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OKG Newsletter


Topic: blogs

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Acting classes bring out your inner drama queen.

In first grade, I made the entire class stop and watch me interpretive dance to “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow,” with vocals provided by my best friend. We then finished up the performance by doing a waltz. I’m going to go ahead and assume everyone was awed by our raw talent.

I would have leapt (probably literally while in stage makeup and wearing a sequined tiger costume) at the chance to take acting classes. And now your rambunctious, overly dramatic children can do the same at Oklahoma Children’s Theatre’s fall classes.

The classes are broken up by age, and cover all aspects of staging a production. It all culminates in a play, which, let’s be honest, is probably what those little drama queens are in it for. (I say that as a former drama queen.)

The Theatre 1 class, for ages 5-7, starts this Thursday and will stage “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.” The Theatre 2 class, for 8-12-year-olds, also starts this Thursday and will stage “The Little Match Girl.” Both classes are each Thursday after school and run through early December.

Call 606-7003 to enroll.

Instead of pulling a Pedobear-approved move and trying to pass as a preteen for the kids’ classes, there are now acting classes for young adults put on by Reduxion Theatre Company.

There are four classes being offered by Reduxion this fall, but they start this week, so get on it if you’re interested. All classes are open to students aged 15-23. Acting Shakespeare is held Monday or Wednesday through October, and there’s also a class in Shakespearian voice (Tuesdays) and stage combat (Saturdays). Stage combat!

Email education@reduxiontheatre.com for more info.
by Jenny Coon Peterson 09.20.2011 2 years ago
at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

KISS off

Off their rocker, that is.

Just the other day, a friend and I were discussing (very briefly, lest you think I’m a nerd, which I am) the infamous telefilm of 1978, “KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.”

And then this cover to “Archie Comics #627” hits my inbox. I smell a belated and equally cheesy sequel. —Rod Lott











by Rod Lott 09.20.2011 2 years ago
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ACL: Day 2 recap

Dale Earnhardt, Sooner football and Christian Bale?

OKSee took it easy Saturday at ACL, as the crowds turned out in their typical Saturday droves, making it difficult to get close enough to shoot artists on stage. But that’s not to say there wasn’t much going on, as Zilker Park was hopping with Sooner football fans anticipating not just their biggest road test of the season, but the conflict between their school pride and headlining bands.

I chose to join my friend James Corley, the Oklahoma Daily’s sports editor (and roving ACL reporter) in the TV lounge at 7:00 p.m., which turned out to be a great decision because we got to watch OU beat Florida State in an ugly, gritty fashion soundtracked by My Morning Jacket’s badass Kentucky rock ‘n’ roll.

The morning began with an interview Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jr. an excellent electronic indie rock duo from Detroit who record thoughtful pop music over gorgeous, tinkling textures. The dudes were very friendly and endearing in person, and asked a lot about the Flaming Lips, which is always a plus for me. Expect a writeup from that in my post-coverage.

Once finished, I hurried over to the AMD stage to see The Antlers, who played terrific cuts from their excellent sophomore record “Burst Apart." “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out” held the early morning kids in a daze.

The Antlers at Austin City Limits 2011

I zipped over to the Google Plus stage immediately after to catch another buzzy Brooklyn band (you’ve really gotta use big festivals to catch acts that don’t tour the Midwest so heavy), Twin Shadow. George Lewis, Jr.’s songs were similarly hypnotic and way, way sexier. Shortly after “I Can’t Wait,” he showed off his sense of good humor, laughing at a Waldo in the crowd. “I found you, man! You gotta leave and go to the next page.”

Twin Shadow at Austin City Limits 2011

After another visit to the press tent for sustenance from the ubiquitous, muggy South Texas heat, I got up fairly close for Iron & Wine, who no doubt disappointed a few of their more faithful fans with an all full-band set. “The Creek Drank the Cradle,” this was not, but Sam Beam and company slayed a whole bunch of newer songs in a neo-trad fashion, including “Boy with a Coin,” (which was shifted into more of an uptempo funky number) and the wistful, brand-new “Tree by the River.”

Iron & Wine at Austin City Limits 2011

According to a few different sources, Christian Bale was at the front of the crowd for the Iron & Wine show, flanked by a working camera crew who appeared to be filming him and some “cute indie chick,” according to a witness. Curious, and very cool!
 
From there I wandered around a bit, easily able to hear Aussie dance band Cut Copy’s heavy electronic rhythms and high-pitched singing. Be sure to check the Gazette’s advance of their upcoming Tulsa show in the Sept. 28 issue! “Corner of the Sky” and “Take Me Over” have now returned to my heavy rotation.

