Tuesday, November 20, 2007

2nd\NE Quadrant 11/26 '07

The Approval Matrix: Week of November 26, 2007

Norman Mailer
January 31, 1923 – November 10, 2007

From the New York Times: Norman Mailer, the combative, controversial and often outspoken novelist who loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation, died early yesterday [November 10, 2007] in Manhattan. He was 84.

The cause was acute renal failure, his family said.

Mr. Mailer burst on the scene in 1948 with ''The Naked and the Dead,'' a partly autobiographical novel about World War II, and for six decades he was rarely far from center stage. He published more than 30 books, including novels, biographies and works of nonfiction, and twice won the Pulitzer Prize: for ''The Armies of the Night'' (1968), which also won the National Book Award, and ''The Executioner's Song'' (1979).

He also wrote, directed and acted in several low-budget movies, helped found The Village Voice and for many years was a regular guest on television talk shows, where he could reliably be counted on to make oracular pronouncements and deliver provocative opinions, sometimes coherently and sometimes not.

Gustafer Yellowgold @
Bowery Poetry Club

Gustafer is a friendly creature who came to Earth from the Sun and has an interesting magnetism for making friends with some of Earth's odder creatures.

Gustafer Yellowgold has become an international phenomenon. Live "Gustafer" shows, accompanied by live music, have been acclaimed by the New York Times, which said,"The show is a cross between 'Yellow Submarine' and Dr. Seuss, filtered through the lens of the Lower East Side." Time Out NY Kids magazine called it "Beatlesque? very beautiful."(Gustaferyellowgold)

I'm From The Sun - Gustafer Yellowgold

The William Finn Revue

Kenneth Jones related in his review of the revue on Playbill, "William Finn, the Tony Award-winning songwriter whose work doesn't sound like any other composer's, gets a fresh showcase in New York City Nov. 12 with the Off-Broadway opening of Make Me a Song."

"It's apt that this new revue is playing Manhattan after its previous regional run last year in Connecticut: The quirky, ruminative, agitated songs of composer-lyricist Finn fit right into the neurotic energy of the city."

"Songs from Finn's Falsettos, A New Brain, The Royal Family of Broadway, Elegies: A Song Cycle and more are heard in the four-actor, one-pianist revue, which was constructed and directed by Rob Ruggiero."

Bardem's Air Gun

Plot Outline: Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon some dead bodies, a stash of heroin and more than $2 million in cash near the Rio Grande. (IMDB)

In a terrifying performance of hypnotic power, Bardem totes around an air gun for slaughtering cattle, which he uses with ingenuous lust; it’s a strange apparatus that looks like an oxygen tank, with a device on the head of the hose that glows key holes out of door locks and foreheads."

"Losing their customary cool, some critics are labeling No Country for Old Men, a modern western with pokey pacing and blood-curdling violence, a masterpiece. Until the five-minute finale that threatens to destroy the whole thing, I found myself dazed, dazzled and overwhelmed. The ending is so lame it made me feverish. Then I remembered the perfection that came before it, and concluded that this is, without question, the best movie ever made by the eccentric Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan. Better even than Fargo. It’s so good that I am powerless to hold a grudge. Yes, I guess I have to admit it’s a masterpiece."

Jeff Koons' Rabbit in Parade

Steve posted on Mediabistro's UnBiege section, "Despite being included in Richard Feigen's overvalued artists list yesterday [Tuesday November 12, 2007], there was a more cheery note coming out on Monday for Jeff Koons. According to Art Info, the famous artist will be making his balloon art debut in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade:

The 81st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which takes to the skies November 22 in New York, will include Jeff Koons's celebrated 1986 stainless steel sculpture Rabbit transformed into a giant [53'] balloon."

Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania; as a teenager he revered Salvador Dalí, to the extent of visiting him at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. Koons attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Maryland Institute College of Art, and studied painting. After college he worked as a Wall Street commodities broker, whilst establishing himself as an artist. He gained recognition in the 1980s, and subsequently set up a factory-like studio in a SoHo loft on the corner of Houston and Broadway in New York. This had over 30 staff, each assigned to a different aspect of producing his work—in a similar mode to both Andy Warhol's Factory and many Renaissance artists. (Wikipedia)

Hanif Kureishi's
"The Word and the Bomb"

Synopsis: This is a collection of Kureishi's most controversial and though-provoking writing on the gulf between fundamentalist Islam and Western values. Over the past 10 years, Hanif Kureishi has charted the gradual widening of the gulf between fundamentalist Islam and Western values. Starting with "The Black Album", Kureishi portrayed the ongoing argument between Islam and Western liberal values, between Islamic certainty and Western rational scepticism. By the time he was writing the short story, "My Son The Fanatic", the break was complete - there was no longer any attempt by the fundamentalists to find any common ground with Western culture. The outbreak of the Iraq war and its aftermath, plus the recent bombings in London, have stimulated Kureishi to write further about this great divide between the East and the West, and this volume collects Kureishi's writings from the past 10 years which have dealt with this subject, charting Islam's disengagement from dialogue with the West. The volume also contains a new piece, written especially for this book, which brings Kureishi's analysis of the situation right up to date. (Amazon)

Lisa Gay Hamilton
"Ohio State Murders"

Lisa Gay Hamilton (born March 25, 1964 in Los Angeles, California) is an American actress best known for her role as attorney Rebecca Washington on the ABC legal drama "The Practice." She graduated with a degree in theatre from New York University and earned her master's degree from The Juilliard School. (Wikipedia)

Theatre for a New Audience presents [Closed November 18, 2007] the Off-Broadway premiere of "Ohio State Murders" by Adrienne Kennedy (Funnyhouse of a Negro, Sleep Deprivation Chamber). The following description is from the show's press release: "Ohio State Murders portrays Suzanne Alexander, a fictional African American writer whose life both is, and is not, like her author's. When Suzanne enters Ohio State University in 1949, little does she know what the supposed safe haven of academia holds in store. Years later, Suzanne is invited to return to the University to talk about the violence in her writing. A dark mystery unravels." (NY Theatre)

Michael Criscuolo wrote in his review on NY Theatre, "The story itself—a dark, sad tale about racism on a 1950s Midwestern college campus—is chock full of gripping potential."
Pictured: LisaGay Hamilton in a scene from Ohio State Murders (photo © Gerry Goodstein)

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