Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

that girl


"Thunder Perfect Mind"
dir., Jordan and Ridley Scott
2005

This may seem kind of late, but this 2005 short film that doubles as a sly perfume ad for Prada is as smart, charming, and attractive as its star, Canadian supermodel Daria Werbowy. A good way to start out a Tuesday morning, right?

les deux

Irina Kulikova, Kasia Struss, Clement Chabernaud & Douglas Jewell for Jil Sander photographed by Willy Vandeperre


Raf Simons continues to propel his sharply bare approach at Jil Sander with these advertisements for the fall collection. There's something very different about the new look for the label. The leather, the pairs, the subtle hint of some form of aberrant sexuality. What does it all mean? Much like the discreet tailoring and unwavering minimalist palette, perhaps the secret to the meaning of these ads are in the strengths of the clothes. If only we could all afford it.

P.S., Irina K. has somewhat of an interesting discovery story. She's a little bird looking, wouldn't you say? But I think that's a big trend for women this fall.

photos courtesy of the fashion spot

red punch

Two-button well tailored blazer? Check.
White collar shirt that has been all over menswear for fall? Check.
Dash of subtle color in the sock? Check.

The choice of red sock is killer. I want a pair of fire engine red, kelly green, and cobalt blue socks more than words can express. I've seen some here and there, but none quite as right as the one pictured above. The search will continue and although I am not Swedish, perhaps the effect will be just as striking and stylish.

photo courtesy of the sartorialist

Monday, August 27, 2007

first look: beowulf


"Beowulf"
dir., Robert Zemeckis
2007

This R-rated trailer still does not get me excited about this potential mess. Why does Zemeckis feel it necessary to make his actors look like video game versions of themselves? Why does Angelina Jolie think she can pull off vaguely European accents? Why is this his follow up to "The Polar Express"? So many questions for a movie that looks positively empty and bloated on studio dollars.

young folks

I try to keep this blog as focused as possible but from time to time it does stray a little bit and tiny morsels about me are revealed along the way. I try not to be so intentionally elusive and mysterious, but I think pontificating about Bunuel or Hilary Rhoda's eyebrows is far more interesting than updates about my little life. However, I have been relatively absent for a while due to intense planning for what was an event beyond belief. I have officially lived in my new apartment for a little over a month and what better way to celebrate than by throwing a late night soiree? Friends, co-workers, and the assorted beautiful people made their way through my new place and noshed on everything from stuffed portabella mushrooms, sushi, fresh pico de gallo, brie, bruschetta, and of course, cupcakes. Naturally dancing ensued and I think a good time was had by all, but the party was a true success when two silly ideas were well executed. One: "La Dolce Vita", "Marie Antoinette", and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" screening on mute as music (Daft Punk, Isaac Hayes, Serge Gainsbourg, and Prince just to name a few) played in the background, inspiring us to party a little harder along the way. Two: A lovely wall of lights framing the partygoers, bathing them in a sexy glow. Highlights:



Even though they're all a little blurry and off, that in a way perfectly describes the evening. I can't say it enough but I thank everyone who came and contributed to an evening of good food, good drinks, and good times. What more can you ask for?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

dark city

Gisele Bundchen for Yves Saint Laurent
photographed by Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

CORRECTION: This is the sexiest ad of the season.

For more click here.

first look: i'm not there pt. 2


"I'm Not There"
dir., Todd Haynes
2007

Can we assume this is clearly the most iconoclastic movie of the year?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

coming home

I'm still mulling over how I felt about "The Bourne Ultimatum", but I will say it's exactly the brand of "pop pleasure" (so says Manohla Dargis) you want from a big studio summer blockbuster. A full rumination on the film will come soon, but I am still numb from the sight of one of the best fight scenes I've ever seen in a film. I won't reveal too much but it takes places in Tangier and a book is involved. I thought the fight scene from the previous film was exquisite enough, but the one in the new film between Jason Bourne and an operative sent to kill him makes you forget about the other one or any other fight scene for that matter. It's tense, no holds barred, and rapturous to watch. Go see it but until then remind yourself of that great fight scene from the last film:

