Actor Mel Gibson rose to stardom in the 1979 film Mad Max, an action movie set in a dystopian future. In 2006, Gibson directed and cowrote Apocalypto, a dystopian fantasy set in the past. Drawing on durable colonialist tropes, Apocalypto portrays the indigenous civilizations of a pre-Colombian Central America as irredeemably brutal and doomed; the film ends with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. During the time that elapsed between the release of these two films, Gibson’s life took many sordid turns that land Apocalypto’s melodramatic tagline — “No One Can Outrun Their Destiny” — an ironic air. Mel Gibson Story (2010) by Jonathan Horowitz illustrates the actor’s downward spiral through a five-panel metamorphosis of the two movie posters.
OK, whoever thought of this real life Post No Bills Meme street art installation is a genius. I spotted this on a construction site wall (inside a temporary sidewalk detour) located on Second Avenue near 20th Street, on the west side the block, and had to take quick picture so I could commemorate all of these Bills! From upper left and clockwise they are:
Former President Bill Clinton
Microsoft Founder Bill Gates
Actor /Comedian Bill Murray
Unidentified Bill (He May Be a Sports Guy) — Update: This man has now been identified by Mark Morton as Bill Belichick, Coach for the New England Patriots!
Geoffrey and I went out on a massive Art Crawl this past weekend and we saw the above-pictured posters up everywhere in the Chelsea Gallery District. Apparently, they are adverts for Adrien Brody’s new print series, Hooked. As you can see, it is a parody of the Starbucks brand logo, with the coffee merchant’s familiar Siren mascot holding a pistol to each of her temples. Lovely.
The prints debuted at David Benrimon Fine Art booth at the Art New York fair, which ran from May 3rd to 8th as part of Frieze week.
We saw them again on 20th Street, just outside the tunnel entrance to the Comme des Garcons Boutique. Here, street art/graffiti legend Hektad has already left his mark.
Hektad Is So Funky When Wet!
Anyone looking for an art bargain should get to peeling one of these suckers off the wall straight away, otherwise you can buy a proper print for just $25,000 (not a typo) at This Link!
Musician and Actor David Cassidy was born on this day, April 12th in 1950, and we wish him a very Happy Birthday! As an aside, when I was 19 years old I had a boyfriend named Mark, who everyone called “Mark Popstar,” because he so closely resembled David Cassidy. That relationship, now decades in the past, was largely inconsequential, but it’s still a nice memory to know that I was once cute enough to get a boy as cute as David Cassidy.
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous (with Patrick Fugit)
By now, everyone with an Internet connection knows that American Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died early this morning, February 2nd, 2014 of an apparent Heroin Overdose in his NYC apartment. He was just 46 years old. I am currently inconsolable over this tragic news. Hoffman was certainly among my favorite actors and I don’t think I ever saw film he was in where he didn’t blow me away with his ability to transform into his character. He was comparable to a male version of Meryl Streep when it came to his versatility. What a huge loss.
Here are a few of my favorite film roles Hoffman played over the years.
Almost Famous: Hoffman played the late Rock Critic Lester Bangs, who mentors a young William Miller (a character played by Patrick Fugit, and based on director Cameron Crowe) as he takes on a feature assignment for Rolling Stone Magazine.
Boogie Nights: Hoffman was totally believable as Scotty J., a shy, socially awkward, gay film assistant who has a hopeless crush on Porn Star Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg).
Magnolia: In Paul Thomas Anderson’s ensemble drama, Hoffman had the role of Phil Parma, a private nurse who attempts to bring about a reconciliation between his terminally ill patient (played by Jason Robards) and that patient’s misogynistic son (Tom Cruise).
Red Dragon: Hoffman was so good at playing slimeball Reporter Freddy Lounds, you almost hated to see him get brutally tortured and killed. Almost.
Capote: Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2005 for his flawless portrayal of the flamboyant author, Truman Capote.
Synecdoche, New York: Hoffman plays ailing theater director Caden Cotard, who sets out to stage a theatrical production of his life story that takes on a life of its own. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you are on LSD without actually taking any drugs, watch this movie.
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead: Hoffman plays Andy Hanson, one of two brothers (his costar is Ethan Hawke) who plan to execute a “perfect crime” that goes horribly, tragically wrong. The final film directed by Sidney Lumet; highly recommended.
