Andrew Hultkrans

  • DANGER DIRTY DATA: A PROJECT FOR ARTFORUM

    IN HER COMBINATION of obsessive paranoia and tenacious social science, Julia Scher evokes a female Harry Caul (antihero of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 film The Conversation) with a weathered copy of Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish under her arm. A typical, quietly disturbing installation, Predictive Engineering, 1993, involves video cameras, both hidden and visible, that feed monitors hovering over the gallery space; hapless viewers are multiply scrutinized—by the cameras, other gallery-goers, themselves, and, by implication, some sinister omniscient database. This endless mirroring is

  • Andrew Hultkrans

    HUMBLED HUGH

    When HUGH GRANT’s mug shots were thrust into the cold light of CNN, we were treated to a “before” photo rarely seen of a movie star. Here was an actor bereft of lighting, styling, and wardrobe, playing against character, without a script. Nevertheless, as promotional stills for the coming attraction, the mug shots were Oscar caliber. Never has an actor so effectively conveyed the inner emotional landscape of a spanked dog.

    PR remains an inexact science with its share of cataclysmic disasters. One of these occurred when Fox, the studio of Nine Months, booked Grant on the Tonight Show

  • Ed Wood

    People! All going somewhere. All with their own thoughts, their own ideas, all with their own . . . personalities. One is wrong, because he does right. And one is right . . . because he does wrong. Pull the string! Dance to that . . . which one is created for!

    —Bela Lugosi, in Ed Wood’s Glen or Glenda?, 1953

    AT THE BEGINNING of his strangely autobiographical first film, Glen or Glenda?, Ed Wood introduces an inexplicable framing device that, absurd as it is, may be the film’s most telling moment: he offers an aging Bela Lugosi as God, sitting above humanity, watching with disgust, and babbling

  • MUSIC

    HOWARD HAMPTON

    We’ll Always Have Paris

    Lourdes, 8 July 1940: a refugee sensing fate closing in around him, Walter Benjamin writes Hannah Arendt and ruefully quotes an aphorism that will shortly be an epitaph: “His laziness supported him in glory for many years in the obscurity of an errant and hidden life.” “This ain’t Paris,” mutters Babylon Dance Band singer Chip Nold on the group’s belated debut (Matador), “It’s not the 19th century.” This incandescent one-shot reunion recorded over a decade after their break-up offers “errant and hidden life” as pure revel (and reverie). Desperation is Nold’s

  • The Très Boring Hours

    I’m a loner/I’m a sorry entertainer

    —Daniel Johnston, “Sorry Entertainer,” 1983

    Yet there was a voice within me that said: Someday you will be considered the most intense and, in a certain sense, the most significant young prose writer in America. And I listened. . . . My advice to the young people of today? I’m tempted to say: Surround yourself with flunkies and yes-men and have naked slaves, perfumed with musk, fan you with plastic fronds as you write. Because that’s what’s worked for me.

    —Mark Leyner, Et Tu, Babe, 1992

    Are you bored yet?

    —Sean Landers, [sic], 1993

    The following are transcripts

  • Beavis and Butt-head

    BEAVIS: How come, like, some stuff sucks, but then, like, some stuff is pretty cool?

    BUTT-HEAD: Uhhh, well, if nothing sucked, and everything was cool all the time, then, like, how would you know it was cool?

    BEAVIS: I would know. You just said, everything would be cool.

    BUTT-HEAD: No, buttmunch. I mean like, let’s say someone came up and just hit you upside the head? Well, that would be cool.

    BEAVIS: No it wouldn’t. That would suck.

    BUTT-HEAD: Yeah. . . . [hits Beavis repeatedly]

    BEAVIS: Owww! Cut it out butthole!

    BUTT-HEAD: That was cool!

    BEAVIS: No it wasn’t. That sucked!

    BUTT-HEAD: Yeah, but like,