RECOMMENDED: Based on the terrific 2002 graphic novel by Philly-born writer/artist Phoebe Gloeckner, The Diary of a Teenage Girl incorporates its source material’s fusion of art and biography to tell the coming-of-age story of Minnie, a 15-year-old aspiring cartoonist living in San Francisco. The ideal counterpoint to late-summer box office bloat, this small, deeply personal tale with Wes Anderson-worthy whimsy and animated flights of fancy that bring Gloecker’s illustrations to life stars Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Kristen Wiig, and Christopher Meloni.
ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK: Rosenwald is a documentary about Julius Rosenwald, philanthropist and the co-owner of Sears, Roebuck & Company who helped build thousands of schools and housing for the African-American community during the early 1900s; Meru is a doc chronicling three climbers’ attempts to scale the titular Himalayan mount; Sinister 2 is more horror garbage that makes us realize how much the tired genre desperately needs another Halloween or The Blair Witch Project to shake things up; American Ultra has Adventureland baes Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart getting wrapped up in an action comedy that looks to be a throwback to 80s flicks, or at the very least, Pineapple Express; and Hitman: Agent 47 follows an assassin as he helps a woman uncover her shadowy past and blah blah fucking blah. Wait this is a sequel? We had no idea. Rupert Friend, Angelababy star.
In a press conference held by Mayor Nutter that just wrapped up, World Meeting of Families Executive Director Donna Crilley Farrell gave further details about the Papal Visit Playbook, an, um, bible of everything you need to know about Pope Francis‘ visit next month. The online publication crafted by The Inquirer/Daily News teams will be a sort of Pope Visit For Dummies FAQ about His Holiness’ appearance and exactly how it will impact life in the city. Those seeking clarity on the situation can sign up for details about the playbook’s release here, or you can wait until it is released at noon on Monday and check it out then. The presser’s other major developments were the announcements that trash pick-up would be suspended on Friday 9/25 and Monday 9/28, and that 311 would be operating for 24 hours beginning on August 26th and lasting the duration of Popemania. Ultimately, this press conference was largely about the Mayor’s attempts to reassure the public that the city will attempt to meet all of their needs and that papal panic is not necessary. In light of news like this, it remains to be seen how well his message was transmitted.
Long before The Dead Milkmen confused the masses with their Club MTV antics, Public Image Ltd. breathed some freshness into an otherwise stale TV music show during their 1980 appearance on National Bandstand. Generally refusing to take part in any of the expected behavior for a TV guest, John Lydon struts around the set during P.I.L.’s “performances” of “Poptones” and “Careering,” confounding Dick Clark all the while. Dangerous Minds has the background scoop on the appearance — one that is tame in comparison to some of Lydon’s other appearances. Will any such musical magic occur at the group’s just announced gig at the Troc on November 11th? One can only hope.
When word spread earlier this week that hackers had released stolen customer data from the Ashley Madison extra-marital affair website to the Internet, it was just a matter of time before the we found out how many City of Philadelphia employees were using their Phila.gov work e-mail addresses to dip their toes into the sea of sin. The answer: Only nine. City officials are now investigating the anonymous employees, promising that they will “face some kind of disciplinary action” if it is proven they were using work property to visit the site. We’re guessing that is a small price to pay compared to what would happen to these folks if their spouses found out about their extra-curricular freak-getting on.
Every time we hear word of the Reading Viaduct RailPark moving ahead, we get twinges of excitement the likes of which our dead souls have not felt in a very long time. But it’s real, and it’s happening, and the project wants to get Philly’s creative community involved. The city’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy has just issued a Call for Artists to compete for $33,000 in funding to beautify four spaces in the RailPark with “high-quality, original site-specific artwork that announces the park’s presence and reflects the overall project’s goals. It also states that they are looking for “physical objects as well as sound art,” which means that immersive audio pieces like Michael Kiley‘s Rittenhouse Square installation The Empty Air are a possibility. The deadline for the first of the two-stage selection process is September 23rd, with the winning artist/artistic team being announced at the end of November. This is all very Hunger Games meets The Joy of Painting to us, so get at it Philly artists! Complete entry details can be found here.
