The fact that movie ticket sales have remained essentially stagnant for the past 10 years isn't news to anyone. But if you're interested to know why, look no further than the new sci-fi thriller Elysium, opening this week. Written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, the South African-Canadian director whose last film, District 9, came out in 2009, Elysium is much bigger and much more expensive — just under $100 million — and could serve as a poster child for everything that's wrong with modern movies.
This Sunday night, March 4, the 501st episode of The Simpsons will feature four superstars of American street art: Kenny Scharf, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, and Robbie Conal.
Kenny Scharf came up in the East Village art scene in the 1980's and covered the walls at last year's amazing "Art in the Streets" show in L.A.; Ron English hacks popular brand images (think "Super Size Me" posters and 2008's groovy "Abraham Obama"), and favors billboards; Shepard Fairey is…well, Shepard Fairey; and Robbie Conal is the genre's outlaw godfather — a whip-smart, wisecracking political satirist who's been wheat-pasting posters of white-collar bad guys (remember CONTRA DICTION and Cheney as the Energizer bunny?) since before most of today's street artists were zygotes.
Conal says: "I consider it one of the highest honors in the land to be 'Simpsonized.' To me it's the American equivalent of being knighted by the Queen of England."
The episode, titled "Exit Through the Kwik-E Mart" (get it?) runs at 8PM ET/PT on FOX. The four artists will be guest-voicing themselves.