p> <p>Steve then let out with two songs by Charles Trenet who, among a large body of work in France, is mostly known to Americans for only two songs: the romantic "I Wish You Love" ("Que Reste-t-il de Nous Mon Amours?," with English lyrics by Albert Askew Beach) which was sung by <i>everyone</i><b>; </b>and "La Mer" ("Beyond the Sea") which was a monster hit for Bobby Darin in 1959, with lyrics by Jack Lawrence. Steve's gentle touch with these well-worn standards renders them anew.</p> <p>Next was "Piano pour Piaf," Steve’s instrumental medley-tribute of the songs of "The Little Sparrow" -- which I found absolutely fascinating, even hypnotic. Uncannily, Steve distills the essence of each melody, but augments them with his own stylistic enhancements. This opened the opportunity, each time, for a fresh listening experience. We’ve all listened closely and enjoyed these melodies for decades -- and yet Steve Ross, skilled artist that he is, presents hitherto undiscovered nuances.</p> <p>This medley included eight tunes: "La Foule" ("The Crowd") with music by Argentine composer Angel Cabrai; "Hymne à L'amour" ("Hymn to Love") with music by Marguerite Monnot; <i>"</i>La Goualante du Pauvre Jean<i>" ("</i>The Ballad of Poor John"<i>), </i>with music by Marguerite Monnot, and heard in the USA mostly as an instrumental called "The Poor People of Paris" (sometimes with lyrics that had nothing whatsoever to do with Poor John); "Padam Padam" with music by Norbert Glanzberg, (which has been described as a "maddeningly catchy" waltz and was recorded by Tony Martin with "maddeningly" atrocious lyrics); "L' Accordeoniste" ("The Accordionist") with music by Michel Emer, which was Piaf’s first million-seller; "La Vie en Rose" with music accredited to Piaf; and "Milord" also known as "Ombre de la Rue" (literally "Shadow of the Street") with music by Marguerite Monnot (recorded in America by Teresa Brewer and Cher, and in the U.K. by Frankie Vaughn.)</p> <p>Jane Lapotaire, won a Tony award for her portrayal of "The Little Sparrow" in Pam Gems's 1981 Broadway play "Piaf." Although it included musical numbers, it was not a musical per se. Steve's "Piano pour Piaf" plays like something akin to the overture of an as yet un-produced full-blown Broadway or Westend musical -- one we'd love to see!. At this segment's closing, Steve got energetic with "Milord" with his bar room honkey tonk piano ending -- and his melding of elements from "La Vie en rose" with "Milord" was astonishing.</p> <p>Steve moved forth with a plaintive version of "When the World Was Young" with music by M. Phillippe Gerard and the lyrics of Johnny Mercer; following with Jacques Brel's and Gerard Jouanesset's bombastic and many-worded "Jacky" ("La Chanson de Jacky"). Both the French and English lyrics by Mort Shuman run a-mile-a-second, in this first person account of a young, unpleasantly crude braggart. Steve luckily possesses the clear diction, stamina, and tonal range to produce an engaging performance of this verbal explosion. As an antidote to Jacky’s angst, he next sang Cole Porter's amusing and playful "The Tale of the Oyster," from 1927's <i>Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong</i>, followed by Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern's "The Last Time I Saw Paris" a wistful remembrance of Paris prior to its 1940 occupation by the Germans. Exquisite selections from Lerner and Lowe's "Gigi" were next followed by the sad "Just a Gigolo," originally a 1929 Austrian-German song adapted into English by Irving Caesar in 1931 (and recorded by Bing Crosby and others). The sentiments of this song of longing and missed opportunity about "a Frenchmen, a hero of the war" was beautifully presented by Steve, who followed with Stephen Sondheim's "Ah, Paris" from his 1971 Broadway show <i>Follies</i>.</p> <p>He then presented a lovely waltz-tempo song from the Broadway musical <i>The Happiest Girl in the World</i>, entitled "Adrift on a Star," with lyrics by E.Y. Harburg (using music by Jacques Offenbach). The musical was based on Aristophanes play "Lysistrata," and ran a scant 98 performances in 1961. This song provided Vic Damone with a popular hit in the 1960s. It is one of my favorite songs and Steve certainly did it justice.</p> <p>At this point you're probably thinking that this already sounds like two concert's worth of material -- and there was more to come. Such is Steve's charm and dexterity that this <i>motto grande </i>just flew by.</p> <p>Next on the program was a seemingly unlikely -- yet successful -- joining of two songs. First, Jerry Herman's "Song on the Sand" from <i>La Cage aux Folles,</i> of which Playbill wrote, "It's hard to think of a love song more beautiful."  In a striking choice, he joined it with "One of Those Songs," which was a hit for Jimmy Durante, a master of elevating the pedestrian into art. It appeared on Durante's 1966 album of the same name, with words by Will Holt. The melody of "One of those Songs" was taken from a 1955 French instrumental recording entitled "Bal Chez Madame de Mortemouille" by Gerard Calvi, and apparently appeared in the 1959 Broadway musical, <i>La Plume de Ma Tante</i> (which was nominated for three Tony awards). In Steve's meld, both are about recalling a song, so the association is certainly warranted -- but who, other than Steve Ross would have made the connection and presented them in such a harmonious and complementary manner?</p> <p>Steve next gave us the song "Mira," from the 1961 Broadway musical <i>Carnival</i> with music and lyrics by Bob Merrill. Since attending the Kennedy Center's superb 2007 revival, this song has retained a special place in my heart. In the show, the song is sung by Lili, an orphan from the town of Mira, where everyone knew her name. Now she wants a taste of the big time, where everybody knows her name but this time "in lights." A sweet and sentimental song, and Steve served it up with his delicately placed light touch.</p> <p>Enter the night's guest: Jean Brassard is a wonderful singer whom I first heard when Steve and he presented a show entitled <i>French Lessons in Song</i> in 2011 at the newly reconstructed Opera House in Hudson, New York. Mr. Brassard presented Jacques Brel's "La Valse à Mille Temps," which first appeared on Brel’s fourth album in 1959 (and was later released with English lyrics by Will Holt in 1966 as "Days of the Waltz," sung by Patti Page). Mr. Brassard began in English, then transitioned into the vibrant many-worded French lyrics. This song is show-stopping by nature, and Mr. Brassard gave it its full-blown due. Steve and Mr. Brassard followed with a touching and poignant duet rendering of the classic 1785 song, "Plaisir d'amour," with music by Jean-Paul-Égide Martini, and set to a poem by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian.