Category Archives: Film

Editorial Films

Recently, I have been looking at how the fashion world has kept progressing forward through its choices of media: films. The concept isn’t extremely new, but plenty of designers, magazines, and fashion houses are joining the trend and creating editorial films along with fashion editorials. Now… I have a few to share. I will go from least favorite… to favorite.

4. The Tale of a Fairy – Chanel

Sadly… this was really dreadful. Karl Lagerfeld gave a stab at… directing? He had good intentions, an amazing art direction, and flawless clothing to sell, but in all reality (punnel, watch the film to get what I mean with “reality”) the acting and the plot fell short. The actresses were Kristen McMenamy, Anna Mouglalis and Amanda Harlech prancing around an ornate mansion located in France with male models for lovers and a fairy (Freja Beha) in their midst bringing the millionaire heiresses to and fro from fantasy. The acting will make any one feel uncomfortable and on edge. Although… out of all the characters I think Freja executed her character better than the others. The one redeeming quality of this fashion film is the fact that you can pause any shot… and bring forth an amazing movie still that can easily be seen as a photograph. Stunning art direction, beautiful clothes, but awful actresses and confusing plots.  Props to Lagerfeld for trying, maybe he saw Tom Ford’s work in film and thought “Maybe I can do something just as good?” Maybe? Watch for intriguing cinematography, and an ornate collection of clothing,  folks.

“The Tale of a Fairy” Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcWR8nqdqoI&feature=related

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz5x_4fbVuU&feature=related

3. Lanvin Paris – Alber Elbaz

A corny, but altogether enjoyable message to the public that Lanvin’s Fall 2011 Ready-to-wear collection is a smash hit! Featuring  female beauties Raquel Zimmerman, Karen Elson, and strapping boys Lowell Tautchin with Milo Spijkers. Of course it’s intended to be awkward… but they are having fun in high-class, pricy, and altogether beautiful ensembles! Who wouldn’t want to be in a fancy hotel room dancing with Karen Elson or Raquel Zimmerman to Pitbull?! I don’t give a damn if the models can’t dance like professionals either, I just want to be with a girl wearing one of those pieces and dress myself up in one of those suits. I thoroughly enjoy it, even if others don’t. It gave me a smile, which is appreciated every now and then!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KyG0xKTDJs&feature=related

2. Prada, Spring/Summer 2011 RTW

This one had me when the music started. Featuring the odd yet exquisite body movements of  Tati Cotliar, , Kinga Rajzak, Zuzanna Bijoch, Mariacarla Boscono, and Arizona Muse! This collection was memorable due to the stripes and ornate prints, so with the simple editorial such as this, is shined out brightest compared to the other collections featured last season. Great visuals and it truly does make the eye… dance. And the fact that I have been listening to this song by Ratatat the last week has made it a grand week!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBBGE7vz02s&NR=1

1. The Curve of Forgotten things – Rodarte (Kate & Laura Mulleavy)

Directed by Todd Cole, The Curve of Forgotten Things, deserves an Oscar for…. best picture! Which would be groundbreaking history in the film industry due to the fact that this film has no speaking at all! Featuring the delightful nonverbal talents of Elle Fanning, the fashion film made me think about what really has been left behind through the years. The film focuses on how old things such as farming, ornate interior furnishings, and quaint memories have been left behind to remain alone, still, and beautiful. To begin on a homely note, the music will take the viewer to an entire world, if only deerhunter did more scores for films like this… if only! I have an eye (so I like to think) for cinematography and this takes the cake. Every split second, the viewer’s eyes have the privilege to see film come to life by simply pausing it and soaking in all of the angles, colors, shapes, lines, and textures. Whether those shots be through the clothing, the landscape, the lone house, or Elle itself, well that is up for the viewer to decide. And those clothes that were featured… they are my favorites Rodarte has ever produced. Moving art that can be wearable for all sorts of women in all sorts of environments. What would  fashion be if the industry didn’t sell wearable items to customers in need of rich yet polished silhouettes? Nothing. Now, please, if you are reading and want to watch one of these items, and only one, do watch the link beneath. Your creative thinking will be enlightened.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL5a0Z6MKsk

