Thursday, January 30, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Monday, January 27, 2014
Paradise Review has just published one of my postcard collages for their cover.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Blotterature Literary Magazine
Blotterature Literary Magazine has just published one of my sculptures in their first issue. You can see it on pg. 38 and the entire magazine at this link.
Friday, January 24, 2014
The Ilanot Review
Before this thriller was released there was some word of mouth about how good it was, and how it would be a leading contender for awards at the end of the year, Filmcomment Magazine even picked it as one of the essential films of the year along with such critical darlings as “Blue Jasmine’, “12 Years a Slave”, “Gravity” and “Inside Llewyn Davis” and gave it a full page review in their special year end supplement. So what happened? Disappearing from view rather quickly, the film did not do well at the box office or with the awards although it has received an Oscar nomination for its beautiful cinematography. Simply put it is an overlong attention grabbing somewhat engrossing creepy thriller that recalls “Silence Of The Lambs”, “Mystic River”, “Seven” and “Zodiac” and shows us how unexpected violence can quickly change lives which is not a very original or new idea. On Thanksgiving two families who live near each other in a neat but dreary suburban neighborhood in Pennsylvania are celebrating the holiday. One family is white and is headed by a tough, tense survivalist played by Hugh Jackman, the other family is African American with a more relaxed laid back husband and wife played by the very good Terrence Howard and the equally good Viola Davis. It seemed to me that as nice as this racial co-existence was that it was a far-fetched match up. This plot ploy of a conservative survivalist being close friends with an African American family just didn’t ring true for me and this plot device will be played hard and false later in the film when sides in a violent and traumatic situation are taken. Soon the story takes a bad turn when the young daughters of the two families go out to play and are not seen again. Kidnapped of course, and we are led to believe by someone in a camper that was parked outside one of the neat and tidy homes that line the dull street. The sky and landscape is late Fall gray and void of much color, and indeed the film will remain without much color and shading especially when it comes to the characters for the rest of its long running time. The two families are frantic, and the mom, the wife of Jackman played by Maria Bello starts to fall apart in front of us, taking pills and sleeping her days away and Hugh begins to act crazy and harsh. The police led by Jake Gyllenhaal who appears to be the only detective working the case is secretive and alone we know nothing about him but he becomes obsessed with the case as detectives in this kind of thriller usually do. They soon arrest a suspect, a slow witted young man played by Paul Dano who has the IQ of a ten year old and who they have to release back into his aunt’s custody played by Melissa Leo because they are lacking any proof that he did the crime. Jackman who keeps losing his American accent also starts losing his mind over this release and is soon stalking and plotting to take matters into his own large hands. Most of the film is unpleasant, violent and unsettling but it does have suspense, twists and is compelling if you like or can stand this sort of film. The director Denis Villeneuve is good with actors and details and fills the screen with realistic interiors and touches of behavior that sometimes ring true, but are generally paper thin as is the plot with its many holes that lets the light shine through and it comes free of charge with a rushed and improbable ending.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
The Popcorn Farm
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Bricolage Magazine has just published 7 of my postacards. You can view them at this link.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
3 very good shows
There are 3 very good shows on now in Greenwich Village that I saw yesterday.
The Jess-Robert Duncan large show at the Gray Art Gallery titled “An Opening Of The Field: Jess, Robert Duncan and Their Circle is a wonderfully installed show documenting the long relationship of the poet and artist who partnered up for over 40 years, collaborating, collecting and writing poems and making art. They also gathered around them a large group of artists and writers in San Francisco of the 1950’s and the show also highlights the work of these artists. There are some terrific works included by the likes of Edward Corbett, Jack Spicer, Ernesto Edwards, Helen Adam, Wallace Berman, James Broughton and many others most of whom I didn’t know. The shows bursts with paintings, collages, drawings and cases of books, documentation and ephemera. There are also examples of work by Dean Stockwell, (yes that Dean Stockwell) and an early heavily impastoed painting piece by Ronnie Bladen that will surprise those who think of him only as a minimalist sculptor. Each artist has a small informative biographical label with a photo of them next to their work which is a nice touch, and once more this gallery has mounted a terrific show highlighting works by artists who by and large lived their lives and made their art without much thought to fame or admiration.
Devotion: Excavating Bob Mizer
This show is a now on at 80WSE a few steps from the Gray Gallery, and is the first big show of Mizer’s who is mainly know in gay circles for his pioneering erotic photos and publications that he published in the late 40’s and 50’s and for which he paid a very high price including a year in prison. The show only features 45 framed photos of his wide ranging output from his beefcake work to photos of non sexual content such as portraits and mundane images like a large photo of a Siamese cat. The show is also a work in progress as there are thousands of boxed negatives and slides that are housed in a floor to ceiling shelving unit along with some of the costumes that his models wore that are being processed and archived by N.Y.U. students at work tables where computers and printers sit awaiting the process of digital copying and archiving. The walls in these galleries have printouts of these photos clipped to them in a changing and rotating mini show within the larger exhibition.
