The Kempt Five
Every Wednesday we’re giving you a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick. We call it: The Kempt Five.
Sight & Sound’s Best Documentaries of All Time. “The legendary film rag polled critics, programmers and directors to put together a consensus list of must-watch docs. I won’t quibble with the rankings (though how does Hoop Dreams not crack the top 10?), but I will suggest putting the list somewhere safe and warm and Netflixing/Huluing your way through it. I certainly haven’t seen all of ’em, but it was nice to be reminded of how fascinating and strange and—most importantly—still relevant the ones I’ve seen are. The bizarre and semi-faked Nanook of the North (pictured) defies explanation. And anyone interested in a master class in efficient storytelling (not to mention humanity’s limitless capacity for awfulness) should check out Alain Resnais’s harrowing Night and Fog, which manages to squeeze all the horror of the Holocaust into 30 minutes. Get bucket-listing here…” —P.L.U.
Aristide Bruant? Never Heard of Him. “But he’s mentioned in today’s UrbanDaddy New York story on Le Jardin Bistro, a charming new restaurant in the East Village. Turns out he was, per the Met, a ‘successful singer, songwriter and entrepreneur who ran a cabaret’ in Montmartre—not to mention a muse to Toulouse-Lautrec and all-around raconteur. Sort of a Serge Gainsbourg of his era. This random essay I found describes his style as this: ‘Bruant[’s] distinctive costume that would thereafter be his trademark: a black corduroy suit, the pants tucked into black boots, a red flannel shirt, large black hat, long red scarf, walking stick, and at times a black cape.’ Sounds pretty damned Kemptian if I say so myself. (For a little more intel on this guy, head here.)” —P.L.U.
The Only James Brown Movie You Really Need to See. “I recently stumbled upon this YouTube clip of a 1983 James Brown concert in which he spots none other than Michael Jackson in the crowd and calls him on stage to sing and dance—which he does to the delight of many. But then, Michael Jackson mentions that Prince is also in the house, so James Brown demands that he join them as well. Prince then appears stage left, ridding piggyback-style on an enormous bearded man, hops on stage, rocks out, rips his shirt off, pulls down a lamppost and steals the show while Brown just goes crazy in the background. Easily one of the greatest moments in grainy concert footage history.” —J.W.
The Midsummer Cleanse. “And I don’t mean the kind involving juice. I mean the kind where you go through your closet and, at every piece of clothing you own, ask the following questions: 1) ‘Does it fit me well?’ 2) ‘Have I worn this in the past year?’ 3) ‘Does this have Halloween-costuming potential?’ If you answer no to two or more of these questions, quickly put it into a black trash bag and never look back. Having recently done this, having a more pared-down wardrobe of Only Shit You Actually Wear has actually caused those ‘I have nothing to wear…’ thoughts to come up less and less.” —J.W.
The Tourist Trap. Like many city dwellers, I see tourists as the scourge that they are and attempt to avoid all of the usual pratfalls when visiting an unfamiliar town. But maybe I’m doing it wrong? These two lads from the UK have embraced it, and garnered nearly a million hits on their YouTube page in just under four days. Cynicism won’t get me any Ben Franklin glasses or a badass selfie while I run up the Rocky stairs on my trip through Philly this weekend. And no one is too cool for some sweet YouTube cash. Unless it all turns out to be a viral marketing campaign from the Los Angeles Bureau of Tourism, in which case, goddammit.” —R.M.
— Ricky McCrumb
— Paul L. Underwood
— Jason Wire