Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Nashville Film Festival Unveils Partial Lineup

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 4:54 PM

The Nashville Film Festival just sent out a preliminary list of films that will appear at this year's fest, running April 19-26 at Regal's Green Hills megaplex. We'll have an article in tomorrow's print edition delving into some of the highlights, including new films by Joe Berlinger, Andrea Arnold, Andrei Zvyagintsev, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Jennifer Baichwal and Lea Poole. In the meantime, the full release is posted below.

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What Are You Reading? Calling Parnassus Books ...

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 2:36 PM

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Mary Grey James, general manager, Parnassus Books: The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Johnson (Random House, $26.00)

"The majesty of this impressive novel is undeniable and the talent of its author unmistakable. Set in the harsh, elusive setting of North Korea, Johnson has managed to create a personal story in a country known for its impersonal tyranny.

"Pak Jun Do (yes, the John Doe is intentional) is a full-blown character for whom the reader can cheer, all the while being horrified at what he is made to do. His upbringing in a work camp for orphans steels him for his life as a professional kidnapper and torturer; but his love for the beautiful actress Sun Moon enables him to commit the ultimate treason — betraying Kim Jong-Il.

"The author managed to spend time in North Korea, and his story rings with authenticity. The stunning writing, though, comes from the mind of one of our most impressive literary talents."

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Must-See Movie: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia at Belcourt

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 1:36 PM

In tomorrow's Scene online, Bilge Ebiri writes about the Turkish police drama Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, which opens tonight for a brief run at The Belcourt. He describes the film as "a police procedural as imagined by Andrei Tarkovsky" and "a staggering masterpiece," but for now we'll tantalize you with his first few graphs:

The Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s 2003 breakout film Distant had him pegged by many as a master of Jarmuschian deadpan, a static chronicler of the drolly pathetic lives of lonely, submerged characters. But subsequent films have revealed the director to be more of a seeker both in form and content — delving into intensely intimate relationship dramas and neo-classical family tragedies. All along the way, however, he has flirted with abstraction — from occasional glimpses of his characters’ dreams to mysterious stylistic flourishes that reveal a fondness for inhabiting that middle ground between the real and the otherworldly. With his latest, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Ceylan plunges headlong into a world that is decidedly unlike any we’ve seen. It’s a film that initially seems to be set entirely in the realm of the abstract — a place of dreams, memories, myth, and a solemn coating of uncertain guilt. ...

Over the course of one night, a small group of men — some cops, a prosecutor, a doctor, two murder suspects — wander the hills of a rural region of Turkey looking for a buried body. The brooding chief suspect, who already appears to have confessed, doesn’t quite remember the spot, especially since it’s now pitch-black night. The gruffly practical police chief complains. Perhaps trying to kill time, the insistent prosecutor asks the melancholy doctor about a mysterious ailment endured by a woman he once knew. Nobody wants to be out here.

In any other director’s hands, this might have been a recipe for tedium, but Ceylan, who is also an accomplished photographer, understands that texture and light matter. He weaves a sensuous, dreamlike web over the proceedings: Blinding spots of light pierce the impossibly black night air; giant stone faces are revealed by brief flashes of lightning; characters wander into the dark and seem almost able to touch long-forgotten memories. We seem to be in a world where the living and the dead exist together.

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DBR: Pushing the Nashville Symphony Toward the Future

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Daniel Bernard Roumain, aka DBR
  • Daniel Bernard Roumain, aka DBR

The following story was written by Vanderbilt student and Scene intern Cayla Mackey.


This past weekend, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra performed a program that some say made little sense. The three pieces included Mozart’s Concerto for Piano No. 20, Copland’s Symphony No. 3, and a piece called Dancers, Dreamers and Presidents by contemporary composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR). Together, these works span centuries of musical history and don’t seem to be connected — at first glance. The apparently strange amalgamation could be partially due to rescheduling conflicts stemming from the lingering effects of the Nashville flood nearly two years ago, and partially due to what may be a more significant and intentional trend. Intentionally or unintentionally, the program is an indicator of progress in the world of classical music, Nashville, and greater society as a whole.

This collection of pieces features artists who are historically left out of classical music: anyone who isn’t a white male. Now take another look at the program from this past weekend: the Nashville premiere of a classical piece by a Haitian-American, a piano concerto performed by a female soloist, and a symphony written by a gay Jewish man, all conducted by the NSO’s associate conductor, Kelly Corcoran. Lights should be going off.

