The more you give to The Bachelorette, the more apparent it becomes that you’re not getting much out of the deal. The high-water mark for most reality/competition shows, I think, is the point you reach when you’ve traded the minimum amount of your valuable time for the maximum amount of whatever junky pleasure the show has to offer. Around the middle of a season of American Idol, for instance, you’ve reveled in the schadenfreude of the early auditions, but you've also seen a few impressive performances of songs you might actually like in real life. But as the finale nears, and the drama is supposedly heating up, I begin to lose interest, realizing that I have no intention of intentionally listening to any of these people again.
The Bachelorette is somewhat different in that there are no admirable talents on display here (Arie’s kissing abilities notwithstanding). But there is a point, a few weeks into the show, where you’ve exchanged relatively few hours for the admittedly rotten fun of watching fools make fools of themselves. That ended for me last night, when I realized what I already know every minute that I’m not watching The Bachelorette: I hope all of these people live long lives and die natural, relatively pain-free deaths, but that I don’t care who they end up with. It’d be a better investment to bet on the romance between two actors who play lovers in a romantic comedy and fall in love on the set. They probably have a higher success rate than the winners of television dating shows.
So now, all that’s left for me is the small, shameful satisfaction I’ll feel if my prediction that Arie will be the last man standing ends up coming to fruition. And right now things are looking good on that front. Particularly after the show’s puppet masters failed to derail their relationship last night in Prague.
Here, you'll find her answers to the 10 questions I've been asking all our CL artists. If you need a recap of her work, check out past posts about Shannon here, here and here. And stay tuned as we unveil July's artist of the month on Monday.
1. What's the last show that you saw?
The Bill Traylor exhibit that's up at the Frist. I love that he began drawing at the age of 82 and was extremely prolific — most of his compositions were created on discarded shirt cardboard and the backs of boxes. And when Charles Shannon offered him clean white paper, he refused it — he preferred the irregular shapes and said he found those more inspiring.
We're suckers for essay docs about film that have the potential to change the way you watch movies — a few examples including Mark Rappaport's Rock Hudson's Home Movies, Thom Andersen's Los Angeles Plays Itself and Arnold Glassman, Todd McCarthy and Stuart Samuels' Visions of Light. (Haven't had the chance to see JLG's Histoire(s) du cinema yet, but we're saving our pennies.) That's why we're excited to see The Belcourt playing Irish journalist Mark Cousins' epic 15-hour history The Story of Film: An Odyssey over four weekends starting July 7. From The Belcourt's site:
“At the end of the 1800s, a new art form flickered into life. It looked like our dreams. Movies are a multibillion-dollar global entertainment industry, but what drives them isn’t box office or showbiz. It’s passion. Innovation. So let’s travel the world to find this innovation for ourselves…Welcome to THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY, an epic tale of innovation across 12 decades, six continents, and 1,000 films.” – Introduction, THE STORY OF FILM
So begins this passionate and expertly guided tour through the history of moving pictures, told through the observations of award-winning writer and filmmaker Mark Cousins—an adaptation of his book of the same title. A commitment to such an endeavor is astounding enough, but that it also succeeds and excels as something more personal than mere survey makes THE STORY OF FILM all the more pleasurable. With an abundance of clips and interviews with both famous and lesser known directors, THE STORY OF FILM is comfort food for the cinephile: rich in history, satisfying in scope, and a base pleasure to watch throughout.
Watch the dizzying trailer above and see how many images you can identify in its tommy-gun clip montage, which surveys more than a century of film around the globe. (Just a few: Tarkovsky, Bresson, Melies, "The Great Train Robbery," Chaplin, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Bergman, Satyajit Ray, Riefenstahl, Caligari, Metropolis, the overhead coffee-cup shot from Godard's Two or Three Things I Know About Her, Fellini, Leone, Pulp Fiction, The Godfather, Bela Tarr, I Am Cuba, De Palma's Scarface, and Hitchcock's Psycho shower scene alongside Gus Van Sant's.) Alas, there won't be any accompanying movie screenings of spotlighted titles — but if nothing else, you should come away from this with a Netflix queue 100 films deeper.
Here's a good A.O. Scott piece, which praises the documentary as a one-stop crash course in film history. Below, The Belcourt's breakdown of the schedule.
If you haven't turned in your YASNI entry (or entries) yet, the time to do so is becoming scarcer than ink in Bill Haslam's veto pen. The deadline is tomorrow for you to complete this sentence: "You are so Nashville if ... " Enter here or, heck, tweet at us with the hashtag #YASNI if you prefer. If chosen, your entry could appear in the July 19 issue. Maybe even on the cover. Some topics to jostle your memory-cage:
James Franklin's assistant coaches' wives
gateway sexual activity
Third Man Records
Islamic Center of Murfreesboro
Richard "Stomp a Mudhole" Floyd
foot-sucking via Craigslist
Belle Meade Country Club
food tax cut
Mayor Dean's budget
"License to Bully"
state laws about teaching science
all the "hipsters" in East Nashville
Topics to avoid: traffic, the fact that Latinos live here and redneckedness generally. Now, get on it!
Honestly, I thought the same thing when I was staring at the pile of his novels I wanted to read before I interviewed him. But, people, Alex Bledsoe is on a one-man mission to remind people just how scary vampires can be, and how strange and unsettling traditional mountain music can be in the hands of a master storyteller.