first look: american gangster


"American Gangster"
dir., Ridley Scott
2007

I know I'm not supposed to like a Ridley Scott film ("Blade Runner" being the exception), but some things about this trailer make me want to see this:
1. This looks somewhat inspired by "Black Caesar", one of my favorite blaxploitation films.
2. A Jay-Z song used in a period film. Genius.
3. Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

the animals come out at night

It's always a pain when a beloved film in one's DVD collection is re-released in the form of a beefed up special edition set. One of the more recent releases that I might have to consider re-purchasing is Martin Scorsese's meditation on late 70s New York madness as personified by the wacked out Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro) in "Taxi Driver." The new two-disc edition features new commentaries from screenwriter Paul Schrader, film scholar Robert Kolker, as well as new documentaries about the making of the film, its lasting influence, and a discussion of the themes the film presents.

The genius of "Taxi Drives" lies in its ability to allow Travis to spew all of his post-Vietnam misplaced self-hatred and self-inflicted insecurities at the screen in such a way that the film is a jolting and disturbing look at a man disgusted by the modern world with all of its filth and trash, literally and figuratively, but too naive and too far gone to manifest his feelings of rage and repulsion in a less violent way. It's the grit of the city that is too much for Travis. The decline of a civilization troubles him beyond comprehension and yet he derives enjoyment from crusty pornography theaters, befriends an underage prostitute, and involves himself with an industry that forces him to view his decaying environment. Cinematographer Michael Chapman paints slashes of blood red, dingy browns, and hot bolts of neon that conjure up the heat and deterioration of a violent man trapped in a world that he doesn't understand or maybe even belongs. Below is one of my favorite scenes that manages to encompass what's like to be Travis in all of its confusion and chaos. The ominous voice-over, the seductive Bernand Herrman score, the tight editing, and those incredible shots of the taxi cab covered in dots of rain never leave you. It's a cinematic celebration that culminates into something purely beautiful but displays something terrifyingly ugly.

slim pickin's


Stretch Onewash, Cheap Monday $65

This gives skinny jeans a bad name. There is nothing wrong with a razor-sharp, long, and lean silhouette on the bottom but this model looks woefully uncomfortable. I fear for his genitals and whomever has to help him out of these jeans. This also let's us know the assumption all denim is created equally for men is an egregious misnomer because my lower half is similar to that model (muscular quads, a slightly noticeable bottom, skinny to average calves) and there wouldn't be a fitting chance in hell that I could fit in those jeans or be remotely comfortable. And why should I be? Isn't the point of clothing to compliment our shape and allow us to freely move in the world around us? Cheap Monday, you may lure your narrow-hipped customers in with your inexpensive prices and Swedish cache, but what kind of sadomasochist needs these jeans?

Monday, August 13, 2007

autumn in the ville

It's that time of the year again when all of those sweat soaked clothes from the summer are soon to be retired in favor of layers, jackets, and all things I love about fall. For summer I did my best impression of the boys in "City of God" with bermuda-style shorts, slip ons without socks, and an oozy as my choice accessory. For fall I'm thinking of maturing that look into something a little more grown up but with the same youthful comfort and relaxed casualness. Think John Forsythe in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Trouble with Harry", shades of eggplant at DKNY; grey at Calvin Klein; and graphic black and white at Narciso Rodriguez, the preppy Band of Outsiders polaroids, and the minimalist style of Raf Simons. Here are some pieces that might help me realize my vision:

*Cotton/Silk blend vest, Gap $39.50
*Premium Slim Fit Striped Shirt, Gap $49.50
*Alan Striped Shirt, Gap $39.50
*Stock University Cardigan in Maroon/Black, Urban Outfitters $48.00
*D Collection Asymmetrical Zip Hoodie in Black, Urban Outfitters $68.00
*Cotton-cashmere pinstripe vest in Navy, J. Crew $55.00
*Unisex Acrylic Striped Scarf in Navy/Red, American Apparel $28
*Wallabee Boot, Clark's $125.00
*Slim Straight 514™ Jeans in Grey Dawn, Levi's $58.00

The Standbys I currently own:
*Flat front cotton trousers in Grey, Stinky Rat by Marc Jacobs
*Cashmere crew neck sweater in Navy, Express
*Striped V-Neck merino wool sweater in Oxblood and Red, H&M
*Golfer's Jacket in Grey, Penguin by Munsingwear

And I might have a go again with a vest and fedora. I managed to find a fedora I liked for summer, but with the crisp air approaching it would be wise to find a wool or herringbone piece that keeps my noggin nice and toasty. As for the vest, I'm not sure I can do it justice quite like The Timberlake, but damned if I won't try.