Okie rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson told stories at the Austin Ventures stage while Cut Copy thundered from the much larger AMD stage nearby. It was mind-boggling to hear her talk about how nobody was recording “rock ‘n’ roll for girls in 1955, ’56.” From there she tore into her classic “Mean Mean Man,” quickly followed by a brief sermon and the gospel standard “I Saw the Light.”

I spent the rest of the night in the TV lounge, stressing out about the OU-FSU game in a den of obnoxious, beer-spattering Longhorns. It was great being able to hear My Morning Jacket (who are hugely loud anyway) from the comfort of my big screen-viewing seat. “Holdin on to Black Metal” stood out, backed by a brass band. I’m just sad they didn’t play “I Will Sing You Songs,” but other than that, it was a remarkable, headliner-worthy performance, full of heavy metal, hair-whipping, and a caped Yim Yames.

Day 2’s in the books, folks. Currently OKSee's Day 3 plans are to catch Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at 1:30, then proceed to camp out at the Bud Light stage for a good view off the Airborne Toxic Event, Broken Social Scene, Fleet Foxes, and Arcade Fire in succession. It's gonna be a great day.

For more ACL coverage:

Twitter

Day 1 photos
Day 1 recap

Day 2 photos

Day 3 photos to come
Day 3 recap to come

Interviews with Reptar & Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. to come

by Matt Carney 09.18.2011 2 years ago
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VOTD: A Norman double-feature!

Watch new videos from locals Broncho and Shi++y/Awesome!

Sorry for the lack of post-age the last couple of days- I've been scrambling to catch up with work, post-ACL when I wasn't busy mourning the late retirement of one of America's greatest bands. It's not the end of the world as we know it, I guess; I feel fine. Onward to the videos!

Another Delo-helmed Broncho vid is reason to celebrate. Watch Ryan Lindsey get chased by stuff like growing up, responsibility and all that other terrible junk, represented by his murderous bandmates. Cool graphic work, guys!



Shitty/Awesome once again live up to their name with this hilarious, low-grade spacesuit romp at Norman's annual medieval fair. Those suits.

by Matt Carney 09.22.2011 2 years ago
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horrorsstephenking

King of pain

TCM debuts an early Halloween treat.

Being a horror nut, October is my favorite month of the year. I can think of no better way for America to get in the macabre mood than catching, "A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King." The brand-new special premieres Oct. 3 on Turner Classic Movies.

As the title suggests, it's an hour-long sit-down with our modern-day Edgar Allan Poe as he talks about his lifelong love affairs with scary movies, supplemented with clips and stills. The first one to freak him out? "Bambi." The one he was too frightened to finish upon an initial viewing? "The Blair Witch Project." His desert-island disc? Well, I'll leave that for you to discover.

Other shared memories include — but are in no way limited to — "Dementia 13," "Night of the Living Dead," "Freaks," "Cat People," "The Tingler," "The Changeling," "The Amityville Horror," "Near Dark," "Rosemary's Baby," "The Omen," "The Fly," "Jaws," "The Haunting" and the trio he calls the real "demon coasters" of fear: "Psycho," "The Exorcist" and "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre."

The most interesting segment has him discussing some of the movies made from his novels and short stories. He loves "Carrie" and "Cujo," but famously finds Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" to be "extremely cold." He's also quite enamored of "The Dead Zone," calling David Cronenberg "the best horror director of modern times." Too bad time doesn't allow him to run through them all.

Along the way, he makes some interesting, surprising comments, such as not caring for werewolf movies ("too literal"), Bela Lugosi's Dracula ("he looks like a whacked-out concert pianist") and the slasher genre ("misogynist"). If you're a fan of King or celluloid terror in general, do set your TiVo. If you care to turn it into a pre-Halloween party, here's your drinking game: Take a shot every time he says "absolutely terrifying." Your liver will hate you and let you know it. —Rod Lott

by Rod Lott 09.22.2011 2 years ago
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Fantastic Fest: Prologue

Follow Gazette managing editor Rod Lott as he live-blogs Austin's Fantastic Fest all weekend long!

Got into Austin at 3 p.m. Thursday and went straight to pick up my press badge. You can tell that Fantastic Fest isn't your average film festival because they required everyone to pose with a "shaky face." You achieve that by letting your face go really loose and limp, and whip your head back and forth fast. It hurts; now I understand the whole shaken baby syndrome thing.

Worse than that is that it's hot here. Back-sweaty hot.

Since my first screening wasn't until 9 p.m. ("The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence"), I killed a lot of time at the neighboring Highball bowling lounge, where Fantastic Fest is holding its Arcade, showcasing some really wild indie games (example: "Jesus vs. Dinosaurs"). Most of the games are housed in classic arcade stand-ups, but one was projected on the wall.


