Thursday, September 13, 2012

Movie Buzz: Stories We Tell

In reading more about the Telluride Film Festival, I learned of Sarah Polley's latest film "Stories We Tell." I'm not sure how I missed this film but once you learn a little about it, I guess it's not that surprising. Plus, I've been working like crazy, as you can tell by my lack of posts over the summer, so I guess it's not unheard of.

As soon as I saw the mention of Sarah Polley's name, my heart jumped. I am in love with her film "Away From Her" (2006). (It shares subject matter with one of my biggest fears and is just a gorgeous film, starring the beautiful Julie Christie and equally wonderful Gordon Pinsent.)
There's not much out there about this film besides what the Canadian filmmaker and actress has already said. She's actually withholding from doing interviews and such until the film comes out. She wants people to experience the film for themselves without preconceived notions from journalists, reviewers, bloggers or the like. Sounds a little crazy in an industry that wants to tease you with any little tidbit to get you to buy a ticket. Ms. Polley is anything but a typical Hollywood type, which is why I love her (in addition to her amazing directing and acting abilities). 

Film, Doccumentary, Toronto Venice Telluride Film Festival
Promotional Image for Sarah Polley "Stories We Tell"
Her full statement on the film is available on the National Film Board of Canada website. She gives clues to the plot of the film and the events that started the process. It's a deeply personal film to her, perhaps more documentary than many documentaries. I for one am fascinated by storytelling, which I feel I'm terrible at but my sister and grandfather had a great gift for, and am excited to see this film though the subject matter may be emotional. In order to avoid becoming one of those people that put her own spin on the story, here are a few direct quotes to give you more information:  

Monday, September 10, 2012

UPDATE: Ginger and Rosa Trailer

Hey guys!
They've finally released the Ginger and Rosa trailer - woo hoo! Finally, some eye candy beyond the few images out there. 

Now, cross your fingers Sally Potter's fine film finds a US distributor.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

UPDATE: Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa

As any of you know by now, I've been following Sally Potter's latest film like a hawk (see my original post and first update). Any tidbit of information is scooped up and passed on without delay. So here it goes... 

Elle Fanning and Alice Englert on set, photo by Nicola Dove
Behind the scenes of 'Ginger and Rosa' © Nicola Dove
As you may have noticed, the working title of her film, Bomb, has been replaced with the more descriptive Ginger & Rosa. It's making its way along the festival circuit as I write this. The first appearance I had wind of was this very weekend at the Telluride Film Festival that runs until Monday (9/3). According to the program (pg5), the film was shown Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the Director and Alessandro Nivola (Roland) making appearances. Oh what I wouldn't have done to make one of those screenings! This is mainly due to the fact that the film hasn't been picked up for distribution yet. It's bound to be but there's still a side of me that always worries. 

Annette Benning and Elle Fanning, photo by Nicola Dovee
Photograph of Annette Benning and Elle Fanning  © Nicola Dove
IndieWire's Rodrigo Perez wrote a favorable review of the Telluride screening. I highly recommend reading it through but here are a few quotes: 

"Lovely and devastating, challenging yet worthwhile..."

" the lead, Fanning is transformative, heartbreakingly conveying the inner life of an adolescent with an almost eerily nuanced command of her craft."

"Expressively told, Potter is a master of documenting the rich emotional inner life of characters...the director gets as close as humanly possible to capturing that exuberant rush of blood to the head. Elsewhere the picture is sparse and minimal, but always with a thoughtful, examining gaze that illuminates the lives of these frustrated characters."

"...Alice Englert... puts in a commanding performance that points toward a bright future."

"Philosophically landing in a place where moral integrity and passion can exact enormous cruelty on a person's life, Potter’s picture is clearly a very personal one, but its depiction of global and social destruction (or its potential) is still deeply humanistic and universal. Beautiful, yet dark and moving, unsparing, but told with a sympathetic eye, “Ginger & Rosa” is sometimes relentless in its examination of emotional pain, and as such may be a challenging picture for some audiences."

