Tablet Life & Arts

Arts writers’ picks for week of April 13

The Star-Telegram arts writers spotlight what’s rocking their world this week.

1 Ford side-eyes Cadillac: Remember that completely obnoxious Cadillac commercial that seemingly ran every 10 minutes during the Olympics? The one with the pretentious bag of wind (Neal McDonough) enumerating pro-American aphorisms then climbing into his CLR plug-in hybrid, because the world owes him? Ford’s advertising agency, Team Detroit, shot a parody using the Ford C-MAX hybrid and a woman. Adweek is all over it, saying Ford gave tacit approval then rolled out a spokeswoman who said, “I don’t think we’re mocking a competitor. We’re trying to showcase positive work being done in our community.” Which is as mealy mouthed as Cadillac was blustery. Own it Ford. See both commercials here:

— Gaile Robinson

2 Breaking the Waves: Criterion Collection on Blu-ray/DVD: Director Lars von Trier’s breakthrough achievement, dealing with the complexities of love and religion and fueled by a phenomenal Emily Watson performance, remains one of the most powerful, affecting films of the ’90s. Long out of print in America, the Criterion Collection has rescued the 1996 masterwork from semi-obscurity and released it on a three-disc set (one Blu-ray and two DVDs), with extra features, in stores Tuesday.

— Preston Jones

3 Mr Little Jeans, Pocketknife : Monica Birkenes’ voice radiates from the speakers like a glorious shaft of sunlight. Armed with her breathy, intoxicating instrument, the Norwegian chanteuse, who performs under the nom de tune Mr Little Jeans, is rapidly accumulating fans on this side of the Atlantic with her irresistible debut record, Pocketknife, in stores now. Blending electronic elements with a breezy pop style (think shades of Peter, Bjorn & John via Daft Punk), Birkenes wins you over with infectious singles like Good Mistake, and leaves you helpless to do anything other than hit the repeat button.

— Preston Jones