Bledsoe lives in Wisconsin, but he was born and raised here in Tennessee and many of his books and short stories are set in Tennessee and deal with very Tennessee-specific locations and situations. His vampire novels — Blood Groove and The Girls With the Games of Blood — are set in Memphis in the 1970s (with a brief detour in the second one into northern Mississippi). The first book in his Tufa series — The Hum and the Shiver — is set in East Tennessee. Plus his Firefly Witch stories are set in Weakleyville, which is a reference to Martin so thinly veiled that the characters in Weakleyville drink in that famous Martin bar Cadillac's.
He has a new book in his Eddie LaCrosse series — The Wake of the Bloody Angel (which is not set in Tennessee, unless we have an ocean and more pirates than I'm currently aware of) — coming out in July, and that gave me the perfect excuse to ask him about, oh, well, everything.
A new exhibition called Science in Toyland at the Adventure Science Museum is chock-full of hands-on activities and special programs that are all about children’s toys and how they function. I hope they can explain why my Speak & Spell was such a bitch and why I had to blow into all of those Nintendo cartridges. Along with the rad details of how toys work, the exhibit will include which size tops spin longer, how to build strong bridges and why sailboats can travel into the wind.
If that’s not enough serious geekery to drag the kiddies out, all I can say is, put your sails into the wind, build a bridge and get over it. At this point, who knows what kind of science the children of Tennessee are learning? This is a chance to show the kids that science is a) real, and b) fun. Demonstrations and workshops will encourage children to discover basic scientific principles and concepts. Hell, as an adult, I daresay I’d learn a few basic scientific principles and concepts myself. Anyone have a kid I can borrow?
This from the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission on Facebook:
CASTING ANNOUNCEMENT - NASHVILLE, TN - PLS SHARE/FORWARD
From the Producers of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Real Housewives of Orange County comes a NEW Nashville based docu-series for a major cable network! If you or someone you know is a successful, powerful WOMAN, single or married, with an outstanding personality, who frequents the Nashville social scene - we would love to hear from them! Entrepreneurs, Power Couples, CEO's, Wives of Music Execs and Sports Players etc etc - Please encourage anyone you know who considers themselves part of Nashville's Elite, to apply now. Referrals are certainly welcomed!
Include your name, recent photos, contact information and a brief bio about you/your family ASAP for further consideration.
American Songwriter recently featured a piece about Oxyana, an in-the-works documentary by filmmaker Sean Dunne that’s in the middle of its Kickstarter campaign. Their angle? It was scored by Jonny Corndawg and Deer Tick’s John McCauley. My angle is a little less complex: This movie is going to rule. As a seasoned documentary-watcher, I feel totally confident calling this one early.
It follows residents of Oceana, a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, West Virginia. The town is unbelievably beautiful in a stuck-in-time, Appalachian woodlands kind of way, but there's a Twilight Zone twist — its residents are all high on Oxycontin. The subject matter is clandestine, newsworthy and gripping: That's a combination that helped make docs like The Weather Underground, Capturing the Friedmans and Grey Gardens so fascinating. Dunne’s previous endeavors — including an examination of the rabid (literally?) fans of Insane Clown Posse American Juggalo, and the Jonny Corndawg doc "Stray Dawg" that Patrick hipped you to last April — all but ensure that we’ve got a winner on our hands.
That is, if they can reach the required amount of $50,000 by Tuesday, June 26. They’re close — last time I checked they were just shy 10K from goal — but with only three days to go, I’m starting to get nail-bitey. If you want to watch this film as much as I do, you’ll spread the word and contribute all you can. Visit the Kickstarter campaign here.
This weekend's feature at the Cult Fiction Underground (aka the basement grindhouse at Logue's Black Raven Emporium) is another rarity prized by cult-movie aficionados: Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural, an atmospheric, little-seen Southern Gothic nightmare directed by Eating Raoul co-author Richard Blackburn. It stars one of the most beloved of ’70s drive-in actresses, the late Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith, whom you may remember for her cameo in a Scene cover story a few years back about Nashville singer-songwriter Phil Lee:
A smaller photo stops him short. In it, a sunny blonde with an extraordinarily disarming smile cuddles cheek to cheek with the Phil Lee of three decades ago. He grins.
"Cheryl," he says. "I had hair back then."
Seventies drive-in cultists remember Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith as the gold standard for Roger Corman starlets: a fresh-faced cutie who radiated innocent sexiness in exploitation favorites such as Jonathan Demme's Caged Heat. Lee remembers her most gratefully as a bad shot.
During Lee's bleakest days in L.A., the two began a tempestuous relationship that went from bad to worse once she creased Lee's skull with a Coke bottle. Another time she tried to shoot him, and he took her gun away. That only made her mad. Their amour fou reached its climax during a hellacious argument.
"We were all taking drugs, we were all drinking—we were the beautiful people," Lee deadpans. "None of us had any clothes on." The fight turned physical, and Lee bolted for the stairs—only to see the slight Smith, powered by hate and adrenaline, heave an enormous TV set at him. Like the boulder chasing Indiana Jones, it tumbled down the steps after Lee, and he tried to time its crash so he could jump over it. Instead it mangled his ankle. He hobbled away and ducked into a cab.
"Not long after that," Lee says, "I quit drinking."
Lemora screens 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night, and DJ Ichabod will play a darkwave set after Saturday night's show at 10 p.m. Logue's Black Raven Emporium is located at 2915 Gallatin Rd.
We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.
The Ravelympics “denigrates the true nature of the Olympic Games”? The Ravelympics is “disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes”?
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