Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sean Penn loses drag queen contest

“This Must Be the Place”

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If you’re reading Denver Art Matters you’re probably a fan of Sean Penn. I just wonder if you think, like I do, that he is the most amazing actor of our time?  From the first time I laid eyes on him in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982), his goofy, intelligent intensity and superb talent, placed him at the top of my favorite actor list. His career has proven that he has an unsettling instinct for choosing roles that suit his talents perfectly.

That’s why I decided on, “This Must Be the Place,” over the-getting-rave-reviews Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” movie last week.

O.K. TMBTP is a weird film. But Penn’s portrayal of an aging rockstar living in Dublin, a la Ozzy Osborne in Goth, emitting mumbled Truman Capote-esque lines, brilliantly showcases the talents of one of today’s most talented actors. I trust Penn’s acting choices.

The story line takes Cheyenne, the retired rock star, back to New York for his father’s final breath. After the funeral, even though he and his father hadn’t spoken in twenty years, Cheyenne necessitates revenge for his Auschwitz survivor father. Deciding to confront the depraved Auschwitz guard who tormented his father’s every waking hour after WWII. He discovers he is now living gratis in the U.S.  Thus, his cross country search begins.

The cast is impressive, Judd Hirsch, Frances McDormand (his wife), David Byrne. It’s doubtful Penn or any of the cast will be nominated for an award, but stranger things have happened. TMBTP debuted at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival produced by the Weinstein Company. Written and directed by Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, Penn gives an atypical, compelling performance, but quite honestly, he is a terrible looking drag queen.

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Brushstrokes Gallery is moving….

Talk about Christmas shopping – 4 of Denver’s most beloved artists have your holiday shopping in mind. 

2012 logo
Brushstrokes is moving!

(And we’re hosting a one-time sale,
just in time for the holidays
!)

After 10 years on Denver’s South Gaylord Street, we’re relocating to 1487 S. Broadway–just minutes away in the heart of revitalized
“antique row”–in a gorgeous
turn-of-the-century space.

Moving Sale
November 23 – Dec 24
(11 am- 5 pm, Mon – Sat, or happily by appointment)
25% discounts on most original art and prints

We’ve greatly appreciated your support over the years, and look forward to reconnecting at our new location!
With best wishes,

Kelly Berger, John K. Harrell,
Kit Hevron Mahoney, Anita Mosher
Brushstrokes Studio Gallery LLP
1059 S. Gaylord St.
Denver, Colorado 80209
303-871-0800
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Bill Amundsen to talk at Denver Art Museum Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday, November 28 2012, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
November 28, 2012Nervous_Patriot

With meticulous draftsmanship, Bill Amundson infuses social commentary and satire in portraits and in images of Middle America. He captures the absurdities and eccentricities of life in witty and humorous visual critiques. In works such as Teen Excavation andNervous Patriot – both in the Denver Art Museum collection – he addresses existential predicaments, from typical teenage angst to grown-up political anxieties. Amundson’s work has been widely exhibited and is in many public and private collections.

Image Credit: Bill Amundson, Nervous Patriot, 2004. Graphite on Paper. (c) The Artist. Image courtesy the Denver Art Museum.

General Lecture Information:

All lectures begin at 7:00 pm in the Sharp Auditorium at the Denver Art Museum’s Frederic C. Hamilton Building. Doors open at 6:15 pm. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call: 720-913-0130 or go online to https://tickets.denverartmuseum.org/Bill_Amundson_LL

INDIVIDUAL LECTURES:
$8 Students and DAM volunteers
$12 DAMC members and artists
$15 DAM members
$18 Non-members
SERIES:
$45. This special price is available only to DAM Contemporaries members and available here:https://tickets.denverartmuseum.org/LL_Series

SPONSORS:
This series is made possible with the generous support of Vicki and Kent Logan and DAM Contemporaries.

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Clever Art Forger would turn 114 today – Happy Birthday, Rene

From the Huffington Post
This is more interesting than anything I could say….

Today is the birthday of Belgian surrealistRene Magritte. Born on this day in 1898, the man with an amusing predilection for bowler hats would turn 114 years old if he were miraculously alive.

rene magritte

Los Angeles, UNITED STATES: Gallery security guard J. Dulay poses beside ‘Decalcomania’ (‘La Decalcomanie’) by Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte (1898-1967). AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK/Getty Images.