</p> <p>It would not have been a completely French night out in America without at least two songs from Cole Porter's 1953 musical <i>Can Can</i>. Hence we were presented with<i> </i>"C'est Magnifique" (with mandatory audience participation) which glided smoothly into a recall (this time with words) of "I Love Paris"--an instrumental which was included in Steve’s opening medley. What a lovely and appropriate manner with which to end the show!</p> <p>Steve returned to encore with "Can Can," a song with arguably the most clever lyrics Porter had ever written.</p> <p>After a night like this, and hearing the audience's outpouring of appreciation:  Mr. Ross, isn't clear that discerning music lovers can't get enough of you?</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3779&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="h2GKeZ8xPfHPMrbEecahzDhlUOphnHN96rDBKG-czoE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 14 Oct 2018 23:22:42 +0000 Jay Reisberg 3779 at http://culturecatch.com Song of the Week: "Ophelia" http://culturecatch.com/node/3778 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Ophelia&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>October 14, 2018 - 19:02</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/580" hreflang="en">folk rock</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/579" hreflang="en">Roo Panes</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/huS6ehHJpQA?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Some songs are immediate. So is the case with British singer-songwriter Roo Panes new single "Ophelia" (Single Version) from his latest album (3rd long player) <em>Qui</em><em>et</em><em> Man</em> released through CRC Records in June 2018. Wonderfully arranged, Roo's heartfelt vocals underpin the timeless melodies of the song that drift through dreamlike harmonies, building into the soaring chorus finale, layered with strings, Hammond organ, mandolin and a magnificent gospel choir. In support of <em>Quiet Man</em>, Roo will be touring in the US before European show dates. Catch him in NYC on 19th Oct 2018 at Le Poisson Rouge and in Boston on the 20th of Oct 2018 at City Winery.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3778&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="_s2WkKG-g06SA-FG11oylCeofYpOpWq1QjLWbx5TgLk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 14 Oct 2018 23:02:26 +0000 Dusty Wright 3778 at http://culturecatch.com Vanity Fair IX: Beth Kirby+Bradley Rubenstein http://culturecatch.com/node/3777 <span>Vanity Fair IX: Beth Kirby+Bradley Rubenstein</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>October 12, 2018 - 10:57</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/510" hreflang="en">painters</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="832" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-10/kirby_untitled_1-2018.jpg?itok=ecGVYymP" title="kirby_untitled_1-2018.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1080" /></article><figcaption>Beth Kirby Untitled No. 1 2018</figcaption></figure><p>Beth Kirby is an artist based in Bristol, UK. Her work discusses the human form, female sexuality, and censorship. Via the mediums of drawing, collage, and painting, her work frequently explores the notion of censorship of women and the ownership of their sexuality in the age of social media and fourth-wave feminism.</p> <p>The visual language of porn censorship, pattern, found collage, and other varied modes of disguise and omission are utilized to ask questions of the viewer: What do visual and personal censorship mean? How powerful is suggestion? How can women retain their autonomy, especially when it comes to the issue of sexuality?</p> <p>Humor is just as important to and prevalent in her work as the vastly complex issues she raises, intended to make the discussion more approachable to all.</p> <p><b>What is your idea of perfect happiness?</b> To be carefree and to possess unwavering belief in myself.</p> <p><b>What is your greatest fear?</b> Rape.</p> <p><b>Which historical figure do you most identify with? </b>I have no idea! I've never been one for role models and idols.</p> <p><b>What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? </b>The absolute inability to go easy on myself.</p> <p><b>What is the trait you most deplore in others?</b> Actually there's a few, but I suppose being unaware of others.</p> <p><b>What is your greatest extravagance?</b> I have grown to really dislike displays of excess in terms of possessions, but good food and drink is the greatest burden on my bank balance.</p> <p><b>What do you consider the most overrated virtue?</b> I can't bear the idea that being "prim" is somehow a virtue. I want to hear people swear, get angry, enjoy the base things that have somehow become "improper."</p> <p><b>On what occasion do you lie?</b> On many! Lying (or at least withholding the full truth) is the lube of adult life.</p> <p><b>What do you dislike most about your appearance?</b> I wouldn't say anything strongly, I more dislike that I cannot just accept it sometimes.</p> <p><b>What is your greatest regret?</b> I don't think I have any true regrets, just changes. </p> <p><b>What or who is the greatest love of your life?</b> The greatest love story of my life is my relationship with making art -- we've laughed, we've cried, we've broken up, we've kissed in the rain. But obviously I have to mention my boyfriend too, right?!</p> <p><b>Which talent would you most like to have?</b> I'd just really fucking love to be able to do a backflip.</p> <p><b>What is your current state of mind?</b> I've felt quite stuck for a while. I long for change, and they are slow and arduous, and I'm impatient. I feel I'm behind the stall gate of the rest of my life, chomping at the bit.</p> <p><b>What do you consider your greatest achievement?</b> Falling back in love with making art.</p> <p><b>What is your most treasured possession?</b> Probably a chain necklace that was my grandmother's.</p> <p><b>What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?</b> I have seasonal depression, so: October.</p> <p><b>Where would you like to live?</b> I don't really have an answer. I don’t really mind so much as long as I'm with people I love.</p> <p><b>What is your favorite occupation?</b> I haven't found it yet...</p> <p><b>What is your most marked characteristic? </b>I am almost over-aware of people, their temperaments, moods, and personalities (including my own), and this always gets commented on.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1249" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-10/kirby_untitled_2-2018.jpg?itok=gzUeRO6C" title="kirby_untitled_2-2018.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1080" /></article><figcaption>Beth Kirby Untitled No. 2 2018</figcaption></figure><p><b>What is the quality you most like in a man?