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The Tribulating Story of “Never Let Me Go”, by Kazuo Ishiguro

If you are here and have read or seen, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, you are most likely to get what I am talking about. If you haven’t read or seen the book/movie I highly suggest you go to the nearest Barnes & Noble and purchase the book and obviously read it. Then rent the film, and engross yourself in its symbolism. I will begin with talking about the book because books are and  always will be better than the films.

Quick synopsis of the plot for all you curious creatures that have not engaged in its beauty quite yet, and I won’t give away any major spoilers, but there are some in this…. you have been warned.

It is the near future. Doctors and scientists have discovered the cure for the incurable diseases in the world. They bring organ donations to an entire new level. Our main character of Ishiguro’sbook is Kathy H., who is a young girl that questions the system, subdues all possibilities, and most importantly cares for other. She is among multiple others that meant to die at a terribly young age due to the fact that they are all organ donors. Kathy is taught this idea with her friends Tommy and Ruth. They all begin fresh at a lovely boarding school called Hailsham, that teaches them how to take this reality in. Ruth begins, at a young age, caring for her loved ones like Tommy and Ruth. Before they were all friends, people picked on Tommy for his stupidity in art class and his outrageous tantrums. Odd mysteries and rumors lurk around corners as they grow older. Confusing things like why they were expected to make art as children and to give it away to an odd woman, or why other donors tell them that they can postpone their deaths to the fact that they are Hailsham students.

Getting out of their adolescent lives, they have grown into responsible young adults that can manage on their own. Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth move from school to cottages where they meet other donors that have similar issues with the system. Tommy and Ruth now have a relationship, and Kathy begins to come to the conclusion that she is an unwholesome third wheel, trying to keep the peace. Kathy even begins to explore her sexual nature and discovers a dirty side within herself. This and other problems cause the three friends to part, and walk their own ways.

Kathy finds herself working as a carer. She takes care of other donors from all around the country, not only from Hailsham. While being content and living a relaxed short-term career as a care taker, she finds Ruth a few years later, seeing that she is in her second donation of organs and wants to care for her. Recollecting their years together they question their times at Hailsham, their lives as donors, and their relationships with each other and Tommy. Somehow all three end up together again, but only for a short time. Tommy and Kathy begin their well awaited relationship and pursue a deferral.

I won’t dare give away any more! I already said a good portion of the book, and yes I know this technique. It is used by some pesky English teachers out there in the world. But some immense symbolism and parallels to modern-day society grow and prosper in this work. Here is the analytical part of this writing.

I love the whole idea behind an unfair and short-lived life. Throughout the entire book, I saw multiple characters yearn for something bigger or better. Whether it come down to a simple job to endure with, someone to love and hold onto in hard times, or even a longer life… all of characters exhibit these ideas. In reality, these donors hardly have anything. They are put into the world to provide life insurance for folk. That is all. And I am failing to mention something vitally important, but read the book… you’ll see what I mean. Kind of like that film, “The Island”?  In a sad way, they are somewhat treated like creatures by certain folk like Keffers; he was the cottage care taker and disdained them in some ways, but in other cared in a weird master sort of sense. Even Miss Emily, the Hailsham headmistress, wants to give them the lesser of the few evils and provide a good short life. But there still is that idea of a master and how she must put them both as children and adults into their right, and unfortunate place. One last repeated motif in the book is the sea. In a couple of parts of the book they group ventures out to the coast to find something that was lost, or never really evident in there lives. They go to Norfolk to search for Ruth’s original, but really that plan fails. Instead Tommy and Ruth stumble upon her favorite CD as a child, “Never Let Me Go” by Judy Bridgewater. Another time they take a trip to one of the many remote coasts in Britain and find a wrecked boat/ship stuck in the sand. That whole sense of discovering something that was once missed or never seen in that light makes me happy, and it goes along with the sea because water gives and takes things away in a literal and metaphorical sense.

