Podcast: Karina Longworth on Old Hollywood

Categories: Film and TV

Karina Longworth
On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, Amy Nicholson of the L.A. Weekly and Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice interview film critic and author Karina Longworth, who's just launched a fascinating new podcast on the history of Hollywood called You Must Remember This.

The Leftovers: Things Get Metal

Categories: Film and TV

Let it never be said that HBO doesn't know how to ramp up a show in the opening.

This weeks' episode begins with a member of the Guilty Remnant guilt getting duct taped to a tree and stoned to death in a gruesome and explicit manner. It's a horrific seen, even for someone that just watched Eric Northman ripping faces off the Yakuza just an hour earlier. It's especially painful as the GR cultist gives up her vow of silence at the end to plead for her life just as a rock shatters her skull.

In any good post-apocalyptic story you've got your new demographic. Bioshock has splicers. The Last of Us has the fungus zombies and the new authoritarian military. It's not really important what you pick as long as you pick something to define the new world paradigm.

The Leftovers has picked the GR, and they are wonderful for reviewing the world where so little had to change to drive it insane. Again, only two percent of population was taken on the great departure. That's all that was needed to make us lose our grip.

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No One's Dog at Diverse Works: A Heartbreaking Collection

Categories: Photography

marypasicatanphotography Via Diverse Works Flickr page
Corridor Rescue, June 2014
As a Houstonian, it's difficult to ignore the plethora of homeless dogs roaming about the city. The actual number of strays, however, is staggering. Over a million homeless animals call the Houston streets home. In fact, in a 2010 Health of Houston Survey, it was stated that strays are considered the No. 1 neighborhood problem in the city. It is with this in mind, that Diverse Works, Barrio Dogs and Box 13 have collaborated on a new exhibition, No One's Dog.

The show, which opened this past Saturday at the Diverse Works gallery, is a "community based" project that aims to shine a light on the city's stray issue. The three organizations put out an open call for community members to upload high-resolution photos of homeless or hurt dogs. Additionally, Barrio Dogs staff passed out 30 disposable cameras to residents of the East End, including children. The results were more than 100 photos of the desperate situation. Diverse Works chose the photos that they felt best encapsulated the issue, printed them and these images are currently on display through August 9.

A word of warning: The exhibition is not for the faint of heart. Animal lover or not, there is no way that this collection won't grab your heartstrings and tug them the hell out of your chest. I found myself tearing up multiple times. Many of the photos are haunting, some even difficult to look at. Emaciated dogs, broken down, hiding in shadows, alone in fields are some of the moments captured by the various participants of the project. Despite the subject matter being tough, the photos themselves are stunning; an odd surprise given they were taken by amateurs - and some are even very young amateurs.

This story continues on the next page.

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A Thin Wall of Air: Charles James: High Style Ballgowns and Furniture at The Menil Collection

Categories: Visual Arts

Photo by Paul Hester
A striking sofa (rear) and a concert gown (right) designed by Charles James for the de Menils

A chance to get a glimpse of how the other half lives, or perhaps the top 1 percent, is available in the exhibit A Thin Wall of Air: Charles James, as The Menil Collection presents the exhibition of some of the gowns, and furniture, designed by James (1906-1978), known as "America's First Couturier".

The British-born designer created gowns for Dominique de Menil, and furniture for her home with John de Menil - this was the only residential commission for James, whose talents has been discovered by the de Menils in the 1940's, and who promoted him through gifts to museums of his work.

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3 Texas Writers Horror Fans Should Be Reading

Categories: Random Ephemera

Art by Fergal Fitzpatrick
Through Dark Angles by Don Webb
Most Texans are well aware of our solid history in horror and alternative films, from Texas Chainsaw Massacre to the more recent works of Robert Rodriguez. Slightly less known is the important role our state has played in the development of many horror writers.

Texas has long attracted notable writers of the science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres, going back to at least the late '20s when a young man named Robert Ervin Howard, living in Cross Plains, began writing adventure stories for the seminal pulp magazine Weird Tales.

Howard would go on to create the ultimate barbarian hero, Conan, pioneering the "Sword and Sorcery" genre of fantasy with that character and others. He also was friends with H.P. Lovecraft and penned several still-frightening horror stories, before his death in 1936 at the age of 30.

