HiLobrow
"Neither highbrows nor lowbrows nor midbrows, but elastic-brows.” — George Orwell
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Mimi Lipson on EUPHORIA

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A gift for pacing and episodic structure, a deadpan sense of humor.

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Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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His films came from a planet called Baltimore.

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Mimi Lipson vs. HALSTON MUG

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The sophist­ication of Jones’s voice has never dimin­ished its authen­ticity.

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When trash meets art.

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She excelled at rapacious clingers, albatrosses, and bad mothers.

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High Corman: pell-mell, hep, bizarrely hybridized.

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Her young voice throbbed with friction and experience.

Categories: HiLo Heroes, Music | 2 Comments
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His music and his life disguised joy as menace — and vice versa.

Categories: HiLo Heroes, Movies | 5 Comments
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He may be the best put-on artist since Andy Kaufman.

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A contro­versial auteur who aimed at truck drivers and college students.

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The foppish poses, the aspect of wounded nobility…

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The documentary films of FREDERICK WISEMAN (born 1930) are usually set in institutions and have institutional titles like Hospital and High School and Welfare. His work is often called cinéma vérité, but it’s a term he dislikes for its connotations of passivity and impartiality; and truly, Wiseman is no fly on the wall. Consider Titicut […]

Categories: Haw-Haw, HiLo Heroes | 2 Comments
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He knew his audience inside and out.

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“Just because you got them big udders don’t make you something special.” So says Earl Peterson (DIVINE, born Harris Glenn Milstead, 1945-88) to Dawn Davenport (Divine, again) in two of her greatest roles. And Earl was right — the udders were almost beside the point. That is, Divine had about as much in common with […]

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Filmmaker PRESTON STURGES (1898-1959) made a joyful mockery of the Hays Code with his improbably wholesome card sharks, unwed mothers, imposters and flimflammers, his ballot box stuffers, shoplifters, party girls and bigamists. “I can’t keep on marrying people,” says Betty Hutton’s character in The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, “no matter how sweet they are.” For […]

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Novelist, poet, and newspaper man DON MARQUIS (1878-1937) was once a household name. Now he is mostly remembered for his Archy and Mehitabel story-poems. Because they are about creatures (a cockroach and an alley cat, respectively), and because they were illustrated — jazzily, tenderly — by the great George Herriman, they are sometimes taken for […]

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In 1965, SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY (born 1940) beat down the doors of the National Hot Rod Association and became the first licensed female drag racer. And despite the signature pink cars monogrammed with her nickname, “Cha-Cha” (which she has long since renounced: “There’s no room for bimboism in racing”), she was in no way a novelty […]

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With his casual athleticism and big white teeth, with his good-looking features that somehow fail to coalesce into good looks, BRUCE DERN (born 1936) is the dropout personified — the kid who had every advantage but turned out bad. For all his superior acting chops, he seems most at home in an old Gunsmoke or […]

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Look at the way people describe JOEY RAMONE’s (1951-2001) voice: “bleat,” “snarl,” “hiccup.” Would they say the same about Ronnie Spector? His voice was honest, plangent… it was bliss. He left us too soon, yes, but was it a shock? Not really. He was a fragile Ramone — a romantic, brokenhearted Ramone. We secretly favored […]

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STUDS TERKEL (1912–2008): shovel-ready and irony free. Fifty years from now, who will remind our grandchildren what a progressive looks like? And without another Federal Writer’s Project, who’ll collect oral histories from the survivors of our Depression? *** On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or […]

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We’ve fallen out of touch with TORI SPELLING (born 1973) lately. We haven’t read her best-selling autobiography or seen any of her three reality shows, but never mind. We’ll always have 90210. Her casting as the virginal Donna Martin was nepotistic… and spot-on. She embodied the eponymous zip code — but sweetly. *** On his […]