catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 7, Num 13 :: 2008.06.27 — 2008.07.11


Kirstin’s recommendations 6.27.08

FILM: 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

One of a series ironically referred to by director Christian Mungiu as “Tales from the Golden Age,” 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days represents about 12 hours in the lives of two Romanian college students near the end of the Communist reign of Nicolae Ceaucsescu.  Gabriela is pregnant and her roommate Otilia pulls strings all around town to help her secure an illegal abortion.  The film is not as much about abortion as it is about the dehumanizing fear and corruption that exist at every level of society under a totalitarian government and affect women in a particular way.  Even bright colors and nicely composed shots are burdened by the cold grayness of literal and figurative winter.  Mungiu uses everything from agonizing silence to hairstyles to deftly tell a heavy story in which there are no heroes, just a bunch of people trying to grow through too-tiny cracks in the ubiquitous concrete of 1987 Romania.


EXHIBIT: The Cone Collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art

On a recent trip to Baltimore, a friend took my husband and me to the Baltimore Museum of Art.  The free museum’s offerings are greatly accentuated by the Cone Collection, an array of paintings, sculptures and other artifacts (mostly French modern) gathered in the early twentieth century by two wealthy, eccentric sisters who donated their collection to the BMA.  The exhibit allows viewers to appreciate the individual works of art, but also tells a larger story about the Cone sisters and their relationship with the artists whose work they purchased, particularly Henri Matisse.  Within the rooms that display portions of the collection is a recreation of what a portion of the one of the sisters’ living rooms might have looked like, as well as a virtual tour of their adjoining Baltimore apartments, where even the bathroom walls were crammed with paintings by now-famous artists like Picasso and Cezanne.  The Cone Collection is about a particular selection of artistic works, but it’s also about friendship, family, art collecting and vision.


MUSICVolume One by She & Him

Come on, another actress-turned-singer?  Zoey Deschanel (think: the love interest in Elf) claims that acting was just something she fell into in the process of pursuing her ultimate desire to make music, a dream made possible through her recent partnership with M. Ward.  Any skepticism I had about Deschanel’s somewhat cliché second career melted when I heard samples earlier this year on MySpace and now Volume One is a frequent favorite wherever I find myself.  There’s a buoyancy to its simple vintage sound and love-struck lyrics that is perfect for summer, and also ideal as a gentle reminder to maintain childlike hope in heavy times.

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