At the business end of the Queens Museum’s current Ramones exhibit, Joey Ramone (a.k.a. Jeffrey Hyman) stands almost motionless, his body pitched forward over a microphone like a figurehead on the prow of a ship, leading his raucous craft into a sea of hopping, happy humans.
No costume this year? Don’t want to deal with the Saturday-night Halloween crowds? If you’re homebound this holiday, try scaring (or laughing) yourself silly with these five fascinating, fun horrorcasts about movies, magic, killers and haunted history. Yes, we’ve left off the pop-quirky hit Welcome to Night Vale, because you’ve already heard of it or you have the book. Is it possible to get weirder? Let’s try.
Cleanliness doesn’t come easily to me. I need incentives to be tidy. When I was in college, as a sloppy, shirking girl, what greater incentive, I thought, than to have a reminder, even a request, from someone I loved and respected. Someone who had changed my life for the better and for whom I’d do anything. So I posted a sign in my dorm room that read, “Camille, please clean the bathroom. —W.B. Yeats.”
It’s inspiration time here at Mediander, as we sit down for an interview with up-and-coming screenwriter Bryan Abrams, whose fantastic new movie, Knucklehead, starring Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire) and Alfre Woodard (Crooklyn, 12 Years a Slave), is making the festival rounds. It recently opened the New Voices in Black Cinema series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and won the Minnesota Made award for feature narratives at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. Cowritten with the film’s director, Ben Bowman, Knucklehead tells the story of Langston (Akinnagbe), a Bedford-Stuyvesant native with an abusive mother (Woodard) and an unspecified mental disability, who embarks on a quest to become “mentally excellent” via drugs gotten from an elusive doctor. Take a look at the trailer, then read about the perils and joys of independent filmmaking.
Thirty years ago today, in the late afternoon of May 13, 1985, Philadelphia police dropped a small bomb from a state police helicopter onto a rooftop bunker at 6221 Osage Avenue, a row house on a crowded block in a western section of the city. The bombing was the culmination of a botched attempt to forcibly remove members of MOVE, a radical African American back-to-nature group, from their headquarters. The bomb ignited oil drums stored on the roof, and the resulting conflagration, which the city initially allowed to burn unchecked, killed 11 MOVE members, five of them children; destroyed more than 60 houses; and left 250 neighbors homeless. With local television news crews broadcasting the developing story live from the scene, it was a shocking, horrible night, not only for the city but the nation—the only verifiable instance that authorities in the U.S. had bombed American citizens.
Embracing the latest trends can be misguided. Some 30 years ago, I realized my pale greenish skin clashed luridly with the era’s neon-hued clothing. If it meant looking ghastly, I figured, keeping up just couldn’t be that important. But even commenting on the latest trends can be perilous. Witness The New York Times’s fever for silly “trend” pieces, such as the alleged “starter marriages” hysteria of 20 years back that claimed women were marrying younger just for the hell of it.
Into these scary waters treads Marc Spitz in his newish, ultimately kind of awesome book Twee, a report on pop culture’s much-ridiculed “gentle revolution.”
The weather turns chilly, the malls fill with shoppers, obsessive baking grips the land: Christmas beckons, and with it, the annual Doctor Who special. This year marks the iconic time traveler’s 10th holiday adventure and the first for the wonderful crackpot 12th Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. Do you love the new Doctor? I love the new Doctor. And the Arctic-set Doctor Who: Last Christmas, billed as a scary cross between Miracle on 34th Street and Alien, promises to be the show’s best Christmas yet.