Where: Vanderbilt's Sarratt Cinema
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29
We've been writing quite a lot about Vanderbilt's International Lens screenings, which kicked off earlier this month. But tonight's film is the one that got my attention right away: It's stop-motion animation chock full of genre conventions like sinister priests, escaped convicts and an ancient curse — one of the characters is even voiced by Paul Naschy. The Spanish language film has drawn comparisons to Terry Gilliam and Guillermo del Toro, but always with the caveat that O Apóstolo is a true original.
Watch the trailer and read the only English language description of the film I could find after the jump.
An important and characteristically under-sung part of every city’s music scene is the undercurrent of DIY show organizers and venues — the boosters (punk, hip-hop, experimental and otherwise) who don’t do it for money or prestige, but rather for love of the art. In Nashville, no venue perhaps exemplifies this ethos better than The Owl Farm, a scrappy little spot on the East Side that rose from the ashes of now-defunct DIY space Little Hamilton. And so it is with bummer vibes that we share this news with you: This afternoon, The Owl Farm announced via Facebook that the space is now "officially out of commission." The full post:
We are officially out of commission. There will be no benefit show or any shows at all in this space any longer. Efforts are being taken to open a new space, but there is no news yet on that subject.
A pair of benefit shows had been scheduled to take place at The Owl Farm on Jan. 30 and 31, but the above statement (as well as the fact that the Facebook event page for the shows appears to have been pulled down) indicates that those have been canceled. Emails to venue management were not immediately returned, but we'll update this post if and when more details become available.
RIP, Owl Farm.
[Ed. Note: This post originally appeared on our sister blog, Nashville Cream.]
Two recent announcements, as well as a current article in TV Guide, show just how badly situation comedies are faring these days, both on the networks and cable.
The first was Fox's decision to put its critically praised, ratings-starved Zooey Deschanel showcase New Girl in the plum spot after the Super Bowl Sunday. While many (male) critics continually fawn over Deschanel — who is admittedly the best thing about the show — audiences have never warmed to it.
Fox (WZTV-Channel 17 locally) hopes that airing the program right after the season's most watched event will both introduce it to millions who've ignored it and also provide it some momentum for its regular 8 p.m. Tuesday slot, where it's been getting steamrolled by CBS's NCIS: Los Angeles.
The show is being pre-empted tonight by the president's State of the Union address. But Fox has called out a big gun for the Sunday show (approximately 9:30 p.m., or whenever the Super Bowl ends). The special guest star is Prince, who meets Jess (Deschanel) at a party where the two strike up an immediate friendship. Under ordinary circumstances, this would make any boyfriend livid — but Nick (Jake Johnson) seems almost giddy at the thought there's any attraction between Jess and his favorite artist.
This one almost slid under our radar: An exhibit by artist Laurel Nakadate opened over the weekend at the Sewanee University art gallery. (Hat tip to Fisk University gallery coordinator Sara Estes for letting us know.)
The exhibit, called Strangers and Relations, shows a new direction for Nakadate. The New York-based artist is best known for documenting her own interactions with unfamiliar men in various uncomfortable situations, as in the Happy Birthday series we saw at Cheekwood in last year's More Love exhibit. But for Strangers and Relations, Nakadate instead photographed strangers she'd met on social media, as well as distant relations she located through DNA and genealogical research.
In association with the exhibition, the gallery will screen the feature-length film The Wolf Knife, written and directed by Nakadate, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25. Then on April 4, Nakadate will speak about the work herself, at 4:30 p.m. at Sewanee's Convocation Hall. A reception will follow.
Read Sewanee's full press release for more background on the exhibit after the jump, and look for more on Nakadate in upcoming Country Life posts.
The title of this 2011 documentary might sound like a punchline, but Beer Is Cheaper Than Therapy is far from comedy. In it, director Simone de Vries follows soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, as they try to cope with their postwar blues in increasingly alarming ways, from booze and tattoos to complete breakdowns and alienation from their own families. The soldiers at Fort Hood have committed suicide at an alarming rate — the doc cites the number of confirmed suicides at the base as 19.
The 78-minute documentary was well-received when it first screened at Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse cinema; see it on the Sarratt screen for free tonight as one of the first of this season’s free International Lens screenings.
Watch the trailer after the jump.
Watkins Visiting Artists Series: R.H. Quaytman
When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29
Where: Watkins Theater
In last week's Winter Arts preview, I wrote that R.H. Quaytman's work belongs to the collections of Saatchi Gallery, Tate Modern and the MoMA, but described the art itself in fairly vague terms: “Her extremely cerebral work, which Art in America has called 'smart, philosophical, and layered with modulated autobiographical content,' is the kind that really benefits from firsthand description.”
