Those Crazy Coney Island Dayze: The Sexy Mermaid Parade Celebration

Those Crazy Coney Island Dayze: The Sexy Mermaid Parade Celebration

Today, Coney Island again burst forth with New Yorkers in outrageous mermaid and King Neptune costumes, a display of topless women in pasties and colorfully clad drag queens making their way down the boardwalk among a swarm of arts-and-crafts floats. The beautiful zaniness is all part of the annual Mermaid Parade, which for 30 years has celebrated the first weekend of summer.

This year, however, the parade faced its demise after its sponsor, Coney Island USA, had its headquarters damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Combined with rising insurance premiums, the costs of crowd control and Porta-Potties for several hundred thousand people, the parade needed an infusion of an additional $100,000, or it wouldn’t have lived to see its 31st edition.

The Mermaid Parade is an annual event that first took place at Coney Island in 1983 and has been a very popular attraction ever since. The Mermaid Parade draws a huge crowd of celebrators, who don wild and outrageous costumes, with the parade’s naughty marchers wearing sea-themed outfits that often leave little to the imagination.

This year, clad in costumes that combined seashells and glitter, scores of exuberant revelers gyrated through Coney Island on Saturday. An estimated half-million people lined the sunny streets to watch ogle Brooklyn’s version of Mardi Gras. The flamboyant marchers, many of whom wore their costumes on the subway out to Coney Island, much to the amusement of their fellow riders, walked on the boardwalk alongside colorful floats and danced to several live bands blaring out top 40 hits and old-time standards.

The Coney Island Mermaid Parade

The 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade

Slide Show: The Coney Island Mermaid Parade

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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Nude Skydivers: Big Boobs Bloom as Huge Bazongas Bewilder the Bamboobled!

Nude Skydivers: Big Boobs Bloom as Huge Bazongas Bewilder the Bamboobled!

Nude Skydive is a very funny 2 1/2-min. commercial spot directed by Peter Harton for a Danish discount retail company. The topless women are plummeting faster than the prices at Danish web discount retailer Fleggaard in this humorously racy web film! While topless skydiving certainly sounds like it’s interesting enough, I’ve actually posted this because I just love it when a golf or tennis match gets unexpectedly interrupted!

Nude Skydivers: Big Boobs Bloom as Huge Bazongas Bewilder the Bamboobled!

(Best Viewed in Full-Screen Mode)

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One Too Many Mornings: A Tale of Sordid Depravity and Honest Vulnerability

One Too Many Mornings: A Tale of Sordid Depravity and Honest Vulnerability

One Too Many Mornings is the acclaimed independent film directed by Michael Mohan, which made its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film is an expertly constructed ode to being free and easy, sexually depraved, drunkly confused and darkly lonely, all at the same time. On the surface, One Too Many Mornings is the humorous tale of a longtime friendship between two young men, Fischer and Peter, whose relationship has become complicated by nights of drunken debauchery. Between Fischer’s drinking problem and Peter’s troubles with his long-term girlfriend Rudy, there is an abundance of irreverent humor, but also an honest and painful view of male vulnerability.

Beneath the more obvious sense of depraved comedy, there’s a solid and confident quality to this movie that’s rarely seen in the world of young independent filmmaking. One Too Many Mornings has a fluidity that allows its characters to slip in and out of different psychological states. Sometimes they’re clearly using each other, but at other times they seem to have bonded because each completes the other in some painfully damaged, yet also wonderful way. There is a sincerity that shines through the film, a familiarity with the trials of young people trying to find their way in the face of harsh reality, and with a realization that the sense of delusion provided by depraved debauchery must ultimately be relinquished.

One Too Many Mornings: A Tale of Sordid Depravity and Honest Vulnerability

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Flagpole: Dicks, Chicks, Boners, Boobies and Salami Nipples

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Flagpole: Dicks, Chicks, Boners, Boobies and Salami Nipples

Flagpole is the 2011 Student Academy Award nominated short film written and directed by Matt Kazman, a heartfelt and hilarious film about the universally awkward experience of growing up. Flagpole begins with what starts out as just a typical day for 13-year old Zack, who’s getting taunted by his friends, being ridiculed by girls with whom he’s afraid to hook up and constantly thinking about Maddy, his long-time crush from afar. But when Zack fantasizes about Maddy during their English class, it precipitates a series of events that eventually leads to the encounter for which he’s long been waiting.

Flagpole: Dicks, Chicks, Boners, Boobies and Salami Nipples

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Fjögur Píanó: Mind-Controlled Slavery, Addiction, Drugs and Violent Sex

Fjögur Píanó: Mind-Controlled Slavery, Addiction, Drugs and Violent Sex

Fjögur Píanó is a thoughtful, haunting short film/music video created by Israeli director Alma Har’el, set to music by the acclaimed Icelandic band Sigur Rós. The band recently asked a dozen filmmakers to each choose a song from its new album, Valtari; given complete creative freedom, filmmaker Alma Har’el produced a seven-minute video that at first appears to be more of a dream sequence than a narrative. Fjögur Píanó is a wordless song comprised of four piano pieces that features actor Shia LaBeouf and actress Denna Thomsen in a stormy relationship, caught up in a destructive spiral, possibly revolving around mind-controlled drug addiction, lovesick co-dependence and sordid sexuality mixed with dominance and violence.

It is evident throughout the film that the couple is very confused, not in control of their destiny and hopelessly trapped in a state of virtual imprisonment. Much of the film’s symbolism hints at the concept of Monarch Mind Control. Monarch Mind Control is named after the Monarch butterfly, a genetically programmed insect that begins its life as a worm (representing undeveloped potential) and, after a period of cocooning (biological programming), is reborn as a beautiful butterfly (the Monarch slave).

