The problem with the new film Elysium is very simple: it doesn’t tell any story worth hearing. It’s written like a child’s paint-by-numbers set. And though it bears some superficial resemblance to District 9, Neill Blomkamp’s much more complex first feature, it’s the kind of thing that could just as easily have been directed by Michael Bay or McG or, for that matter, Chris Columbus. The person at the helm is irrelevant; the parameters were predetermined. In fact, if you listen real hard, you can almost still see the suits in the background saying to the screenwriters: “Hey, can we involve a cute child with cancer, somehow? That’s big on the Internet.” … Read More
Armando Iannucci’s characters, whether on his HBO series Veep, his BBC show The Thick of It, or that show’s film spin-off In the Loop, all share one common trait: a gift for inventive, ingenious insults and profanity. So while it’s not exactly a shock that Mr. Iannucci is such a cheerful, soft-spoken, and friendly chap, it is a bit of a relief; what’s surprising is that he insists, “I don’t swear myself!” In the worlds he’s writing about, “there is a fair amount of profanity but profanity can be quite dull.” With his characters, though, “we try and make it as interesting as possible so it’s not so much the swear words, it’s more the phrases around the swear words that make it more interesting.” … Read More
Everyone’s favorite silver fox with the rapier wit and passion for political puns turns 50 today. Happy birthday, Jon Stewart! The Daily Show satirist has brilliantly conquered “bullsh*t mountain” with his insightful and hilarious commentary on the media, American pop culture, politicians, and more. The boy from New Jersey — who later studied chemistry and psychology at William & Mary, rose through the ranks in New York City’s comedy clubs, and found a home as a writer and host for Comedy Central — has delivered some of the best, no-holds-barred commentary of our generation. We’ve gathered 50 of his greatest quotes after the break. Feel free to celebrate along with us by adding your favorites, below. … Read More
We hear a lot about liberal musicians rallying for Obama or Occupying Wall Street. But with the exception of country music and Kid Rock, we don’t see too many long-haired, leather-clad rockers teeing off at the country club to fight for the status quo. As far as the GOP is concerned, popular music, from protest songs to punk rock, may simply seem to be another arm of the massive global liberal media conspiracy. While we appreciate this common-sense takedown of the bafflingly literal manner in which the media has interpreted Nicki Minaj’s recent lyrical endorsement of Mitt Romney, here’s a list of ten musicians who you may be surprised to learn have at some point actually embraced a conservative political stance. … Read More
Remember “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro (Seamus Unleashed),” that Devo song about the cruel, stupid thing Mitt Romney did to his family dog in 1983 we told you about earlier this month? It’s here! The track is streaming in advance of its iTunes release this coming Sunday, scheduled to coincide with National Dog Day. Written by frontman (and animal lover) Gerald Casale, it’s got that same boing-y, geeky New Wave feel Devo have spent so many years cultivating, with the kind of arena anthem shout-along chorus that, as far as we’re concerned, should earn it a spot on the Obama campaign trail playlist. Listen to “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro” after the jump — and visit Casale’s website RememberSeamus.com to buy merch that will partially benefit no-kill animal shelters. … Read More
What do Mitt Romney and the Griswold family from National Lampoon’s Vacation have in common? An incredibly stupid road-trip story involving a dog, that’s what. In case you somehow haven’t heard about it yet, back in 1983, Romney and his family drove 12 hours from their home in Massachusetts to Ontario with their dog, Seamus,… Read More
Negative space, expressive gestures, and historical icons make up New York City-based artist Jason A. Maas‘ Founding Fathers A-Team series — a playful take on America’s early political leaders and statesmen. The graphite and mineral spirits drawings depict George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other United States trailblazers in fighting stance, fists curled and ready for action. All they need is a black GMC van to complete the look — which John Adams may be hiding somewhere in his hair.
Maas also focuses on other (serious) political themes in his work — particularly the Occupy movement — “[confronting] the current understanding of how we view journalistic images of social unrest that proliferate the media… ” See it all past the break and in an upcoming exhibit (July 11-August 11) co-curated by the artist at Lyons Wier Gallery in New York City. … Read More
If you’re a fan of The Daily Show, or hey, the news these days in general, you’ll know that American politics can be pretty hilarious — whether intentionally or not. The hilarity, however, is all intentional in The McSweeney’s Book of Politics & Musicals, just released this week, a collection of hilarious political-minded shorts like “Fragments from PALIN! THE MUSICAL” and “Atlas Shrugged Updated for the Financial Crisis.” Below, we’ve excerpted one of our favorites — “Congressional Missed Connections,” by Sloan Schang, which yes, is exactly what it sounds like. Click through to get your congressional Craigslist surfing on, and pick up a copy of the book for more goodies! … Read More
He may be sharing wigs with Miss Piggy, but there is at least once celebrity who wasn’t pleased with Anderson Cooper this week. MIA watched the documentary Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: ‘War Crimes Unpunished’ last night on British Channel 4 and was inspired to defend herself against those who would criticize her representation of… Read More
Photographer Gianni Cipriano visited six different unconventional beauty pageants throughout Italy, which inspired his series Perfect. None of the contestants have an ideal, model-type figure, some are quite older than others, a few weren’t born as women, and several have clearly gone under the knife in search of eternal youth or enhanced features. Whatever the case may be, Cipriano has heightened their perfectly imperfect beauty by embracing each curve, fold, and droop. He photographed the women in their garish gowns, in front of colorful curtains. The results are somewhat cartoonish, but there’s a deeper meaning for Cipriano.
“In Italy, in particular, beauty has become a political tool during the Berlusconi era. Since the ’80s, his media empire has introduced a culture of luxury and sex to shape his electorate. Italy became in the mean time a country where half-naked beautiful women are plucked from TV studios and elevated into powerful positions. This culture has generated an unprecedented wave of castings and beauty pageants for girls and women of all ages all over Italy … Beauty dictated by our politicized consumerist society is emulated by the masses.”
Take a closer look in our gallery. … Read More