Focus Features posted an interactive version of the Moonrise Kingdom script, and it’s full of film stills, production drawings, artwork, and storyboards. This peek into Wes Anderson’s creative process really shows off the way he links up beautiful illustration, thoughtful cinematography, evocative music, and cute dialogue. If you loved the film as much as I did (i.e., a lot), this will make you love it even more.
Are we all following the bananas story of the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax?! Basically, this University of Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o was in a long-distance relationship with a woman in California named Lennay Kekua. They were madly in love and talked every day, tweeting cute things at each other all the time. In early September, Te’o's grandmother AND Kekua died. Despite having so much tragedy in his life, Te’o soldiered on and ended up leading his team to victory, which sparked a campaign to give him the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded to the “most distinguished” college football player of the year. All of this was heavily covered by the media—newspapers, TV stations, etc., all reported the sob story of Kekua and Te’o's relationship, and the personal strength Te’o showed by triumphing on the gridiron despite his grief. BUT WAIT…it turns out that Kekua IS NOT REAL. Ohmygod guys, WHAT?
With some good old-fashioned reporting that examined the tweets, the phone calls, and the media coverage of the affair, the blog Deadspin uncovered an intricate web of lies. Now Te’o says he was pranked, although he previously claimed he met Kekua IRL in California. It’s still hard to know what to believe–was Te’o hoaxed, or was he the hoaxer? With easy internet access, ubiquitous social media, and cheap webcams (I mean, Te’o must have heard of Skype?), it seems impossible to fall in love with a fake person over the internet without at least getting suspicious, and yet it happens all the time. The whole thing reminds me of the movie Catfish (which has been widely speculated to have been a hoax itself), in which (this is only a spoiler if you have not heard a single thing about this movie, nor watched any part of it) a dude finds out that his online “girlfriend” is not who she said she was. On that note, please make friends on the web verrry cautiously. For example, how do you know Rookie isn’t run by a bunch of 50-year-old white dudes? HAVE YOU MET US? HAVE YOU? Exactly.
I have also been obsessed with the insanity of the Manti Te’o story, but as the scandal continues to blow up, I can’t help thinking about it in the context of this piece from a few weeks ago, which contrasts the reaction to the Penn State molestation scandal with the silence around the alleged rape and eventual suicide of a young woman at Notre Dame. There’s something troubling about the fact that Notre Dame’s athletic director has publicly teared up about what happened to Manti but has yet to express a word of condolence or sadness about the death of Lizzy Seeberg, who killed herself after teammates of her accused rapist reportedly texted her, “Messing with Notre Dame football is a bad idea.” At Salon, Irin Carmon gets into the sad truth that the University has expressed more sorrow about a player’s fake girlfriend than the tragic suicide of real girl.
On a lighter note, our BOSS LADY stars in this just-posted fantastical animated tale about a cadaver that comes back to life to handle some unfinished business. It’s funny and great and I’m not just saying that because she’s the top dog around here. It’s because I really love it. BONUS: Watch the closing credits for Tavi’s sweet cover of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold”:
Whenever I hear news of a new species, it reminds me how amazing and beautiful our little planet can be, and makes me wonder what else goes on here without our knowledge. And look at this guy! He’s gorgeous!
This story about planetary parks is so amazing that it sounds like it is the dream project of future president Leslie Knope: leading thinkers on space are proposing a planetary park system would would set aside land on other planets as protected areas. In the coming years of human exploration, certain swaths of Mars desert would be off-limits to development and other high-impact activities; there’s already a proposal to ensure that if people ever make it to a Martian park, they’ll have to pack out their garbage when they leave. Like Yellowstone, but in space! No word yet on if we’ll be allowed to feed stale bread to our Martian duck overlords–but now I’ve said too much!
Robyn rules pretty much everything and this li’l interview with her is the BEST! Watching it I realized that I had never really heard her talk before. Her voice is so cute! She talks about cool crowds, touring and what she’s listening to, but mostly this just makes me want to see her live SO BADLY! ROBYN, PLEASE COME TO NEW YORK! I LOVE YOU.
This week the internet offered up some smart discussions of the predominately white, dudely nature of the indie-music world. First, MTV Hive’s Martin Douglas candidly describes the Unbearable Whiteness of Indie. Then there’s The L Magazine‘s “Women Who Rock! (On the Still Male-Dominated Business Side of Indie Rock),” a bombshell batch of interviews with managers, publicists, and writers on the gender dynamics of the music industry. While these women acknowledge that some things have changed for the better, they also describe a sometimes taxing uphill battle to be taken as seriously as their male colleagues. Both pieces also get into ways to create more opportunities for anyone in indie rock who isn’t a white man. As Pitchfork’s Lindsay Zoladz says, quoting filmmaker Sally Potter, “‘As more women achieve in a given area, they are forced to compete with each other for the same space rather than the space itself expanding.’ And since I’ve become a music journalist, I’m always asking myself, ‘How can we make this particular space expand?’” These pieces are both critical and uplifting, especially for those of us who are still hanging out on the margins.
