Monday, April 30, 2007


dir., mike nichols

now that's what you call acting, baby.

i've never noticed it until now but interesting use of prodigy and the smiths in the background.

in defense: sofia coppola

this past october i think i reached the apex of my film geekdom. in december of 2005 sofia coppola released quite possibly the most beautiful movie trailer i have ever seen. the razza mataz of new order, fireworks, and kirsten dunst in a powered wig was perfectly alchemic and everything that gets me hot and bothered about movies. the trailer was for coppola's upcoming revisionist take on the french heroine marie antoinette. the anticipation building up to the film's eventual release in october 2006 was too much for words. i saw the film two and half times in the theaters and indulged in a marie antoinette themed pastry party after the second screening. my manhood may have been in question, but coppola roused an excitement in me, and i'm sure many others, that only happens with films that are breathing such vitality and truth that gorging on strawberry millefeuille is completely justifiable.

little did i, and probably she, known that this film in all its sherbet-hued glory would court such controversy and scathing reviews. for a such a bright, young filmmaker with brimming talent and such an interesting point of view, i am surprised, and not so surprised, that coppola has become somewhat of an easily criticized artist. for all the reviews that labeled 'marie antoinete' as 'hollow', 'superficial', and 'vacuous', there was also mention of her famous family, legion of equally famous friends, and her bourgeois upbringing of summers spent interning at chanel and vacationing at posh hotels and exotic getaways. i'm not entirely convinced that coppola's envious and seemingly 'cool' life is the real reason critics have a hard time swallowing her. most critics are middle aged men who write about an art form that is largely dominated by men, largely made for men, and made in a patriarchal culture. thus, it does not surprise me in the least bit that coppola's power and prowess as a filmmaker is threatening, but i say her talent should not be denied because her work is consistently growing in a direction that is heads and shoulders above what most her male contemporaries are even thinking.

with her triptych of films that are a loose trilogy of sorts, coppola has crafted films that speak a great deal about class privilege, a young woman's burgeoning sexuality, and the dynamic of power between men and women. the doomed heroines of her debut film, 'the virgin suicides', wallow in their untapped and dangerous beauty. their repressive suburban bubble shames their longing to be touched, which of course draws more boys to the yard, but in the end causes them to leave behind a dream of who they are, not a life full of rebellion and freedom. coppola's follow up and perhaps greatest stroke of subtle cinematic genius thus far, 'lost in translation' asks the audience to identify with a unique heroine. she has cute japanese friends, wears stylishly frumpy clothes, spends a lot of time in her luxury hotel window, and yet embodies the new middle class post-college ennui of life uncertainty. should we feel sorry for her or do we empathize with her? her stunted circumstance is only made that much more interesting when bill murray shows up and becomes her platonic paramour. this film is coppola's most financial successful film and earned her a deserved academy award for its original screenplay and a nomination for her able direction (the first for an american female). the pressure was on for the next film and coppola delivered a treat in the opposite direction of 'lost in translation's leisurely paced mood. explosions of champagne, decadent costumes, and opulent art direction in 'marie antoinette' marked in an interesting direction for coppola. her palette and scope were a little more grand and poppy, but she never lost the intimacy and reverie that has made her films so definitive and entrancing to watch.

however, coppola's world of frivolity proved too much for critics and audiences. the infamous booing at cannes and awkward press conference that soon followed set 'marie antoinette' on a troubled path. i must admit i was weary after its mixed reception, but my faith shouldn't have been so fleeting in coppola. when i finally caught 'marie antoinette' in theaters, i was witness to a work of art that was modern but never cold. i picked my mouth off the floor after that opening credit sequence of a reclining dunst and her hand maid slipping on a manolo blahnik slipper set to the tune of 'natural's not in it' by gang of four. the aggressiveness of post-punk guitar riffs and the ostentatiousness of the cake, the feather accented coif, and her self-aware glint was a cinematic moment that crackled with inspired originality and great observation. a young woman relishing in abundant pleasure is a rarity in american film. this pleasure drives the narrative and begs the audience to identify with such unabashed femininity and delight. the punctuation of the blondie-like bubblegum pink and hard black font that reads the titular character's name punches through the screen further establishing the anachronistic marriage between 18th century france and the nostalgia of the early 1980s of new wave music and mtv.

