Whimsy vs. The Machines
French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s style is so remarkably whimsical that he has become the poster boy for colorful, twee moviemaking. His big hit, Amelie, made its star Audrey Tatou into a global gamine phenomenon, and now he is back with a quirky new film, Micmacs, in which a gang of Parisian friends plot to bring down two weapons-manufacturing companies, leading to Rube Goldberg-esque elaborate schemes. The critics, who could easily turn against Jeunet for repeating his trademark style, seem to have fallen in love all over again. Rex Reed of The New York Observer writes, “it delivers an audio-visual picnic of surprises that makes craziness contagious,” and the San Francisco Chronicle’s David Germain dubs it “a nice palate cleanser among all the computer-generated action of Hollywood's summer blockbusters.” An offbeat imagination wins out again.
Grand Theft Photography
The old adage that when you take someone’s picture, you are really stealing their soul, is the engine behind the Tate Modern’s new exhibition, Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera, which opens at the London museum on Friday. The show features several iconic photographs that the subjects were unaware were being taken at the time—Weegee’s Marilyn Monroe image, Nick Ut’s disturbing shots of children in Vietnam running from napalm, the JFK assassination, and other shots from Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Man Ray, and Nan Goldin. The subject of voyeurism is especially interesting in today’s digital world, when almost all information about our private lives is transitioning into the public domain. And the U.K., now the “most surveyed country in the world,” seems like the ideal place to open up the conversation. Read more on the exhibit from The Daily Beast’s Philip Gefter.
The New Indigo Girls?
The ‘90s really are back—Doc Martens are in, grunge is resurging, and a new Swedish female pop duo, reminiscent of the Indigo Girls, are eking their way into Americans' hearts. First Aid Kit, aka teen sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, hail from Enskede, right outside of Stockholm, and sing together in beautiful harmony. Their spooky, breathy debut record, Big Black & the Blue is already winning over critics; the BBC calls the pair “markedly memorable” (a big compliment from the staid network), and NME says that the sisters have “a phenomenal way with gorgeous melodies and heart-melting harmonies.” We can only hope this buzz lands the duo a spot in the newly revamped Lilith Fair coming later this year.