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April 04, 2010

We're doing some house cleaning.


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April 01, 2010

GEN ART - 7 Reasons to Find Time

Hey Jez - Danielle Staub demonstrates how $5 chocolate bars help her fit into 7 for All Mankind JeansGEN ART, the NYC "hipster-hype" fest for all things culture is gearing up for another interesting year. At it's launch party Wednesday evening, held at 7 for All Mankind's West Broadway locale, emerging talent mixed with some established/recognized talent in art, film(TV) and fashion. Filmmakers and budding stars shared their "war" stories on what might be the next great movement. Recessions are usually beacons for change - shift points - from what the last boom left us. Some looked like they were indeed now homeless - others were relishing in the Cyndi Lauper, Warhol wanna be style found in the 8o's. Can't blame them - their parents have taught them all about those roaring 80s while reliving it for themselves.

Yet what a serious festival like GEN ART NYC will do in it's 7 days of premiers, parties and networking should leave a directional impact on entertainment going forward. As so eloquently reported by our friends over at Jezebel, there were a group of emerging celebs who roamed in their promotional best - blue jeans (looks like they fit).

As for the Films worthy of your time, visit GEN ART for tickets. The films to uncover this year are:

"Happythankyoumoreplease" by Josh Radnor (at the Zeigfeld Theatre on April 7)
"Mercy" by Patrick Hoelck
"Elektra Luxx" by Sebastian Guiterrez
"Tanner Hall" co-directed by Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Furstenberg
"Waiting For Forever" directed by James Keach
"The Wild Hunt" directed by Alexandra Franchi
"Teenage Paparazzo" by Adrian Grenier

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March 23, 2010

NYC AIPAD REVIEW

With the close of the perennial photography show in the United States, AIPAD has a host of reasons to celebrate. The photography market is firm. Dealers of all types specifically mentioned and publicly showed that sales were present. For those feeling the old tried and true images are out of reach, dealers had numerous contemporary works to mull over.

Photography of course is one of the few mediums that evolves through technological innovation. This year delved into form and function from man made saguaros to bridges in decay and in their finest. The social justice advocated from the days of the New York Photo League to legions of today's Montauk surfers make any collector envy at what incredible artist have uncovered for our visual record. Further investigate: Bourke-White, Feininger, Horst and Rosenblum.

March 22, 2010

The subtlety of "Beeswax”

Uneven in pacing (slow) and plot development (cryptic), Andrew Bujalski’s third feature film “Beeswax” overcomes some of these problems thanks to the great performances from the non-professional actors and his continued ability to capture awkward, fly-on-the-wall moments amongst the well-educated twenty and thirtysomething set.

Some of these awkward moments are better than others. When Jeannie (played by Tilly Hatcher) asks Merrill (played by Alex Karpovsky), her would-be-lawyer ex-boyfriend for legal advice since her business partner might be suing her, the audience can identify with the awkwardness of the situation. Meanwhile, watching Jeannie making out with Merrill is cringe-worthy inducing.

A much bigger issue is Bujalski’s decision to leave significant plot lines unexplained. For example, he fails to provide any backstory as to why Jeannie’s business partner wants to sue her. Therefore, it’s hard to root for / invest in Jeannie. And making Jeannie wheelchair-bound doesn’t make her any more sympathetic.

We never learn why Jeannie is paraplegic (from birth vs. accident). Nor is there an explanation as to why Lauren, Jeannie’s sister (played by real-life twin Maggie Hatcher) breaks up with her boyfriend. As frustrating as this might be, “Beeswax” feels more authentic than any film coming out of the studio system these days.

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Across the country with LUBIE LOVE - The Movie


In the film LUBIE LOVE, filmmaker Mason Hayutin has a love-hate relationship with the truck he drives across country. He loves being on the open road but he recognizes that the cost - financial and environmental far out ways the benefits.

