real life recs

Things that are awesome today:

1. The movie version of Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I saw with my father this afternoon. He was deeply floored by how awesome it was, because he had heard nothing about it and was just expecting a fun kids movie. I was expecting it to be pretty awesome and was still floored by how awesome it was.

I would say that the basic plot outline was Dahl and everything else about the execution was totally vintage Wes Anderson, and I mean that as an endorsement. Both because I really like Wes Anderson, and because it's a sensible method of adaptation. A movie should bring something genuinely new and worthwhile to the story, or else seriously, just read the book already.

Possibly my favorite bit: all the adults, and occasionally, the children, use 'cusswords' appropriately in the situations they find themselves in. How, then, does the film achieve its PG rating? Every instance of a verboten four-letter word has been replaced with 'cuss', so that, for example, towards the climax of the film, the characters find themselves in a situation that can only be described as a 'clustercuss'. Okay, so it's kind of twee, but I thought it was hilarious and allowed the dialogue to flow with the rhythms that actual adults (and children) use.

2. The American Indian Art Collection at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. I hadn't heard that this was coming to the museum, much less that it had opened less than a month ago, so it was an extremely pleasant surprise when we came upon it during our post-movie visit.

It is huge. The range of objects, styles, origins, materials, you name it, is completely dazzling. I was especially impressed by how many of the relatively older objects were identified as the work of a particular artist whose reputation had been preserved in his or her tribe, and I thought all of the plaques did a good job placing the objects in as specific a context as possible. I loved the inclusion of many pieces by contemporary Indian artists and how they were placed right among older pieces that demonstrate the context the artist was working in, allowing the viewer as an outsider to appreciate a tiny bit of the culture that influenced the piece.

Luckily, one of my favorite pieces is online, so I can link to it: this pair of 'Rez Bans' by Kevin Pourier. I think the pun there is hilarious, the glasses are plain gorgeous (and you know I have a Thing for glasses), and the layers of meaning behind the materials and the pattern just make me squee more. The fact that they were tucked in among an exhibit of other Lakota pieces made me feel like I was sharing in this completely awesome inside joke.

I was seriously impressed by the whole exhibit. I suspect that the fact that a lot of the collection was accessioned quite recently might explain how extensive the histories on many of them were and how effectively they were presented, because somebody cared about these things and made sure that they came out. Whoever worked on this did good.
I made some extremely complimentary comments in the guestbook that was provided, but I definitely plan to go back and be even more positive about the exhibit! If I can, I'd like to talk to anyone who was involved in the development of this collection, because it is seriously well-done in every respect that I observed!