Around happy hour, the Fandago mascots crashed the place. I didnt know they had mascots. One looks like a Chinese dragon; the other, a paper sack. I don't know, but they gave me some free koozies.


Speaking of free, the Highball happy hour party was sponsored by PlayStation 3, so I got a free T-shirt for some game called "StarHawk." Although I know nothing about the game, I like the shirt — mainly because it's not black. The other two free shirts I got upon check-in were black. It's a terrible color on me. But no, you can't have them.

Finally, while waiting for "Centipede," I got to test Mitsubishi's new 3-D TV, via scenes from the '80s schlock Western, "Comin' at Ya!" The movie looks fun; as for the TV, save your money. —Rod Lott




by Rod Lott 09.23.2011 2 years ago
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Fantastic Fest: 'The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)'

Oh. My. God.

I can't imagine a more appropriate movie to serve as Fantastic Fest's official opener than "The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)," a near-immediate sequel to the instant cult hit that entered the pop-culture lexicon before it even saw release.

Last night's 9 p.m. crowd was pumped, but perhaps not quite primed, for whatever in-attendance writer/director/producer Tom Six had conjured up this time. Anyone who has read my original review of the first "Centipede" may recall that I think that film's events weren't as graphic as everyone expected — that they could've been much worse.

Well, welcome to the "much worse." But more on that in a moment.

Awaiting each viewer was an official "Human Centipede II" Survival Kit, a branded barf bag containing a staple remover and a peppermint. I ate the peppermint.

We also each received a "Human Centipede II" T-shirt, bearing the pun tagline, "The Deuce Is Loose." Anyone who didn't get the reference would within 90 minutes. Naturally, the shirt is brown. No, you can't have it.

Before the show, FF and Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League coerced lil' "Lord of the Rings" star Elijah Wood to join him onstage from his spot in the audience. Wood complied, soon giving way to an all-audience re-creation of the actor's now-infamous "Puppet Master" dance from kiddie show "Yo Gabba Gabba!" The sight was surreal, especially since — this being the Alamo — subliminal shots of exploding heads from "Scanners" and the like made their way into the footage before taking over completely.






Then we experienced the movie. When Six promoted the original film by saying the sequel would make it look like "My Little Pony" by comparison, that wasn't just a good soundbite. Part two makes part one look positively innocent. To Six's credit, he didn't simply remake his own movie. Instead, he completely flipped it and went meta.

"THC II" begins with Martin (newcomer Laurence R. Harvey), a sweaty, bug-eyed, obese parking garage attendant in London, watching the tail end of the first "THC" on his laptop at work. When it's over, he watches it again. He's obsessed with it, to the point that he keeps a scrapbook of the film hidden underneath his bed, as if it were porn.

Martin doesn't utter a word. He doesn't need to. His story is so simple — a lifetime of abuse and ridicule — that he doesn't have to. The gist of "THC II" is that he begins to wonder about testing the movie's "100% Medically Accurate" advertising claim, so he seeks out some unwilling test subjects from the labyrinthian parking garage. Whereas the movie's Dr. Heiter had but three victims, Martin seeks a dirty dozen.

Whereas the first film was clean and antiseptic in look and design, this sequel is bleak and grimy. Whereas the first film was in color, this sequel is in black-and-white — except for one scene, à la the girl in the red dress from Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List," but I leave it to your imagination. Whereas the first film showed next to nothing, this sequel shows everything. I do think it goes too far, and from a guy like me who has a strong tolerance for horror, that's saying something. (However, I should note that most of the audience members were more troubled by a pre-show short of a medical education film about the vasectomy procedure, step by scissoring step.)

I'm still processing "THC II." Six has made the darkest of black comedies, set in "Eraserhead"-type surroundings of societal misery, and then stitched on a Grand Guignol grand finale that had many unsure whether to laugh or recoil, so they did both. Harvey gives a remarkably brave performance; we alternately feel sorry for him and want to kill him. I think I liked the movie — it's arty, clever and unique — but so much of its third act crosses the line that the angel on my shoulder tells me I shouldn't. You'll never look at sandpaper the same way again.

Actually, the afterward appearance of Six, Harvey and four lovely centipede segments onstage took some of the sting out of it. There's a reason why they call it "special effects." Those butts sure looked real to me.

The highlight of the Q-and-A was when League asked Six about how he found Harvey, who resembles Alfred Hitchcock by way of Batman comics' The Penguin. Six said Harvey walked into auditions, "and then I asked him to rape a chair. He went at it full-force." And the rest is cinema history. —Rod Lott


by Rod Lott 09.23.2011 2 years ago
at 10:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Fantastic Fest: 10 things I hate about you

Because everyone loves a list, amiright?

