Denounced Over Faint Suggestion Of Nipple, Cherokee Street Mural Turns Critics Into Fans

Categories: Arts

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Danny Wicentowski
Is that a nipple?

Faring Purth's mural Prime sprawls across the south-facing wall of the Nebula Coworking building at the corner of Cherokee Street and Jefferson Avenue, but apparently its new neighbor, Family Dollar, threw a fit over an early version of the work.

The problem? Just a little hint of nipple.

"Family Dollar does not approve of the paintings being applied to the side of our leased premises," reads an e-mail sent to Jason Deem on February 19. Deem commissioned the mural, and his company, South Side Spaces, owns the Nebula building and leases space to Family Dollar. He provided Daily RFT with a copy of his tenant's hot-and-bothered missive that declared the mural "offensive."

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The Ten Best Movie Performances by Nicolas Cage

Categories: Arts

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Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in Joe.
As video-on-demand continues to become the preferred route of distribution for a certain kind of independent film, much is being made of Nicolas Cage's willingness to slum for a paycheck, with recent examples including already-forgotten, small-screen-friendly items like Seeking Justice, Trespass, Stolen, and The Frozen Ground. (His character names in these projects -- Will Gerard, Kyle Miller, Will Montgomery, and Jack Halcombe -- are as interchangeable as the titles of the films.) Aside from citing the obvious appeal of doing work for money (a defense Cage himself brought up in a recent interview with The Guardian), it's also possible to back Cage by acknowledging the consistency with which he's taken on "serious" roles over the years.


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The Code of the Hills: HarperCollins Picks Up Legal Thriller From Missouri Prof

Categories: Arts, Books

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The first thing one notices about Nancy Allen is her Missouri twang.

"My mother had a very pronounced Ozark accent, and I'm told I sound like her," says Allen. "I am stubbornly and defiantly Ozarkian."

Yet as proud as she is of her Southern Missouri heritage (Allen traces her family's Show-Me-State roots back to the 1850s), she's no apologist for the region's shortcomings.

"Just because I'm a card-carrying Ozarkian does not mean I'm blind to the way the Ozark hills need to be improved," adds the 57-year-old attorney and mother. It's that statement that may best summarize the theme of Allen's first-ever novel -- the one HarperCollins scooped up earlier this year with a sequel already in the works.

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What the Hell Is St. Louis Thinking? Poet Raises Money to Publish Book of Typewritten Notes

Categories: Arts

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Kickstarter/STL Curator
Henry Goldkamp explains why you should donate to What the Hell Is St. Louis Thinking?
The last time we checked in with poet Henry Goldkamp, he was looking for ways to add more diverse voices to his project called What the Hell Is St. Louis Thinking?

Goldkamp had placed typewriters all over the city for passersby to use, writing a note, story or poem for their fellow St. Louisans and adding to a collaborative, free-form depiction of what's going on in the minds of those living in or near the city.


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PHOTOS: Faring Purth's Completed Cherokee Street Mural Is Haunting, Eerily Beautiful

Categories: Arts

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Danny Wicentowski
Faring Purth named her Prime.

Stretching across a brick wall at Cherokee Street and Jefferson Avenue, it's the kind of mural that makes pedestrians and stop and stare: A female figure 100 feet wide and 40 feet tall, bent in fetal crouch, her right hand holding a human heart and her left releasing an owl into the St. Louis sky.

Late last month, Purth, a widely traveled street artist, became the target of criticism when two local artists interpreted an early stage of Prime -- then just black silhouette of base coat paint -- as racially insensitive and unfemininist. Both artists later offered apologies.

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Firecracker Press Opens Second Location in Old North St. Louis; Plans Printmaking Nonprofit

Categories: Arts, Community

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Photos: Chad Garrison
The second location of Firecracker Press on North 14th Street. The space will also be home to a nonprofit arts studio, Central Print.
The St. Louis letterpress shop known for its iconic concert and event posters has added a second storefront in the recently renovated Crown Square district of Old North St. Louis.

Firecracker Press moved into its newest digs at 2612 North 14th St. earlier this year and has grand designs for the space that -- at 8,000 square feet -- is nearly three times the size of its original storefront on Cherokee Street. Part of the plans for the new site include the launch of a nonprofit called Central Print.

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Podcast: Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel Is Surprisingly Great

Categories: Arts

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On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, L.A. Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson admits her surprise at actually enjoying Wes Anderson's latest movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and discusses her recent longform piece on the death of the romantic comedy.

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PHOTOS: Faring Purth's Cherokee Street Mural is Mesmerizing and It's Not Even Done Yet

Categories: Arts

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Allison Babka
Faring Purth's Cherokee Street mural.
Street artist Faring Purth is adding layer upon layer to her Cherokee Street mural, causing passersby to stop, stare, wonder and, often, snap a photo of her work in progress.

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Former NPR Producer Brings Three "Crazy Talented" Young French Filmmakers To STL

Categories: Arts, Movies

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Theo Reynal, one of three French filmmakers who spent two weeks scouting locations in St. Louis
Seán Collins is a consummate veteran radio producer. The St. Louisan spent twenty years producing for NPR on national shows like All Things Considered, Morning Edition and This American Life.

But Collins never produced a film. Until now. In 2009, he became enamored with the talent of a sixteen-year-old French filmmaker, Aurélien Loevenbruck. Two weeks ago, Collins brought Loevenbruck and two other teenaged film prodigies to St. Louis to scout locations for an ambitious historical epic.

"They look youthful, they are youthful, but they're crazy talented," says Collins, who is co-writing the script for The Ground Beneath Our Feet. "They get how to tell this kind of story."

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Is the New Jesus Movie Son of God Tea Party Propaganda?

Categories: Arts

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That Bible miniseries, originally aired on the History Channel, won notoriety by casting an actor who resembles Barack Obama in the crowd-pleasing role of Satan. The producers -- Roma Downey, who plays Mary here, and Mark Burnett, who pioneered the watch-skinny-people-suffer genre with Survivor -- insisted that this was a coincidence, despite the fact that they had aggressively targeted the series to the likes of Glenn Beck. America, then, is wondering: Does this theatrical sequel feed more chum to the Tea Party? Or is it, as a product of what Tea Partiers insist is a liberal Hollywood, chock-full of liberal propaganda? Both sides may have a case.


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