The Little Aussie Film That Could
Having already established their stranglehold over glitzy Hollywood—Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, the list goes on and on—Australians have now set their sights on Coen brothers territory. On the heels of the critically acclaimed neo-noir The Square comes the riveting crime-drama Animal Kingdom. Directed by first-timer David Michôd and made on a shoestring budget of $4 million, the dark film, about a teenage boy who moves in with his grandmother and her four sons only to learn that they’re a posse of armed robbers, and its sinister matriarch, played by Aussie stage actress Jacki Weaver, “might be awards season favorites,” writes The Daily Beast’s Jacob Bernstein. The “Australian answer to Goodfellas,” as NYT critic Stephen Holden christens it, has emerged as one of the best-reviewed films of the year, and is sure to make your blood boil.
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Summer’s Best F------ Song?
“It is impossible to listen just once to Cee-Lo Green’s ‘Fuck You,’ the first single from his forthcoming album, Lady Killer, and a viral hit from the instant it landed on YouTube,” writes The Daily Beast’s Michaelangelo Matos. “It demands to be listened to twice, three times, or more, all in a row.” Yes, Cee-Lo, the neo-soul crooner—and one-half of dynamic duo Gnarls Barkley—has created a zeitgeist-encapsulating, revved-up rally cry. Singing over organ, guitar, and groovy percussions, Cee-Lo laments an ex that’s shacked up with a man who can buy her all the fancy things he cannot. It’s a simple conceit, but also works as a gigantic middle finger to, as Matos writes, “the Wall Street shysters, the vicious Tea Party leaders, the BP executives.” Even though the song was leaked just days ago and won’t be available on iTunes until October 4, it’s already racked up over two million and a half YouTube plays, and very well may be the best song of the summer. As Cee-Lo himself put it, “Ain’t that some shit?”
Museum Mobile App Madness
Smartphone apps for iPhones, Androids, and BlackBerries have been infiltrating every facet of life lately, but one of the most profound shifts is taking place in the art world. At museums, galleries, and other institutions, apps are quickly changing the landscape. “It’s like the Wild West right now,” said Nancy Proctor, head of mobile strategy and initiatives at the Smithsonian Institution. “It’s our own mini-dot-com boom.” This boom has launched tech startups like Toura and Tristan Interactive, both of which produce apps specifically for museums and galleries. The Art Institute of Chicago and the Pace Gallery will release Toura-developed apps in September. Not every museum is eager to embrace this new technology, however, arguing that apps are more of a distraction than innovation. Still, they provide an outlet for social media, marketing, advertising, and entertainment—all areas that arts institutions wouldn’t be able to tap into as easily. As The Daily Beast’s Spencer Bailey writes, “For the majority of the art world, the pluses for using apps continue to far outweigh the minuses.”