Staff Picks: Mike Kelley and ‘One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich and the Lost American Film’


Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Scroll through for our picks below.

Mike Kelley’s Memory Ware series

I’ve been thinking a lot about Mike Kelley after my recent move to L.A., since he worked at studios in neighborhoods not far from my own. Hauser & Wirth is hosting an exhibition devoted to later-period Kelley, opening November 3. The focus is on Kelley’s Memory Ware series, which finds the artist recontextualizing memories about his childhood home, the schools he attended, and so forth, as well as exploring our attachments to memory/memory objects. From the exhibition press release:

“Kelley borrowed the phrase ‘memory ware’ from a type of folk art popular in black communities of the American South and in Victorian Britain, in which the surfaces of common household vessels – bottles, vases, lamps – are covered with such small personal items and keepsakes as keys, buttons, shells, and beads in a matrix of clay. Kelley first encountered examples of the genre at a Toronto antiques fair in 2000, where he purchased a memory ware bottle. Given his existing interest in remembrance and in re-purposing materials with prior histories, as well as his long-term engagement with the aesthetics of craft and folk art, Kelley recognized in this find the possibilities for developing new works that deployed the memory ware aesthetic towards very different ends.”

Mike Kelley Memory Ware runs through December 23. — Alison Nastasi, Weekend Editor

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

If you’re unfortunate enough to spend any amount of time on internet forums, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the sixth installment in the venerable Civilization franchise was a trainwreck, such has been the volume of complaint about the game since its release last Friday. This only goes to show that you shouldn’t spend any time on internet forums, because while Civilization VI certainly isn’t perfect — its AI could certainly do with some tweaking, and there are various bugs and minor flaws that need to be combed out — it’s also perhaps the most enjoyable Civilization game yet, especially when compared to the messy state its predecessor was in on release. These games tend to mature over time, as balancing issues etc are slowly worked out, but even now, this is worth your time — provided, that is, that you have plenty of that commodity, because you’ll find yourself telling your girlfriend/boyfriend/significant other/cat you’ll be coming to bed after just… one… more… turn… — Tom Hawking, Editor-in-Chief

One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich and the Lost American Film

The new vogue in documentary seems to be “movies about movies that were never made,” so I probably shouldn’t be as surprised as I am that director Bill Teck went and made a full documentary feature (out now on DVD and VOD) about Peter Bogdanovich’s They All Laughed, not exactly the best known effort from the director of The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon. But it’s a fascinating story, of that 1981 film’s creation, production, and the nightmarish murder, during post-production, of supporting actress (and Bogdanovich’s love) Dorothy Stratten. It was a tragedy that derailed the entire picture, up to and including the director’s decision to self-distribute the movie (to better protect), a move that put into semi-permanent obscurity. But it was later rediscovered and championed by current fans like Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, and Noah Baumbach – all of whom turn up here to sing its praises, along with the director and surviving cast, who tell the fascinating story of this uncommonly emotional picture, and its fallout. Aimed at a very particular niche demo, obviously, but Teck tells this story well, and Bogdanovich remains one of our best storytellers (and most valuable links to Old Hollywood). — Jason Bailey, Film Editor

Joanna Newsom’s “Make Hay”

As you can see from this staff pick and this staff pick and from my actual review, I was really into Joanna Newsom’s Divers. So it only makes sense to be redundant via a song that, itself, is very much a recap of the album Divers (it was supposed to appear on the album, originally; it alludes to quite a few of its tracks; it sums up its themes and even in a way its structure) and pick it. Plus it’s vibrant and damn wonderful. This week, Newsom released “Make Hay” on the one year anniversary of that album. Instrumentally, the song itself is a parade of many of the plinking sounds you grew attuned to on Divers, with wurlitzer, celesta and piano (all played by Newsom) all linked in an exuberant skip forward in time. In its final verses, it echoes the album’s highlight and final track, “Time, As a Symptom” in its questioning of whether love is more than a “symptom of time,” and sees Newsom confronting both ephemerality and infinity, and how these ideas may affect love, singing, “And we were gored, and abased/And adored, and erased/All before our time.” — Moze Halperin, Associate Editor