November 14, 2014

Film Sweat: Amour!

RECOMMENDED: This year marks the centennial of Marguerite Duras, who earned an Oscar nomination her first time out for this, Alain Resnais‘ 1959 groundbreaking meditation on love in the atomic age. But it’s hard to contain Hiroshima Mon Amour in any synopsis, because wow, is there a lot to pack in here. A worldwide sensation when it was first released — the film was awarded the International Critics’ prize at the Cannes but kept out of the main competition to avoid offending the U.S. (when’s the last time a film fest did that?) — Hiroshima Mon Amour today stands at the intersection of film history and world history. It is also simply gorgeous and, even today, kind of mind-blowing to look at. Rights issues have kept it off of the repertory film circuit for years, so this new restoration is something of an event. Catch it while you can.

ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK: Low Down, an unlikely biopic of heroin-addicted jazz pianist pianist Joe Albany starring John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Peter Dinklage, Glenn Close and… Flea!; Rosewater, starring Gael García Bernal in Jon Stewart‘s directorial debut of a true story of a Tehrani-born journalist who was jailed for being a spy after appearing on a Daily Show segment; Theory of Everything, a love story/biopic about the young Stephen Hawking; Dumb and Dumber To, which exists; and Beyond The Lights, a new twist on the Star Is Born formula but one that also feels like a movie for people who don’t really like movies about music for people who don’t really like music.

For more recommendations on films currently in theaters, visit Philebrity’s Film Sweat archive. And click here for movie times. Need repertory film? Try Cinedelphia.

November 13, 2014

Worry Not, Taylor Swift/Lorde Fans: We Have Updated Our List Of Reasons To Revoke Diplo’s Philly Pass Once And For All

And we will continue to do so until we have final word that PHL airport confirms that he will no longer be allowed past arrivals.

Previously: The 30 Most Portland Things To Ever Happen In Philadelphia

This Evening: Get Lit

>>> Two literary events of note tonight: Over at Kelly Writers House on Penn campus, there’s Writing About TV: GIRLS, in which a gaggle of arts writers discuss women’s roles on TV, with thankfully only one of them actually talking about the show Girls. (Because really: Who among us could actually handle a a reading on the Penn campus devoted entirely to Girls? If such a person exists, they do not deserve to.) Back in the real world, Tire Fire Readings are back at Tattooed Mom for their last outing of the year, with Diane Cook (author of the story collection Man V. Nature), Carmen Maria Machado and Ryan MacDonald.

>>> Elswhere: Caribou plays Union Transfer, and Folkadelphia Presents: Don Bikoff, Mark Fosson, Jerry David DeCicca (of Black Swans) at Little Berlin Annex.



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And Now, Today’s GOOD NEWS: Ralph Brooks Park, Help Is Here!

goodmotherfuckingnewsThis Monday, November 17th, at 3:30 PM, Mayor Nutter, Connor Barwin, and a massive list of local donors will break ground on the Ralph Brooks Tot Lot on 20th and Tasker. The project is coming together thanks to generous funding from numerous sources, including the Kurt Vile benefit show organized by Barwin’s Make The World Better Foundation and Union Transfer, which raised $170,000 in one night for the cause. Union Transfer’s Sean Agnew tells us that “$31k of the funds raised that evening went to complete phase one. The remaining $139k will go to the second phase – a community garden and park project with PHS and Mural Arts.” According to the press release for the event, this second phase will facilitate art and urban farming in the new park. Ralph Brooks himself will be in attendance. We’d love it if there were a way to make fun of this, but it really just looks like a bunch of good people in Philadelphia getting together and working really hard to do a good thing. The feeling we’re feeling right now is strange and unfamiliar. Maybe it’s hope?

The Secret Admirer Abandoned Use Of A Computer For Its New Issue And It Is So Sublime

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Click to enlarge.

