Nashville: where the stakes are low, the skirts high, and absolutely no one is gay. What hijinks have television’s most charming narcissists gotten themselves into this week?
Rayna & Juliette
Rayna James is a woman who has many opinions about music. She knows a thing or two about it, thanks to being in this business for over 20 years, in case you didn’t know. She’s just chilling with her cool new music bro Liam, listening to their hot tracks. But uh-oh, those damn label suits are sending word again that they want her to release a greatest hits album — how dare they? Sure, the family was “cash-poor” mere moments ago, but don’t they know that it’s authenticity and integrity that pays the bills, not shameless corporate shilling? She’s got the big label anniversary show at the Ryman to think about, anyway — oh, only now they want her to sing with Juliette at the show? “Ugh,” she cries. But she will do it if she can work with County Clare and write her own songs like a grown-up. It’s called playing the game. She is already penciling in an appointment to get “BALLER” tattooed across her chest.
We know how excited all you nerd glassesistas got when we announced that our friends at Imogene + Willie would serve as Nashville's only outpost for insanely popular, philanthropic eyewear co. Warby Parker. Well, hold on to yer glasses, because Warby Parker is bringing their Class Trip to Nashville!
The Warby Parker Class Trip: Permission from your parents is not necessary:
What's the last show that you saw?
Thanks to holiday traveling I got to see my friend Barry A. Noland’s photography exhibit “Pieces of Shelby” at the Nashville airport. The photos are stark and unsettling black-and-white images of Shelby Park in East Nashville. I didn’t make it to his opening — partly due to the mandatory body scanning required to get in — so I was happy my concourse ended up being his concourse.
International Lens: Aurora
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28
Where: Vanderbilt's Sarratt Cinema
“Why did you kill them?” “I’ll try to be as precise as possible.” This exchange, from a scene near the end of Romanian director Cristi Puiu’s Aurora, suggests some of the film’s deadpan bleakness. In this lengthy exercise in cinema verité suspense, we observe eerily impassive divorcé Viorel (played by Puiu himself) watch TV, bicker with his mistress and visit a gun store.
Puiu’s scenes unfold in real time, letting the bleak ambience of industrial Bucharest settle in while allowing for flashes of black comedy (like a Tarantino-esque argument about whether the grandmother in “Little Red Riding Hood” was eaten with or without her clothes on). When violence finally breaks out, we’re left puzzling over Viorel’s true motives.
Annemarie Ho's Dread Spawn (Head Wrong)
When: 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28
Where: Vanderbilt's E. Bronson Ingram Studio Arts Center, Room 220
Back in 2008 when MGM announced it was remaking the 1984 “classic” Red Dawn, a resounding “WTF?” was heard around the world. The original might have had a certain corny charm, but a redux seems absurd, unnecessary and kind of offensive. As Abe Sauer said in his critique of the remake on The Awl: “It is a paranoia tale of an America where our children no longer get stupid Chinese character tattoos because they want to; they get them because they have to.”
New York-based artist Annemarie Ho was inspired to make a remake of her own, and garrisoned a group of real-life high school students to help. The result, Dread Spawn (Head Wrong), examines how the premise of Red Dawn — both the original and its remake — could exist only in small-town, predominantly white middle America, and wonders what the fantastical storyline would look like if the Chinese People’s Liberation Army were to invade New York’s Chinatown. Ho will answer questions about the production after the screening. See how many phrases that rhyme with “red dawn” you can come up with before then.
Oh, holidays. Right now, I love you. But in about two weeks I'll be so sick of your stupid cheerful face that I'll frantically run in the opposite direction whenever I hear even the slightest tinkling of bells. So, these next few days are my window of opportunity — the only chance I have to squeeze out however much holiday cheer it takes to trim my tree, drink hella eggnog, watch Charlie Brown specials, and buy stuff for all my friends. I might even enjoy it!
To help spread my all-too-temporary cheer, I've assembled a list of 20 things that will help satiate you and your cool friends' yearning for arty stuff. Think I missed something? Drop me a note in the comments.