I give the book a definite 4.5/5 stars! For the movie… 3.5/5 stars. And yeh, you might call me generous… but I rate it on how much I seriously enjoyed it. The book hooked me in from page one! The film… huh, it was pretty well done truth be told. As far as literate movies go… this one takes the cake! Mark Romanek read the book… and clearly had a good sense for who or what belonged! OH. And a super cool highlight on the film; there are three parts to the book; Kathy’s childhood at Hailsham, her short but well enlightening time as a young responsible adult at the cottages, and finishing off with life as a career. The film transitioned each of these parts with colors fading the image off the screen into a stale yet ever so bright color. Such a sad story…. enjoy at your own extent.

Comments are appreciated as well.

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These Rebels Among Us….

One of Banky's pieces from his crudeoil series

 Just finished watching “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, and my oh my. To quote  a friend here “It is a mind trip!”, I hold no disagreement with that statement. And I now get why Justin Timberlake said “I am Banksy”, at the Oscars…, I felt really out of it. The film is not my main point with this post, but a few quick words. Thierry Guetta, other wise known as Mister Brainwash (MBW), literally painted his way to the top in seconds, in what really should have taken years. I think MBW is very talented and that he deserves his credit. Breaking the somewhat obvious industry “rules” and using other people’s ideas for his own. Now I say this, who doesn’t do that in general these days? Just as Banksy said “There are no rules”. In all industries there are people that take another genius’ brilliant idea. They make it their own, and sometimes the originator might not get his credit. That is sort of the unfortunate part of it all. MBW, I say, was the first one to take it to another level. And it is stunning indeed. I had actually seen some of Banksy’s or Shepard Fairey’s work… and I had no idea that is was… well illegal a lot of the time. I really had no idea that there was this intense, underground industry truth be told. I knew what graffiti was… I just didn’t see that it was intentional art.

Galliano's Spring 2011, not his concetraion camp collection....

That was some quick word. Sorry. But the main point of this is that with art comes controversy. I haven’t truly taken in who the artist really is. Whether it come to someone jaw dropping like Chagall or someone modern like Alex Pardee… I love their art. The texture, color, and the shadow of it all. Finding myself envying their talent. I just look at the paintings. Not them.  And now that my eyes are fully opened I see the artists that I admire. I see their strife and what it took for them to create their work. I knew that art came in many different forms. Music, writing, theater, painting, designing, I knew all of that! I have just overlooked the people who made these works. They are all rebels… in different forms. But none the less, rebels! Whether it come to people like Picasso who intentionally put sexual symbolism into his paintings. Or John Galliano who actually created a collection inspired by the WWII concentration camps. Or Lykke Li (Swedish musician) who made a whole intense song about prostitution. And on a side note, this is kind of getting more common… which is a tad unfortunate. Andy Warhol who used iconic celebrities for his artwork. C.S. Lewis, the Oxford/Cambridge professor who wrote about theology and fantasy that he “wasn’t qualified to write about” or even Banksy! This underground mysterious graffiti artist that goes against all odds (literally) and illegally spray paints his way around cities.  They are/were all rule breakers, even when there really isn’t rules that should limit them. All of the people listed above got serious beef for being themselves. There are plenty more people that I could list off, but then I would just be ranting even more than I am. All of their work displays the world as it really is. In fact, it is not rules that scare them. Maybe it is the idea of society looking down on them for being themselves. Yet they still do it. Sometimes the work can be sexual, sometimes just horrific, sometimes religious, and sometimes just plain weird. These are some of the things that society really looks down on. And yes, it can all go over board sometimes. How else is the artist suppose to grab the attention? How else must they make their point? Let the art community be itself. Let opinions be challenged. As odd and graphic as it gets… it makes people actually use their heads. Like I said, they are the rebels among us. It is inspiring for such people to put themselves and their work out there. It gets applauded and bashed. Art makes society think… preferably.  

