One paragraph reviews on art, movies, books, and pop culture by a know-nothing who knows it all

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Amp Power Is on Hiatus

Heading upstate for ice and snow. Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 22, 2005

In Toto Thursday--The Christmas Edition

A very sloshed Truman Capote and a jolly Andy Warhol are this week's Topless Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Goin' for "Broke"

Yup. It's true. "Brokeback Mountain" is a superb. Known somewhat dismissively as the "gay cowboy movie," this flick stays with you long after the theater lights come back on. Heath Ledger's performance is somehow both understated and powerful. (Oscar nod without a doubt.) Director Ang Lee can do no bloody wrong. Is this man capable of directing a dud? Nope. Remember in "The Misfits" when Marilyn Monroe asks Clark Gable about what "living" is? "You start by going to sleep," he explains. "You get up when you feel like it. You scratch yourself, fry yourself some eggs, throw stones at a can. Whistle...." This film contains a ton of scenes that gloriously show people just livin'. In addition, this doomed love story doesn't leave a dry eye in the house. See it.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Topless Tuesday

Guess who this topless Santa and his little helper are. One's a famous writer, the other a famous artist--both deceased. The answer later this week in the In Toto Thursday feature.

Monday, December 19, 2005

God Exists

By the grace of God, Britney Spears has declined to take on the starring role in the Broadway revival of "Sweet Charity." Christina Applegate, who has received mixed reviews, will close out the show, which will end December 31. This revival has had a ton of ups and downs, a million off- and on-again permutations, and Britney S.'s taking over the reins would've been the icing on the cake. The idea of B.S. singing some of my favorite Broadway tunes would have turned my stomach and had poor Gwen Verdon and Bob Fosse spinning in their graves.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Trial Postponed

Orhan Pamuk's trial for "denigrating Turkish identity" has been postponed. Yesterday, a Turkish judge said that the case would need approval by the Justice of Ministry before it could proceed. The next hearing is set for February 7. Here's a BBC link with all the facts.


Friday, December 16, 2005

The Subject Was Genocide

By the time you read this, Orhan Pamuk's future may have already been decided. Pamuk, an amazing Turkish writer whose works leave many a Western novelist in the dust, will stand before a Turkish judge today for the crime of "publicly denigrating Turkish identity." As Pamuk explains in this week's New Yorker, he came under attack after publicly talking about the highly taboo subject of the Turkish slaughter -- many believe genocide -- of Ottoman Armenians during WWI. I read Pamuk's "Snow" last year, and it blew me away, so I will be surely checking on the trial's outcome throughout the day. (Image via


Thursday, December 15, 2005

In Toto Thursday

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart are this week's Topless Tuesday. The answer to the anagram of one of their movies ("A GORY ELK") is "Key Largo" (1948).

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bottoms Up, Here's to the Memories

Every time I see this ad in the NY Observer, it makes me so happy. When I was just a kid, I daydreamed about a New York way of life. I used to buy Interview magazine when it was strictly a Warhol enterprise, and this same exact ad -- so risque yet sophisticated -- would boldly stare out at me from the pages. And I thought if I ever live in NYC, I'm going to Cafe Luxembourg. I was deeply intrigued with those bathroom-like tiles on the bar, for whatever reason (yes, Freudians would have a field day). By the time I moved here, Warhol had died, and I had forgotten about Cafe Luxembourg. And then I started reading the Observer, and I'd see this ad every week. How wonderful to tease me with those long-lost memories/fantasies of a NY way of life.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Topless Tuesday

Who are these topless iconic love birds? They starred in a number of flicks together, and an anagram of one of their movies is "A GORY ELK." Answer later this week in the In Toto Thursday feature.

Monday, December 12, 2005

View Askew

Brian Wilson, one of the toughest interviews in the biz, will be on the couch with the ladies of ABC's superfluff "The View" tomorrow. I can't imagine B.W. -- notorious for giving monosyllabic answers or Rain Man-like responses and for even cutting off interviews -- yukking it up with Star Jones and the rest of the girls. Either his wife will have to accompany him or the interview will have to be scripted to a T. Or he'll have to do what he does best: sing and play music. (Images via Mediabistro and Paul Scharff)


Friday, December 09, 2005

Uncertain Smile

Artist Tracey Emin is all the rage in London, but, for this NY girl, I never hoird of her before. Ms. Emin's show, "I Can Feel Your Smile," at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, is a mixed bag. I really liked some of her work, such as the sculpture pictured above, while other pieces irratated me because they seemed a tad bit on the sophomoric side, such as the image below. This well-currated show presents the artwork in such way that the weaker stuff seems much better than it actually is.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

In Toto Thursday

Miz Liz Taylor is this week's almost really topless Topless Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Veronica Tease

I'm currently reading Mary Gaitskill's "Veronica." (Full review TK) So far, I feel this is the best book she's written. It's depressing as almighty hell, but her confident writing -- the analogies, descriptions, structure -- purrs and spurs you on to read the next disaster. "Veronica" made the New York Times' 100 notable books of the year. Some other books in which I'm interested were listed as well: "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami, "Missing Mom" by Joyce Carol Oates, "Never Let Me Down" by Kazuo Ishiguro, "Prep" by Curtis Sittenfeld (very hard to find at library), "The Sea" by John Banville, "Slow Man" by J.M. Coetzee, and "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Topless Tuesday

This is almost a really topless Topless Tuesday. Who's the kitten on the beach? Answer later this week in the In Toto Thursday feature.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Run for the Shadows

Some people may dismiss Tim Noble and Sue Webster's show, "The Glory Hole," at Bortolami Dayan gallery as a gimmick or a cheeky see-how-clever-we-are parade. But I liked it; I dug this "Hole." This is the show's M.O.: the artists meld together pieces of metal into sculptures that jut all over the joint. A screen-projector light is pointed at the sculptures, which cast off a smoothed-line shadow that is an image completely different from the sculpture. The sculptures by themselves are mundane, as are the shadows; they need each other to be interesting. Is this great art? No. But it's a curious show that forces you to examine line and shape.


Friday, December 02, 2005

"I'm a Genius Too"

If your dad was a drunk who browbeat your family with megalomanic speeches that ran the manipulation-spectrum of barking interrogation to maudlin self-pitying, you may want to skip this post. A WFMU blog, which I found on a Beach Boys message board, has posted a recording of Murry Wilson (dad of Brian, Dennis, and Carl) storming a Beach Boys' recording session. The blog sets the scene:
January 8, 1965: The Beach Boys enter the studio to record what will become their second number one hit, Help Me Rhonda. Well into the session, a drunken Murry Wilson arrives and proceeds to commandeer the session with psychodrama, scat singing and weepy, abusive melodrama. The session tape captured it all.
On the recording is the infamous line "I'm a genius too," which Murry zapped at Brian during the session. Also, Brian refers to his deaf ear, which allegedly came from a beating from Murry. The edited 12-minute recording is oppressive, sad, and depressing. Enjoy! (Image via Brian Wilson's Official Site ?? Can't remember)


Thursday, December 01, 2005

In Toto Thursday

This week's Topless Tuesday is the haunting Linda Manz. I still remember one of her monologues from "Days of Heaven" (1978), directed by Terrence Malick: "Me and my brother, it used to be just me and my brother. We used to do things together. We used to have fun. We used to roam the streets, seeing people suffering from the pain and hunger. Some people, their tongues hanging out of their mouths." Ms. Manz also starred in Dennis Hopper's "Out of the Blue" (1980), one of the most depressing films ever made. (Image via