And finally I took in Philip Pearlstein-Just The Facts 50 Years of Looking and Drawing and Painting now on at the New York Studio School on 8th street. The show features 44 of his beautiful figure drawings in pencil and other mediums along with two paintings. I’ve always liked his work, and this was a great opportunity to see what is billed as the largest show of his drawings ever mounted. Hung against blue painted walls in this very old fashioned gallery with wooden floors that creak when walked on, a perfect place to view this work.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Fallen Angel. 1945
This is a pretty good but somewhat improbable dandruff on a double breasted navy blue pin stripe suit film noir that was directed by Otto Preminger one year after his masterpiece Laura and once again using leading man Dana Andrews and some of the same crew. This one begins with Andrews down on his luck being asked to get off an overnight bus because he doesn’t have money for his fare so off he goes and he finds himself in a small coast town somewhere between San Francisco and nowhere. Walking to the “business district” of the town he finds a dump diner called “Pops Eats” where he can just about manage to get himself a cup of java and a burger but because the diner is about to close Pops the owner played by none other than Percy Kilbride few years away from his big break in movies as Pop Kettle and film immortality gives him a hard time. It seems that his sluttish sultry hard as nails waitress Stella has not showed up all day, and Pops who has a crush big time for her is worried. Soon she appears very quickly into the scene and is so hungry that Pops gives her Dana’s burger. “That was the best hamburger I never had” Dana says and this is how we are introduced to Stella played by the beautiful the wonderful Linda Darnell who is one of the fallen angels. Andrews another fallen angel is very taken with Stella as is every man who lays eyes on her, and is soon trying to make her. Darnell is tough and gives Dana a run for his empty pockets and she ain’t putting out so fast. The film as I said is improbable and it gets more so as it goes on but that doesn’t mean its not entertaining. Dana soon smooth talks himself into a hookup with a phony spiritualist played by the great John Carradine as Professor Madley who is scheduled to put on his phony baloney show at the town hall but is meeting serious resistance from two spinster sisters, the daughters of the late mayor who are totally against this fake ghost talker. Dana takes charge and charms the younger more attractive sister surprisingly well played by the song and dance star of all those awful 20th century fox musicals of the 40’s Alice Faye to get her more immovable sister played by the always good Anne Revere to give in and let the show go on. Faye all prime and proper with her blonde hair in a bun starts to get all hot and bothered over Dana and agrees to go out on her date with him, and is soon all ga ga goo goo over him, but Dana only wants to do it with Linda. He decides to play along with Alice because he finds out that she is loaded with dough and he figures a way to bamboozle her out of her cash with a proposal of marriage so he can later hop it out of town with Darnell who will hit the deck with Dana if he can come up with big bucks. Meanwhile Linda is hip hoping all over the place with every guy who crosses her path including the aging but still slightly hubba hubba Bruce Cabot who we all know as the heart throb who wrestled King Kong for Fay Ray’s affection back in the depression. Also lurking in the shadows is another fallen angel this one a retired cop from New York played by Charles Bickford who silently hankers after Stella like a silly little pup. Well Alice lets down her hair and marries Dana which puts her sister practically in a coma, and on their honeymoon night which they are spending at the sister’s ancestral home, Anne who will continue to live with the couple catches Dana sneaking off to meet Stella and later that night a murder happens The rest of the film is a bit muddled and rushed, there is a fast hitch hike to San Francisco that defies logic with Faye and Andrews leaving without money or luggage and looking none the worse as they check into their dump of a hotel. This is a good scene though, the dumpy hotel’s neon sign can be seen partially through their open window spelling out “hot” as Dana and Alice finally make it as a couple and spend the rest of the night talking about their pasts. Andrews who had a real life big time drinking problem looks worn and disheveled in some scenes which work to deepen his portrayal of a sad lost guy and mirrored his own life. Still he had a warmth and kindness about him which came out in most of his screen performances, and when ripe and young you could easily see why the ladies (and some men) were crazy for him. The film as I said has a rushed feel to it and this is especially true in the ending, but the film has a nice look about it, Noirish in a 20th Century Fox way with smooth cinematography by the great Jospeh LaShelle who won an Oscar for his work on “Laura, and also did nice work here mixing up the real locations with back lot sets. Definitely worth a look.