Taking Advantage of Boston’s Art Scene

Whether you are an art connoisseur or not, Boston’s art museums are a must see. Beautiful exhibitions are scattered all throughout the city and admission is free or discounted for all of them if you are an Emerson student! Here is a quick look at some of the great things these museums have to offer:

Museum of Fine Arts

Admission: Free with your Emerson ID

Must see: Egyptian Art Exhibit

One piece of advice: Plan to spend an entire day at the MFA…maybe even two. The MFA is the most classic museum experience on this list, showcasing a wide variety of artistic styles and classic paintings from different time periods. This museum offers art collections from all across the world to really put into perspective the vast array of artistic styles that exist. There are also photography exhibits, prints, drawings, musical instruments, and jewelry scattered throughout the museum.

It can be overwhelming how much content is inside the MFA, but each room deserves as much attention as the last.

Pottery at the MFA. Credit: Flickr.com

For all sports fans looking for something interesting…there is an exhibition all about David Ortiz that is open from now until September 4th. Tickets must be bought to view this gallery, but anything is worth it for Big Papi, right? Ortiz’s 2013 World Series MVP ring will also be on display, so get a close look while you can!

A rainy day is best spent at the Museum of Fine Arts, or multiple rainy days in a row!

 

ICA – Institute of Contemporary Art

Admission: Student discount with ID

Must See: Nari Ward: Sun Splashed

The ICA is a great place for college students to explore. The exhibits are fun, modern, and sometimes interactive. Each exhibit is important to view, many often presenting social and political issues in unique mediums.

This museum really makes you think about what you are seeing and how it can be interpreted to convey a bigger message. There is also a new exhibit by Dana Schutz being put up right now, set to open July 26th…even more new art to check out!!

ICA at night. Credit: Flickr.com

The large glass building overlooking Boston Harbor could not be more picturesque if it tried, and you could easily spend a whole day enjoying the incredible views. Aside from the amazing art, the ICA also holds outdoor concerts every Friday in July and August. These fun outdoor events feature new DJ’s every week and certain themed events to keep things new and interesting. The ICA always keeps me guessing, and I cannot wait to see what fun thing comes out next.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Admission: Student discount with ID (or free if your name is Isabella!)

Must See: Portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is like something out of a movie. The minute you step inside the museum it feels like you are taken back in time, admiring all of the beautiful paintings and scenery. The inner courtyard is breathtaking, and visible from every angle of the museum.

What makes this museum unique is that Isabella Stewart Gardner actually used to reside in the building before it turned into a museum, and still resembles a home in many ways. The tall ceilings and wooden floors add a homey feel to the artwork which is something you do not see everyday.

I highly recommend reading up on the Gardner heist before visiting, as it adds excitement and a bit of spookiness to your visit.

A great addition to the museum is the modern wing, which is the only part of the museum with changing exhibits. Set aside from the original building, this modern room showcases beautiful artwork and sculptures to add a modern twist. Next to the modern room is also the Gardner Museum’s incredible concert hall, which must be seen in person to truly admire. Isabella Stewart Gardner had a passion for music and this hall keeps her spirit alive in a beautiful space. The concert schedule and ticket options can be found on the museum’s website.

 

The Museum of Bad Art

Admission: Free museum passes can be requested.

Must See: “Dog” By: Unknown

After you have admired all of the famous pieces in the previously listed places…why not lighten the mood with this fun museum?? The MOBA gallery in Somerville is a private institution that is committed to celebrating bad art. Located in the basement of a theater, it is not the most glamorous of exhibits. That being said, it is definitely a memorable experience. It is a one of a kind museum visit and every piece of art is sure to make you chuckle.

Can’t get enough of the bad art? Have no fear, there is now a book available for purchase, “The Museum of Bad Art: Masterworks,” that showcases the worst of the worst, bottom of the barrel pieces of artwork.