Magritte began making art in 1916, creating paintings similar in style to Impressionist masters. The following year, he enrolled at Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, moving more in the direction of Futurist and Cubist artists like Jean Metzinger. It wasn’t until 1926 that Magritte produced his first Surrealist work, “The Lost Jockey,” launching his association with Andre Breton‘s circle in Paris.

The young artist threw himself full force into the manifesto-making sentiments of the Surrealists. With the exception of a brief painterly detour known as his “Renoir Period,” Magritte became known for his provocative pieces incorporating ordinary objects into unusual spaces. One of his most famous works, “The Treachery of Images,” plays on the tendency of works to deceive as it features a painting of a lone pipe with the caption, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (“This is not a pipe”).

rene magritte

‘Le Beau Navire’, a painting by artist Rene Magritte, was on display at Sotheby’s during a preview, January 20, 2010, in New York. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images.Though Magritte is now famous for his mystifying paintings, during his life the Brussels based artist allegedly supported himself at times through the production of fake works by Picasso and Braques. His clever art forgeries later turned into forged banknotes, featuring King Leopold of Belgium smoking a pipe, which highlights the smirky-worthy deceit present in nearly everything Magritte touched. The feisty artist painted well into his later life, exhibiting a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art shortly before his death in 1968. His work has since received widespread attention across the globe, inspiring artists from Jeff Beck toJean-Luc Godard.
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You’re Invited to a Tupperware Party

                                                                      

It’s a Par-tay. Honestly. Girls and boys get your ticket to Dixie Longate’s riotous, “Dixie’s Tupperware Party,” at the Denver Center Attractions, Garner Galleria theatre.

Not knowing what to expect, I reckon’d I’d laugh, hear profanity and off color jokes about the venerable Tupperware product. Sure enough, I did hear all that…and more.

Dixie Longate is an institution. She’s kind of like Jill Connor Browne’s Sweet Potato Queen and our very own Nuclia Waste. It’s what one might consider high struttin’ and dissin’. But hey, where can you go see an intimate performance, witness a demonstration for airtight plastic storage, toast your neighbor with the special par-tay punch in a vagina tight holder, and best of all, buy a complete set of Tupperware at an honest to god, Tupperware Party, I ask you, where  can  you  do  all  that?

Dixie is a bonafide starlette. I’ve rarely seen an actor ad lib and improvise as she does. After ten years of selling tupperware, a la Brownie Wise style, it’s safe to say Miss Dixie’s heard it all and answered every question in the book. By the way, Dixie applauds Brownie Wise as the victor of Tupperware products. It was she who took those stacks of plastics into her friend’s living rooms, calling them home parties a la Sara Coventry. Who’da ever thought those plastic bowls would rival costume jewelry, and skyrocket Wise onto the history pages of home parties. She and her friends sold bazilions of forever plastics crowning Tupperware and Brownie the queen of a woman’s can’t-do-with-out-kitchen-items.

At the Galleria, Dixie invites you right into her living room accompanied by the ghost of the hallowed Miss Wise. With gratitude, Dixie smacks her indebtedness for Tupperware which has given her a new life she could never have lived without Mr. Earl Tupper’s invention. After all, before her party skills, she was a single mom, semi-raising three children Wynona, Dwayne and Absorbine, Jr.

The audience sings along with Dixie as she demonstrates her gum chewing wit explaining items such as the nifty pickle keeper. She cracks with well informed knowledge,  “You simply lift out the strainer and grab a liquid free pickle – from the #443,” wickedly adding,  “so your fingers won’t smell like ass, when you’re done.” Then there’s the #1289, Can Opener. Dixie swears that after the nuclear war there’ll be three things left on this earth: Cher, cockroaches and the #1289 can opener. She’s knows things like that. She knows that things come into focus better after that second shot of tequilla and she’s forever grateful for Brownie & Earl,  “There ain’t a day that goes by that I don’t pick up a piece of Tupperware and thank my lucky stars at how much better off I am now than I was just a couple of years ago.”

Stuttering, laughing, gum chewing, drinking wine, poking fun, engaging innocent audience participants is the uncut version of a top rated fun evening. The dialogue is clever and naughty and Dixie is without a doubt one of the funniest character actors on the stage today.

Don’t be surprised. You’ll actually love the new tupperware and by golly, it is quality stuff, still. Everyone gets a catalog and order form at your seat. You will quickly recognize the changes over the years. The lettuce crisper was a standard for all new wives in the 50’s -70’s, now costs a whopping $59.00. Crisp or not, lettuce can’t last long enough to pay for that piece of plastic. But if you listen to Dixie, you’ll be buying the berry colored tumbler set, the meat tenderizer, and airtight bowls our mothers swore by.

