If prostitution is the world’s oldest profession, then it makes sense that whorehouses are such a pervasive part of pop culture. So, when we heard that the cable channel HDNet is producing a reality show documenting the exploits of the Mustang Ranch, America’s first completely legal brothel, it got us thinking about some of the most memorable establishments in books, movies, television shows, and visual art where a lonely traveler could spend a night with a willing companion. Here’s a quick list of some of our favorites — but we haven’t even scratched the surface, so leave your additions in the comments! … Read More
There’s a fine line between opulent beauty and horrifying excess, best described by the word “decadent” and embodied in the work of Lauren Gibbes. The Asheville, North Carolina-based artist paints bright, sugary pictures of society ladies with foggy white space where their noses should be, pink lips kissing ostentatious jeweled rings, indulgently bountiful meals, and Dolly Parton — many embellished with glittering applications of colored diamond dust. While they’re undeniably pleasing to the eye, the images are also sickly sweet, the visual equivalent of getting a stomachache after eating too much candy (and then having to analyze how something so initially appetizing can become nauseating). Click through and be unsettled, then visit Gibbes’ website to see more of her strange and complex work. … Read More
We’ve known for a while that music and food go great together. But it never occurred to us to take those pairings to the extreme in quite the way Stockholm-based duo of photographer Philip Karlberg and chef/set designer Mattias Nyhlin have. The images below capture delicate desserts like fruit carpaccio and panna cotta spinning atop records whose songs they help to illustrate, the entire elegantly blurred photo creating the attractive illusion of a place setting in motion. See Dolly Parton collide with candied pears and Whitesnake complement cheesecake in a series called 33 RPM after the jump, then visit Karlberg and Nyhlin‘s websites to learn more about their work. … Read More
Country music doesn’t have much of a reputation for sticking its neck out on the gender-equality front. The genre is better known for the sentiments expressed in Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” than for asserting women’s rights. But there are plenty of rock-em sock-em female country artists out there, and plenty of anthems about women fighting back — or just plain fighting — in the country oeuvre. Some, like Loretta Lynn’s “The Pill,” face political issues head on, while others, ranging as far back as the folk tune “Wish I Was A Single Girl Again,” question the value of being hitched up to a man at all. In honor of the one and only Dolly Parton, whose 66th birthday it is today, we present a feminist’s introduction to country songs, after the jump. … Read More
We’ve been looking forward to Friday for a while here at Flavorwire: it’s release day for Haywire, Steven Soderbergh’s uncommonly smart, disarmingly taut, ridiculously entertaining action/spy picture, an unexpectedly frisky exception to the rule that January releases are generally terrible. The reason for its creation — and a big part of its success — is the leading performance of MMA fighter Gina Carano (more on her later). Though she had a minor role in one previous film, Gina’s terrific starring turn got us thinking about other non-actors who made a big splash in their debuts; after the jump, we’ve collected ten of them for your perusal. … Read More
Last Friday, our dreams finally came true: Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah’s Sister Act-meets-Save the Last Dance movie, Joyful Noise, debuted, combining two of our favorite over-the-top personalities in one giant festival of gospel, beat-boxing, and oddly close-fitting choir robes. It’s by far the campiest movie offering of the still young year, and it got us thinking about our favorite movie duos that are, to quote John Waters’ definition of “camp” from The Simpsons, “tragically ludicrous or ludicrously tragic.” Check out our picks for film’s ten most gloriously campy duos after the jump. … Read More
A couple of months back, our erudite music editor Judy Berman put together a list of her most memorable fictional characters from songs. The feature inspired plenty of talk, both among commenters and at Flavorpill HQ, and we’ve been meaning to do a follow-up ever since. Now, with all our end-of-year list making and beginning-of-year predicting over and done with, we’ve finally got around to revisiting the idea — so, after the jump, we’ve pulled together 10 more of our favorite fictional characters from songs. As ever, suggestions are welcome! … Read More
Italy-based artist James Mollison left no musical genre untouched when he spent three years photographing various fans outside concert venues. “I was fascinated by the different tribes of people that attended them, and how people emulated celebrity to form their identity,” he writes on his website. After the collection debuted in a New York gallery, it was compiled into the book The Disciples, which showcases the dynamic fan base and their sometimes questionable apparel.
While images of Iron Maiden fans in Milan could almost be of any heavy metal fan (the iconic tee is one of the only real giveaways), other musical devotees are identifiable based on attire alone (hello there, Dolly Parton). It escapes us why anyone would actually want to look like Rod Stewart, but then again we’re reminded that “Rod the Mod” was really your mom’s sex symbol (respectfully) — which explains the age bracket of Rod’s wannabes below. Check out Mollison’s fun fan photos after the jump, and let us know which disciples look most like their idols. … Read More
Welcome to “Trailer Park,” our regular Friday feature where we collect the week’s new trailers all in one place and do a little “judging a book by its cover,” ranking them from worst to best and taking our best guess at what they may be hiding. We’ve got seven new trailers this week, ranging from the joy of Elmo and Dolly to the horrors of Katherine Heigl; check ‘em out after the jump. … Read More
The 1988 Broadway adaptation of Carrie — based on Stephen King’s book and Brian DePalma’s subsequent film — was such a notorious turkey that it became shorthand for ill-advised stage productions; a compendium book of them even bears the title Not Since “Carrie”. But somehow, the show still has its supporters, and it seems that a few of them have convinced investors that it deserves a second shot. Thus, Carrie will return to the New York stage early next year, albeit this time in an off-Broadway setting.
Carrie’s return may have as much to do with the current cautious atmosphere in the New York theatrical world as it does with the quality of the much-maligned production — with costs (and ticket prices) ballooning, Broadway producers seem only interested in sure things: revivals, big stars, so-called “jukebox musicals.” The theory is that the tourists who keep the New York stage solvent will only part with Broadway dollars if they’re spending them on a brand they’re familiar with; hence the Spider-Man musical, say, or The Million Dollar Quartet. And then, of course, there is the movie-to-stage adaptation — why not come see a live production of something you’ve already seen on film? Movie-to-musical shows have popped up sporadically for decades, but after the smash success of The Producers a decade ago, we’ve seen an onslaught; this season saw the debuts of Catch Me If You Can, Sister Act, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, in addition to long-running hits like The Lion King and Billy Elliot. But successfully staging a beloved movie is harder than it looks; it’s important to remember that for every Hairspray or Little Shop of Horrors, there’s an Urban Cowboy or High Fidelity. After the jump, we’ll take a look at ten popular movies that tanked on the boards. … Read More