Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Reviews

Minimal Wave: Making the Old New Again

Written by Emily Westerweller
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There is a context for listening to a record and then writing about it. At my desk, in front of my computer, with coffee on a Sunday morning is not the best time or the ideal place to hear Futurisk’s “Lonely Streets.” When I first heard the track, I was transported to London or Berlin, or perhaps, back in time—to the '80s, in a nightclub, on the dance floor; my coffee cup became a drink with ice and my cardigan became something way more exciting. The song is from the electro-punk-pop Florida band’s 1982 record, Player Piano, which was reissued in 2010 by the Brooklyn label, Minimal Wave, in correlation with the band’s thirty year anniversary. The band’s singer and founding member, Jeremy Kolosine, is a British expat and was still a teenager while recording. Richard Hess and Jack Howard complete the lineup. 
 

Film: The Help Directed by Tate Taylor

Written by Alicia Sowisdral
TheHelp.jpgWhen Callie Khouri sold the rights to her first screenplay, Thelma & Louise, her intent was to direct the film. But her inexperience, and most likely a good bit of sexism, led the studios to enlist Ridley Scott, a revenue producing sure thing. It was a disappointing moment for women in Hollywood but the result was a contemporary masterpiece that created two of the most revered feminist icons in film, as well as a site for witnessing general girlie badass-ness. Who knows what kind of film it would have been if there had been a different director. I was left pondering this same question after viewing The Help, a film whose main flaw is the inexperience of its director.
 
 Active Image Seventeen years after my full-fledged obsession with the mid-90s rock lords Stone Temple Pilots, I was finally able to see the group live recently at the Williamsburg Waterfront. My friend Lauren informed me that we could volunteer through the Open Space Alliance, an organization dedicated to North Brooklyn's parks and events, and forego the $50 ticket. I was in. On the heels of reading lead singer Scott Weiland's autobiography, Not Dead and Not for Sale, this opportunity was too perfect to pass up.
 
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If Toni Morrison read a lot of Philip K. Dick, she might have written something like The Sexy Part of the Bible. The novel is thematically similar to The Bluest Eye, examining the heartbreaking toll that a blonde-haired, blue-eyed standard of beauty takes on those who do not fit it. The protagonist, Eternity Frankenheimer, is the clone of Mother Orisha, an Ajowan woman who was kicked to death in the streets for trying to stop young people from “swallowing skin-lightening pills and bleaching themselves.” When the novel opens, Stevedore, the white man who cloned and raised Eternity, is dying, and she is pregnant with his child. The novel only becomes more bizarre, and more disturbing, from there.


 
Bridesmaids.jpgAccording to many in the media, the level of box office success of the new film Bridesmaids is supposed to indicate whether people will actually watch, and draw humor from, a film based around female characters. If anyone is truly surprised that a film co-penned by (and starring) Kristen Wiig, produced by Judd Apatow, and directed by Paul Feig, is actually funny then I would suggest he/she has his/her head examined. The key appeal of Bridesmaids is that it allows us the unmitigated pleasure of spending time with Kristen Wiig and her mostly female cohorts, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, and Wendi McLendon-Covey (the ones from the poster with the women all in pink). Oh, and Jon Hamm is there, too!
 

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