Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weekend Video

I was listening to an interview on NPR with Greg Mottola, the director of "Superbad", when they played the scene where Fogell gets his fake i.d. - one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite summer movies. Listening to it on the radio with just the sound, I was knocked out by how good the dialog was and how one sharp line follows another. So try listening to it first without watching.

I generally have pretty highbrow/artsy taste in movies, but if you haven't seen the film I can't recommend it highly enough. It may be a teen "gross-out" comedy, but it's a near perfect movie with a great narrative, a great script, and wonderful performances from a cast who if not famous at the time have nearly all gone on stardom.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What You See is Not Always What You Get...

Over the last few years, New York Magazine has established itself as one of the leading exponents of great photography. Mixing photo-journalism, pick-up, and the creative commissioning of fine art photographers, the magazine can regularly be counted on to deliver eye-catching images. Under Director of Photography Jody Quon (a longtime deputy to the New York Times Magazine's Kathy Ryan) and Editor Adam Moss the art of matching subject and photographer is both astute and surprising.

A great example is last week's memorable picture of gender-bending model Andrej Pejic by the renowned French photographer Valerie Belin. Belin does not usually do editorial work so the choice was as inspired as the result. On the surface, it's a photographic Gainsborough portrait. A beautiful person beautifully rendered in a distinctive style, but when you understand that the subject is in fact a man, you can't help but be drawn back to study the picture in greater detail to see what clues, if any, you missed. It's "The Crying Game" in a single frame. A picture worth at least the thousand words that you can read here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Weekend Video - Senna

By now, those of you who are sick of the monkey picture will realize I'm on something of a summer hiatus. Officially I'm back after Labor Day.

But one last post and recommendation for the summer.

"Senna" is a documentary about about the Brazilian motor-racing champion, Ayrton Senna that is being released in the States tomorrow. It explores his arrival in Formula One in the mid 1980s, and follows his struggles both on track against his rival, French World Champion Alain Prost, and off it, against the internal politics of the sport. Directed by Asif Kapadia, it was a huge success in England and won the World Cinema Audience Award for documentaries at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

The film is a gripping story on many levels. There is the charisma of its subject, matters of spirituality, and glimpses into Brazilian culture. Beacause I knew so little about Senna and motor racing, the story kept me on the edge of my seat while the insight in to Formula One racing was a fascinating glimpse into another world.

Just see it.

Ciao for now.