In fact, I bought the party punch in a Berry Bliss tumbler and by golly, not a drop of sweat on the outside and, the ice was perfect at the end of the evening.

Dixie’s Tupperware Party is the real thing.

www.dixiestupperwareparty.com

www.dcpa.org

http://www.nucliawaste.com

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The Results are in….35th Denver Starz Film Festival

The 35th Starz Denver Film Festival featured 232 films from 36 countries; SDFF screened 121 features and 111 shorts, with 16 titles being local Colorado productions. Recognized as the Rocky Mountain Region’s largest film event, SDFF attracted over 50,000 filmgoers during the eleven-day Festival.

STARZ PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS

 Narative Feature:

The Sapphires, directed by Wayne Blair

A pre-credits prologue sets the scene in 1960s Australia, where indigenous people-still called Aborigines-suffer abuse, persecution, and racial prejudice. Enter two sisters on their way to a small-town singing contest that they should win ably, but don’t. Social upheaval is sweeping the planet, and the young women, inspired by the U.S. civil rights movement, believe things can change for them.

Documentary Feature:

Rising from Ashes, directed by T.C. Johnstone

Rising from Ashes tells the moving story of a team of passionate Rwandan cyclists who survived their country’s genocide, and of cycling legend Jock Boyer, who became their coach.

Short Film:

ASAD, directed by Bryan Buckley

A young Somali boy wrestles with the attraction of his village’s ocean-bound pirates against the needs of his family and war-torn community.

JURIED AWARDS

The Krzysztof Kieslowski Award for Best Foreign Feature Film

Winner: Sister, directed by Ursela Meier

Growing up in the shadow of the Jura Mountains in Switzerland, where skiing was a normal part of daily living for the middle and upper classes, the story pits Simon, a 12-year-old from the industrial valley below, against the wealthy culture of the ski resort at the top of the mountain.

In bestowing Ursula Meierwith the Krzysztof Kieslowski Award for Best Feature Film Award, the Jury stated: “A well crafted narrative that explores the highs and lows of a complicated familial relationship with authentic performances, supported by grand cinematography, pulls you into the unfamiliar world of a childhood thief whose only constant is the love shared between him and his “sister”.

The jury was comprised of Whitney Kimmel – Film Publicist, IDPR; Adam Roffman – Program Director, Independent Film Festival Boston; and Irena Kovarova – Programmer, Czech Film Center.

The Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary Film

Winner: Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, directed by Ben Shapiro

Photographer Gregory Crewdson’s artwork has been called daring, complex, inventive, and rare. The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art collect his stunning images. Yet his creative process remained a mystery until he agreed to allow director Ben Shapiro to film him on location. For a decade, Shapiro followed Crewdson through the small towns of Massachusetts, capturing both the lighthearted and darker sides of this creative genius.

In bestowing Ben Shapiro with the Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary Film, the jury stated: “A film that at first seems like a simple portrait of an artist, but actually touches on deep and complex issues facing suburban America today through provocative photographs.”

The jury was comprised of Danielle Renfrew Behrens – producer (Double Dare, Queen of Versailles); Paula DuPre Pesman – producer (The Cove, Chasing Ice); Mitch Dickman – director/producer (DNC Mediamockracy, Hanna Ranch).

The New Directors Award

Winner: Pincus directed by David Fenster

After becoming sole caretaker for his Parkinson’s-patient dad, slacker Pincus learns some life lessons despite himself. With a cast of mostly family and friends-including Fenster’s dad-Pincus is part fiction, part documentary and wholly authentic.

In bestowing David Fenster with the New Directors Award, the jury stated: “For its artful mix of fictional and documentary elements, its unsentimental depiction of terminal illness and thirtysomething underachievement, and its playfully deadpan look at alternative medicine and the quest for human connection, the New Directors Award goes to David Fenster’s Pincus.”

The jury was comprised of James Francis Flynn – Actor/Producer (Miss Ohio); Rob Nelson – Film Critic; Paul Zimmerman – Film Critic/Author (Virgin Noir).

 The Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award

Winner: Crossing directed by Gina Atwater

In 1960s Georgia, a black teenager defies the rules of segregation and his conservative father when he walks through the front door of his white employer’s home.