what does this reveal, if anything? what makes coppola such a fascinating artist is her ability to skillfully make films that are cinematic in the purest definition of the word. the sly editing, the contemporary pop music score, and the dreamy moods of coppola's work culminate in a true film experience. doesn't this make you forget that one of her best friends is marc jacobs and her dad was a master of american cinema in the 70s? much like the theme of the transition from girl to woman that has permeated coppola's films, i think her talent will only transition into a more mature and iconic direction.

extreme makeover

carlos d. of interpol at coachella music festival.

no, no, and more no.


i hate that moment in life when you realize there are staples in fashion that just don't work on you. i don't feel so bad when i can't pull together the trendy t-shirt and vest combination a la jude law, but i am bothered that i cannot pull off a hat. i have never had a serious interests in hats until recently when i read about a collection of marlon brando's hats on sale at jack spade's manhattan boutique. they're dashing and antiquated, but if worn with the same untamed sultriness of a young marlon brando, it can look right and fresh.

however, not everybody is brando and nor should they be. i've come to terms with my funny shaped head a long time ago and how it prevents me from feeling the least bit comfortable in something that resembles a hat. somehow i thought i could bypass that fact with my persistent hat craving. oh how naive i was when i tried on hats at dot fox and banana republic recently. i put on a hat and immediately my security drops to dangerous levels and i become acutely aware of the flat, large, balloon-like shape of my head and its aversion to being covered. perhaps this is a case of it looks better in my mind than something that would appropriately act as a stylish punctuation mark to my usual sartorial statement.

damn. hats: 1. me: 0.

Friday, April 27, 2007

a tribute: anouk aimee

today marks anouk aimee's 74th birthday. i'm sure she's as beautiful and mesmerizing as ever. her porcelain cool and easy screen presence have always captivated me.

here are some of my favorite aimee moments:

'a man and a woman'
dir., claude lelouch

'8 1/2'
dir., federico fellini

dir., jacques demy

having a moment

it seems as though i'm not the only one enamored by stripes at the moment.

and yes i bought three more striped tops when i made the seasonal trek to h&m the other week.

i can't wait to add these to the collection...

striped sock, 3 for $20 at urban outfitters

bdg striped long sleeve crew in mustard, $14.99 at urban outfitters

hi. my name's whitney and i'm addicted to stripes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

the phantom liberty

'the phantom liberty'
dir., luis bunuel

there were bits and pieces of the borat movie that i enjoyed, but the scene that i thought had the most interesting insight was the dinner table scene in which borat is taught the valuable etiquette of dining at a table. dining room manners are something we as americans may not think of revealing much about our culture, but the song and dance routine of dining is very telling part of our culture in terms of gender roles, the omnipotent tension in american society between the vulgar and the pure, and changing technology. with the new roles of fast food, cable television, and single parent families in american life, the dinner table is slipping into irrelevancy. nowadays it almost seems like something out of a norman rockwell painting to sit around a table with your family. luis bunuel's foresight into the decline of this cultural value and what is says about a society is acutely subverted in his film 'the phantom of liberty.'

it's difficult to explain the scene outside of the context of the rest of the movie, but the film is more or less a collection of vignettes that expose and critique the hollowness and silliness of bourgeois society. much like borat's incorporation of poop and its improper place at the dining room table, bunuel expertly switches the very different worlds of the dining room table and the bathroom. in bunuel's world it is not uncommon for its inhabitants to think it is bizarre to sit at a toilet while dining or to be discreet about when you have to eat. this cinematic symbolism is strong in its attack on middle class values. notice the topic of conversations (art, travel, the frustrations of public life), admonishment of vulgarity at the table, and the boy, girl seating arrangements--all things you would expect from bourgeois society. however, the pink elephant in the room are the characters seated on toilets, almost to suggest that bunuel is shitting (pardon the language) on this cultural norm and showing its (and so many others) inherent arbitrariness. although this film was made by europeans and filmed in parts of europe, there is a very american sensibility that permeates the film and particularly this scene. the puritanical aversion to the body and all of its excretions and the blind eye we turn to the degradation of the world around us all feels very american and current.