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A Kickstarter-Funded Revival of Equus: Well-Handled With a Strong Lead Performance

Categories: Stage

Photo courtesy of Second Life Productions
Ed Theakston as the troubled Alan Strang and Kevin Daugherty as his psychiatrist Martin Dysart in Equus, now at Frenetic Theater
The setup:

Sir Peter Shaffer, knighted in 2001, has given us scores of plays, with Amadeus, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, and Equus the best known of them. Equus is a detective story of sorts as a psychiatrist tries to find out why a 17-year-old boy blinded six horses. The 1975 Broadway production of Equus starred Anthony Hopkins and Peter Firth, and won the Tony Award as Best Play. Firth also starred in the film version with Richard Burton. A 2007 London and 2008 Broadway production starring Daniel Radcliffe as the youth was acclaimed.

Now the very enterprising Matthew C. Logan brings a revival to the Frenetic Theater, funded by a Kickstarter campaign, with the production serving as his thesis for an MFA in directing.

The execution:

Shaffer is a lyrical writer who can express complex ideas in flowing language, and also has a keen visual sense, so that what you see can be more important than what you hear. I saw the original Broadway production, and also a dramatically different New Theatre production in Miami in 2010, so I was eagerly awaiting the Logan production. It is astonishingly good, though flawed in some details, and rivals in many ways the New York version in its grasp of the subtleties of Shaffer's text.

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5 Creepiest Quotes From Craigslist Houston M4W Ads

Categories: The Intertubes

Why are so many guys looking for sex robots that clean dishes?
One of my more deplorable habits is that I like to troll Craigslist ads looking for the worst of humanity. I started doing it back when I ran a column that looked for weird band advertisements, but like all junkies I started hitting the hard stuff over in the Men for Women classified. There the finest freaks in Houston put all their psychosis in print for the world to see, and today we're going to look at the ones that made me throw up in my mouth a little.

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SDCC 2014 - Nerd HQ, Bee & PuppyCat and the Her Universe Fashion Show

Categories: Pop Culture

Nick Cook
Newlywed Zachary Levi says he's ready for another television series, a new TV "family" and someday a real family of his own.
San Diego Comic-Con is perhaps even more of a whirlwind this year than before. It seems like there are an unprecedented number of offsite events and you can have quite a con experience without ever entering the convention center. There's so much going on that you almost don't know what direction to turn in. A Star Trek-style transporter would really come in handy.

Here's what we saw yesterday, and we have some news from Nerd HQ, Bee & Puppycat and a nerd-themed high fashion event that was the gem of the day.

Check out our first day slideshow at Comic-Con.

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Club King Goes Bare and Bold, But Not Deep

Categories: Film and TV

Jon Bush's documentary Club King is a fascinating look at the life of New York and L.A. club and party promoter Mario Diaz. There's no denying it's a wild and flamboyant ride through the underground gay nightclub scene of the '90s and '00s, but more often than not the film blinds with flash while failing to really show a depth or struggle. It's a party, sure, but whether the audience comes through having learned something is up for debate.

Diaz as a subject is immensely likeable. Here is a man who realized there was money to be made in gay events, and attacked that with an undeniable professionalism, gusto, and sincerity. Having spent more years than I care to admit to backstage at concerts, go-go dance nights, fashion shows, and other performances, it's invigorating to watch Diaz as he carefully crafts looks and styles for each and every portion of his night.

That he takes partying to such serious lengths, even when incorporating impossibly silly things like a Big Piss contest (Yes, you're imagining it correctly) is probably the most engaging aspect of the film. The peripheral is nicely filled out by the outrageous commentary of colleagues and contemporaries like Jackie Beat and Justin Bond ("Someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'I think that guy is dead,' and HE WAS!"). They make for the circus, after all, but Diaz is both ringmaster and quiet competent business man. The dichotomy against the glamor and the drag is gripping.

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The 5 Best Fashion Stories of the Week: Condom Gowns and Photobombing a Supermodel

Categories: Fashion

Photo by condomcouture via Facebook
Lots of breaking fashion news hits the interwebs and I don't want you to miss one bit of it. So, I present some of the biggest headlines each week for your reading pleasure.

Click and enjoy!

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