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!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Max Neutra @ CAVE Gallery (Art)

I left work a little early today to go visit an art gallery with some amazing, eye-catching artwork by Max Neutra. I just happened to walk by the C.A.V.E Gallery the other day while searching for another store. I'm glad I returned because it turns out that tomorrow is the last day of the show. If you have the time - you MUST go!!
Below are a few of my favorite pieces. I would've had a very hard time walking out of there without buying one if they hadn't been sold already!

"For Your Consideration" 
"Only You"
gallery presentation of "For Your Consideration," "Only You," & "Bunny Love"
"Allowance" full view + gallery presentation
gallery presentation of "Don't Panic"
(not sure of this title - was being put up as I was visiting)
various "Bunny on Wood" (color) & "Bunny on Found Wood" (b/w) pieces
(from top left) "Boob Tube," "Rabbit Ears," "MMMMMedia"
(from bottom left) "All Dialed Up," "Cozy Cover," "Kissed All Over"
Excerpt of the Artist Statement: "...Whether it's a face depicting an emotion, or abstract shapes, I strive for each painting to be like a signature. Quick and fluid. Brave and permanent. Unmistakably written by hand... Instead of toiling over attempted perfection, I indulge in the imperfections of myself and the world around me, and marvel at the inherent factors of chance that the process provides..." 
Full Statement and Artist Bio available here from the Gallery or from his website here. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

84th Academy Awards Nominations

The 84th Academy Awards show is fast approching!
Early this morning, the final nominations were announced in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Below are the nominees for the categories that I care about the most, though I am always curious about each Oscar awarded. There are a lot of hard working people in Hollywood and around the world! These are listed in the order of their importance to me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fish Tagine - Sunday Dinner

I decided to go bold and make a real, and exotic, dinner last night. I've been wanting to use my tagine dish for a long while and finally decided the time had come. 
In an attempt to figure out exactly what sort of dish I was in the mood for, I scoured my cookbooks and then I love how this website gives you so many search options - course, occasion, cuisines, ingredients (great when you have leftovers or need to use certain things sooner than later) and even by special diets. What I also love about this site is that it gives you the Nutritional Facts and you can adjust the number of servings and it'll update the quantities on the recipe. 
I finally decided on a Fish Tagine With Olives (Morrocan Stew). My boyfriend and I paid a quick visit to our local Mar Vista Farmer's Market on Sunday to pick up some fresh, local, in-season (loose term in Cali!) and/or organic produce to compliment the dish. We grabbed quite the color bounty from two of the veggie vendors plus some flounder from Smart Fish Co
Below (and after the break) are some photos of the process.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

To Buy Or DIY: Papier-Mâché Animal Heads

Over the holidays, I noticed stylish safari papier-mâché animal heads everywhere. Now, it could've been my search for interesting gifts for friends and family but I was seeing them all over the web. 
Now I'll admit, I'm not really sure where I stand on the issue. I love that they're cruelty-free and some are downright breathtaking but I'm still not sure how I feel about hanging an animal head on my wall. On the other hand, it sounds like a fun weekend project to try with some friends. The French translation of papier-mâché is chewed paper and it's an an eco-friendly and versatile material that I remember getting down right messy with as a child. The ones below are so wonderfully done that I'd be tempted to buy in order to support artists from around the world.

Images © 2012 Williams-Sonoma Inc.
These animals from West Elm were the first to catch my eye. These whitewashed beauties are handmade in Port au Prince by over 100 Haitian artisans still trying to recover from 2010's devastating earthquake. The Brooklyn-based design team and creative locals at Caribbean Craft work hard transforming recycled cement bags and waste from box factories into these sophisticated animals. Check out this article on the West Elm blog for more information on the partnership, Haiti's papier-mâché history and how this is helping the local economy and people of Haiti. Prices range from $69 for a small Turtle Shell to $79 for a small Wildebeest (bottom left) to $149 for a large Gemsbok (top right).

Images © Dwell Studio

The second spotting occurred at These colorful animals are also produced by hand in Haiti in collaboration with a non-profit organization. I just love how whimsical these look with their beautiful colors, vintage French book pages and shiny, oil-based varnish. Prices: Gazelle (bottom right) $70, Giraffe & Zebras $76.