Some pieces imitate famous works like the Mona Lisa, and with others it can be hard to decipher what is going on at all…

Quirky and humorous, the MOBA is Boston museum fun for all ages and a great way to lighten the mood after viewing maybe one too many gorey war depictions.

I hope this master list of Boston museum’s inspires you to view some new places and some very cool art.

 

Giphy.com

Queer Monologues: Emerson’s Archive of Queer Voices

Written anonymously

Before this year I would have never considered myself a performer. Before this year I would have never considered myself a part of the queer community. Now I can say that I’m both. This year I became a more active member of EAGLE, Emerson’s LGBTQ+ organization, and through a lot of their events, I stepped more and more out of my comfort zone. Queer Monologues was probably the height of this.

Queer Monologues is an event created by Emerson senior, Nathan Coffing, who modeled it after Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.” In Ensler’s play, she has a varying number of monologues that are typically performed with multiple women reading together. According to V-Day’s Website, “the Vagina Monologues” are “based on dozens of interviews Ensler conducted with women. The play addressed women’s sexuality and the social stigma surrounding rape and abuse, creating a new conversation about and with women.”

“Queer Monologues is a collective art piece intended to create a living book of experiences of LGBTQ+ people,” Coffing says about their vision for the project. “I wanted to bring the project to Emerson because we have so much talent in both writing and performing and I wanted to create a way that queer memory would exist and retain itself at the college, so that our stories would stay and hopefully resonate with someone else in the future.”

This project takes that same central concept of “The Vagina Monologues” and it extends it to the queer community. Emerson students were encouraged to submit their own work or audition to perform the works of those who did not want to perform them personally. Some students, like myself, chose to submit as well as perform. I wrote a slam poem about my gender identity and was able to see it given life on the stage as I performed it alongside three other Emerson students. This happened with the majority of the monologues which were written by one person but then were broken up between multiple voices, with some lines having more than one person reading them in unison. A few pieces were read solo to give the performance a quieter feel, especially if the piece was particularly personal. The first and last pieces, “What is Queer” and “Hi, Little Girl” were read by the entire cast.

The monologues address many personal aspects that a lot of those in the queer community can relate to. There are pieces about break ups, sex, coming out, and gender identity. The Queer Monologues is designed to give a space for queer people to be empowered and share their stories. So often queer people are discriminated against, erased from the media, not given a voice, but the Queer Monologues starts small and gives queer people a chance to speak and to be heard.

The performance happened on Thursday March 31st which fittingly and coincidentally happened to be on Transgender Day of Visibility, a day dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness for Transgender people. The fifteen performers read out the monologues of their fellow students and performers to a filled Cabaret in Emerson’s Little Building. The audience was extremely receptive, often snapping and laughing in response to all these emotions the performers placed into this space. Queer Monologues is going to continue in future years, with these pieces from the first performance being included in years to come. That way, even after students graduate, their voices will still be heard and their stories will take on new voices and new meanings as others step up to the stage to perform them.

At the beginning of this semester, I never thought I would get to a place where I could be comfortable enough to take a huge step out of my comfort zone and perform a personal piece as well as the pieces of fellow students in front of a crowd. I was able to find a way to express myself through Queer Monologues, and since the event is expected to continue throughout the years, hopefully this will be the beginning of an experience that will empower more Emerson students for years to come.

Sticking to What Works: Why We Find Things We Love, and Then Drop Them

I have recently become comfortable with the practice of yoga. For years, I watched beautiful people in a light sweat bounce casually out the door of the numerous yoga studios around town. As a child, I wondered about them‒what those rolled up mats were for, how they always seemed so calm and serene, why they all looked like hippies. As I grew older, I began to envy them. What was this strange practice that supposedly quieted the mind while simultaneously strengthening the body? I couldn’t understand how meditation could make someone sweat, let alone present a physical challenge.