</b> Thoughtfulness and the things that this creates, and humor.</p> <p><b>What is the quality you most like in a woman?</b> As above.</p> <p><b>What do you most value in your friends?</b> Their sense of humor and how accepting we are of each other’s increasingly different lives.</p> <p><b>What is it that you most dislike?</b> Not coming through on plans.</p> <p><b>How would you like to die?</b> Happy and tired enough to let it go.</p> <p><b>What is your motto?</b> If you don’t ask, you don't get.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3777&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="Cq5j3vjpzOOm5w4ZppbZGMuBLiEGSFjfTq88eKbRDqQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 12 Oct 2018 14:57:36 +0000 Dusty Wright 3777 at http://culturecatch.com Video of the Year: "Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now" http://culturecatch.com/node/3776 <span>Video of the Year: &quot;Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>October 6, 2018 - 10:55</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/127" hreflang="en">music video</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/578" hreflang="en">NSFW</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/juubxnkgnS8?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Bold, courageous and required viewing, the video for the song "Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now," by singer/songwriter <a href="http://amandapalmer.net/" target="_blank">Amanda Palmer</a> (The Dresden Dolls) and co-singer/writer <a href="https://www.jasminepower.com/" target="_blank">Jasmine Power</a>, who have literally bared their souls on this song and video, have created art that cuts to the bone. It must be seen and shared with everyone. Released on October 5th, the one-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, it has quickly gathered press attention all over the globe. This past July, a group of women from all walks of life gathered one Sunday in a former Episcopalian rectory in Brooklyn, NY under the direction of choreographer Noemie Lafrance to create an explosive video to accompany the song. The cast, production and set crew were comprised of over 60 women from the New York area working on both sides of the camera. Many of the cast were performers with little or no film or stage experience from Palmer's extensive internet fanbase. The results of this fearless collaboration will shake you to your core. </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3776&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="qD2zsnapt2pQDEUFCB3F9NzK6t5KcW3LL_vcfQP3M5Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 06 Oct 2018 14:55:11 +0000 Dusty Wright 3776 at http://culturecatch.com Quote of the Week: Geoff Emerick http://culturecatch.com/node/3775 <span>Quote of the Week: Geoff Emerick</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>October 3, 2018 - 10:53</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/QOTW" hreflang="en">Quote of the Week</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/460" hreflang="en">celebrity quote</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/553" hreflang="en">celebrity obit</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pHNbHn3i9S4?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>"<a href="http://i.viglink.com/?key=62ef5333d396d8342190cf68631ced3a&amp;insertId=205ab3ca17290dd6&amp;type=CD&amp;exp=60%3ACI1C55A%3A11&amp;libId=jmt988iw010027jz000DAbzbm3wf3&amp;loc=http%3A%2F%2Fforums.stevehoffman.tv%2Fthreads%2Finteresting-geoff-emerick-quote.45533%2F&amp;v=1&amp;iid=205ab3ca17290dd6&amp;out=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.walmart.com%2Fsearch%2F%3Fquery%3Dthe%2Bbeatles&amp;ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&amp;title=Interesting%20Geoff%20Emerick%20quote.......%20%7C%20Steve%20Hoffman%20Music%20Forums&amp;txt=%3Cspan%3EThe%20%3C%2Fspan%3E%3Cspan%3EBeatles%3C%2Fspan%3E" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Beatles</a> insisted that everything on <i>Sgt. Pepper </i>had to be different, so everything was either distorted, limited, heavily compressed, or treated with excessive equalisation."</p> <p>Geoff Emerick (4 December 1946 - 2 October 2018), English recording studio audio engineer. He worked with the Beatles on <em>Revolver</em>, <em>Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band</em>, <em>The Beatles</em> and <em>Abbey Road</em>. He won four Grammy Awards for his work in the music recording field. As a 19-year-old in Abbey Road studios in 1966, he created John Lennon's trippy vocals effect on "Tomorrow Never Knows" by running them through a Hammond organ's revolving Leslie speaker. RIP, Geoff. </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3775&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="ZXhfYsGdlP-vm31lfpmNi7C6un4AtuMhzgb97syC1Go"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 03 Oct 2018 14:53:56 +0000 Dusty Wright 3775 at http://culturecatch.com The Silence of The Diary http://culturecatch.com/node/3774 <span>The Silence of The Diary</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/leah-richards" lang="" about="/users/leah-richards" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Leah Richards</a></span> <span>September 30, 2018 - 16:44</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/88" hreflang="en">off broadway</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-09/deardiarylol.jpg?itok=HFiK4dP3" width="1200" height="800" alt="Thumbnail" title="deardiarylol.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p><i>Dear Diary LOL</i></p> <p>Lead Artist: Francesca Montanile Lyons</p> <p>Directed by Francesca Montanile Lyons and Michael T. Williams</p> <p>Presented by AntiGravity at the New Ohio Theatre</p> <p>September 26-29, 2018</p> <p>What is the state of the t(w)een diary today? While small books with even smaller locks or doodle-encrusted journals presumably still dot the bedrooms of the nation's youth, <i>Dear Diary LOL </i>takes us back to a time when our current age of web-fueled oversharing was in its infancy and the best repository and audience for one's adolescent turmoil was a crisp, blank, private page. Presently enjoying an encore run at the New Ohio under the lively direction of Francesca Montanile Lyons and Michael T. Williams, the comedic <i>Dear Diary LOL</i> was co-created by Lyons and the ensemble cast using the actual diaries of six 12-16 year-old young women writing in the late 90s and early 2000s, some of them performers in the show. The dialogue, directed primarily at the audience, comes verbatim from these diaries, with each performer speaking mostly from a single diary that is not her own. Constructing the play in this way neatly avoids offering the characters as types -- the nerd, the princess, and so on -- and instead provides intriguingly intimate and consistently funny snapshots of what it means (and feels like) to grow up as a woman in America.