Main Tabs

13.4.15

Live Through This

Live Through This by Anwen Crawford is one of the latest explorations from the awesome pocket-sized series of books 33 1/3 that focus on seminal albums of music history.  As a Hole fan during the albums era, this book was an insightful revisit to the past.  Crawford explores the themes of motherhood, pageantry, vulnerability, feminism-and what it means to be a woman in the male dominated rock n' roll arena.  The rumours of Kurt writing Courtney's music are put to rest by interviews with the album's producers.  While my CD copy of Live Through This is long gone, the memories of the album, its b-sides and bootlegged rare tracks all came flowing back to me.  Did I mention I LOVED reading this book?

My orchid dies a second time.

22.3.15

Judith & Charles FW15











Many moons ago, I got to know the French label Teenflo as a fashion assistant for their look books and campaigns for the Canadian market. The founders who brought Teenflo across the Atlantic embarked onto their own design adventure transitioning to their namesake made-in-Canada contemporary brand: Judith & Charles.  Clean lines, impeccable tailoring, and a magical shift dress that somehow looks good on anybody are some of the characteristics of this refined line.

The airy and light space of Galerie Samuel Lallouz provided a crisp setting to Judith & Charles' FW15 preview that was fresh and familiar at the same time.  A wall lined with Ralph Gibson's black and white photography was a perfect backdrop for that very covetable jumpsuit which cycles through the collection in different incarnations every few seasons.

A little internet sleuthing led me to find that the gallery had been designed by Architem Architectes who were also responsible for the design of an early Teenflo locale and Judith & Charles' retail space in Vancouver.  I emailed my PR contact at the company asking her if she had known of the connection, but it was indeed a coincidence.
It was just meant to be.

16.3.15

Esquire.com x Ford x WRG

I'm super pleased to share some collages that I contributed to Esquire.com x Ford spring style advertorial that was produced by WRG Magazine.  The themes focused on performance, tech and design for menswear trends.  It's been a loooooong time since I had done any digital collages (at least five years!!) and it felt so familiar, fun, and obsessive. Digital collage-for me-utilizes such a different work flow and approach than more traditional paper and glue collage. One has way less anxiety!  I have commitment phobia! Glue issues as well-maybe...  So this revisit to digital has been very liberating in a way. I am ready for more!

Check out the editorial here: Spring Forward With Style

8.3.15

Tea Break


Since the new year, life/work has been puttering away at a comfy pace.  But as a freelancer sometimes you get slammed and shit gets cray and you begin compartmentalizing as much as possible and list-making gets taken to the next level.  This is where taking a moment to have a breather with the soothing warmth of a cup of tea becomes abso-fucking-lutely-necessary to take those stress levels down and chill for a minute or three.

Ahhh...

Earl Grey my most favourite tea, characterized by its bergamot flavour and a splash of milk transports me to my happy place.  This Kusmi Tea yielded a delicious pot of temporary serenity.
Oh, is it done already?
Back to work!

28.2.15

SF/Bay Area photo diary pt.2

Pretty much the only thing I have to talk about is the weather. It's cliché, I know, but this Montreal winter has been particularly brutal this year.  Engaging in denial, wool, and reminiscing of warmer times may or may not help me get through this North of the Wall winter, but it's worth a try.
Ahhh...I can feel the warmth on my face already...


After the sunset at Freemont Older Open Space Preserve and hanging with some dear friends and toddlers, we headed to some wine tastings in the Healdsburg area (lots of love for J Vineyards) and got some middle-of-the-day booze naps in Novato.
Onwards to San Francisco.


More crab was found at Ocean Beach as we sipped our Trouble Coffee in the sand.  Much architecture was admired. No, wait, much architecture was consistently inciting exclamations of love and real estate envy.  I could barely keep it together.

.

1. #lookup, Outerlands
2. a work by Ted Noten in the Ornamentum booth at the FOG Design+Art fair
3. more java at Blue Bottle Coffee in the Heath Ceramics factory


What, is it the end already? Back to reality



7.2.15

Jodorowsky's Dune

image from here

I love documentary films, they are my go-to cinematic selections that feed that side of me that needs to know.  I'm a compulsive google-er and I've always loved watching DVD/Blu-ray extras after the movie.  Now present me with a documentary about the making of a movie?  About Alejandro Jodorowsky's efforts to bring Frank Herbert's Dune to life? Give it to me.

