Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things


Josie and the Pussycats Has Product Placement, But It’s Cool

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FilmDrunk gives us A Brief History of Conspicuous Product Placement in Movies, which is nothing if not informative and interesting (and makes great use of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious”). Though I was at first skeptical, it seems that enough research went into this to prove that all these movies received payment for their inclusion of these products in the movie. Whether this goes into the budget or someone gets a cash payoff I’m not sure. But whether a company paid for their product to be put in a movie seems to define if that placement is “evil.”

While watching this video, all I could think about was the seminal 2001 movie classic, Josie and the Pussycats which centered around the idea of “art” being used to propagate a capitalist agenda. This issue as seen through the eyes of this film is discussed quite throughly (if a little too seriously) in this piece here.

Though it got some exceptionally poor reviews, it also prompted The A.V. Club to say, “Like many underrated satires, Josie And The Pussycats could easily be mistaken for its satirical subject. That Josie internalized and perfected the flashy, ADD-addled, rapid-cut MTV aesthetic it cheekily sent up made it either doubly subversive or deeply hypocritical.” They called it a “secret success”, which I’d definitely agree with. In this film, product placement is a gag, so overboard it becomes ridiculous. None of the advertisers paid for their appearance in the film (it might have actually broken even at the box office if they had), and thus they were probably just pleased to be involved. Or maybe not, as it made everyone look a little obscene.

The cast is what really pulls together the film. The Pussycats are fine, but it’s Alan Cummings and Parker Posey as the evil manager and CEO of their record company, respectively, that throughly entertain. Paulo Costanzo plays their original manager (he’s the saving grace of Royal Pains, and Josh Hartnett’s roommate in 40 Days and 40 Nights). And the absolute BEST are Du Jour, who, if they were a real band, would have me as their biggest fan. They are made up by Donald Faison, Seth Green, Breckin Meyer, and some other dude I don’t really care about. I could definitely talk on and on about this movie, but it’s all been said, and I need to go watch it now.

My Evening

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So tonight, Molly and MC and I were sitting in the kitchen while some chili stewed in Molly’s new Le Creuset (exactly what the French intended it to be used for, I’m sure) and Passion Pit’s “To Kingdom Come” starts playing. And Molly says, “This reminds me of the music that played during Mario Kart, you know, on the Rainbow Road?” And I’m like, “No, I never played N64, because, oh you know, GENDER STEREOTYPES, not having a brother, my parents thought video games were Satan’s children.” So, wisely assuming that someone else noticed this first, she googled away and we found this.

And don’t worry, the creator isn’t really this bad at the game:

Also MC’s dad likes Passion Pit. That is all.

That Which Sustains Us

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Cohesion! It’s a magical thing. One time, when I was reading National Geographic World Magazine (their magazine for kids now unoriginally called Kids; it taught me how to make crayons and gave me hope I could name my own crayon color one day), there was this really rad feature on cohesion art which was both cool and informative. This video shows us how it works, and speedily too, for those of us who have not much time in which to spend trolling the internet looking at videos about things that will in doubt not better our lives in any tangible fashion.

Water Sculpture from Shinichi Maruyama on Vimeo.

Jason de Caires Taylor creates underwater sculptures that age with the water, and cool stuff grows on them, like coral, which though it looks like a rock, is not, thankyouverymuch. Some of them are incredibly haunting and give me the heebie jeebies, but that’s the point, so it’s all good.

“Hombre en Llamas (Man on Fire).” Depth 9m, Cancun/Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

He’s also helping the environment by creating artificial reefs, like this one off the coast of Delaware made of New York City subway cars. So two for the price of one, though I would not want to scuba dive past these, though I know the point of scuba diving is to see cool weird stuff like this. I also wouldn’t want to dive to see the Titanic, but that’s just me. It would be cold and scary, and I think the pictures are nice and they’ve brought up all the good stuff. This is totally a moot point as I have not gotten my scuba license. One for the bucket list not a New Year’s resolution.

The common thread between each of these works is how momentary they are. They rely on photography and video to show their beauty. Because of the literally fluid nature of water, they need another source to document a moment that existed. So much of art is focused on timelessness; this art isn’t timeless, however, the documentation of pieces of its evolution is. What is the real art — the piece deep below the surface, the water being caught, or the image in both cases being snapped by a photographer? And on that note, who is the real artist?

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