</p> <p><i>Dear Diary LOL </i>opens with some play on gendered expectations: a pair of women (Lyons and and Nikki Hudgins) in pink hard hats and equally pink moustaches end up tossing away their imaginary jackhammers to open an excavated box of secrets—a trove of diaries (the material lining the lid of the box is the same as that of the sparkly curtains across the back of the stage, placing us, perhaps, inside that box). Lines from the diary of Alexis (Kelly Conrad) quickly extend the emphasis on gender roles: she knows that, as a newly minted teen, she is "supposed to live and breathe boys, friends, and clothes" and then notes she has been doing that for years already. In addition to Alexis's musings, we are made privy to the self-explorations of Meg (Megan Thibodeaux), Tatiana (Jessica M. Johnson), Ella (Alicia Crosby), and Natasha (Jenna Strusowki). These young women are presented as classmates, and the play's progression is loosely organized around themes -- such as dreams, which here include both a wedding involving a celebrity and parentally approved sex play -- or events -- a school dance, a sleepover, a field trip -- while another framing device is literally a frame, fittingly at once mirror and window.</p> <p>As one might expect, the diarists express a lot of confusion, anxiety, and desire for love (variously conceived): one, for example, doesn't want to be labeled a slut when starting a new school but does want to experiment with boys. Another recites a poem about her loneliness in the midst of a scene at a school dance, a smart contrast to the giggly camaraderie that functions as the public face of such angst. Interestingly, the "LOL" of the title seems to acts in some cases as a distancing tactic (a rhetorical strategy with a storied literary pedigree), providing a degree of separation from less "acceptable" thoughts even in a text supposedly without an audience. Of course, there is a strain of argument that diaries typically aren't meant to be truly private; they are certainly written for at least an imagined audience, one that is often explicitly addressed or acknowledged, and we can observe the diarists trying on adult self-presentations and modes of expression.</p> <p>On the whole, <i>Dear Diary LOL </i>keeps things light -- after all, it's easy to laugh because wholly expected (and depending on your own youth, relatable) when a teen declares her sadness "infinite" -- but some darker patterns and subtexts do emerge. We witness how the young women have learned to play hard-to-get and not to reveal their romantic interest. We see them watch a famous queer film kiss but pointedly not express any potential queer desire. Tatiana, as a young woman of color, bumps up against racism, but she rationalizes one of these occurrences because she likes the boy involved, and Ella similarly makes excuses for bad male behavior, showing how early a patriarchal society inculcates the same attitudes that we are at this moment watching unfold around the Supreme Court nominee hearings.</p> <p>Ultimately, though, this is a hopeful show, complete with an earnest unifying musical moment that recalls <i>Sense8</i>'s use of "What's Up," another 90s staple. The cast members, who expertly execute some exasperated flops onto a bed, skillfully suggest the evolving individuality of the young women and display great comedic chemistry, including with Williams as "Brian," who stands in for various boyfriends and romantic interests as a sort of grinningly vapid universal male. The musical cues and recreation of late-night AIM chats lends the production a little extra nostalgia for those who grew up in the right period, but the show also reveals how much about being a young woman, especially the stressors, hasn't changed in very long time. So maybe we can see there a reminder, amidst the laughter, that we can work to make that change happen. <i>Dear Diary LOL</i>, like the formative years that it conjures, goes by all too quickly. - <em>Leah Richards</em> &amp; <em>John Ziegler</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3774&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="D5bb9oaiguuVVEqa6LoGV16U52gjBw4CW4vYS5SmKPs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 30 Sep 2018 20:44:05 +0000 Leah Richards 3774 at http://culturecatch.com Otis Rush R.I.P. http://culturecatch.com/node/3773 <span>Otis Rush R.I.P.</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/steveholtje" lang="" about="/users/steveholtje" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steve Holtje</a></span> <span>September 30, 2018 - 01:59</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/573" hreflang="en">Otis Rush</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/454" hreflang="en">blues</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/574" hreflang="en">Chicago blues</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/575" hreflang="en">Samuel Charters</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/576" hreflang="en">Willie Dixon</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Uy2tEP3I3DM?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt">Otis Rush (April 29, 1934 - September 29, 2018), the greatest of the second generation of Chicago blues guitarists, has passed. And to call Otis Rush that is no small accolade, because I'm saying he was better than both Magic Sam and Buddy Guy. Why? Because he was not only a superb left-handed guitarist with an immediately recognizable style, he was also a highly emotive singer with a rich and agile voice. He was, with Sam and Buddy, one of the main innovators of the West Side sound, but with a darker, more intense take on it. Yet despite that, no modern blues artist of his caliber and longevity was more poorly documented, with only seven studio albums in 46 years, and two of those seriously compromised at that.</p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p>Born in Mississippi, Rush moved to Chicago in 1948 and became a star with a song producer Willie Dixon wrote about one of Rush's relationships: "I Can't Quit You Baby" in 1956 on the Cobra label. (Label owner, Eli Toscano, reputedly cheated his artists to feed his gambling habit; Cobra collapsed when Toscano was murdered in 1959.) Dixon took Rush to Chess Records, which only released two Rush singles; a move to the Duke label yielded just one single in five years. His best '60s work came on a multi-artist album, <i>Chicago/The Blues/Today! Vol. 2</i>, which included a reworking of  "I Can't Quit You Baby" that was closely copied by Led Zeppelin for their first album. Atlantic's Cotillion subsidiary put out Rush's first full LP, <em>Mourning in the Morning</em>, recorded in 1969 in Muscle Shoals, but the production (by Mike Bloomfield and Nick Gravenites, who co-wrote six of its 11 songs) is so atrocious it's painful to listen to.