Curious and interested in Eastern philosophy, I decided to see what all the fuss was about for myself. At first, things seemed hopeless. I was thin and bony, without an ounce of muscle on my body. My grandfather used to hold up my limp little arms and joke with me, saying, “Look at this sack of wet mice.” I couldn’t even lift ten pounds. As I crouched there on my purple yoga mat, praying the teacher wouldn’t come over and fix my position again, I stole glances at the other people in the class. To my surprise, no one else was looking around nervously like I was. They all had their eyes closed, earnestly breathing in rhythm like the good yogis they were.

At the time, I thought they were all masters. It seemed to come so easy to them, like they didn’t even have to try. I started to wonder what I was doing there, feeling like I had disturbed their meditation, distracting the teacher who kept coming over to pull my arms higher up by my ears or bend my knee deeper into a lunge. I thought to myself that I had been wrong to dream about yoga all this time, that it clearly was not for me.

A few years later, I came back to the practice with a fresh outlook. At my new studio, I realized that not one person in the room was a master. They were all struggling too, in their own personal way. I began to feel like for the first time in my life I had found a form of exercise that I could pursue confidently, without having to worry that I wasn’t good enough. Organized sports had always made me feel inferior‒I didn’t understand why I had been born with noodles for arms, lanky legs and flat feet. After trying just about every sports team in my town, I gave up and pursued the arts instead.

This is another interest into which I have dedicated a substantial amount of time. Though creative endeavors come much easier to me than any form of physical exercise, the pattern began to show up once again. This time, I noticed it in my writing. Since elementary school, I have loved poetry. I would collect pretty notebooks and write my most secret thoughts there, weaving them into rhymes as best I could. For years, I remained proud of my work‒I remained humble, but believed that I was writing something worthy of being read. In my junior year of high school, I went to a weekend conference for young writers. I studied poetry there and in that week wrote my best work to date. I met wonderful people who possessed more talent than I had ever seen. I wanted to be like them.

When I got home, I tried writing poetry again as I had for so many years before, but something had changed. I no longer had the confidence in my work to see it through more than one revision, often leaving poems unfinished, never to be looked at again. It was the saddest loss of interest I’ve ever experienced—the passion that had kept me up at night to write poems had gone suddenly, without my notice.

Back to my new found love for yoga. I bought all the necessary accouterments‒the special padded mat, new leggings, headbands, sports bras and tank tops. I was ready to be like those beautiful yoga people I had watched for so long and for a little while, I was. For a few weeks, I scheduled my life around classes, trying to go as often as I could. I looked forward to the rush of energy and bliss that washed over me as I left each session. It was a similar feeling to writing a poem that explains your feelings exactly as they are in your head.

Then, very subtly, something again began to change. I stopped looking forward to classes and started seeing them as I had seen all exercise in the past—something I had to drag myself to, monotonous and unenjoyable. As the weeks continued to roll by, I went to classes less and less, procrastinating with them like I would with school deadlines. After a while, I stopped going altogether.

As time went on, I realized that this was a trend in my life and that, after speaking to others about this phenomenon, I was not alone. Every time I found something constructive, a goal of some kind to work towards, I would pursue it for a while, then slowly lose interest. Yoga was such a healthy force in my life—it was challenging, fun and made me feel good. I had spent so much of my life feeling defeated by organized exercise and here I had finally found something that worked for me. So why did I stop? I’m still trying to figure it out. I could blame it on my generation as a whole and claim that as a millennial my attention span is naturally short. I could even say that those hobbies just weren’t for me. The thing is, I know full well that I loved doing them and wish I hadn’t let them slip out of habit.

If in reading this you’ve realized that you too are resisting things you are good at, things that you love—my advice to you (and myself) is to jump headfirst back into it. Drag yourself if you must, but don’t let yourself slip out of healthy habits. No matter how rational your excuses may sound in your head, I guarantee you’ll feel better knowing that you gave it your best college try. As I write this, I am resolving to go to yoga tomorrow. might even write a poem.

