Gallery1988 Melrose Art Show ‘Young Adult’ Salutes Tween Fiction

Considering how many art shows there have been as of late dealing with matters of pop culture and nostalgia, it was pretty much implied that someone would curate a show paying homage to the teen literary classics of yesteryear, from Sweet Valley High to Nancy Drew to Harriet the Spy to Goosebumps. And it makes sense—tween lit has been a source of fantastic inspiration for the young artists and creators of today, from journalists who first got the itch from Harriet’s neighborhood snooping to the fashion bloggers and designers inspired by the aesthetic of Claudia Kishi (eat your heart out, Gaga) to the gawky student filmmakers who first got addicted to gore and horror through R.L. Stine’s creepy characters.

And those curators are Jensen Karp and Katie Cromwell of the pop-culture-centric Gallery1988 Melrose in Los Angeles and the team at HelloGiggles, the culture and lifestyle site fronted by Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer and Sophia Roast, whose online community chose the theme for the show. The exhibition, titled "Young Adult," will premiere with a party this Saturday, February 2nd, and stay on display through the 23rd, and feature more than 60 talented female artists working in many mediums. Works—which can be sampled via a gallery at LAist—range from Lauren Gregg’s lovely cartoonish print saluting Harriet the Spy to Kristin Tercek’s colorful HorrorLand tourist to Michelle Coffee’s creepy felted Night of the Living Dummy tribute. No words yet on whether or not this will include a supplementary sartorial tribute to Claudia Kishi, but we can only dream. 

A Brief Assessment of the Disney Options on Netflix Instant

In a move that was hailed as a “game-changer” and a company saving grace and probably some other hyperbolic PR-type language, and much to the delight of subscribers nostalgic for a lost youth, Netflix will begin streaming Disney movies on its Instant Watch service. The bulk will be available in 2016, but a handful of titles are already available for your hung-over viewing or emergency activities if you ever find yourself in charge of a bunch of kids for a prolonged amount of time. But is it enough to get hyped about now?

At least two-thirds of the “Disney” page on Netflix Instant consists of the tween films and TV-to-feature-length adaptations that I know absolutely nothing about and therefore cannot assess, which makes sense because this decision was clearly made for Disney’s actual demographic and not young professionals in deep nostalgia K-holes. There’s also a pretty large collection of Air Bud sequels (and yet, not the original): Seventh Inning Fetch, World Pup, Air Bud Spikes Back—did you even know they made an Air Bud sequel about volleyball? Because they did. And you can watch it, and if you pitch it to the right Internet content place and make GIFs of it, they will probably pay you money to do that. Sequels make up the bulk of the collection, actually—you’ll find The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars, but not The Brave Little Toaster

“But what about the films of my youth?” you ask. “What about the ones with the songs I can still recite?” The handful of Disney Vault-grade animated features mostly predate that hot streak the studio had in the early ‘90s, so you’ve got The Rescuers Down Under (but not The Rescuers), Pocahontas, The Fox and the Hound and The Great Mouse Detective, which features Vincent Price as an evil rat professor, so that’s pretty alright.

The selection of the old-school ‘classics’ is slim, with the still lovely and frightening Alice and Wonderland, The Aristocats (not to be confused with a less safe for children movie) and Dumbo, which will launch many a good, cathartic cry-fest for old time’s sake, at least among people who can watch the movie without being bothered by all the insane and now super obvious cartoon racism happening. Outside of the “traditional” Disney animated sphere, the most exciting options are The Nightmare Before Christmas (at least among your ex-Hot Topic-goth classmates), the pretty-underrated James and the Giant Peach and The Muppet Movie.