the scene is funny, sharp, and a witty look at the shit that we are not typically permitted to discuss but can in a bunuelian world.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

design hero: marc atlan

i'm in that bizarre transitional phase in my life where i'm trying to find my professional fit but develop and hold on to my morals, ideas, and sensibilities. to be perfectly honest, i would have never guessed that graphic design was the direction my professional life would be headed in. however, i have never shied away from my creativity and my appreciation of aesthetics. with that in mind, my love of fonts, colors, arrangement of phrases and images is a perfect match for graphic design work. i've learned that my aesthetic as a designer is simple, clean, and contemporary. i pull inspiration from a variety of places but unbeknownst to me, i have long been inspired my artist marc atlan. his strong, paired down designs have made prada, commes des garcons, and the helvetica font just a little bit sexier and more singular in the wide landscape of commercial design. if only i could be this good...

james perse storefront, march 2007

a.p.c. advertisement

helmut lang advertisement, 1999

find more of his beautiful work here.

my piano

hot chip, 'my piano'

i love this song.


one can never have too many t-shirts in my opinion and although i usually favor striped or solid color t-shirts, lately i have found myself giving into graphic tees. normally these t-shirts get in the way and i think reduce the impact of a t-shirt and jeans combination, but there's always an exception to the rule. 2k by gingham offers a vast array of unique t-shirts by graphic artists that are a little more aesthetically pleasing than those 'vintage' or 'graphic' t-shirts that you find at your local mall.

eyes without a face, wyeth hansen $35

untied head, geoff mcfetridge $35

hippie drawing, richard prince $35

you can find more here.

Monday, April 23, 2007

a tribute: helmut lang

michael (sporting the knit cap) and nicole colovos (the blonde),
creative dir. of helmut lang

i don't know why i do it to myself, but i couldn't help but online window shop for the luxury clothes that i so badly want but obviously cannot afford. i stumbled across some helmut lang pieces and it made me think of his influence on current fashion as well as my own style. i remember flipping through my dad's gq's in middle school and my eye was for one reason or another always drawn to the minimal and provocative designs of the austrian-born american designer. his dark and straight leg jeans were light years ahead of what i was even thinking at the time (cargo pants and mock turtlenecks from what i recall), but the ease and simplicity of those jeans as well as his bold blocks of color and sharp cuts have greatly effected my approach to fashion now. something simple and functional but refined just seems right in our world that is increasingly cluttered and messy.

famed for his precision and ability to mix the linear with the deconstructed, lang was one the leading minimalist designers of the late 1980s and 1990s. his influence can be seen in the sleek menswear lines for narciso rodriguez and alexnadre plokhov of the now defunct cloak. recently, he sold his brand to a japanese investment group and has abandoned fashion, in the design sense, but the label was recently reinvigorated with the husband and wife team of michael and nicole colovos taking the reigns as the new creative directors. breathing new life into the lang brand is no easy feat as his silhouette (lean and mean) and aesthetic (neutral tones and sportswear influences) are so identifiable, but as i found while searching, it's not so much a retread or a completely new look but rather an evolution of what struck me about lang's designs at such a young age. it's strong and urban and damned if i don't want all of these pieces...

bomber jacket, $655

straight leg trouser, $285

hooded anorak, $680

deep v-neck cardigan, $160

mercerized cotton jersey t-shirt, $105

to give you a better and more visual sense of the raw beauty of lang's vision, here are some videos of some of his last collections. horse hair accents, functional panels, couture details, and carine roitfeld! enjoy.

