Ivan Albright painted this lurid work for the 1945 movie adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s 1891 novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. In Wilde’s tale, Dorian Gary commissions a portrait of himself as an attractive young man, and later trades his soul for an ever-youthful appearance. As the still-handsome Gray leads an increasingly dissolute and evil life, his painted representation rots and decays, revealing the extent of his moral corruption. Albright’s renown as a painter of the macabre made him the ideal choice to paint the horrific image of Gray for the film. Although the movie was shot in black and white, director Albert Lewin filmed the painted portrait in color to emphasize Gray’s shocking transformation.
I just got back from a vacation trip to Chicago, where I had all kinds of crazy fun, but also found lots of cool stuff to put on this here blog. Once such cool thing is this lobby standee for an upcoming thriller/horror film called 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, which is due to open in theaters on August 16th, 2019. You can infer that it stars a Really Big Shark and assorted unsuspecting victims, but you may not realize that it is also a sequel to a 2017 film also called 47 Meters Down. So clever.
Take a closer look at the lobby standee and you will see there is a place for your two feet marked right in from of the shark’s gaping maw, so that you can stand there and your friends can snap a pic for The Gram of you looking like you are about to be shark food. Shark Attack in the Lobby!
Sears & Roebuck released this colorful set of Pink Flamingos bed sheets in 1972, and it mysteriously disappeared almost as quickly as it hit store shelves. The sheets were made available two weeks prior to the release of the film, and within two months they were nearly impossible to find. Sales records indicated that only 500 to 800 units were sold nationwide, though Sears reports that over 5,000 units were actually produced. Where did all of the missing bed sheets end up? No one really knows, but it is speculated that they were pulled from shelves and junked by retail biddies who objected to the content of the film. Each set contained a fitted sheet, top sheet and two pillow cases.
If you enjoyed Netflix’s cannibal-themed comedy series, The Santa Clarita Diet, but just wish it featured more of the erotic sexual violence seen in the 2001 thriller Trouble Every Day, while also dishing up a plot that is more deeply-steeped in body horror, dark family secrets, and general fucked-up-edness, a new French horror film, Raw, may satisfy that craving. Raw, the debut feature film from director Julia Ducournau, tells the unconventional coming-of-age story of Justine, a pretty but sheltered teen who is starting her freshman year at veterinary college. Justine’s older sister, Alexia, also attends the school, and it is soon revealed that both of the girls’ parents are alumni as well.
Raised in a family of strict vegetarians, Justine has never even tasted meat. When she is unable to back out of a school hazing ritual involving the consumption of a raw rabbit kidney, the act triggers an immediate and alarming metamorphosis within the young student that is both physical and temperamental in nature.
Attempting to juggle her class schedule while simultaneously enduring the incessant bullying of her upperclassmen peers, Justine finds herself suffering from an acute sickness that the school’s doctor brushes off as food poisoning. In short order, she abandons her vegetarian diet in search of flesh, and also undergoes a sexual awakening when she finds herself irresistibly attracted to her hunky gay roommate Adrien. When the two finally do get it on, the frenzied encounter plays out as one of the most harrowing sex scenes ever committed to celluloid!
Foreign films always seem to have an edge over American cinema when it comes to creating an effective atmosphere of creeping dread, in which the viewer becomes uncertain whether what is shown on screen is actually happening, or is just a manifestation of a character’s imagination — and Raw succeeds wildly in providing just enough subterfuge to keep you guessing until the very last scene as to what exactly is driving Justine’s insatiable new hunger.
There are many grisly, Cronenberg-esque scenes in Raw, but nothing the average horror film aficionado can’t stomach. The film also boasts terrific acting performances by the three leads; Garance Marillier as Justine, Ella Rumpf as Alexia, and Rabah Naït Oufella as Adrien. I look forward to watching other films featuring these actors. Recommended if you dig films like Carrie, The Hunger and We Are What We Are, The Worley Gig Gives Raw4 out of 5 Stars!
With a run time of 98 minutes, in French with English Subtitles, Raw opens nationwide on March 10th, 2017. In NYC, the film opens at the Angelika Film Center, featuring Q&As on Thursday 3/9 following the 8pm show & Friday 3/10 following the 7:10pm show with Director Julia Ducournau and actress Garance Marillier. Details are at This Link.
I don’t pretend to be an authority on the subject, but I’d guess that there’s no modern-era film more closely associated with the locale of Coney Island, Brooklyn than Walter Hill’s 1979 adventure/ drama, The Warriors. If you haven’t seen the film, I recommend it. Two thumbs up! My point being that it’s completely appropriate that this year’s Coney Art Walls installation includes an underwater-themed, mermaid fantasy mural by British street art collective, The London Police that includes an homage to this now classic, cinematic favorite.
At the mural’s very top, you will recognize the likenesses of six of the film’s main characters. Above are the three Warriors on the left side of the wall.
And here are the three Warriors seen on the wall’s right side. Can you dig it?
Hey all you Trekkies out there! Why no get yourselves all excited for the arrival of the newest film adventure in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek Beyond, which hits theaters Friday, July 22nd (Previews on Thursday, July 21st), by polishing up on your Trekkie Trivia with the rad infographic below! Enjoy!