What do else do we have our eye on for fall?

Oh and if you couldn't tell already, Gap has a slammin' early fall selection. Seriously. The clothes are something to covet as it gets cooler and the print ads are a definite upgrade from the washout beige thing they did this past summer. I wonder what they could possibly do for their television ads. This could be a good start:

Spike Jones's little-seen advertisement that's subversive and yet a wicked homage to a declining brand (hopefully, not for too long) that captured a moment in time.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

the end

Only dear old Marty could put it into words how I wanted to say it. Click here for his wonderful tribute to Michelangelo Antonioni in The New York Times.

the reviews are in

I have never been a fan of Claire Danes but it seems she's getting a lot of slighty unfair and harsh criticism from The New York Times film critics. She is an average presence, I suppose, but out of all the actresses to pick on, why her? Can't the wooden limitations of Jessica Alba or the desperation of Jessica Biel be on the receiving end of this kind of hatred:

"The most glaring of several mistakes in casting is Ms. Danes’s charm-free Yvaine, a cranky older version of her teenage character on the television series 'My So-Called Life.' Even after Yvaine mellows and warms to Tristan, who discovers her in a crater and becomes her protector, Ms. Danes has a distracting habit of scrunching her features into a scowl unbefitting a supernatural heroine who aspires to live happily ever after. At a certain point you may find yourself imagining how much better “Stardust” might have been with Gwyneth Paltrow in the role."--Stephen Holden on her new film, "Stardust"

And then there's the review for "Evening":
"Among other things, Ms. Danes looks agonizingly uncomfortable, as she now often does on screen."--Manohla Dargis

Watch the ragingly underrated "Shopgirl" for evidence of what I think is an actress with the means to command an impressive performance.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

strike a pose


Gisele Bundchen posing for the cover
of the September 2007 issue of Vanity Fair


There's something very 2000 about this when Gisele was the end all be all of supermodels. Interesting to think who are the big girls now (Sasha, Stam, Gemma, Coco, etc.), and at one time this leggy Brazilian reigned the industry with her refreshing and not so skeletal beauty.

Another reason to pick up the Style Issue is an amusing story about the L.A. club scene boys that bed all the Hollywood bad girls. Excerpts from Nancy Jo Sales's "I'm With Her!":

The leader of the pack:
"This party in April at Club LAX is called Banana Split, and Lindsay is its cherry—the biggest star in the room and hence the object of some speculation, even among the type of arty party kids who get their gossip from Nylon in lieu of The National Enquirer.
'You think that's really water in there?' a flat-eyed club girl asks me, watching Lindsay drink clear liquid from a plastic bottle.

The suspicious waif is repeating tabloidian claims that Lindsay has been sneaking spirits—something Lindsay has denied.

She got out of an L.A. rehab called Wonderland in January; in May she'll enter Promises in Malibu.

Her father got out of a New York prison called the Collins Correctional Facility in March (he did 22 months for attempted assault and D.U.I.). Her mother has recently been seen posing in a fashion magazine, declaring, 'If you can button it and clip it when you're in your 40s, you're going out!'

And now Lindsay's coming over to me, looking a bit edgy.
'Who are you writing for, honey?' she demands, smoky-voiced, spotting my notepad.
She's va-va-voom beautiful, but looks like she could use a night off.
I tell her, and ask why she cares.

'I'm sorry,' she then says sweetly, shaking her long dyed-platinum locks. 'It's just people can be so mean. See, I'm not working right now, so I'm just having fun for the next two weeks until I start working again, and things can get so misconstrued and people can be such liars—'"

This is exactly how I'd imagine them to be:
"I'm surprised to see Nicole when she walks into glammy, dark, and cavernous Teddy's with Joel, one night in April, when he and I have an appointment. She wasn't supposed to come, but it's nice that she did.

