Brilliant concept: “Somebody I Used To Know“
Good use of urban space: “It’s Not Impossible“
Crazy choreography: “Settle Down“
I no longer can resist blogging about “Girls,” and I don’t even care if that’s a cliché, because I’m so similar to Hannah–only a few years older, East Coast instead of Midwestern, state school instead of liberal arts digs–that I’m really no longer concerned about clichés. Because apparently, I am one. Or at least an archetype.
But what I find most interesting is not comparing Hannah and myself, but rather Hannah and Lena Dunham. They are both writers, with gumption and moxie and lust for artsy boys and a flouncy “can’t-do-the-9-to-5″ air about them. But whereas Hannah has to struggle through the internship and interview mills, her creator, Lena, never had to. She began making films and TV series in college, because she was raised by creative, supportive parents. Wealthy parents. Well-connected Manhattan parents. But Hannah’s got none of that. She’s gotta make it on her own–sort of, because her parents keep her funded (or did, for two years).
Was it too difficult for Dunham to portray the real lifeworld of a Brooklynite writer, whose parents can’t dole out cash, and who waits tables and writes blog posts for $50-a-pop in order to experience the thrill of having her words published? Hannah is a brave character who in many ways represents so many aspects of young womanhood (awkward sex with not-quite-men, financial struggles, disdain of one’s body, difficultly adjusting to post-college professional life). And in her core, Hannah is a feminist. She’s unafraid to go for what she wants, and believes in the power of her intellect. But she would be more of a feminist if she had to do what most twenty-something women in New York City–who aren’t from extremely wealthy families–have to do: hustle, often while working stupid jobs and doing dumbed-down work. (more…)
You know how the guy in last night’s episode of “Girls” is making a “mash-up”? (Or “mash-in,” as Jessa insists on calling it, to the wannabe-cool-guy-but-hipster-hater’s dismay.) Well, his mash-up sucked, but Philly-based Girl Talk made a really bad-ass one, and then Brooklyn-based photographer Jacob Krupnick became really obsessed with it and used it as a soundtrack for a crazy movie where dancers boogie through the streets of New York, and then I saw that film at the Brooklyn Museum and became really obsessed with it, and then I interviewed Jacob Krupnick about making the film and now it’s up on BOMB magazine’s blog, so you can become obsessed with that.
Last night, artist Alison Pebworth gave a talk at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit about her Beautiful Possibility project, an exploration of place-making, storytelling, and American history that led her all over the country. It began after years of painting, something she said she never really liked doing, but did anyway and was very good at. Painting seemed to hold her down and force her to be stationary; she wanted to be interacting with people, out in the world. But she had no idea what she wanted to be saying, or where, or how to begin.
She made a little booth, and set it up just off a highway in Death Valley, with a sign attempting to lure passersby by promising a “free” roadside attraction. But nobody came. Pebworth was glad, she said, because if someone had stopped she had no idea what she would have said to them. She had ventured out into “the world,” but almost unconsciously positioned herself in a no-place, where there was little hope of interaction with strangers. But it was a first step.
From there, Pebworth’s roadside attraction morphed and grew as she traveled from place to place, incorporating local elements into her efforts to make something she felt satisfied with, to find a way to “belong.” Much of this process was about Pebworth not feeling like she belonged anywhere. In each new place, she collaborated with local artists, asked people to bring in native plants to brew “elixers” to be drunk from a communal, blown-glass jug, and held “show and tell” sessions where people exchanged words, ideas, crafts. Sometimes Pebworth had trouble engaging people–or finding places to convene with them in public, particularly in places like North Dakota, which is apparently the “least visited state in the union,” Pebworth said. (more…)
After a recent showing of “Broken Tower,” a film directed, produced by, and starring James Franco about Hart Crane, a homosexual poet who committed suicide in 1932 at the age of 33, James Franco had a chance to interview himself about the film.
James Franco: What led you to become so gripped by the poetry and life of Hart Crane?
James Franco: I made the film for my master’s thesis at NYU. Crane was an insanely creative person, totally dedicated to his craft. And he was a wanderer, a tortured soul who didn’t fit into society. Crane’s poetry inspired so many poets, like Allen Ginsberg. But Crane couldn’t make a living, and he was totally marginalized. I’m a poet—I have an MFA in poetry—and I think poetry is just totally undervalued in our society, so I wanted to showcase the life of this poet who lived so dramatically for his art.
You’re a poet, but you are also a Hollywood actor. You’re not exactly marginalized, and you certainly aren’t hurting for money.
Well, that’s true. But it’s fun to think about how other people might experience those things. (more…)