After the three-hour finale of an 11-week romantic safari as emotionally strenuous as The Bachelorette, one needs some time to process. Or something. So here we are — The Day and a Half After.
Anyway, it's all over. Emily proposed to Jef by offering him The Final Rose, which invited Jef to propose to her by offering her an enormous diamond, which left me and my prediction that Arie would win standing alone at the altar of reality television.
The remarkable thing about The Bachelor / Bachelorette franchise is that with every episode there is less that actually happens. In a three-hour finale, one hour is devoted to the After the Final Rose post-game show. Of the remaining two hours, a solid hour is spent recapping the 10 weeks it took to get Emily to this point with these guys. After that, subtract time for commercials, time for the annoying "Coming up next!" segments before the commercials, and subtract the time Emily spends walking on the beach while narrating her emotional struggle. You're left with what amounts to a truncated sitcom. A bad one.
Even though I always claim that the art scene slows down in the summer, even I have a hard time believing it this year. The new Zeitgeist gallery series looks to be the best summer programming they’ve had in years, and they’ve always gone the extra mile even during the dog days; the Frist is brimming with a variety of exciting shows; and the recent Shane Doling/Dooby Tompkins opening at Brick Factory found Nashville’s creative community packing the place despite the sweltering temps. Add to all of these Barry Buxkamper’s Inside Out/Outside In.
The exhibition is the biggest show of Buxkamper’s work I’ve seen, and it’s a stunner. Featuring sculptural displays of image studies pinned to the walls in bulky bunches, these preparatory works give way to a gallery full of Buxkamper’s signature shaped canvases featuring precisely detailed mind-bending narratives — they’re rendered in bold palettes and hang flat against the gallery walls without frames or backing boards. You’ll likely find a favorite painting among those on display, but it’s the Chinese-takeout-themed wall sculptures that you’ll want to run off with.
There are relatively few events for which a "realistic crime scene" actually serves as a selling point, but let's assume this is one of them. Killer Nashville, a self-described "conference for thriller, suspense, mystery writers and literature lovers," gathers Aug. 23-26 at the Hutton Hotel, and this year's special guests include noted and notable authors C.J. Box, Heywood Gould and Peter Straub — the latter of whom is reportedly working with longtime friend and collaborator Stephen King on a little something that might involve Jack Sawyer and the Talisman. Check out the video trailer above for some more of the grisly details on this year's convention. If you're particularly adept at identifying book covers in a split-second, there's a wealth of ancillary information that flashes by as well. More info here.
We're big fans of multitasking, so when we discovered that we could shop, exercise and clean out our closets simultaneously, we were immediately on board.
This Saturday, July 28, Yoga Country in Brentwood will host the Give and Receive Workshop and Clothing Swap. Led by Kate Bankert, this workshop will enable attendees to learn and practice some yogic philosophy through movement and discussion involving yamas and niyamas from the eight-limbed yogic path. The aforementioned movement will involve a moderate flow class, and with Kate's instruction, you can expect to deepen your practice and understanding of yoga.
Side note: Don't let this intimidate you. I just had to google "yamas" and "niyamas." I've practiced with Kate before, and normally I'm the kind of person who checks email when I'm in any yoga pose that allows me to reach my phone. Even if you don't really understand all of this stuff, it's interesting to learn and anyone who likes yoga will benefit from it.
Here’s the thing: Modern Family is not a bad show. It has made me laugh, I think Ty Burrell is hot, and I’ll always love Ed O’Neill thanks to watching Married with Children at an inappropriately young age. But it’s not that good, either!
Of course, I’m one of those Community freaks who will never be happy until every person in the world has written a personal essay titled “What Abed Means To Me.” Adorable Lily said a bad word? Yeah, well, “Remedial Chaos Theory” was one of the greatest sitcom episodes of all time, I say without hyperbole.
Anyway, the fate of a television fan is to be disappointed. Nominees for the 2012 Emmy Awards (and occasional sass) are below.
The legendary Nordstrom Anniversary Sale launched today, which may also explain why fashionable ladies took extra long lunches and were forced to park all the way in the old La Paz parking lot. (Since I couldn't recall what restaurant moved in there, I just yelled the question out loud, and someone in my immediate vicinity responded, "Some Japanese restaurant. It looks gross.")
This is not your average sale. According to our friends at Nordies, customers actually plan their summer vacations around this sale. Forget Bieber Fever, it's Nordiemania — people line up outside for this sale.