</p> <p>Capitol signed Rush in 1971, but the album he made for them, <i>Right Place, Wrong Time</i>, lay unreleased until issued five years later after Rush bought the master from Capitol; it was then released in Japan by P-Vine and in the U.S. by a tiny indie label, Bullfrog. A 1974 French album, <i>Screamin' and Cryin'</i>, didn't appear in the U.S. until 1992; Rush denigrated it, but it's worth hearing; a 1977 European studio effort, Lost in the Blues, had keyboards added (and some Rush solos excised) without his consent. Fortunately two great albums on the mighty and more respectful Delmark label saved the '70s for him, but Rush had understandably become suspicious of many recording offers, which limited his output further. The '80s were so bad that Rush withdrew from the scene. Activity picked up in the '90s, but a studio album from Mercury that could have turned his career around was followed by "personal problems"; 1998's <i>Any Place I'm Going</i>, for House of Blues, disappeared with that label's demise, and he made no more studio recordings.</p> <p>Any hopes for another comeback were dashed by a 2003 stroke, after which Rush was unable to perform. After that, older concert recordings began to appear, making Rush's discography look less skimpy; some are good, but never do they seem crucial, though of course fans are generally happy to have additional Rush. (Except for <i>Double Trouble: Live Cambridge 1973</i>, a muddy recording with sloppy and indifferent playing, a too-prominent saxophonist using a Varitone, and ill-advised covers of "Watermelon Man" and  "Popcorn.")</p> <p>Where should a neophyte start? I have the temerity to rank his best work:</p> <p><i>So Many Roads: Live in Concert</i></p> <p>This inspired 1975 concert in Tokyo, Japan (with a Chicagoan backing trio including Jimmy Johnson on rhythm guitar) finds Rush letting it all out, with his trademark burning guitar tone and his full-bodied, expressive vocals on peak form. He reprises many of his classics, including "I Can't Quit You, Baby," "Crosscut Saw," "Looking Back (Take a Look Behind," "All Your Love (I Miss Loving)," and "So Many Roads" (with especially impassioned singing on this classic slow blues). This 1995 CD reissue adds three songs there weren't room for on the original Delmark LP: jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell's blues instrumental "Chitlins Con Carne," "I've Got News For You," and "Mean Old World," the latter an evocative blues standard that matches Rush's long-suffering persona.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x7ylZa-hI6s?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><i>The Classic Cobra Recordings 1956-1958</i></p> <p>All 17 of Rush's seminal tracks for the Cobra label (plus seven alternate takes), including "I Can't Quit You Baby." When Rush started writing his own material, he came up with such classics as "Double Trouble," "Keep on Loving Me Baby," and one of his signature songs, "All Your Love (I Miss Loving)." Some of his other efforts were lyrically weak, but the fervor of Rush's singing could make anything sound good, and the stinging tone he got from the Fender Stratocaster he used at this time is iconic. Pianists are Lafayette Leake and Little Brother Montgomery, harmonica players include Walter "Shakey" Horton and Little Walter Jacobs, and there's usually a honking or wailing sax.</p> <p><i>Right Place, Wrong Time</i></p> <p>Recorded in '71 for Capitol with fine San Francisco players but not released until five years later, this is nonetheless a great album. Rush co-produced with Nick Gravenites, but the soundstage here is better (if still unnatural) than on the Gravenites-co-produced Mourning in the Morning of two years earlier, the arrangements are less cluttered as well, and the horn charts are hot (I had the good fortune to interview Rush in the 1990s and he made it clear that he loved having a horn section). Most of all, the material is superb, with some of Rush's best originals, including "Take a Look Behind," "Three Times a Fool," and the title track. It's a surprise to hear him sing the Brook Benton hit "Rainy Night in Georgia," but he puts it across nicely. This is one of the rare Rush albums where he sounds equally involved in the fast tunes as well as the slow blues he excelled in.</p> <p><i>Cold Day in Hell</i></p> <p>This 1975 studio album (which returned Rush to the attention of U.S. blues fans) has its ups and downs, but listening to Rush's agonized singing on the slow blues tracks is a cathartic experience. There is as much pain and bitterness in these numbers (though spilling over into melodrama on the title track) as anywhere in the blues, inspiring some of Rush's most intense guitar solos. Eventually the CD added a fiery alternate of one of the best tracks, "You're Breaking My Heart." By the way, "Midnight Special" is not the familiar Leadbelly song, but instead a darkly sinister instrumental. With a pair of saxophonists, Big Moose Walker on organ and piano, and rhythm guitar (mostly Mighty Joe Young), this has the full sound Rush preferred.</p> <p><i>Ain't Enough Comin' In</i></p> <p>A kick-ass 1994 comeback after a long studio recording hiatus, this mixes a few of Rush's less-played tunes (a remake of "Homework," his one Duke single, is especially welcome) with lesser-known blues and soul classics. Rush picks up a Telecaster again (as on his Cobra sides) after years with a Gibson and his sound takes on more of an edge. He needs it to cut through the big arrangements, with piano and organ (Stones sideman Ian McLagen and Little Feat's Billy Payne), three horns, and one or two rhythm guitars plus bass and drums. It's the sort of big production Rush preferred but rarely got, and he gives it his all. The expressiveness of his playing is marvelous.</p> <p><i>Chicago/The Blues/Today! Vol. 2</i></p> <p>In December 1965, blues scholar/producer Samuel Charters recorded three LPs' worth of sessions with nine Chicago blues artists and their bands, then put them out three artists per album. (Collectors can acquire all three albums in one set.) It introduced players largely overlooked outside the Windy City to a nationwide -- in fact, worldwide -- audience, and helped keep interest in Otis Rush alive during one of his dry periods. He's heard playing five songs in a quintet with Robert "Sax" Crowder on alto sax and Luther Tucker on rhythm guitar, and "Rock" gives a glimpse at the kind of R&amp;B blues bands were experimenting with.</p> <p><i>Live in Europe</i></p> <p>This captures Rush at a 1977 festival concert in Nancy, France with his regular working group of the time (Bob Levis, rhythm guitar; Bob Stroger, bass; Jesse Green, drums), the pre-overdub group on Lost in the Blues. The repertoire is largely familiar and predictable, but the band is tight and Rush is on fire, with abundant solo room and with his singing strong and impassioned.