Culture Popby Kara Rota
- Wilson's World Series Beard- I mean bid
- Emma Donoghue reads an excerpt of 'Room' at the Irish Arts Center
- Stephen Colbert testifies before Congress on the plight of migrant workers
- Five Books to Read This Fall
- Season 4 of Mad Men wins over new fans and nostalgic viewers alike
I was thrilled to learn that Conor McPherson's new film The Eclipse swept the Irish Film and Television Awards on Saturday, snagging awards for Best Film, Best Film Script, and Best Supporting Actor for Aiden Quinn.
I saw the film Monday night at a press screening and was excited, I'll admit largely because The Eclipse stars the unpronounceable Iben Hjejle, best known in America for her star turn opposite John Cusack in High Fidelity (easily one of my top five favorite movies). In The Eclipse, which is set at a literary festival in Cobh -- the gorgeous and eerie scenery holds a supporting role all on its own -- Hjejle plays a novelist caught between the competing desires of Nicholas (Aiden Quinn), an absolute asshole American writer/drunk (Quinn is fantastic in this, alternately hilarious, tragic and complexly, awfully intense, and the award is well-deserved) and Michael (Ciaran Hinds), a widower who serves as a volunteer at the festival and thus is a much ignored silent witness to the egomaniacal and neurotic writers' personalities.
Irish Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha, who I interviewed for Irish America's June/July 2009 cover story, claims that she's not getting work because she's (gasp) a SIZE FOUR. Although she's appeared for Zac Posen and Diane von Furstenburg this fashion week, Rocha says she's not in demand anymore. The New York Times quoted her as saying, "Girls are told they're not skinny enough, or they hear, 'She's old, she's boring, we've had her, she's not tiny anymore... A lot of people don't take into account the vulnerability of these young girls.
"Everybody knows that, in general, a basketball player needs to be tall and a fashion model needs to be skinny, but how skinny is too skinny?"
Coco has spoken out before about the problematic expectations of the fashion industry (in which the sample size industry standard is a size zero). When I interviewed her last July, she said, "When you start off you have to have a certain body type. I mean, that’s why we get [recruited] so young. Your body hasn’t even gotten to that peak yet. So when you start aging and your body is changing, people want it to stop, they don’t want that happening. … You can’t please everyone. If Client A and Client B want two different girls, are you somehow going to get both of them? No. If you don’t want me today, someone will want me tomorrow.”
Okay, Irish Central readers. You seem to have this thing about Robert Pattinson. It's a love/hate relationship. Not that I can blame you: our website seems to have a thing about him too. A fixation, if you will. A preoccupation. A sort of mesmerized cult following.
At the ripe old age of 22, I'm not exactly the kid's target audience, but I am generally fascinated by how differently some hot young things react to their newfound celebrity, and find myself torn between opposing stances of You Get What You Ask For (stars innately have signed away all rights to a normal and private adolescence) and They Become What We Make Them (American media's obsession with celebrity culture and constant salivating over the rise and continuing freefall feeds into self-destructive behaviors).
The 2010 Winter Olympics have already become a source of pride for Irish Americans, with two of our own snagging medals in cold-weather events.
This Tuesday night a friend and I went to see a press screening of The Good Guy, a sort-of romantic sort-of comedy written and directed by Julio dePietro, coming out in theatres February 19. Starring Alexis Bledel, Scott Porter and Bryan Greenberg, it's the none-too-original story of Beth, a twenty-something girl in Manhattan trying to figure out who to date, with an adorably bro-y She's All That-style subplot about clueless dudes teaching a more clueless dude how to succeed with women and on Wall Street.
First off, I should say I have mixed feelings about the media circus that the circumstances surrounding Brittany Murphy's death continue to drag out (although, of course, compared to Michael or even Heath, it's more like a media small-town-summer-carnival-with-maybe-one-sketchy-looking-ride). I am obviously a diehard Clueless fan, but even aside from that, I think she had some pretty incredible performances in some really fantastic movies (anything co-starring Ashton Kutcher notwithstanding), and always seemed like a likeable, sweet Irish-Italian girl who came from genuinely tough circumstances to make it big.
Mysterious circumstances continue in events surrounding the untimely death of actress Brittany Murphy. Her widower, Simon Monjack, had planned an enormous launch party for tomorrow night to kick off the new Brittany Murphy Foundation, which he is creating to fundraise towards the cause of arts education for children.
I think we took a significant step backward this week when CBS decided to reject the proposed Super Bowl ad from the gay dating site ManCrunch, which depicted two dudes watching football who start making out after their hands brush in the chip bowl.
Despite the complete normalization of TV spots for straight dating sites (even those which blatantly exclude bisexual or homosexual users) and the long tradition of sexually explicit Super Bowl commercials for beer and other consumer goods (not to even mention the ever-present cheerdancers at football games), CBS released a statement saying that their "Standards and Practices department decided not to accept this particular spot." ManCrunch is calling CBS out on discriminatory practices.