Friday, August 22, 2014

'Sin City' sequel gets stranded on wrong side of tracks

Posted By on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 4:50 PM

BEHIND GREEN EYES: Josh Brolin finds Eva Green to be A Dame to Kill For
  • Coutesy of Dimension Films
  • BEHIND GREEN EYES: Josh Brolin finds Eva Green to be 'A Dame to Kill For'
At a time of expansive crime dramas like “Breaking Bad” and “True Detective,” film noir can seem kind of small. The hard-boiled movie genre emerged from the cynicism that followed World War II and reveled in human darkness and shadowy black-and-white cinematography. Film noir found human nature to be utterly venal, with bloodthirsty men manipulated by ruthless women.

Today’s best cable television not only ramps up sex and violence but also the moral complexity of crime stories. In contrast, film noir can feel primarily like a visual aesthetic, nowhere more overtly than 2005’s Sin City and its new sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Dame proves to have some of the strengths, all of the weaknesses and none of the novelty of the first film.

Again, filmmaker Robert Rodriguez shares director credit with once-acclaimed comic book creator Frank Miller, who adapts his own graphic novels. Miller’s original panels, inspired by the covers of old-school pulp novels, placed femme fatales and other noir archetypes in environments furnished by almost nothing but inky blackness. The films use green-screen technology to lovingly recreate the comic book aesthetic of “Basin City” virtually hewn out shadow.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Scenes from WonderGlo 2013

Posted By on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM

For the second year, Atlanta arts organizations WonderRoot and gloATL combined their collective forces for the fundraiser Wonderglo on Saturday night. The event attempts to rethink the typical - and typically stuffy - approach to the arts benefit by transforming the W Midtown with art installations and experiences. Dinner was served in the main ballroom on tables created by artists as gloATL dancers interacted with the crowd, sometimes popping their heads up through openings in the tables. There were live and silent auctions of art works during dinner, and, throughout the hotel, dancers poised on platforms and lay splayed across staircases, a multi-part video installation of filmmaker Micha Stansell's collaboration with glo "the search for the exceptional" was a beautiful use of space, and on the top floor, Soul Food Cypher warmed up the crowd with some freestyle before DJ Vicki Powell got the after party started. WonderRoot Executive Director Chris Appleton says the 2013 event was an even bigger success than last year's.

See more from scenes from WonderGlo

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Today's Tom Sawyer: Southern drama 'Mud' evokes Mark Twain

Posted By on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 8:24 AM

COME SAIL AWAY WITH ME LAD: Tye Sheridan, Matthew McConaughey and Jacob Lofland in Mud
  • Courtesy of Lionsgate
  • COME SAIL AWAY WITH ME LAD: Tye Sheridan, Matthew McConaughey and Jacob Lofland in 'Mud'
The Southern coming-of-age drama Mud doesn't so much introduce the title character as conjure him from the imagination of two adolescent boys. Ellis and his sidekick Neckbone (Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland) live in a dying Arkansas river community and enjoy sneaking off to their favorite hideouts by skiff. At the beginning of Mud they visit a small island in the river and discover a boat hanging incongruously in a tree, like an image out of "Lost." They claim the boat as their own, but discover signs of habitation, like cans of Beanie Weenies and boot prints with cross-marks in them.

Only then do they notice the mysterious stranger (Matthew McConaughey) with a fishing pole in hand and a cigarette butt clamped in his teeth. He identifies himself as "Mud" and proves to be both a castaway and a fugitive from the law. Mud shares outlandish stories about how he killed a man to protect his lifelong sweetheart, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), and needs the tree-bound boat to make a clean getaway. While Neckbone remains suspicious of Mud, Ellis gets caught up in the older man's rural romanticism, and they agree to bring him provisions and tools to free boat from the branches.

Writer/director Jeff Nichols uses the story to cunningly update the imagery of Mark Twain, whose tales of youthful adventure on the Mississippi provide a cornerstone of American literature. As with his previous film Take Shelter, Nichols shows an eye for telling detail, deliberate pace and careful narrative structure comparable to John Sayles, but also a tendency to belabor his points.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Kevin Young among finalists for National Book Critics Circle Prizes

Posted By on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Local poet, essayist, and Emory professor Kevin Young is among the finalists for the National Book Critics Circle prizes announced this morning. His first book of non-fiction, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness, is a finalist for criticism along with books by Paul Elie, David Mendelson, Mary Ruefle, and Marina Warner.

For a full list of the finalists, head over to the Washington Post. The winners will be announced on February 28.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Graffiti artists, taggers hit with $1 million lawsuit

Posted By on Sat, Apr 2, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Fed up with finding their home and building defaced with graffiti, two Old Fourth Ward residents and a nearby business have filed a lawsuit against the people they say are behind the works. The AJC's Kristi Swartz says the lawsuit, filed Friday in Fulton County State Court, seeks $1 million in punitive damages for intentional destruction of property and emotional distress.

Among those named in the surprising lawsuit, the paper reports, are some of the city's most notable graffiti artists, including Hense, Ghost and NOPE. Also named are several businesses and — surprisingly — "25 additional unnamed defendants known only by their tags." Defendants contacted by Swartz denied any involvement or referred questions to an attorney. (Check out her full article here for more details.)

The legal move's yet another sign that Atlanta — and many of its neighborhoods — are ratcheting up efforts to curb uncommissioned graffiti. As we reported late last year, the city's revived its anti-graffiti task force to crack down on unwanted tags and murals on public property. And according to a neighborhood listserv message included on this lively Atlanta subreddit thread, the Atlanta Police Department's "graffiti abatement officer" has been meeting with residents tired of painting over bricks and peeling posters off walls.

The lawsuit — which is the first of its scope that we've heard of — should be interesting. Stay tuned.

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