Archives For movie

Next week holds the promise of the US release of the first film by Banksy. Last week, an extended teaser for the film was released which begins to outline Thierry Guetta’s (aka Mr. Brainwash) pursuit of the mysterious artist. Check it out:

A list of venues and showtimes across the US is available on the film Web site.

Back by popular demand, another installment of tips for life. Enjoy!

Sherlock Holmes

09/02/2010 — 1 Comment

Have you seen Danny Yount’s titles for Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes? Wow!

ArtofTitleYount

Read Art of the Title’s interview with Yount here and see the evolution of his work on this project as well as the full credits themselves.

Image: Art of the Title

Shoveling

06/02/2010 — Leave a comment

Unless you live under a rock or more likely, are one of my readers from abroad you might not know that this weekend brought Baltimore an historic blizzard.

So this afternoon once the snow had stopped, I helped my family dig out. My mum was kind enough to supply the following video of my father and I shoveling their massive drive:

Ok, so my sense of humor is especially punchy today– we’re all a little batty from the miles of sparkling white everywhere…

Brain Candy

06/02/2010 — Leave a comment

Today finds Charm City buried once again, in a blanket of sparkling white. The effect is beautiful, bewildering and even a little inspiring though at some point after hours of shoveling, the snow will become less than charming. In the meantime, here is a piece of visually stunning eye/brain candy straight from Japan for you, dear readers, snowbound or otherwise:

Doesn’t this just make your eyes smile and the snow a little more fun?

You know, women workers can be surprisingly good producers….

And remember, this all boils down to four things:

  • 1) Don’t mix pleasure with business
  • 2) Women can be awfully jealous of one another
  • 3) Avoid undue familiarity
  • 4) Women are more sensitive than men

This gives me flashbacks to Oakland…

A modern version of the last film, narrated by Stephen Colbert:

Remember: Girls who park in cars, are not REALLY popular…
and home, parents and personality ALL help boys and girls to be popular… really…

I drink a lot of tea and coffee, thus mugs are one of the items that tend to join me in my frequent travels; but I wasn’t always a mug user.

Thanks to this handy instructional video, though I was able to master the delicate art of mug use and ownership:

Nice Tray

01/02/2010 — 1 Comment

Oh Pee-wee, how I’ve missed you:

Personally, I’m pretty satisfied with my MBP and iPad Nano so far, but we shall see…

It’s just one of those days; we all have them– you wake up and the world feels grey and unwelcoming. You scuff around and feel sorry for yourself and maybe mope a little. Well today, I’m having one of those days.

BUT instead of moping about like a fool when I feel like this, I rally my inner troops and forge ahead. This generally involves a longer visit to the closet– pulling out especially fun shoes and a colorful jacket, a bigger than usual cup of coffee, a longer lunch break and a tightening of the circle of dearest friends. When the world feels unwelcoming, I find it best to simply become the ultimate hostess– welcome the unwelcoming and just outshine the grey.

One of my longest standing friends from childhood, loved the Beatles when we were kids; countless weekend hours swam by to the soundtrack of the fab four and today my mind has drifted back to those days:

Watching this clip from the movie Help!, the semi-sad lyrics of the song mixed with the subtle silliness of Paul and George perks me up and makes me smile.

How about you, dear readers? How do you perk yourself up when you’re feeling down?

When I was an undergrad in design school , I was one of the weakest drawing students among my peers our freshman year. My professors, patient and inspiring though they were, seemed to remain concerned about my weaknesses in the fields of drawing and craft; it was the final pin-up discussions at which I shone.

When the second semester of my freshman year came along and my drawing skills still fell short of my peers, one of my professors, who held a master’s in drawing, pulled me aside and gave me some advice. He gave me a few tips on how to improve the quality of my work, but above all advocated simply for practice. One of the exercises he recommended was to draw simple shapes over and over again– to draw until they were coming out of my ears. By so doing, I would be training my hands to be more skilled at quality of line and form. So for weeks I drew obsessively– circles, squares, cones, pyramids, triangles, lines, lines, lines; it was the mad hatter’s geometry and it was exploding inside my sketchbooks.

By the time I graduated with my BFA, I was selected as the designer of the year, so something must have clicked along the way; the mad hatter’s geometry had pushed me further. Today, simple forms like those from my professor’s exercise tend to creep into the margins of my sketchbooks and meeting notes– an unconscious habit, it now seems.

