Daily Dose Pick: Sight Unseen

Impeccably curated by former I.D. editors Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer, elegant online magazine Sight Unseen opens the door to the creative practice of tastemakers in art, fashion, and design.

With a host of intimate, browse-my-house visits, Sight Unseen is full of refreshingly candid and lucid artist profiles, all laid out in a format that showcases each subject’s words and works. The site also features sketchbooks, found objects, and compelling selections from glossies, books, and must-see exhibitions from around the world. … Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: Don McKay

Filmmaker Jake Goldberger’s fine debut has traces of both James M. Cain and the early Coen brothers in its curious, noir-tinted style.

Mislabeled as a thriller, this allusive film is more “ha-ha” than hardboiled. Thomas Haden Church plays a lonely, dulled-by-routine custodian who rushes home when a note arrives: his one-time love is dying. After 25 years away, he’s more compliant than Pavlov’s hound upon reuniting with the loony, blonde beaut (Elisabeth Shue). But, as in many a noir, nothing can be taken at face value, with the dark and knowing narrative leading to a surprising end. … Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: Vincere

Marco Bellocchio’s breathtaking new film provides Ida Dalser — Mussolini’s alleged first wife and the mother of Benito Junior — the voice and vitality that Il Duce took when he left them in asylums to perish… Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: Mother

Mother knows best in Bong Joon-ho’s sinuous, first-rate whodunit, the South Korean director’s first feature since The Host in 2006.

Exquisitely played by Kim Hye-ja (an actress who spent decades in Korean minds as a TV mother), the title character coddles her unpredictable idiot of a son as if the 27-year-old were 7. They eat and even sleep beside each other until, one hazy night, he’s charged with the brutal murder of a poor high-school floozy. With her maternal instinct in overdrive, Mother conducts a town-wide probe to exonerate her child, leading to Hitchcockian suspense and a Pandora’s Box of repressed secrets. … Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: Environmental Graffiti

For nearly three years, Environmental Graffiti has provided fans of the offbeat and environmentalists with an online destination for inspiring, believe-it-or-not content.

Based in the UK, the site provides a range that is nothing short of stupendous, with posts on everything from bamboo architecture and the most psychedelic river on Earth (located in Colombia’s Sierra de la Macarena) to the long history of gunpowder weaponry. Eye-catching photo galleries and videos supplement fascinating lists, such as the 35 greatest works of reverse graffiti and the world’s most terrifying spiral staircases. … Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: The Art of the Steal

A compelling polemic by Philly-based Don Argott, The Art of the Steal looks at the bitter, decades-long fight over the Barnes Foundation and its singular, $25-billion-dollar art collection.

Created in 1922 by Albert C. Barnes, an early 20th-century industrialist and voracious art collector whose bio reads like Horatio Alger, the Barnes Foundation made its Merion, Pennsylvania home a mecca for aesthetes, with eyefuls of brand-name paintings (i.e. 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos) and only-here ephemera such as Native American ceramics. Barnes passed away in 1951, but his will declared that the works never be loaned, moved, or sold — that is until a few powerful figures in Philly saw the dollar signs in the impressionistic swirls.

Argott employs gabbing partisans, graphics, and archival footage to present a case that continues to open fault lines in the art world. … Read More

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Spike Jonze’s Maurice Sendak Doc: Tell Them Anything You Want

With his Maurice Sendak opus Where the Wild Things Are set for DVD release on Tuesday, Spike Jonze took an evening to promote its splendid companion piece, Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait Of Maurice Sendak, due out the same day courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories. The fleet, 40-minute documentary, which originally aired on HBO last fall, is all about the octogenarian Sendak, eliding conversations that Jonze and co-director Lance Bangs had at chez Maurice over the past couple of years. It feels like a running dialogue with the illustrator extraordinaire, engaging you with the this-and-that of a remarkable life (his childhood, his obsession with death and the Lindbergh baby, his late, half-a-century-long partner Eugene Glynn) as well as how the personal seeped onto the page. … Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: Copyright Criminals

Copyright Criminals looks at the creative and monetary debates over musical sampling, mashing up music videos, studio visits, history, and talking heads including George Clinton and De La Soul.

The documentary on beat mining rounds up more issues than a town hall meeting, poring over everything from the best props for a sampled artist, to the basic merits and methods of the omnivorous art. The tone leans toward pro, with persuasive soundbites that liken sampling to archeology (the listener digs through the aural layers) and the democratic fact that “all these legendary musicians are in my band.” As Picasso once said: good artists borrow, great artists steal. … Read More

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On Second Thought: 5 Hollywood Remakes We’d Support

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Or it may never have been at all. The “it,” of course, refers to Lars von Trier’s rumored remake of Taxi Driver, which had the media abuzz for nearly a spin around the sun. Often, the very mention of the word “remake” with a beloved title leads to a feisty chorus of “ohs” and “whys,” from The Seven Samurai to the more recent Let the Right One In. But with von Trier’s brilliant but checkered past (hit-miss-hit) and Martin Scorsese’s notorious “hero,” there was definitely promise for a must-see redo.

In that what-if spirit, here’s a list of other American classics and the directors we think could make them their own. Leave your own scenarios in the comments. … Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: OntheBoards.tv

OntheBoards.tv rescues innovative live performances from the ether with front-row video recordings that fans can purchase, rent, or stream with a low-cost subscription.

Started by the same-named artist-founded center in Seattle, this “performance on demand” service offers a slate of international creators at the vanguard of dance, theatre, and music. Already available are seven memorable productions from 2009, including Transition, a collaboration between director Tommy Smith and do-it-all Reggie Watts; The Shipment, Young Jean Lee’s trenchant play on race and culture; and Orgy of Tolerance, a consumerist pageant from name-brand Belgian Jan Fabre. … Read More

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