After months of foreplay, construction and consumerism finally got it on and the result will be another brand-new Target right in the fat-clogged heart of Center City at 12th and Chestnut on the site of the former Oppenheim Collins store. (How old are we anyway? Because we think we have a vague memory of that place). The Inquirer‘s coverage of the story informs us that this will be a smaller microstore “about 14 percent the size of a typical Target” that will be focused on essentials like home products and food. If you are concerned about further corporate encroachment into the Market East corridor and how this will impact small businesses and the community at large, we hear you. (Especially given things like this). We must admit though that our ever-growing fascination with the strange mini Starbucks in Target stores, one of which will be featured in this new location, is clearly clouding our judgment on this issue. Have you ever seen someone working on their computer by a Tarbucks? We have, and it is cultural anthropology at its finest.
Sad news to report this morning: Chase Utley, the 13-year Phillies veteran with the Star Wars-ian name, has been traded to the Dodgers. We’ve known this has been coming for a while, but that hasn’t softened the blow any and now we feel like we are in the sports equivalent of “Someone Like You.” So we’re just going to watch Utley’s 2008 World Series speech and be mopey for a while. But if my some magical chance Chase is out there reading this, you and Jen keep in touch, ‘kay? It has been a pleasure.
>>> Anthony Campuzano will be at the Art Museum to discuss his absorbing film installation Forecast 1998/2013 with and Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art Amanda Sroka. Additional details on the work and photos can be glimpsed here, and suitably enough it will likely be raining tonight. Don’t let that put you off though, this demands to be seen despite the weather.
>>> Speaking of the forecast, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that tonight’s free screening of The Birds at FringeArts isn’t rained out because oh man does that movie freak us out.
This evening, the Mummers Museum is hosting a Game Show Night benefit for the museum and various charities in which Jeopardy never rans from throughout the Delaware Valley can plunk down $25 for the possibility of participating in truncated versions of GSN classics like Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune and other exercises in television passivity. Apparently there will be a bit of Let’s Make a Deal thrown in as well, because the above flyer eagerly suggests that costumed contestants are welcome. With that in mind, and given that dressing up is second nature to Mummerfolk, we suggest that attendees whip out the sequined fabric and come as one of the following: Gaudy Pope, a Daily News Sexy Single, or, our personal fave, Hoagiemouth Just Suckered Out Of 25 Bucks. (Costume reminder: blackface is not okay). But in all this snarky snark snark, we’ve buried the lede: Councilman Mark Squilla will be in attendance in an unspecified capacity. So hooray? If any of this appeals to you, seriously, have fun getting your Hump Day on. We can’t think of a recent event in Philly that is less for us — and Eagles training camp is currently underway. Shudder.
(This post best read whilst humming “The Gambler”). During a presentation on their Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia in front of the city planning commission yesterday, Stadium Casino LLC, learned that as proposed right now, the project can’t move forward. From The Inquirer:
The plan for Philadelphia’s second casino does not meet zoning requirements because it lacks enough open space. Its proposed digital signs also exceed limits, a city planning commission official said Tuesday.
That means the $500 million project in South Philadelphia requires two significant changes to the underlying zoning code, Martin Gregorski, director of the planning commission’s development division, told commissioners during a presentation on Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia.
Further complicating matters for the project was the concern voiced by several planning officials of how the proposed casino would fit into its surroundings, as well as an appearance by members of Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network who are concerned about allegations of racism involving project partner Cordish Cos. (Ones that, as The Inquirer notes, have been investigated and dismissed by the Black Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity). Finally, there is still the ongoing manner of the appeal of the license award to Stadium Casino LLC that needs to be resolved. We won’t even begin to bet (see what we did there?) on how this will turn out, but we will keep you posted.
Created mainly for transportation buffs, the above video compilation of SEPTA and NJ Transit footage is a fascinating window through which you can peer out onto what Philadelphia circa-1999 was like. (Typing those words it just struck us that while it may not seem like it, that was a very long time ago). There’s much more of this sort of thing here, but frankly we have such a complicated relationship with SEPTA and nostalgia that we’re not sure if our hearts can take any more.
We have said it before and we will say it until we shuffle off this mortal coil (probably while listening to This Mortal Coil), we will never get over 120 Minutes. Imagine then our surprise when we stumbled upon the Tumblr of Brooklyn artist Derek Marks and saw that he has been illustrating key moments from the series’ best interviews. Along with the above image of Robert Smith, he has illustrated 120 vets ranging from Kate Bush to Henry Rollins with a sense of artistic whimsy that is representative of the often-goofy show. On August 30th, Marks will be selling his 120 Minutes: The Interview Sketches zine at the Philly Zine Fest at the Rotunda. Yep, our Christmas shopping just got considerably easier.