Now that my curiousity was piqued, and I was already browsing Etsy, I easily found The Paper Turtle. Partners Laura Bruzzese and Aly Abraham design papier-mâché sculptures that are handcrafted with recycled materials in a small artisan shop in... you guessed it, Port au Prince, Haiti. Laura remains in the States, based in Albuquerque, NM while Aly stays in Port au Prince to rebuild his workshop and fund his artists. You can read more about their collaborative efforts here. I love that this team has gone beyond the safari and have such a variety of animals. The birds are priced between $24-$35, while the others vary in price (cw from left): billy goat $69, rhino $110, giraffe $45, rooster $120, and crab $25. 

Other Etsy finds included this zebra and giraffe ($45 ea.) from Jeff Boyer, a psychology student in Seattle, WA that uses art to escape his busy, chaotic city life and this life-size rhino head ($500) from Lisa Provencher, a nature enthusiast and eco-artist, at the NatureCurios shop.

Last but certainly not least are these magnificent creations from self proclaimed compulsive creator Jennifer Khoshbin. Above are her beautiful (made to order) resin deer creations, available in a variety of papers from her Etsy shop Ruby's Lounge for $335. Below are some additional, and equally amazing creations. I love the wolf head with it's piercing eyes but I also love the comic book paper she used on the bird. There's just so many possibilities! Additional articles on this uber-talented Texan can be found at Apartment Therapy, IndieFixx, and Great Green Goods.              

So what do you guys think? Would you buy or try to DIY?
Unmarked images are from the artists websites and/or shops which are linked in the article. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Chic Camera Bags

Have you ever noticed how bulky and unimaginative camera bags are? They scream "tourist!", "I contain expensive equipment," or "Don't I look like a professional?" A little over a year ago, I purchased a bag similar to this one so that I would have an updated bag (I was still using the disintegrating (circa 1970) bag handed down to me) that would hold all of the camera equipment I had - an SLR camera with a few lenses, my little Canon Elph and my Holga and all it's accessories. 
Now, with the prospects of getting a DSLR camera sometime this year, comes an interest in getting a bag that looks a lot less conspicuous and potentially even, dare I say it... chic. 
Well ladies, it looks like there's some great potential out there...

Image Copyright © 2011 THEIT Designs

THEIT Bossi Bag was introduced to me this morning by Aarean of The Color Issue who is currently having a contest to win this bag in the Gravel color. According to her website, founder Nicole Fajardo came up with the idea while working as an international flight attendant. Her interest in photography grew as she jet-setted around the globe and she quickly realized she was missing “a fashionable camera bag to protect her gear. A fruitless search sparked a dream and a vision, and THEIT was launched in 2010.” I love that this bag is a simple style - feminine, functional, modern yet classic and incredibly versatile. It comes with padded dividers and can hold a camera body along with multiple lenses and accessories. The bag is made of water-resistant, high-quality man-made polyurethane and is priced at $159 CAD (about $155 US). 

Images via Jo Totes
For those of you that prefer a more vintage feel, look no further than Jo Totes. I couldn't find much on the history of the company, besides that it started in 2009, but what I did find were some beautifully bright, cute camera bags. These bags are also simple but stylish, not too embellished. The Rose version (left) comes with four padded dividers while the Millie (right) comes with two. Both are made of water-resistant, top quality faux leather in a lambskin pattern with complementary patterned fabrics on the interior and brushed silver hardware. While the bags seem a little smaller than THEIT bag, they're also a little more affordable at $89 and $87 US respectively.

left image from Jessica Turner; right image © Robyn Pollman
A third, and just as colorful, option are the luxurious bags from Epiphanie by Maile Wilson, a professional portrait photographer and mother of three. Maile's bags have gorgeous details without being too over the top and certainly far from geeky. The red Lola bag ($165 US) is so striking with it's knots and grommets! The purple Paris bag ($185 US) is a bit larger but no less stunning. It can even fit a laptop! These bags are also constructed of water-resistant, high quality synthetic leather and include interior padding, movable panels and cross-body straps.

Now that I've found all these gorgeous and animal-friendly bags, how am I ever going to choose which one to get?!

For even more choices, check out VeraLana's 2010 blog post