One could make the case — and who would stop you? — that there is currently a sort of contemporary poetics of Philadelphia that we can call, for now, “cosmic mindfulness.” In the New Philadelphian Cosmic Mindfulness, the idea is to be so in touch with your brain as a plant/natural/growing thing that grows here in the cradle of Liberty that you can nearly sound fully out of your mind, but only to people whose hearts are closed and whose primary concerns deaden everything around them. You feel it most certainly in the poetry of CA Conrad and Poet Laureate Frank Sherlock, whose “You Can Feel Good” is one of the leading documents of this voice, this sound. But you can also feel it the art of Anthony Campuzano and Zoe Strauss, and in the music of Birdie Busch and plenty of others. But at the street level, you can really feel it in The Philadelphia Secret Admirer, the whimsical four-page zine left around in Philly bars and coffee shops. We’ve written about the Admirer before (see link below), but in this week’s issue, you can really feel a breakthrough. Eschewing computers altogether, it was just written out by hand and thus, became a sort of meditation on unplugging. As a public service, we’re reproducing the first page here. Because it’s things you need to hear. Pick up the Secret Admirer at a portal to love near you today.

Previously: There’s Only One Print Rag Worth Reading in This Town and It’s the Philadelphia Secret Admirer



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Now Is The Time For Lovers Of The Fairmount Park Welcome Center To Unite And #SaveTheSaucer

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The city’s recently announced redesign of the LOVE park/JFK Park Plaza may not include The Fairmount Park Welcome Center, the beloved “saucer,” in its plans. The Fairmount Park Welcome Center might be shaped like a flying saucer because it’s one of the otherworldly outposts assuring us Men-In-Black style of continued harmonious coexistence with alien races from other planets. It also might be because it’s a fixture of midcentury architecture designed to inspire hope for a better Philadelphia, and a better world, after the cataclysm of World War II. Either way, it’s not just a weirdly shaped building. It’s a symbol, and when a symbol is destroyed, the idea for which it stands is challenged. That’s why people are hashtagging #savethesaucer on Instagram and signing the petition to PennPraxis that you can find if you follow the above link. Even if it’s not for intergalactic peace, if just for posterity, it’s worth getting involved.

Shed A Single Tear For Future Generations Matriculating To Showboat U

Predictably, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey‘s stated intention to buy the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City is motivated, at least in part, by an interest in “efforts to remake the city.” It seems just as likely to us that instead, the new Stockton AC Campus (we’re putting our flag down first on the unofficial nickname “Showboat U”) will unmake the Stockton student body. Seriously, if you put college kids in a casino town, you’re not going to turn the rest of the town into studious makers of a better tomorrow. You’re just going to give those kids what they all really want: a vast amusement park of drinking, gambling, and indoor smoking. As Tony Baloney’s owner Mike Hauke puts it, “To put college kids in a gaming town might seem not to be a great mix, but kids are goofy, kids are fun. I think it’s a supersmart move.” Well, let’s just see how goofy these kids can get.

Attn. Fellow Media Acting Like Lynne Abraham’s Mayor Announcement Is News: It’s Not

She announced on October 27th. In Abington. Because that is just how in touch with contemporary Philadelphia Lynne Abraham is.

Also, she is still not on Twitter. Or Facebook. Nor would a campaign website seem to exist. Taken that way, maybe you guys are right: Maybe the Abraham campaign really isn’t real yet.

MP3 Of The Moment: Yo La Tengo Covering Upper Darby’s Own Todd Rundgren

Now is the time, my fellow Peanuts, for the shag carpeting and the fireplace and the red wine and the winter flavored-bossa nova. Along with some questions: How long have we been loving you, Yo La Tengo? It’s been a long time, dears. Thirty years, in fact. Thirty years which will be celebrated on Dec. 6, when the standard-bearers (and partial creators) of American indie rock come back to the Trocadero. And what has this love been for? It’s been for things like this, this gorgeous little cover of Todd’s signature hit; it is as pining and elegant as Todd himself could have ever hoped for. (Another question: How did we miss this? It’s been online for two years!) And as fans know, this is not even the half of the stuff that Georgia, Ira and James are good at. That’s the thing with Yo La Tengo: There’s always more. Last question: Will we be there on the 6th? Answer: Wild Horses couldn’t keep us away. You guys know that one, too, right?

This Photo Of Johnny Doc At The Anti-South Philly Parx Meeting Is Everything, Everything, Everything


Was it just us, or did you also hear this when you looked at it?

