Skins on MTV, Sundance, Hai Bo and More Culture Picks
Each week, The Daily Beast sifts through the cultural landscape to choose three top picks. This week, the red carpet gets snowed in at Sundance, a haunting new photography show opens in New York, and MTV’s Skins breaks the boundaries of good taste.
It’s a magical time of year in Park City, Utah. The annual Sundance Film Festival kicked off Thursday, but will it be able to straddle the line between showcasing undiscovered indie darlings and big-name blockbusters? Among the excitement: Hundreds of screenings, including Kevin Smith’s Red State and Miranda July’s follow-up to Me and You and Everyone You Know, (that’s not to mention the after-parties and constant celebrity sightings). Morgan Spurlock’s made the biggest news so far—Sony Picture Classics has already picked up The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. Read Nicole LaPorte’s observations, overheards, and hopefully madcap adventures from the festival at our blog and on Sundance Channel.
It’s not a secret that contemporary art in China holds its own in the international art world. And where there’s art, there’s photography. On the heels of Obama’s closely watched summit with Hu Jintao, an evocative new show by photographer Hai Bo opens this week at the Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York. Philip Gefter explores the subtle art documenting China’s vanishing history.
This week a massive amount of hype plowed down MTV’s new teen drama Skins with rumors the show was in violation of federal child-pornography laws. This show, which premiered Monday, revolves around a group of hard-partying and sexually voracious teenagers, and a recent New York Times piece indicated the cable channel’s executives were “concerned” that at least one onscreen moment broke the law. The episode in question doesn’t air until January 31, but The Daily Beast’s Jace Lacob said there’s nothing lascivious about the scene, in which a 17-year-old boy walks down the street naked after he’s thrown out of his house—the moment’s depressing, not titillating. More importantly, he says, the show strays too far from the groundbreaking British version, focusing on filth and crippled by bad acting. Controversial or not, this is one to skip.