Predictably, the flick garnering outright adoration and even a standing ovation at its first screening at this week's SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL is the gripping "Tyson" documentary by director and miraculous Tyson wrangler JAMES TOBACK. Told entirely in the lisping voice of the former champ in footage culled from countless hours of interviews, the father of six recounts his rise and fall, from early days being bullied as a fat kid ("It was kill or be killed"), and being forced to defend himself in juvenile detention at age 12, to his training with legendary Cus D'Amato ("I knew all the skullduggery ... most of these guys lost the fight before it even started"), to his days as world heavyweight champ ("Once I get in the ring, I'm a god"), and ultimately, his grisly public fall from grace ("I lost the desire to be a champion") including a prison term and the infamous ear biting incident. Along the way, it's revealed, Tyson squandered almost $400 million and lost nearly everything he'd ever earned, physically and emotionally. Toback has known the boxer since 1985 and was able to capture a raw and previously unseen look at the fighter. In Tyson's words, "Jim, he just elicited all this stuff out of me, I don't know how he did it." Far from glossing over the fighter's problems and controversial missteps, Toback's subject instead offers a shockingly open assessment of his tumultuous life, verbally beating himself into a corner again and again. The film is slated for commercial release on April 24. Read more HERE.
Over the years much has been said in the media about the burgeoning problem of gang violence in America, with particular emphasis on the legacy of LA's notorious Crips & Bloods factions. Now, Skate industry legend and Bones Brigade mastermind-turned filmmaker STACY PERALTA, hopes to have created the definitive documentary on the phenomenon with his new film "Crips and Bloods: Made in America." Known as the director of the excellent "Dogtown and Z-Boys" and porno-rifically named "Riding Giants," Peralta leveraged his underground status to penetrate some of the most dangerous neighborhoods and situations in Los Angeles in his quest to obtain footage of the rival sets' most violent leaders and "soldiers." Narrated by actor FOREST WHITAKER, the film traces the origins of LA’s gang culture to the shocking, war-zone reality of daily life in inner-city Los Angeles as members of the Crips and Bloods perpetuate their bloody four-decades long feud. Contemporary and former gang members offer their street-level testimony that provides the film with a stark portrait of modern-day gang life: the turf wars and territorialism, the inter-gang hierarchy and family structure, the rules of behavior, the culture of guns, death and dishonor. Peralta also shines light on the overarching social causes of gang culture and a political system seemingly disinterested in bringing about its demise through effective outreach in favor of mass incarceration. Set to debut with a one week run later this month at NYC's IFC Theater (January 23–29), before moving to LA's Laemmle's Sunset 5 (February 6–12), the film will continue on with arthouse showings in Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle before seeing mass release. Don’t miss it…
In his aptly-titled new show "She" opening tomorrow nite at MICHAEL KOHN GALLERY, art star RICHARD PRINCE pays ample tribute to the LA-centric institutions of female nudity and car culture with the facility of someone well acquainted with the finer nuances of both. The centerpiece of the show—a split exhibition with Prince's late artist friend WALLACE BERMAN—is a 1986 El Camino wrapped by Prince in an array of photos from his "Girlfriends" series that makes it the perfect Hollywood cruiser for any nite of the week. Fleshing out the exhibition (literally) are offerings from his ongoing series of "Nurse" collages and large scale C-prints from his "Girlfriends" series alongside a real mailbox plastered in vintage black & white porn images that breathes new life into the stale governmental institution. A VIP reception tonite with Prince in attendance will be the hot ticket of the early LA art calendar, and you can expect ample coverage on tomorrow's ST. Meanwhile, HAVE A LOOK: Read More
BRAD PITT as Lion-o. Need we say more?...
Much has been said here at Supertouch about Japanese Pop master TAKASHI MURAKAMI's traveling art circus otherwise known as his "© Murakami" show and its previous stops in LA & Brooklyn, so now that it's touched down in Frankfurt Germany at the MUSEUM FÜR MODERNE KUNST, we'll be happy to make do with a quick peek at the new installation and some of its recently-added pieces before it wraps up on January 4th. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
As the year we're all ready to forget comes to a tantalizingly close finale, LA offered one last incredibly bright spot on the artistic horizon with the debut of underground art legend RAYMOND PETTIBON's show of new color works "Cutting Room Floor Show: Part II" at West Hollywood's REGEN PROJECTS. A counterpoint to his epic show of early 1970s & 80s black & white ink drawings at the gallery in September, Pettibon's installment of new work was awash in shockingly bright color, and armed with the poetic malaise and pointed cultural insight that is the hallmark of the artist's oeuvre. With wildly diverse subject matter ranging from the Bush administration, dogs & polar bears, Easter Island Moai heads, fighter jets, and baseball players & surfers, to the Notre Dame cathedral perched atop a military aircraft carrier, this SoCal hardcore punk art legend proves that innovative aesthetic evolution is a good thing, and that this year's overarching theme of "change" is indeed a motto to live by. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
NYC's STEPHEN POWERS (aka: ESPO) teamed up with artist MATT GOLAS for a collaborative art exhibition "A True Provider is Good to Find" at Parisian hotspot COLETTE that opened this weekend in commemoration of WORLD AIDS DAY on December 1st. Addressing the issue of Paris' large prostitute population, Espo created a run of custom made yellow raincoats as a metaphor for protection, many of which were given to and worn by actual prostitutes, while Golas created a run of handmade magnetic hotel key cards as a metaphor for emotional shelter. In addition to Powers' raincoats, the hightop-faded artist also exhibited a large array of his personal photography and trademark handpainted signage bearing such heartfelt messaging as "Everything is shit except for you love," and "I love you so fucking much it hurts." Both Powers' raincoats and Golas' hotel keys are available now through the gallery's online shop. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
2009 is gonna be a huge year for otaku Anime & Manga fans when the legendary ASTRO BOY finally hits the big screen in modern computer animated form in an eponymous feature based the highly successful Japanese franchise by OSAMU TEZUKA. Nicolas Cage's inclusion in the film as voice "talent" will surely be a low point but hopefully they don't mess this flick up completely. We need something to redeem last year's "Speed Racer" fiasco bad...
Last year venerable LA underground art institution MERRY KARNOWSKY GALLERY took a huge leap in establishing a satellite oputpost in the land of Bauhaus, and since then she's been supplying "Zee Germans" with a steady supply of Pop Surrealism whether they like it or nicht. Last weekend saw the opening of new work by one of our favorite artists, namely TRAVIS LOUIE whose "Inhuman Oddities" exhibition of hyper-realistic sepia toned paintings reasserts his rightful claim as the master of Victorian Oddball Portraiture. So fine are Louie's renderings in fact—right down to the painting surfaces—that in person they resemble real period photographs. Best of all, they're still crazily affordable. HAVE A LOOK: Read More