Find Your Zen and Destress Your Life

It’s the middle of the semester and stress is abound. Work is always piling up, whether it be midterms, projects, papers or just your good old fashioned deadline. To our brains, it all means the same thing: stress. When stress has its clutches around us, we can turn into knotted up wads of bad energy. Luckily, there are ways to combat this. All you need is a healthy dose of willpower and a place to start!

It Begins With Your Environment

clean room

I don’t know about you, but I often find that the root of my stress lies in the state of my living space. One of my friends always says that when her room is a mess, so is she. If you’re the type whose emotions are linked with your surroundings, then this should be your first step. For me, it happens like this: one or two articles of clothing get tossed on the floor, and in a week’s time my space has descended into anarchy.  Empty bottles and discarded wrappers litter the floor. Makeup is strewn across my desk.

The first thing we do everyday when we get out of bed is touch our feet to the floor. When there’s no floor to touch because it’s covered in junk, you know you have a problem. By de-cluttering your room, you will in turn begin to de-clutter your mind. I find it rather therapeutic to clean my room in one fell swoop, but others disagree. Marie Kondo, the author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, insists that the best way to keep a space clean is to work on it a little bit every day. Letting your clothes pile up is a metaphor for how you deal with your problems. The good news is that anyone can be clean–it doesn’t take any special skills or superpowers. Once you get a taste of the harmonious feeling that comes with a clean living space, you’ll never want to go back to your old ways.

Embrace the Antioxidants!

green tea.jpg

When Kermit said, “It’s not easy being green,” he was lying, assuming he was talking about eating green things! As long as you have access to healthy, organic fresh fruits and vegetables, you can be like Kermit, too. My favorite green thing (besides Shrek) is green tea. The benefits of this drink have been touted by health gurus and nutritionists alike. It all comes down to polyphenols, which are the antioxidants found in green tea. Antioxidants are known for fighting “free-radicals” which cause inflammation, weaken cell structures and otherwise wreak havoc on our insides. By eating antioxidant rich foods like blueberries, avocados, walnuts, fresh brewed coffee (and of course green tea,) we can boost our body’s defenses against ever-present environmental pollutants. When our bodies feel cleansed, so do our minds. This in turn gives us a sense of control over our lives, which leads to lower levels of stress.

And Now For The Fun Part

arts and crafts.jpg

It’s time for arts and crafts! Don your smocks and tie your hair back, it’s about to get messy (but this time in a good way). In the spirit of zen with the yin of harmony comes the yang of chaos. As great as it feels to tidy up, it can feel just as calming to make a big mess.

One of my favorite ways to achieve this effect is to make a collage. It can follow a specific theme, like pictures of your best friends or a memorable vacation, or it can just be anything that makes you happy. I am a notorious hoarder of magazines, so to make good use of them I like to grab a stack and start ripping out pages of pretty things. If you’re the scrapbooking type, using washi tape, stickers and other craft store staples can really liven up your piece–but sticking to good old scissors and glue is just as good. 

Drawing a heart map is another easy and effective way to take stock of what matters to you and what doesn’t. You don’t have to be an artist to create something beautiful. Just draw a big heart, then fill it in with things you love like a patchwork quilt. If your heart is big enough, you can write or draw those things inside the spaces. If your canvas is smaller, try drawing lines outside of the heart to label the things you love like a web.

How to Have a Great Interview

Finding a job is tough. You spend so much time tweaking your resume and cover letter so they stand out among the many other hopefuls you’re up against and you might have to apply to dozens of places before an application is noticed, and liked, by a potential employer.

After getting over the excitement of a call back, it’s time to prepare for the interview. You need to make sure you stand out more than your resume does.

