Greatest singer of all

Article: Greatest singer of all

A common refrain I’ve heard expressed in the aftermath of Whitney Houston’s sad passing is “I’m surprised but not shocked” due to her well known past struggles with substance abuse, but I was actually surprised and shocked when I heard this (news that was incidentally texted to me while I was at a bar watching Jeremy Lin performing as Linderella). I was completely stunned because I had assumed that she had turned a corner. I want to use this soapbox not to focus on the macabre aspect of her death and troubles during her life, but instead use the opportunity vis-a-vis online bits and tributes as a celebration of her inimitable talent starting for instance with this: listen to Whitney Houston’s isolated vocals on “How Will I Know” to remind yourself how remarkable her voice was or as Oprah tweeted, “To me Whitney was THE VOICE.” I’ve listened to this countless times and I get goosebumps each time. That said, and this might be slightly blasphemous, but for the same reasons that Vulture made, I almost like the mash-up of Whitney’s vocals with Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” track better than the originals for both songs.

Remembering Cy Twombly

Article: Remembering Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly ranks high on my list of favorite artists, right alongside his friend and fellow artist Robert Rauschenberg, with whom he shared a studio as well as a propensity for cat scratch marks of paint and pencil. His seemingly haphazard compositions have held me captivated in museums, where I have stood fixated, letting my eyes roam his great expanse of canvas until my feet became so tired that I actually sat down on the floor – an ardent devotee. This particular experience happened early in high school, when seeing a Twombly after years of studying only formalist, realistic and namely old portraiture and landscapes left me stunned, transfixed, as if anchored to the space in front of the painting by a force beyond my own.

Our favorite dandy, Sebastian Horsley, died

Article: Our favorite dandy, Sebastian Horsley, died

After both of us were on vacation for a week, pretty much avoiding all news and headlines, we were shocked and saddened to receive an invitation to a funeral this morning for an acquaintance we didn’t even realize had died: UK artist, writer, self-proclaimed dandy and all-around nut, Sebastian Horsley. For a second we thought this might just be another one of his twisted art projects (like being crucified in the Phillipines), especially since the funeral invitation came with the following footnote:

The funeral will be filmed, by attending you give permission for your image to be used for possibly future commercial purposes (i.e. documentary and/or the film planned about Sebastian’s life).

That’s so very Sebastian, the eternally shameless self-promoter. But alas, it appears there are too many news reports for it not to be true.


Article: Interview with Cynthia Wade, director of LIVING THE LEGACY: THE UNTOLD STORY OF MILTON HERSHEY SCHOOL

Oscar-winning documentary director Cynthia Wade.

On May 17th, Sundance Channel will screen LIVING LEGACY: THE UNTOLD STORY OF MILTON HERSHEY SCHOOL which follows three young students as they separate from their parents and enroll in Milton Hershey School, a residential school in Pennsylvania. The film follows the children during their first school year – a turbulent, dramatic and eye-opening experience for the students and their families. Director Cynthia Wade speaks with Sundance Channel about her experience working on this film.

SUNDANCE CHANNEL: What first drew you to the story of Milton Hershey School?

Wade: I’d recently finished FREEHELD, a 38 minute film (which won the Academy Award for Best Short Documentary in 2008 and 15 other film festival awards). I was directing another short documentary in Cambodia (BORN SWEET, which won Honorable Mention at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival). With those two short films as my latest endeavors, I was eager to move back into long-form documentary and direct another feature-length film.

It’s a completely different experience directing a feature-length film, as it demands so much more material, time, patience, and energy — think “marriage” as opposed to “long term relationship.” I was ready for another “film marriage.” When I was approached by the Milton Hershey School as a director for this project, I jumped at the chance. It was exciting to think about staying with a project on a long-term basis, following characters over an extended period of time.

100 ways to kill a Peep

Article: 100 ways to kill a Peep

Marshmallow Peeps are like a pair of of Crocs sandals; you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. I belong to the latter group. Nothing against Peeps on a personal level, but I just prefer my Easter candy to be in the shape of a chocolate creme-filled egg (no, this is not a “viral” post sponsored…