From this perspective, Fjögur Píanó can be viewed as a dark commentary on a world of increasingly abusive totalitarian domination. Every aspect of Shia and Denna’s lives is manipulated by outside forces. Their living environment is controlled and modified by their handlers: they are drugged, blindfolded and forcibly taken on weird, dissociative trips. Attempts to break free from the cruel domination are useless. The couple is utterly powerless when confronted by the world around them, and in the end the only thing Shia can do is cut another bloody tally mark into Denna’s back.

Fjögur Píanó: Mind-Controlled Slavery, Addiction, Drugs and Violent Sex

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Dazed and Confused: Robert Pattinson in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis

Dazed and Confused: Robert Pattinson in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis

New York Times journalist David Carr made the now infamously scorned Twilight star Robert Pattinson squirm in his seat Wednesday night during a TimesTalks interview that was intended to serve as an intellectual conversation about Pattinson’s latest film, Cosmopolis.

About an hour into the discussion, Carr tried to draw an analogy between Pattinson’s romantic woes with Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart and the famously troubled relationship between England’s Prince Charles and Diana, the late Princess of Wales. “So if you and Kristen have trouble it’s like Charles and Di having trouble?” Carr asked.

Carr’s question wasn’t completely out of context: Pattinson, who often seemed to be intellectually in over his head during the conversation, had to ask for questions to be repeated and admitted to losing track of his thoughts, had only moments before attempted to attribute America’s obsession with fame to the country’s desire for a monarchy.

I think it’s because America really wants to have a royal family,” Pattinson said, then going even further saying that America’s Hollywood royalty are just like the real royalty except “meritocratic.” He quickly backtracked on that somewhat slippery point, but it was too late: the analogy had been cast, and Carr appeared more than content to segue into Stewart.

Pattinson seemed unprepared; waiting a while to answer, it sounded as if he was breathing in backwards for a few moments. “Well, uh, Charles,” the star finally said, after looking down while awkwardly fingering his water bottle. Carr soon moved the conversation forward, stating, “I wasn’t really going there, just so you know.” “No, I wouldn’t go that far,” Pattinson answered.

TimesTalks Presents: David Cronenberg and Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis

In David Cronenberg’s new film Cosmopolis, the Twilight series’ monumentally popular Robert Pattinson utterly lacks any sense of onscreen magnetism. Without the armor of his signature role, Mr. Pattinson’s speech is halting, his face blockishly blank and he seems aware that he doesn’t really belong in the kind of art films he’d like to make.

Yet, while Cronenberg’s film, based on the novel by Don DeLillo, does not feature a strong performance by Mr. Pattinson, he ends up being good for the movie. A more naturally gifted actor would not have served the story, which needs at its center someone who emphasizes the very stilted quality of each line and the whole enterprise’s distance from reality.

Mr. Pattinson plays Eric Packer, a man who works with money in a not-fully-defined capacity: he’s worried about the yuan. Mr. Packer’s eventful day makes up the plot of Cosmopolis, as the young man only occasionally departs his giant limousine. Cronenberg’s body-horror impulse is in full effect here, with the capacious limousine growing ever more claustrophobic and Eric ever more vulnerable to violation and attack.

As he is chauffeured across midtown Manhattan to get a haircut at his father’s old barber, his anxious eyes are glued to the yuan’s exchange rate: it is mounting against all expectations, destroying Eric’s bet against it. Eric Packer is losing his empire with every tick of the clock. Meanwhile, an eruption of wild activity unfolds in the city’s streets. Petrified as the threats of the real world infringe upon his cloud of virtual convictions, his paranoia intensifies during the course of his 24-hour cross-town odyssey. Packer starts to piece together clues that lead him to a most terrifying secret: his imminent assassination.

The interior of the car is brilliantly shot in order to convey a sense of the car’s scope without ever showing its full space. The world Packer inhabits is so unsafe that to leave the car even to urinate is a great risk; so, too, is expressing any passion for the woman he brings into the car for sex. Mr. Pattinson doesn’t even remove an article of clothing for the liaison. When he finally gets the haircut he’s been driving vaguely toward all day long, it’s a half-shaved, half-long mess that looks like a Manhattanite’s idea of a Brooklynite and won’t win Pattinson any new fans.

David Cronenberg’s direction throughout Cosmopolis is impeccable, both inside the limo and out. Mr. Cronenberg keeps you rapt, even when the story and actors don’t. Some of this disengagement is certainly intentional. Taken as a commentary on the state of the world in the era of late capitalism, Cosmopolis can seem almost banal. But these banalities, which here are accompanied by glazed eyes, are also to the point: the world is burning, and all that some of us do is look at the flames with exhausted familiarity.

Robert Pattinson in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis (Official Trailer)

Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis: Sex in the Limousine

Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis: The Smell of Sex

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The Sordid Sexual Infidelity of A Good Wife

The Sordid Sexual Infidelity of A Good Wife

A Good Wife is a brilliant five-minute animated short film by the talented Toronto-based illustrator W. Scott Forbes, featuring the artist’s signature minimalist painterly artwork. The film presents a quiet tragedy of mid-1900′s infidelity, the tale of a woman who is in utter shock over her torrid sexual affair with a man who is not her husband. Tormented by painful regret, she decides not to disclose her infidelity to her family. Thus, the family members carry on as though nothing is wrong, going about their daily lives in blissful ignorance. A Good Wife provides powerful imagery and music to narrate its plot, successfully leaving viewers feeling emotionally invested despite its short five-minute duration.

The Sordid Sexual Infidelity of A Good Wife

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