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August 31, 2011

This Week: Dames, Dueling Rockers and Street Art Reign

By Nancy Staab

Downtown street art, smoldering film noir and a rock showdown between Neon Trees and Ludacris highlight this week in culture

Orson Welle's Orson Welle's "Lady of Shanghai"





















Black-and-White and Gray All Over

 Emory hosts a Fall Film Noir Series starting Aug. 31

You know the set-up chicky: high-contrast nocturnal scenes, a down-on-his-luck gumshoe, a lethal femme fatale, canted camera angles, flashbacks and voice-overs, hard-boiled cynicism, corruption and crime, a healthy dose of ambivalence, sexy come-ons…oh and lots and lots of smolder and cigarette smoke. Something is definitely wrong in the state of Denmark… The moody film noir genre that exploded post-WWII in the 1940’s is celebrated in all its expressionistic and cinematic glory  every Wednesday this fall with free screenings of the 35 mm flicks hosted by Emory’s film studies department. Among the offerings: Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity with a sinister Barbara Stanwyck and novelist Raymond Chandler penning the jaded dialogue (Sept. 7); The Killers, based on Hemingway’s shortest of short stories about a retired boxer, (Sept. 14); Orson Welle’s Lady of Shanghai featuring his then-wife Rita Hayworth and an iconic funhouse mirrors scene (Sept 21). Also on the billing: more modern tributes to noir, such as Quentin Taratino’s Pulp Fiction (Oct. 5) and Roman Polanski’s Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway at their peak (Oct. 19). Up first: the 1947 classic Out of the Past starring Robert Mitchum in his breakout role.

The Emory Cinematheque Series presents “Dark Streets and Dangerous Dames: Film Noir (1944-1996) every Wed. from Aug. 31 to Oct. 19. The free films show at 7:30PM at White Hall 205 on Emory campus. For more info. Visit:













































Neon Trees Sounds Off with Ludacris on Labor Day


Who knew that a new wave, alt-rock band from Provo, Utah, of all places, could end up challenging our reigning ATL hip-hopper (and budding movie actor) Ludacris to a rock-off?  Neon Trees gained national exposure when they opened for The Killers tour in 2008, then followed their first album Habits in 2010 with lead single “Animal” (with infectious sub-refrain “What are you waiting for? Take a bite of my heart tonight”) and the rest is pop culture history. Appearances on Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel, a gig opening for My Chemical Romance, a spot on a TV commercial for Las Vegas, and, finally, a treatment of the song “Animal” by Glee all but sealed their place in the pop culture pantheon. At the 2011 Billboard Music Awards Neon Trees won “Alternative Song of the Year” for their hit single “Animal.” All this means that the Grammy Award-winning Ludacris (whose rumored to be working on his eighth album Ludaversal with David Guetta, Ne-Yo, Nelly and Kanye West) better get his groove on when these two unlikely bands meet in one place, specifically, the West Plaza of Georgia World Congress Center, Sept. 5 for a rock-off in four rounds sponsored by Red Bull and billed as the “ultimate live music conversation” on two stages.

Neon Trees and Ludacris square off for Red Bull’s Sound Clash on Labor Day, Monday, September 5 at 8PM. Gates open at 6PM and tickets for all ages are $10. For more info visit

Click here for Neon Tree’s neo-punk “Animal” video, where the rambunctious rockers gleefully defile a stuffy art gallery opening:


Deanna Sirlin's Deanna Sirlin's "waterfall" project for Elevate

Elevate Your Culture Quotient with Local Art Underground and Above Through Oct. 30th!


First we had Flux, the one-day performance art spectacle in Castleberry Hill, then guerilla dance troupes like gloATL invading Lenox Mall and Centennial Park, and public arts programs like Art on the Beltline, Four Walls, and the graf fest known as Living Walls pasting up our city with iconic images. Now, the latest public arts program to bow is “Elevate / Art Above Underground,” the brainchild of Camille Russell Love, the director of the Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. The program, which centers around Underground Atlanta and the street corridors surrounding it, presents a panoply of leading local artists showcasing their creative stuff now through Oct. 30. Among the diverse pieces: artist Sarah Emerson’s glow-in-the-dark window installation referencing a post-Civil War Georgia landscape; Deanna Sirlin’s abstract “waterfall” of painted color cascading down a set of outdoor steps; Lisa Tuttle and Alice Lovelace’s collaboration blending images of Harriet Tubman with spoken word performances and drawing parallels between Underground Atlanta and the Underground Railway; LED light displays by Ruth Stanford; murals by Sunday Southern Art Revival; conceptual “shops” by Signs for Dimes; and artist and pop-commentator Fahamu Pecou will be in residence making art and hosting DJ’s, artist’s talks and other programming throughout the exhibit.  

Elevate/ Art Above Underground is on exhibit at Atlanta Underground and surrounding areas downtown now through Oct. 30th. The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information visit:


Sarah Emerson's piece for Elevate. Sarah Emerson's piece for Elevate.