FILM They met at a comedy club in Brooklyn. Carlen Altman, a nervous comedian who moonlights as a Jewish rosary maker, was doing stand-up when filmmaker and Tisch graduate Alex Ross Perry approached her about collaborating on a project.
"I came down from the experience of having my first movie out there in the world," said Perry, who directed the little-seen indie Impolex (2009) when he was only 24. "I started thinking about success, disappointment and the way that people grow apart from one another."
Read more »
FILM Though the visibility of gays and lesbians in cinema remains (largely) confined to independent film, Rashaad Ernesto Green, in his debut feature Gun Hill Road, uses the creative freedom afforded by that closeting to explore issues of race and confused sexuality amid the Latino population of the Bronx.Read more »
A name like writer James Boice's no doubt washes up waves of adulation. His partner-in-assonance is a certain modernist master whom Boice, at 29, surely knows something about. The Good and the Ghastly (Scribner, 288 pages, $25), a wicked new novel, is the kind of towering bildungsroman-cum-crime fiction carnival that is both entertaining and well-crafted — something we've come to expect from writers like Chuck Palahniuk, but don't usually get these days.Read more »
MUSIC If "California Gurls" is the dirge of pop music, the arrival of Bethany Cosentino ought to make you consider calling off the funeral. That's not to say her music is pop, exactly. It has pop potential but it's not a "radio-ready" sound ... yet. Her debut album, made with Bobb Bruno under the moniker Best Coast, is rife with short, sweet hooks and infectious choruses untouched by excessive production and studio intervention.Read more »
On Friday 8/13, Berkeley Art Museum is hosting a project that is threefold: the visual art of David Wilson, short films curated by Max Goldberg, and the music of Jamie Stewart (XiuXiu). To find out more about this unusual collaboration, I spoke to Mr. Stewart on the phone about his contribution and how he anticipates the night will go down. Read more »
By now we’re past the halfway point of 2010, the inaugural year of another decade in movies. So far, the selection of great films has been scant –– though, as usual, the coming of winter and the iron hand of film’s favorite fascist Harvey Weinstein signal Oscar-worthy films in our future. These are the best films of 2010, so far, in alphabetical order. And yes, I have seen Inception, but I did miss The Ghost Writer. Read more »
LIT What is it about addiction memoirs? Like Pringles — something food junkie Frank Bruni might know something about — you just can't have one. They're easy to devour and easy to digest, as compulsively consumable as the impulsions they're filled with.Read more »
Mount Wittenberg Orca is neither the first nor last time Björk sings about oceans, mothers, and plant life (re: “Oceania”). But now, she has the genius of the Dirty Projectors – in particular, producer and Dirty frontman David Longstreth – looking at Mother Nature, too. Read more »
With King of the Beach, Nathan Williams, Billy Hayes, and Stephen Pope have finally stopped adding “v”s to their name. After Wavves (2008) and Wavvves (2009) of unpolished lo-fi, these San Diego-based upstarts have elevated to a dreamier, more whimsical sound (re: “When Will You Come”). Yet Wavves also hearkens back to Blink-182, Sum 41, and the bygone days of summer in the '90s. The new album's delightful pastiche is thanks, in part, to Dennis Herring, who's produced the likes of Counting Crows, Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse, and the Hives. Goodbye dissonant noise; hello pop punk! Read more »