While
Hayutin is passionate about the subject matter he has chosen to report on (re: oil), the devices he uses - primarily voiceover and talking heads do not effectively make for a compelling 66 minute documentary.

Educational in nature, the content gets repetitive as do the visuals. (Of course some relationships can be that way which may be why the title is a peculiar LUBIE LOVE). One wishes
Hayutin injected more humor into the delivery of the information and the content was more revelatory. That said, Hayutin tackles an important issue that warrants further exploration.

The film is now available as a full download by visiting here.

March 18, 2010

Masters of the Line - Heindel


Robert Heindel's career was classic. Like many, his passion was to create. Known first as an illustrator, Heindel found himself developing advertising campaigns for many household and commercial items: cars comes to mind. Yet, in the midst of subsidizing his passion for the arts with commercial work, Robert wound up mesmerized by a stage performance. Dancers, ballet and otherwise, yielded an inspiration that was limitless. From the studies and drawings (consider the original drawing Junction) to his ultimate work prior to his passing (EVE), the rigor and elegance of the performer matched his own mastery. While many artists feel and see the similarity, only a few actually can master it as Robert Heindel did.

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March 08, 2010

Film Fests of Europe: Fantasporto Film Fest

The festival season continues and The Art Quarterly has been out there doing some varied investigating. Our on the beat writers continue to deliver. The following wrap up comes from contributing Portugal based writer, Jose Pedro Lopes.

"Considered one of the world’s top 25 film festivals by Variety, the Fantasporto Film Festival was held in Oporto Portugal from February 22nd to March 6th. Some compelling facts about Fantas:
  • The thirty year old festival is now an energetic and dynamic independent (and mostly European) film festival.
  • Fantas doesn’t forget it’s early days as a sci-fi / horror festival. On the final day it helds a party called Vampire’s Ball at and old mythical theater in Oporto. This closing party is attended only by ghouls and vampires.
  • This year’s festival was dominated by British films when the time came to give the awards. Best Film was the thriller “Heartless” by Phillip Ridley and the Director’s Week winner was “Fish Tank” (BAFTA’s highly acclaimed winner).
  • Fantasporto brought Asian cinema to Portugal and it gives also an award called Orient Express. This year’s winner was “Thirst” by Park Chan Wook (Korean’s most acclaimed director, of films such as “Oldboy” and “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance”). Asian films are highly attended at the festival for they now have a cult status in Oporto.
  • Makeup effects guru Colin Arthur (from “2001 Space Odissey” and “Neverending Story”) gave a two-day masterclass at this year’s festival.

My film highlights and rankings at the festival were:
  • THIRST (Korea). A romantic epic about a vampire priest who loves an innocent battered wife, who turns out to be a manipulative wicked woman. As Korean movies always do, “Thirst” has romance, drama, comedy, horror and even a bit of slapstick visual humor. 9/10
  • COLIN (UK). This zombie movie costed only 75 dollars to make but when on to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival. What it lacks in budget, it has in creativity. In “Colin” we discover a zombie dominated London by the point of view of one of the ghouls.
  • VALHALLA RISING (DENMARK). One of the best film photography I’ve ever seen. This tale of Vikings searching for the promised land is visually stunning but lacks plot. 5/10
  • DELIVER US FROM EVIL (DENMARK). An update of “Straw Dogs” setted in Inner Europe and adapting the 1971’s classic to the hidden racism of middle Europe. A punch to the stomach, really well directed by cult director OLE BORNEDAL (Nightwatch). 8/10
  • LA HORDE (FRANCE). Cops versus Gangster versus… zombies. This is not your usual French film, ‘La Horde’ is a fierceful, violent and very entertaining action film. 7/10
  • FISH TANK (UK). A drama set in the suburbs of London about a girl who loves dancing that falls in love for her mother’s new boyfriend. New actress Katie Jarvis is amazing, one of the best film debuts ever. Winner of the BAFTA’s. 10/10
José Pedro Lopes

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