fall 2004

fall 2003

Sunday, April 22, 2007


bjork, 'wanderlust'
saturday night live

dang. i am whoa excited about this new album. and for those of you who do not know me, you should know i mean business when i use the words 'dang' and 'whoa'.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

out of sight

'out of sight'
dir., steven soderbergh

i've always thought steven soderbergh had an aversion to sex and eroticism in his films, although his debut film 'sex lies and videotape' is very much about sexual compulsion and obsession. we never get to see the goods in his films or get a sense that his characters are interested in the goods. that's not to say his characters are not sexual in an obvious sense or are completely devoid of sexuality, but with the exception of his first film, 'solaris' and 'out of sight', we're never treated to a world that is as sexy as his visual style. 'solaris' has some great moments of erotic tenderness between a husband and wife, but i think he succeeded the most in portraying a film brand of sex and eroticism in his terribly overlooked 1998 film, 'out of sight.' soderbergh has always had deft eye for casting whether it be a group of homely locals in 'bubble' or the most contemporary charismatic leading men in the 'oceans' series. he gets it perfectly in 'out of sight' with the nubile hardness of jennier lopez (pre-j.lo/bennifer/marc anthony) and the smoldering power of george clooney. it's a fierece cat and mouse game throughout the film as we watch u.s. marshall lopez chase down bank robber clooney. these kinds of films don't exist much more anymore. films built on thin premises in which men and women hunt each other (literally) and create a slow burn of heat and tension along the way. i can see traces of 'the thomas crown affair' and every bogie and bacall movie. the fight for power and who's on top (literally) translates so perfectly to film that when done right, the film crackles with chemistry.

watch these two characters pause from their goals of arresting and escaping to indulge in a brief moment together. the dialogue is punchy and almost how us normal human beings don't speak but in a perfect world we wish we could. soderbergh ingeniously cross cuts the hotel bar conversation with the eventual tryst in the hotel room. this technique further enhances the power of tension between the two characters. i also love the freeze frames of lopez's face, knees, and hands as if this is literally a filmic pause where not only do we see the characters take an intermission of sorts but also the film itself. the lighting of twinkling snowflakes and handheld cinematography gives the scene a sense of freedom but romanticism (it is their first time together). take notice that the film implicates them as equals by framing them on opposing sides of the frame or cutting back and forth between their closeups. they are one in the same--complicated people after a single goal (hers to arrest, his to steal). when they finally do meet at the end of the scene it is beyond sexy.

this is a masterclass in creating heat on screen.


brazil's official drink is my new official drink. it's rare to find a bartender who can make it but if such an informed person exists, i urge you to order it and savor every last tart and sweet drop.

1 lime quartered
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 shot of cachaca
1/2 cup of ice cubes with water

place the lime and sugar in the bottom of a glass. using the handle of a wooden spoon, crush and mash the limes. pour the liqueur and ice. stir well.

cachaca is comparable to rum, but rum is typically distilled from molasses juice and cachaca is distiled from sugar cane juice. it's perfect for warm weather and happy hours with brazilian supermodels.

Monday, April 16, 2007

swimming pool

lately i've been having thoughts of electric fans, margaritas, and swimming pools. perhaps this is a signal that i am ready for summer more than i usually care to be. i typically loathe summer, especially with the oppressive humidity of the ohio river valley area. however, this summer i am most excited about finding a grown up job, getting an apartment, and fully realizing my sexy potential as a young professional adult. with all of that mind, the thing that i am actually looking forward to is lounging pool side and taking much needed dips to cool off from the kentucky heat. i do own one pair of swim trunks but they're old and balloon when i get in and out of the water. i tried on some at h&m this weekend, but they were either cut too short or came in a disappointing array of prints and dull colors. i have accepted that my body type is probably best suited for a board short, but two things i am resisting: voluminous cargo pockets and the color white. the cargo pockets have that ballooning effect and for a piece that is intended for a functional purpose, i see it as having very little function. maybe when you're 15 and you need to carry your i.d. to get into the public pool, but those pockets can carry an excess amount of water and cause that retched squishing sound as you make your way off to the relieving shade. i also think the color white would tarnish and become dingy as the summer progresses. i don't swim much, but when i do i would want my swim trunks to retain some quality.