Before the Interview:

  1. Research, Research, Research: Look over the company’s website, blog, stocks, recent work, new clients and products and anything else that might be relevant.
  2. Pick a Professional Outfit:It doesn’t matter if the office itself is business casual or even casual. You’ll want to dress to impress in business professional attire with extra attention to detail.
  3. Print Out Copies of Your Resume and Cover Letter: In case your interviewer forgets to bring a copy, you’ll save them the time of going back to get it and you’ll look prepared.
  4. Schedule It For the Right Time: You’ll want to pick a time that your interviewer will be most focused on you. Don’t schedule an interview on Monday or Friday, because they may be catching up or winding down. The same goes for the beginning or ending of the day or right before or after lunch. Aim for midmorning or midafternoon.
  5. Come Up With An Answer to “Tell Me About Yourself”: You’ll want to avoid regurgitating your cover letter. Make it a little more personal by adding a why to the what, but remember to keep it short and sweet. Weave in little details about your influences and goals.
  6. Prepare for Questioning: The most common questions are often about your strengths, weakness, failures, goals, managerial ability, ability to work under pressure or handle multiple things at once and disagreements with upper management or coworkers. The interviewer will often want to know why you want to work at their company, why they should hire you and why you left your last job. Depending on the position, you might also be asked specific questions about the company.

During the Interview:

  1. Make a Good First Impression: Be polite to everyone, because you don’t want anyone thinking you aren’t the one. You should also be professional in your demeanor and language.
  2. Be Confident, Not Cocky or Desperate: You don’t want to look too nervous, but you don’t want to seem cocky, because no one likes arrogance, even if you’re super qualified. Also, if you really need the job to make your next rent payment, don’t show it. You want to show them that you want the job because of what the job is, not because you’re behind on your student loan payments.
  3. Pay Attention: There’s likely to be a lot of information thrown at you about the company, the position and the duties. This is a great information to ask questions about later on.
  4. Don’t Talk Too Much: Be concise, but descriptive. Try to avoid making statements about your abilities without examples to back them up. Definitely don’t ramble too much, because you might end up saying more than you wanted. Remember to also be honest, even if it means saying you don’t have a skill.
  5. Ask Good Questions: Asking your own questions is so important. It shows your interviewer that you are interested in the position and company. This is also a great way to show off some of the research you did before the interview.

After the Interview:

  1. Send a Thank You Note: The email should be personalized and include specific information about the interview and interviewer. This shows you valued the interview enough to remember what they said and to take the time to thank the interviewer.
  2. Follow Up:  A phone call or email following up shows your continued interest in the position, as well as your follow-through abilities. However, don’t stalk your interviewer because they’ll be less likely to hire you. After you’ve contacted them a couple of times, it’s best to move on.

 

The Struggles of a Starving Writer

The “starving artist” is a condition that everyone who follows their creative talents will fall into at some point of their life. I am not referring to an artist who is literally hungry for food, but one who is hungry for success in their creative field. For these people, like myself, it is overwhelming to try to contemplate how one can possibly make it big in a career that is overridden by people with the same artistic drive. As a writing, literature and publishing major at Emerson, I would love to be a famous novelist in the future, who has people begging her for an autograph at every street corner. Realistically, I see publishers denying my best work that I have put years of love and dedication into. For this reason, I will be starving for affirmation that my passion has been worth working so hard for. Under all of the negativity, finding the drive to continue writing is difficult.

Charles Bukowski puts this struggle beautifully in his poem, “Murder” from his collection of poetry titled, You Get so Alone at times That It Just Makes Sense. He describes the writing process as “competition, greed, desire for fame.” He goes on to explain:

the writing becomes a useless
spasm
a jerk-off of a once
mighty gift.
it happens and happens and
continues to:
the mutilation of talent
the gods seldom
give
but so quickly
take. (Bukowski, 1986, p. 299-300)

His portrait of writing is genuine and the cause for much of the self-deprecation in his work, as he sees himself as an aimless writer who is lost amongst others like him. However, he built his success from his struggles, as many writers do. He became a famous poet and prose writer from writing everyday after he returned home from work during his 15-year profession in the postal service. His dedication is what ultimately fulfilled his “desire for fame.”

