The Best Animated Film of the Year: A Town Called Panic
Don’t panic, but your new favorite animated film may have just landed in a nearby art house cinema. The Belgian stop-motion gem (and the first of the genre to be accepted into Cannes), tells the story of three inseparable plastic toys—the simply named Cowboy, Indian, and Horse—who live in an extremely odd house where magical events occur. The voice actors verge on hysteria, which lends, as Village Voice critic J. Hoberman noted, an air of “extreme quirk,” to the film—and it works. As the feature, which grew out of a series of shorts from animators Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, slowly starts to make its way across the country, the good buzz only continues to grow. See the trailer, here.
Vampire Weekend’s Sophomore Success
Vampire Weekend is one of those New York bands that shot out of the gate and right on to magazine covers, Gossip Girl soundtracks, and the hearts of college sophomores everywhere—and for that, people had every right to be skeptical of their second record. But Contra, which is released Tuesday, shows that VW’s early success was no fluke. The boys from Brooklyn have managed to keep (and further refine) their trademark sound—smart, summery pop meets African rhythms—and have even matured in their new effort. Songs like “Taxi Cab” and “White Sky” simply sound like the warm season to come—we suggest savoring the album now before you can’t escape the sounds come summer.
New York Comes to L.A.’s MOCA
The big art news this week is that longtime New York gallerist Jeffrey Deitch was named the new head of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a major retrospective. The first new director since 2008, Deitch is a somewhat controversial selection but his visionary ability to identify budding talent (Vanessa Beecroft, Cecily Brown) will bring new energy to L.A.’s art scene. So this season may be the last to see shows at Deitch Projects in SoHo and Queens. Coming soon to Deitch: actor James Franco’s conceptual General Hospital exhibition in the spring.