She looks incredible. She looks … like Paris. It's a dazzling sort of magic trick, the way Nicole, 25, has transformed herself into this chic gamine—tonight in a little black dress and five-inch heels.

'What's up, bitch,' I say, adopting her Simple Life lingo.
'What's up, bitch,' she says flatly.

She immediately orders French fries. The rumors of her eating disorder are dispelled. Joel orders a burger and a drink. He's the quintessential Lord, dressed in his usual black, his arms laced with tattoos, his hair studiedly spiky. He's 28.We talk about L.A. nightlife and what's hot. 'It's all about the freshest kids,' says Joel, enthusiastic. 'The 19-year-old dude at like, Cinespace"—another Steve Aoki/Dim Mak hangout—'who has the freshest sneakers he made himself, some crazy scarf he made, and you're like, That kid's fresh! That's what it's all about right now.'

Nicole listens, grinning her inscrutable frown-grin. I ask her if she liked Good Charlotte before meeting Joel. (They say they met 'through a friend.')
'No,' she says. 'I'd never heard of them.'
'She likes classic rock,' offers Joel.
'I like the Doors,' says Nicole.
'Do you like Good Charlotte?,' I ask her.
'Now I do,' she says.
Joel throws a heavy arm around her.
She frown-grins.
I ask if it's true they're engaged.
Joel says, 'No, no, no.'
Nicole shakes her head.
Nobody says anything for a long minute.

I think this one is my favorite:
"Before Morton, Lindsay dated Stavros Niarchos, the floppy-haired Greek shipping heir best known for also dating the anorexia-surviving Olsen twin (Mary-Kate) and Paris, who was in his car the night he was stopped by cops in L.A. for driving erratically, and delivered his signature line, 'Baby, I'm fucking scaring myself!'"

Makes you feel good about having a college degree, right? For more click here.

first look: be kind rewind


"Be Kind Rewind"
dir., Michel Gondry
2007

The whimsy of Michel Gondry never ceases to amaze.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

the final frontier: sunshine

In the future it won't be the presence of the sun that will kill us but the absence that will end our days in what could be a frosty deep freeze. However, an attractive group of people could save us as they do in Danny Boyle's latest film, "Sunshine." Establishing himself as a director not concerned with career-defining genre or a permanent parking space on a Hollywood lot, Boyle has crafted an eclectic melange of films ranging from the sublime "Trainspotting", feverish "28 Days Later", and the charming "Millions", that are imbued with a deeply working class British background and a film lovers aesthetic. Each of his films have a personal point of view as well as a specific look, mood, and tone, making each film that much more disparate and malleable to his talents. That's not to say there isn't some connective tissue that binds his work. Compulsion, addiction, and a world bent on moral decay are recognizable dots that can be connected throughout his just over a decade career; "Sunshine" is no different. As Capa (Cillian Murphy) so listlessly announces at the beginning of the film, "Our sun is dying", Boyle suggests that in the current hysteria of global warming, what if in fact the thing that might kills us dies out on its own and what are we left with?

The first image of the film is that glowing ball of energy and heat. Its come-hither allure begs for an intense gaze but if we absorb its luminescence for too long it can easily turn on us and rob us of our vision, blinding us to the other beauties that it illuminates and often shrouds. A United Colors of Bennetton-esque (Murphy, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, Cliff Curtis, and Hiroyuki Sanada) crew navigates through the infinite wonderland of space in 2057, inching closer to the son to drop a bomb that would revive the dying son with a new burst of life in the form of a new star that would shed light on the otherwise frozen Earth. The crew's psychologist, Searle (Curtis), is possessed by the dangerous beauty, tanning him more and more and thus harming his skin and eyesight in the process similar to the sadomasochistic ritual many Americans put themselves through at the local tanning bed. I'm not sure when it became in vogue culturally to abandon paleness in favor of a faux crispy brown as if one has been soaking in the actual rays of the typically oppressive sun, but we are also a culture growing more and more fearful of the sun and its hazardous effects on our health, environment, and economy with more initiatives to control and lull global warming. The sun is a drug for Searle and for many of us that sickness will never subside as long as the sun exists.