</p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3773&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="8WGPuOhdZQp3NeZ1VCx_oZE0w6iBSTr-mQgod2K4r-Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 30 Sep 2018 05:59:26 +0000 Steve Holtje 3773 at http://culturecatch.com Pop Goes The Painting http://culturecatch.com/node/3772 <span>Pop Goes The Painting</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/millree-hughes" lang="" about="/users/millree-hughes" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Millree Hughes</a></span> <span>September 28, 2018 - 09:53</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>John Wesley: Together And Alone</em> </p> <p>Fredericks &amp; Freiser Gallery, NYC</p> <p>September 6th - October 20th</p> <p>There’s not much here. Powder blue, powder pink, skin colour and a thin self-conscious, spindly black line.</p> <p>It defies you. Is it meant to be inaccurate? Not well done?</p> <p>It's as if Egon Schiele suddenly wanted to be Al Capp but something went wrong at the point of realization. The line drifting, like wet Letraset figures on warped showcard.</p> <p>John Wesley has a new show at Fredericks &amp; Freiser Gallery in New York City. The men are not attractive, the women are. Gangly 20s’ers and older more fully formed. An ugly bald man appears a few times, as in this one, peering curiously. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1051" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-09/chocolage-major.jpeg?itok=lQs0ZSPS" title="chocolage-major.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Van Nuys Honeymoon 2002 </figcaption></figure><p>It's as if the whole painting has been made so that the composition can pivot on his nostril.</p> <p>A grumpy middle aged man is in the foreground in dinge brown. A young girl looks down at her fingers in dismay (perhaps). The background is sky blue, the grass, sap green. Youth! The outline of the shoulders of the man can be read as her open legs, his collar implying open crotch panties. An intimate act and a dissatisfied figure walking away, in one image.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1094" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-09/van-nuys-honeymoon.jpeg?itok=c8AofQI7" title="van-nuys-honeymoon.jpeg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="957" /></article><figcaption>Chocolate Major 2002, Acrylic on canvas 63 × 53 × 2 in; 160 × 134.6 × 5.1 cm</figcaption></figure><p>The artist finds a photograph...</p> <blockquote> <p>"...he traces it, makes a graph, and uses algebra to enlarge it in several stages until the drawing is ready to be transferred onto the canvas. During what would seem, so described, to be a mechanical process, strange and irrational and funny things go on." Hannah Green*</p> </blockquote> <p>(Wesley's wife until her death in 1996.)</p> <p>The glad handing of the Pop artists is not attempted. He's not here to impress you. The mood is one of inexplainable phenomenon and lost connections. </p> <p>At the age of six Jack Wesley saw his father lying out in the bathroom, he had died of a stroke. Jack went to live in an orphanage -- The McKinley Home for Boys -- and stayed there until his mother married again. </p> <p>But "reading" a John Wesley will only take you so far. It's better to look, or "listen." They work like an absurd joke.</p> <p>"My granny was recently beaten to death by my grandad. </p> <p>Not as in, with a stick -- he just died first."</p> <p>Alex Horne</p> <p>These paintings remind me of another great American artwork -- David Lynch's <em>Lost Highways</em>. I saw it, alone, away from home in a hotel room. I realized halfway through that I had to stop trying to follow it and just let the director lead me. </p> <p>"I'm not a real painter," Jack says.</p> <blockquote> <p>"I'm getting away with murder. I don’t really know how. I can only do what I do."*</p> </blockquote> <p>But with Wesley's work you can’t let it be open to individual interpretation either. He has taken you this far into a zone of ambiguity. You’ve entered the envelope, knowing full well that there is no there, there.</p> <p>I think that's hard for Americans to do. It's a country where people speak a lot of different languages. They don't like to be left behind in the workplace just because they don't understand what's going on. Living here as a Welshman I have found that ludicrous endings and point-less stories don’t go down well.</p> <p>That's why there are so few elements in his paintings. He makes it simple. Gives you space. It makes it easier for him to lead your gaze where he wants to take it.</p> <p>* <a href="https://chinati.org/programs/hannah-green-a-journal-in-praise-of-the-art-of-john-wesley/"><em>A Journal in Praise of the Art of John Wesley</em></a> written by Hannah Green 1974</p> <p> </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3772&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="06fLFSZE4m16s5l2k_vu7AS7mTtNiDLF-J0NN17DP9U"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 28 Sep 2018 13:53:36 +0000 Millree Hughes 3772 at http://culturecatch.com Is Jeremiah Zagar America’s Quirkiest New Auteur? “We the Animals” Screams, “Yes!” http://culturecatch.com/node/3770 <span>Is Jeremiah Zagar America’s Quirkiest New Auteur? “We the Animals” Screams, “Yes!”</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/brandon-judell" lang="" about="/users/brandon-judell" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Brandon Judell</a></span> <span>September 24, 2018 - 15:39</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/film" hreflang="en">Film Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/446" hreflang="en">film</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/500" hreflang="en">celebrity interview</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-09/we_are_animals_jonah_flying.png?itok=SaEKm5Si" width="1200" height="509" alt="Thumbnail" title="we_are_animals_jonah_flying.png" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>I'm hesitantly dialing Jeremiah Zagar’s phone number. Young directorial genius is always intimidating to confront. I recall first interviews with Darren Aronofky, François Ozon, and Xavier Dolan. I’m not sure if John Waters fits in here, but why not? These folks hit you over the head with their originality and audaciousness. You sit there looking into their eyes and wonder where it all comes from.</p> <p>Just watch "<em><a href="https://vimeo.com/48463116" target="_blank">Baby Eats Baby</a></em>," the live-action/claymation short which Zagar co-directed with Michael Reich in 2004. You need a deep sense of black humor to get through the delicious, high-anxiety-producing visuals of two dads preparing frightful dinners. Only now that I’ve discovered "Baby" is meant as a commentary on American foreign policy during the Bush era can I breathe a little easier.