"... a layered and rich little gem of a picture about life, love, and trying to find and understand one's place in the world..."

Additional reviews for this screening are available from The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and The Guardian

According to Potter's website, the film will have it's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday, Sept. 7th and has been invited to the New York Film Festival in October. Additional information for these festivals available at and NYFF

I know I can't be the only excited about this film. Are you looking forward to it too? Do you think it'll be too serious for a wide release? I welcome your comments!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

If You Don't Look Good, We Don't Look Good

It's a sad day for hair everywhere. 
Vidal Sassoon, photo by Henryk Lobaczewski
Vidal Sassoon. Photographed by Henryk Lobaczewski.
The world-renowned hairstylist Vidal Sassoon died this Wednesday morning of natural causes at the age of 84. He was surrounded by family in his Los Angeles home on Mulholland Drive. 

I could easily recount his life story but I'll leave that to the many papers reporting his death. There are great articles from the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Gate and The New York Times. Instead, I'll share some of his iconic haircuts that changed hairstyling forever. 

Grace Coddington's "W" cut by Vidal Sassoon, black and white photo by David Montgomery
Grace Coddington's "W" cut. Photographed by David Montgomery.
Mia Farrow with Vidal Sassoon; Michelle Williams short cut. photo by Kevin Winter
Mia Farrow & Vidal Sassoon prior to "Rosemary's Baby"  |  Michelle Williams. Photo by Kevin Winter 
Angled cut: Nancy Kwon (Vidal Sassoon) and Victoria Beckham
Nancy Kwon in Vogue, 1968. Photographed by Terry Donovan.  |  Victoria Beckham
Ulla Bomser and Vidal Sassoon, Box Bob, Agyness Deyn
Ulla Bomser & Vidal Sassoon. 1965 Box Bob.  |   Agyness Deyn
Various other iconic styles created by Sassoon.
My favorite stylists have been Sassoon trained so perhaps one day I'll post my many haircuts influenced by this amazing man. Not many people get to make this kinda of impression on the world and still be able to walk the street without being bothered. (I'll be honest though, if I had ever seen him, I would have certainly said something!)
I hope his legacy lives on and people continue to push the envelope beyond the "norm." Can you imagine if we never made it past the Beehive?!
Be sure to check out Vidal Sassoon: The Movie on Netflix or iTunes - it's a great documentary. I never knew how much of a health guru he was back in the day too - crazy!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

UPDATE: Sally Potter's Bomb

Well, I'm only about 10 days late but according to her website, Sally Potter has wrapped principle photography for Bomb. That means we're that much closer to seeing the final product!
Photograph of Alice Englert and Elle Fanning by Nicola Dove © Adventure Pictures Ltd
The six-week shoot took place in and around a chilly London, England. Stars Elle Fanning,  Alice Englert and Alessandro Nivola have been joined by Christina Hendricks, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt, Jodhi May, Annette Bening, and Andrew Hawley (who has a small bit in Snow White and the Huntsman too). As you can tell, our darling Elle had her hair dyed red for her role as "Ginger." (Insert Conan O'Brien joke here.) I've heard it's already back to blonde though. 
(L) Photo from FameFlynet (via JustJaredJr.)
(R) Photo believed to be from SplashNewsOnline (via  Totally Elle)
The official synopsis has been updated as well:

"London, 1962.  Two teenage girls – Ginger and Rosa ­- are inseparable; they play truant together, discuss religion, politics and hairstyles, and 
dream of lives bigger than their mothers’ frustrated domesticity. But, as
 the Cold War meets the sexual revolution, and the threat of nuclear
 holocaust escalates, the lifelong friendship of the two girls is shattered 
- by the clash of desire and the determination to survive."
It'll be hard to wait until 2013 to see this film but I'm very curious to see how it comes out. I'll keep you updated!
There seems to be additional information available at The Match Factory but I'm not sure of their source. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Juxtapoz Turns 18 @ Copro Gallery (Art)

