WEIRDLAND: Nerdy Romances (Elgort & Woodley), MDMA, Todd Haynes' Velvet Underground documentary

Friday, August 11, 2017

Nerdy Romances (Elgort & Woodley), MDMA, Todd Haynes' Velvet Underground documentary

In The Fault in Our Stars the young lovers—Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort)—are obsessed with a book (titled "An Imperial Affliction") that ends in the middle of a sentence by a reclusive author. Hazel and Augustus take a ride on a roller coaster of emotions, preoccupied with knowing what happens to the rest of the characters in the aftermath of the book, even traveling to Amsterdam to meet with the author. Though the story is about disease, love, and death, it's also about what it means to be infatuated with a work of literature. Source:

The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love (2016) by Sarvenaz Tash: Graham and Roxana are the best of friends, sharing a love of Harry Potter, comics, and all things geek. Lately, though, Graham has started feeling more than just friendship for Roxy. He’s decided that New York Comic Con is the place to declare his undying love to her, especially since Robert Zinc – the reclusive creator of their all-time favorite comic book The Chronicles of Althena – is going to be there, and there’s going to be a John Hughes retrospective! The whole story unfolds over the course of the weekend at the New York Comic-Con setting and is at times hilarious, at times awkward. If they made a movie out of this book, honestly, it could be a modern teenage classic. And the book fully embraces it’s Hughes-esque inspirations. In fact, there is even a Pretty in Pink reunion panel where the many similarities in the two stories become pretty obvious. Source:

Paper Towns (2015) is John Green's second novel to be adapted for the big screen, so it makes sense that people would be comparing it to The Fault in Our Stars (starring Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley) — but the movie draws way more parallels to the work of John Hughes. Ansel Elgort makes a cameo as Mason in Paper Towns.

—Ansel Elgort: I think music is always associated with drugs... at Woodstock everyone was getting high. But, people who are really into a specific genre of music don’t need to do drugs. None of my producer friends do drugs. I’ve never done Molly (MDMA) at a concert, and I've been to so many. People who say they need Molly to listen to that, I say don’t come. If you don’t like the music, just do Molly in your bedroom.

MDMA is an amphetamine-like stimulant with psychedelic properties. Scientists are currently investigating whether the illegal party drug known “ecstasy” or “molly” could help those suffering from the post-traumatic stress disorder. Mark T. Wagner, a professor of neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina, explained: “The immediacy and magnitude of the therapeutic effect seems to defy current psychological theories of psychotherapeutic change and is instead a therapeutic epiphany life-changing experience similar to what had been described so many years ago by psychologist Abraham Maslow.” Source:

—Ansel Elgort: My background wallpaper is usually just a picture of my girlfriend. I’m constantly having to change it because I take more pictures of her than anything. I don't want anyone part of my love life besides me and the person I'm loving, my girl. (Teen Vogue mag, 2015)

A sense of humor could help you snag a date, a new study suggests. "Humor is influential," said lead study author Daniel Doerksen. If people are funnier, it makes them seem more attractive, and that in turn makes others more romantically interested in them. Previous studies have suggested that when a person is attractive, others think of them as being more humorous than less attractive people, Doerksen told Live Science. In addition, in some cases, the men got a larger boost in their attractiveness from being creative. A man may use "creative displays" to "signal" his desirable qualities, such as intelligence, to a potential female date. Women who were deemed good-looking were seen as more attractive overall, regardless of their level of creativity. "If you weren't funny, you were definitely perceived as being less attractive, so that's a word of warning," Doerksen added. He noted that the study involved only heterosexual individuals.  The findings were presented on August, 4, at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting. Source:

Vanity Fair has called Ansel Elgort: "Hollywood's most approachable leading man" this summer. “Every single day Ansel looks at the world with a new set of eyes. He is the most creative person I’ve ever met,” Shailene Woodley gushed. Elgort, unlike his character Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars, lost his virginity at age 14: "I had no clue what I was doing, and neither did the girl. I didn't even make the lighting good. The only thing that made me feel better was doing it again," he shared. 

Todd Haynes is taking on the story of pioneering rock art punks The Velvet Underground. According to Variety, the untitled VU project will “rely certainly on Andy Warhol films but also a rich culture of experimental film, a vernacular we have lost and we don’t have, that we increasingly get further removed from,” Haynes said. Because there is little documentation on the group, Haynes said researching them will be "challenging," but a deep-dive he's looking forward to by "getting in deep to the resources and material and stock and archival footage and the actual cinema and experimental work.” Haynes said The Velvet Underground was birthed out of a "truly experimental cross-section of film, contemporary art, and a rejection of mainstream consumer culture at a very rich and fertile time of the 1960s in New York City." Source:

“Heroin” (1967): No single song captures The Velvet Underground’s ethos more perfectly. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not an endorsement of the drug (you only need to listen to Reed’s wry, self-deprecating laugh after he sings “it’s my wife, and it’s my life”), but it’s also not an after-school special. Like in most of his work, Reed offers a harrowing tale without any overwhelming judgement. Musically, the song mimics the narrator’s high, starting off slowly, then picking up speed and building to a frenzied crescendo before coming back down again in the end. It’s a song that serves as a portrait of a specific scene, reflecting a certain time and place when hedonistic socialites, intellectuals and bohemians converged on The Factory to challenge social norms—and it does it all with only two chords. Source:

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