</p> <p>Two other shorts and a celebrated documentary, <i><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X6W-AL3Csw" target="_blank">In a Dream</a></i>, chronicle the life of the director’s dad, Isaiah, a renowned mosaic artist whose works decorate over 200 public walls in Philadelphia. His mom, Julia, is no slouch either. Clearly, here’s a highly feisty, highly quotable family unit.</p> <p>Zagar was also the creative director of "Starved for Attention," a series of shorts about worldwide childhood malnutrition that was co-produced by Doctors Without Borders. Oddly, there’s also an HBO doc on the trials of Pamela Smart on his resume.</p> <p>But at the moment, Zagar's prize-winning adaptation of Justin Torres's novel of a childhood is why we are speaking. In a rather fine year for film, <i>We the Animals</i>, tops the list. Here’s a peerless work of art that combines sound, animation, music, superb cinematography and editing, plus a terrific cast, in an unexpected manner that recounts the tale of a boy’s tribal adventures with his brothers, a disappearing dad, and a receding mom. Witty and poignant, the finished product interacts with Torres’s prose in a manner that captures and even enhances the must-read novel.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> I've just been watching your films.</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> Like which ones?</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> "Baby Eat Baby," <i>In a Dream</i> . . .</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> Wow!</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> I'm glad I hadn't seen them before I saw <i>We the Animals</i></p> <p><b>JZ:</b> You saw "Baby Eats Baby"? (Laughs)</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> Yes.</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> You're the only who saw "Baby Eats Baby." Like seven people.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> I'm going to spread the word. Watching that short, one wonders why you didn't go into the horror genre.</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> (Laughs.) My co-director [Michael Reich] did. He's a horror film maker now. [<i>She's Allergic to Cats</i> (2016)]. So you can imagine the influence is there.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> In <i>In a Dream,</i> your father says, "All my artwork is a portrait of my life."  If we start putting your films together, is the result sort of a portrait of your life?</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> Sure, yeah!</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> You and brother Ezekiel both sport beards. Is that because of your dad's extreme hirsuteness or are you following the beard trend.</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> Well, I have had beards since I was 19 years old. I have a weak chin so the beard always helped fill out my face. My brother, he always wore a beard. His came a little bit later when he got into Rastafarianism. I just look better with a beard so that's what I dealt with. My father also has a very weak chin. So a beard is family compensation.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> Did your mother ever wish she had a daughter. Was there too much testosterone in your house?</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> My father wished he had a daughter. My father really wanted me to be a daughter. Yeah, I wasn't, unfortunately for him. I don’t know if my mother cared. She was a very loving mother. We were very close, my mother and I. She’s the best.  She would never tell me if she had wanted a daughter. My father told me many times. (Chuckles.)</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> Your father has said that it’s so important to find that person who would help you fulfill your destiny, your dream. “If you are lucky, you will find that dream. If you are lucky that person will find you.”  Have you found that person yet?</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> Oh, absolutely, and my wife and I both have big dreams. She’s a caterer and a chef with her own company. She works around the clock, and I’m very supportive of her dream. She came and did the catering for our movie. And she let me film the birth of our son and put it in the movie. And she’s been very supportive (He sneezes) of my dream. I know I could not have made <i>We the Animals</i> without her for sure.</p> <p><b>BJ: </b>There was talk of you creating an autobiographical movie when you came across the Torres’s novel. Do you relate to Mr. Torres’s route to becoming an artist?</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> Yes, very much so. Yes, I mean I think I understood the act of making a book as an act of freeing oneself from the gilded cage of one’s family. I understood that act as one of the important acts of one’s life. And I related to it, you know, as person who’s done the same.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> Your father says he is a sensualist. “I touch shit,” he notes. And then you find out that’s not a metaphor. Is there anything in life you would not portray on film?</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> Well, I didn't have hit him shit in his hand. (Laughs) Some things you don't need to see necessarily to feel. I think . . . I'm interested in not sanitizing life. I don't see life as something that is clean. I find it messy and complicated and dirty. And I think when people try to sanitize love and try to sanitize life and try to sanitize family for that matter, we get a watered-down version of truth. Of emotional truth. And a watered-down version of emotional truth is a useless tool for an artist.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jTRZsrj28C4?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><b>BJ:</b> For the film, you aged the children about three years, which seems only logical. It would have been harder to get three young actors at 7, 8, and 9 to portray these characters. Also, with the subject matter, it might have been harder to enact with younger actors. What that your reasoning for aging them?</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> Sort of. We had to sort of find a soft spot. The book is kind of amorphous where the age of the young people lands from chapter to chapter. The only time age is ever really mentioned is in the seven-years-old scene which we changed to the 9-years-old scene. We did that because we needed the boys to be right in the sweet spot of puberty . . . the transformation towards puberty. Because if they were in that sweet spot, some of them could transform, and Jonah [the youngest] was able to not transform. That was really the key. We couldn’t lapse the amount of years that lapsed in the book so we had to figure what was the true transformational moment of these young boys logically if [the story] was going to take place over one year.