On this week's Fort Roll-Up, we talk to artist and Zeitgeist gallery director Lain York. Listen up if you've ever been curious about Nashville's gallery scene and the history of its various underground artist movements — Lain knows it all, and he lays it out for us here in detail. Also discussed: The stories behind some of the most controversial artworks in Nashville's history, and the strange intersection of art, honky-tonks and amateur boxing.
Even the legions who despise sports may take a peek at ESPN 2 starting 10 p.m. tonight. That's when Keith Olbermann's 18-month exile from television officially ends and his new weeknight show begins. The program returns him to the network where he enjoyed his initial fame as anything but a conventional sportscaster.
Olbermann will air live from the ABC News Nightline studio in Times Square. If anyone thinks the former MSNBC and later Current TV host is less than enthusiastic about his new position, read his interview in the current issue of The Hollywood Reporter — where he pauses to call his former Current boss Al Gore "a clod" — or check out his pose in the latest TV Guide, where he's shown holding a baseball (his favorite sport).
"People who either didn't pay attention or, for political reasons, didn't like what I did at MSNBC will be pleasantly surprised," Olbermann told TV Guide. Whatever the case, ESPN is betting he can once more become what he once was: the biggest non-playing attraction in sports.
August can be kind of a bummer month. If you're a kid, you have to go back to school, and for the rest of us, it's just hot and humid and nasty, and that makes everyone grumpy.
So, in the spirit of making people less grumpy, the Scene and our fancy sister pub Nfocus are once again offering Fashion For a Fraction tomorrow, Aug. 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hillsboro High School gym. If you like to go shopping, you're aware that August is also a time in which many stores are clearing out summer merch at super low prices, and you'll be seeing a lot of that at FFF, when we turn the gymnasium at Hillsboro High School into a mini-mall of sorts.
Participating boutiques include Gus Mayer, e. Allen, Kendal Boutique, The Trunk, Blue Bohemian, AshBlue, and e-tailers like Thompson Fifteen, Fringe & Lace and Gilded Ice. There will be dressing room areas on hand, but if you've always wanted to get naked in the HHS gym, well, this may be your chance. Admission is $5, and you can get your ticket here or pay at the door tomorrow. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Hands on Nashville.
It’s almost mind-numbing at times to consider just how many slasher films hit theater screens in the late ’70s and early ’80s, but it’s even more incredible to consider how many twisted variations were hacked out of the same formula. Consider Don’t Go In the House, a grim and very gritty low-budget slasher from 1980. Taking one part from Halloween, one part from Psycho and just a pinch of Saturday Night Fever, Don’t Go In the House unreels the story of a flamethrower wielding stalker. Yes, I did say flamethrower.
Not for the squeamish, check it out this weekend, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at the Cult Fiction Underground at Logue’s Black Raven Emporium.
On Sept. 29, locals of any age will convene at Shelby Bottoms Park and get the chance to either take on the persona of a post-apocalyptic renegade or one of the people-hungry menaces in the backdrop of a barren wasteland. A party waits for all who are lucky enough to reach the finish line.
So essentially it’s the Color Run, with one primary color — red.
Did we mention it’s all for a great cause? Proceeds benefit Active Heroes, a charity foundation that helps those currently serving our country, military families and veterans. So Walking Dead fans will get the chance to play Daryl whilst taking part in a good run. Sounds zombie-rific to us!
Early registration is $25 for zombies, $45 for humans. Spots are filling up fast, so register here … before it’s too late. Full press release below.
At the media preview for his Frist Center exhibit Beyond the Surface, Jack Spencer said, “The idea of photographers who just push a button baffles me. How can you call that art?” Spencer prefers to take a painterly approach to photography, with results that will impress those interested in photography with lots of bells and whistles. (Think Annie Leibovitz, or worse, the saccharine Anne Geddes.)
But even for those of us who prefer documentary-style, subtractive photographs, Spencer has a lot to offer: A pair of photographs of aging transvestites in Mexico, for instance, are as stark and poignant as any Antony and the Johnsons album cover.
He’ll be at Parnassus today to discuss the book Beyond the Surface, which was created in conjunction with the Frist show. Tonight's event starts at 6:30 p.m., but the exhibit is on display at The Frist through Oct. 13.
Whenever possible, we're going to start giving you a look at what went into making the Nashville Scene cover.
This week's story — "Taking the Cake" — has to do with activists fighting the Tennessee same-sex marriage ban. We wanted a visual for the cover that conveys a literal takeover, and decided to use typical wedding imagery.
To make this week's cover, we did the following things:
1. I bought a TON of army men of various colors.
2. I spent a long time cutting the guns out of their hands so the cover didn't have an entirely different meaning. I used wire cutters and an X-Acto knife.
