The House


Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

War is hell, but it has never left any modern writer dry for material, and with the endless, twisted, labyrinthine wars that continue to prop up all over the world, it provides enough mileage for keyboard-tappers everywhere. Both Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and Clifford Chase's Winkie offer skewered takes on global matters and are firmly a product of our grey, cynical times; it's almost as if Jon Stewart were lurking somewhere in the background, ready to pounce if the right amount of canted slyness didn't present itself. Oh, there's lotsa yelling for effect too. Lots of it.

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TAGS: arian moayed, bengal tiger at the baghdad zoo, brad fleischer, clifford chase, clifford chases winkie, glenn davis, godlight theatre company, hirach titizian, moises kaufman, patch adams, rajiv joseph, richard rodgers theatre, robin williams, winkie


Helen RoseOne important name missing from the plethora of tributes to Elizabeth Taylor was MGM's leading costume designer of the 1950s, Helen Rose, who was largely responsible for intensifying Taylor's distractingly sensual image at the height of her fame.

Rose's designs placed a strong emphasis on the silhouette. They were elegant and understated, yet innovative, looking natural in spite of their theatrical nature. "Simple and dramatic" is how Rose described her dresses for Taylor. "If you have a magnificent jewel, you put it in a simple setting—you don't distract from it with a lot of detail."

This was the dictum which Rose followed when designing for Taylor, including the white chiffon dress with the deep V-neckline in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. "When a Bust Inspector appeared, he took one look at me and called for a stepladder," Taylor quipped. "He climbed up, peered down, and announced that I needed a higher-cut dress, too much breast was exposed." To satisfy the "Bust Inspector," Rose pinned a brooch on the bodice. But as soon as the man left, the brooch was removed and the legendary cleavage was bared.

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TAGS: ava gardner, cat on a hot tin roof, cyd charisse, elizabeth taylor, father of the bride, grace kelly, helen rose, mgm, paul newman, tennessee williams, the last time i saw paris


Battle in Chile

Beginning tomorrow at the BAMcinématek: "Obstinate Memories: The Documentaries of Patricio Guzmán." The films in the series: The Battle of Chile, Robinson Crusoe Island, The Pinochet Case, Salvador Allende, Nostalgia for the Light

After three seasons, HBO cancels In Treatment.

The Supreme Court rejects damages for innocent man who spent 14 years on death row.

For CBC Radio's interview program Q, Matt Zoller Seitz talked about shaky-cam filmmaking. (Click on the Wednesday, March 30 show and go to the one hour, one minute mark.)

In pot calling the kettle black news, Miley Cyrus slams Rebecca Black.

Sign the petition to stop Rhode Island State Representative Dan Gordon from bullying gay teens.

Six socially conscious actions that only look like they help.

Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to ed@slantmagazine.com and to converse in the comments section.

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TAGS: bamcinématek, dan gordon, hbo, in treatment, miley cyrus, patricio guzman, rebecca black, rhode island, supreme court of the united states


Copacabana

A frothy fantasy dressed up as a quirky character study, Copacabana is a mishmash of mismatched parts that left me feeling a little queasy. Isabelle Huppert stars as Babou, the kind of boho free spirit who coasts as far as she can on sheer charm and sex appeal. She's still childlike in middle age, not just because Huppert gives her the wide-eyed, unbroken gaze of a curious toddler, but because she operates on impulse, never stopping to consider the consequences of her actions. As a result, her daughter Esme acts more like her mother, working at a restaurant to pay the rent the job-allergic Babou can't be relied on to scrape together. But when Esme (Huppert's real-life daughter, Lolita Chammah) announces that she's getting married and doesn't want her mother at the wedding to embarrass her, Babou decides it's time to get a job and show her daughter that she can be responsible.

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TAGS: auntie mame, aure atika, copacabana, isabelle huppert, kate winslet, lolita chammah, marc fitoussi, new directors new films


Libyan Rebels

Washington in fierce debate on arming Libyan rebels.

Mad Men, the three-time Emmy Award-winning drama, will not return to television until sometime early next year, AMC confirmed on Tuesday, because of a deepening dispute with the show's creator, Matthew Weiner.

David Gordon Green's remake of Dario Argento's Suspiria gets more interesting by the day. Now Green has acquired the rights to the film's original Goblin score.

The San Francisco International Film Festival has announced its lineup.

NASA spacecraft snaps first photo of Mercury from orbit.

Roger Ebert is steaming right now: Rockstar Games' L.A. Noire will play at this year's Tribeca Film Festival.

Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to ed@slantmagazine.com and to converse in the comments section.

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TAGS: amc, dario argento, david gordon green, goblin, l.a. noire, libya, mad men, matthew weiner, mercury, nasa, rockstar games, san francisco international film festival, suspiria, tribeca film festival, washingon d.c.


[Editor's Note: House Playlist is a series dedicated to highlighting our favorite new singles, leaked songs, and album tracks. Found something we should hear? Let us know!]