naturally, my tastes first lead me to a beautiful pair of marni swim trunks that i noticed in the ny times mens spring fashion magazine. they're $255 and as a result will never be in my possession (it is nice to dream). i did use the flaterring color and interesting print as point of reference and inspiration for my eventual future purchase. i've been eying the following...

breakwater boardshorts in navy
$14.99, available at target

original penguin astro man volley trunks in mediaeval blue
$51.99, available at

volcom broadcast mod boardshort in gun metal
$64.00, available at

Sunday, April 15, 2007

killer of sheep

'killer of sheep'
dir. & wir., charles burnett

i read an article in the ny times a week or so ago about charles burnett and his recently unearthed masterpiece , 'killer of sheep.' shot on a modest budget and starring unprofessional actors, the film offers a poetic portrait of life in watts, california in the 1970s. praised for its realism and technical brio, 'killer of sheep' was an auspicious debut that was selected by the national film registry for preservation but has only been seen on the festival circuit or grateful college campuses. the film was in release limbo due to the uncleared rights to the contemporary music burnett used in the film. the rights have finally been cleared, thanks to a ucla film grant and the hefty pockets of steven soderbergh (more reason to be endeared by him), and the film has garnered a release in theaters around the country. however, it's a limited run and i doubt it will come anywhere near louisville, but a dvd release is planned for the fall.

i'm eager to see this film for many reasons. burnett made the film during a unique time in "black cinema" when pimps, prostitutes, and afroed sex objects pervaded the screen in the somewhat regressive genre, blaxploitation. most of these films put blacks in leading roles, but their perspective of black life in america was either never treated as a viable topic or something on the periphery hinted at only by its unconscious subtext. burnett's film, so it seems, aimed to explore black life as something more humane and less hyperbolic. a family and a community portrayed in all of its dramas and banalities was more of interest for burnett than reinforcing or creating a stereotype. one could also argue that it's not so much a black story, but an american story. black representation has always been complicated in hollywood and it makes you (or more specifically, me) think of where we are currently with the "black experience" on film. yes, we are seeing more people of color win awards and star in more mainstream hollywood fare, but what are these films revealing about being black in a post-civil rights, post-9/11, and post-y2k america or should they even dare approach the subject? it's almost impossible to capture the experience of a group of people on film because of the inevitable cultural generalizing, but it is of some worth and weight in art to express the personal experience of belonging (or not belonging, for that matter) to a group. it seems burnett achieved this and now we are lucky enough to be apart of his world for 81 minutes.

listen to this npr interview about burnett and his influences, the importance of his work, and its lasting impact on american cinema.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

feist: a video tribute

'one evening', dir. george vale

'mushaboom', dir. patrick daughters

'1234', dir. patrick daughters

if only real life were so vibrant and whimsical. it also doesn't hurt that i have a little crush on her.

i'm really looking forward to her new album, 'the reminder.' the lead single 'my moon my man' and the cover art are equally charming.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

le ballon rouge

i recently listened to an edition of bbc radio's film programme and the host, francine stock, had a discussion about films that were life-altering or shaped the way we experience and live in the world. she read some responses from her viewers and talked with oscar winning screenwriter julian fellows about the films that such made an indelible imprint on their lives. the responses were heartfelt and showed the genuine profundity that movies have on our culture.