Previously: South Philly Community Reps Pretty Damn Pissed About Likely Casino Deal

Come Out And Bring A Turkey For The Annual Food-A-Thon And Turkey Run

We’re feeling a little spooked today, having written first about Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz and now Paul “Earthquake” Moore, but not enough so to stop us from plugging Paul’s 24-Hour Food-A-Thon and Annual Celebrity Turkey Run & Giveaway. Donations of canned foods and other goods (Thanksgiving-appropriate cuisine encouraged but not required) for the Food-A-Thon will be accepted November 16th-17th (although Paul says 15th-16th in the video) at the New Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church at 7001 Woodland Avenue, and you can sign up for the Turkey Run from 50th and Woodland to Woodland and Island here. Like Paul says, if you’re a runner, come out on the 22nd and bring a turkey. It’s that simple.

Hopefully The Twist At The End Of The Bucks County Shyamalan Movie Will Be That It Didn’t Suck

M. Night Shyamalan, the director known for his movies that seem at first like they’re about one thing and then turn out shockingly to be about a somewhat different thing, has a movie coming out next year set on a “remote Pennsylvania farm” and shot in Bucks County. Reportedly, this movie is a low-budget return to the approach and style of Shyamalan’s earlier films, rather than a further development of his shocking transformation into a shitty mega-mainstream hack. If so, it’ll definitely be a twist for any viewer who’s seen any of the last, like, five Shyamalan films. The twist at the end of this post, though, is that this whole time we’ve actually been writing off of a blurb up at Philly.com.

NBC Dispatches Resident Guy In Bow Tie To Explain That Winter Will Be Cold Again

Well, here it is, today’s video of a tiny bow-tied man promising 40 inches. Except this time, the promise isn’t bullshit, and the 40 inches are all snow. Remember last week when we told you that Winter was going to be cold again this year? Well, it seems that the people over at NBC are also faithful readers of Farmers’ Almanac. Because that’s really all it takes to predict the weather. Glenn Schwartz just happens to wear a bow tie. Highlights of this video include Hurricane explaining what the word “average” means and a cool trip to Siberia via virtual globe. Check it out if you want, but the sad fact remains: Winter is going to be cold again this year. Watch the video after the jump. (more…)

November 12, 2014

This Evening: Everything Here That You Could Ever Need

>>> The video above pretty much says it all: pristine and vibrant cinematography showcasing brash and challenging body-positivity to accompany new explorations in R&B and neo-soul that pay the appropriate dues to their foundational folk and indie stylings. That’s Caroline Smith, who’s at once changing the game and playing the game, giving you a pop that’s fashioned deliberately to make you think while relieving you of the burden of thinking. If the photos on her site tell us anything, the live show is as much a gleefully destructive celebration as the videos and the music are. Plus, Philebrity favorite S.T.S., who killed the 215 Fest just a couple weeks ago, is opening. See them both at Boot & Saddle tonight at 8.

>>> If rather than forward you’d like to look back tonight — back, specifically, to your high school days, sneaking forties into summer festivals with your stoned and mopheaded buddies — you can see Stars with Hey Rosetta! at Union Transfer at 8.

Captain Freeshit: Win Tickets To See Ms. Lauryn Hill This Saturday At The Electric Factory

For decades now, Lauryn Hill‘s has been known as a uniquely uncompromising and undeniable voice in hip-hop and R&B. Since beginning her career with the Fugees, Hill has been turning out verses and vocal performances on tracks ranging musically from the incomparably fresh to the hauntingly antique. The song “Black Rage,” which you can hear above, is a response to the Ferguson crisis, and it is no less powerful than the most enduring of her hits and hidden gems. All of this is important preamble to our announcement that we are giving away a FREE PAIR OF TICKETS to the Lauryn Hill show with Talib Kweli and Kuf Knots at the Electric Factory on Saturday. To enter to win tickets, email ihopeiwin[at]philebrity[dot]com with “SINGING MY LIFE WITH HER WORDS” in the subject header. You’ll automatically be subscribed to the forthcoming new Philebrity Reader weekly newsletter and win chances for other exclusive free stuff.

How We (Accidentally) Turned A Cruddy Metro Article Into A Chance For Animal Rescues To Get The Word Out! (What?)


You know, living in the city has this great feature, if you want it bad enough: You really can tune out much of what is culturally just utterly awful about America. So last night, when the Metro posted this grotesque how-to on “making the most of Black Friday” (complete with advice from a “shopping expert”: “follow your favorite stores on Facebook!”), we could not help it: A visceral reaction spouted forth from us on sight. (See above.) To us, Black Friday is a deeply soulful day in which you lay on the floor, eat leftovers, and start drinking whenever the hell you want. Especially being in Philly, the very idea of being at the South Philly Target at 5:43AM on Black Friday is sheer absurdity: Raise your hand if you’d rather do a month of jury duty than do this once. Especially when, if you’re lucky enough to not be working on Black Friday, there is so much glorious laying about to do. Gilmore Girls for everyone! What’s on ABC Family?