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> You change the awakening of Jonah as opposed to what happens in the book, and I think you made the right move. It would have broken the whole mood of the film. Were they arguments about how you would do it? Was it always this way in the screenplay?</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> Yeah, there was never an argument about it. It was certainly a conversation that Justin and I had with Dan, my co-writer. We all talked about the fact that it was going to be difficult to age the young man to a place where he could have a sexual experience in the back of a bus. That moment for the character in the book takes place somewhere between 15 and 18 years old. It’s an adult move he’s making. A ten year old. An eleven year old. It changes that interaction. So we needed to find something that was a queer coming-out moment for this young boy, or a realization or a sexual moment for this young boy that was relevant for what that kind of a young boy would actually experience.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> Right. Is the coming out supposedly meant as a surprise because in my review, I didn't really want to bring it up?</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> I think you could say, it is a surprise, but you could say there are queer scenes in the movie that are present without giving up [too much]. You can say that in the book there’s a different element to the ending. That's fine.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> Since I hadn't read the book at that time, it's such a surprise, and it's wonderful to experience that without knowing it's going to happen.</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> That's the beauty of sexuality of being young. I haven't seen it so clearly portrayed as it was in Justin's book. You don't know what your sexuality is necessarily until you start to explore sexuality, period. There's a part of your life where sexuality is mixed up much more with brotherly love and familial love than it is with romantic love. And slowly but surely as you begin to change, you begin to awaken your sexual being, and that sexual being is different for everyone. And so really the movie is universal in that way. But what this young boy is experiencing is very different from what his brothers are experiencing. That’s for sure.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> There are moments of magic realism, especially when Jonah flies. And with the animation of the journals. But when you see "Baby Eats Baby" there were seeds of that already there with your mixture of claymation and regular narrative. Is that something you've done often?</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> Yes. I mean I love animation. I love when it's done right and integrated correctly. The films of Jan Švankmajer were enormously influential. A lot of Czech animation of that time were really, really meaningful for me when I was young. And I love <i>Roger Rabbit</i>. I can think of being a kid and watching people combine animation and live action. But the truth is that I just really enjoy the magic of cinema. I think that animation always feel like magic. It always feels like cinema. And my world was always comingled with those two things if you think about who my father is, our whole lives were animated.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> Once you make a film like yours, which is so perfect, you find out that Hollywood agents are crawling out after you and you are having studio meetings, and all that. I remember Neil Jordan went out and did his big Hollywood film with DeNiro, which flopped. Are you already getting calls?</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> Sure, yeah. Yes, I've had a number of calls from Hollywood agents at the lot. But you know I think what I'll do are the same kind of stories that I pursued before. I have to pursue stories that are very emotionally, viscerally, and physically my own. That's simply who I am.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> So have you bought the rights to any other books yet?</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> I'm looking at two. One I can't really talk about yet. More than that I'm interested in working with the same collaborators that I worked with on the other film.  Jeremy [Yaches], my producer; Cinereach who made the movie; and Dan [Kitrosser]. We're all working on a project together. That's the vital key to me. These are my collaborators for the rest of my life. I'm a very loyal, simple (laughs), dedicated human being, and I love working with the people who love working with me.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> What was Torres' reaction the first time he saw the finished film?</p> <p><b>TZ:</b> Well, it wasn't like that because he was part of the creation throughout the whole thing. So Justin was there when we shot the movie, and he was there when we wrote the script, and he was there throughout the entire editing process. There's a lot of different emotions he felt. But I think ultimately what we landed on and what we created together is a film that we’re both very proud of.</p> <p><b>BJ:</b> Can you watch the film with objectivity? I guess you can't.</p> <p><b>JZ:</b> No, I can't. You know, before we went to Sundance, I watched the film 12 times in three days all on a big screen to doublecheck it. Doublecheck it. Doublecheck it. To make sure all the tracks were correct, so I don’t watch the film [any more]. But I have participated in Q and A's and in audience reactions. And it’s very moving to . . . Like my uncle, he's a gay man, who's with my family on and off for my entire life. And he's one of the closest people in my life. He, my mother, and my father were all at the Sundance premiere next to each other watching the movie. When I came on, they were crying a lot. People were crying a lot. People were moved, but my uncle said, "Thank you for making a movie about me." And my father said, "Thank you for making a movie about me." And mother said, "Thank you for making a movie about me." And I thought (laughing), What a good reaction. A movie that could mean so much to so many people.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3770&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="NioeRlLZZX7aRF04gSirXUCu7jzkhgnEkxvA5R78ndU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 24 Sep 2018 19:39:00 +0000 Brandon Judell 3770 at http://culturecatch.com