it got me thinking about what movie either changed my life or was the catalyst for what is now my passion for the cinemas. it took awhile, but i started thinking about the films that really moved me as a child. scorsese has said italian neo-realism films and hollywood musicals from the 1930s forever molded his cinematic sensibility and spielberg has never been shy about his early love affair with cecil b. demille's 'the greatest show on earth' and john ford's 'the searchers.' it's interesting that at a young age art can leave such a lasting impression. i think the first film i saw in the theater was tim burton's 'batman.' i remember it being big, exciting, and dark. however, if i were to credit one movie with having a significant influence over me it has to be albert lamorisse's 'le ballon rouge.' it's a stunning short film that i watched sometime in the fourth or fifth grade in my spanish class. it wasn't unusual to me that we were watching a french film in a spanish class, but it was unusual to me that something as simple as a movie without dialogue about a child obsessed with a toy could be so poignant and articulate about what it means to be a child. formally it's breathtaking in its subtlety that is perfectly aligned with the kind of cinema i typically enjoy now as a young adult. it's a wonderful and impressionistic tale about innocent infatuation, loss, and joy from the prospective of a child. something as simple as a red balloon can bring such untamed happiness to a person. that kind of optimism is still relevant for me and i think for the world. it is easy for others to often misunderstand us, therefore when we connect with something that does not judge us and reciprocates us, it easy to understand why the film resonated on such a strong level with me. perhaps we should follow our red balloon and rejoice when we magically float into our own utopia.

for your viewing pleasure, here is the somber but sublime masterpiece that forever changed my life...
pt. 1
pt. 2
pt. 3
pt. 4

'le ballon rouge'
dir., albert lamorisse

what film changed your life?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

lost in translation

'lost in translation'
dir. & wri., sofia coppola

this scene needs little explanation. its silent beauty is captivating, riveting, and perfectly expressive of sofia coppola's isolated and lost heroine. lance accord's dreamy cinematography and the restrained prettiness of air's 'alone in kyoto' only add to this moving scene about what it means to long for something that you're not and struggle to find out who you truly are.

watch and you'll know why i think this is the best american film of the past five years.

song of the week

bjork, 'earth intruders'

after the misstep of his new solo album, i was a bit concerned about timbaland's future plans for 2007. although he is working with m.i.a. and missy elliott on their new albums that are both slated for release this year, i was afraid of the train wreck that could ensue with perhaps his greatest challenge yet--bjork. however, after listening to lead single 'earth intruders', from her forthcoming album 'volta', i cannot help but feel the same sense of elation i did about a year ago when i heard what i thought was his strongest and most left-field collaboration yet with nelly furtado's brilliant and still catchy single 'promiscuous'. 'earth intruders' is lyrically aggressive and sonically bombastic, bouncy, and rhythmic--a perfect marriage between bjork's personal style and timbaland's production genius. i read an interview some time ago that timbaland said it's his eventual goal to own top 40 and music in general. he's not to far off with his deft and funky ability to produce some of the best popular music of the past decade.

'earth intruders' is now available on itunes and the album is expected to drop may 8.

"I flew straight from [Indonesia] to New York and met with Timbaland, who got a private jet or something and met me in the studio," Björk said. "So it was like two extreme kinds of worlds. And I'm not criticizing him, I mean, good for him, I can understand it's a totally different's really hard to put into words.

"'Earth Intruders' was the first beat he [Timbaland] put on, and it just all came up, that sort of fantasy that maybe a tsunami of people would just come and hit the White House and scrape it off the ground and do some justice and spread these people all around the planet...

"I could see all these people in Indonesia that lost everything just kind of coming up, and everybody in Africa-- because they were asking me to go there and fight, to be one of the people to address AIDS-- just seeing those people, one sees pictures, but then meeting them is something else. Just a wave of people."--bjork on 'earth intruders'
courtesy of pitchforkmedia

Monday, April 9, 2007

slawomir idziak

i had the distinct pleasure this morning to take in krzysztof kieslowski's 'double of veronique.' the natural and sensual performance of irene jacob, the themes of identity and reflection, and the rousing score culminated in an experience that is still stirring in my mind. its magic and rhythmic beauty, in my humble opinion, are largely due to the enigmatic imagery cinematographer slawomir idziak splashes across the screen. through the use of filters, unusual framing, and expert lighting, idziak envisions cinematic worlds that resonate and burn into your mind.

