Daily Archives: March 27, 2008
One cold Saturday morning in March, Trinity Washington University was hosting an Open House. But I couldn’t see any signs or volunteers showing the prospective students where to go, and on the first day of spring break, the campus was eerily quiet. After walking past the shining new gym, accidentally entering the deserted dining hall and wandering through a handful of gardens that were empty save for miniature statues of the Virgin Mary, I finally spotted a woman carrying a coffee urn and asked for directions.
Hollywood’s usual gameplan is to find a formula for success and then use it tirelessly to cash in at the box office. The recent offerings from writer/director/producer Judd Apatow demonstrates how leaning too heavily on one template will inevitably decrease the quality of a filmmaker’s work, even as he produces new films at a rate that would put Henry Ford to shame. Just look at Drillbit Taylor, the latest project from Apatow Production, which has popped out a staggering 15 films in the past three years.
The very first shot of Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park imparts that delicious feeling of being in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing. The credits roll demurely next to a Portland bridge, cars whoosh by, light plays on the water and the trees, glitchy electronic atmospheric music drowns out any natural sounds. Like many shots in the carefully constructed movie, every second feels perfect—crafted, like a painting. Every color, every trick of the light feels true and drastic.
Reflecting back now, though, I realize that my family’s taste left much to be desired. Where were the Beatles? Or Miles Davis? Or Johnny Cash? How did I miss all of these artists in my youth? I certainly don’t feel embittered—there was no conscious “withholding”—but I still wish I’d had a more eclectic musical upbringing.
Given this want, I’ve begun to introduce a broader range of music to my little sister, Elizabeth, who’s nearly nine years old. The selections are nothing drastic, just artists she wouldn’t typically encounter until an older age, all conveniently uploaded on her iPod Nano.
Cabbies take meters to court In a continuation of the months-long struggle between D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) and the city’s taxicab drivers, a hearing will be held today in the D.C. Coalition of Cab Drivers’ lawsuit against Fenty and Taxicab Commission Chairman Leon Swain. Cab drivers have been protesting since Fenty’s decision last October […]
New life is in the air. Flowers are starting to pop up all around campus, baby animals are being born and bodies are beginning to litter the lawns around midday. Now that spring is upon us, it’s finally time to get crazy with daring cuts and diaphanous fabrics without the risk of freezing to death or having to wade through snow banks (although wading in spring mud can sometimes be a worse fate). But as fun as all the new stuff is, one of my favorite things about any new season is the chance to perfect and streamline the trends of the year before.
Disappointed by the widespread critical contempt for 2005’s subdued Around the Sun, R.E.M. spoke of a return to their jangle-punk roots before heading into the studio to record a comeback. Blazing by in under 35 minutes, the up-tempo rock of Accelerate is R.E.M.’s best release since original drummer Bill Berry’s departure in 1997.
Chain ethnic restaurants like Panda Express and Star of India usually serve up cringe-worthy cuisine with less than stellar service. Luckily, Penang in Dupont Circle is a chain franchise with a refined take on Malaysian cuisine.
“Degas to Diebenkorn: The Phillips Collects,” is a monument to the many-headed beast that is Modern art. The exhibit, which is open until May 25th at the Phillips Collection, is a stunning tour through the museum’s acquisitions from the past decade. The incredible variety of media, movements and artists seems daunting at first, but the entire experience has an unexpected cohesion and leaves the visitor with a better understanding of Modern art.