Arctic Monkeys, "Brick By Brick." Following his pseudo-desert sessions with Josh Homme in 2009, Alex Turner's mischievous attitude and piquant witticisms were filtered through 40 years of lo-fi psychedelica and impassioned classic-rock posturing to create Humbug, Arctic Monkeys' hitherto magnum opus. The group has entered musical puberty of sorts, then, with the forthcoming Suck It and See promising a more "vintage sound." On the teaser "Brick By Brick," Sheffield's poet laureate writes about feeling love and rock n' roll with a decidedly vintage flavor, recalling Jim Morrison one minute and a fresh-out-of-university Damon Albarn the next. Musically, it may lack the mystique of Humbug's doom-and-gloom desert rock, and the lyrics are more matter of fact than Turner's usually punchy prose, but "Brick By Brick" is a promising first piece in Arctic Monkeys' "vintage" jigsaw. Huw Jones

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TAGS: alex turner, arctic monkeys, born this way, brick by brick, house playlist, lady gaga, panda bear, suck it and see, surfers hymn, tomboy


Microphone

On paper, Microphone sounds remarkably like Nobody Knows About Persian Cats, another documentary-style feature about a vibrant but endangered underground music scene. Both are set in Muslim countries with repressive governments, and both showcase young people who are trying to change an ancient city and culture. But Microphone, the second feature by director-writer Ahmad Abdalla, is to Persian Cats as the kiddie pool is to the deep end.

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TAGS: ahmad abdalla, egypt, khaled abol naga, microphone, new directors new films, nobody knows about persian cats, tah


Treme

[Editor's Note: Tuesday Video Alert is a weekly column announcing "notable" titles fresh to DVD and/or Blu-ray, sometimes as reissues, and in every region under the sun.]

Essential:

Treme: The Complete First Season [HBO Home Video, DVD/Blu-ray, Region 1]: "What may surprise viewers, especially those who tune in expecting the easy exhilaration of a familiar crime narrative, is that Treme has the opportunity to dig even deeper than the critical darling The Wire." Aaron Riccio

Mad Men: Season Four [Lionsgate Home Entertainment, DVD/Blu-ray, Region 1]: "Mad Men behaves like nothing else on television, a distinction that, after the impressive ratings boost during the bleak, sinewy, and leisurely paced third season, is beginning to beam with triumph—insofar as a lyrically cynical, ethically convoluted portrait of early-'60s corporate marketing can be said to 'beam.'" Joseph Jon Lanthier

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TAGS: all good things, beneath the dark, black swan, cool it, dementia 13, dogtooth, early kurosawa, fair game, i vinti, inferno, mad men, made in dagenham, mesrine public enemy #1, miracle, tangled, the civil war, the father of my children, the king of kings, the mikado, the rookie, the ten commandments, the terror, topsy-turvy, treme, upstairs downstairs


Farley Granger

Farley Granger, most famous for his roles in Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train and Rope, has died of natural causes at the age of 85 in New York.

President Obama defended the American-led military assault in Libya on Monday, saying it was in the national interest of the United States to stop a potential massacre that would have "stained the conscience of the world."

TIME picks the 140 Twitter feeds that are shaping the conversation.

Noah Baumbach, this year's BAM Cinema Club Chair, brings the work of the legendary auteur Brian De Palma to BAMcinématek with a look at the genre the iconic director redefined: the thriller.

David Bordwell reports from the Hong Kong Film Festival.

The New School will present its first arts festival, which will explore the relevance of the classic genre of Noir and evaluate its meaning today.

Danny McBride and David Gordon Green talk monster balls:

Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to ed@slantmagazine.com and to converse in the comments section.

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TAGS: alfred hitchcock, bamcinématek, barack obama, brian de palma, danny mcbride, david bordwell, david gordon green, farley granger, hong kong film festival, libya, noah baumbach, rope, strangers on a train, the new school, time, twitter


The Sop Around the Corner

[Editor's Note: Take Two is an occasional series about remakes, reboots, relaunches, ripoffs, and do-overs in every cinematic genre.]

Joel and Ethan Coen may have wasted a terrific Tom Hanks performance and some clever ideas in their remake of The Ladykillers, but Nora Ephron bested them on both counts six years prior, when she blandly updated one of Ernst Lubitsch's greatest romances for the digital age. The Ladykillers ended up a hot mess for want of the Coen brothers' usual lunatic wit, whereas You've Got Mail suffers from the opposite problem: It positively reeks of Ephron. Time and again she sets up a great set piece or exhibits some real insight into how romantic comedies work, then shoots herself in the foot with her unending need to make everything cute and sitcom-y. We're all familiar with the Lubitsch Touch; Ephron's style is more like an unintentionally painful elbow jab.

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TAGS: an affair to remember, ernst lubitsch, ethan coen, harry nilsson, james stewart, joel coen, julia child, kleenex, leo mccarey, margaret sullavan, nora ephron, sleepless in seattle, the 'burbs, the ladykillers, the money pit, the shop around the corner, tom hanks, when harry met sally..., you've got mail







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