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Martin Scorsese

One of my favourite ever quotes is Keith Richards describing Mick Jagger as “a mixture of James Brown and Maria Callas” (said while talking to NPR’s Terri Gross in 2010), and it’s a phrase that stuck with me after venturing into the Stones exhibition that’s come to NYC from their hometown of London. Exhibitionism doesn’t just center on the iconic frontman, to be sure, but it does bring together many of the complements he embodies and imbues in the band – the flamboyance and the artistry, the masculine and the feminine, the low brow swirled in with the high.
It’s no wonder they made up a new word for this display: from the moment they ditched the dogtooth suits, the Stones have always been showboats and nothing less than this kind of spectacle would have done. I missed seeing Exhibitionism in London when I was there briefly this past Summer, where it must have had such great resonance, given their roots. But thanks to a re-creation of the apartment Mick, Keith and Brian Jones shared in Chelsea in the early ’60s, I could at least feel like I was there. 
And smell like it too! The one-roomed apartment, where many of the early songs were written, is one of my favourite parts of the exhibit. Recreated by text and anecdote only, as no pictures of it existed, it made me think of the defunct CBGBs bathroom that the Met recreated for its Punk: From Chaos to Couture exhibition. Instead of graffiti-strewn walls and blocked toilets, these rooms had the stench of copious cigarette butts and old broken egg shells that wafted in from the kitchen. At least, it seemed real enough to want to turn my nose away and focus more on the record-player in the next room with Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry LPs next to it. 

“Mediocrity is the enemy” – the Stones.

Other favourite parts include the miniature models of the band’s various set designs, from Voodoo Lounge to Bridges to Babylon – tours that never came close to my home country South Africa, and Keith’s little mini-diaries in which he kept detailed notes of rehearsals and sessions (never expected him to be so meticulous). Hearing Martin Scorsese commenting on the films made about the Stones, before talking about his own, Shine A Light, is another highlight.
My jaw dropped at the sight of all the incredible fashion brought together in one room – from a rhinestone-covered flicking-tongued vest to all the custom Heidi Slimane pieces. Then it dropped even further at seeing the guitars in one room. The Les Pauls! The Fender Stratocasters! The detail and personality within their bodies – art to be studied up close, albeit behind very expensive glass walls, as voices of the band play overhead, telling stories of the instruments. 
“That’s the fun of it,” reads a quote from Keith on one of the walls. “Trying to find the sound you’re hearing in your head until it matches that or you get as close to it as possible.” Over 5 decades of the Stones doing that has yielded this experience right here. And if you’re in New York, you wouldn’t want to miss it!
Exhibitionism is on at Industria until March 2017, and then moves to Sydney.


* It’s been revealed how Archie, from the Life with Archie comic series, will be killed off. It was announced in April that the Archie who appears in the series that features the Riverdale teens as adults, would die. That day is tomorrow, but his death, the writers say, will be heroic.

* Martin Scorsese‘s next film has been slated for release in 2015, and there’s already talk about the Oscar buzz it should receive. Based on a Shusako Endo novel, Silence is a bucket-list movie for the director, who is currently working on a documentary about Bill Clinton for HBO.

* The Broadway run for the musical created out of Tupac Shakur lyrics, Holler if Ya Hear Meis being cut short. The show, which has suffered from low attendance and mixed reviews, will end this Sunday. On the other side of the curtain, an off-Broadway run will begin for the American Psycho musical, based on the controversial Bret Easton Ellis novel, which has been staged in London.

Weird Al Yankovic deserves points for longevity. The parody-loving singer has released 14 albums of music-mockery and this week adds another one to the pile. At least it’s spawned this funny video featuring the likes of Jack Black and Margaret Cho, turning Pharrell’s Happy into Tacky.

* They’ve only released half the number of albums Weird Al has, but Blink 182 has announced a new one is in the works. Tom DeLonge took to Instagram to reveal the news, as Enema of the State celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Wow. Already. What’s my age again…?

[Pic: Archie Comics]


* NY Fashion Week is in the home stretch but the sisters of Rodarte made us squeal in delight with these Star Wars themed dresses, playing on their love of sci-fi.

* Sing ahhhhh! Hugh Jackman will be back hosting the Tony Awards this year – his fourth time. Naturally the social-media-loving Oscar-winner used Instagram to make the announcement.

* Shia LaBeouf has taken his performance art, or whatever it is he’s doing right now, to the next stage, holding bag-covered court in an LA gallery, akin to Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present. Only his is titled #I’mNotFamousAnymore. Perhaps if he didn’t have the bag on his head, we might believe he means it.

* Martin Scorsese may have garnered much critical acclaim over the years, but now, The Wolf of Wall Street has given him his highest grossing film ever. The film has cracked the $300 million mark – and counting.

* Broadway’s darling Idina Menzel will be performing at the Oscars – the hit song from the hit animated flick Frozen, Let It Go. This should help raise the profile of the woman who brought life to memorable characters from Rent and Wicked.

[Pic: MBFW]

The Beatles, Martin Scorsese

George Harrison: Living in the Material World is a two-part documentary made by the inimitable Martin Scorsese that shines a spotlight on the “quiet Beatle.” It took 6 years to put together, and Harrison’s wife Olivia believes only Scorsese could have captured George’s inner soul. Both were present at the NY Film Festival gala screening last night, where Scorsese himself said it took time to build up a relationship of trust with Olivia, and in turn gain access to much of the footage and photos George himself took.

For there is a lot of footage shot by George himself – home videos and behind-the-scenes images of a life lived trying to balance the spiritual with the material. Woven in with interviews from key personalities, the footage brings Harrison’s story full circle. The first part deals with The Beatles, and for many, there will be nothing new there. It is the second part that allows greater insight into the man and his music – his solo work, his benefit concerts, his foray into film producing and his family life.

There are some great interview moments – with the likes of the two-living Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (his sense of humour is delightful!), Eric Clapton (opening up about that legendary love triangle) and Tom Petty (who tells a fantastic anecdote about his Traveling Wilburys supergroup-mate). And of course, the music is lusciously intertwined through it all.

The first part of George Harrison: Living in the Material World airs on HBO tonight, the second next Wednesday.

For more, go here.