Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Reviews

Watchmen

Written by Zachary Martin
 Active ImageAlan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ graphic novel Watchmen has been heralded by everyone from Time Magazine, to Dominican-American writer Junot Diaz as a masterwork of postmodern story telling. Given the book’s renown, the task of adapting it to film is an unenviable one with little room for error. Moore’s flawless use of meta-text, pop cultural allusions, and a labyrinth of fictitious historical narratives, mean any movie seeking to bring the text to life must figure out a similar way of commenting on its own process and place within a collective cultural imagination, all the while telling a story.
 
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Alex Bag’s first solo museum presentation is currently on view at the Whitney Museum. Bag rose to prominence in the mid-1990s with a video satirizing art school. She is well-known for her low production values and political criticism, and perhaps best-known for mocking things she hates but can’t quite stay away from. Television, for example, which is at the forefront of her disdain in her current installation at the Whitney.
 

The Makedown: Gitty Daneshvari

Written by Kate Willsky
 Active Image In retrospect, The Makedown’s cover design may have been intentional. The hot pink letters; the author photo that recalls an aspiring model’s headshot; the cheesy, neologistic title; the back-cover blurb (“Anna Norton used to be fat; now she’s not and has a hot boyfriend. But is he too hot?”)—maybe it all worked to drive home a larger message: superficiality belying superficiality. Yeah, the book looks like a shallow fluff-read, but then isn’t it shallow to judge a book’s shallowness by its shallow appearance? Nevertheless, I decided that I wouldn’t like The Makedown before I started reading it. 
 

Mirah: (a)spera

Written by Herlinda Flores
 Active ImageWhen Mirah's last record, C'mon Miracle, was released four years ago, almost every music critic praised her for finally releasing an exceptional and “grown-up” record. With such appraisal for C'mon Miracle, the pressure looming over Mirah regarding her follow-up record was nothing short of daunting. But what critics tend to lose perspective on is the fact that all artists are constantly “growing up.”
 

A Woman in Berlin

Written by Sara Freeman
 Active ImageSadly, World War II seems like cinematic roadkill these days. World cinema, especially Hollywood, treads over so much of the subject year after year with story after story that there really shouldn’t be much of the narrative carcass left to peck. So much glossy exposure to any event is bound to desensitize viewers. 

 

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