Two weeks ago, my friend Sarah and I decided to hit up the "Juxtapoz Turns 18" show at Copro Gallery just before it was taken down. We're not normally "gallery girls" but we like contemporary art in its many forms and are always down for something new while the guys are golfing. 
Marion Peck "Patty"
The exhibition celebrated Juxtapoz Magazine's 18th anniversary and featured artists that have appeared between their pages or might in the future.  There were so many incredible artists, it's almost impossible to name them all but here are a few to pique your interest: Retna, Todd Schorr, Shepard Fairey, Mark Ryden, Jeremy Fish, Marion Peck, Andrew Schoultz, Camille Rose Garcia, CR Stecyk III, and so many more. 
There were so many quirky and unique pieces, it's hard to talk about them all but below are our favorites. 
Cathie Bleck  "Birth"  $3,000

Mike Giant  "Bike Tag 2012"  $400
(Shout out to all my BMX and biker buds out there!)

Multiple works by Shag  $5,000 each

Souther Salazar  "Crashlander"  $3,500
(Though it's hard to say... it's my favorite of the bunch.)

Miniature village by an unknown artist. 

Jeremy Lipking  "Snoop"  $8,500

Niagara  "I Put A Spell On You"  $5,500   |   Niagara  "Mike Kelley"  $8,500

Shepard Fairey  "Printing Press"  $8,000

Tiffany Bozic  "Finding Real"  $4,000    |   Tiffany Bozic  "Waking Up"  $1,950
Todd Schorr  "Lena drawing (study)"  (SOLD)
Check out additional pieces from the show and see what's available for purchase here
I would like to promise that I'll go to shows before the last day... but I just never know with my schedule. Hopefully these little blurbs will help ease the pain of missing the show. 
As I mentioned, I'm not usually one to hit up galleries all the time but these little places offer up a variety of artwork that satisfy my imagination's need for new material. There was quite the collection of galleries at Bergamot Arts Complex that every possible artistic genre on display.
So, do you know of any great shows coming up? I'd love to hear about them - maybe I'll become a "gallery girl" after all!
(Top pictures were taken by me, last four images were pulled from Juxtapoz. Photographer unknown.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Movie Buzz: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

I had a great break this evening and was able to take myself to the theater. First movie I thought of? "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" of course! Not only does it star one of my favorite actors, the always interesting Ewan McGregor, but also the equally wonderful Emily Blunt.
The film centers on Harriet (Blunt), a London representative, and Alfred (McGregor), a fisheries expert, as they try to realize a sheik's dream to bring his favorite sport to his home country. It was a really lovely film that wasn't overly saccharine like so many other romantic comedies. The stars had wonderful chemistry and the film drew a range of emotions from amusement to pity. Somehow I had managed to attend the screening with a mostly over-60 audience - a great crowd to laugh and gasp with. 
I openly admit that I'm not always the most critical of films since I am very easily drawn into them but here are two critics that have expressed the words that I cannot find...

Amy Biancolli for the San Francisco Chronicle:  "...the film's emotional complexities don't allow for much of the canned sentiment that normally gets dished out in romantic dramas; what emerges instead... is endearingly tender and complicated." (full review)
Ann Hornaday for the Washington Post: "...a surprisingly lush, endearing little film, in which a swelling sense of romanticism thoroughly banishes even the most far-fetched improbabilities... less a classic fish-out-of-water tale than a fish-in-strange-waters tale, a study in diametric opposites that finds unexpected synchronies and moments of almost mystical harmony. Viewers who take the sheik's advice and suspend their disbelief, even for a moment, may well find themselves hooked." (full review)

Additional stand-out performances were given by Kristen Scott Thomas and Amr Waked. Thomas played Patricia Maxwell, the Prime Minister's Press Secretary, and provided many of the sharp comic moments in the film. Egyptian actor Waked helped provide some of the more contemplative moments as the ambitious sheik trying to bring peace to his country in his own sort of way.
Below is an entertaining interview with the main stars as well as the trailer.
Go see it as soon as you can (alone or with a friend) and let me know what you think!