Anticipation: The Bling Ring (2013)
Back in the spring of 2010, a little show called Pretty Wild was unleashed onto an unassuming public. Helmed by E! and executive produced by Chelsea Handler et al, it followed the unique dynamic of the Naiers family: an ex lingerie model momager and her three over-sexualized, insipid and clinically dramatic teenage daughters. As the pilot episode winds to a close we learn that middle daughter Alexis has been arrested for her involvement in a string of Hollywood burglaries committed by teens acutely coined The Bling Ring. They managed to steal over three million in loot by ingeniously using the likes of TMZ, Google Earth, and Twitter to clock celebrities whereabouts and sneak in and swipe their swag while they’re pretending to eat that thirty dollar salad at the Ivy or filming a blockbuster overseas. Generation Y at its best people. An equally fascinating part of the show is Andrea’s unique style of parenting. She casually dolls out adderall to her girls, home schools them using a curriculum based on the principals of the movie The Secret, encourages them to sell their sexuality while holding a strong belief in God and the effectiveness of spontaneous prayer circles. “And so it is!”
Sharon Tate & Roman Polanski (1969) by David Bailey
Grammin’: Stanley Kubrick at LACMA
I recently squeezed in a visit to LACMA’s Stanley Kubrick retrospective and let me tell you guys it is SO GOOD. I died a few times yet still managed to gram from the grave some of my favorite moments from the show. It’s also got me contemplating a rewatch of sleeper Barry Lyndon. Props, miniatures, and production stills will do that to a girl! Don’t miss it. Stanley Kubrick is on view through 6/30.
La Chinoise (1967)
I really wanted to like political Godard. I longed to feel worldly and to be able to casually bring up this film in conversation at a friend of a friend’s birthday party. I’d peer through thick framed tortoise lenses and casually drop gems about why Maoism should be reconsidered, how this film might have changed France and the deeper meanings in Godard’s use of the color red. I’d be nursing a bubbly Kir Royal and wearing a mustard colored sweater from A.P.C. and sensible black boots… But No, I won’t be doing any of that because this movie made me fall asleep. Un rêve reporté! Upon a second viewing, La Chinoise confirmed yet again that Godard’s eye for composition and color is unparalleled and that this Jean-Pierre Léaud guy has got some serious acting chops! I often wonder with J.L.G. if every frame is meticulously intentional à la Kubrick or if some are simply beautiful accidents. My takeaway of La Chinoise: This is what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real(ly) into Mao, The Real World: Paris!
The Wild One (1953)
I thought Marlon Brando’s Johnny would look pretty surrounded by magenta mums so I made this. I was right.
The Misfits (1961)
Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Misfits by Eve Arnold
Best of Netflix Watch Instantly: The Imposter (2012)
We have all had the passing notion of what it would be like to become someone else. Perhaps in a colorful, elaborate fantasy, or a vividly real dream. Rational thought keeps us in line, understanding that becoming the next Frank Abagnale is a far fetched, and more cinematic idea than most people can achieve. But that is in fact what Frédéric Bourdin did in 1997. At 23, he decided to assume the identity of Nicholas Barclay, a missing 16 year old Texas boy. Not the identity of a blue blood royal, a celebrity, or a Rockefeller, but a child? Stranger still when Barclay’s family accepts him into their home as one of their own. Nicholas and Frédéric’s only similarities were a small gap between their two front teeth. Blinded by the sadness of loosing a child or riddled by the guilt of the truth of his dissaperance, one will never understand how this happened.
One, Two, Three (1961)
Posters for One, Two, Three designed by Saul Bass.
Beyoncé: Life is But a Dream (2013)
Beyoncé wants you to know a little more about Beyoncé. First GQ draped a chain around her Grecian carved abs that nearly blew up the internet, then she gave us a power blasting (Illuminati?) Superbowl performance, secured Anna Wintour’s icy blessing as Vogue cover girl “Queen B”, sang* for Obama, landed a Gentlewoman cover and for her (no where near) final act , sat down with God herself: OPRAH. All of this confirming that the world has caught Beyoncé fever. And you thought it was flu season dummy! Her new documentary Beyoncé: Life is But a Dream promises to be an intimate look into the star’s life and process but don’t expect a roller coaster of feelings, scriptures, purple haze sex appeal and questionable sanity à la Rihanna’s Instagram feed (which you SHOULD be following BTW). Beyoncé’s image is more protected than our borders, Siberian tigers, and most National parks. All of that being said Beyoncé is proud to present a glossy documentary in which she co-directs, produces, narrates and humbly stars. I’d like to imagine that Mrs. Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter had a bigger role in this film. Here is how I imagine the credits for Life is But a Dream will roll. Keep in mind she was modest enough not to list herself as the Driver for Mrs. Knowles-Carter. James Cameron take note, this gives new meaning to HMFIC.
See my full credits here.
Marlon Brando on the set of Julius Caesar (1953)
Things to Do: Visit Time Machine
Tucked away above a Cuban restaurant in Chelsea is a store called Time Machine. It caters mostly to comic book aficionados and lovers of vintage paperbacks and magazines but also has a section of film memorabilia and posters in a corner by the window. I went on a mission to get some Mad magazines from ‘76 and left with so much more: a handful of gems and a black hole of a store for me to get lost inside of. I flipped through endless rows of magazines and photographs, each neatly wrapped in plastic and stacked snuggly behind hand written signs. Small stickers announced very reasonable prices and the store’s charismatic owner Roger happily reminded me more than once that all of the prices were negotiable. I eavesdropped on conversations about Spider-Man, Star Trek: The Next Generation toys, Grimes’ music, the staying power of The Exorcist and how Ellen Burstyn was robbed of an Oscar that year.