Dec 30, 2008
Pipilotti Rist's amazing, and amazingly popular, Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters) at MoMA. It's a hangout spot, lounge/rest area, multi-sensory experience, and general conglomaration of people from hundreds of different countries all rolled up into one cool-looking, at times sublime installation.
Dec 19, 2008
Here is the AV Club's list of the 10 best films of the year. Quite a good list considering this was a let-down of a year for film, particularly after '07's fantastic roster of films. As they put it (hitting the nail on the head), this year was filled with many small gems but few standout achievements.
WALL-E and 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days are two favorites that I was happy to see here. Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park (his Milk is also on the list) is the standout here (as is Surfwise, a film I've never heard of). Certainly a deserving film but absent from most other year-end lists, I'm sure Paranoid Park will be on mine. Surprisingly high on the list, but not without reason, Charlie Kaufman's stunning directorial debut Synecdoche, New York and Rachel Getting Married are two films that if it weren't an "off year" I wouldn't expect to be this popular. They're truly acquired tastes, but definitely worth your time.
And while one of the best end-of-the-year lists I've seen thus far, there are a few glaring omissions (some, favorites of mine) including: The Visitor, (Palm d'Ore winner) The Class, Happy-Go-Lucky, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Slumdog Millionaire.
I'm still compiling my top 30 (which I've been putting together annually for many years now). I'll post it here as soon as I feel I've seen enough films.
Dec 17, 2008
I don't like to watch movies on my ipod. Ever since I took a political art class in which my professor accused watching films on ipods and other such miniature devices as ruining the medium. "It's like seeing a Rothko in person vs. looking at a picture of one in your textbook," he said. And I agree (to a point. there are films and video art that are meant to be seen on tiny screens but thats another discussion for another day). There's nothing like seeing your favorite Kubrick or Malick masterpiece on a movie screen, the former of which I sadly have yet to do.
But at times I make the exception if I've seen the film a numerous amount of times (the other day I saw The 400 Blows on my ipod, cheering me up severely) or if it's a comedy or a film with standard/generic cinematography.
I am currently creating a digital file of Woody Allen's Manhattan for my ipod. While a hilarious comedy, the film has some of the most stunning visuals. Allen's mise-en-scene completely changes from his previous films and the entire thing is filmed in gorgeous black and white. I'm really looking forward to maybe watching it on my way back from New York next week. However I'm severely torn between the convenience and its quality.
Should I simply wait to see my films only when I can get in front of a 40" screen (or bigger)? Or should I embrace new technology that allows me to watch my favorite films whenever I can? Does it matter how I see a film as long as I see it and I'm aware of the differences in quality? I guess what I'm afraid of is not how I watch the film, but how I'm seen watching the film. I feel as though I'm contributing to the degradation and mass (re)production of art in our society. It's not the mere fact that I'm watching a film on a 2" screen, it's the attitude behind my actions, an attitude that I'm perpetuating by watching Woody Allen's seminal classic Manhattan on my 2" ipod screen. . .
Well, I already stopped buying cds in favor of digital music. I guess I just don't have the willpower. . . just, please, don't look at me.
"Yeah, I can't wait to go to New York. At MOMA there's this Miró retro of sorts. Looks good."
"Miró. Isn't he a surrealist? Surrealism is lame."
"Yeah, but he's that second kind of surrealism, not like Dali."
"Still does nothing for me."
"Yeah me neither, but you can't deny its historical importance. Miró and others led to Pollock and the abstract expressionists, for instance."
"What! NARRATIVE surrealism has nothing to do with NON-OBJECTIVE abstract expressionism."
"In that aspect, you're right, but Miró was amongst those that popularized automatism, which, along with Kandinsky and Dadaism, led directly to Pollock, especially his earlier stuff which did have some figures. Not to mention surrealism's ties with Freudian thought and the unconscious. Pollock and Co. were all about the powers of the unconscious."
"Yeah. . . I guess."
Dec 16, 2008
Co-worker walks into office area. . . "yeah!" he says, referring to the music being played from his computer on a random last.fm playlist.
He sits down and returns to his work. . . then it hits him "oh! this is just jazz!" he says to me in disappointment, "I thought it was avant-garde indie noise."
I submitted a t-shirt design for the center's yearly t-shirt and it was of course declined.
The design (right) is a simplified picture of Rene Magritte's "This is not a Pipe" with the line under it "This is a Shirt." Genius, I know. It's smart, funny, and best (and most obvious) of all, it's about art. Unfortunately, nobody at work got it (except for our curator and my faithful co-worker), including our executive director. "Welcome to the arts organization where no one knows a thing about art", my co-worker sneers. This place where I work is filled with nice, energetic, motivated people. Great, but one thing is severely lacking: they don't know a damn thing about art!
Oh well. Maybe I'll publish it on threadless and hope my witty design gets the recognition it deserves. . .