That was, honestly, the best that I could do with an overwhelmingly intellectual body of work that might not find its best medium in my desktop iMac. As the daughter of a postmodernist poet and an abstract painter, Quaytman's highbrow roots run deep. But I honestly believe that her trip to Watkins will be among the best art events of the year so far. In part that's because of the quality of the college's past visiting artists, but mostly it's because Quaytman's dedication to her body of work is extremely verbal: She divides her multimedia pieces into chapters, sentences, iambs and so on.
Listen to her turn her art into words in a more literal sense at Wednesday's free public lecture at Watkins. Read Watkins' press release for the event after the jump.
[Editor's Note: My Own Private Art Collection is a series of posts by artists and curators who have agreed to share their ideas about art collecting — including a few pieces from their own personal art collections — with Country Life readers. This week's contributor is Nashville-based artist Lain York, whose exhibit Selections From the National Gallery opens on Jan. 31 at the Frist.]
"Greg Ginn," Black-and-white 35mm photo by Bill Daniel
Bill Daniel is a good friend/colleague/filmmaker/photographer who did much to document the first generation punk/hardcore scene in Austin, Texas. I met him initially through the Fugitive Art Center, and it was fantastic that old friends here — Richard Reesman and Michael Nott — were hanging out skating with Bill when a lot his images were taken in the early 80s. Bill has been traveling many of these along with his films and found footage in a van fitted with sails that he projects multi-channeled images on.
Where: The High Watt
When: 8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27
Over the past year-and-a-half, The High Watt and Corporate Juggernaut have specialized in booking comedians on the rise whose temperament lies somewhere between “stoned genius” and “complete maniac.” Comics like Rory Scovel, Ryan Singer and Jarrod Harris have pushed the boundaries of stand-up comedy to the point that it was hard to tell what exactly we were laughing at.
Sean Patton, who was booked at the Watt in September but dropped off due to work commitments, is firmly within that wheelhouse. Patton’s style of comedy is both physical and madcap, taking a premise beyond its logical conclusion into gleeful mayhem. Patton is one of the most expressive, energetic comedians working today, which give his jokes and stories a freewheeling, unhinged quality that must be seen to be appreciated in full.
If you didn't have the chance to see Coop's exhibit of new members' art, aptly titled New Members, at the January art crawl, check out tomorrow's soft closing reception from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The exhibit features work by three artists — Alex Lockwood, who we've written about here previously; Jonathan Rattner, who teaches film studies at Vanderbilt and makes experimental nonfiction films; and Karen Seapker, perhaps the newest Nashvillian on the Coop roster, whose expert painting has hints of of Jules de Balincourt, but with a digitally manipulated core that is slightly reminiscent of recent Lipscomb visitor Joshua Dildine. Don't miss it.
More photos of the exhibition are below. Coop is located in the upper floor of the Downtown Arcade.
Tonight at Logue's Black Raven Emporium, 2915 Gallatin Rd., projected from DVD, the Cult Fiction Underground basement grindhouse shows an item no connoisseur of sicko cinema will want to miss: Takashi Miike's notorious splatterfest Ichi the Killer. For a hint of what the evening portends, I dusted off this 2003 piece on Miike and Ishi from the Minneapolis City Pages:
Ichi the Killer, a duet for meat hook and boiling oil, is either the jumping-off or jumping-on point for Miike's excessive visions. Imagine Love Story with the world's biggest sadist as Ryan O'Neal and the world's biggest masochist as Ali MacGraw, and that's just the subtext. The text involves dueling hit men who are perfectly matched opposites: Ichi, a crybaby killer who weeps before pureeing foes with his bladed shoes, and Kakihara, a blond punk with slit cheeks who craves nothing more than punch-drunk love.
An early scene establishes the three-dimensional cruelties of Miike's universe. While a thug beats and rapes his girlfriend, he's startled by a noise at the window: the sound of a furtive masturbator getting off on the show. What kind of person would watch such a thing — I mean, besides us? Ichi the killer, that's who — a character whose title card rises from a puddle of semen. The girlfriend will spend the movie bouncing from beating to beating; the thug will get a Stride Rite bisection; and Ichi will remain haunted by memories of a schoolgirl's rape that he was powerless to prevent (or join?). As Ichi and Kakihara draw closer, limbs fly, bloody geysers spew, and pain and violence become all that's left of love and sex.
Miike's most indefensible showstoppers (two words: nipple slicings) are exactly that. But would we really want to accept everything the director throws at us? If we did, we'd either be just like Ichi, jacking off to the world's horrors, or, even worse, we'd feel nothing. In a perverse way, films as severe as Ichi help us realign our moral compasses by getting us lost.
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Also, The Belcourt is showing this in 35mm. Game, set, match.