Film

The Most Mind-Bending, Pop Culture-Inspired Deep Dream Art

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Google’s Deep Dream source code has officially been made public. “Two weeks ago we blogged about a visualization tool designed to help us understand how neural networks work and what each layer has learned,” Google writes. “In addition to gaining some insight on how these networks carry out classification tasks, we found that this process also generated some beautiful art.”
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A Tom Hanks Tribute Show Highlighting the Actor’s ’80s and ’90s Best

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An everyman who made it to the A-list, star Tom Hanks captures a nerdy charm, earnest heart, and an occasional quiet sexiness in his characters. Los Angeles pop culture purveyors Gallery 1988 have dedicated an entire exhibition to the actor, No Sad Stuff — inspired by his films between 1984 and 1994, Hanks’ golden years. Big, Splash, Turner and Hooch, The Burbs, A League of Their Own, and Forrest Gump make the cut. The group show is on view through June 20, but you can see a preview of the Hanks homage in our gallery.
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“It’s All About Shocking People”: Penelope Spheeris on Her Iconic Film ‘The Decline of Western Civilization’ and Punk in 2015

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“It’s my life’s work, here. I don’t want to fuck it up,” director Penelope Spheeris tells me by phone about Shout Factory’s Decline of Western Civilization Collection, released on June 30. We’re joined by her daughter Anna Fox, who helped produce the deluxe box set, which includes all three Decline documentaries restored in high-definition. But the retouched celluloid can’t destroy the grit and grime that clings to Spheeris’ curious lens as it chronicles some of punk’s most legendary bands in the first film (which screens in New York City on June 19 at BAMcinemaFest with the director in attendance): Black Flag, Fear, X, the Germs, and the Circle Jerks, to name a few. Throughout the trilogy, Spheeris is granted access to ratty clubs and gutter haunts, an outsider looking in. But the filmmaker knows what it’s like on the other side, having spent her formative years in a traveling carnival where her parents worked — strangers in strange lands. We discussed living on the fringe; the filmmaker’s 1983 film about teenage runaways, Suburbia; and the meaning of family.
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Movie Theater-Inspired Art Installations

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Anish Kapoor’s Descension, an ominous vortex built into the floor of an Italian movie theater (previously featured at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale) continues to mesmerize. “Descension destabilizes, undermines our perception of the earth as a solid element, and confirms Kapoor’s interest in non-objects and self-generated forms. In its state of flux and movement, Descension presents us with a perpetual force, a thrust downwards and towards a totally unknowable interior,” explains a press release. Paired with the site of the theater, Kapoor’s installation takes on a whole new dialogue about space and perception. We explore several other artworks that use the cinema as a point of entry.
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Pop Culture’s Fiercest Warrior Women

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From her shaved head and war rig to her mechanical arm, Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa in George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road has been a high point of the new film. A determined action hero who is resourceful and fierce, Miller’s surprisingly feminist post-apocalyptic tale is a welcome addition to the canon where badass female warriors reign. While Furiosa is become compared to Ellen Ripley from Alien, we’ve rounded up a few other great warrior women to appreciate. Feel free to add your favorite picks, below.
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Pop Culture’s Most Famous and Fabulous Cape-Wearers

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A child prodigy piano player turned glittering Vegas entertainer, flashy songbird Liberace would have been 96 today. Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas as the flamboyant performer, introduced younger audiences to the King of Bling. Liberace was known for his outrageous stage shows, which featured everything from chorus girls and wild animals, to a Rolls-Royce and special effects. But Liberace was best known for his gaudy, sparkling, exotic costumes — including his capes. Today, we associate capes with superheroes, but pop culture has proven that cape-wearers are not limited to those with superhuman powers.
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15 Things You Didn’t Know About Yves Saint Laurent

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Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent, which premiered at Cannes in 2014, looks at the life of the French fashion designer from 1967 to 1976. This was a career peak for the influential couturier and preceded his breakup with longtime partner Pierre Bergé (who also helped run the business). The film sees a limited release this weekend. In celebration of the Palme d’Or-nominated film, we’ve gathered a few facts about the fashion legend.
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“Pleasure Is the Ultimate Rebellion”: Lydia Lunch on Making Poetry Out of Horror, Uncompromising Self-Love, and Her First Major Retrospective

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Lydia Lunch, no wave queen and teenage runaway turned Teenage Jesus, is back in New York City, where it all started for her in the 1970s. Lydia Lunch: So Real It Hurts, her first major retrospective, opens at Howl! Happening May 8 and surveys her photography series The War Is Never Over, the provocative installation You Are Not Safe in Your Own Home, and the many letters, posters, and ephemera from her incredible, nearly 40-year career. Performances and live events accompany the exhibit, which runs through June 5. A contrarian, hysterian, and hedonist, Lunch’s song lyrics, writings, photography, and spoken word performances peel back the skin and peer deep into the chasm of contemporary culture. While she searches for a home for her archives, readies for a new release from her band Retrovirus, preps to teach at a university summer writing program, and sees a vinyl reissue of the powerful Conspiracy of Women on Nicolas Jaar’s label Other People, the iconoclast shared her views on how to be the ultimate confrontationist.
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