When I came across the above video from the Design Council, one of the first things that came to mind was that exercise of drawing simple shapes over and over and over.

Why be good when you can be better? What do you wish you could do better, dear readers? And how do you plan on getting there?

Ode to Neutra

09/01/2010 — Leave a comment

Ever the type-geek, I couldn’t resist sharing this TERRIBLE (terribly AWESOME, that is) video parody:

Kind of makes you want to grow a well-kept beard, n’est pas?

With the new year upon us, now seemed like an appropriate moment to share this short film:

Forever’s Not So Long, by Shawn Morrison and Garrett Murray

How would you want things to end?

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of watching a documentary about the work and career of early French filmmaker, Georges Méliès.

His work is the sort of early silent film many of us have seen without realizing who the names behind the work were. He is the creator and mind behind the A Trip to the Moon (Le voyage dans la Lune):Y’know that one… the one Smashing Pumpkins appropriated as a concept for their 1996 video Tonight, Tonight single?

Yeah, THAT one.

Méliès began his professional life as a stage magician in Paris and in 1895, after a demonstration of Lumière brothers’ camera, became fascinated with film. Within two years, he had established his own film studio and was creating elaborate films. In the eighteen years before his company went bankrupt, he directed over five hundred films.

Here is an amazing piece from 1903, Le Mélomane— a marvel of multi-exposures:

Le Mélomane, 1903


Le Cake-walk infernal, 1903

Lately, I’ve been on a French film kick. Ever the Francophile, it has been a nice change of pace to come home and listen to the soothing sounds of a language I know and love, acted beautifully as is so rarely seen these days. Recent favorites have been Port of Shadows (Le Quai des Brumes) and La Grande Illusion, both starring Jean Gabin and both made within a few years of one another (~1936-38, give or take).

PortofShadows
Whenever I bump into friends and neighbors these days, conversation inevitably turns to what one another has been up to lately. And for me, it is generally what work I have on my desk at home and what movies I have watched recently. Often times, my most recent movie viewings comprise of an odd assortment of detective stories and oldies but goodies from a bygone era. And very often the lion’s share of the movies I mention are a complete MYSTERY to my friends and neighbors. As such, perhaps it is time that I start sharing the movies I come across with you, dear readers, so that you may enjoy the benefit of a richer movie night.

And so tonight, I recommend you consider adding Port of Shadows and Grand Illusion to your list of must-see movies. Both are available on Netflix, so there’s no excuse. Not a Netflix subscriber? I could write a whole blog post on the merits of Netflix, but I’ll spare you– their service is fast, convenient and economical and they even have free trials, so give it a whirl.

GrandIllusion
What’s so great about old, obscure, black and white French movies from the 1930s, you ask? They tell simple, beautiful stories which are acted by people who capture the tender humanity that is so often MISSING from contemporary cinema. This is not to say that there are not good movies coming out today, but the stories directors and actors told in decades past, like the 1930s, were different for myriad reasons than the ones we tell today.

Still need a reason to check out these films? Grand Illusion is one of the first prison-break movies and considered a genre classic, if you were moved at the end of The Great Escape, you should see this movie. Port of Shadows, like Grand Illusion is an excellent example of poetic realism and follows a single man’s journey through the lonely fog of destiny; rent it!

Images: The Criterion Collection

The Fall

01/07/2009 — Leave a comment

One of best movies I’ve seen in the last decade has to be The Fall directed in 2006 by Tarsem Singh. Late last summer, it played for a few weeks at the local independent movie theater and I was fortunate enough to see it on the big screen.

Right from the beginning, the movie draws you in with gorgeous photography and art direction. Based on the screenplay of a Bulgarian movie from 1981, Yo Ho Ho the film shifts between the reality of two patients in a 1915 Southern California hospital and a dream world of bandits. Shot in 18 different countries and costumed by the Oscar-winning designer Eiko Ishioka, The Fall is a visual gift to the audience.

If you haven’t seen it already, here is the trailer for the 2008 American release:

I wish the trailer were more simple, leaving the viewer hungry for more rather than showing as much as it does. Since the above trailer leaves something to be desired, here is a copy of the opening credits I found on YouTube. This scene acts as a prologue for the movie and is stunning on the big screen, especially the last shot with Tarsem’s credit.