Dim the Lights

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Chicago couple sexes up card games with Weapons of Mass Seduction

Posted By on 05.25.16 at 09:00 AM

Kaitlin Johnson and Daniel Dranove, creators of Weapons of Mass Seduction
  • Kaitlin Johnson and Daniel Dranove, creators of Weapons of Mass Seduction

Pegged as the adult card game in which people play a sex-themed variation of "Would you rather?", Weapons of Mass Seduction picks up where most couples' games leave off: riding crops, Trader Joe's, and Orthodox Judaism. Players win points by guessing which sexual act their opponent prefers—ranging from raunchy to ridiculous—with cards like: "Whip opponent with riding crop," "Apply Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter to your body for opponent to lick off," or "Opponent does taxes, budgeting, or fiscal forecasting while topless with a little calculator and glasses." 

Weapons of Mass Seduction comes from the dirty minds of Cards Against Humanity cocreator Daniel Dranove and his longtime girlfriend, Kaitlin Johnson. Dranove and Johnson initially created WMS in 2013 as a private Valentine's Day gift for each other. "We put together WMS after looking at other sex games," Dranove says. "Nothing appealed, and we felt this stigma—either we felt uncomfortable with the language, or they read like romance novels."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Documentary will tell you How to Lose Your Virginity if you haven't figured it out already

Posted By on 10.14.15 at 12:30 PM

Billboard in a New York City subway station - THERESE SHECHTER
  • Therese Shechter
  • Billboard in a New York City subway station

There was a time when Therese Shechter, like most people, thought of virginity as a fairly simple concept. You had it, you lost it, you told a story about it. Then she started working on her documentary, How to Lose Your Virginity, which makes its Chicago premiere November 2, and realized it was ridiculously complicated.

"We're fascinated with the idea of virginity," she says. "And that fascination is so wrapped up in history and religion and pop culture. We all go through something. It's a primal adolescent experience."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

This blog post is just an excuse to listen to Commodores' 'Nightshift'

Posted By on 08.05.15 at 12:00 PM


Hey, what are you doing right now? Nothing? Cool. How about you just listen to Commodores' "Nightshift"? Nah? OK, got it.

Are you sure you don't want to listen to Commodores' "Nightshift"? Because I kind of get the feeling that you want to listen to it. I mean, it's a pretty great song. Oh, not your thing? Too 80s? Too cheesy? Sure, I understand.

But wait, are you sure you don't want to listen to "Nightshift"? It's sounding pretty good right now. Yeah, "Nightshift." You know who loves "Nightshift"? Joakim Noah. He's pretty cool, right? Well, he fucking LOVES "Nightshift" (editor's note: we have no actual confirmation that Joakim Noah loves "Nightshift"). That's a pretty good recommendation right there.

It's kind of weird that you don't want to listen to "Nightshift" right now. But hey, I'm just leaving it down here for you. It's today's 12 O'Clock Track. Also, Commodores play Arcada Theatre in Saint Charles on Saturday. I'm not sure what they'll play, but I have a pretty good feeling that they might play "Nightshift."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

'Frances Stark: Intimism' goes inside the mind of a self-described horny middle-aged woman

Posted By on 07.28.15 at 12:32 PM

Total Performance (1988) - FRANCES STARK
  • Frances Stark
  • Total Performance (1988)

Heat rises in shimmering waves off the barren white plains. A thin crust of translucent salt coats the racetrack surface where motorcyclists gather to compete at the Bonneville Salt Flats. A young woman, her face turned toward the sun, poses against a waxed-down 250cc motorcycle. "I was out there racing and just happened to look good in a bikini," Frances Stark laughs. "I was really a weirdo, not some hottie." The photograph, titled Total Performance (1988), was the artist's ticket into art school. "If she looks like that, then let her in," was her mentor Mike Kelley's verdict. “I don't know if that’s true," Stark says now, "but it's a good story."

In "Frances Stark: Intimism" at the Art Institute of Chicago, drawings, collages, paintings, and video installations sparkle with the self-deprecating humor of artist, mother, ex-wife, self-proclaimed "attention whore" and "horny middle-aged woman." In a survey that spans two decades of lo-fi cat videos, iPhone photographs, PowerPoint presentations (such as the wryly provocative Structures That Fit My Opening) and online conversations on Chatroulette, the artist lays bare the uncut reel of her everyday life.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Magic Mike XXL is the best new movie of 1933

Posted By on 07.14.15 at 01:30 PM

One of the many hang-out sessions of Magic Mike XXL
  • One of the many hang out sessions of Magic Mike XXL
In a season when practically every new Hollywood release aspires to be like a five-scoop ice cream sundae, Magic Mike XXL goes down like a dish of lemon sorbet—light, tangy, and refreshing. For a couple hours the film invites viewers to enjoy the company of its characters, along with Alison Faulk's athletic choreography (which is even more impressive here than in the first Magic Mike) and some pleasant southern locations. It makes little pretense at storytelling. Mike's decision to return to stripping feels arbitrary; so does his colleagues' avowal that their trip to a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach will be their "last ride" as male entertainers. At the same time, these aspects of the plot aren't belabored. The filmmakers introduce these motivations quickly, as if to get them out of the way, before moving on to scenes of Channing Tatum and his peers hanging out, which are the most relaxed and ingratiating of their kind I've seen in a recent movie.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Monday, July 13, 2015

Aziz Ansari is the dating guru we didn't realize we needed

Posted By on 07.13.15 at 08:30 AM

Aziz Ansari just explained to me why that girl from the Northwestern movie premiere didn’t text me back, and this alone might make his print debut Modern Romance worth a read—besides that it’s funny, thoughtful, and genuinely valuable, a scientific journal disguised as a book of laughs.

