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by Matt Mazur

26 Jul 2010

First Film: Fred Zinneman’s Julia (1977)

Must-see: Sophie’s Choice (Alan J. Pakula, 1982); A Cry in the Dark (Fred Schepisi, 1988); and Angels in America (Mike Nichols, 2003)

Star Turn: In Clint Eastwood’s three-hankie, four-star adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County (which, let’s face it, is a crappy book), Streep not only elevated the project’s air of respectability, she also upped her own ante by turning in a performance in which there is absolutely no trace of Meryl Streep. She truly was an Italian war bride, a lonely farm wife who finds love with an unexpected stranger. 

Underrated: Her good-natured, singing turn in Robert Altman’s final film, A Prairie Home Companion, where her version of “Goodbye to Mama” challenges any viewer to hold back the tears.

Upcoming, Current and/or Recent: She will work with Mike Nichols again, alongside Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges, in Great Hope Springs and play British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in a bio. Last year, her hat trick of Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia (as Julia Child) and Nancy Meyers’ It’s Complicated cemented her as a box office force as well as an acting legend, a trend she started with The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and continued with Mamma Mia! (2008). Streep brings home the bacon.

by Bill Clifford

26 Jul 2010

On September 21st, Boston based Ryan Montbleau Band will release Heavy on the Vine, the band’s third, independently released studio CD. The recording was financed by sales of a live, solo CD, Stages Volume II. Ryan was named the Best Local Male Vocalist in the 2007 Boston Local Music Awards, and won two awards the same year in the International Songwriting Competition. The band has become a regular on the festival circuit, and spent the past four months touring the country along side Martin Sexton (who produced Heavy on the Vine) as his opening act as well as his backing band for Martin’s own songs. Though the band has made a name for itself among the jamband crowd with a rigorous schedule, the real beauty lies in the poetic and lovely lyrics of the 33-year-old Villanova graduate. The six-piece band has begun recording intimate videos of the 14 new tracks and will post a new video each week until the new CD is released. Below, enjoy the first two videos and keep an ear open and an eye on Mixed Media for the new videos each week until September 21st.

by Matt Mazur

23 Jul 2010

First Film: Bruce Beresford’s Paradise Road, followed quickly by Gillian Armstrong’s divine Oscar and Lucinda (opposite Ralph Fiennes) in 1997.

Must-see: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson, 2004); Notes on a Scandal (Richard Eyre, 2005); I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2006), the three crown jewels in one of the hottest runs by an actress in recent memory, that also included an Oscar win for Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator in 2004.

Star Turn: As perhaps the most famous virgin queen in all history, Elizabeth (Shekar Kapur, 1998), Blanchett rocketed to the A-list.

Underrated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher, 2008). A performance that spans the entire life of a woman, played beautifully, plausibly, at every age by the versatile Blanchett.

Upcoming, Current and/or Recent: This summer she was Ridley Scott’s Maid Marian in Robin Hood opposite Russell Crowe and played Blanche DuBois for Ingmar Bergman’s great collaborator Liv Ullmann on the stage and is rumored to be reprising the role for Broadway soon. Next year she will be seen in Joe Wright’s Hanna.

by Crispin Kott

23 Jul 2010

Just when it seemed as though Insane Clown Posse couldn’t possibly top themselves, their “Miracles” video appears to have been nothing more than a trailer for the world’s greatest infomercial: The 11th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos has hit the internet by way of over 17 minutes of some of the most curiously constructed foul language this side of a David Mamet play.

The gathering, billed as something of a Wild West with Faygo free-for-all, takes place in mid-August in a place called Cave-in-Rock, Illinois, within spitting distance of Kentucky.

While a 17-minute ad might seem excessive, the lineup boasts so many Juggalo-friendly acts over a four day period, anything shorter clearly wouldn’t have been thorough enough. The roster also includes a handful of “Seriously?!?!?” moments, including Todd Bridges, Slick Rick, Ron Jeremy and ‘80s prop comic Gallagher, who even in his heyday struggled to engage his own audiences in what he clearly believed to be thought-provoking material (“Why do they call ‘em apartments when they’re stuck together?”) when all they really wanted was to see him smash watermelon with a sledgehammer.

There’s also flashlight wrestling, “comradery” and artist seminars, where presumably how magnets work will finally be explained. Suburban kids from Petaluma to Poughkeepsie are packing their makeup kits in rapt anticipation.

Somewhere beyond the grave, Billy Mays is wondering whether he couldn’t have done something to prevent this.

by Michael Underwood

23 Jul 2010

In this fourth episode of the LXD, we see the b-boy dance-fighting of the series actually cross over into real fight choreagraphy, with punches and kicks landing rather than fight-esque choreagraphy signifying combat. Existing LXD member Spex faces off against new ‘hire’ Tendo, and the two face off in the office once the civilians have left for the day. Also, papers magically fly in the fore- and back-ground. Because it’s cool.

//Mixed media

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