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by Peta Jinnath Andersen

2 Apr 2010


Everyone’s heard of The Hunger Games, right? It’s the hot new young adult dystopia by debut author Suzanne Collins, about a world in which 24 kids are forced to fight to the death on live TV.

Part of The Hunger Games’ appeal is its originality—except that, uh, it’s not actually the first book about a reality show where teens fight to the death. Here’s the trailer for the movie adaptation of Battle Royale, a Japanese book in a similar vein published in 1999 by Koushun Takami.

Are you a fan of The Hunger Games? Battle Royale? Can you see any similarities?

by John Lindstedt

2 Apr 2010


Websites typically have a field day on April 1st, surprising unexpecting visitors with drastic revamps, sensational news stories, and fake company buy-outs.

Google, for instance, claimed they were changing their name to “Topeka” after the Kansas city decided to change their name to “Google.” ABC.com, on the other hand, unveiled a line of new shows like “Flasher Forward” and “Dancing With The Tsars.”

If you fell for any of these, you must be the office favorite this time of year.

The best of the bunch, however, had to be Funny Or Die, which appeared to be taken over by teen pop sensation Justin Bieber.

Visitors to the site were treated with a video greeting from everyone’s favorite moppet baby telling them he bought the site, now called “Bieber Or Die.”

The homepage was filled with Bieber-related videos, some of which were hybrids of familiar memes like Bieber After Dentist and OMG Bieber Vs. Chuck Norris Vs. Bear.

Say what you will about his musical style, but the titular tyke has a surprisingly knack for comic timing.

by Donal Mosher

1 Apr 2010


As filmmaker Kimberly Reed appeared on Oprah to discuss her film Prodigal Sons, a banner ran across the screen reading “Kimberly—born a boy”. With its soft purples and powdery feminine font this caption drew a soft, but immovable line between the purposes of the guest and the host on the show. While Oprah focused on Reed’s gender change as a personal journey that all can take heart from, Reed takes a far broader approach to transformation. In fact, one of the most important aspects of Prodigal Sons is that transgender issues are not the sole focus of the film. While exploring her gender is central to the film, Reed places her own transition against that of her adopted brother Marc—a man whose history of brain trauma and memory loss gradually destabilize him even as astounding secrets from his own past come to light. What unfolds is a tightly crafted story of how identity is formed and frayed and how families bind those identities with love and struggle. Oprah’s focus on the other hand is with “Kimberly—born a boy”. She questions Reed’s inner life as both a boy and a woman and talks with Reed’s mother and high school friends about their surprise at Reed’s revelations. While Oprah is always sympathetic and never once condescending, these are the same questions that have been aired and answered since the first transvestites and transgendered persons appeared on TV talk shows. From Donahue to Sally Jesse Raphael to Jerry Springer, the questions remain the same and the fascination with transgender issues stays fixed and immobile, in need of a transition itself.

Giving Oprah her due, her emphasis on Reed’s transformation matches her oft-espoused philosophies of self-determination in a more palatable fashion than the complexities of Prodigal Sons. Oprah goes so far as to advise viewers who may find Reed’s gender switch strange or even repulsive to look into their own lives for the self that needs to transform. Couched in such benevolence, it’s hard to fault Oprah for the focus on the simplistic and more sensational side of Reed’s story. Thankfully Reed’s elegant self-possession speaks as much about her comfort with the intelligence and complexities of her work as it does about her gender. To see Reed talking with Oprah is to see a confident woman who made a challenging film. To see Prodigal Sons is to see a film that tackles the inter-relations of gender, mental illness, and family love. In doing so, it may be the first documentary that places transgender issues on equal and normative footing with all other aspects of identity, memory, and self.

For more on Prodigal Sons and Kimberly Reed on Oprah, go to: oprah.com.

by John Lindstedt

1 Apr 2010


“I don’t do requests”

“I like you, that’s why I’m going to kill you last.”

“GET TO THE CHOPPAAAA!”

Whether or not one agrees with his politics or enjoy his films, everyone can benefit from taking a little time from their day and take in some choice bon mots from the former Mr. Universe.

Or 160 of them. You have to appreciate fan made YouTube compilations, because it’s pretty much the only way you’d ever get something like this. If one were to go through a more “official” channel, the best they’d probably do is a special feature on a DVD that collects quotes from the movie it features. Too many studios own the rights to these different clips to make anyone want to undertake the legal loopholes to produce this. So let us thank our lucky stars that there is a venue for something like this.

It makes you wonder, however, what the editor has to gain. Obviously a lot of time was spent on this, but is there profit to be made? Even if it were a part of someones editing portfolio, is a movie clip compilation something a production company would want to see? Or could it be that this person just loves Arnold’s work so much that he felt compelled to make this shrine? You be the judge.

Regardless, the editor’s work is our personal gain.

It wouldn’t have hurt to have included this little nugget, though:

by John Lindstedt

1 Apr 2010


In honor of its 75th Anniversary, 20th Century Fox will be releasing some of its most cherished works in special edition Blu-ray and DVD through out the year. With the purchase of said editions, you can redeem an offer for one of their gorgeous poster designs that feature a classic Fox movie scene on top of the iconic Art Deco 20th Century Fox logo.

The eight posters celebrate such beloved favorites as Aliens, Walk the Line, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Patton, and….Ice Age. OK, so maybe that last one wasn’t too prestigious, but people must like it since the franchise had made billions worldwide.

You can see all of the stunning artwork here.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Violin Virtuoso L. Subramaniam Mesmerizes in Rare New York Performance (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.

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