That sickness drives the narrative into a polarizing climax that will definitely have you talking or guessing, depending on your suspension of disbelief. It also breathes a bizarre beauty into the film that is mostly filled with hot shades of radium green, space age blue, and fiery orange. Boyle and cinematographer Alwin H. Kuchler fill the screen with strokes of abstract fury that creates a trippy ambiance. Standouts include an unusual close-up of Harvey (Troy Garity) leaning into a beam of light to listen to a audio file suggesting they are not the only ones in space, a white hot room lace with the bloody strains of a crew member while 3D birds chirp in the background, and the thrilling climatic fight scene that appears to be smudged like a snuff film. The visual sumptuousness will be burned into your memory for sometime, regardless of whether or not you choose to accept the much-talked about last third act genre switch from intelligent science fiction/metaphysical drama to creepy horror film. Boyle is adept at horror ("28 Days Later" finale) but an unforeseen foe propels the action into an odd and head scratching direction that makes you wonder if it were at all necessary for Boyle to shift gears so late in the game without any reason or rationale. Boyle's consistent vision and attitude about the future, the environment, the world-at-large, and all the great things that make speculative fiction work so well on film are there but maybe much like the sun in the film, Boyle lost some of his reliable energy along the way.

"Sunshine" is worth viewing mostly to escape the other wise redundant and dismal offerings at the summer box office. It's uncompromising, difficult, and not for everyone, which makes it a perfect mid-summer morsel to chew on and discuss for days.

the weather outside is frightful...

Although it's topping over 100 degrees this week, I can't help but start thinking about what I want to wear for fall and winter. Last year I wore lots of layers, henleys, cardigans, and black jeans. What to do this year? Hmmm. Well, this Martin Margiela cashmere sweater is certainly a start. Unfortunately my income doesn't allow me the privilege of owning such a luxury item, but I do like the idea of navy, quality knits, and turtlenecks. A full report on what I want, and can mostly afford, is coming soon.

Navy cashmere turtleneck by Martin Margiela, $775

quiet down i need to make a sound

There's so much to love about the lovely M.I.A.. Bitch, Please articulates it in just the right way, so I can only provide further evidence of the genius of one music's most honest, bold, and beautiful specimens.

"Jimmy"
M.I.A.

Brazen funk-dancehall-pop-MC-warrior turned Bollywood pin-up? I'll follow M.I.A.'s lead any day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

it's pronounced mew mew

Laetitia Casta for Miu Miu Fall 2007


How do you follow up a major ad campaign starring Lindsay Blohan? You cast a real woman and let her give the clothes a hushed sexiness. Approved.

courtesy of oh no they didn't

at least it's not ella-ella-eh


"Don't Stop the Music"
Rihanna
dir., Rihanna (no, that's not a typo)
2007

Zzzzzzzzzz. I bet that sample was not cheap and it's the only thing that is remotely appealing about the song. And surprise, surprise Rihanna is no Mark Romanek.

magic stick


"Ayo Technology"
50 Cent feat. Justin Timberlake
dir., Joseph Kahn
2007

What's with these incredibly expensive look rap videos that don't amount to much? The only thing that is somewhat exciting about this song is that it does sound very different for a 50 cent song as does the new brilliant Kanye West Daft Punk homage, "Stronger"; I'm eager to see which one will push their album to the finish when they both release their albums on September 11.

And for pure visual delight, we look back to a time when music videos were daring and on par with something that had the possibility to be considered high art.

"Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See"
Busta Rhymes
dir., Hype Williams
1997

"Coming to America" references, Bootsy Collins influences, and day-glo soaked tribal dance sequences? That's how you make a music video.

Monday, August 6, 2007

"Ashley wonders if you want a Starbucks?"