Perhaps you were one of those people who totally avoided Black Friday insanity. Or maybe you camped in a parking lot so you could be the first person to buy a gigantic TV. Whatever. We're not judging.
Since America is all about inventing shopping-related holidays that are essentially 24-hour flash sales (again, not judging, and definitely not complaining, because we all like a bargain) we're celebrating Cyber Monday. Join us by pretending to work diligently while you score some major deals.
Our friends over at Stella Shops did a fabulous roundup on local sales, featuring some of our favorites such as Closet Case Vintage (30 percent off), What's-In-Store (deals on top 50 sellers) and Billy Reid (20 percent off).
Get the scoop here.
A round-up of some Cyber Monday deals involving Nashville attractions this season:
• From 9 a.m. to midnight, TPAC is offering "family four-packs and discounts of up to 50 percent on select remaining shows from its 2012-13 Broadway season, season specials, family shows, and more" along with "a one-day window to purchase tickets for upcoming shows like Catch Me If You Can, Traces, Flashdance, Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan, American Idiot, and Rock of Ages, which will not be on sale again until six to eight weeks before they open." Click here for more information.
• Through midnight tonight, Nashville Ballet offers $12 off on one of the holiday's hottest tickets, the annual Nashville's Nutcracker extravaganza Dec. 9-23. Restrictions may apply. Click here for more information.
• Take advantage of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra's Thanksgiving sale, which closes tonight. Buy a gift card of $100 or more and get a pair of complimentary tickets to a SunTrust Classical Series concert. Our pick from the list of available concerts: the May 30-June 1 performance of Edgar Meyer's new double concerto for double bass and violin, featuring Meyer and Joshua Bell and co-commissioned by the NSO.
• OK, it's not a Cyber Monday exclusive, but it's still a fantastic deal: The Belcourt is selling discounted passes to its "Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Suspense" retrospective, starting Dec. 26. For $39 — that's a dollar a step, folks — you get admission to six films the caliber of Vertigo, Psycho or North by Northwest. For $138, you get admission to all 23 films, at $6 a movie. (The passes are significantly less for Belcourt members.) Click here for more information.
• Come for the lights, stay for ... well, just stay select Sundays through Thursdays at the Gaylord Opryland Resort for rates starting at $119 throughout the hotel's annual Country Christmas festivities. The sale starts at 8 a.m.; click here for more information.
If you know of others, please share in the comments thread below. Check back for updates — and best of luck!
Over the years, the phrase “antiwar film” has come to represent heavy-handed polemics and battering-ram symbolism. A movie like Saving Private Ryan pounds the audience with shells and blood, purportedly to convey the insanity of warfare; in the process, it comes across not so much antiwar as anti-losing.
By comparison, Jean Renoir’s 1937 film Grand Illusion, which screens Saturday and Sunday at the Belcourt [on the occasion of the movie's 75th anniversary], seems almost quaintly reserved. Set in World War I, the war to end all wars, it concerns two French officers, the aristocratic de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay) and the plebeian Maréchal (Jean Gabin), captured in 1916 and sent to a German P.O.W. camp. The commandant, von Rauffelstein (Erich von Stroheim), senses an immediate kinship with his opposite number, de Boeldieu: Their manners, their dress, even their formal use of English bind them to a rarefied class.
Eighteen months pass. After several escape attempts, the French officers are dispatched to another camp—presided over, once again, by von Rauffelstein, who brightens to see de Boeldieu still alive. The upper-crust French officer is drawn more naturally to the German aristocrat than to his own blue-collar countrymen, and even after 18 months in close quarters, de Boeldieu and Maréchal still address each other with the formal “vous.” (The movie expresses Renoir’s oft-cited belief that society organizes along horizontal levels of class rather than vertical levels of nationality.) But de Boeldieu nonetheless believes there are principles greater than his own class prejudices and preferences. And he’s willing to sacrifice himself for them.
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