So I am a film critic for my school's newspaper now. I've published a few film reviews in there over the course of the last few weeks, but for next week (the last issue for this academic year), I delightfully requested the task of writing about Larry Clark's BRILLIANCE, in this case, Tulsa. It will be exhibited at my school's art museum, so I am, obviously, beside myself! Here's my article on the topic:
An amphetamine addict at the age of sixteen, Larry Clark draws inspiration for his acclaimed collection of photographs, Tulsa, from the depths of his own experience and the gradual disintegration of those around him. Claiming his work to be part of the Realist vision, through his photography, Clark simultaneously creates and documents a world of self-destruction, sex, violence, and loss. Beginning with photographs from 1962-63, Tulsa introduces the characters of David and Billy, and subsequently revisits them in 1968 and 1971, chronicling their journey into self-medication and masochism.
Guns, needles, and unidentifiable naked bodies are strewn throughout the series. The characters grow older, but their habits never weaken. Inadvertently filling the role of another set of characters, Tulsa?s viewers become bystanders, actively engaged in inaction. The audience passively witnesses the lives and deaths of these people, powerless to intervene, but are nonetheless fascinated by the intensity of the underbelly on display. Clark?s self-proclaimed Realist intent is made obvious in the series of black and white photographs, yet the understated thematic veracity simultaneously converges with a world of semi-apocalyptic proportions. The dying youth captured in Clark?s vision are timeless; they hold their poses of anesthetized self-destruction eternally, communicating their constant presence in suburban society, and characterizing that which the masses have notoriously chosen to ignore.
The sublime compositional aesthetics of Tulsa, created using only existing light sources, provide ironic balance to the ominous atmosphere. Symbols of American patriotism and religious fervor lifelessly decorate the characters? surrounding environment. These offset and compliment the syringes, the pistols, and the other symbols of destruction and hopelessness that recur in the photographs, creating a potent allegory of the downfall of the American Dream.
Emerging onto the New York art scene in 1971 with Tulsa, Clark?s raw renegade style and insatiable thirst for dark and honest subject matter would prove characteristic of his career in the succeeding years. Clark?s first motion picture Kids, a fictive yet ultra-realistic account of a group of teenagers who thrive on sex and drugs, earned him a great deal of controversy from critics, and the debate surrounding his following theatrical endeavors is no different. His work has been censored and reviled; many have labeled him a ?child pornographer? or an ?exhibitionist.? Conversely, others have praised him for his audacious vision and raw exploration of the suburban teenage underbelly. Regardless of polarized reception, Clark?s determination to examine and dissect the misunderstood, and to portray it with honesty and purpose, has successfully created a dialogue that has characterized the art scene of the late 20th century and continues to do so.
The fifty photographs that served as the foundation for a career of passion and controversy will be on display at the Smith College Museum of Art from May 5th?July 23rd, in the 2nd Floor Corridor Gallery.
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[center]Thanks Miss Behavin![/center]
Best of 2006 (so far):
1. [url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/journal_view.php?journalid=196362&entryid=391966&view=public]PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER[/url] - 10/10 (The greatest film since 2001.)
2. The Departed -10/10 [I](Which is WAY TOO GOOD to be #2 on any list... and even here, I have trouble listing it any lower than #1. It's closer to a tie than a #2...)
[/I]3. Little Children -10/10
4. Babel - 10/10
5. Shortbus - 10/10
6. United 93 -10/10
7. Children of Men -10/10
8. The Science of Sleep -10/10
9. Half Nelson -10/10
10. Dave Chappelle's Block Party -10/10
Honorable Mentions: The King(10/10), The Last Kiss (10/10)
Still in progress and undergoing constant evaluation and evolution...
I hate lists, as the ranking of one piece of art over another is often arbitrary at this level, but yet I submit to them anyway. There is a disclaimer under my list of "Best films of 2005" which says that, upon further consideration, there is not much validity behind the rankings, as my #1 film could, in many ways, be switched with any other film on the list at any given time. And so here is such a disclaimer again... the ranking order of this list is meaningless.
[center]There are things of which I may not speak;
There are dreams that cannot die;
There are thoughts that make the strong heart weak,
And bring a pallor into the cheek,
And a mist before the eye.
And the words of that fatal song
Come over me like a chill:
"A boy's will is the wind's will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts."
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow[/center]
I reckon sleep is just preparation for the inevitable; a smoother transition. So dreams are naturally deceitful. What's your latest dream?
Happy [url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/journal_view.php?s=&journalid=175167]Cello_Girl[/url] Day!!!! :)
There are six nominees in each category unless 2005 yielded a shortage of quality candidates. The nominees are in ranked order.