Anyway, to make a long story short: We sassed the Metro, the Metro sassed us back, somewhere along the line, Philadelphia Weekly jumped into the fray, and we figured, “Hey, you know what? If we’re talking real deal holiday spirit (and shit, you know we are, we do a Christmas Pageant and Awards Show every year — SAVE THE DATE, DECEMBER 18TH, JOHNNY BRENDA’S), let’s make this media-on-media shit-talkin’ count for something, you know?” And so we made the immodest proposal:


And the Metro bit! And so did the Weekly! And then it was on Buzzfeed. And smiles were had by all. We’re currently coordinating with reps from both papers on how we’ll roll this out, but if you work with an animal rescue in Philly, do keep an eye on our Twitter feed, as we’ll have details up there soon. Merry Christmas every one of us!

The Mormon Church Admits Its Prophet Was A Polygamist; Here’s Cool Stuff About Philly’s New Mormon Temple!

As you may have already heard from another credible media outlet, the Mormon Church officially admitted today to its founder Joseph Smith’s plural marriages to up to forty women. This admission comes as part of a new effort toward openness on the part of the Church, who have seen the secrecy upon which their organization has thrived over the years compromised beyond precedent by that mighty purveyor of truths, the internet.

In honor of this truth coming out, we wanted to share some fun facts, via LDSChurchTemples, about the new Mormon Temple going up at the northeast corner of Vine and North 18th:

>>> According to Mayor Nutter, after the addition of the temple, Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be “one of the most incredible boulevards anywhere in the world.”

>>> A month after the announcement of the plan to construct the temple in Philadelphia, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the longer, cooler name for the Mormon Church) announced a $300,000 contribution to the Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services for Ex-Offenders (RISE) because the program “fits with the mission of the Church.”

>>> After the Philadelphia Art Commission revealed its final plans for the design of the temple, commissioners briefly debated whether honey locusts were “too lacy” a design choice.

>>> The architecture of the temple incorporates various nods to historic city architecture, including spires reminiscent of the Independence Hall clocktower.

>>> Next to the temple, the Church also plans to build a 32-story apartment tower complete with townhouses and street-level shopping, rendered here:

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Readers Cameraphone: Luckily, Postage Is Not Measured By Emotional Weight

This one comes to us from the folks at PubLetters, who host weekly letter-writing get-togethers designed to take the user back to the soothing time of what we’ll call “slow communication.” They’re at the legendary Paddy’s Pub every Tuesday this month, and this one was left on the bar last night.

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Fiction writers, we believe we have today’s writing prompt for you. Damn. What is IN that letter?

Seeing something around town of note? Cameraphone it to: tips[at]philebrity[dot]com.

And Now, Your Moment Of Philadelphia Shit-Zen: cityhallparkinglot.tumblr.com

Including such poetry as “The rain at City Hall falls mainly on the parked cars,” cityhallparkinglot.tumblr.com is a visual documentation of, well, cars being parked at City Hall. At the intersection of unearned privilege and utter stupidity, this collection of images says something very deep and true about the exact kind of assholes we, as an entire civic/parking culture, are. If you don’t understand what you see here, you really ought to consider moving away.

Con-Artist Vince Fumo Wants To Warn You That Homeless People Are Con-Artists

“Like many people, I used to not really see the homeless,” opens former State Senator and convicted conspirator Vince Fumo’s Inquirer editorial on his work with Project HOME’s outreach team over the past year. Many vapid op-eds about spending time volunteering at a shelter and getting in touch with a life you never fathomed open like this. This one, however, is not even dignified enough to be vapid. Fumo’s article is about finally seeing the homeless and realizing they are all either drunks, drug-addicts, insane or con-artists. Obviously, some people are far too gone for community service to do them any good:

My work this past year has really opened my eyes. And let me make a suggestion based on that service for the next time you trip over a human piece of “debris” on the streets of Philadelphia:

Please do not attempt assuage your guilt by giving them the money they beg for. That only makes the problem worse. Instead, tell them to “come in” from the cold to a shelter and back to life.