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Lena Dunham’s audition for ‘Zero Dark Thirty’
02.27.2013
12:59 pm
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Hands-down, the best Lena Dunham impersonation ever by actress Chelsea Davison. It’s freakishly spot on!

One minor quibble, tho: She has too many clothes on to be an authentic “Lena.”

 
Via Jezebel

Posted by Tara McGinley
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02.27.2013
12:59 pm
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‘Are YOU a man in name only?’: Vintage handbill for manhood booster tablets
02.27.2013
11:39 am
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“If you are weak in any way, try to-day!”

WHAT was in these tablets?! I’m dying to know!

Posted by Tara McGinley
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02.27.2013
11:39 am
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Anaïs Nin reads from ‘House of Incest’ with futuristic electronic soundtrack in ‘Bells of Atlantis’
02.27.2013
11:38 am
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Hugh Parker Guiler (1898–1985) was Anaïs Nin’s husband from 1923 until her death in 1977. He was a successful banker who used the name “Ian Hugo,” to keep his art and experimental filmmaking career separate from the disapproving financial world.

In 1954, “Hugo” made a short film called Bells of Atlantis, featuring Nin, who appears as a mythical queen of Atlantis, reading from her 1936 surrealist novella House of Incest and an electronic music soundtrack courtesy of Louis and Bebe Barron (who made a similar score for Forbidden Planet two years later). Kinetic artist Len Lye also worked on the film with Guiler.

From The Anaïs Nin Blog:

At a May 27, 1977 lecture, [Guiler/Hugo] said after screening his Bells of Atlantis... “Thank you for your kind response, which I am sure is also meant as a tribute to Anaïs Nin. I do think that this film does bring her closer to you—to her style as a poetic writer of the first order, and her presence as an extraordinarily sensitive, and warm human being. I can certainly testify personally to this through the almost 54 years that we were married, to the time of her death in January of this year.” (It should be pointed out that there was an audible gasp by the audience, since they only knew Ian Hugo as an artistic collaborator of Nin.)

“And I will add that her physical beauty seemed to glow as if from some inner light which, as I now see more clearly, enabled her to explore, day by day, ‘the lost continent within ourselves’ (a phrase by the poet Marianne Moore in referring to Bells of Atlantis). And it is only now that I fully realize how much I owed to her presence and her encouragement all those years in trying to explore my own ‘lost continent’ which I first tried to reach out to in making this film.”

Although the quality here is fairly beat—it’s all there is—just imagine how utterly visionary and weird this film would have seemed at the time it was made, contemporaneous as it was with the early work of Stan Brakhage and Kenneth Anger.
 
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Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.27.2013
11:38 am
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Inner Vision: The suicide prevention video game
02.27.2013
08:14 am
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The narrator, Yama, named for the Hindu god of death, berates your attempts to help the suicidal
 
Sunil Rao is studying Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago; he’s also as self-described “Gonzo game developer.” In the space of four weeks, Rao created “Inner Vision,” a game/art project/social statement that manages to defy all three categories. From his website:

The main goal of the game is to convince three people not to commit suicide. Each person has a personality, set of problems, and issues that are specific to their character. You, as the player, get to interact with each person, and need to extract information about the character through conversation. Here’s the catch: These people are on the verge of suicide. If you say the wrong things to them while talking, they will kill themselves right there on the spot.

It’s a simple game with crude graphics and a completely psychological game-play, but it’s undeniably engaging, and somehow… reassuring? We have a tendency to blame technology for our feelings of isolation, so while it’s initially unsettling to play a “game” about suicide, especially a video game, the empathy and humanity that the Inner Vision forces you to engage with are disarmingly heartfelt.

Sunil is quick to point out that his game isn’t really supposed to be a teaching tool, but a mode of self-expression and communication with players/audience.

Inner Vision wasn’t supposed to become popular. I created it for myself to express some dying thoughts I’ve had for the past several months. I had a message I was trying to portray with the game, but didn’t think anybody would understand it due to the poor script I had written. Well, I guess I was wrong. Although I personally think the script is weak, a lot of people thought it was quite good, and they connected with the characters.

As self-critical as Rao is, I think the simplicity of the dialogue and graphics actually keeps the gaming experience starkly penetrant. The only refined adornment the game has is a dreamy string score.

You can play here.

Posted by Amber Frost
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02.27.2013
08:14 am
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The Modern Day Composer Refuses To Die: Frank Zappa’s ‘200 Motels’ (finally) gets world premiere
02.26.2013
06:19 pm
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The complete orchestral score of Frank Zappa’s notoriously difficult to play 200 Motels will be premiered in the composer’s hometown of Los Angeles, when the L.A. Philharmonic reconvenes for their tenth year at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 23rd.

“I believe in my heart of hearts that someone on the board (of the L.A. Philharmonic) said it’s about time,” Gail Zappa told Billboard:

Written mostly in motel rooms while Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were on tour, portions of the piece received a premiere in May 1970 at UCLA’s Royce Hall with Zubin Mehta conducting the L.A. Philharmonic. Portions of the score were used in Zappa’s film of the same name.

The Zappa family and its representatives have had ongoing conversations with the L.A. Philharmonic about presenting Zappa’s orchestral music, which is heard far more often in Europe than in the area he lived his entire life, Southern California.

