Marcel is a beast. Patrick is a beast. Department of Eagles is not yet on beast status but this video and the fact that it premiered at MOMA sure puts them one step closer. The whole thing is out of control.
Savagery, erotic diddling, death and pajamas: these are the primary subjects of Bruno’s Dream, the 1969 novel by Iris Murdoch. You could close your eyes, throw a dart at one of Murdoch’s 26 novels, and find yourself absorbed in its pages for several weeks. Bruno’s Dream is an especially good target.
It isn’t one of Murdoch’s most famous novels, nor one of her best. But there is a character named “Nigel”, and there are mackintoshes, and there is intrigue. And you can buy it for two dollars off Amazon.
Here is a video of the author discussing literature and philosophy. Note the accent.
All it took to get me excited about this movie were the two images above. Seriously, this movie could be nothing but Maya Rudolph and John Krakinski staring into space with no dialogue for two hours and I would watch it. The complete trailer made me more than just excited– I’m pumped to see Away We Go.
As enchanting as the dexterous deadpan of Rudolph’s elastic visage may be on its own, the film promises to be so much more than that: written by husband and wife literary heroes Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, and bolstered by a rad supporting cast including Allison Janney, Paul Schneider and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Away We Go appears to be one of those rare movies that allows its oft-underused and under-appreciated stars to shine with material that’s, you know, actually good.
The origins of Kim Gordon’s new Hardy jacket— the inaugural piece from her Mirror/Dash clothing venture— are apparent: its got Françoise Hardy’s favorite menswear details, assertive shoulders and military symmetry, but it also flatters a girl’s girliness. The model chosen to display the jacket for Mirror/Dash’s lookbook, not coincidentally, shares Hardy’s thick brown bangs and insouciant gaze. Moi vouloir toi, indeed.
If you grew up watching Sesame Street in the 80s or early 90s, chances are you were forever impacted by the work of animator Sally Cruikshank. Sandwiched in between Elmo and Cookie Monster, her seemingly innocent cartoons were so surreal and uncanny, they became truly subversive on an aesthetic level. The impact of Cruikshank’s influence is evident in the color-saturated, surreal work that pervades the current generation of experimental animators and cartoonists. Sesame Street classics like “Island of Emotion” and “Above it All” could easily fit into a gallery space today (can’t you see the YouTube description for the latter, “An alligator girl spins her fez propellor and flies in sync to music,” transposed upon a classy white label next to a monitor?). If there isn’t already, there should be a required course about the work of Sally Cruikshank at RISD.
The clip above, “Face Like a Frog,” comes from a collaboration with mad musical genuis Danny Elfman for MTV’s early 90s animation orgy, Liquid Television. Almost all of Cruikshank’s work is completely D.I.Y.– conceived, drawn, and animated by the master herself– today, she even forgoes the hassle of voice actors in favor of computerized voices. Seeminly ignored by both the mainstream media as well as the art establishment, Cruikshank’s still at it, using YouTube to distribute unnerving tales of erotic appliances and telepathic cars. Check out a fascinating interview with the artist from 1980 below, as she passionately describes the power of animation.
And now, Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon! Oh wait, it’s not Frost/Nixon. It’s Frank Langella in Brainscan with Edward Furlong playing his exact character from Terminator 2, and some dude with a hilarious “cyberpunk” mohawk. Is this a real movie? Does it actually exist? In the words of T. Ryder Smith, “Real, unreal– what’s the difference?” So postmodern, dude. And totally cyberdelic.
Each image in Erik Dalzen’s series Some Things displays a different household object (like the above-pictured Blender) photographed underneath, rather than on top of, a photo studio backdrop. It’s a simple idea that produces some startlingly eerie images. Bringing to mind issues of consumption, value and waste, Some Things contradicts the very function of product photography by obscuring the surfaces and brands of the objects it’s purporting to sell, leaving only their spatial dimensions for the consumer to ponder. Dalzen further touches upon these themes in Commodities, a project in which he auctions off illustrations and photos representing various marketable goods (Pez dispensers, vintage YSL dresses, human kidneys) on eBay.
But on another level, the project asks us to pay attention to a conceit of commercial photography that we’re ordinarily expected to disregard: the simulated space of the photo studio. What is the wrinkled, voluminous aesthetic of a muslin sheet supposed to suggest? Where, exactly, are objects shot on these backdrops supposed to be? If you were to turn your head just outside the frame, would there be a universe of stormy gray tie-dyed fabric stretching out infinitely, all Matrix-style? As the structures of virtual environments that we interact with every day become more complex and alienated from the organic world, our minds are evolving to understand space in an increasingly abstract sense. Some Things takes a step back to one of the earliest virtual spaces, the photography studio, and points out how weird it is.