Cultural Caviar

Playboy’s Randy Auction, Daft Punk Scores Tron & a Princely Tell-All

December 05, 2010

Multiple Pages
Playboy’s Randy Auction, Daft Punk Scores Tron & a Princely Tell-All

The Year of the Rabbit: The Playboy Collection, Christie’s Auction, December 8
Playboy is mostly known for its interviews and centerfolds, but the venerable men’s magazine is now auctioning off 124 photographs and prints from its huge archive for the right prices. There’s an outstretched Marilyn Monroe against a vivid red backdrop and a ‘60s shot of Brigitte Bardot for those looking to add to their pin-up collection. Major art aficionados are eyeing three works by Alberto Vargas and the 1966 watercolor “Playmate” by Salvador Dali, which, until recently, had the honor of hanging above Hef’s well-trafficked bed. It’s expected to rake in over $100,000. But the pièce de résistance is an oil painting by Tom Wesselmann, likely to go for two to three million. Nothing epitomizes the Playboy brand better than an open, red-lipsticked mouth.

Tron Legacy Soundtrack
Daft Punk goes Disney—this really is a brave new world. The Tron sequel is released this month after a 28-year holdup and the French electronic duo Daft Punk was co-opted to score the entire film. It’s a match made in futuristic heaven. Eight-five musicians banded together to produce the score, and some die-hard fans are saying it’s their best music in a decade. They’re unlikely to swipe the crowns held by such classic composers of John Williams and Randy Newman, but if Tuesday’s album release is any indication of Tron’s quality, the sci-fi hacker’s paradise is worthy of that $13 ticket.

2011 Pirelli Calendar
The tire company’s annual calendar has been an institution for over 30 years. Because yours was likely lost in the mail—it’s given only to a few lucky VIPs–leaked images online will have to suffice. This year, Karl Lagerfeld was behind the lens, shooting the Greek mythology spread in his impressive library, quite the step up from last year’s Terry Richardson portfolio. Julianne Moore, flawless on the cusp of her 50th birthday, is the most famous face—and body—to grace the glossy pages as Zeus’ wife Hera. Fifteen models, including Erin Wasson, and five bronzed men pull together the year’s most coveted calendar.

Peter & the Wolf, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, December 11
Those looking for a very highbrow holiday need to look no further than the Guggenheim. The New York museum is hosting its annual performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s classic Peter & the Wolf, narrated by fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. The Juilliard Ensemble performs, and Rei Sato of Takashi Murakami’s production company—think bold, bright, big colors—is adding a new twist to the art installation this year. The Russian composer wrote the story about a young boy in only four days, and it holds up well for being over 80 years old. Mizrahi calls his third time as host “one of my favorite yearly events. It satisfies the huge ham in me and it gives me something to do.” The ham is satisfied for only a little while—the event is a child-pleasing half-hour long.

William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls
Already under royal wedding fatigue? There have been a glut of Prince William and Kate Middleton books rushed to shelves—The Sun’s royal correspondent finished his William and Kate: A Royal Love Story in about two days. With a long four months before the nuptials, we prefer to snuggle up with a new tome based on the other fascinating royal relationship—the one between Prince William and Harry. The two young men have had a strong bond since the death of their mother and Nicholl, who’s on the royal beat for the Mail on Sunday, scooped sources and contacts close to the Palace to paint a portrait of their lives thus far, from their princely duties to bravery at war. It all begs the question: Kate who?

The summer’s trippy blockbuster is finally flying into stores this Tuesday on DVD. Those who spent more time ogling the wardrobes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt than following the dream sequences and twisted plot can rewind and rewatch to their heart’s content. Once again, Christopher Nolan proved he’s head and shoulders above other contemporary directors. Aside from raking in nearly $300 million at the box office, the mindbender also wooed the majority of critics. Throw in the expected Oscar noms, and you’ve got the film of the year.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, ABC, December 7, 8pm
It’s hard to believe it’s the 45th year on air for Charlie, the Peanuts gang, and Snoopy. Nevertheless, they’re returning this week, dragging that shaggy Christmas tree behind them. The story resonates even more with time: Charlie’s fed up with the tree-trimming, lavish gifts, and the spectacle of the holidays. He wants to do something capital-m Meaningful. As he tries to discover what the holiday is really about, there’s the obligatory reading from the Gospel of Luke, caroling, decorating the scrawny tree, and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Ah, it’s finally beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

Aziz Ansari Live!, Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino, Las Vegas, December 11
After a lengthy tour last year, Aziz Ansari, the funnyman who plays Tom Haverford on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, is heading out for four stand-up shows in Las Vegas, New York, Connecticut, and Atlantic City. If his hilarious Twitter is any indication, the show is a must for comedy fans. His stand-up touches on everything from clubbing with Kanye West to high thread count sheets. In addition to playing the witty straight man on Amy Poehler’s show, he’s also starred in Funny People, I Love You, Man, and Observe and Report. Anyone not able to head to Vegas on a moment’s notice can pick up his stand-up DVD Aziz Ansari: Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening.

Standing on Ceremony, Largo at the Coronet, Los Angeles, December 5 & Monday nights in January
The Prop. 8 battle is still playing out daily on cable news shows despite the vote two years ago which struck down recognizing gay marriage in California. Who’s for and against? What are the biggest arguments? Anyone left to come out in favor of it? Now the fight is getting its time in the cultural spotlight in the coming months. The gay-themed short play collection “Standing on Ceremony” is returning to an intimate theater in Los Angeles with shorts by Neil LaBute, Doug Wright, Kathy Najimy, and more. There’s a dose of star power to go with the powerful message: Jason Ritter, Hamish Linklater, Camryn Manheim, Jean Smart, and more will star this week. And even better, profits from ticket sales go to the American Foundation for Equal Rights and Equality California. Fight on.

The Fighter
After a few career missteps (see: The Lovely Bones, The Other Guys) Mark Wahlberg is back with a boxing movie whose quality is more on par with The Departed than the box-office bomb Max Payne. He stars with an emaciated Christian Bale and Amy Adams in the drama based on the real life of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward. It’s gunning for noms come awards season and Wahlberg’s boy-makes-good boxer is the inspirational stuff Oscar voters eat up. Bale is astounding as his crack-addicted half-brother Dicky, who doubles as his inefficient trainer. Marky Mark also produced the film, Three Kings’ David O. Russell directs.

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