Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MJ, gone but not forgotten.

As a friend pointed out to me via twitter, it is bizarre that a blog that has the amazing title “Pop Cultured” failed to post about MJ. Well, when the shocking events transpired last week, I was making sure 170 filmmakers, cinephiles, programmers, (yada, yada, yada…) were being sufficiently entertained, so I didn’t get a chance to reflect. But, said friend had a good point, so I figured it was better late than never.

Since nostalgia is a constant theme in our posts, I think this one should focus on all the good times I had with Michael… Just to be clear, Michael was never there with me—I want that to be PERFECTLY clear.

My Michael memories after the jump!!

I definitely grew up listening to the Jackson 5, and Thriller was a constant throughout the years, in fact it was my sister's first CD ever. We listened to it all the time—it’s really very amusing to see an 8-year-old girl recite the Vincent Price section of that song. I vividly remember watching the “making of” the "Thriller" video with our babysitter, Frances--John Landis and all. I really didn’t believe that Michael from the beginning of the video and Zombie Michael were one and the same, it took some convincing from my older brother. I also think I had to be convinced that Thriller Michael was the same person as “Black or White” Michael.

For some reason, all of MJ’s major television appearances, comebacks, and video premiers take up space in my brain. Some of this space is of course inhabited by the famous Diane Sawyer interview. My favorite part of said interview is Michael saying “Oh! Liz is here?!?” Sadly, I don’t think Liz Taylor was there, but he was so excited, and it’s something my sister says to make me laugh when I’m in a bad mood.

I also remember the premiere of the "Scream" video, I mean, who doesn’t? Amiright? MTv made SUCH a huge deal about it, it was total insanity, but kind of awesome. I miss that kind of build up for a video premiere, come on MTv. I digress.

The insanity that was the Martin Bashir interview sticks out in my head, as does the hilarious South Park episode that followed. I named a cooler “Blanket” in college because of this episode, which was loosely based on the craziness revealed in the Bashir interview. I’d go further to explain why my friends and I named a cooler, but it’s a long, uninteresting story that has little to do with Michael. I digress again. Sorry.

ANYWAY, because Annie had the Thriller CD, we listened to it all the time in the car—and of course learned all the words to every song, including “The Girl is Mine,” the definitive McCartney/Jackson collaboration. Annie always sang Michael’s verses, and I always sang Paul's. I say “sang” as if this doesn’t still happen—I don’t know who I’m kidding with that BS. I have to say that this is my most special Michael related memory, because my favorite moments with my sister are when we’re both in the mood to sing this silly song.

Anyway, I’ve always been something of a Michael fan. His place in music and pop culture history is undeniable, and until I wrote this, I didn’t realize how ever-present his persona and music was in my life. So, cheers to you, Michael.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Flaherty Seminar 2009

For the third summer in a row, I've been lucky enough to work at, and attend the Robert Flaherty Film seminar. This year we're trying new types of outreach via twitter, facebook, and various blogs, so I've volunteered POPCULTURED to be one of the blogs. I actually don't know that I'll be able to write anything of substance this week, but I'll give it a shot--I know at least a few of our readers will be interested in the films screening, and the filmmakers attending. Below is a description of this year's seminar:

"Witnesses, Monuments, Ruins"
"Moving images have become the most common mode of relating to the events of our times – whether catastrophic wars, political change, or precious moments of everyday life. These images capture the words and gestures of those who speak before a camera. They observe the monuments and ruins left by the past. And they also interpret, intervene in, and re-invent the testimonial act itself.

The 2009 Flaherty Seminar will explore the act of bearing witness - bringing memory, experience, and history into the present - through an eclectic range of topics and formal approaches, in works from the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the United States."

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Friday, June 12, 2009


For those of you who have been reading PopCultured from the beginning, you might remember a post I wrote about my FAVORITE blogger in the entire universe—save for maybe, Kristin Morris. Anyway, tonight, said blogger, AKA Dan Hopper was performing with his sketch comedy group at the UCB theater, and because Mr. Hopper blogged about it, I WAS THERE. Well needless to say, I came home from a long day of work, freshened up my make up, then headed back downtown 150 blocks to be exact, to see my hero in person. The rest of my story, and a picture AFTER THE JUMP!!

My friend Brooke was kind enough to join me on my mission, and we ended up getting to the theater embarrassingly early—we were the first people in line. About 10 minutes later a small group of hipsteresque kids joined us in line, and through my eavesdropping abilities, I deduced that the guy standing next to me was none other than Dan Hopper’s Brother. Well, I decided not to act on my first impulse, because frankly that would have probably scared him to death, and ruined any shot of me getting close to meeting my idol. So I played it cool, and didn’t say anything, but I was super excited to be standing near this kid.

Moving on—Brooke and I finally get into the theater, buy beer and sit in optimal beer getting seats. The moment I sit down, I see Dan Hopper on stage, and I liken it to seeing a sort of holy thing. Well, no not really—but still, it was amazing, and I got all excited and did my hand shaking excited dance like I do when I see previews for long anticipated movies. If you know me, I’m sure you’ve seen it. But seriously, this was it, I was in the same room with this guy—I was going to find a way to meet him, no matter what.

He started his show, and at one point he was like 3 feet away from me, and I was about to have a fit—but again, I kept it cool so as not to embarrass myself to death. This turned out to be a smart move—his show ended early and another show started, because of this little ounce of luck, Mr. Hopper was in the audience when the whole show ended.

After imbibing three Yuenglings within the hour I told Brooke that my goal was to shake Dan’s hand and possibly get a picture. When we saw him, my liquid courage kicked in a little bit, and I sheepishly approached him, tapped his shoulder and said “Hi, I don’t want to sound creepy, but you’re my favorite blogger and I really wanted to meet you.” He was nothing but kind to me and was nice enough to pose for a picture. I don’t really know what I said after that, because I was so starstruck, there was some babbling going on for sure…But that being said, I was on Cloud nine from that point on, and my 150 block local subway train ride flew by because of my fantastic evening.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Karma is a Bitch.

Maybe it's schadenfreude, but I couldn't help but be happy about Miss California being dethroned.This puts one point in the plus column for the Donald, as far as I'm concerned. I can't help but imagine her screaming "Whyyyyyyy, whyyyyy?!?" Nancy Kerrigan style.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Goodbye, Muppet style...

Oy vey, the last few weeks have been super crazy. I moved out of a house, participated in my brother's wedding festivities, prepared for a month long trip to the big city, and last but not least, moved away from Columbia, SC.

Whenever I leave NYC, or really anywhere, I think of this song and it makes me tear up a little--not gonna lie. Anyway, I thought it'd be a pretty appropriate song to post after my move to G'ville.

Anddd, to all of my Cola pals, I miss you already :).

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