Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cults & R. Crumb on Pas Un Autre

I've recently begun contributing to San Francisco-based artist/photographer/writer/jack of all trades Oliver Kupper's comprehensive online journal of arts and culture,
Pas Un Autre. Read my first two articles (on the band Cults' recently-released single, "You Know What I Mean" and the R. Crumb retrospective, Lines Drawn on Paper, that opened in New York on March 23rd)... and stay tuned to Pas Un Autre for more! Click on the links below to read each article.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Death of a Legend; Reborn

Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Avedon, 1964

Immortalized by Avedon, recreated by Testino-- The "last great movie star," Elizabeth Taylor, known for her classic beauty, style, charisma and violet eyes (not to mention her unforgettable roles in such iconic films as Cleopatra, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, to name a few) passed away to nationwide despair today at age 79, but her legend will always live on. The girl we all love to hate, Kristen Stewart, uncannily channeled Liz in last month's issue of Vogue:

Kristen Stewart by Mario Testino in Vogue, February 2011

R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor
February 27, 1932-March 23, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

A New Genre for Advertising: The Art Film/Commercial Hybrid

Fashion advertising is headed in a new direction-- as exemplified in the recent short film-ad campaigns for Opening Ceremony and Oliver Peoples, respectively. Gia Coppola and Tracy Antonopoulos' short for Opening Ceremony, released last spring, stars film and fashion darlings Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman (did you expect anyone else?) wearing clothes from the spring 2010 collection in a bittersweet, tongue-in-cheek Nouvelle Vague-inspired love story set to music by Coconut Records, Schwartzman’s own band. Lisa Eisner’s short for Oliver Peoples stars musical visionary Devendra Banhart and his real-life girlfriend, Rebecca Schwartz, as they traipse through the gorgeously modern yet intimate Rainbow House, John Lautner’s one-of-a-kind Californian architectural masterpiece, wearing an array of Oliver Peoples spectacles and sunglasses from the spring 2011 collection (all this, of course, set to Banhart’s own soulful freak-folk). Both films are whimsical explorations of young love and intimacy, making bold forays into a newly playful, artistic and utterly compelling direction for fashion advertising. Watch both shorts below:

Devendra Banhart at Rainbow House from Oliver Peoples on Vimeo.

Of course, an even "haute-er" couture version of the fashion film-ad comes from prolific filmmaker David Lynch in his 16-minute Lady Blue Shanghai, which he wrote and directed for Dior in May 2010. The illustrious Marion Cotillard stars in the characteristically haunting short.

The entire film can be watched in parts on YouTube, but here's a taste...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Can I Borrow Your Mixtape? #3

Spring is just around the corner (in fact, according to the so-called Groundhog, it already is spring... but I've never believed him), and for those of us in school, so are midterms. What better way to procrastinate from beginning that daunting 8-page Lacan paper than a new playlist? None that I can think of. Except for attempt to untangle your jewelry (see above), or maybe what I did last night, which was see
Des Hommes et Des Dieux (English title: Of Gods and Men), Xavier Beauvois' startlingly gorgeous (and horrifically depressing) film about French missionaries holding their ground against brutal Islamic extremists in Algeria during the mid-90's. Yes, it's sad, slow-moving and long, but I highly recommend it-- the stunning visuals alone are worth the time you may not have spent studying for that Physics test (ha, Physics... who am I kidding?). Oh, and it includes the most adorable little old man I've ever seen in my life, Jacques Herlin (pictured below), who plays Frère Amédée. Anyway, here it is, kids: