Apr 30, 2012

An American in France: Day 3

Quasimodo watches Paris burn.
It is Day 3 in Paris, and things are getting crazy. The many well-laid plans for the day were thrown aside, and the Tableau Your Mind family dabbled in spontaneity. Of course, this involved going to many well-marked and safe tourist attractions, but we went to them in a completely different order than the order we had planned. We started the day in Le Marais, which is apparently beautiful and fun and hip, but mostly it was just cafes and wholesale purse shops - in all honesty, we may have missed the hip Le Marais. Then, we were planning to head to the Louvre after the Centre Georges Pompidou, but, instead, we went to Notre Dame. Quelle Surprise!

When I think of the Notre Dame, I think of Indiana football and the classic Disney movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Since this is Tableau Your Mind and not Football Your Mind, let's focus on the Disney.  This 90s addition to the Disney family, based on a novel by Victor Hugo, is a wonderful and dramatic film, filled with religion and gypsies and repressed sexual desires. The villain, Judge Frollo, is the scariest cartoon character with

Apr 29, 2012

An American in France: Day 2

l'Amour (French Kiss)
What a difference a day makes! After the first, rain-soaked day in Paris, it could really only get better. And boy, did it. The Tableau Your Mind family enjoyed a beautiful sunny day visiting the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Louis Vuitton, the Champs Elysees, Montmartre, and the Sacre Coeur. It was a busy day, full of romance (and war and nationalism and sex and a little religion). But for the purpose of this post, let's focus on the romance. France is built on a solid foundation of love, the ville de l'amour. And while plenty of French filmmakers have explored this love affair, I think, to go along with the monuments and landmarks I encountered, we should explore films directed by and American, an Aussie, and, okay, a Frenchman.

Of course, France and love is so closely tied with the activity the country is named for, so let's start with the film French Kiss, which stars Meg Ryan as an American adrift in Paris,

Apr 28, 2012

An American In France: Day 1

Tableau Your Mind is in France. We are out of our comfort zone. We are traveling in a country where English isn't the main language and the currency looks like it was watercolor-painted by children. We can't understand the woman on the train speakers for a completely different reason than why we can't understand the woman on the subway back home. We are lost.

When it's difficult to find one's bearings, it's important to look to the familiar - finding a McDonald's or a Cracker Barrel can help make a person feel grounded and safe. When I'm in France, it turns out nothing makes me feel safer than retreating to the films of France, to the

Apr 26, 2012

30 Rock: Live From Studio 6H! (Updated with West Coast Info)

30 Rock's live episode last night, "Live From Studio 6H," was pretty great and showed us so many things. Sure, the beginning was a little slow and hammy (in a bad way), but it became hilarious and hammy (as in, Jon Hamm-y) in the best way. Even with almost no plot or character progression, we learned so much! Here are just a few of the gems we uncovered:

Apr 19, 2012

The 'Magic Mike' Trailer Got Us Thinking...

Yesterday saw the release of the first trailer for Magic Mike, the stripper biopic directed by Stephen Soderbergh and starring and based on the life of Channing Tatum, 2012's most ubiquitous film star (This year's Jessica Chastain, or, more aptly, this year's Jude Law).

It got us thinking. Despite the somewhat cyclical nature of Channing Tatum’s career that this trailer represents, the role really opens him up to a whole new world of opportunities. He can dance, he’s funny, and he can sing. He still lacks some complexity in the more dramatic

Apr 17, 2012

Angelina Jolie Engaged to Her Own Right Leg

Engagement Ring Revealed
(Click to Make Bigger)
This weekend, Angelina Jolie shocked the world when she showed up to a public event with a sizable ring on a very important finger. Yes, Angelina Jolie is engaged, but the real news is that her affianced is not, as was previously reported, Brad Pitt. No, Angelina Jolie is engaged to her very own Right Leg.

