OK, so I'm going to try to keep the blog posts dedicated to haterating on celebrities to a minimum; but I couldn't help myself with this one.
Criss Angel is this goth magician who has a show on A&E (the CBS of basic cable) called Mindfreak dedicated to his illusions, mind games, and magical douchery. I feel like he's a cross between David Blaine and Trent Reznor/Marilyn Manson. I also feel obligated to point out that he is not really as cool/good-looking as the poster to the right might suggest (seriously, check out the links below).
Angel's been in the gossip magazines recently due to the fact that he's been spotted out with Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz. In fact, it's been rumored that he and Cameron are dating (incidentally, even if you're not a big Justin Timberlake fan, I think we can all agree that going from JT to this guy is a huge downgrade). Angel denies these rumors and claims that they are just friends. I tend to believe him because you think he'd be bragging if he managed to bag a girl like Cameron Diaz.
ALTHOUGH... have you seen Trippin, the show where Cameron goes travelling around the world with "a group of her closest celebrity friends?" There was a time when I used to think she was a cool, free-sprited type, but after watching that mess for five minutes I came to the conclusion that she is a total idiot. Now I can see why people say that Sofia Coppola had her in mind when she created the ditzy, blond starlet in Lost in Translation.
But I digress... Criss Angel is currently performing this 24-hour illusion in New York where he's supposed to escape from a small concrete box suspended above Time Square before it comes crashing to the earth. In a move that is bound to draw comparisons, this is going down in the same spot where David Blaine performed his stupid stunt that involved a lot of hanging around above the street. I'm not sure if this is some sort of tribute to Blaine or if maybe this is the only spot in Manhattan zoned for mid-air magic tricks.
I find it especially hilarious that in the Reuters article I found (link above) the journalist managed to track down a couple of Mindfreak fans to interview about this stunt. One was a 20-year-old who drove three hours from his Pennsylvania home in order to watch all 24-hours of this death-defying, paint-drying excitement. Then there was a 19-year-old New York student who felt inspired by Criss Angel and saw this illusion as proof that you can do anything if you believe in yourself. I was going to say that these kids are clearly losers, but that "he makes me believe in myself" thing was kind of touching.
In other entertainment news, master auteur/borderline autist Quentin Tarantino insulted the entire nation of Italy. It had recently been announced that Tarantino would be co-presenting a screening of Spaghetti Westerns (cowboy movies filmed in Italy in the mid-sixties) at this year's Venice Film Festival. In an interview with Italian television magazine Sorrisi e canzoni, Tarantino stated that he was a fan of classic Italian cinema (much as he is a noted admirer of the French New Wave), but that he found contemporary Italian cinema to be depressing. "Recent films I've seen are all the same. They talk about boys growing up, or girls growing up, or couples having a crisis, or vacations of the mentally impaired."
Ha! I think I've seen some of those films. And you know l'Ultimo Baccio falls in there somewhere.
So Italians, who are huge film buffs, were up in arms. Sofia Loren said that Tarantino shouldn't be talking smack about Italian cinema when he doesn't even know what's going on in American cinema. Meanwhile an editorial in Italian newspaper La Repubblica was all "right back at ya" and suggested that if Italian cinema had seen better days then perhaps Tarantino's recent film Death Proof was no Pulp Fiction (chasquido!).
Leaving aside Tarantino's usual lack of tact and social grace, I think he has a point. To my knowledge the Italian film industry hasn't produced anything in the last few decades that can be compared with Fellini's 8 1/2 or Il Gattopardo or Lina Wertmueller's 1970s classics like Swept Away, the Seduction of Mimi and Love and Anarchy. Well, with the exception of La Vita e' Bella which was pretty outstanding. But still, Italian cinema hardly seems to be at the forefront of the industry as it once was.
As for Tarantino's recent work: I thought that Kill Bill in its entirety was a masterpiece. I still haven't seen Grindhouse although I definitely want to. I know its box office receipts have been a disappointment and critics have not been very vocal with their praise, but I'll reserve judgment until I watch it myself.
SPANISH WORD(S) OF THE DAY: yerno (son-in-law), nuera (daughter-in-law)
COOL LINK (courtesy of Desiree): awesome lego art
P.S. To make up for the celebrity stuff tomorrow's post is going to be about science
Mindfreak image taken from a poster promoting the upcoming new season, photo of Quentin Tarantino prespiring at Cannes by Victor Tonelli/Reuters