“Art is a lie which makes us realize the truth” -Pablo Picasso

 

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“A Single Man” Swoons the Hearts of Film-ish Artists

Well, well, well. What to say? I watched “A Single Man” the other night. Phenominal, stunning, beautiful, and controversial are some of few words that can accurately describe the movie. I know I am a tad bit late to the punch on this film. It came out longer than a year ago. Back in 09′. But oh well. Moving on! The renowned Tom Ford, former Gucci designer, took to creating a film company called Fade to Black. The man knew what he was doing when he put himself into the business, no doubt! With stunning cinematography, choosing the cast, acting, writing, and effects… the film is impacable. Apparently it is also a novel written by Christopher Isherwood, “A Single Man”. I should have read it before I watched it! Shame on me! Julianne Moore won my heart with her small appearnance in 30 Rock season 4 with her stereotypical heavy Boston accent and cheesy but believable role. As my friend, Melynda, said “She has been in a lot of gay movies lately…” I realized that what she says is true! “The Hours”, “The Kids are all Right”, this one… any that I am missing? But if she was in the sixties… Moore would have fit in perfectly! Colin Firth is on fire with his recent role in “The King’s Speech”, but I would say “A Single Man” is his second best role. He acted the role as a depressed gay professor very well. He did not make the stereotypical gay voice or dress in extreme fashion-forward clothing. His role was subtle and very believable. Now the entire setting… beautiful. LA is visually stunning, and yes it could have been the makers doing to make it that exquisite… but I wanted to be there. And I have been to LA, some parts are nice… but this was like icing on cake! I would have loved to live in LA during the 60’s with Charley’s extreme house that has an orange tree boulevard hallway type thing! And the supporting characters really make the viewer think about how people would really react to homosexuality back then.

The setting takes place in LA in the sixties. George(Firth) is a professor whose decease lover is Jim. Charley(Moore), an old friend of George’s, is this gorgeous lonely single lady who is head over heels for George. He is depressed about the death of his lover, Jim, who died in a car crash. He finds himself being reminded of Jim’s death through other men, Charley, and the beauty in everyday life. All of these calamities make him sadly depressed and suicidal.

It is the best film I have ever seen, cinematography wise. EVER. And that is a big thing, cause I keep my eye on the camera movement in films, and in this… it impacted me. Now whenever George found something beautiful or attractive in the film… the lighting immediatley became saturated and full of color. And once his mind is taken away from that beauty it subtly goes back to the dull-ish colors. I think that this represents George’s longing for love and for his diceased Jim. Twas a sad film. A lot of symbolism in bits like the neighborhood child crushing the monarch butterfly, a repeated motif of guns and the color blue. And the eye. Classic directors move as my film teacher taught me. When their is a closeup of an eye in a film, it portrays the sense of sight and what that character sees in their eyes. I pitied George, in the end. I won’t give it away. I feel for the homosexual community. To be judged by everyone as a “freak” is hard and should not happen. Both Ford and Isherwood display the background of that really well.

It could be a love story between a man and a woman. Or it could be a love story between two men. Depends on how the viewer takes it all in. For those of you who have not seen it and are nervous… I warn you about nudity. Nothing perverse, but there is some definite uncomfortable nudity in the film. No sex or anything… just nudes, some suicidal issues and a controversial topic. OH, and it is Rated R, just in case if the excessive word “nude” didn’t clear that up.  It is a definite high fav just because of the cinematography. That really made it for me. Ford displays the 60’s perfectly.  They chose the right actors. Chose the right stylists and costume design. Chose the right special effects people. EVERYTHING. It is sensuous art! Impacable indeed. 5/5 stars for “A Single Man”! If only I had read the book before I saw the movie….

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