Humans want to know answers and we yearn for comfort in an uncomfortable world. Answers to any question are fairly scarce and only point toward more questions. That’s why cults are so attractive. They give us clear answers and then cut us off from the well of more questions with the force of Authority. The faucet is blocked, the flicker of curiosity sated by clean lines of certainty’s illusion.
It was Key West, 1940, and Carl Tanzler, (a.k.a. the self-proclaimed Count Carl von Cosel) had a fan club while he stood trial for grave robbing. He received scores of letters and visits from young women championing his undying obsession. They were seduced by his spin on eternal love and mad romance. Some of Carl’s fans were excited by his quest to seize life from the clutches of death with the right formula of elixirs and electricity. All great scientiest are thought to be crazy until they’re proven right, they argued.
11 years ago artist Antony Gormley installed 100 cast iron statues on Crosby beach in Liverpool. This haunting project, titled “Another Place,” was a commission from Liverpool Biennial. The figures, which were cast using Gormley’s own body, stand solidly on the beach looking out into the horizon, strong against the assault of brine and storm.
Austin, TX is home to a great deal of interesting street art, but there are a few murals that are deeply ingrained in the city’s story and culture. Like musician Daniel Johnston’s Jeremiah the Innocent Hi How Are You Frog (which can be found on a Guadalupe wall that now belongs to Thai How Are You restaurant and is instantly recognizable to Johnston’s fans,) Jo’s Coffee on South Congress features a similar mural with a sweet, simple message. It says in red, handwritten scrawl “i love you so much.” This is behind the mural that excites so much wonder and curiosity.
The Neon Demon is a gorgeous film. The bold, color-saturated photography of Natasha Braier paired with Cliff Martinez’s haunting score makes the entire event a devilish sensuous treat. It’s a horror flick set in the L. A. fashion scene, a notorious breeding ground for real monsters. When everyone is beautiful, the currency of pretty depreciates quickly, so some other savage quality may be required to thrive. The Neon Demon jumps, with impish glee, straight into the sparkle-lined abyss that idea conjures, like Alice spiraling into the underworld.
Maybe she drowned herself in The Silent Pool. That’s what they thought when they found her green car near the area, lights on and hood up. The Morris Crowley was still full of the writer’s things, including a fur coat, a packed suitcase, and an expired driver’s license.
Piper, the Alan Barillaro directed short animated film that opens Pixar’s Finding Dory, is a true work of brilliance. Not only does the film utilize ground-breaking technology to make animated sand, water, sea foam, bubbles, and feathers seem almost more real than real life, but it tells a profound story about the difficulties of growing up and the tough choices parents have to make to teach children to take care of themselves. By the end of this six-minute hair-raising pleasure you can’t help but feel a real kinship to Piper and his survival struggle.
In the world of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster you’re turned into an animal of your choice if you don’t find a mate. Most people choose dogs or at least mammals, but David’s (Colin Farrell) choice is more coldblooded and alien to humans: a lobster. His reasons are fairly logical from an organism’s point of view. The lobster has exceptional reproductive and longevity traits, but the blue-blooded part is a symbolic nod to human social status.
Slovenian photographer Mária Švarbová’s pool poets are calming visual triggers bathed in soft pastels. They emphasize the meditative qualities of swimming.
Real tears rush out – unaware of themselves. If there is a fight, it is a fight to stop. Real tears overwhelm instead of being overwhelmed.