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The Embodied Power of Punk-i-fied Barbies

“If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry,” wrote Emily Dickinson.  Emily’s wham-bang factor applies to the documentary film Marwencol, showing in The Toby on Thursday, December 9.  Here’s a peek:

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Filed under: Film, Public Programs, The Toby


Onion Noise

And carrots and bell peppers and pumpkins and….

I’m here at the Indianapolis International Airport waiting for the 11 members of the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra to arrive.  They perform at The Toby this Saturday night, 7 pm.

Since seeing their picture in a cooking magazine five years ago, I’ve been obsessed with bringing them to perform at IMA.  I love that they take an everyday object like an eggplant and mine it for its expressive sonic properties.  I love that they wear all black and let the colorful veggies create a visual pop.  I love that they treat vegetables as sculptural objects.  I love that their music is experimental.

Here’s a listen to their latest CD, Onionoise. I especially like Brazil.

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Filed under: Public Programs, The Toby


Soul Stealing

Next Thursday night, you’re invited to The Toby at IMA for a crash course in soul-stealing…in the cinematic sense, that is. Dennis Bingham, director of film studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, will enlighten us on the history, politics and particular pleasures of a genre of film known as the biopic, or film biography.

Since the art of film was born, directors and screenwriters have snatched drama from the lives of real people and transmuted them into works of cinematic art. From Erin Brockovich and Larry Flynt to Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, there are a gazillion real lives that beg for big screen treatment. Jake LaMotta, anyone?

In his new book, Whose Lives Are They Anyway?, Bingham interrogates the oft-dismissed biopic genre for its power to mythologize, demonize, sanctify, and complicate.

Think of the innovative 2007 Bob Dylan biopic, I’m Not There. Or Oliver Stone’s takes on Nixon and JFK. Not to mention Gretchen Moll in The Notorious Bettie Page–a film that might have been naughty but was actually quite nice. Plus Denzel Washington‘s channeling of Malcom X back in ’92.

See you October 28 at The Toby for this free 7 pm talk (details here). Meanwhile, leave us a list of biopics you find most notable – whether schlocky, exploitative or aggrandizing…

Filed under: Film, Public Programs


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