Arts & Culture

Does Social Media Lead Directly to Sales?

Does Social Media Lead Directly to Sales?

I think many of us are past the point of considering social media a ‘new’ marketing channel. Businesses of all kinds are participating on Facebook, Twitter and more.

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Movies: "The Bling Ring"

Movies: "The Bling Ring"

 

“Let’s go to Paris.  I want to rob.”

 

When misfit high schooler Marc (Israel Broussard) gets this text on his phone, he knows just where he and his new best friend Rebecca (Katie Chang) are headed.  Not to gay Paree, but to the home of Paris Hilton, who conveniently leaves the front door key under the mat.  There, surrounded by adulatory photos of Ms. Hilton herself, they will help themselves to her high-fashion clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry, and maybe twirl around the stripper pole in the model’s “nightclub room.”

Movies: "Despicable Me 2"

Movies: "Despicable Me 2"

You’ve got to love the fact that “Despicable Me 2” unhorsed “The Lone Ranger” at the box office.  Disney -- the godfather of animated movies -- trumped by an animated movie!  (Of course, the mouse house has also had a number of hits this summer, thanks in large part to its Marvel Comics franchise.)

I loved the original “Despicable Me” with its soft-hearted villain Gru (Steve Carell), whose plot to steal the moon is undone by three cute li’l orphan girls.  (I’ve been wondering about his name:  is it short for Gruesome, or perhaps a sly reference to the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service?  Certainly, Gru’s odd accent has more than a hint of Russkya in it, along with maybe a little Yiddish.)

Movies: "The East"

Movies: "The East"

So here’s a low-key thriller about eco-terrorism with none of the usual car chases, explosions and gruesome murders.  

Sounds refreshing, doesn’t it?  What makes it even more unusual is that it was produced by the brothers Scott (Ridley and Tony), best known for their high-impact action movies (“Black Hawk Down,” “Man on Fire,” etc.).

 

Movies: "Man of Steel"

Movies: "Man of Steel"

If you thought “The Avengers” was over the top, wait ‘till you get a load of the new Superman movie.  

Directed by Zack Snyder, who knows a thing or two about comic book movies, having made “Watchmen” and “300,” and scripted by David S. Goyer (“The Dark Knight Rises”) from a story by Goyer and Christopher Nolan (who wrote and directed the twisty flicks “Memento” and “Inception”), “Man of Steel” is an origin story combined with an enhanced remake of 1980’s “Superman II.”

 

Movies: "Frances Ha"

Movies: "Frances Ha"

 

Tall, broad-shouldered and a little ungainly, Greta Gerwig plays Frances, and though she’s surrounded by friends and acquaintances throughout this movie, it’s practically a one-woman show.  (Gerwig also co-wrote the screenplay with her boyfriend, director Noah Baumbach.)

 

When we first meet her, Frances -- an understudy with a modern dance group -- is sharing a Brooklyn apartment with her best friend from Vassar, Sophie (Mickey Sumner, who happens to be Sting’s daughter) and dating a guy named Dan.  But both situations sputter out, leaving Frances with no place to stay and no boyfriend either.  Her dance prospects don’t look so hot either.

Habibi - a graphic novel

Habibi - a graphic novel

If they are this marvelous, I could get hooked on graphic novels.

Habibi is the first "serious" graphic novel I've ever read. It took Craig Thompson seven years to research it, learn to read and write Arabic, and then to develop and illustrate both the plot and all the magnificent art in this book. Habibi is a fairy tale, incorporating the fantasy of the 1,001 Nights, the mystery of The Prophet's mystical experiences. But it also follows the struggles of two children - survivors. It is a parable of the evils we are committing upon the world, causing destruction through our own selfish foolishness. It is a story of cruelty and abuse, especially sexual abuse, and also about the redemptive power of love.

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