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Modern Love

25 Jul

Ross and I had a moment to talk together last night without a five year old loudly interrupting. It was past my bedtime, but it felt so good to be talking to him without children running about or needing anything, so I stayed up. He was looking at some random link about David Bowie’s art collection. He wasn’t too impressed, and mentioned something about a bunch of “modern” stuff. I then made the necessary joke asking “anything titled, ‘Modern Love?'” and he sort of laughed and said “No”. Next thing I know, he’s pulling up this old clip:


Does it remind you of this?

Is this “Frances Ha” montage a reference or a homage to Carax? A lazy attempt at a homage? A rip-off? Appropriation?

We discussed these things. I do love watching the “Mauvais Sang” montage a lot more than the short “Frances Ha” one. Denis Lavant is alluring and weird, and so wild. And he’s really doing all that running and cavorting; there’s only one cut in there. That’s about how deep my film analysis goes. Ross had more interesting thoughts on the matter.


Wasteland, the film

13 Jan

“Wasteland”, by Lucy Walker, is a film about the artist Vic Muniz.Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 5.22.22 PMIf you don’t know Muniz, you should. His artwork is magical and whimsical in the most beautiful way. I have always loved his work, and was happy to see the portraits that are featured in this film, at The Mint, here in Charlotte. I didn’t know he was also a humanitarian until I saw this feature. I do love a good artist who also happens to care about people. That Muniz could also contribute something so great (a large sum of money) back to those whom he photographed is awesome; not everyone can do that. I am so glad that there are people who realize how incredible Vic Muniz’s work is, and are willing to spend a lot of dollars on it.

This film shows the making of the portraits, from selecting the subjects, to photographing them, to the real work of art, re-creating the image, with trash. These images are huge, they take up a whole warehouse floor, Muniz must climb up some really tall scaffolding to view, direct, and photograph the works. The process is quite something to watch. waste-land-2

I found this film fascinating, as I spend more time than I would like to admit thinking about the refuse of daily life, it’s hard not to when we live in a consumerism culture. Something has to happen to those things when they are not wanted anymore and so, because we live in a consumerism culture, we also live in a wasteful culture. What happens to all that waste? Well if you’re lucky, like five people in Brazil were, it becomes a work of art, and then changes your life forever.

INtroDucing: FabOversight ArtistCollective: read our weblog now

20 Nov

Fabrication + Oversight: Fab Oversight        culture + for the curious: culturosity


image by Jenny Hanson

Prettier than insta gram

14 Oct

Remember film?! It’s prettier than Instagram, I promise.


Before Midnight, the movie

15 Jul

By Molly Wilbanks

I was really into Ethan Hawke back in high school. I watched all of his movies and managed to convince someone, once, that he was my boyfriend. I was pretending to be depressed because he had broken up with me for Uma Thurman (yes, I really did this). I especially loved Before Sunrise, taking the time to pause through that romantic, spontaneous poem that his character writes for Celine, so I could copy it down word for word. Nowadays Hawke sort of reminds me of a drowned rat but I still enjoy watching him act, and I enjoyed this film. After a week or so of trying, the husband and I finally got a chance to watch Before Midnight. This film flows amazingly well considering that it is all dialogue. It’s clear that Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy have a generous helping of chemistry… I guess three films of playing the same characters may do this to a couple of actors.

While I wasn’t so interested in the philosophical aspect of the conversations, musings on age, marriage, and love, I never got bored during all the talk. By the end of the film, there is a big blow-up and this is where I found myself more interested. The faces get really fun to watch, well, Delpy’s face does. Hawke’s face needs a shave, but still, I watched it. I am endlessly fascinated by the myriad of ways we humans communicate, words, of which seem to be the most ambiguous of all. How much more do we communicate through looks, gestures, and the absence of words? The depths of non-word communication are quite deep, as anyone who has been in a romantic relationship will no doubt agree. The way that we learn loved ones methods of “talking” over the years is also fascinating to me.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 10.17.08 PM

By Ross Wilbanks

In the film’s looks and gestures hang this emotional lynchpin: Is Jessie serious in trying to convince Celine to move to the United States to be closer with his son? He only declares it once and in defense of Celine’s abashment says, ‘So there’s no way…’

Ethan Hawke’s laid back charm does have a sinister quality. A way of sliding the problem discussed back-at-you. In real life, Men often can work this angle of suggesting something dramatic very casually and, letting the woman react, break down the argument on the side of reason, breaking down confidence and instinct and then, bringing back the issue with an advantageous angle. In real life and in drama too, this happens. A trope used by Spencer Tracy in his movies with Katherine Hepburn is to rile her by this same casual suggestion, allow Hepburn to work up her dramatic temper to a silly boil then steal the scene with a simple gesture coupled with a wily straight face (Bill Cosby added a wrinkle to this face as well). The gesture needs to be simple, the pulling of an ear, rolling of the tongue … nothing too fancy.

Returning to Celine and Jessie with this in mind, I keep sympathies with Celine though she looks on the objective surface very annoyed (annoying); needling, pestering Jessie at all critical points of exchange. When quiet she looks defensive in anticipation. Perhaps she is trying to keep the laid back commando off-balance, but what if she’s simply making too big a deal over this? Maybe Jessie was just trying to work on the problem out loud?

I return to these thoughts each time I think of this film the past two weeks: not the lighting, not a passing reference to the 1953 masterpiece Voyage to Italy, not the director-as-auteur. Some very good film writing has taken these items up, and more, and it’s a nice beat to see a film inspire upon its initial release. With my personal life approaching similar situations as Jessie and Celine’s, I find the intricacies of their arguments more interesting than any of the film’s form.

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