I had chatted up this girl at a student film event, felt like we had hit it off, and scored her number. When I shot her a follow-up text the next night, I apparently flew in the face of what Ansari calls the "cultural consensus" in regards to texting: it was too soon, the invitation a little too general, and the message probably too long as well. I never heard back, and when I entered What-Do-I-Have-To-Lose Mode and called her number a few days later, the silence continued. I had doomed myself. The revelation of my own first-contact ineptitude sucked for about fifteen seconds, but Ansari let me down gently. He presents his findings like a friend next to you at the bar, and what he has to say is always interesting.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Larry Clark's solution to America's social ills? It has something to do with cunnilingus . . .

Posted By on 04.09.15 at 04:00 PM

Adam Mediano (right) in Marfa Girl
  • Adam Mediano (right) in Marfa Girl
Another week at Facets Cinematheque, another marginalized auteur brought out of the shadows. Tomorrow the venue begins a weeklong run of Marfa Girl, Larry Clark's first narrative feature since 2005, just after concluding a run of Ned Rifle, Hal Hartley's first narrative feature since 2006. Like Rifle, Marfa Girl's concerns are nothing less than America Today. Clark acknowledged as much in a 2013 interview with Filmmaker magazine, saying he set the film in the title Texas border town because he regards it as a microcosm of the national culture. His characteristically brusque description of the town is worth quoting at length:

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pornography remains a major influence on Paul Thomas Anderson

Posted By on 01.19.15 at 03:30 PM

Michelle Sinclair (left) with Maya Rudolph and Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice
  • Michelle Sinclair (left) with Maya Rudolph and Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice
An unexpected standout among the star-studded cast of Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice is Michelle Sinclair, who until 2012 performed in adult videos under the name Belladonna. Sinclair plays Clancy Charlock, sister of the neo-Nazi biker whose mysterious death kicks the plot into gear. She appears sometime in the middle of the film to provide stoner private eye Doc Sportello with some inside information and share a canister of laughing gas. Anderson makes good use of Sinclair's relative inexperience with literate dialogue. Her disaffected line readings—competent, but not as professional-sounding as those of the other players—go a long way in making the film's mannered language, most of which comes directly from the Thomas Pynchon novel on which it's based, sound like everyday speech. (Yes, in this alternate-universe Los Angeles, everyone talks like that.) Moreover Sinclair really does sound blase when talking about things like drugs and murder, adding to the film's atmosphere of moral decay. Tough, coy, and vaguely alien, Clancy seems to have seen and done more than we might care to know.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 8, 2014

Is it curtains for curtains in America's movie theaters?

Posted By on 09.08.14 at 01:30 PM

The Rocky Horror Picture Show must feature one of the most famous curtains in movie history.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show must feature one of the most famous curtains in movie history.
Announcing the start of The Blue Angel yesterday, the rising red curtain in the main theater of the Music Box took on a certain risque quality—it was as though the screen were performing a striptease for the audience, creating anticipation for the burlesque numbers Marlene Dietrich would perform in the film. Of course, a movie house doesn't need to show The Blue Angel (or Gypsy or The Rocky Horror Picture Show) for a curtain to trigger this association. All it needs is the curtain—though, unfortunately, fewer and fewer theaters have one. How many are left Chicago? In our era of IMAX screens, surround sound, and concession areas bigger than some corner stores, I find it odd that cinemas would forgo this age-old amenity, which has the effect of rendering the big screen separate from (one might even say more mysterious than) the world outside the theater.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tomorrow night South Side Projections turns Co-Prosperity Sphere into a cathouse

Posted By on 07.23.14 at 12:30 PM

Carolee Schneemanns Fuses plays in the adults-only portion of this years cat-related experimental film program.
  • Carolee Schneemann's Fuses plays in the adults-only portion of this year's cat-related experimental film program.
There are way too many good screenings scheduled for tomorrow night, presenting Chicago cinephiles with their greatest dilemma since, well, last Friday, when there were concurrent revivals of The Ladykillers, Knife in the Water, and Douglas Trumbull's Brainstorm (the latter screens again tonight, thankfully). The weeklong runs of James Gray's masterful The Immigrant and Sam Fleischner's flawed (yet courageous) Stand Clear of the Closing Doors conclude at the Siskel Center and Facets Multimedia, respectively. The Music Box is showing Patton on 70-millimeter, and Doc Films has Painters Painting (1973), Emile de Antonio's classic profile of New York's postwar art scene, on 16-millimeter. Also screening from 16-millimeter is South Side Projections' second annual program of cat-related experimental shorts, taking place at Co-Prosperity Sphere at 7 PM. The first edition was one of my favorite repertory screenings of 2013, and though there are fewer titles on this year's program, the selections sound just as strong on the whole, with shorts by such avant-garde luminaries as Ken Jacobs, Robert Breer, and Carolee Schneemann.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
How Do I Know You? Zg Gallery
September 09
Performing Arts
The Happiest Place on Earth Greenhouse Theater Center
September 22

Tabbed Event Search

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories

Follow Us

Sign up for newsletters »

 Early Warnings
 Food & Drink
 Reader Recommends
 Reader Events and Offers
America's Film History Is Stored In a Cold War Bunker