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Andrew Dice Clay: The Dane Cook of the ’80s Performs Tonight at Zanies

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 5:00 AM

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Andrew Dice Clay
When: Tonight, Feb. 29, at 8 p.m.
Where: Zanies

Stand-up comedy in the late 1980s was a hell of a thing. The bubble expanded so rapidly that it seemed like any dope, no matter how hackish their act was, could wind up on television. There’s no greater symbol of 1980s comedy excess than Andrew Dice Clay — not because of the content of his act (though we can talk all day about the misogyny, racism and homophobia present in Dice’s sets), but because of where his act got him.

Dice famously turned naughty nursery rhymes into a sold-out two-night stand at Madison Square Garden in 1990. He was, in a way, the Dane Cook of his era — an arena character comic, reviled by his peers while beloved by his fans. Dice’s controversial stage persona led to being banned from MTV, boycotted on SNL and protested by women’s groups. After a decade of lying low, Dice now returns to comedy, older and — hopefully — wiser.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

From Picasso to The End: 10 Questions for Emily Clayton

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM

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We've loved having Emily Clayton as Country Life's artist of the month for February.

In case you missed previous posts by/about her ... we introduced her, posted pictures from a studio visit, she curated a post of her favorite Tumblr sites, and she gave us a mixtape of tracks she listens to while she works.

For her final post, Emily answered 10 questions that I borrowed from ArtInfo's excellent questionnaire.

Read on for Emily's thoughts on Nashville art, her favorite exhibits, and the time she watched two people make out in a museum.

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Trippy Coat Video Is Trippy

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 7:00 AM

I don't know what a "Love Coat" is, but this split-image video of someone taking one off and putting it on sure is trippy and kaleidoscopic.

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Aziz Ansari at TPAC April 20; Presale Starts Tomorrow

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 6:00 AM

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Funny guy Aziz Ansari is bringing his Buried Alive tour — billed as "An Evening of Bewilderment and Disillusion," naturally — to TPAC's Jackson Hall on April 20. This presents a good opportunity for those of you not inclined to brave the face-roasting wilds of Bonnaroo to see the man do his thing. Generally speaking, those tickets go on sale this Friday, March 2. But over at Ansari's site, he tells us there will be a limited number of presale tickets that go on sale tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 29) at 10 a.m.

"It's all new material that wasn't on my old Comedy Central special or my last tour Dangerously Delicious," Ansari says of this cross-country jaunt. I'll assume this also includes material he didn't get the chance to use in the "Otis" video. (Am I the only one who hopes he'll someday name a tour Spreading the Aziz and tell lots of Anthrax jokes? I am? OK.) I'm not exactly what you'd call super up-to-date on the contemporary crop of stand-up comedians per se, but his description of noodles as "long-ass rice" scored a lot of points in my book.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Oxford American vs. Garden & Gun

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 2:07 PM

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The gloves, it would seem, are no longer on. And Oxford American editor Marc Smirnoff certainly lands some punches in his roughly 3,600-word screed against fellow/competing Southern magazine Garden & Gun. In short: Smirnoff doesn't like G&G. He compares it to Southern Living and similar publications, which he sees as bastions of a selective and distorting nostalgia. "The gist of my problem with Garden & Gun," he writes, "is that I perceive in it a similar exclusivity — a similar whitewashing of the South."

He's barely getting warm at that point. After analyzing Garden & Gun editor David DiBenedetto's appearance on the CBS Morning Show, he starts to heat up:

G&G falsifies the South it purports to cover, because a South without SEC football, politics, and religion is a false South. How can one miss this?

Speaking of misses, there is one more subject that seems just as off-limits in the pages of Garden & Gun as SEC football, politics, and religion, but it is not mentioned by G&G editors or noticed by media reporters.

I refer, of course, to race.

Rather than try to recap such a spirited, serpentine, self-aggrandizing, shit-talking and often spot-on geyser of vitriol here, I'll suggest you go read the whole thing. Spoiler alert: Smirnoff thinks Oxford American is a better magazine, even if it does have a smaller penis — figuratively speaking, of course.

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Empathy and Performance Art: Saya Woolfalk at The Frist

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM

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Saya Woolfalk gave a performance/lecture last Friday afternoon at The Frist in conjunction with the fabulous Fairy Tales, Monsters & the Genetic Imagination exhibition. The odd time of the event — just past noon on a Friday — ended up coinciding with a lot of lunch breaks, and the lecture hall was filled with people.

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