Saturday, April 19, 2014

Category Archives: Culture+Society

Silver Screen Riot: “Transcendence” Does Not Transcend
Every once in a blue moon an unsung talent breaks out of their wheelhouse to extraordinary results.  Quentin Tarantino famously emerged from a video store, learning his craft at the film school of VHS rentals. Ron Howard was a can-kicking child actor before stepping in to direct acclaimed films like Apollo 13, Rush and Academy Award winner A Beautiful Mind. Even Japanese auteur and samurai-lordship himself Akira Kurosawa trained as a painter before ever stepping behind a camera. The lesson is: great directors can come from pretty much anywhere. Wally Pfister, longtime cinematographer for Christopher Nolan (another cinebuff who did not receive formal film school education) and head hancho of Transcendence, has spent the better part of two decades behind a camera. But this is the first time he’s sat in the black foldout chair etched with the word “director.” In this 100 million dollar dry run of his, he’s all but sullied the name. (more…)
Photo by Jason Tang
Ones to Watch: Naomi Wachira
Naomi Wachira’s New Album Does Seattle Proud. If you follow Seattle’s thriving music scene, chances are you already know this name. And if you don’t, well, you really should. Though Kenyan-born Naomi Wachira has already made some major waves around the Pacific Northwest (Seattle Weekly coined her the city’s “Best Folk Singer” last year), it seems just a matter of time before this soulful talent is truly discovered. (more…)
Silver Screen Riot: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Is Perfunctory Marvel
Growing up in the 1940s gives Steve Rogers an excuse to not understand the mechanics of speed dial. But when neo-Nazi’s threaten the freedom of the entire world, you have to wonder why he’s not more focused on contacting his nuclear suit-wearing chum, Tony Stark, or the bad Shakespeare in the park actor/Norse God, Thor. Unless he’s gone on some spirit journey to be explained away in extra Blu-Ray bonus material, Tony’s probably just shambling around Stark Towers in his drawers. His billionaire skyline must be literally cast in shadow by the helicarriers of doom that Captain America’s trying to take down with the only weapons at his disposal: record-breaking sprinting skills and a shield.  The fate of the entire world is at stake and here’s good hearted Steve clearly taking a hell of an ass-whopping and he still doesn’t see fit to call up his Avengers pals? Or at least try? I’m sorry but you lost me there. (more…)
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Ones to Watch: V. Contreras
 V. Contreras Releases Her First Full-Length Album.  This spring brings much excitement for Seattle’s star-on-the-rise Victoria Contreras, as she  performs at The Triple Door April 11 and releases her first full-length album  April 15 . Her website description reads: “The love child of Dusty Springfield and Nancy Sinatra with a splash of The Ronettes.” Okay, we’re intrigued; aren’t you?  (more…)
RAINN ‘EM IN: Human-Powered Horse Race Raises Money For Sexual Assault Victims
RAINN ‘EM IN is a horse race held at Emerald Downs, but the horses are inflatable, and the Jockeys are, well, you and your friends dressed up in costumes. Now you might be wondering what inflatable horses and sexual assault have to do with each other, and the answer is simple: nothing, really. The horses aren’t symbolic and the costumes are entirely up to you, but the result? Bringing groups of people together, in a fun, safe, loving environment to support survivors and (more…)
Young the Giant
Music Madness: Young The Giant
It’s About Time To Experience Young The Giant at the Showbox Who: When the Jakes got together at their Orange County high school destined to emerge as one of 2009′s best new indie artists, their strengths grew to be as diverse as their backgrounds (Indian, Persian French-Canadian, and British). The Jake’s initial name is an acronym for each members’ first name, and thankfully after a successful summer performance at South by Southwest, and some face time on MTV, they announced they were done with abbreviations and resurfaced as Young the Giant – and young and giant they were. They began writing music together in their teens filled with excitement and ambition, and in their early 20′s as they began (more…)
Silver Screen Riot: Aronofsky’s “Noah” Is a Boatload of Goodness
Glenn Beck has spoken. “Noah is just ridiculous,” Beck preached, going so far as to call the message contained within Darren Aronofsky‘s biblical blockbuster “danger disinformation.” Wise words from a man defending a story involving “the Creator” committing genocide against humankind, save for a 600-year old hero and his family (Genesis 7:6). For the creationist talk show host, ridiculousness exists only outside the confines of the Bible. But Beck is onto something. (more…)
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