Category Archives: Video

Game of Thrones Season 7 — Official Trailer

And once again, I’m reduced to quivering fanboy status, unable to come up with anything more insightful than “Oooooh! Oooooh! Oooooh!” I feel the same way I did when Breaking Bad reached those final two seasons: I couldn’t wait to see the next episode, but at the same time, I dreaded the approach of the end of a masterpiece.

I’m not the only one feeling ambiguous about the completion of Game of Thrones. Word is that George R. R. Martin, always eager for an excuse to avoid finishing the Song of Ice and Fire book series on which the show is based, is working with HBO on four or five possible Game of Thrones spinoffs.

Better Call Littlefinger, anybody?

Brilliant trailer, btw, but of course it is.

The penultimate series of Game of Thrones will air in the US on 16 July 2017, with a simultaneous screening in the UK, where it will be 2 AM on the 17th.

Blade Runner 2049 — Official Trailer

It was posted today, and the fanboys went crazy.

We’ve seen teasers for the movie, but this is the first full trailer. If you’re a fanatical—Bladie? Blader? Runnerite? Whatever those people call themselves—you can already find a clutch of videos featuring second-by-second analyses of this trailer on the Web, and enough resultant theories and speculations to keep you busy until the film opens.

Which, btw, won’t be until 6 October 2017.


Here’s a sample of the online user critiques I mentioned. This degree of involvement is what makes a fanboy a fanboy, and proud of it.

The Naked Man at the Met Gala (NSFW — Brief Nudity)

“Art Is Anything You Can Get Away With”

That quotation is frequently attributed to Andy Warhol, and it certainly sounds like something he would have said, but it was Marshall “The Medium Is the Message” McLuhan who actually coined the phrase.

Sometimes, for some artists, Art Is Anything…whether you get away with it or not.  Take Russian artist/provocateur Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich, for instance.

Here he is doing a performance piece called Os Caquis (The Persimmons), outside the School of Visual Arts in Rio de Janeiro in 2015.


That’s Pavlov-Andreevich, sitting naked on a tall plywood chair at the entrance to the museum. His assistant is offering very soft persimmons to the visitors, who are invited to throw them at the artist.

The goal?

“By the end of the performance the artist and the podium will all be covered in the orange pulp from the more or less successful attempts of the visitors to hit the artist.”

Ah! That explains it!

And then there’s Fyodor’s Performance Carousel-II, a hard-to-describe collaborative performative installation he orchestrated last year in Vienna.

This is all leading up to what happened last Monday night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


The Background

The Met Gala is the big annual fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. It’s an evening packed with celebrities—this year’s honorary chairs were Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams—and with the very, very rich.

Vogue editor Anna Wintour—the presumed model for the “Miranda Priestly” character in The Devil Wears Prada—is a trustee of the Met, and oversees the annual 700-person guest list. Those not on the list can buy individual tickets to the Gala for $25,000.

It was only $15,000 until 2014. They raised the price to keep out the riffraff.


Enter Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich

Fyodor’s most famous—maybe notorious is a more appropriate word—performance piece is called Foundling. Over the past two years, he’s staged it, uninvited, at art-related events in Venice, Moscow, London, and São Paulo. On Monday, 1 May 2017, he completed the five-part performance art project at the Met Gala in New York.

Foundling is easy to describe:  Fyodor gets completely undressed and curls up inside a clear plastic box. He’s tall, and it’s a tight fit. The box is then sealed and transported to the event du jour. The artist’s assistants deposit the box, and the naked artist within, at the selected site.

Here’s how it went down in New York:


The Aftermath

Despite the fact that the Gala attendees and staff shown in the video were amused rather than disturbed or offended, Pavlov-Andreevich was arrested on a bunch of bogus misdemeanor charges, including  public lewdness, criminal trespass, and disorderly conduct.

So much for New York’s celebrated reputation for sophistication and tolerance for eccentricity—the police were never called in at any of the previous four performances of Foundling, and Fyodor has never been arrested anywhere else.

The box remains in police custody. “If anyone cares about the box’ fate, it’s under arrest as well,” Pavlov wrote on Facebook.

Free Fyodor!  And free the box, too!  

Je suis Pavlov-Andreevich!