Speaking of awesome conversations between awesome women, our own Danielle Henderson interviewed her 80-year-old grandmother, Carole, this week about Carole’s main passion in life: horror movies. My favorite part is where Danielle’s grandma says it’s healthy to show scary movies to little kids, because it will teach them to be careful—for example, she says, a woman should always carry a knife to use against potential rapists. “But women shouldn’t feel that they have to run with knives,” Danielle says, very sensibly. “We should teach men that they shouldn’t rape people.” To which the amazing Carole responds: “I don’t care. I don’t care. That’s not the world today. What you think they should do or shouldn’t do, that’s not the world today. Carry a knife. Cut his throat. Let him think about being cut up before he even put his hands on you. I’m not kidding.” Not a bad idea for a horror film.
It’s charming and romantic and an example of something Etgar wants to see more of: little movies that are like music videos for short stories. Such a good idea! They’re showing it at Sundance right about now.
Ryan Gosling wears many hats. He’s an actor, a savior to people who are about to be hit by moving taxis, and an icon of modern feminism (another shout-out to my fellow Rookie Danielle!). But now Gosling has revealed perhaps his most impressive title yet: KNITTER. In an interview with GQ Australia, Gosling said that his perfect day would consist of nonstop needlecraft. Even better, he learned how to knit from a group of grannies. Maybe this means he will make me a scarf to match the sweater he has already knitted around my HEART?
I don’t know how moving to New York in 2008 means that you can be crowned Miss New York by 2012, but I am glad that Miss New York became Miss America last night, if only because we got to see her do this completely ridiculous tap dance to a James Brown song.
I really enjoyed Haley Mlotek’s interview with author Kate Zambreno over at the Random House blog Hazlitt. They discuss literary representations of shopgirls, a trope that appears in Zambreno’s novel Green Girl and Jean Rhys’s Good Morning Midnight (to which Green Girl pays tribute). I’ve yet to read any of Zambreno’s books (they’re next on my list, I swear), but I have worked a ton of retail jobs, so I know I’ll relate.
This past Wednesday, the #IdleNoMore protestors held a national day of action, spurring protests all over Canada. In a nutshell, Idle No More is a Native movement started by a group of activists last fall protesting policies that harm indigenous people, but that’s a really simple way of putting it. Gyasi Ross at Racialicious has written a comprehensive introduction to what the movement is about, what’s being protested, and why it should matter to everybody. The Canadian network CTV has an extensive photo gallery of this week’s protests in British Columbia, Toronto, Alberta, Quebec, Winnipeg, and along the U.S. border.
Sarah Hagi wrote a smart and funny personal essay for Worn Fashion Journal about her decision to wear the hijab (full disclosure, I work for Worn). In her words: “I wear the hijab because I am a Muslim woman, and I believe my hair and my body are my business, and mine only.”
I love zines; I’ve been making and collecting them for 18 years. “My Life Is an Open Book” is an exhibition celebrating work by women zinesters, and featuring mostly “perzines” (zines about the creators’ personal experiences). It runs January 14 to April 13 on the campus of the University of Chicago. If you’re in the neighborhood, you should pop in. Otherwise, you can check it out here.
The “voodoo punk Marie Antoinette”-inspired makeup at designer Vivienne Westwood’s show during Paris Fashion Week reminded me of the Queen of Hearts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (one of my favorite books)! Watch the heart-shaped faces blossom backstage. Très cool.
And finally, this week I stumbled across the launch of the Vroom Vroom Vespa Acoustic Tour documentary. The six-part film is about the 2010 tour by the musicians Shanti Wintergate and Greg Attonito (from the New Jersey punk band The Bouncing Souls), along with Kepi Ghoulie and Kevin Seconds. Instead of hopping on a bus, the group traveled the Northeast on Vespas (!), which allowed them to make more intimate contact with the communities they encountered along the way. On breaks from performing, they spoke at schools and organized events to promote self-expression and environmental awareness, and stayed at people’s homes instead of hotels. Shanti and Greg also recently released music for children under the name Play Date. I bought their Imagination CD for my little nephew, and he adores it! It’s got tons of cute song titles, like “Dance Like a Monster.” Raaaawr! ♦