Having missed yet another Friday posting deadline for myself I humbly post this on the following Wednesday with only the words that I was, once again, out of town for a bit, and spent last Friday babysitting a crockpot and reading a lovely book that will show up for review this Friday.
May 31st I had the pleasure of roadtripping it to Detroit to see Rivera and Kahlo in Detroit, a show about the two artists with a focus on their time in Detroit where Rivera was commissioned to paint a mural in the Detroit Institute of Art. The mural is considered one of the greatest in of his career but also marked his decline in the United States. Kahlo, who was pregnant when their arrived in the Motor City began one of her most prolific phases after a miscarriage.
The show focused on both of their work, their relationship to each other, and the influences their surroundings had on them as artists. The largest focus was on the Rivera Court and the process of creating this masterpiece. Included were to scale mock ups of what he would eventually paint on the walls and original designs that were ultimately changed.
I was a little disappointed how heavy the show as on Rivera, though it’s understandable. Kahlo was present, for sure, but the volume of her paintings was dwarfed by Rivera’s. Between the two of them I, without doubt, am much more compelled by Frida Kahlo. I had wished there was more of her paintings. But were there were riveting. I was particularly drawn to her depiction of a New York socialite’s suicide.
The paint bleeding onto the frame and Dorothy Hale’s foot falling over the words printed at the bottom make the painting come alive. It was definitely my favorite piece in the show, even when compared to the monolithic works of the artist’s husband.
Reading: I Am Her Revenge by Meredith Moore
Well. That was a ridiculously compelling read. Ever wanna know what it was like for Estella being bred to be a heartbreaker in Great Expectations? Here’s your book.
This is the story of Vivien. At age eighteen she’s sent to the Madgan school in Yorkshire, England to seduce her target, Ben Collingsworth, son of the man who broke Mother’s heart. But the real world doesn’t always match up to expectations and Vivien soon finds herself much more involved in her new world than she expected. Unfortunately, the game she’s playing might be more dangerous than she thought.
There was a lot working with this book. The plot was entirely enthralling, though it did require a large amount of suspension of disbelief. Vivien was sufficiently complex for our heroine. Those around her bordered on being stock characters, such as her sweet but hard partying roommate and the resident mean girl, but in this sort of book, which is plot, rather than character, driven that’s mostly okay. The one character I had issues with was Arthur, Vivien’s only childhood friend and thwarted lover. I felt like we were supposed to being rooting for him and Vivien to get together but really I just wanted her to legitimately fall for Ben, who was much more fleshed out and appealing. It’s more realistic, of course, to have an other, but Arthur really didn’t do it for me. He didn’t do much except stand there and do what Vivien asked him to do. In fact, he reminded me a lot of “Helper”, his father who does Mother’s bidding. And I don’t really think he was supposed to.
But in general, I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a little absurd and a little bit silly but it’s completely readable and a whole lot of fun.
I think Garfunkel and Oates are pretty adorable. I didn’t actually watch their show when it was on IFC, which probably contributed (in a very small way) to it’s cancellation. Still, there it is on Netflix being all hilarious and cute so feel free to mosey on over there and give it a go. But besides being cute, this song is really quite lovely because it’s very true.
Watching: Mad Max: Fury Road
I am not super familiar with the Mad Max franchise. Basically, when I was about twelve years old my best friend and I had a pre-crazy Mel Gibson fest and Mad Max was on the agenda. But, being twelve, we got about ten minutes in and I really couldn’t figure out what was happening. All I remember is two people having sex in the desert and someone else watching them through binoculars. I don’t even know if this is an accurate portrayal of the movie. Meaning, I don’t even know if this really happens. But, it is all I remember and is the defining Mad Max memory I’ve ever had. So when Fury Road was coming out I wasn’t sure I was going to watch it. I felt like I should be a little more familiar with the franchise before seeing this new version, even though several people told me it wasn’t necessary. Still, I wasn’t sure until I was driving by a theater with my friend last week and we noticed that it was playing at about the same time we were driving by. We’d been talking about the movie, so it seemed like we needed to go.
This movie is like nothing I have ever seen before. It didn’t stop, it didn’t explain, it didn’t even tell us most of the character’s names. It was like watching a two hour music video that was one big action sequence. And it was awesome.
Somehow, with very little dialogue, it was completely clear what was going on. The plot was both thin and complex at the same time. Charlize Theron is basically the baddest bitch ever. Essentially, this movie was one hell of a ride and even if it doesn’t look appealing I still have to recommend it because there was no world where I thought I would enjoy a movie like this, but grabs on and never lets go. For days.