Walter Mosley found his success with the same strategy as Bukowski, by writing every day. He is an author known for his crime novels, most notably, his first book, Devil in a Blue Dress. Now with over 40 books under his belt, Mosley publishes as many as two a year. As a half-Jewish and half-African-American man, Mosley started his writing career late, at the age of 34. He had many set backs early on, especially when he made the protagonist of his first novel an African-American.

Earlier in the summer, I saw him speak during a writing conference, at which he told the audience that his first publisher asked him why the detective in Devil in a Blue Dress was a black man. Mosley said that there were plenty of white detectives in novels, so why couldn’t his detective be black? Having overcome the first obstacle of publication, Mosley continued to write routinely, and proudly told of how he writes at least a few hours everyday. When asked how he finds the time, he explained that he just makes it work. How does he find the time for sleep? Because he has to. He takes the same viewpoint on writing. He encouraged the audience to write everyday for a hundred days and they will undoubtedly notice an improvement in their writing over time.

The hurdle for the audience, and many other writers, is finding the motivation. With my desired career in the writing industry, I face the same problem. Taking writing classes at Emerson has given me a reason to work on my fiction writing, but I won’t have the luxury of forced motivation when I graduate college. So how does one write, and become able to profess himself as a writer?

The most detrimental distraction from writing is television and the internet. Since writing is most commonly done during someone’s free time, it is difficult to get into the creative mindset when it would be so much easier to just sit back with some Netflix. What I do to fight this urge is to start reading. When I read a book that I find engaging, it serves the same entertainment purpose as a TV show, but it also creates a sense of motivation. For me, reading encourages me to write in order to be read. If there is something I am reading that is captivating, I feel an urge to create the same experience for someone who is reading something that I have written. If picking up a book is too difficult with my television or computer in front of me, I tend to head to a coffee shop, or a park, or a beach during the summer. The white noise of people talking around me seems to put me at ease when digesting a good book.

Once the motivation has set in, the next hardest step is thinking of what to write. Though I can write about anything at all under the fiction genre, there seems to be too many options and none of them are compelling enough. I get my best ideas in my bed, when I am trying to go to sleep. Granted, this is not going to make me fall to sleep any faster, but it is a time when the silence takes over and I can just think about my passion. Sometimes when I wake up and remember the brilliant idea that I was so excited about right before I fell asleep, I will realize that it is completely absurd, but at least I got to thinking about ideas and maybe even gave myself something to work with later on.

Once I have even a sliver of an idea of what to write about, I like to make an outline. I think of everything and anything that could build off of this idea and write them all down. When starting to write the story, I can look back on my outline for guidance, because sometimes the point of my story will get lost. That being said, sometimes my outline becomes obsolete because I have come up with the best idea while I was writing that has nothing to do with my original plan. That’s great, but not always the case. The outline works so that when I have an idea and it doesn’t go anywhere, I can have some sort of path paved out in advance to guide my story along.

With proper motivation, a compelling story idea, and a constructed plan, writing feels less aimless and becomes an enjoyable and productive activity. Ultimately, not every writer will find fame, and not every writer is looking for fame. Having a passion for writing is the most beneficial part of the creative process. To neglect that passion with laziness and self-doubt is the most detrimental thing that a starving writer can do.

Bukowski, Charles. (1986). You Get so Alone at times That It Just Makes Sense. Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow.

Boston Art Underground: Check It Out!

Boston Art Underground's MBTA diagram. Image via BAU/Facebook
Boston Art Underground’s MBTA diagram. Image via BAU/Facebook.

Boston Art Undergroundt: it’s a website us art fans wish we created. At first glance it sounds like a short cut to Boston’s newest unknown art scene — which it quite possibly could include — but it is much more than a singularly focused site.

