Burning Flags Press The website of Glen E. Friedman. Renowned for both his work with musicians like Fugazi, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Slayer (and many, many more) as well as his groundbreaking documentation of the burgeoning skateboard phenomenon in the late `70's, Glen has been privvy to (and has summarily captured on film) some of the coolest stuff ever. He's also an incredibly insightful and nice guy to boot.
SoHo Blues - Photography by Allan Tannenbaum Allan Tannenbaum is a local photographer who has been everywhere and shot everything, from members of Blondie hanging out at the Mudd Club through the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center on September 11th. You could spend hours on this site, and I have.
Robert Otter Photographs Amazing vintage photographs of New York City, specifically my own neighborhood, Greenwich Village.
oboylephoto Just some intensely cool photographs of abandoned places.
The Weblog of Spumco's John K. The weblog of cartoonist John Kricfalusi, crazed mind and frantic pencil behind the original "Ren & Stimpy," as well as "The Goddamn George Liquor Show." Surreal, unapologetic, uncompromising genius.
According to Moviefone -- and they would know, I suppose -- this week marks the 25th anniversary of Adrian Lyne's much-maligned "9 1/2 Weeks," the prototypically soft-core kink flick and quintessential 80's artifact that launched a thousand tepid imitators. It jump-started Kim Basinger's career and marked the first of a long series of lamentable missteps for the then-promising Mickey Rourke. Ultimately, it's a fairly hollow vessel -- a stylishly-wrapped present without much inside to recommend it. In his article for Moviefone, writer Gary Susman cites five reasons why the film has had a lasting effect. For the most part, I agree with Gary (I'll let you click on over there if you care). But I think he's forgotten a crucial element.
Despite it's inarguable dearth of significant substance, "9 1/2 Weeks" is an elegantly stylish love-letter not just to Kim Basinger's curves, but to New York City. Like a clutch of other films of its era -- notably Tony Scott's equally-masturbatory-but-still-far-superior vampire flick, "The Hunger" --- "9 1/2 Weeks" depicts NYC with artful panache, rather starkly contrasting the NYC films of a decade earlier like "Marathon Man," "French Connection," "Panic in Needle Park" and "The Taking of Pelham 123." Those films portrayed New York City as caked in a patina of greasy soot, whereas so many shots in "9 1/2 Weeks" -- from locations in the Village to Coney Island to the Chelsea Hotel and SoHo -- make the city look positively enchanted.
Don't get me wrong -- it's still a botched endeavor and a squirm-inducing portrayal of smug misogyny at the end of the day. Lyne would replicate the formula with more commercially-successful results a couple of years later with "Fatal Attraction," which also features some stylish shots of Manhattan.
For all its flaws, though, I still kinda dig "9 1/2 Weeks." Give it another shot and see if you agree. Here's a small taste of what I'm talking about.
In perusing through Gothamist this morning, I came upon this interview with the dubiously-named GiGi La Femme, a buxom burlesquer who is apparently trying to re-inject NYC with a bit of old timey spice. Good for her, I say. In any case, the only reason I'm citing it here is that I was struck by the photo that accompanied the interview (appended at the top of this post -- thanks, Gothamist), of the scantily-clad GiGi posing seductively (and, I'd imagine, uncomfortably) right in the middle of one of my favorite Manhattan byways, Staple Street in TriBeCa.
Inspired by same, here are a few shots of the picturesque strip in question (the last one featuring -- once again -- the Beastie Boys). Film fans might also recognize Staple Street as the ominous back alley behind Puffy's wherein Ed Harris kills John C. Riley in "State of Grace."
Just an artful little shot of a 1962 Super Beatle, parked -- if I'm not mistaken --around 59th Street & Fifth Avenue (if that's indeed the Plaza reflected in its windshield). This photograph comes courtesy of the Tumblr, Whitey's Place. It reminded me a bit of the photograph below I snapped of a Mini Cooper in the West Village in 2000 (before they became maddeningly ubiquitous).
I don't really know how I made the leap from one to the other, but after reading Yukie's latest piece on dumpster diving in the SoHo of her youth, I recalled an ancient, pre-Hip Hop Beastie Boys video wherein the fledgling foursome (back when future Luscious Jackson member Kate Schellenbach was still in their ranks) and their youthfully punky pals are depicted frolicking with juvenile abandon amid what looks like the then-grimy, industrial streets of SoHo. Maybe someone recognizes the specific locales or is the editing too quick?
A little over a year ago or so, I started a Tumblr page for no readily apparent reason other than abject boredom. Get Back to Work turned into a giant, vacuous, id-satiating timesuck that served no real practical purpose other than acting as a seldom-perused depository of images (everything from comic book covers to `Net memes to pictures of vintage New York City to old movie posters to favorite album sleeves and all points in between). I'd meant it to be sort of a companion site to Flaming Pablum, but I'm not sure it's really tackled that task. Get Back to Work has attracted a paltry 129 followers from the Tumblr community, but I figured that since I've slapped up loads of cool NYC pics in there (in between photographs of favorite musicians, flyers from long-ago hardcore shows at long-since-torn-down venues, stills from cult movies and the odd video clip), perhaps you -- the non-Tumblrite -- might enjoy it. There's precious little reading involved (giving you a much-needed break from my slavishly verbose, masturbatory prose), so let that be an incentive. It's junk-food for the eye. Go get it. Below are a few choice examples of what to expect.