art in all its forms

art in all its forms



This should rock out. FIND out more about Diplo here. CHECK Abovegroup/Ogilvy out here. AND studiofilm club here.

The Kids Are All Right But Not The King's Speech

The Kids Are All Right has a cool title. All right  as in a concession to the fact that children come first and are always right? All right as in they turned out okay? All right as in all from the right wing, conservative camp?

Lisa Cholodenko's film is a gently humourous melodrama that is something of a political statement without overtly being one. It's something of a miracle that this small film got nominated for Best Picture. Catherine Shoard of the UK Guardian is convinced the film has not a chance in hell (SEE this) of winning, though.

The movie is great because, finally, it's a gay film in which nobody dies. This is a daring feat in itself (consider Philadelphia: Tom Hanks dies of AIDS after listening to opera with Denzil Washington; Brokeback Mountain: Jake Gyllenhaal is murdered in the desert leaving Heath Ledger to sniff Jake's bloody shirt to get high; Kiss of the Spider Woman: John Hurt gets killed after going Latino in prison, Milk: Sean Penn finally wins the Oscar for getting assassinated after bedding James Franco etc etc).

The plot concerns a lesbian couple and one hot sperm donor. There are some twists that are almost parodies of cliches involving lesbians. But let's not get into that too much. It's straight-forward, life-affirming melodrama.

Which is pretty much what The King's Speech is. The film is about King George VI learning not to stammer and the awful life of being royal. This is inherently fascinating stuff. There is a really bad cameo by Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill though. And its take on history is misleading. Its a good production and beautiful to look at but it's not the best film of 2010. 



True Grit is a better movie than you expect it to be. And it's truly great.

It's not a remake but rather a reboot. A second adaptation of a 1968 bildungsroman by Charles Portis.

At first blush, this is not material you expect to be a right fit for the Cohen brothers (No Country for Old Men, Fargo).

There's Jeff Bridges in an eye-patch-wearing role first taken up by John Wayne. Bridges does not play Wayne here. He's Jeff Bridges playing Rooster Cogburn, a boozy hired vigilante with an apparent soft spot for little girls.

Also with a soft spot for little girls is Matt Damon, playing LaBoeuf, who, with Cogburn, hunt down the murderer of Hailee Steinfeld's dad. There are enough Freudian impulses going on here to easily take over what could have been a simple wild wild American west movie. Instead, the Cohen brothers go for edge, for character, beauty, intensity and, ultimately, the bittersweet and sublime.

It's like No Country for Old Men but with spanking! Unmissable.


BEDSIDE BOOKS: From 'Running the Dusk' by Christian Campbell

A quick round-up of books am dipping into at the moment discloses: Plan B by Paul Muldoon (photometry with photographs by Norman McBeath), Selected Poems by Sylvia Plath, Running the Dusk by Christian Campbell (which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for best first book of 2010); The Four Questions of Melancholy by Tomaž Šalamun (because five questions would have been intolorable); Veil by Bob Woodward (the story of the CIA's secret wars of the 1980s); Art in the Caribbean by Anne Walmsley and Sybil by Benjamin Disreali. 

Here is a poem from Campbell's Running the Dusk which can be found at the publisher's website:

for A.T.

My friend from Guyana
was asked in Philadelphia
if she was from “Iguana.”

Iguana, which crawls and then
stills, which flicks its tongue at the sun.

In History we learned that Lucayans
ate iguana, that Caribs
(my grandmother’s people)
ate Lucayans (the people of Guanahani).
Guiana (the colonial way,
with an i, southernmost
of the Caribbean) is iguana; Inagua
(southernmost of The Bahamas,
northernmost of the Caribbean)
is iguana— Inagua, crossroads with Haiti,
Inagua of the salt and flamingos.
The Spanish called it Heneagua,
“water is to be found there,”
water, water everywhere.

Guyana (in the language of Arawaks,
Wai Ana, “Land of Many Waters”)
is iguana, veins running through land,
grooves between green scales.
My grandmother from Moruga
(southern-most in Trinidad)
knew the names of things.
She rubbed iguana with bird pepper,
she cooked its sweet meat.

The earth is on the back
of an ageless iguana.

We are all from the Land of Iguana,
Hewanorra, Carib name for St. Lucia.

And all the iguanas scurry away from me.
And all the iguanas are dying.

READ MORE in this interview with Campbell at the Caribbean Review of Books hereAnd just to throw something else in I must share this poem by Plath which is one of my favorites:


I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see, I swallow immediately.
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike
I am not cruel, only truthful –
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me.
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish. 


Run the Riddem Let the Whole World Know

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