3. I made a cake. Or two. And then I decided that those cakes were so crappy that I couldn't possibly use them. I fed my failure cakes to the office — they didn't seem to mind. [Ed. note: We didn't.] Then I went to Sweet Wise and bought dummy styrofoam tiers and covered them in fondant as best I could. I knew we were only going to photograph one side of the faux cake, so I did my best to make one side look lovely and ignored the rest. I added edible pearls to really make it look like a wedding cake.
In this week's Scene, we review one of the summer's happiest surprises, writer-director-star Lake Bell's comedy In a World ..., which opens Friday at The Belcourt:
One funny person or performance does not a comedy make: whether the focal point is W.C. Fields or Will Ferrell in Anchorman, the trick is to center them within a funny universe. The title of Lake Bell's delightful first feature suggests that she gets it right off the bat: it's rare to see a debut written and directed by its star, especially a comedy, that's secure enough to cede so much of its screen time to the supporting players. Not that she should worry: As befits the dream job of Bell's character — a vocal coach who hopes to shatter the glass control booth keeping women from doing movie-trailer voiceovers — she holds the movie together even when she's not on screen.
The central plot involves the effort to crown a successor to the late voiceover king Don LaFontaine, which will end when the victor purrs those magic words ("In a wuuuurld ...") over a high-profile sci-fi trailer. The movie gets a lot of comic mileage out of the vocal-studio milieu, stocked with low-key riffing from the likes of Tig Notaro, Nick Offerman, Stephanie Allynne and Demetri Martin. More involving, though, are the seriocomic subplots with Bell's bickering sister (Michaela Watkins) and her boyfriend (Rob Corddry), and with her career-challenged father (Fred Melamed from the Coens' A Serious Man), himself a voiceover veteran jealously guarding his turf. These never seem like padding or diversions. If there are multiple people in the frame (as there often are), whether leads or bit players, director Bell will find a way to make us notice all of them.
Read the full review here. In the meantime, check out this clip of Bell discussing her favorite trailers containing the "In a wuuuurld" incantation. (We concur with her assessment that the Planet of the Apes trailer does indeed have apes.) Also, Claire Sisco King, assistant professor of communication studies at Vanderbilt University, will discuss the film after the 9:20 p.m. screening Monday.
HAXAN: WITCHCRAFT THROUGH THE AGES directed by BENJAMIN CHRISTENSEN (1922)
Running time: 104 min.
Swedish intertitles with English subtitles
"So it happens with witchcraft as with the Devil; people's belief in him was so strong that he became real."
The mythical haxan doesn't NEED to be in my trusty copy of The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures, because it's just the Swedish/Danish word for witch. Benjamin Christensen's Haxan is a film about witches, about the legends and stories surrounding them, their alleged activities, their treatment, their lore. It is fair to say he is as interested in the Devil as he is witches, and in Haxan Christensen explores the many ways we define, describe, vilify, and attempt to destroy these strange (imagined, accused or otherwise) beings, across culture, place and time.
"The Devil is everywhere and takes all shapes." I'll say! The images in Haxan are hella 1922, and although some critics say Christensen did not employ the most cutting-edge techniques, it's still quite a visual feast. And the characters get up to fun visual stuff, like lead reading, dramatic persuasion and coercion, mental and physical torture into admitting you're a witch, and the Devil's fevered, um, butter churning ... truthfully, it all makes me very anxious. And if you're into medieval torture devices, their uses, and visual demonstrations, you'll get yours, too.
Christensen studied Malleus Maleficarum, a 15th century guide from Germany on hunting witches and inquisition. From using a pointer to physically show details of ancient paintings, to slideshow representations of witches, to live reenactments (starring himself as the Devil), Christensen shows us various ways we've been told these witchy tales, their histories, and what a creepy and delightful pastime the telling of these stories is.
Come to think of it, we bet it’s been at least three (maybe four) decades since a Nashville theater showed a film by Glauber Rocha, a leading light of Brazil’s gritty 1960s “Cinema Novo” movement along with Nelson Pereira dos Santos and Carlos Diegues. Rocha won Best Director honors at Cannes for his politically charged 1969 allegory Antonio das Mortes, which brings back the shadowy gunslinger Mauricio do Valle played in Rocha’s 1964 breakthrough film Black God, White Devil. Hired by a wealthy landowner to dispatch what he’s told are cangaceiros (outlaws who prowl Brazil’s dust-blown sertao), Antonio das Mortes sets about his grim task, only to face a crisis of conscience best settled with bullets and machetes.
Recommended to fans of spaghetti Westerns and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s near-contemporaneous El Topo, it screens 7 p.m. Thursday at Third Man Records on 16mm as part of programmer James Cathcart’s excellent film series The Light and Sound Machine — 31 years to the day after director Rocha’s death from a lung infection at age 42.
Tickets are $10 ($8 for members of the co-sponsoring Belcourt). Below: another kick-ass Jay Shaw LSM poster.
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