This is a fun weekend, so much so that I wish I could clone myself to catch more screenings, and I'm already raring to come back in 2012. That said ...

10. The ticketing system is several levels too difficult.
9. Much of the audience is hygienically challenged.
8. Much of the audience is hygienically challenged.
7. Much of the audience is just as rude, loud and inconsiderate as regular moviegoers — just with better knowledge of obscure nude scenes and dragon sequences.
6. Much of the audience is hygienically challenged.
5. Despite hot Austin weather, the in-theater A/C isn't cranked as high as I'd like.
4. Much of the audience is hygienically challenged.
3. Much of the audience is hygienically challenged.
2. Most of the free T-shirts are black.
1. Much of the audience is hygienically challenged. And combined with No. 5, that's a recipe for ick. —Rod Lott
by Rod Lott 09.24.2011 2 years ago
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Fantastic Fest: 'Livid'

It may French-fry your mind.

Writers/directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury finally follow up their 2007 hit, "Inside," with another French horror film in "Livid." While not a sophomore slump, it doesn't pay off on their debut's promise. Most of that is because the new movie makes so little sense.

On one hand, that's good, because you're not quite sure what's going to happen next. On the other hand, when stuff does happen, you may ask yourself, "Qu'est-ce?"

Appealing young actress Chloé Coulloud is Lucie, a new home-care nurse being trained by a jaded veteran of elderly diaper-changing (Catherine Jacob, "Who Killed Bambi?"). On day one, the most memorable stop is that of the Jessel mansion, where a 100-year-old lives in a vegetative state by herself (credibility alert!) on the top floor. The pro tells the newbie of a rumored treasure somewhere within the massive estate.

After sharing this news with her frustrated boyfriend, Lucie find herself as part of a trio breaking into the place amid the witching hour to hunt for the riches. They find something else. If a senior citizen in an oxygen mask is the stuff of your nightmares, prepare to soil your drawers.

From there, the story unfolds in a manner audiences may not expect, but "Livid" becomes less lucid. The nonsense speeds up as the pacing slows to a near-crawl. I'm all for acts of the supernatural, but not without some context as to what is occurring before our eyes. Bustillo and Maury are unclear, perhaps in an attempt to be arty. The team pulls off some outstanding visuals, but ghost stories cannot work on those alone.

The title "Livid" has no proper connection to the movie's events; it's as if someone wanted a word that sounded like "Insidious." Now that's a flick that yielded fright while containing all other necessary ingredients. As for "Livid," let's chalk it up as a somewhat noble misfire. —Rod Lott
by Rod Lott 09.24.2011 2 years ago
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They Might Be protective of their work

It’s always refreshing to hear artists clear their throats and drop some real talk.

When I asked John Linnell of They Might Be Giants last week (he’s the handsome chap singing in the video below) what he thought about Titus Andronicus’s recent cover of his much-loved 1990 classic “Birdhouse in Your Soul,” for The A.V. Club’s Undercover Series, he stood up for the integrity of the song he wrote. A song that many consider to be an all-time great pop and rock song, not just one of his own best efforts. Here’s what he said:

According to the band's Twitter feed, this show has been postponed due to family emergency.

“It was fine. It was totally fine. I don’t want to seem like a cranky old man for saying it wasn’t … I think Titus Andronicus has this thing that they do that works really well with their material and it turns my brain inside out to hear that applied to our song because it’s such a different thing.



“I don’t know what anybody thought about it. To me, it’s a very weird experience. I salute them for taking that on, and I have nothing but respect for them. You can see I’m trying to be diplomatic. It sounds really egotistical, but I like our version better.”

It seems to me (and to Linnell, I imagine) that with their sloppier, more avant-garde interpretation of the song (not an insult- just an observation of the indie-punk band's style), Titus Andronicus snuffed “Birdhouse”’s warmer sentiments. The reason it’s beloved is because of the wish to hold on to silliness and childhood purity the song expresses, per the nite-light imagery (“keep the light on inside the birdhouse in your soul”) and the song's scene (it all takes place in a child’s bedroom). I understand and sympathize with Linnell’s wishes to maintain these very powerful, meaningful aspects of this, arguably his greatest work. Compare the two, and see for yourself.



The story's in this week's Gazette. They Might Be Giants play Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa Sunday night. Because it’s totally awesome, you should watch TMBG play Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping,” also for the A.V. Undercover series.

by Matt Carney 09.23.2011 2 years ago
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