Bestest or Bad Idea?: MoMA’s Tim Burton Retrospective
June 15, 2009

Did you hear the breaking science news?  The Museum of Modern Art’s developed a nuclear-grade nostalgia bomb: on November 22nd, they plan to drop a career-wide Tim Burton retrospective, after which scores of movie lovers will be indubitably reduced to smoldering piles of enthusiastic screams and hyperventilation.  Really, every day at the MoMA will look like this:

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My breath is quickening, my hands are shaking, and my ears are already bleeding from my anticipatory shrieks!  It’s just.  Too.  MUCH!  GYAH!!!

(…sorry ’bout that.)

Anyways, it’ll feature over 700 pieces (ranging from illustrations to film props and beyond), as well as a retrospective film series, so MoMA’s also discovered the way to beat the recession.  An exhibition this elaborate is going to inspire pilgrimages from the world over, and I highly imagine NYC is going to have to go on Nerd Alert: High ’til April 26th.  I be up on this exhibit like an ornate pattern on Nomi Malone’s fingernails, natch, yet I can’t help adding a splash of Maybeline’s “Conspicuously Cautious” to my Excitement nails.

It’s certainly spectacular to have Tim Burton’s work get such prestigious treatment.  He’s built a career on channeling his darkly whimsical imagination into camp, kitsch, and pop sensibility.  His moviess have a distinct look, and his stories frequently center around the Other as misunderstood protagonist.  He’s parlayed awkward-kid status into an career that transcends niche.  For those of us who were sympathetic to characters’ alienation, Burton built us a home that wasn’t erected in the seedy back alleys of nigh-forgotten cult; we got the warm flicker of celluloid and the buttered-popcorn scent of the multiplex.  Can any other contemporary filmmaker claim such success?  I think not, so YAY!

Plus, let’s not forget that whole film retrospective.  Like most all movies, his filmography will play better on the big screen, but I think a few are particularly well-suited.  Like Batman Returns:

Inspiredly insane performances by Danny DeVito and Christopher Walken?  A Batman movie about a nefarious business man and a twisted scheme to kill Gotham’s first-born children?  The sublime camp pleasure of Michelle Pfeiffer’s vixen-bitch Catwoman?  The undeniable batshit insanity that this was all squeezed into a studio-funded, action-figure shilling summer blockbuster?  Yes, my dears, the 90s were littered with Hollywood’s strange decisions, and Batman Returns was one of the strangest for sure.

But Mars Attacks! probably takes the strange cake:

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In Honor of Iowa, This Post is Extra Gay
April 4, 2009

So I’m sure that you’ve heard the excellent news by now, but seriously, y’all:

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It is always exceptional news to hear when another state recognizes that it is unconstitutional to ban gay marriage, and the fact that it’s Iowa is particularly exceptional.  You don’t really expect such a radical political change to come from the midwest.  You just expect potatoes and corn.  All of us New Yorkers should feel particularly embarrassed today for feeling like we’re such a progressive state.  Apparently it’s Iowa that’s for gay lovers.  New York’s just for smug jackasses.  Whoops!

Anyways, I decided I’d that, in honor of a little piece of history being made, I’d keep it light share a few of my favorite homo things.  First off, we have the inimitable diva, Barbara Stanwyck, in A Walk on the Wild Side.  I could bother to set this up with a little plot exposition, but where’s the fun in that?  Just know that these are the 17 greatest seconds of performance any actress has ever delivered.  EVER:

That, my friends, is not camp.  That is exquisiteness.  I like to imagine that Barbara Stanwyck’s performance is so fabulously intense and perfectly delivered that it physically hurls Capucine onto the couch with the strength of a perfectly placed bitchslap, kinda like a gay version of the Force push.  Did I just reference Star Wars?  I just said something totally gay and totally nerdy.  Two-for-one special on quips, y’all.  You’re welcome.

Equally homoriffic, yet in a completely different medium of pure fabulosity, is the music video for U2’s “Discotheque”:

A friend said these words to me after I came out during freshman year of college: “I always new that you were gay because you even liked 90s U2.”  Truer words have never been spoken.    It’s U2, drenched in a Jacques-Demy-in-neon aesthetics and extolling the virtues of the dance floor.  I’d later realize that this is what we consider high camp; at the time when I first saw this in middle school, I just knew it as awesome.  Besides Lady Gaga, this really is the gayest thing in pop culture.  And it came from four straight men!  Go figs.

But mostly, I think we need this little bit of homoness to honor these changing times:

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