Of course, if you’re in the mood for something of more mature taste less nostalgia-happy, the Netflix Instant ‘recently added’ section includes other things worth watching that aren’t from the Walt Disney animation house. If live-action nostalgia is more of your thing, Flashdance, Half-Baked and Bad Boys II (because in this day and age, I’m not going to be totally surprised if someone is nostalgic for a movie that was released less than a decade ago), and more recent critical favorites like The King’s Speech and the underappreciated Young Adult. And O.B.A.M. Nude, which of all the bizarre presidential slam jobs that made it into actual film festivals, seems just about the most bizarre, so if you’re one of those people that searches subscription film-streaming sites for movies that destroyed political careers, here you go. 

Your Essential ‘Snow White’ Syllabus

This Friday, Snow White and the Huntsman hits theaters. It’s the second attempt to resurrect the fairy tale this year. The first one sucked balls. Like any fairytale, this one can be read on many levels. To help you prepare for the release on Friday, we’ve prepared a syllabus of some films to watch and books to read to gird yourself for Charlize vs. Kristen.

The Dark Crystal
Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s 1982 puppet fantasy epic prefigures the Evil Queen’s life-sucking obsession with youth and beauty. More directly, the ability of the Skeksis to utilize the youth and beauty of the Gelflings is a clear precursor.

Young Adult
OMG, Charlize Theron has played a bitch before. Also see: Monster.

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
This great series between mythologist Joseph Campbell and journalist Bill Moyers aired on PBS in the 1988 and explores the archtypes inherent in modern and ancient myths. Understand how Star Wars, Jesus, Buddha, and James Joyce have to do with Kristen Stewart (a lot!).

The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim
Using Freudian analysis, the Austrian-American psychologist explains how fairy tales reflect repressed sexual desire and what that has to do with Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart (a lot!).

How to Tweet About Your Oscar Snub

The Oscar nominations were released yesterday with plenty of buzz and even some surprises — apparently a 48% Rotten Tomatoes score is enough to get you into the running for the most prestigious award in American filmmaking. (I’m just going to give Stephen Daldry the benefit of the doubt and assume he was just focusing on making the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremonies the best ever.) But like any year, the nominee field had its fair share of head-scratchers and snubs. Some burned actors chose to express their chagrin via the modern man’s haiku, Twitter. 

Quite a few people thought Albert Brooks had been legitimately robbed and deserved a nomination for his performance in Drive. He started his Oscar tweets the night before with a little jab at Christopher Plummer before making some attempts, after the nods were released, at being funny and self-deprecating:

I got ROBBED. I don’t mean the Oscars, I mean literally. My pants and shoes have been stolen.

And to the Academy: ‘You don’t like me. You really don’t like me.’

Looking forward to the State of the Union tonight. Hope the new Axis of Evil includes Hollywood."

One last thing. Got a very nice note from Kyle Williams & Billy Cundiff.

The Sally Field reference is pretty stale, but what does Brooks’ intent in is the "Axis of Evil" tweet. He was trying to be funny, and if there’s any institution that needs to have more of a sense of humor about itself, it’s Hollywood — but on the Twitters, it just sounded a bit bitter. Luckily for Brooks, he decided to drop this strategy pretty quickly and return to discussing politics. And his tweets led to a golden response from Patton Oswalt. Which leads us to…

The very funny Patton Oswalt, who generated some Oscar hype with his acclaimed performance in the underrated Young Adult, took a more lighthearted approach, inviting the jilted Brooks to a snubbed actors’ party:

@AlbertBrooks See you later tonight. Might be out of booze — Serkis has Pogues on the jukebox & Fassbender just showed up in a pirate hat.

@AlbertBrooks Oh shit — we’re definitely going to run out of booze. Charlize & Tilda just pulled up in a stolen police car.

@AlbertBrooks Dude, GET DOWN HERE. Gosling is doing keg stands and Olson [sic] & Dunst LITERALLY just emerged from a shower of rose petals.

It gets better — mooning, karaoke and a renegade expedition to LegoLand are later referenced. Oswalt and his snubbed ilk may not be taking home statuettes, but it sounds like they throw an excellent party. Your move, Elton.