In bestowing Gina Atwater with the Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award, the jury stated: “For it’s subtle, yet powerful, story of racial injustice and overall excellence in all aspects of its filmmaking, the jury awards The Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award goes to Crossing, written and directed by Gina Atwater”

The jury also stated: “For his dynamic portrayal of a troubled Hasidic youth searching for his own identity in the film Where is Joel Baum, the jury would like to give a special prize for acting to Luzer Twersky.”

The jury was comprised of Jenny Chikes – Producer (The Foot Fist Way, Dead Man’s Burden); Tim Harms – Producer (The Vicious Kind, Sexting, BFF); Garret Savage – Editor (Ready, Set, Bag!, My Perestroika) / Director (various shorts).

The ASIFA-Colorado Best Animated Short Award

Winner: MacPherson, directed by Martine Chartrand

Inspired by a real-life friendship and featuring a first-rate musical soundtrack, MacPherson is the story of the relationship between Québec poet Felix Leclerc and Jamaican-born chemical engineer Frank Randolph MacPherson.

In bestowing Martine Chartrand with the ASIFA-Colorado Best Animated Short Award, the jury stated: “This year was extremely difficult for the ASIFA-Colorado Best Animated Short Award jury. The animations were all very well crafted and containing delicate stories that were handled wonderfully.  However, the judges found that the vibrant images and interwoven poetry and music bringing to life an uncommon story using an uncommon animation technique of painted glass gave them the ability to claim the ASIFA-Colorado Best Animated Short Award for the film MacPherson, directed by Martine Chartrand.” The competition was sponsored by Mighty Fudge Studios.

The jury was comprised of Pat Mallek – Animator / Partner, Mighty Fudge Studios; Kim Mallek – Creative Director / Partner, Mighty Fudge Studios; Evert Brown – Animation Director; Ed Desroches – Media Arts Specialist; Wes Price – Illustrator.

To become a a film society member: http://www.denverfilm.org

Liberty Global International Student Short Award

Winner: Of Dogs and Horses (Germany), directed by Thomas Stuber

In a last-ditch effort to pay for his beloved dog’s surgery, Rolf bets everything he owns at the horse track. Of Dogs and Horses is a film about luck, courage, and the blind magic of desperate hope.

The jury stated: “For it’s inspired performances – both human and animal – its fatalistic humor, & the immersive world it creates, the jury gives the Liberty Global International Student Filmmaker Award to Of Dogs and Horses.”

The jury also stated: “For it’s stylish cinematography and its unflinching & nuanced portrait of a complicated man in a tense situation, we give a special jury prize to The Tobacco King (Zambia)“. Directed by Daniel Koehler, the provocative documentary explores race, history, and work in postcolonial southern Africa.

The jury was comprised of Penelope Rose Bartlett – Shorts Programmer, Chicago International Film Festival; John Korn – Shorts Programmer, Frameline/Sundance; Robert Leighton – SVP Programming, Liberty Global.

Screenplay Awards

Feature Screenplay Winner: OJ’s Eleven, written by Lawrence Riggens

The jury stated: “A well crafted insight into a “conspiracy of dunces.” The unfolding of this story in all it’s absurd twists and turns is unthinkably based on true events. A look into the contagion of celebrity and the Faustian ordeals that come with it. The jury gives the inaugural Feature Screenplay Award to OJ’s Eleven.”

Shorts Screenplay Winner: Becoming Lana Liu, written by David Schroeder

The jury stated: “We love the collision of the East and West, traditional and popular culture. This script is economical and disciplined with wonderful snapshots and imagery. The title character is precisely articulated in an unpredictable way. The jury gives the inaugural Shorts Screenplay Award to Becoming Lana Liu.”

The jury was comprised of Terry Dodd – Stage Director/Playwright (Goodnight Texas) / Screenwriter (Closer to Heaven), Amy Redford – Director (The Guitar, Delivery) / Actress (Sunshine Cleaning), Guinvere Turner – Screenwriter (The Notorious Bette Page) / Actress (American Psycho).

The screenplay competition is sponsored by The Program of Film and Television ­ CU-Denver.

To become a member of the Denver Film Society: www.denverfilm.org 

The Sapphires was the most delightful movie I’ve seen in months. If you can get a copy or see it at your local Independent Film Theaters – run don’t walk. You’ll leave with a grin on your face singing Motown tunes with the name Chris O’Dowd in mind. He was lovable, funny, and pretty darn cute in this movie about an all-girl, all-Aboriginal singing group. Jan

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