The intention behind Boston Art Underground is to create a fast and simple way to find art in the Boston area. How the website executes this is by locating where all the museums, galleries and exhibits are in relation to the T on the MBTA map — thus creating an underground guide explicitly for art. (Now don’t you wish you came up with this idea?) The red line, blue line, green line, and orange line are located the website for your navigation. If you are interested in following a specific line, you can click on, for example the green line, and it will give you a list of galleries that can be located along the green line. It really is simple!

In BAU’s mission statement they explain, “Boston Art Underground seeks to expand the arts-patron population, and foster a stronger artistic community in our city.” They not only do this by actively having our back on the MBTA system, but they also keep a blog and a Facebook account to make sure we the viewers are connected. The blog is updated throughout the week, with critics, artwork spotlights, special events and more.

Boston Art Underground is relevant right now because of their active presence in the Boston fine arts community. Through their Internet handles (website, blog, Facebook) they facilitate a local dialogue on the subject. This is incredibly important to keep the fine arts a burgeoning trade, and the public aware of what Boston culture has to offer.

As students, if this is of interest, it is easy to get involved. BAU’s website offers volunteer opportunities, calls for art, advertisements, and corporate art placement. (FYI WLP’s) From personal research one of the volunteer opportunities involves writing for their blog. Get involved and keep forwarding the local dialogue in the Boston fine arts community!

MFA Screens Stanley Kubrick FIlms Through February

Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Image via Tumblr user annyskod
Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Image via Tumblr user annyskod

The Museum of Fine Arts is known as a beacon for culture and knowledge in the city of Boston. The galleries are strategically curated with paintings, jewelry, sculptures, books, post-cards, and posters. These objects are typically the topics of intrigue when the MFA is brought up in conversation. It is important to remember, however, that musuems such as the MFA do not solely focus on the up-keep of their exhibits. Although, the Art of the America’s wing is a must see when visiting the museum, the MFA is far more dynamic than just walls and floors filled with priceless art.

The MFA fills their calendar to the brim every month with events and programs for the public to enjoy at their leisure. This month, avid movie watchers and film students should clear their schedules and pay a visit to the MFA, but this time for a feature film. It sounds ridiculously unconventional when it is put so bluntly, but it is a real event! It is a completely different experience watching a movie in an art museum in comparison to the movies or even your couch. The MFA invites the public (members and nonmembers) to watch the films of Stanley Kubrick. They will be screened from February 1st to February 24th.

The museum is paying homage to the great filmmaker Stanley Kubrick by showing a complete chronology of his films, including Fear and Desire to Eyes Wide Shut, the museum is prepared to make this a unique experience for its viewers by using an outdated aesthetic. Instead of showing the films of Kubrick digitally, which is generally expected in this age of technology, the MFA has decided to screen the footage on 35 mm film (except when specified on the website).

Of course, like any event there is a small price to pay. It is nine dollars for members and students and eleven dollars for general admission, but it is worth it for an experience that doesn’t generally arise. The MFA will be holding many more events that don’t necessarily involve walking in and out of galleries. By holding this event at the MFA the museum is proving to the public that it can attract many different tastes and interests. Now it is in the hands of the museumgoer to decide how to use the MFA to its fullest potential. Find what you like at the MFA and explore.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
For general information about the MFA visit mfa.org.

Matt Damon Hijacks ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’

Matt Damon hijacks Jimmy Kimmel and takes over his late night show last Thursday, January 24th. Image via WENN.
Matt Damon hijacks Jimmy Kimmel and takes over his late night show last Thursday, January 24th. Image via WENN.

