Arts + Culture
If you’ve never heard of Josh Harris, the Internet pioneer whose brazen empire-building and lavishly constructed social experiments inspired Ondi Timoner’s new documentary We Live in Public, you’re not alone. Neither had MySpace founder Chris DeWolfe, until Harris arrived at the website’s corporate headquarters years after his withdrawal from public life to pitch his latest project, a web-casting network already boasting thousands of users.
That, perhaps, is the most striking irony of his story – that the man whose reckless exhibitionism made him an online celebrity has been largely forgotten, except by the people who knew him.
Eighteen years to the day after the final episode of MacGyver aired on ABC comes comedian Will Forte’s belated parody MacGruber, expanded to 89 agonizing minutes from a recurring Saturday Night Live sketch. Despite a handful of early reviews that proclaimed it “the best SNL movie since Wayne’s World” – hardly high praise, but misleading all the same – MacGruber was withheld from most critics until hours before its release. Now we know why.
Achtung! Wagner-loving operaphiles, electronica junkies, garage-band groupies, fans of burlesque, modern dance maniacs and sunset skippers. If it’s past 6 p.m., we’ve got plans for you.
Best Music Festival
Not for the easily offended, writer-director Tom Six's The Human Centipede offers some very real rewards mixed in with its shocks. It's already been identified in some circles as a surefire cult classic, and two sequels are rumored to be in the works.
The movie wallows in its transgressive premise: Mad scientist Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser, of 1990's The Man Inside) is obsessed with stitching humans together, mouth to anus, as he once did with his beloved "three-dog." Whether you consider this premise abhorrent or simply juvenile, it's undeniable that the finished product exhibits some real craft.
Have Plants and Animals gone Hollywood? The Montreal trio’s new album, La La Land (Secret City), finds the outfit hitting its stride with songs that boldly hark to the days or AOR radio, classic rock, and hazy, lazy California sunshine-dazzled days -- though strangely enough, the group got it all down on tape in Montreal and outside Paris (the latter spot was an old mansion crammed with vintage gear). It’s recording made for rocking out -- a sight to be seen when Plants and Animals arrive at the Independent on May 25.
Q: How did La La Land come to pass?
Matthew “Woody” Woodley: A voice told us it was time.
Q: What sort of ideas were simmering during its making?
Immortalized on dorm room walls of every undergrad from here to Beijing, it could be said that Monet's water lilies have entered the dreaded realm of cliché. But in the late 19th century, his work was revolutionary. Critics in 1874 found dappled sunlight and thick swabs of bright paint painfully offensive, and those who slathered such rot on their canvases were relegated to the fringes of the art world.
But there are no water lilies in Birth of Impressionism, the new exhibit that opened at the De Young this week. Instead, there are turkeys, a surprising number of dead fish (still lifes aren't all chrysanthemums and lemons, people), cherubs riding dolphins, and naked women rising from seashells (as naked women are wont to do).