Category:new yorker magazine database

The reviews of Full Frontal are coming in, and it's not sounding good. Here's a broad cross-section from the global media: New York Press ("Even a bad Steven Soderbergh movie is worth seeing, and Full Frontal is worth seeing."); New Yorker ("...perhaps the most naÔvely awful movie I've seen from the hand of a major director."); the New York Observer("...reminds me how new movies like Full Frontal bring out all the Old Hollywood in me. Still, I liked seeing all the major stars." [Andrew Sarris, apparently channeling a 13-year old girl]); and The New York Times (Quoting Soderbergh's own footnote back at him: "'This is exactly the kind of onanistic, self-referential game-playing the author insisted would be absent from this book. So is this.' And so is Full Frontal." "Full Frontal is rated R. It includes much swearing, two scenes of sexuality and the violent dismemberment of narrative continuity.")

Is this just typical overheated advance hype giving way to inevitably unmet expectations? I'm skeptical. With Full Frontal, there's a specific kind of advance hype, "Making Of " hype. Soderbergh is "getting back to his indie roots"; an 18-day bootstrap production with DV; Julia Roberts driving herself and doing her own makeup (!!). It included a tech-heavy feature on Apple.com and a hothouse "production diary" website.

Generating & satisfying interest in "how'd they do that?" is a tried & true buzz tactic at a film's release, or when it's released on DVD (where studios are learning how to cash in with war story-filled commentary tracks and carefully selected outtakes). Full Frontal. Stolen Summer. Goldeneye. Is it inevitable that heavy pre-film process promotion will yield a sucky film?

But no one's shown how to successfully capitalize on the meta- aspects of filmmaking in the early stages of the cycle. The interest is clearly there, at least for films with pre-identified fan bases (e.g., franchises, name directors, star vehicles); sites like The Force.net, Harry Knowles' AICN, and Kevin Smith's View Askew, as well as the remora-like programming of E! et al attest to that. Even as visionary newcomers seek the right balance between process and product, when studios show us how they make the sausage, the result (so far) is pretty unappetizing.

Rewatching Souvenir (November 2001) a dozen+ times in the last 24 hours, I'd begun to wonder what it can actually contribute to the increasing volume of the WTC memorial/rebuilding debate. There was 4,000-participant offsite Saturday (with a 200-participant makeup session Monday for observant Jews and Hamptonites, I guess). Everyone and their dog is weighing in on the lameness of the Port Authority-driven devil's choice: Memorial Office Park or Memorial Mall, but is this looming Houstonization of Ground Zero possibly the end-game of Manhattan's last decade of suburbanization?
("When they came for my greek-lookin' coffee cups, I said nothing.
When they came for my independent bookstore, I said nothing.
When they came for my jewelbox-size retailer, I said nothing...")

bruegel_icarus.jpg

Then I found this Auden poem about Bruegel's painting of the fall of Icarus. The opening lines:
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;

Visiting the site of past horrors; seeing how people live among the memories and memorials of destruction; glimpsing the differences between total restoration, preserving ruins, and monumental memorializing. There are people who certainly understand how suffering takes place; there's much we can learn from them. That's a point that Souvenir makes, and one that's still worth making.

"The advantage of [shooting on digital video] is that nobody knows, or at least cares, that you're making a movie; the disadvantage...is that the end product appears to have been filmed through a triple layer of bubble wrap."
- from Anthony Lane's
New Yorker review of Tadpole, the latest from IFC Productions' InDigEnt.

Compare this to the complicated process Steven Soderbergh used to get "enhanced graininess" on his new DV movie, Full Frontal (from an apple.com article):

Finish
FotoKem received the final cut of the original movie in PAL video, de-interlaced it and converted it to files using a disk array. The files were shipped across the network to their film recorder, which had been calibrated to shoot on 5298 film to enhance graininess. A two-stop push during negative processing further enhanced grain and contrast. A double chrome-reversal process was used to create the final negative and print. The 4:3 images were matted and converted to a1:66:1 (European) widescreen aspect ratio for theatrical projection. Fine-grade bubble wrap was then placed over the projector lens at the press preview.

Contrary to one writer's opinion, Gabriel Orozco is a Mexican who can make pottery. After seeing Peter Schjeldahl's misguided critique of Orozco's work at Documenta 11 cited on ArtKrush to support an even broad(er)side on the state of contemporary art, I have to call bulls*** [Sorry, Mom.] on the whole thing.

Orozco's Documenta 11 installation, Cazuelas (Beginnings), is comprised of "thrown" clay bowls. While the clay was still wet, Orozco threw smaller balls of clay into the bowls, where they were embedded like embryos in a uterine wall. The artist left deep fingermarks on the rims of some bowls, traces of where he lifted or deformed the "finished" product. Regarding this work, Schjeldahl claims Orozco's "lively formal ideas are blunted by the artist's rudimentary skills." Zooming out, this supposed failure, then, "makes the point that in today's convulsive world everyone must learn new things. I was obliged to include myself: a New York art critic who left Kassel feeling uncomfortably marginalized." Well, if you're marginalized, please don't blame it on Gabriel Orozco, whose work is, in fact, the exact opposite of "blunted," "rudimentary," and a "first effort." Beginnings extends ideas and techniques Orozco has been working with for over ten years: the transformation of the humblest material by the touch, gesture, or glance of the artist.