here are a few of my favorite films...

double life of veronique
dir., krzysztof kieslowski

hues of gold and yellow illuminate the film's heroin to maximum effect and the use of a shocking neon green evoke the green hitchcock so brilliantly conveyed in his meditation on identity, 'vertigo.' the upside down opening shot and love scene filmed through transparent ball are not to be missed.

dir., krzysztof kieslowski

i've never seen the color blue captured so vividly and appropriately than in this film. we watch juliette binoche's character recover from a devastating accident, but it's only enhanced with aching and electric shades of cobalt and blueberry. the quiet intensity of juliette binoche in a swimming pool never seems to fade from memory.

dir., andrew niccol

a terribly underrated film that projects his vision into the future. themes of isolation, identity, and segregation were palpable and potent in this gorgeously lensed film. noirish lighting techniques matched with rays of radium green still linger in those incredible shots of a smoldering uma thurman and stark mid-century inspired art direction.

i neglected to find a clip on youtube that would do his work justice, therefore i urge you to check out his oeuvre and understand the beauty and power of his work.

Friday, April 6, 2007


esquire magazine would have you believe that louisville has a "staid restaurant scene", but i beg to differ. granted, it's not a niche oriented market like every major metropolis in the country or a smorgasbord of chain restaurants like most small towns. i have evangelically referred everyone i know to the simple but scrumptious delights of toast (i more or less inhaled their meatball sandwich the otehr day at lunch), but i have discovered yet another mouth watering restaurant worthy of praise and repeated bites.

havana rumba is a cuban restaurant with a sultry but inviting ambiance and food that justifies its bustling crowds. you can expect white rice and black beans, fried plantains, and vegetables and meats seasoned and roasted to perfection. i started at the bar with a caipirinha, which is my new favorite drink that i cannot pronounce. it's was a potent blend of brazilian cachaca with lime and sugar. at dinner, i tried their equally strong and tart ultimate lime margarita (i know, i go to a cuban restaurant and don't get a mojito. sue me.). the margarita complimented my dinner, the vaca frita. white rice, black beans, grilled vegetables, plantains, shredded beef and a touch of lime juice was an appropriate introduction to their menu as this was my first time. the bill wasn't hefty in the least bit (around $20) and i enjoyed every bit of my meal. the service was friendly and not slow even though they were busy. places such as these a great find in what seems like an expanding palette in louisville. it's food without pretense and doesn't hurt the pocket.

trust me, havana rumba is not to be missed.

check out their menu and tell your belly to be quiet.

spring bling

i walked into the gap for the first time in well over a month. i had not been moved to set foot in there as a result of their big campaign (scroll to bottom of page) for beige. bleh. spring is full of pops of color and lightness, not heavy cargo pants and safari inspired tops. however, i went in today, on a whim, and was thoroughly impressed. shots of cobalt blue and evergreen were contrasted with shades of creams and steely greys. stripes, light cottons, and layering pieces were in abundance. with all of that in mind, i was immediately drawn to these bad boys...

i've been looking for a pair of white slip ons and these are perfect. unfortunately, vans does not make half sizes after twelves, so i thought my chances of comfortable white slip ons were non-existent, but much to my surprise these shoes fit and have a greater attention to detail than the vans. i love the touches of chocolate and bamboo color in the contrasting stitching around the shoe and the palm print on the inside of sole. they're comfortable and exactly what i had in mind.

i also couldn't help but to indulge in their blow out sale. i picked up a white short sleeve henley, periwinkle and gunmetal grey striped t-shirt, crew neck t-shirt in dandelion, and a heather grey and butter horizontally stripped v-neck t-shirt. i am generally in love with heather grey in any form, but i especially cannot resist it when paired with the right color and any shade of yellow just seems right for spring. my lovely and oh so stylish friends at gold digger noticed the beauty of mixing the neutrality of gray with the sweet jolt of yellow. i also noticed it a while back after stealing inspiration from the casual coolness of proenza schouler designer jack mcollough (pic left).

