As organizer of the Poetry Sucks! series at Dino's, Chet Weise has built a cool little scene around good verse and good vibes on the East Side. He's also a poet himself, and as far as I know the only one in Nashville to shoot a video for one of his poems, at least this year. Directed by Doug Lehmann (from The Clutters and Mystery Twins) and Poni Silver (of The Ettes, who also produced), and starring musicians Courtney Jaye, Nikki Lane and Jemina Pearl, this piece of visual accompaniment for "Mach 3" also features the Chet-man himself — who also wrote and performed the soundtrack — in a helmet and on a horse.
Dane Carder makes paintings based on Civil War-era photographs. During our visit on Friday, I learned some things:
• His 40th birthday is in two weeks.
• A lot of the canvases he uses are made from material he inherited from an artist who committed suicide.
• He listens to Tom Waits while he works. Specifically, "Misery Is the River of the World."
• He's recently incorporated his own photography into his art-making process — he's been documenting Civil War reenactments in Shiloh.
• His studio smells like Nag Champa.
Check out some pictures of my studio-going adventure below.
There is simply no microbic Fab Four factoid, piece of found footage, memorabilia or unheard note that isn’t of interest to legions of Beatlemaniacs. For them, HBO’s monthly subscription costs became Butcher Cover-worthy worth it last fall when the premium cable network premiered George Harrison: Living in the Material World — a life-story-spanning, Martin Scorsese-directed documentary on the late quiet Beatle. Now Nashville’s Beatles fans get their chance to, you know, dig it on the silver screen. Clocking in at a long-long-longer-than-a-Springsteen-concert 208 minutes, Material World joins the ranks of exhaustive, career-canonizing rock-docs like Peter Bogdonovich’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream and, of course, Scorsese’s No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.
A celluloid eulogy of sorts, the film anthologizes Harrison’s life and legacy through a moving tableau of Harrison interviews, archival photographs, home video and performance footage (much of which is previously unseen) along with talking-head-style commentary from Harrison friends and collaborators the likes of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Martin, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, Phil Spector, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Jackie Stewart. Material World will overwhelm and exhaust most casual viewers, but for hardcore fans it’s one helluva treasure trove that leaves only one question unanswered: What will Marty do when he needs a title for his Madonna doc?
The world runs on brainpower. Where do you charge up? Innovideo has the answer: right here in Nashville. Innovideo is a curated gallery of videos about innovative ideas. Started by the founders of Nashville T-shirt business and social venture Triple Thread Apparel, Innovideo is hosting a mini film festival from 7-9 p.m. at the Entrepreneur Center, 105 Broadway, Suite 200, this Sunday, April 29.
The “FilmFeast” will feature short videos (six minutes or less) that center on making the world a better place through brain power. Think of it as a mini Nashville Film Festival for world-changing ideas. It’s audience-curated, so send in your video suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Two more samples of the kinds of video you might see after the jump.
Tonight it's Week 3 of the Cult Fiction Underground Theatre, the replica grindhouse cinema projecting cult-movie double features every Friday and Saturday night in the basement of Logue's Black Raven Emporium in East Nashville. The second feature, as always, is secret — but since the first is the kinky 1972 Hammer horror entry Vampire Circus, a double dose of British blood-bathing and bodice-ripping is well within possibility. (Somebody please get word to Hammer devotee Jonathan Lampley.)
Doors open at 6 p.m., first feature at 8, and beer's available in the lobby. It's at 2915 Gallatin Road, corner of Gallatin and Trinity Lane. Please, Hammer, don't hurt us!
More and more, The Belcourt’s programming looks like a year-round film festival. Its just-posted May schedule balances restored treasures, animated classics and outré cult movies with several of the new arthouse releases of the moment — starting with May 4’s opening of Damsels in Distress, the long-awaited new comedy from Metropolitan director Whit Stillman, and The Island President, Jon Shenk’s documentary portrait of Maldivian President Mohamad Nasheed’s attempts to save his rapidly submerging country.
