Tuesday, May 29, 2018

magic tape 80

Time for sunshine and another Magic Tape from The Magician!

Hayden James ft. Boy Matthews – Just Friends
All That Glitters ft. Chaz Mason – I’ll Wait For U
PT – R.O.D
Teedra Moses – Be Your Girl (KAYTRANADA Extended Edition)
Disclosure ft. Fatoumata Diawara – Ultimatum
Elderbrook – Sleepwalking
Cassius – W18
Friend Within – Lonely
Detroit Swindle – Cut U Loose
Silk City ft. Diplo & Mark Ronson & Daniel Merriweather – Only Can Get Better
Maceo Plex – Falling
ID – It’s Wrong
Jon Lemmon – Something True
DJ Koze – Lord Knows
Kanye West – Lift Yourself

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

i feel pretty

Donald Glover in The New Yorker. Photographs by Awol Erizku.


In the laconic, stark Canadian feature Werewolf, we are up-close--almost unbearably so--to the day-to-day plight of a couple scrounging by in the throes of methadone recovery. Filmed on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, director Ashley McKenzie's debut feature is quiet and deftly controlled. The shots (the photography is by Scott Moore) are close and slightly askew. We see often see pieces and glimpses of our characters and their surroundings rather than centered full body shots and wide angled scenery. The sound design also establishes the glum, off-kilter stasis by incorporating hazy background noises like the murmuring of the side characters and the buzz of the lawnmower they hustle to desperately make a buck. Andrew Gillis and Bhreagh MacNeil play their roles so believably and so unaffected that I was engrossed in their quiet tensions. Gillis in particular shows a sweaty and simmering desperation that grounds the movie in a real way. His scenes where he argues with those he's at the mercy of--his methadone administrator, an affordable housing care worker, and a repairman who refuses to fix their mower for free--are subtly powerful and illustrate his character's entrapment in a cycle that's nearly impossible to transcend. ***

-Jeffery Berg

Monday, May 14, 2018

Sunday, May 13, 2018


With Young Adult, Director Jason Reitman, screenwriter Diablo Cody and actress Charlize Theron proved a powerful trio in enacting a sharply comic, delicately constructed, and deeply conflicted character study. Their Tully reunion proves just as brazen and intimate. Marlo (Theron in another raw, lived-in turn) has just delivered her third child, and is grappling with the sleepless energies of taking care of her and the needs of her other two. She has minimal support from husband Drew (Jay Livingston) who's off working most days and playing video games with a headset on. It's somewhat disarming to see the relationship itself not be the central conflict; the picture is more interested in Marlo's inner turmoil. When her new "night nanny" Tully (effectively portrayed by Mackenzie Davis) appears on her front doorstep, the film seems to be moving toward Marlo's rebirth with the help of Tully and Marlo's own state of mind. "What's wrong with your body?" Marlo's young daughter probes. The movie doesn't fall for the cutesy pratfalls of most mommy comedies.

Cody's vivid dialogue, peppered with details and slyly spun metaphors, and the structure of the movie itself, wrestles more with how motherhood can inflict a physical and emotional toll on the mother. The movie goes deep into this, so deep, we feel as if we are sinking within the drab, darkly-lit settings and the dreamy water imagery. The soundwork and Stefan Grube's impressive editing create the jagged rhythms of Marlo's life and also enhance the details of Reitman and Cody such as in punctuating the surreal absurdness of both children's television and trashy adult reality shows like "Gigolos." When we watch Marlo and Tully drive back to Marlo's early twentysomething Bushwick party days, with a chopped-up blitz of Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual setting the scenes, I felt a sense of Scorsese's dreamworld logic in After Hours, where what should be a satisfying release, becomes instead a frustrating, unfulfilling night-out. In the haze, the film ultimately finds its satisfying, tender, full-circle note between mother and son. ***

-Jeffery Berg

Saturday, May 12, 2018

ray of light

20 years ago today Madonna's video for "Ray of Light" directed by Jonas Åkerlund debuted on MTV. Still one of my favorite songs and music videos.

Friday, May 4, 2018

art by am debrincat

Here is some amazing work from artist AM DeBrincat.

Halogen Venus, AM DeBrincat's first solo show in Australia, opens at 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia on May 12. DeBrincat's work will also be featured in Unravelled Beauty, a three-person show opening  May 10 at The Spur in Southampton, New York curated by Kelcey Edwards of Iron Gate East.

Artist statement below:

AM DeBrincat's paintings create unique worlds where online and offline life meet and merge. Her mixed media technique combines fragments of images sourced from social media and image searches which are transfer printed onto canvas and intermingled with lush oil painting. Combining digital and analog media like pieces in a visual puzzle, DeBrincat builds paintings which explore how we create identity and sense of self in the digital age. AM DeBrincat creates mixed media paintings of figures who stare out engaging the viewer or who close their eyes in an introspective moment. Reinterpreting portrait painting for the digital era, AM DeBrincat combines found digital photos with traditional oil painting to portray people who are built from digital and analog fragments. DeBrincat views each painting as a confrontation between the coldness of digital photography and the warm sensuality of oil painting. The figures in her paintings appear as hybrids, at once digital and handmade. For DeBrincat, they speak to our current struggle to find balance between our digital and our “real” offline lives.  These mixed-media works encourage viewers to consider how all of our lives in the modern era are – like these images – a hybrid mix of digital and “real” offline moments.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

dirty computer

Janelle Monáe releases an "Emotion Picture" directed by Andrew Donoho and Chuck Lightning coinciding with her incredible Dirty Computer LP.