Over the years, a number of interns in the Objects & Variable Art Lab have writtenblogposts for the IMA. But this week, Jessica Ford and Katherine Langdon (who, you might remember, wrote “Caring for Bronze in the Community” this summer) have moved on to the proverbial “big time” to pen a two-part post on the American Institute for Conservation’s News Blog about their recent East Coast road trip to research art conservation graduate schools: Buffalo State College, New York University (my alma mater), and the University of Delaware.
The IMA’s conservation staff included graduates from each of these training programs, and former faculty from Buffalo State and University of Delaware. Needless to say, we take training the next generation of conservators seriously around here. So, please go over to AIC’s News Blog and check out Jessica and Katherine’s work:
Eddie Muller, founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation, writes about the seminal film noir Criss Cross, screening this Friday night at the TOBY as a part of the Winter Nights series:
When people ask me to cite the definitive film noir, I usually say Double Indemnity. That’s the one most people have likely heard of. But these days, I’m more inclined to callCriss Cross the perfect film noir. I’ve seen it several more times in recent years and it improves with each viewing. Its mood of thwarted passion and desperate melancholy only deepens with the passing years.
Criss Cross was essentially the culmination of the film noir era (roughly 1944-1952), made at the movement’s peak in 1949. It reunited the brain trust from The Killers (1946), one of the films that ignited Hollywood’s fascination with dark, cynical crime stories. The one collaborator missing, unfortunately, was producer Mark Hellinger who died of a heart attack at age 44, just as the project came together. A one-time Broadway newspaper columnist, the brash and ballsy Hellinger had recently scored his biggest success with the groundbreaking police proceduralNaked City (1948). He seemed destined for a long career as film noir’s dominant storyteller.
Hellinger was inspired by Don Tracy’s 1934 novel about a daring racetrack robbery, complicated by sexual passions. It was essentially The Killers redux, only better: this time there was no dispassionate protagonist (Edmond O’Brien) to distance the audience from the tale’s maelstrom of lust and longing. Daniel Fuchs fashioned a screenplay that greatly improved upon Tracy’s novel. Michel (Michael) Kraike stepped into the producer’s role and smartly let director Robert Siodmak have free rein. (Although theirs was a successful collaboration, Siodmak and Hellinger often butted heads while making The Killers.)
Steve Thompson (Burt Lancaster) is an armored car guard who still has it bad for his ex-wife, Anna (Yvonne De Carlo). He’s drawn back to Slims, a nightclub where their passion burned brightest. He discovers that she’s hooking up with Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea), a slick and shady operator. Anna, in fine femme fatale fettle, ignites a fire fight between the two men. When Dundee catches him with Anna, Steve blurts out a cover story: he’s willing to act as the inside man so Dundee can knock over one of his company’s armored cars. Both men stage a cagey mating dance, while setting each other up. Steve plans on swindling Slim, grabbing his cut, and running off with Anna. Slim plans to kill Steve in the heat of the heist.
And so we start another year. What it brings, I have no idea. I’m pretty much done with spring and summer designs. I hope my selections work well both aesthetically and culturally. If Mother Nature doesn’t play with me too much, I think they will be fine. But you never know her mood from one moment to the next.
I’m not so big on the whole New Year’s resolution thingie but I do see the start of a new year as an opportunity to do some things different. “That” didn’t work so well last year so I think I’ll try “this” and see if it is an improvement. And “that” and ‘this” could be a plant, a technique, or an attitude.
If we are talking about changing a plant, I have a few questions to ask. Is the new plant going to be resistant to the disease problems of the old plant? Is it going to be happier in the cultural conditions than the old plant? Most importantly, is it going to be prettier than the old plant?
Don’t forget that proposals are due Friday, January 14 (NEXT WEEK) for this summer’s residency on Indianapolis Island. This residency offers the unique opportunity to customize the interior of Andrea Zittel’s Indianapolis Island located in the IMA’s 100 Acres. The chosen resident will be able to test their proposal, drawing conclusions about island living during their six week residency in Summer 2011.
A lot of things have happened since ArtBabble was born (launched) in April of 2009. I can’t believe it has been close to 2 years! There are two main things that have improved drastically since we launched: content and technology. To the future…