May 11 brings another eagerly awaited film from a director who isn’t nearly prolific enough, Terence Davies, whose romantic drama The Deep Blue Sea (starring Rachel Weisz and The Avengers’ Tom Hiddleston) opens along with the 20-year anniversary print of his classic childhood study The Long Day Closes. Mia Hansen-Love’s teenage-love knockout Goodbye First Love opens May 18, followed by a one-week run May 25 of the controversial NC-17 French drama Elles, with Juliette Binoche as a journalist investigating a college-student prostitution ring, and the Italian comedy The Salt of Life (from Mid-August Lunch director Gianni di Gregorio).
Weekend revivals include the new print of William Friedkin’s gangbusters crime drama The French Connection (May 5-6), the new digital restoration of the animated Beatles romp Yellow Submarine (May 10, 12 & 17), Otto Preminger’s superlative erotic mystery Laura (May 19-20), and what’s said to be a pristine print of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark for Memorial Day weekend (May 25-28).
At midnight: Andrzej Zulawski’s exercise in unrelenting delirium Possession (May 11-12) — quick, distract the concessions crew so we can split with that amazing poster — and Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (May 25-26), whose trailer has been getting a raptorous reception. See www.belcourt.org for more info.
Painter Elizabeth Foster just opened a new show at Art & Invention Gallery, and it looks like a winner. We missed the opening a few Saturdays back, but found out about the show when we stumbled across an image folder the artist posted on her Facebook page. The first thing we noticed was Foster’s penchant for blending the fantastic with the everyday.
Most of the paintings are still-life studies of terrariums under old-fashioned bell jars, but in Foster’s hands they become windows into micro-universes that teem with magical imagery. The second thing we noticed is that nearly every one of the paintings in the folder had been marked “sold.” We recommend visiting Art & Invention. We also recommend hurrying.
All of which is to say, read the column by Chapter16.org's Margaret Renkl in this week's Scene on e-books and what you might call the high cost of low prices:
As the friend and editor of many talented writers, I have read in manuscript any number of excellent books that so far haven't seen the light of day because some gatekeeper hasn't deemed them worthy, or because they're well-written but don't fit into a clear marketing niche, or because the author isn't photogenic enough for Good Morning America. Starting out now is particularly hard, not only for literary novelists but even for authors of thrillers and YA and other genres that still sell well. Publishers are too often timid, afraid to take a chance on an unknown. Virtually every "surprise" bestseller today is a book that dozens of publishing gatekeepers passed on before someone took a chance and got behind it.
Here's the thing, though: getting behind a book costs money. There may be virtually no production costs in converting a Word file into an e-book, but that doesn't mean there are no production costs in making it a book worth reading. Someone has to edit it, and editing takes time and skill and diplomacy and courage: Editors have to figure out how to make a writer's work better while preserving the author's voice. They have to find a way to make the writer cheerfully — or at least willingly — go back and back and back to the page until the book is just right.
There's a lot more than a block quote will do justice to here, so please give it a read if you care about books and writers. I've drawn parallels between bookstores and record stores before, but it's an imperfect analogy, especially because the ancillary stream of income available to musicians — licensing for soundtracks, commercials, etc. — simply do not exist for authors, for whom touring is not even remotely as lucrative (even in a best-case scenario) for the vast majority.
Where’s Waldo? Sitting on a bench outside Nashville’s own Humane Association. I took this fine fellow outside and asked politely if he’d mind jumping up on the bench — and wouldn’t you know. Mr. Handsome is under 2 years old, weighs 58 pounds and is ready to please you. He’s neutered (ouch) and fit. And smart.
Visit him now: Humane Association off White Bridge Road, 352-1010.
Portrait by PeterNashDogs.com.
I wrote a review of Anatomia Botanica, Mathilde Roussel's exhibit at Cheekwood, for this week's Scene. I'd originally planned to write the review to coincide with the exhibit's opening back in March, but since the work is plant-based, I wanted to give it some time to get a little messy — it's more about the process of growing and the circle of life and all that.
I went to Cheekwood on three separate occasions to look at the work, and each time the work was dramatically different. I took a few photographs of my own on every visit, sort of like visual notes to help me keep track of what I just saw. The "Lifes of Grass" sculptures changed so quickly that the last time I was there (Wed., April 18), I overheard the maintenance crew talking about whether the work would actually stay intact through the exhibition's close in mid-May.
Check out some of the photographs I took of the Courtyard Gallery installation on opening day back in March, and compare them to the photos I took last week.
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