Most Nominations: Syriana (6; 1 win) followed by a SIX-way tie between Thumbsucker, Breakfast on Pluto, Capote, Hustle & Flow, Match Point, and Stay (6)
Most Wins: Thumbsucker (3)
Click HERE for my list of the top ten best and worst films of 2005.
For my Intro to Digital Media class this semester, I had to create a Web Portfolio. It's pretty much done, I have a couple more adjustments to do, but a load has been taken off my mind.
My work this semester was completed in various digital media, from digital photos and manipulation to digital film. The thing that I am most proud of accomplishing in that class was a text/photo project in which I explored the significance of chatrooms in regards to the role that they play in many children's lives, in conjunction with a general comment about the death of feminism... the other projects have to do with time and space (though the real meaning of the space one isn't very straightforward on the web site...it really needs to be seen in person).
I want to resize the pages to fit a basic browser size better, but otherwise, it's pretty much done!
Here's the link if you want to check it out:
(Hint: To see a short film/music video that Jason and I made, click on the green paper on the left hand side of the blackboard in the "Classroom")
Film reviews coming up!
Director: Sam Bayer
Starring: Green Day
4 out of 4 stars (10/10)
I will be the first to admit that I am extremely biased when it comes to rating this film... so don't think you can uncover any corruption of sorts. I am already aware.
Finally, after a whopping 16 years, Green Day has released their first concert film: Bullet in a Bible. I took a much necessary two-hour drive to go see it play in the theatre -an experience limited to only 50 or so screens, and for one night only. Although the DVD will be out in only two weeks, I felt that my intense fandom required that I make the journey and view the film on the big screen. My two loves, Green Day and film, finally converged.
The film documented a two-night gig at the Milton Keynes Bowl in the UK that Green Day played over the summer. Considering that I went to six concerts on the American Idiot tour, the film hit just the right spot, permanently documenting a piece of my own history and experiences. Needless to say, the music was wonderful; and although the interviews could have delved much deeper, I felt that the film created compelling characters of the band members, and particularly so of Mr. Billie Joe (sexpot) Armstrong. Having seen/read numerous interviews with the band, and having watched tons of concert footage aired online and on TV, I felt that this concert film did the best job I have seen so far of maintaining the true essence of the concert experience. It was beyond captivating, and quite truthfully, chill-inducing. There were moments when I caught myself, mouth-agape, at the edge of my emotional threshold. The film was beautifully directed by Sam Bayer (who has directed each of Green Day's videos from American Idiot, as well as Nirvana's classic "Smells Like Teen Spirit"), and although one scene was rather cringeworthy, he generally did an excellent job of translating the live concert intensity to the screen.
Ick. A sidenote: The film DEFINATELY captured the concert experience, considering that I was surrounded in the theatre by the same horrifying 13 year old girls that plague me at the concerts... luckily, I will soon be able to view this in the privacy of my own prepubescent-free room...
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Happy Birthday Ken!!!
For my Dear Friend VintageFilm... :D
Hartford, CT (September 9, 2005- Hartford Civic Center- 8:00pm)
East Rutherford, NJ (September 1, 2005- Giants Stadium- 7:00pm)
Positioning: Front row... of course.
I attended my fifth and sixth Green Day concerts this past week. Strike that. I shared air with Gods this past week. My overall experience as a Green Day concert-goer thus far has been one of extraordinary diversity - evoking within me a broad spectrum of emotions, from unparalleled bliss to mind-numbing repulsion. Obviously, the bliss occurs when I am in the presence of my deities, and the the repulsion when I am in that of their "followers" (aka the pieces of garbage who throw away their parents' dollars on the latest fad that, for now, the world's greatest band has sadly become). In an effort to avoid inevitable redundancy, I will simply direct those interested in my misanthropic musings to my earlier concert reviews ([url="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/journal_view.php?journalid=196362&entryid=189336&view=public"]2[/url],[url="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/journal_view.php?journalid=196362&entryid=191339&view=public"] 3 & 4[/url]), as the crowd has in no way improved at these later concerts, and so my previous reviews maintain their relevance. However, not to worry, I have gathered new evidence that supports my ever-failing faith in human kind (which I will, of course, follow up with some necessary Green Day worship and gloating).
Things I ACTUALLY heard said:
Typical dumb prepubescent #1: "I am Spartacus!"
Typical dumb prepubescent #2: "Haha that's so funny. I remember when you told me about that line. What's it from again?"
Typical dumb prepubescent #1: "Oh, some guy says it in some show."
Guy with no self-esteem: "I hate Myspace. It's so addictive. I can't wait til the concert gets out so I can check to see if anyone left me a comment."