The Master: Playing the part of a charismatic cult leader not-so-loosely-based on L. Ron Hubbard of Scientology fame, Hoffman earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role as Lancaster Dodd.
It’s no secret that I couldn’t care less about most awards shows – the Grammy’s being a prime example of a formerly held-sacred-by-me tradition that long ago became all about rewarding commercial success over acknowledging artistic merit. But being a huge movie fan, film awards like The Independent Spirit Awards, The Golden Globes and, coming up on March 2nd, The Oscars (whose list of nominees can be found at This Link) are the nights of ceremonial award giving that I shamelessly indulge in. Because to me, those awards are still more about the art than the box office returns.
Over the Christmas holidays, I had the chance to get caught up on a handful of the films that would become contenders for the major category awards of 2014 including American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club, Her (which I didn’t care for) and indie favorites like Inside Llewyn Davis, which got a little Golden Globe love but was virtually ignored by the Academy, despite being excellent on every level.
If you’re passionate about film, it’s fun to predict who might win the Oscars in various categories – and for those inclined to wager a little cash on the outcomes, or who simply want water cooler bragging rights the day after, Sports Betting Dime has their odds posted right now (by the way, if fractional odds confound you, whichever film has the lowest number – less than a value of 1 being ideal – is the favorite to win). Two of the Best Picture Nominees – Gravity and 12 Years a Slave – I’ve yet to see. But there is still time! Here are a few of my personal favorites and some of my own predictions.
My favorite film of those nominated is American Hustle. The script and direction are excellent, the cast perfect, with top notch acting by all five major characters, and I also really love its Soundtrack. American Hustle won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy, while 12 Years a Slave took the Globe for Best Drama. Since with Oscars there is no categorical subdivision, I predict American Hustle will lose the Best Picture category to 12 Years a Slave.
When I saw Dallas Buyer’s Club, I couldn’t imagine that any other actor would deserve the Best Actor Oscar more than Matthew McConaughey, who won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama. Chiwetel Ejiofor is McConaughey‘s stiffest Oscar competition for his starring role in 12 Years a Slave. It could really go either way on this, but Sports Betting Dimeslightly favors McConaughey in what is a pretty close race.
As with the Golden Globes, McConaughey’s Dallas Buyer’s Club co-star, Jared Leto, is a favorite (and my favorite) to win his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a transgendered AIDS victim. He was just amazing.
Cate Blanchett completely owned Blue Jasmine and no one else in the Best Actress Category even comes close. Not even Meryl Streep. Cate FTW!
Best Supporting Actress is either going to Lupita Nyongo for 12 Years a Slave or Jennifer Lawrence (who won the Golden Globe) for American Hustle.
The Best Director award could go to anybody, with the exception of Alexander Payne for Nebraska, a film that only the critics and the people involved with the film seem to like. My choice would be David O. Russell for American Hustle, but if it went to, say, Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) or Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) I wouldn’t say they didn’t deserve it. Gravity is supposed to be an epic film but if Alfonso Cuaron wins for directing it my head will explode.
And last but not least, if I gave out the awards, Best Picture would go to American Hustle, but I am pretty sure 12 Years a Slave is going to get it, because slavery was way worse than ABSCAM.
Who do you like to win in each category? Feel free to leave your picks in the comments below, and I’ll see you in front of the TV on March 2nd, 2014!
Brad Shown Playing Guitar During Recent Brain Surgery, Which, Sadly, Failed to Halt the Progression of His Disease.
Thanks to Leah Cevoli for telling me about this campaign:
“My name is Brad Carter. I am an actor, artist, occasional stand-up comedian and a guitarist from Macon, Georgia now living in Los Angeles, Ca. In the past few months I’ve had two surgeries on my brain to help me play guitar again. Maybe you saw it on the Today Show or your local news. I never knew any of that was going to happen. All I wanted was to be able to play guitar for a few years longer. I have a disease called Essential Tremor. This is a progressive neurological disease and there is no cure. My doctors think it could very well become Parkinson’s in the near future. I want to make the most of the time the surgery has given me by recording an album and sharing my story with you. Thank you for becoming a part of this Kickstarter project. It means the world to me.”
Please visit Brad’s Kickstarter page at This Link to watch Brad’s very moving video, to get more information on Brad and to donate to his very deserving campaign! Thank You!