Ashley Olsen on the September 2007 cover of Marie-Claire


I can't remember the last time I read a full celebrity profile in a glossy publication, but I was completely engrossed in the world of burgeoning sex bomb/media tycoon Ashley Olsen. Although I love the wild grunge baby that is her twin sister, Ashley has always struck me as the sexier, smarter, and more fashionable one. I hate to say one is more desirable than the other but with Ashley I imagine an evening of dinner at Mr. Chow's, a Fassbinder film at her townhouse, and making out in the alley behind Bungalow 8. Any objections? Nope, didn't think so. Here are some choice quotes that make Ashley seem like she has a sense of humor and she's a young woman in control of her image and destiny:

"I'm surprised to find Olsen looking the epitome of chic, swaddled in her sheer white tee (black bra visible) under a chocolate-brown leather jacket, a stretchy black mini outlining her curvy butt, and a black patent-leather Alaia belt shaped like bat wings, cinching her like a wasp. Her perfectly turned, tan legs resolve in a pair of sky-high Louboutin pumps. And on her arm, a vintage Fendi bag she could probably fit inside. 'The next one I want to get is the crocodile Birkin, but that won't be for a while. Crocodile is my fa-vorite!' she says, quietly singsonging that last word."

"Bensley presents her with a design for the label that will be sewn into the clothes for The Row. Examining it, Ashley says the dimensions should be reduced by 30 percent. Then Bensley offers a swatch of suede with an ingeniously fringed surface. Ashley lunged for it, buries her face in it. Rapture. 'This would make the sickest jacket,' she says, wrapping the piece around her arm. 'Mary-Kate is gonna shit herself when she sees this.'"

"Inside the factory, crammed with bolts of cloth, sewing machines, and wardrobe dummies, Ashley strokes, tucks, tweaks, and takes the meature of a fit model in a sleek stretch-leather mini, a miraculously simple little back dress -- pulling her hair back in to a chaotic knot while whispering instructions to the seamstress like, "Increase the shoulder seam three-quarters' and 'It has to be tight enough so that her crack doesn't show when she bends over.' It's hard to picture her enjoying anything more. Nothing flaky or diva-like about it -- she just really loves doing this work."

For more click here.

first look: 2 days in paris


"2 Days in Paris"
dir., Julie Delpy
2007

A welcome respite to the summer of trilogies? Yes, please.

summer smoke

Last Saturday evening there was something pungent in the downtown sea of hipsters and kids-in-the-know. It wasn't the mixture of mud and hay on the ground, but for a brief moment the smell of a generation, not just a specific subculture, was unexpectedly perfumed through the air. It smelled of policed hedonism and an urge for technological immediacy that satisfies the quicker the better. Who might you ask is responsible for all of this? Whatever you want to call him, Girl Talk brought his brew of pop music wizardry to the Belevedere and what a display it was. The idea of what he does is a very fresh, intelligent way of subverting the masses but lovingly acknowledging it and allowing it to inspire him and move music in a different direction. In a way he's justifying the existence of Top 40 music that is so easily scoffed at by the archetypal neo-hipster that is more preoccupied with absorbing a Can boxset. However, the spectacle of Girl Talk's pop vision doesn't really translate so impressively in a live format. It was less interesting and consistent when you and a crowd of 500 in a mud pitare pressed together like a fresh grilled cheese trying to move and experience the music. I knew of the theatrics that would ensue on stage, but by the end of the hour or so set I felt like I hadn't witnessed anything mind-expanding related to the artist himself but instead those in attendance and their relationship to the music.

The clouds parted just in time for Mr. Gillis to work his magic and within seconds of his show the crowd charged the stage to join the wild, untamed party that he encourages on his otherwise bare stage. The entire show is played off of his laptop, so perhaps this is giving the audience something to look at other than some maladroit mixing beats for an hour. However, security intervened quickly and the crowd on stage soon dissipated. There was still some mildly chaotic action to look at but my idea of a dance party is not watching shirtless kids (it was an all ages show) with a faint trace of rhythm gyrate in front of me, but instead be very much apart of the melee. The security didn't allow for such truly untamed hedonism. For the rest of the show it felt like I was watching the show behind a thin shield of glass. Matters weren't helped when Girl Talk only made an appearance from behind his computer and slew of dancers only a handful of times, each time progressively less and less clothed. How are we to know that he wasn't duping us all and getting everyone hot and bothered over a pre-made playlist? I don't completely doubt his skills, but through the layers of crowd surfers, security, and revelers on stage it was difficult to pinpoint the artist himself. The other issue was the lacking sound quality. The closer you are to his music the more it grabs at you and makes you punch-drunk off his near volatile love of popular music. Standing away from it the sound is muffled and disengaging. This could have been anyone's fault but I hope for future shows on the scale of an outdoor music festival he can think of more creative ways to include the entire audience and make the back of the audience feel just as included in his bizarre world of Elton John and Notorious B.I.G mashups.