In conjunction with the World Meeting of Families papal visit next month, a national coalition of four LGBT groups collectively known as Equally Blessed was to have held a series of outreach and educational events at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church until the Archodiocese told the organization that they could no longer use the space as promised due to Archbishop Chaput‘s disapproval of a workshop on gender identity that was to be held there. As disappointing (but unsurprising) as this news may be, there is a happy ending: Equally Blessed has found a new home for their events at the Arch Street United Methodist Church. The takeaway here? Love is love, wherever it may find itself.
So there you have it: The world is not totally made of shit. Have you got some good news? If so, send it to tips[at]philebrity[dot]com with “GOOD MOTHERFUCKING NEWS!” in the subject header — we’d love to hear about it.
Today is International Orangutan Day, an annual call for action to help protect the species from deforestation caused by the palm oil industry. You can involved in helping the cause via the Philadelphia Zoo‘s website, then spend as much as you like oohing and ahhing over the above picture that we, in the parlance of our times, can’t even. Look they are holding hands and the one is using a piece of cardboard for shade! D’awwww.
For their latest valentine to Saved by the Bell, the Philadelphia Police Department have released their spin on the show’s vintage anti-drugs PSA. Essentially the same as the original with a Charles Ramsey voiceover thrown in and some rudimentary Photoshop to cover Mr. Belding’s face with our Commissioner’s, this is a very strange viewing experience that kinda makes us feel like we’re high. So what’s going on here? The New York Daily Times interviewed PPD social media manager Sgt. Eric Gripp, who said:
“that he originally wanted to replace the entire the Bayside cast with members of the police force but it became “overly difficult with everyone’s schedules.” Additionally, Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the area has been taking up much of the department’s time.”
Oh hey that reminds us, did Saved by the Bell ever do a very special episode about the #PopeFence?
>>> The second year of Councilman-At-Large David Oh‘s PHL Live initiative to provide exposure to new Philly acts gets underway at the TLA with a show featuring performances from Philebs favorite Chill Moody, along with Kid Felix, Bria Marie, DJ Ricochet, Aime, and Max Swam. It’s tomorrow’s stars, TODAY!
>>> Tattooed Mom is hosting a benefit for the politically charged Fringe Fest show Unarmed: Realizing Race and Racism. Show creator Arielle Pina will be on hand to discuss the project which fuses elements of dance, live music, and acting, and there will also be an auction and a performance of a song from the show.
In an attempted knee-slapper of a Craigslist free stuff post titled “Free chair with murder stain 27th just n of girard,” a would-be Ray Romano writes:
Curb alert: free chair
No longer needed as evidence (just kidding, no one died in the chair…yet)
Guaranteed loose change when moving.
Here’s some free advice to all of your Craigslisters out in the Philebs broadcast area: No one wants your stained shit, and leave the questionable comedy to the open mic nights where it’s more at home. (We’d say where it belongs, but comedy open mics are so tedious that that shit doesn’t belong anywhere). Okay? Okay.
Embattled U.S. Representative Chaka Fattah will have his first court appearance this afternoon on the charges he faces in relation to his July 29th indictment for racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud and bribery. But he’s not taking this matter quietly. Yesterday, Fattah put federal prosecutors on blast, calling the charges he faces “unconstitutional and unlawful.” The Inquirer has the details of the letter he sent to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in which he, amongst other things, alleges misconduct on the part of the Department of Justice:
Fattah’s letter alleges that prosecutors have violated the rights of witnesses by approaching them without their attorneys present, broken grand jury secrecy laws in an attempt to embarrass him, used threats to coerce him into producing Congressional documents protected by federal law and of making unspecified false statements in court.
“Some in the Department of Justice may have potentially blurred the lines of the separation of powers, engaged in tactics with the intention to influence a political process, and performed other documented examples of misconduct,” Fattah wrote. “This potentially unjust investigation and conduct may include elements that could ultimately mar the positive work of many well-serving staff and agents.”
Reminder: It’s going to be fascinating to see how this one plays out. Ahh politics, what would we do without you? Wait, don’t answer that.