Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Art’

Evolution of cats in art: Japan

January 27, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Cats, Places 1 Comment →

19th century Japanese art featuring cats doing people stuff.

Their descendant in the media: Maru.

From Des Hommes et des Chatons. Of course a cat would be reading Murakami. And we know that Ben Affleck is super-smart, but the cat looks more convincing.

Lydia Barry ponders the Unthinkable Mind

January 20, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Books 1 Comment →


We know Lynda Barry as a writer and cartoonist whose illustrated memoirs of growing up with her Filipino grandmother (with manananggal drawings!) are hilarious and heartbreaking. Ms Barry is also an assistant professor of interdisciplinary creativity in Wisconsin. Syllabus is a collection of class notes, drawings and syllabi from her early years of teaching. It’s a creativity workshop in convenient composition notebook form.

Argonath not included, we just used them to keep the book open.

Syllabus is available at National Bookstores, Php1195.

Helping the Hackers: Media should stop doing the Sony hackers’ work for them. Update: Sony, theatres fold completely. Cyberterrorists win.

December 15, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Books, Current Events, Movies No Comments →

Update: Sony Pictures cancels holiday release of The Interview after threats.

That’s great, chicken out after weeks of free front-page and viral publicity, when people now want to see The Interview.

* * * * *

While we enjoyed the confirmation that Hollywood is run by horrible people, the confidential reports of forthcoming projects, and the appreciation of Michael’s Fassbender, that information came from a crime perpetrated by a group that wants to stop the showing of a movie. They want to gag free speech.

The news organizations who used the stolen data claim that they selected only the “newsworthy” stuff–we need a new definition of what is news. They’re invoking free speech to make revelations made possible by people who are against free speech.

Never mind the reputation and income of the corporation, but sensitive personal data of its employees has been made public.

And if we only watch movies made by nice people (and read books, listen to music, look at art, eat food, live in buildings, wear clothes, use gadgets, ride cars by nice people), there would be no culture.

Read about it at the NYT.

Hmm, Haircuts for the Homeless, Helping the Hackers—today’s headlines are brought to you by the letter H.

Museums in the movies 3

December 08, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Movies No Comments →

We just realized that we never finished this series, which we started over a year ago. (Some of the links no longer work; we’ve updated them.)

Part 1
Part 2

7. The International by Tom Tykwer

Shootout at the Guggenheim New York. The movie stars Clive Owen and Naomi Watts and is about shenanigans in big finance. There’s also a big chase scene on the rooftops of–was it Istanbul, or are we confusing it with one of the Taken flicks? Anyway, good set pieces, timely plot, wish we could remember more.

8. Ghostbusters by Ivan Reitman

Photo from the Ghostbusters wikia.

Paranormal activity should emanate from museums, they’re only full of dead people’s things.

Our friend Chook has an interesting theory. According to the local superstition, you can’t go straight home from a wake because the dead person’s spirit will go with you. (How do the spirits know which person to go with? Or being dead do they now have the power to be in many places at once?) So coming from the wake, you’re supposed to drop by a restaurant to make “pagpag”. People usually go to wakes late at night, what’s still open at that time? Therefore Chook thinks all Starbucks are haunted.

9. Batman (1989) by Tim Burton

Photo from the Batman wikia.

“Gentlemen, let’s broaden our minds.” Hey, Michael Keaton might get an Oscar nomination for playing an actor who used to play a superhero in Birdman. We’re just happy to see Michael Keaton again.

10. The Wings of the Dove by Iain Softley

There’s the museum in London, then all of Venice is a museum. Pruned of his tendentious, exasperating prose, Henry James novels make wonderful movies.

11. A Room With A View by Merchant-Ivory

Photo from Slow Italy

All of Florence is a museum. There’s an excuse for the Italian economy: How to achieve progress when you live in a museum.

12. Dressed to Kill by Brian De Palma

In which the Philadelphia Museum of Art stands in for the Metropolitan Museum of New York. We love Brian De Palma, he’s the lewd Hitchcock. In this retread of Psycho, sexually frustrated mom Angie Dickinson (When we were kids she starred in a cop show called Policewoman and supposedly her legs were insured for a million bucks. Should’ve been more. We wonder how much Kim Kardashian’s ass is insured for.) goes to the museum and tries to pick up this guy, who gives her the runaround.

Dressed To Kill also has a great elevator scene, right up there with the fight scene in Captain America: Winter Soldier.

Fondation Louis Vuitton: The building is remarkable, the art not so.

November 26, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Places, Traveling No Comments →

museum front

Finally the van approached the Fondation Louis Vuitton and we could see the building with our own eyes. It is amazing. It is as if a zeppelin crash-landed on Waterworld, and the scavengers made a giant sailboat with the parts. How does it stand up? More importantly, how can the art inside compete with the exterior?

how it's held together

We were disgorged by the van into a long queue for tickets, even if it was just two and a half hours before closing time. Tickets in hand, we joined the next queue at the main entrance. Above the main door is a big, glittering LV logo that made me feel like I was entering an enormous handbag. A guard inspected our bags while a lady with a clipboard asked each visitor where she was from. There was some discussion over whether some Americans with a baby in a stroller should be admitted. The experience was not unlike being judged by the doorman before gaining entry into a trendy nightclub. lobby


Read our article at BusinessWorld.

The mystery of Vivian Maier, the nanny who was a secret photographer

November 24, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art 1 Comment →

The story of Vivian Maier, whose genius as a photographer was discovered accidentally after her death, is a cross between a Patricia Highsmith novel and an episode of Storage Wars. Her work would never have come to light if someone hadn’t bought the contents of her locker. She is supposed to have taken come to the Philippines and Southeast Asia in the 50s—we want to see the pictures from that trip.