Angelina and her Right Leg have had a quick and very public love affair. Various accounts from close friends and stalkers confirm that the relationship with Right Leg (for simplicity’s sake, RL) began before RL had even broken up with his previous paramour, Left Leg. With Angelina Jolie’s rapidly increasing weight loss, RL and Left Leg were growing farther and farther apart, but it wasn’t until the Oscars this year when the split was made public, with RL stepping into the spotlight and leaving Left Leg largely in the dark. Though not their first public appearance together, this was the first time that RL and Jolie had

Apr 16, 2012

Gotye: A Pronunciation Guide

Belgian-Australian singer-songwriter Gotye has been singing/song-writing for a while, but he's only recently achieved international success.  His song 'Somebody That I Used to Know' off his album Making Mirrors has completely blown up. I mean, Matthew Bomer even sang it on Glee. As Madonna and Sting will tell you, that's the only true marker of success musicians have left.

Still, despite is success, his name remains frustratingly difficult to pronounce. Damn you, Belgian-Australians!!! Not knowing how to correctly pronounce someone's name can be so irksome, which one of our bloggers learned first-hand when he met Tahmoh Penikett recently. Now, we here at Tableau Your Mind are a friendly sort, and we want to keep you from frustration (and prevent another 'Bon Iver' situation come next year's Grammys). So, here are a few visual representations of how to pronounce 'Gotye' and an example of how to pronounce it incorrectly, just for fun:

Apr 12, 2012

New Column Alert – Hard to Watch!

Eau De La Trine
Guest blogger Eau De La Trine takes one for the team, reviewing movies that are ‘hard to watch’ so that you don't have to.

Hello, Internet. In this new review series, I'll be tackling films with cringe-worthy subject matter and uncomfortable themes. Offensive language and explicit content? Yeah, I'll watch that. Craptastic violence? Sexual perversity? You Betcha! Overuse of experimental film devices? Give it here.

“Why,” you ask? Because, frankly, watching uncomfortable movies is uncomfortable, and no one wants to suffer through that. Take these awkward true-life scenarios from my life, which I hope to spare you from:

On dating:

Awkward college boy:  Sup, LaTrine? So you're, like, a college sophomore and it's painfully obvious you've never been on a date before. Wanna go to the movies?
Me:  Fer sure, you're hot. Want to see the new Todd Solondz movie, because that's the only pretentious indie film playing right now at the Knoxville Megaplex, and you look pretty 'artsy' or whatever? 

Come to realize 20 minutes into my very first date that the movie I've carelessly selected,

Apr 4, 2012

Hit Or Miss: Quick Movie Reviews 2!

Sometimes it's difficult to get through a full movie review, so we here at Tableau Your Mind wanted to offer you the quickest possible insights into some of the movies playing at the multiplexes this week and ask a simple question: should you HIT the movie theater to see this movie, or is is more of a MISS?

Displaced by the economy and short-sighted real estate decisions, a married couple (Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston, who anchor the film admirably) decides to spend some time in a commune in order to figure out their lives. David Wain and Ken Marino's script is funny, but it's certainly less weird and ballsy than their previous films. Especially given the subject matter, the two don't go far enough into the absurd. The only real fun is seeing Wain, Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter (longtime collaborators on too many amazing projects to list) square off as news anchors in two throwaway scenes that are delightful and absurd. The film needs more of that. It is still very funny, and Ken Marino and Michaela Watkins, as Rudd's brother and sister-in-law, are great and steal the few scenes

Apr 3, 2012

Obsession of the Week: Ethan Lipton's 'No Place to Go'

We've thought long and hard about what Tableau Your Mind's first official 'Obsession of the Week.' Jennifer Garner and her adorable children? News on the Arrested Development movie? Anything to do with Judy Greer or Michaela Watkins?  But then we landed on it - Ethan Lipton's amazing show 'No Place to Go,' which is playing for six more performances at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater through April 8th. We were lucky enough to see the show in its first incarnation as part of Joe's Pub's New York Voices series in November, and the current version, which is very similar and has been running for almost a month, is even more enjoyable and tightly produced (The most marked difference is that the lighting cues are a bit more dramatic). Lipton has a rare gift of making the personal universal and the universal deeply personal (that sounds really cornball, but it's true). It is in your best interest to see this show - it's fantastic. Here is a reposting of part of that original review:

...Lipton alone has the rare ability to come off curmudgeonly and honest, hilarious and sad, like a Charades-era Walter Matthau. He's dark and thoughtful and whimsical to boot.

The piece, titled No Place To Go, is a thinly-veiled musical satire of America's current political and social situation. Ethan (the character?) is dismayed to learn that his job is being outsourced. He's saddened, not solely because his job is relocating, but because the
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