HOORAY FOR WELLYWOOD! The schedule (and very tasty website) for the 2012 New Zealand International Arts Festival (24 February - 18 March) is live. In brief: Not much in the way of obvious "must see" shows, but a lot more depth and range in the programme. Word is that Bon Iver's two shows (February 27 & 28) are going to be the first sell-out, so don't dilly-dally if you're a fan.
MMMM, WAFFLE... Muse's favourite cultural curmudgeon, The Listener's Hamish Keith, casts his gimlet eye over the major parties' arts policies. Is not impressed by the waffles on the campaign menu.
"I'VE GOT TO FIND THE FLAMING NIPPLE!" I'm a huge David Lynch fan and Blue Velvet is still a love letter straight to the head after 25 years. You mileage may vary, of course, but the discovery of over an hour of long-lost deleted scenes - a selection of which have been included as an extra on the 25th anniversary BluRay/DVD re-release - is a cause for celebration. Like Lynch himself, I believe it's pretty obvious that most deleted scenes get that way for good reason. But as he also says, “Some people flunk out of school, but are still very interesting people. They’re not in the class that goes ahead, but maybe you’d like to go visit them.”
OCCUPY THE COMIC BOOK STORE! One of the more unnerving side shows to Occupy Wall Street is over-caffenated comic book guy Frank (300, The Dark Knight Returns) Miller, getting really really cross at the "louts, thieves, and rapists". (Because, of course, Frank, using "rape" as shorthand for non-rape "shit that I don't like" really puts you on the moral high ground.) "Scientist, futurist and best-selling author" David Brin responds with Why the OWS Kids are Better Than #$%! Spartans. My sympathies are with Brin. However, responding to Miller's tendentious, ideological junk history with some of his own isn't helpful. Neither is "Leni Reifenstahl would be proud" - the Godwin of film criticism - the third degree burn Brin thinks it is.
HATERZ GONNA HATE, AND OBTUSE DOUCHE-CANOES GONNA PADDLE Noah Berlatsky mounts his white horse and rides to the defence of Twilight saga heroine Bella who, apparently, "grown-ups" (well, "second-wave feminists") hate with the force of a thousand suns. Apparently it's all about a hatred of "femininity" while The Hunger Games' Katniss is a terrorist bitch who really just wants to get married anyway. Or something. If you've got any clues, enlighten me below...