Technical glitches and crowd issues aside, I did appreciate the music. Most of the performance sounded more organic and less of a complete regurgitation of his wonderful album, "Night Ripper." His music functions as an aural reminder of the great pop songs of my generation that form a schizophrenic mixtape to our still young lives. Pairing a Three Six Mafia song with a Smashing Pumpkins classic makes me think of my misspent middle school days in comparison to current pop landscape where three guys from Memphis are now Oscar winners. "Night Ripper" also speaks to a generation raised on music downloading and instant technology. The jumpy nature of the album is not out of sync with the everyone's-a-dj mentality my generation has come to represent as a result of the accessibility of deejaying programs and other downloadable software that over night can turn any Joe Blow with an arsenal of music into the next "it" DJ. Conscious of it or not, Girl Talk is emblematic of a internet obsessed generation that has very little true sense of anti-establishment ideology due to their collective apathy and bloated self-perception. The audience that appreciates what Girl Talk does thumbs their nose at the mainstream and need him to recontexutalize and repackage it for them to even consider the possibility of merit in a Lil Wayne or Young Jeezy hook, but if they listened hard enough they could tell that Girl Talk staunchly champions commercialism and conventions if anything. Has Mr. Gillis duped his audience or are they not perceptive enough to be in on his joke whilst they dance merrily in their finest American Apparel? From this fan's prospective it was the initial pull of hearing a Wings song married with a Ying Yang Twins song. Now that's what I call music for the masses.

fill in the blank


I find it very interesting that in order to get to know Sofia Coppola we have to look to slightly and not so slightly esoteric French fashion magazines. A magazine, curated by designer Martine Sitbon, let's us in on the inspired and attractive mind of Ms. Coppola. French Vogue allowed us to see her DVD and CD collection among other things, but A gives a little more insight into the mind of one of America's strongest filmmakers. The slightly girlish handwriting, the brevity of the answers, and the remnants of a bourgeois upbringing are there almost as if one of her characters wrote it. Should we hate her or love her? I'm not sure and I don't care. I will say that I must get a t-shirt that says, "Fake it till you make it." She is somehow never short on perfectly articulating the seemingly shallow pool of youth culture and for that I must commend her.

face book


I have no idea who you are Malgosia Bela, but I think I'm totally crushing on you.

And yes, the fall preview issue of V is nothing but a glorious ode to beautiful faces. It's worth every penny, especially when you have the visage of the pretty young thing pictured above.

courtesy of the fashion spot

Thursday, August 2, 2007

first look: i'm not there


"I'm Not There"
dir. Todd Haynes
2007

A leaked scene from one of the films this year that I find myself salivating at the mouth in hot anticipation. If Naomi Watts is the mercurial star that glows with white heat, then Cate Blanchett is that transgressive entity to which we can always look to surprise and entice us. In one year she gives us her Bob Dylan and Elizabeth I. Try that Meryl Streep.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

"it felt less like a story and more like a poem."



Scorsese on Antonioni from his highly informative and epic documentary on Italian cinema, "My Voyage to Italy."

a farewell: the magic comes alive

Each of Michelangelo Antonioni's films are special and inspiring in their own way, but there are moments that make a jaw drop. Here are some essential moments from the bold path Antonioni forged throughout his career:


"L'Eclisse"
1962
The final moments that shock and awe.


"Blow-Up"
1966
A wry meditation on capturing the artifice that acts as a metaphor for cinema.


"L'Avventura"
1960
Looking for something that's not there.

Other choice moments:
*Jeanne Moreau declining an invitation in the rain in "La Notte"
*Monica Vitti surrounded by a crowd of horndogs in "L'Avventura"
*The devastating suicide in "Il Grido"