This summer, I went to prison. Well, not actually, but I did watch Netflix’s original series “Orange is the New Black,” and therefore feel as though I am something of an authority on the subject of federal penitentiary. Piper Chapman, the show’s WASPy, neurotic protagonist, has led me on a tour of prison life, providing a kind of personal “scared straight” program.
“In any case, it is left up to the viewer to not get too lost in the dazzling visual spectacle of the film, and be sure to consider that despite the immaculate attention to detail, some details might still have been rendered invisible.”
Nearly all my life, I have faced this question. More than a courtesy, it is a challenge, a demand: “Identify yourself.”
In my childhood, I was lost and unsure. Who am I? Am I that guy who carelessly shortens his name, soiling the greatest gift, after life, his parents have given him? Or am I that guy who insists on being called by his proper name, like some pompous Alexander or Maximilian?
Spring Breakers arrived in theaters last Friday only to confuse audiences around the country. The film begins practically pornographically, bare breasts splashed with beer and tan rears occupying the entire movie screen, accompanied by the aggressive sounds of Skrillex. It then flashes forward to the mundane and fictitious Kentucky College where four girls find they don’t have enough money to fund a spring break getaway to Florida.
A couple weeks ago, legendary shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine released their first album in twenty-two years. The press surrounding the release of m b v was as extensive as any I’ve seen for a musical release in quite a long time. Why? What’s the big deal about this band coming back after so long?
When the Antlers released Hospice in 2009 on Frenchkiss Records, the band established itself as a project of personal catharsis for its frontman, Peter Silberman. Designated a concept album, Hospice channeled Silberman’s past romantic failures into a story of two individuals confined to a cancer ward: a hospice worker and the terminally ill patient he gradually falls in love with.