“Musicians now are very familiar with the composers of their time, which I am glad about,” Zappa added. “Frank wrote music that challenges your playing ability and I think musicians embrace that.”

On October 29th, just six days after the LA premiere, the BBC Concert Orchestra, with Jurjen Hempel conducting, will perform 200 Motels at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

Below, Ringo Starr introduces Frank and the boys:

“The power of pop music to corrupt and putrefy the minds of world youth are virtually limitless.”

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.26.2013
06:19 pm
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The Freddie Mercury Chicken Dhansak
02.26.2013
06:18 pm
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One of the things I enjoy most about reading biographies is the little personal details, which reveal much of what a subject liked or disliked. For example, Freddie Mercury liked Quality Street assorted candies; enjoyed Stolichnaya vodka; and had a love of spicy food.

According to Peter Freestone, who worked as Freddie’s personal assistant for more than a decade, Chicken Dhansak was one of the singer’s favorite meals. Peter (aka Phoebe) has now written-up the recipe for this mouth-watering dish over at FreddieMercury.com, where he explains:

Chicken Dhansak

This Indian inspired dish rose up the popularity stakes because it embraced two separate dishes, a dal which for Freddie was always a moistening accompaniment and a ‘curry’ meat dish which often, on its own, tended to be dryer. Living in Earls Court, both Joe [Fanelli] and I had easy access to supermarkets where every spice known to mankind was stocked as a matter of regular principle. The area was such a melting pot of nationalities that for anyone not to have been able to buy fenugreek seeds would be for the property market in the area to plummet in value immediately!

25 gm channa, 25 gm moong, 25gm red and 50 gm toor lentils
125 ml oil
650 gm boneless chicken 2cm cubes
3 med onions
2 cloves garlic
410 gm tinned tomatoes
1 medium aubergine chopped
1 large potato chopped
115 gm spinach (frozen)
100 gm fresh coriander
50 gm fresh mint
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 brown cardamom
5cm cassia bark
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
½ teaspoon chilli powder
Salt.

Wash the lentils thoroughly, making sure you remove all the grit and residual husk. Soak together overnight.
The following day, cook the lentils in twice their volume of water for approx. 30 minutes. While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and fry the meat at a high temperature for 5 – 10 minutes until browned. Remove from the saucepan and keep in a warm place.
Fry the cumin seeds, cardamom, cassia bark and mustard seeds adding the onions, garlic and salt. When they have turned a golden brown, add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 more minutes.
Add the remaining chopped vegetables, mix and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the lentils and roughly mash everything together.
Add the meat and rest of the spices. Mix well and cook gently for a further 40 minutes.
Add the fresh coriander and mint and cook for at least 10 minutes.
Serve with plain boiled rice.

It is more than a decade since I met Peter for a documentary I was producing called When Freddie Mercury Met Kenny Everett. Peter had written an insightful and highly enjoyable book on his day-to-day life working for Freddie. I met Peter in Prague, at his city apartment, where we filmed the interview, before taking some walking shots on the Charles Bridge. Peter was charming, delightful company, and if you are interested, you can ask Phoebe questions about his life with Freddie here.
 

 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.26.2013
06:18 pm
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Andy Kaufman ‘Mighty Mouse’ figurine
02.26.2013
04:45 pm
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Andy Kaufman figurine pays homage to Kaufman’s “Foreign Man” character as seen on Saturday Night Live, October 11, 1975.

The hand-sculpted figurine, by artist Scott Miller, was sold to a private collector. 

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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02.26.2013
04:45 pm
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The Clash: Ferocious early footage from the ‘White Riot’ tour, 1977
02.26.2013
04:39 pm
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Amazing early footage of The Clash during the “White Riot tour,” shot at Sussex University, Brighton, on May 25th 1977. Pity about the crazed speed-freak cutting between cameras and the herky-jerky camera work, but what can you do? Be happy someone thought to shoot it.

In part one they play “Capital Radio,” “Protex Blue,” “Cheat” and “Remote Control.”

In part two (here) they do “White Riot” and “Police & Thieves.”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.26.2013
04:39 pm
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Distinctly unfunny conservative parody of Michelle Obama’s ‘Evolution of Mom Dance’ video
02.26.2013
02:25 pm
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Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin is normally seen on Fox News, spitting mad about… well, something or other. Everything, pretty much. She’s one angry, angry lady.

Here we see the lighter side of the reliably pissed-off Ms. Malkin—who clearly seems to think she’s being absolutely adorable and hilarious here—as she mocks (or at least seems to appear to be under the impression that she is mocking) Michelle Obama’s “Mom Dance” video with Jimmy Fallon.

Why is this supposed to be funny? I couldn’t tell you. I do actually think this is funny, though, just not for the same reasons Michelle Malkin does…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.26.2013
02:25 pm
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Leonardo DiCaprio’s Japanese Jim Beam Commercial
02.26.2013
01:43 pm
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When I think of Jim Beam, I think of Raymond Chandler or Kid Rock, not Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s just ain’t hardboiled enough. But the unshaven face and dark circles around his eyes does give him that “Lost Weekend” look.

Nice moves.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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02.26.2013
01:43 pm
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