Tea With Chris: The Avant-Garde Detective

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Thursday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Margaux: Sad to hear about Roger Ebert. I always like reading his sincere reviews and was always impressed when he changed his mind about a movie – sometimes, years later. It’s a pretty rare trait for a critic, or for ANYONE, to say so easily that their first impression of a work might have been wrong or shortsighted. An easy man to like.

The HBO show Enlightened by Laura Dern and Mike White is really good. And is being cancelled – while other shows blossom like tumors on the televisions.

Speaking of shows that got cancelled. I was directed (by curator Tom McCormack) to ‘s video Art Tape: Live With / Think About – a 3 minute video of jovial art appreciation/justification  that opens with a clip from Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  The clip has two police detectives, played by Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, standing together in a museum, presumably lead to the dirty side of the museum for a murder investigation. When questioned by his partner about what in the world could be redeeming about the art they were seeing, Vincent D’Onofrio explained he wouldn’t necessarily want to live with it, but he would like to think about it. If you haven’t watched Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Vincent D’Onofrio plays a murder detective that drags murder confessions out of people, not by threats or violence, but by making his subjects extremely uncomfortable. The avant garde detective.

Watching that video lead me not to more art, but to more Law & Order: Criminal Intent. I turned one episode on and half an hour later I was looking at Patti Smith’s beautiful face. And I was, what!?  So, yes! you can go to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto right now to see Patti Smith’s exhibition Camera Solo, or you can go to Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Patti Smith must like that 3 minute video, or the avant garde detective, as much as I do.

Speaking of the AGO, ran into Carl and Chris there recently for the not-to-be-missed opening of Amy Lam and Jon McCurley’s Life of a Craphead Retrospective, an exhibition about all of the work they will ever make. Placards have never felt so true. The show is downstairs in the Education Gallery. The Education wing is always FREE.


Also at the AGO tonight (April 5) – Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller opening – FREE. 

& a performance by Barbara Hammer – also AGO – NOT FREE.

followed up at TIFF Lightbox tomorrow night (April 6) by a screening of Barbara Hammer’s first feature-length film Nitrate Kisses. The wonderful Alexandra Tigchelaar (Sasha) will be interviewing her live after.

Who else is in the world? – here is everyone

Speaking of the world – Amelia Earhart on marriage

Speaking of leaving the world – a video on astronauts having to come to terms with the perspective developed after having seen Earth from really, really far away. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell on trying to make sense of his feelings – “There was nothing in the science books, nothing in the religious literature that I looked at. So i went to the local university and asked them to help me understand what I saw.” (thanks to Jean Marshall)

Chris: The most heartwarming thing I saw in the past week (aside from those photos of the racist EMT crying) was Danzig’s pro-gay-equality tweet. Henry…

If you never have, this would be a perfect weekend to watch Beyond the Valley of the Dolls:

Carl: In 20 short minutes, the Fits – the Vancouver “vaudeville duet” of Veda Hille and Patsy Klein – render all music equal and potentially infinite. This leg of the journey covers The Ladybug’s Picnic to The Sex Pistols, with stopovers at The Simpsons’ musical of Planet of the Apes (“I hate every ape I see, from chimpan-A to chimpan-Z”) blended with This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven, Springtime for Hitler blended with a Sound of Music medley, the Star Trek theme (now with lyrics!) and the greatest Electric Company ballad ever (“lower-case n”). Play it loud, we’re geeks and we’re proud.

RIP to Roger Ebert. One friend pointed out his elegant 2007 evisceration of Conrad Black. Another the humanity of his 2003 review of Bad Boys II (no kidding), which reminds me a bit of something Margaux would do.

RIP Maurice Silcoff, at 104. “He was one of the last remaining figures of a unique movement in Canadian history: The Jewish labour movement.” With sympathies to his granddaughter Mireille, a writer we know.

Let’s all go to the Getty Research Institute and look at Harry Smith’s stuff!

William Gaddis’s letters: “if you are a writer, they don’t want to buy and print yr writing, but rather a picture and what you eat for breakfast, &c. But then good God! that’s what the book’s about— It’s difficult not to strike a pose, for being ‘eccentric’ enough to try to get across that: What do they want of the man that they didn’t find in the work?”

Legendary California broadcaster Art Laboe on the birth of rock’n’roll and how to kiss on the radio.

Sixty people wish erstwhile jazz/improv enfant terrible John Zorn a happy 60th birthday, including many fellow musicians and composers, poets (“the imagination must keep track of the flesh responding … a slow progression/ it must be beautiful and it can’t be free”), curators, critics, directors, producers and artists and one Yoko Ono.

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