Friends who normally don't like mysteries keep telling us Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is a sly, scary and memorably devious thriller, and it sounds like so much fun we've been impatiently checking our status on the library reserve list. (Hasn't budged — read faster, people!) It's been near or at the top of the Times bestseller list for weeks, and Flynn's appearance should draw one of the festival's biggest crowds. So should Karen Thompson Walker, whose The Age of Miracles is one of the season's most lauded debut novels. (It's worth noting that of CNN.com's list of highly anticipated summer books, four are represented at the festival: Flynn's, Walker's, David Maraniss' Barack Obama: The Story, and Ben Fountain's "Catch-22 of the Iraq War" Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.)
Richard Russo called Jess Walter's comic novel Beautiful Ruins "an absolute masterpiece," and it's getting some of the summer's strongest reviews. Walter's among the many writers of literary fiction scheduled to attend, including Bobbie Ann Mason, Madison Smartt Bell, Adam Ross, Kevin Wilson, Ruta Sepetys, Ron Rash, Mark Helprin, Christopher Tilghman, Silas House, Ben Marcus, Padgett Powell, George Singleton and Winter's Bone author Daniel Woodrell.
Visiting nonfiction talents include Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger, A.J. Jacobs, Rachel Swarns, acclaimed Haiti scholar Laurent Dubois, Adam Goodheart (whose 1861: The Civil War Awakening was a surprise best seller) and Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Of special note is an appearance by popular Atlantic politics and culture blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Those who've curled up in a sleeping bag with a flashlight and a Goosebumps chiller will relish the appearance by R.L. Stine, presently at 300 million copies sold worldwide and counting. We know a little girl, though, who will be delighted to hear Bridge to Terabithia author Katherine Paterson is attending in support of her latest book, The Flint Heart. And if your kids have never made the acquaintance of Judith Viorst, author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, here's their chance to do so in the flesh.
Watch the Chapter16.org site and Country Life in the weeks leading up to the festival for news, profiles, updates and more. Below, the full list of authors.
What do the three things pictured below have in common? Country Life's art book club! Join us here next week to discuss Air Guitar by Dave Hickey. I just finished the chapter called "The Delicacy of Rock-and-Roll," and it name checks Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Die Hard before launching into a critique of films by Stan Brakhage and Andy Warhol. It's high AND low!
What's the last time you got to see a big-budget Hollywood extravaganza on film? For a lot of people, it may have been Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol last year. The digital changeover has transformed most of the country's multiplexes (including all of them here in Nashville) into data-delivery sites. That's not an evaluation, just an observation. But how weird it was to see a 70mm presentation of something with explosions, and mayhem, and leaping!
Then came talk of the next Batman film. And now the time has come for the Opry Mills IMAX, once lost to the 2010 flood, to serve up some multi-story blockbuster action. Christopher Nolan's final Batman film has more than an hour of full-height 70mm footage throughout its near-three-hour runtime, and the man knows his spectacle. He has an instinct for the little moments that benefit from the shifted perspectives of multiformat shooting — and as with 2008's The Dark Knight, he delivers a lot of bang for your buck.
Watch for the front page of the arts section in Sunday's The New York Times print edition, where Dave Itzkoff profiles Jerry Lewis on the eve of next week's opening of The Nutty Professor. Lewis has been directing the musical version of his 1963 classic at TPAC, where it opens for a month's trial run next Tuesday. It's a juicy, colorful piece, balancing concerns about the musical as an unknown quantity — and about the octogenarian director's health — with Lewis' brazenness and enthusiasm for the project:
BEFORE anyone could put him on a pedestal, Jerry Lewis was already elevated in a tall director’s chair here in his dressing room suite underneath the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Yet from this height, in a chair with his name embroidered in red stitching across the front, he insisted that he was not here to be idolized, not by his fans and certainly not by the company he is directing — yes, directing — in a coming stage-musical adaptation of “The Nutty Professor.”
He was dressed in a black shirt monogrammed with his initials and black loafers bearing the masks of comedy and tragedy. But aside from these flashier affectations of showbiz, Mr. Lewis, 86, made little effort to disguise his fragility. He used a mobility scooter to navigate the labyrinthine arts center and wore a pair of earphones connected to a microphone to help him better hear an interviewer’s questions.
Itzkoff was in the crowd for this press conference last week at TPAC. Hat tip to Scene theater critic Martin Brady for the video above. See next week's Scene for full coverage, including a meeting of the minds no one will want to miss: Jerry Lewis and the Scene's Jack Silverman.
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