All photos and videos came from the artist’s website, linked above. It’s well worth a visit.

Star Wars Meet(s) the Beatles

The iconic 60s rock album meets the iconic 70s movie, in the mash-up you never knew you needed.

The album, titled Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans, comes from Palette-Swap Ninja, which is a collaboration between keyboard player and digital drummer Jude Kelley and singer/guitarist Dan Amrich. They describe it as a “geek-culture parody project”.

They’re releasing it just in time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Wars, on 25 May 2017, and the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, on 1 June 2017.

Download the full album, free at Palette-Swap Ninja.

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent — Now in Theatres

Until a couple of days ago, I didn’t know this film existed, but it’s become my Must See movie of the month.  Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent, produced by Anthony Bourdain, is an overdue look at the fascinating Jeremiah Tower.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent explores the remarkable life of Jeremiah Tower, one of the most controversial and influential figures in the history of American gastronomy. Tower began his career at the renowned Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1972, becoming a pioneering figure in the emerging California cuisine movement. After leaving Chez Panisse, due in part to a famously contentious relationship with founder Alice Waters, Tower went on to launch his own legendary Stars Restaurant in San Francisco. Stars was an overnight sensation and soon became one of America’s top-grossing U.S. restaurants. After several years, Tower mysteriously walked away from Stars and then disappeared from the scene for nearly two decades, only to resurface in the most unlikely of places: New York City’s fabled but troubled Tavern on the Green. There, he launched a journey of self-discovery familiar to anyone who has ever imagined themselves to be an artist. Featuring interviews by Mario Batali, Anthony Bourdain, Ruth Reichl and Martha Stewart, this delicious documentary tells the story of the rise and fall of America’s first celebrity chef, whose brash personality and culinary genius has made him a living legend.”

And here’s a recent interview with Jeremiah Tower and Anthony Bourdain, discussing the documentary on CBS This Morning:

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent, fresh from the Tribeca Film Festival, is now playing at a single theatre in Los Angeles and a single theatre in New York, but will expand to another 11 cities on Friday, 28 April 2017, with many more venues to follow.


For a great look at the early days of Chez Panisse, you can’t do better than this excerpt from David Kamp’s book, The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation which Vanity Fair published under the title “Cooking up a Storm”. Kamp combines a thoroughly researched look at the origins of Chez Panisse with gossipy stories about the drug-drenched environment and the complex sexual entanglements of the key players.

Feud: Bette and Joan, the first of Ryan Murphy’s accounts of famous “complicated” relationships, has just ended its season. He’s tackling the story of Prince Charles and Lady Diana next. If he’s at a loss for a third season, he should consider the story behind the decades-long debate about whether Tower or Alice Waters was most responsible for the rise of Chez Panisse to the first ranks of American restaurants.

American Gods — First Reviews

The first reviews for American Gods are in, and they’re raves. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 94%. and this review from Deadline Hollywood is pretty typical:

The first eight episodes of American Gods will play on Starz, beginning on 30 April 2017.


With my 80s obsession, you don’t really think I’d pass up a chance to post the great 80s song that’s referenced in that review, do you?

As if.

Here’s “Under The Milky Way”, by The Church:

Suspect I might have posted the review simply as an excuse to boost a great 80s song?

Maybe.

“So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish”


Raw, in every sense of the word, footage from the fish market at Mercati di Rialto*


This being Venice, a large section of Mercati di Rialto is devoted to fish, and to the spectacular array of other things that live under water.

After my lunch at Trattoria Cherubino, where I sometimes had no idea what I was eating, I went back to the market to see if I could track down the dish’s more mysterious components. At least, that’s what I told myself. It was really just an excuse to get another look at these beautiful edibles.

For those playing along at home, here’s how to calculate the prices in US dollars:

Most of the items are sold by the kilo, and a kilo is the equivalent of 2.2 pounds. The posted prices are in euros, and at the current exchange rate, €1.00 is about $1.05. If you have difficulty with the math, just ask some school kids who are learning algebra to solve the problem. They’ll jump at the chance to show off.


*Speaking of showing off, the wobbly, unedited video at the top of this posting is my first attempt at adding live footage to the blog. More, and better examples to come.