Beginning tomorrow, we’re predicting the winners in the so-called Big Four categories at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, airing Monday, September 15th on CBS. Kendrick Lamar is nominated for a whopping 11 awards, besting Eminem for the rapper with the single most nods in one night, and second only to Michael Jackson, who was nominated for 12 awards back in 1984. Of course, Lamar will have to compete with Taylor Swift, Alabama Shakes (pictured above), Kanye West, and more. We’re kicking things off with our picks in some of the smaller genre categories, including the usual suspects—dance, rock, R&B, and rap—as well as musical theater (the opening number from hip-hop-infused frontrunner Hamilton will be broadcast live from Broadway during the show). Keep an eye on our predictions all this week to see how we think things will shake out!
Skrillex (#1–10 of 5)
On Saturday evening here in Austin, I took in a double bill of Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours and Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. One is a leisurely exploration of Vienna’s high art, life, and history; the other is a hyper-charged tone poem exposing the nightmarish underside of a distinctly 21st-century American dream. Here’s to the extremes of cinema!
Many recent films have billed themselves as “celebrations of the power of art” (Martin Scorsese’s Hugo is one notable example), but few of these self-aware tributes have approached the richness and complexity of Museum Hours. There are signposts of a storyline underpinning Cohen’s film: Johann (Bobby Sommer), an elderly guard at Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, befriends an American visitor, Anne (Mary Margaret O’Hara), temporarily staying in the city on account of a terribly ill dear friend; because she knows no one else in the city and has little money, she basically spends much of her time talking and exploring the city with Johann, a lonely soul himself. Much of the drama between these two characters revolves around their conversations, and only some of those conversations deal directly with their personal situations, such as they are. Instead, they seem to bond more over talking about art more than anything else, finding ways to connect the art that they see, whether inside the museum or outside of it, to their own lives.
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Eric Henderson: As someone who nearly earned myself a toaster oven in a karoke contest busting hip rolls to “Teenage Dream,” I can’t fully sign off on your malcontent, but that song still represents the sole time Perry’s formula struck on something winsome and enduring. “Firework,” in contrast, is as arch and addicted to whip-its as anything else in her catalogue, and ergo hypocritical because of it. That still places it one notch above the smarmy nothingness that is “Grenade” though.
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