Over the past few years, Jimmy Kimmel has concluded his talk show by apologizing to Matt Damon, not having enough time in his show to have him for an interview — apparently ever. Kimmel, who is familiar with pranking Boston actors — his ongoing prank war with John Krasinski in particular — was kidnapped by Damon on live television before his show last Thursday. Damon avenged Kimmel’s trash talk by hijacking Jimmy Kimmel Live! and turned the late night show into a special titled Jimmy Kimmel Sucks! Damon deserves some credit for a handful of laughs, but this special only reminded us that we should leave the celebrity hosts for Saturday Night Live

The majority of the show served as a Jimmy Kimmel roast; “How you doing over there, Jimmy? I’m just kidding, I don’t care,” Damon had said as Jimmy remained taped up to a desk chair. One of the highlights of Damon’s night included appearances from Good Will Hunting costars Ben Affleck and Robin Williams. This was the only brief moment of Kimmel-praise when the camera cuts to Affleck holding a cue card that read, “I still love you, Jimmy.” John Krasinski’s wife and actress, Emily Blunt, made an appearance, as well as turn-ups from Nicole Kidman, Demi Moore, Robert DiNiro, and Oprah. Sarah Silverman also made her first appearance on the show since her highly publicized break-up with Kimmel five years ago. Let’s not forget that in that particular 2008 episode, Silverman wrote a spoof song for her then-boyfriend titled “I’m F*@#ing Matt Damon” and even featured a video with said host.

The episode was undoubtedly a ploy to boost ratings, possibly trying to compete with the growing popularity that comes with the interactiveness and spontaneity of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Even so, it was genius on Kimmel’s party to accompany Damon with Affleck, who is receiving a lot of press this awards season for his work with Argo. Overall, the program was ludicrous and entertaining, but serves enough proof that somebody else can host Kimmel’s own talk show better than he can.

You can watch the full episode of Jimmy Kimmel Sucks! here on hulu.com.

Blindingly Good Marketing from Urban Outfitters & Lisa Frank

by Rebecca Isenhart

Screencap via urbanoutfitters.com

You are about to be pick-pocketed by a dancing rainbow bear in a tuxedo.  Maybe you’re just having a bad trip, but chances are you’re just standing in Urban Outfitters.

UO, in all its marketing glory, has paired up with artist Lisa Frank to push retina-burning relics from the 90’s on college kids with plenty of disposable income and an insatiable desire to regress back to childhood.

Ironically, of course. Not because we’re afraid of plunging into the vortex of responsibility and heartbreak that is adulthood. Seriously, it’s a style choice… Hold on a sec, I need to go call my therapist.

Before you go dump your wallet out on the Urban Outfitters checkout counter, take a moment and consider that this is more like a stroke of marketing genius than a generous gift from Lisa Frank to your inner child. In fact, it’s probably a recipe for buyer’s regret.

Here are the magical marketing tactics that make me suspicious:

1. “Vintage.” We love this vague label so, so much. Urban Outfitters knows that. But Lisa Frank’s stuff barely squeaks into that category. About.com classifies fashion items as vintage if they’re between 20-100 years old. These items are on the young end of that spectrum as it is, and extremely similar products are still being sold today on Lisa Frank’s web site. Technically, things don’t have to be discontinued to be vintage – but doesn’t it kind of make them seem less special when they’re still being made new?

2. “Limited Edition.” Again, TECHNICALLY, yes. These come from Lisa Frank’s “vault,” the existence of which is verified by the video interview posted on the Urban Outfitters web site. But extremely similar things are still being sold. So they’re limited enough for a serious collector [read: hoarder of rainbows] to care, but if you just want to slap some nostalgic stickers on your iPhone case, you’d probably be better off searching Amazon, where you can get book of several hundred for less than $5.

3. The nostalgia factor. Remember how you used to be able to eat an entire jar of frosting with your finger and not puke? Remember how you used to be able to look at a Lisa Frank folder for more than 15 seconds and not go blind? Things have changed. Spending $15 on a “designer’s set” with four pencils and a weird, small notepad will not change them back.

I love the 90’s as much as the next 20-something. I’ll still defend N*SYNC against the Backstreet Boys in an argument. (Maybe too enthusiastically?) But I think I’ll raid my basement before I go running to Urban Outfitters, wallet wide open.

Are you with me, or did you already pick up some new rainbow school supplies? Leave comments!