At frenchculture.org is an image of My Hands are My Heart, a 1991 work where Orozco cradles a transformed ball of clay in his hands. Here is an image of Made in Belgium, which was shown in Orozco's seminal 1993 exhibit at Galerie Chantal Crousel (which also included La DS, his famously altered Citroen). Just before these roof tiles entered the kiln, Orozco grabbed and distorted them, leaving his gesture (and even his fingerprints) on the clay. And in 1999, he showed Pinched, seductive aluminum forms cast from heavily kneaded clay. Orozco's work at Documenta is more a culmination than a first effort, and his skills are anything but rudimentary; they've been honed in the public eye for at least eleven years. So if you're looking to throw something at contemporary art, don't take aim at Gabriel Orozco; you'll wind up hitting yourself.

There's an interesting article by Louis Menand in this week's New Yorker about Maya Lin called "The Reluctant Memorialist." He talks about her early rejection of any WTC Memorial-related requests and about her recent informal advisory work for the decisionmakers (as someone who's "been through the process.") In talking about Lin's reticence and justifiable anger at the Viet Nam memorial process (which sounds horrific, frankly, and doesn't give me too much hope for New York City's efforts), it's strange that Menand doesn't quote from or even mention Lin's own essay, written in 1982 but only published in 2000. [It was in the NY Review of Books and in Boundaries, a book published by Lin about her work.]

As you may know (if you've seen Souvenir or read the script), Lin figures into the story as an plot point and motivation; also, the Sir Edwin Lutyens memorial in the movie was cited by Lin and her teachers at Yale as a source for her VN design. That connection is also oddly absent from Menand's article, whereas Richard Serra does get a mention, even though Lin professed to having never seen Serra's work before designing the memorial.

Peter Schjeldahl reviews Documenta 11 in this week's New Yorker. He snidely and wearily compliments the show for its "robust, mature...festivalism," which I take to mean they figured out how to show video-based works. But he at least notices two of my Documenta favorites. On Amar Kanwar's documentary: "a stunning exploration of the Pakistani-Indian military frontier in Kashmir...[and] skillful, alluring, and notably uncomplaining." (Gee, sorry to disappoint you, Peter.) On Gabriel Orozco's terra cotta bowls: the "always witty" artist's "work's bristling joke...also invokes the anti-stereotype of a Mexican who is lousy at pottery..." (Huh?? And the one about the pollack who graduated from college?)

Ultimately, though, the real reason I'm linking to Schjeldahl's review is because he was staying at my hotel in Kassel. Yes, I slept with Peter Schjeldahl.

Issue of 2002-04-22 and 2002-04-29
Posted 2002-04-15

COMMENT/ TWO STATES/ Nicholas Lemann looks at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lens of post (US)-Civil War reconstruction.
STRING SECTION/ SLAVA AT SEVENTY-FIVE/ Charles Michener basks in the effusive presence of Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich.
INK/ THE TIMES, V.O./ Adam Gopnik lets us know that, even though Le Monde began publishing an English-language insert from the NYT, he buys it for the French articles.
THE BOARDS/ MAN IN TIGHTS/ Eric Konigsberg previews right-wing muscle daddy/blogger Andrew Sullivan's Shakespeare debut.
THE FINANCIAL PAGE/ TAX CHEAT, INC./ James Surowiecki explains why offshore tax dodging is illegal for you, but fine for Ingersoll-Rand.

February 13, 2002

Found this on Slate: An

Found this on Slate: An interesting proposal for a World Trade Center memorial by Fred Bernstein, an architecture writer (for the NYTimes, among others, it seems). Basically, it's twin tower-sized piers with the names of those killed placed on the appropriate "floor." The piers would be oriented toward Ellis and Liberty islands.


While I'm dubious of the mirror-like conceptual similarity to Maya Lin's Viet Nam memorial, which we visited last weekend (i.e., the orientation, the name placement mechanism), the simplicity and outside-the-Bathtub siting/thinking are very welcome. [q: Why is there no search function on NewYorker.com?] I will not discuss (or link to) the hothouse proposals on display at Max Protetch Gallery.

ANNALS OF AVIATION/ Malcolm Gladwell/ SAFETY IN THE SKIES/ How far can airline security go?
LETTER FROM WASHINGTON/ Nicholas Lemann/ THE OPTIONS/ After the morning of September 11th, the Presidency changed, too.
DEPT. OF NATIONAL SECURITY/ Joe Klein/ CLOSEWORK/ Why we couldn't see what was right in front of us.
LIFE AND LETTERS/ Louis Menand/ HOLDEN AT FIFTY/ "The Catcher in the Rye" and what it spawned.
DISPATCHES/ Jon Lee Anderson/ A LION'S DEATH/ The assassination of the Taliban's most important Afghan opponent.

Previous 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

about this archive

Category: new yorker magazine database

recent projects, &c.


pm_social_medium_recent_proj_160x124.jpg
Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

madf_twitter_avatar.jpg
Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

chop_shop_at_springbreak
Chop Shop
at SPRING/BREAK Art Show
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

do_not_bid_or_buy_iris_sidebar.jpg
eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

shanzhai_gursky_mb_thumb.jpg
It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

therealhennessy_tweet_sidebar.jpg
TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -
about

sop_red_gregorg.jpg
Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

weeksville_echo_sidebar.jpg
"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots


HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.


drp_04_gregorg_sidebar.jpg
Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

czrpyr_blogads.jpg
Canal Zone Richard
Prince YES RASTA:
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99

archives