although he's doing it in white and yellow, i think you catch my drift.

i managed to get all of these pieces for under $40 and i was allowed to bop along to beck's 'new pollution' and the shins 'sea legs' during this surprising and satisfying shopping excursion (kudos to the music supervisor at gap, inc. as both songs have a warmth and ease to them that evoke thoughts of spring).

now, if only it would warm up a litte bit.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

robot rock

daft punk

excuse the trailer happy entries (weightier matters will be address in future posts), but i cannot stop watching the trailer for daft punk's feature film 'electroma'. it's haunting, hypnotic, and elusive--much like their image and music. i'm uncertain of plot details and to be honest i don't care. this looks like some weird wim wenders/david lynch/art project/film experiment and i'm totally into it. it debuted at cannes last year and has appeared at midnight screenings in paris, but there isn't a release date for the film in this country. let's all say a collective prayer that our eyes and senses will be able to experience this seemingly oddball but captivating work of art.

to hold us over, here are some of my favorite daft punk moments...

'around the world', dir. michel gondry

gap commercial feat. 'digital love' & juliette lewis, dir. paul hunter

pyramid light show/performance of 'da funk'
coachella music festival 2006

daft punk are touring this summer with the rapture no less (i'm getting sweaty just thinking about it), but naturally they are coming nowhere near the ohio river valley. i heard the coachella performance was akin to a religious experience and if only they would come a little closer than colorado and nyc. their videos are mind melting enough, but i think to truly experience their music seeing them live would be ideal.

puppy love

'year of the dog'
dir. & wri., mike white

"Molly Shannon's bittersweet portrayal of its lonely canine-loving heroine [...] makes for a satisfyingand funny, if ironic, comedy intended for lovers of both the beast and/or sophisticated laughs."--john anderson, variety

this movie screams sundance indie (well, it is), but i'm sure with the delightful and hilarious vulnerability of its leading lady and the never overreaching quirkiness of its writer/director, this could be an appealing movie to keep an eye on as one of the more unique films of the year. molly shannon has always been watchable and funny whether it be her supporting roles in sofia coppola's 'marie antoinette' or as a licensed joyologist on 'saturday night live', thus it should be interesting to watch her transition into a role that requires shades of depth and range in the quietly strange but comic world of mike white (see 'chuck and buck' and 'the good girl'). oh yeah, peter sarsgarrd plays an asexual dog trainer in the film. that should reason enough to see it.

check out this ny times article article on her and you'll learn that shannon's life has been as interesting as her career.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

the long and the short of it

i love a good challenge. this past weekend i sported my favorite bermuda-style shorts every night with varying tops to diversify the power of shorts at night. it seems like a faux pas because of its inherent casual appeal, but with the season warming up it makes sense to wear something functional and that breathes. my shorts hit just above the knee and are cut flat front style in an extremely durable and stain resistant cotton (with a coin pocket no less!) from the gap that i picked up a few summers ago on sale for $11. they're comfortable and simple but when worn the right way it's a welcomed surprise to a sea of covered and warm legs.

my favorite way to interpret them is worn with a long top or light jacket. proportion intrigues me because it's typically so restrained when it comes to what we think of practical mens wear, but when given an opportunity to experiment and redefine, proportion can have maximum impact on a look. in theory it sounds impractical, but when a slim pair of shorts is paired with a light long sleeve t-shirt or button down there is an expression of ease that is necessary for balmy and sultry temperatures (like this damn unpredictable ohio river valley heat and humidity). you can also toss those socks aside because to me this look makes the most sense minus socks and a great pair of sneakers.

i only have the gap shorts in navy and khaki, but thank goodness for urban outfitters and their fine and afforable selection...

volcom friggin' slim chino short in gunmetal, $58

fink sonic seersucker short in light blue/ocean, $44

volcom dorado cut-off stripe short in black, $64

inspirations behind the look:
rag & bone

narciso rodriguez

patrick ervell