Wow. Add into the mix a ton of overheard trespasses regarding misunderstood (or just plain wrong) Green Day lyrics, a million text-messaging teenagers vying for their messages to be displayed on the Verizon Wireless sponsored screen before the show (with messages like "Jack has better seats than bill", "Scream if u like Green Day", and "Billy jole is hott <3"), and the knowledge that these losers will be turned on to the "next big thing" as soon as MTV tells them, and you will begin to understand the source of my relentless nausea.
The lights dim. The theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey begins to play, eerily converting the annoying chatter of the once overwhelming crowd into screams of anticpation and excitement. And like the moment the roller coaster reaches the top of the first slope, never to go back without first reaching the end, Green Day runs on stage, picks up their instruments -and the magic begins. A handful of mere men (the three band members along with some very talented accompaniment) stand before an audience of thousands, and the epic sounds simply pour out of them. The sheer simplicity in juxtaposition to the lavish final product is mesmerizing. Ah.
-What's that? Good things that happened to me this time around?! Of course I will share! (The following all occured at the Hartford show.)
1) We saw Tre Cool (the greatest drummer of all time... who's drumstick I obtained at a concert on April 30th) walking on the street before the show... so honking was obviously in order, and he tipped his coffee cup and smiled!
2) I touched Billie Joe. That's right. For a number of seconds. MULTIPLE seconds. He reached down during "Are we the Waiting" and held my fingers with his. Needless to say, my fingers were litterally tingling for the rest of the night. Here is an authentic photograph, taken at the concert, of our priceless interaction:
3) I got God's guitar pick. From his hand...right into mine.... And still in mine.
(my priceless treasures)
Here are a couple of pictures I took at the concert (forgive the quality...)
... but alas, no pictures could ever really capture my experience of the concerts, or what Green Day means to me; for that is truly indelible. So long... until the next time. :)
Congrats to the greatest band in existance taking home 7 (out of 8 nominations) MTV Video Music Awards last night! (Including Video of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams")
Obviously the only deserving nominated band, Green Day boasted a near sweep. Although I personally detest MTV (and the wretched VMA experience), it is nice to see them get recognition where they have earned it. Too bad the Grammys didn't do the same.
Luckly, I recorded it last night, and viewed it today (while going to lengths not to find out what they won / didn't win ahead of time). Therefore I was able to avoid the endless masses of slutty and talentless (yet popular?) hacks by way of the lovely fast-forward button. What I didn't fast-forward through, however, (slutty and talentless as it may be) was R. Kelly's live performance of his newest addition to "Trapped in the Closet". No amount of "haha"s can describe my amusement with this little surprise. It was bloody awful. We're talking worse than the rest of "Trapped in the Closet" awful. Such a guilty pleasure. *counting down the months until the hopeful DVD release of all 3 segements*
Green Day, however, is not a guilty pleasure. Again, congratulations. I shall be seeing you in three days. :D
Oh, and The Green Day Authority finally posted my paintings of Green Day's sexy and charismatic frontman Mr. Billie Joe Armstrong in the "Fan art" section! (heh...does that mean that I am published? )
How dare Rotten Tomatoes not have a "mood" that is worse than "mad"? Mad? I am more than mad. I am infuriated.
:mad: <- Me. Infuriated.
I found out that The Violent Femmes are going to be in my area (well, a couple hours away, but I would make it my area). Considering that they are one of my absolute favorite bands, one can imagine my excitement - its not like they tour too often, and when they do, its usually in the California area. But along comes the problem of numbers... to go to the show (aka to have a lovely time hearing some of my favorite music live) I must be 21. Well, I have 6 whole months to go before I reach this ridiculously "important" age of 21. Obviously, establishments want to keep me out because they greedily plan to make money from the selling of alcohol. Newsflash: If I were 21, I would not purchase a drink anyway.
What logical sense does this really make?
Just the other night, my friend and I were looking for a place to eat late (12-2 in the morning or so...). Every place that was still open insisted upon the 21 prerequisite. So were did I end up? Denny's. For the record, I will never go to Denny's again.
Just because I am too "young" to fill my poor body with alcohol, I am prevented from having a valuable experience, renting a car, and even eating? "Add it up" and it obviously makes no sense. (ooh... witty pun!)
For the record, Violent Femmes have a lot of lesser-developed and silly stuff that really sucks.... I gave them a 10 anyway, but I feel that if I omitted this fact, I may be jeopardizing my credibility. Regardless, they rock... just without me, apparently.
One of the greatest albums of all time... but I am not 21, so how dare I enjoy it?
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