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A Culture Lust Farewell…Or Is It?

Above: Lena Dunham as a twenty-something considering her role as the voice of her generation in the new HBO comedy series "Girls."

As the new year begins, so does a new journey. Since this will be my last Culture Lust post (as an intern) I decided to compile a list of ten things that I’m culturally excited about in 2012. While some of them have more buzz than others, they all prompt a general feeling of excitement in a new year full of so many unknowns. Sure some picks may be more self-indulgent than others, but why not take a look? The world is full of wonder.

A scene at Oakland's Art Murmur in the film
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Above: A scene at Oakland's Art Murmur in the film "MLK Jr. Way."

MLK Jr. Way

MLK Jr. Way” premiered at the San Francisco Latino Film Festival last fall and is an unscripted narrative of sorts about two young Mexican American guys who, after getting evicted from their house in Oakland, decide to find temporary girlfriends to move in with. The film was shot in and around Oakland and captures a lot of uncertainties for today’s youth with larger issues of relationships and racism. In a way, it becomes more of a slice of life. I’m not sure what the future of the film holds, but it seems to have a lot of promise particularly now.

Kiernan Shipka as Sally Draper on AMC's
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Above: Kiernan Shipka as Sally Draper on AMC's "Mad Men," which is scheduled to return this year.

Return of Mad Men

Award-winning and aesthetically conscious series "Mad Men" is scheduled to return at some point this year. Photos of a dapper looking Jon Hamm as Don Draper have been floating around the Internet for nearly a month now creating even more hype. I can’t wait to see what the new season has to offer and what rebellious, but philosophical little Sally Draper will be up to.

Thought Catalog's Ryan O’Connell

I started reading Thought Catalog a couple years ago and was initially drawn to the array of articles by young, freelance writers. But it was Ryan O’Connell, a writer and editor of the site that struck a chord with me. Based in New York City’s East Village, he somehow manages to write pieces that say what we’re all thinking in a slightly snarky, but ultimately very real way. One of my favorites of 2011 was the aptly titled, “Please Stop Pretending Like We’ve Never Met Before.” I can’t wait to see what new insights Mr. O’Connell makes this year.

Premiere of Girls

Lena Dunham made a splash in 2010 with her angsty, indie-hit “Tiny Furniture.” She wrote, directed and starred in the film (loosely based on her own life) about a college graduate who returns home to her mother’s (artist Laurie Simmons) loft in an attempt to figure out what to do with her life. Having graduated in May, Dunham’s film has mirrored my own life of the past six months. Subsequently, I’m very excited about her upcoming Judd Apatow-produced HBO show “Girls” and the twenty-something search for meaning.

Hedi Slimane. Girlsʼ Christopher Owens, San Francisco. 2011.
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Above: Hedi Slimane. Girlsʼ Christopher Owens, San Francisco. 2011.

Hedi Slimane's 'California Song'

I’d honestly only heard of Hedi Slimane in passing as a big-name fashion designer. It wasn’t until his recent photography exhibition at LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) that I was greatly intrigued. Slimane, a designer turned photographer, may be most recently known for his black-and-white photographs of a very grown-up Frances Bean Cobain. His current “California Song” exhibition at MOCA focuses on California youth culture, featuring mysterious portraits of San Francisco band Girls’ frontman Christopher Owens. The blurred line between art, fashion and music has never looked so sweet.

Cat Power Album

Smokey-voiced songstress Cat Power released a music video for her re-worked song “King Rides By” nearly two weeks ago. While the video features nothing but Fillipino boxer Manny Pacquiao boxing in slow motion for seven minutes, it’s undoubtedly haunting. The video prompted much hype from the music blogosphere and rumors of a potential new album release this year. I hope the rumors are true.

A close up view of a Rodarte gown inspired by Italian art in the new LACMA ex...
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Above: A close up view of a Rodarte gown inspired by Italian art in the new LACMA exhibition, "Rodarte: Fra Angelico Collection.”

Rodarte: Fra Angelico Collection

Sister design-duo Rodarte (Kate and Laura Mulleavy) have made a mark on and off the runway with their largely textured pieces featured in “The Black Swan” and on red carpets alike. Most recently, they’ve teamed up with LACMA for an exhibition entitled, “Rodarte: Fra Angelico Collection.” The exhibition features specially designed gowns inspired by Renaissance frescoes in the monastery of San Marco by Fra Angelico in Florence. Their designs go beyond eye candy with a blend of old and new, sequins and feathers. Art history has never looked so alive.

Kanye West

Sure Kanye West gets a lot of grief for his big ego and semi-crazed media antics, but there’s no doubt that he has talent. Who could get away with wordplay that spans the royal family and the Olsen twins? (“Prince Williams ain’t do it right if you ask me. Cause I was him, I would have married Kate and Ashley.”) Two nights ago he went on a Twitter rant with more than 70 tweets in three hours, with talks of his new project DONDA. It’s hard to know how much to read into these stream of consciousness tweets, but if nothing else it has certainly left me wondering what this year holds for Mr. West.

The Party Down Catering crew of misfits on Starz' short-lived series
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Above: The Party Down Catering crew of misfits on Starz' short-lived series "Party Down."

Party Down Movie

"Party Down" was a much-loved, but short comedy series that perhaps had its own Arrested Development moment. The single-camera show followed a group of misfit catering team/aspiring Hollywood actors and writers on their journey to get by in the strange land of Los Angeles. Their uniform pink bow-ties have since become iconic along with the phrase “Are we having fun yet?” After two seasons, the show ended and fans were left having no fun at all. There may be hope in this new year as a "Party Down" movie is rumored to shoot this summer.

Marcel the Shell became an Internet sensation in the stop-motion short
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Above: Marcel the Shell became an Internet sensation in the stop-motion short "Marcel The Shell With Shoes On."

Marcel the Shell

The world was introduced to Marcel the Shell in the 2010 stop-motion short "Marcel the Shell With Shoes On." Marcel (voiced by former SNL cast member Jenny Slate) is a shell with hopes, desires, hobbies and disappointments. The charmingly creepy short returned last year with a sequel and Marcel even made an appearance on Brian Williams’ weekly news show “Rock Center.” With a rumored TV show on the way, who knows what’s in store for this small shell.

Though this is my last official post as a Culture Lust intern, be on the lookout for my monthly posts where I share things I'm culturally excited about this coming year and beyond.

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Avatar for user 'CajunWahine'

CajunWahine | January 6, 2012 at 4:01 p.m. ― 5 years, 2 months ago

These are such eclectic picks for 2012. Interested in checking them all out!

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