DID YOU READ

Art show augments the future shock of “Deus Ex: Human Revolution”

Art show augments the future shock of “Deus Ex: Human Revolution”  (photo)

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Last week, a window into the future opened up in downtown Manhattan’s trendy SoHo district. Peering inside of the Wooster Street Social Club’s storefront window, passers-by could see digital grafitti screens along with getting a look at the robot arm they’ll be wearing in the future. Well, the future of “Deus Ex: Human Revolution,” anyway.

08032011_DXHR_art_show4.jpgThe upcoming cyberpunk action RPG takes place in a future where cyborg augmentation is turning human bodies into much more than nature intended. Publisher Square Enix mounted an art show where artists illustrated pieces that spoke to the pro- and anti-augmentation sides of the debate. Giant pixellated blow-ups of lead character Adam Jensen stared out from the walls of the Social Club, providing a backdrop to painted and photographed work from artists like Estevan Oriol, Sam Flores, N8 Van Dyke and two-man collective 3rassiere.

Speculating that scientific meddling would find a home below the belt line, 3rassiere’s Alexander Tarrant and Justin Metros relished the chance to deface a pro-augmentation advertisement. It was an ad they made, representing the next era of male enhancement. Tarrant says, “We got the smug boner smile from the guy in the picture that says, ‘Yeah, I’m still railing my old lady.'” That poster then gets defaced with jokes that deride the older gentleman as something less than human. Using a two-stroke engine gag for an erectile dysfunction ad got giggles out of a few attendees.

08032011_DXHR_art_show3.jpgOn the other side of the debate, Van Dyke’s piece portays Rodin’s famous “The Thinker” sculpture in a drawing that gives the figure a bionic right arm. The artist offered that he drew from the idea of human augmentation ushering in a new renaissance, with a neo-Thinker who’s pondering the future. Van Dyke spoke about his contribution, saying that the scribbles on the background were inspired by the design notes that DaVinci would write all over the sketches of his forward-looking innovations.

DaVinci, of course, worked during the Italian Renaissance and that time period actually figures prominently in the art direction of “Deus Ex: Human Revolution.” The Eidos Montreal dev studio working on the game is seeding vaulting archways in the gameworld’s architecture and scarves and frilly sleeves to be found on various characters. Despite the callbacks to the medieval past, the future of “DXHR” isn’t all that far away, thanks to cutting-edge biomedical advances being made at an alarming rate. The Wooster Street art show brings the moral quandaries into the present in grand style and Square Enix’s just announced fans can actually get prints of the commissioned works via an auction at the CharityBuzz website. If you’re in New York City, the exhibition runs until Sunday, August 7th. “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” comes out on August 23rd.

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Which piece of “DXHR”-inspired art would you want hanging on your wall? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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