Alfred Hitchcock Is a Bird, by Mike Leavitt (All Photos By Gail)
You loved his homage to the contemporary art world in Art Army Royalty; you thrilled to his Star Wars character mashups with Empire Peaks; and now, Mike Leavitt returns for his third solo exhibition at Jonathan LeVine, King Cuts – honoring the artist’s obsession with 16 of the Best Film Directors Ever! And what great show it is!
Orson Welles with Key Props from Citizen Kane and A Touch of Evil
Great film directors make sacrifices and compromises when creating a movie. They’re eaten by their work and very often their body succumbs to the pressure. In King Cuts, Leavitt transforms some of the most renowned directors into satirical sculptures, combining their physical attributes with features reminiscent of their most recognizable on-screen characters. Standing 18 inches tall at one quarter inch scale, each sculpture is carved from a single block of wood, similar to the way these auteurs might cut a take or reel.
Francis Ford Coppola with Thematic Images from Rumblefish, Dracula, and The Godfather
Through his clever mash-ups, Leavitt has created totems devoted to the best story tellers of all-time that explore the role of being an artist and pose the question, is it possible not to merge art and life?
Stanley Kubrick Wears the Dress of One of the Twins from The Shining. Also Present are References to Full Metal Jacket, A Clockwork Orange, and 2001
Stanley Kubrick Detail with Alex DeLarge’s False Eyelashes
Similar to the way Kubrick, Spielberg and Tarantino use the camera like a window to gaze out, Leavitt humorously reverts the gaze back to them. Under their control or not, work sweeps over the life of the creator. Their imagery becomes more powerful than themselves and their icons overtake their anatomy.
David Lynch is Presented with Allusions to The Elephant Man, Dune and Wild at Heart
The Artist, (Right) at the Exhibit’s Opening Reception. He is very nice to fans!
Mike also made a set of collectible trading cards of each of the Director’s Sculptures, and the back of each one has a little story about each character.
Kathryn Bigelow, and the card which describes her, below.
Leavitt is obviously a passionate film buff who aims to elevate these directors as high artists, while also surreally lampooning them with a taste of their own iconic medicine. He explains, “I love movies and I love art. The magic overwhelms me. Moviemakers are consumed by their work, similar to the way my own work overtakes my life. Whether a block of wood, a scene ending or film reel edit, every cut takes conviction. Trust in that vision is so powerful that they relinquish their anatomy. That’s why I sculpted their bodies physically devoured by their work.”
Tim Burton Personified with Motifs from Beetlejuice, Batman and Edward Scissorhards
Installation View, Left Right: Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, George Lucas
Mike Leavitt’s talent is just insane. The details of each sculpture are absolutely breathtaking and this exhibit is lots of fun to experience in person. Don’t miss it!
Mike Leavitt’s King Cuts will be on Exhibit Through June 11th, 2016, at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
James Cameron, Avatar Meets Titanic with side of Aliens and Terminator
Wes Anderson Films include The Darjeeling Limited, Bottle Rocket, Moonrise Kingdom, Rushmore, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel
Hey, do you enjoy movies directed by the Coen Brothers? I sure do. Fargo, No Country for Old Men, Burn After Reading; Love love love. Here is the thing though, about the Coen Brothers movies: when you try to explain the plot, they just take too fucking long to talk about. It is better to just go see them, if you are a fan at all. So, instead of writing a proper review, which would take me most of the remaining days of my life, I am just going to offer up a fun Top Ten List of stuff I liked about Hail Caesar!, a preview of which I saw earlier this week, and which you might like as well.
OK, here we go.
Fat Jonah Hill. You know how Jonah Hill was fat in Superbad, and everyone loved him? And then he got real thin and in-shape, but then everyone decided they liked him better when he was fat? Well, he’s fat again in this movie.
If you like Old/Classic Hollywood Films, say, from the ‘40s, you will dig that this film takes place inside the Hollywood film industry at that time.
Scarlet Johansson in Synchronized Swimming Scenes!
Did you know that Channing Tatum can sing and dance like Fred Astaire? I had no idea, but he is AMAZING!
Tilda Swinton as Identical Twin Gossip Columnists! Yes, I just typed that!
Alden Ehrenreich. Have you ever heard of this guy before? Me neither, but the story goes that he was “discovered” at age 14 at a Bar mitzvah attended by Steven Spielberg. Truth is stranger than fiction. He is terrific in Hail, Caesar! playing a Singing Cowboy Movie Star who gets hilariously miscast as a romantic lead in a straight drama.
Wait until you see Channing Tatum’s Character’s House. It is just insane, and I want to live in it.
Christopher Lambert, star of the most important ’80s genre pic ever, Highlander, has a brief supporting role, and shares a scene with the move’s primary lead actor, Josh Brolin. The fun thing about this onscreen pairing is that both actors are ex-husbands of actress Diane Lane! Trivia!
George Clooney was born to wear a Gladiator outfit and Roman Sandals!
The Submarine scene.
Hail, Caesar! hits theatres on February 5th, 2016!