New Kara Walker Video Shows ‘A Subtlety’ Was Performance Art All Along

We’ve known Kara Walker’s video follow-up to her installation piece A Subtlety, which showed at Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar Factory site this summer, was coming for a while. In a conversation with the LA Times last month, Walker revealed she’d filmed audience reactions to her monumental piece — the same audience reactions that provoked outrage in some attendees. While the full, 28-minute video premieres at Chelsea’s Sikkema Jenkins & Co. tomorrow, Walker released a five-minute preview clip today, and while tactlessness certainly makes an appearance, it’s a largely evenhanded look at the interaction between A Subtlety and its onlookers, and how those interactions became part of the art itself. … Read More

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One Direction’s New Album Is Worth Your Time Even If You’re Not a Pop Fan

I never thought a boy-band would turn me on to Journey, but here we are. With its piano line highly reminiscent of Journey’s “Faithfully,” One Direction’s “Steal My Girl” has sent me down an ugly Steve Perry rabbithole. But in some brilliant twist, I don’t even have to switch the album to get my early ‘80s pop-rock fix: One Direction have it covered just fine on their fourth full-length, Four, out this week. … Read More

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Why Mike Nichols Was So Much More Than ‘The Graduate’

If you Google Mike Nichols today, the headlines for the top entries in the news wedge are unsurprisingly similar. “Mike Nichols, Acclaimed Director of ‘The Graduate,’ Dies at 83,” goes the New York Times. “‘Graduate’ Director Mike Nichols Dead at 83,” reports CBS News. The Hollywood Reporter: “Mike Nichols, Director of ‘The Graduate,’ Dies at 83.” And AP (via Huffington Post) writes, “Mike Nichols, Oscar-Winning Director of ‘The Graduate,’ Dies at 83.” It is, I suppose, a testament to the influence and importance of that 47-year-old movie that it’s pegged as his primary achievement; scroll past the lede and you’ll probably read about Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and perhaps that he was married to Diane Sawyer. But a look at the entirety of Nichols’ five-plus decades in show business reveals much more than that; he was an innovative and brilliant artist whose influence was and is still felt across popular culture. … Read More

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Some Dad Jokes Are Darker — and More Political — Than Others

Yes, dads are having a moment. But after reading Anna North’s recent New York Times post, “What it Means to Be a ‘Dad’” — as well as many of the pieces it cites — I can’t shake the feeling that much of this dad stuff is lumped together injudiciously. It’s not all the same.

What I mean is that there are two distinct approaches to the “dad phenomenon” at work, and they are not mutually inclusive. … Read More

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50 Great Dark Books for the Dark Days of Winter

We’ve reached the time of year when the days seem impossibly short and the nights never ending. Good if you’re a vampire or like to go to sleep early, less exciting for the rest of us. So what is one to do with all this extra darkness? Well, read some dark books, of course. Because there’s nothing better to cut through the literal gloom than to curl up with some intellectual doom. All you need is a tiny light to see your book by. Read on for 50 gloriously dark novels to read during these dark days. After a while, you may even stop wishing for the light to… Read More

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Is Amanda Palmer’s ‘The Art of Asking’ Good For Artists?

The idea of reading Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help sounded faintly ridiculous — could I, too, learn the art of asking, just like Palmer, and maybe reach $1 million for my Kickstarter project? But as it turns out, Palmer’s book, an offshoot of her popular TED talk, “The Art of Asking,” isn’t really a how-to; it’s more along the lines of a memoir. Palmer figured out a strategy that works for her as an artist, and despite the fact that she’s undeniably divisive as a public persona, there is some wisdom in her ideas for artists and, arguably, women. … Read More

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What ‘Mockingjay–Part 1′ Misses by Glossing Over Katniss’ Trauma

Throughout much of Mockingjay, the third novel in the Hunger Games series, the unraveling of Katniss Everdeen’s mind takes over the page. Even from the beginning, she strokes a pearl that Peeta found in the arena in Catching Fire and often repeats variations of her mantra: “My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in The Hunger Games. I escaped. The Capitol hates me. Peeta was taken prisoner. He is thought to be dead. Most likely is dead. It is probably best if he is dead.” Later in the book, she plays a game with the recovered but mentally unstable Peeta, “real or not real?,” as his mind comes back from the brink. … Read More

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‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Season 2 Episode 8 Recap: “Test of Strength”

It seems that Freak Show finally maxed out the amount of hanging plot threads it could have, because some stuff actually happened this week: Dell and Jimmy finally had a real father-son moment; Dot’s dreams of being separated from Bette are a little closer to becoming reality; a freak has finally died because of Stanley; and Penny the Candystriper has been irreversibly changed, all thanks to Elsa’s actions back in the pilot.  … Read More

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Grannies Smoke Weed While Grapples Repel Birds: Links You Need to See

The Internet is all about syntheses — this post, for example, promises to be a synthesis of dizzyingly unrelated materials from other websites, rendered marginally cohesive only by their proximity to one another herein. What better a place to talk, then, about the Grapple, the newest unnecessary synthesis of two fruits? Now, I’ve fallen victim to the homey allure of apple pie gum and the near-erotic delight of a Gusher or two (they still exist)! I’ve even had highly conflicting feelings about genetically engineered products. But one thing that somehow seems like the end of the world is the “Grapple,” on which Munchies has made a lengthy video. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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