I used to photograph in-between frames of films back in the CRT television days.  This was one image I saved from El Topo (1970), my first introduction to Jodorowsky.  This film is a surrealist and absurdist hero's journey in the form of a western, starring Jodorowsky himself as the main figure. This film falls in the same school of thought featuring visually rich and symbolically heavy tableaux as Parajanov or Fellini have created in their earlier films.  

In Jodorowsky's Dune (2013), the viewer is introduced to an ambitious feat in science-fiction filmmaking, one that never comes to fruition.  The film re-lives Jodorowsky's journey in assembling his army of "spiritual warriors" with names like H.R Giger, Dan O'Bannon, Orson Welles and Salvador Dali (!?!?!?) being attached to the project. This totally boggled my mind. 

Jodorowsky and Pavich, image from here

There are loads of incredible nuggets in this Frank Pavich directed doc, but so much of the life of the film comes from the central character, Jodorowsky himself, bursting with energy and colourful quotes.

On filmmaking:
"What is the goal of life? It's to create yourself a soul. For me, movies are an art...more than an industry.  And it's the search of the human soul...as painting, as literature, as poetry.  Movies are that for me."

On his ambitions:
"My ambition with Dune was tremendous.  So what I wanted was to create a prophet. I want to create a prophet to change the young minds of all the world.  For me Dune will be the coming of a god.  Artistical, cinematographical god.  For me, it was not to make a picture.  It was something deeper.  I wanted to make something sacred, free, with a new perspective.  Open the mind!  [...] My ego, my intellect, I want to open!  And I start the fight to make Dune."

On assembling his army or team of collaborators:
"In that time I was like a prophet, I was enlightened.  And I give to them that they are not only making a picture.  They are making something important for humanity.  They have a mission, they were warriors."

Richard Stanley on Jodorowsky:
"Alejandro is a bit like a dictator or a cult leader in assembling his army around him.  Alejandro's genius was picking those people and finding absolutely the right people for designing the spaceship, the clothes or designing the whole look of the world.  I think he seized the potential of science-ficiton."

In the end, it was not meant to be.  Despite amount of prep that had gone into the project, financing did not go through citing the lack of confidence in the director's ability to helm such a big project. In 1984, a non-sensical studio romp of Dune was released, directed by David Lynch, who has since distanced himself from the project.

Jodorowsky on the studio system:
"This system make of us slaves.  Without dignity. Without depth.  With a devil in our pocket.  This incredible money in our pocket.  This money.  This shit.  This nothing. This paper who have nothing inside.  Movies have heart.  Have mind.  Have power.  Have ambition.  I wanted to do something like that.  Why not?"

On viewing Lynch's Dune:
"When I heard that David Lynch would direct, I have a pain because I admire David Lynch.  He can do it! [...] I suffer because it was my dream, another person will do that maybe better than me.  [...] I will not go to see [the picture] because I will die.  And my sons say, "No, we are warriors.  You need to come and see that." [...] I start to see the picture and step by step, step by step, step by step, I became happy because the picture was awful!  It's a failure!  Well, it's a human reaction no?  I say, "It is not possible.  Is not David Lynch because he is a big artist."  Is the producer that did that."

Although we might fantasize of the greatness that could have been, is it possible that Jodorowsky was spared from disaster and the weight of such a big production?  Maybe the film would have toiled in a cinematic hell as Lynch's did?  
In the end Jodorowsky fulfills his prophecy as the influence of the well-documented imagery and the assembled warriors have since permeated the cinematic landscape.  They are all whispering, "I am Dune."

25.1.15

SF/Bay Area photo diary pt.1

Above, the soaring trees of Big Basin Redwoods State Park 

Ah yes, I'm still in vacation mode.  I've been culling through the piles of images I shot playing with the new Canon 7D MarkII, which yielded great results.  But sometimes the good old iPhone 6 worked out just fine when the DSLR wasn't on me and produced equally good shots.  So this post (the outdoorsy/nature post) and part two (the city-ish post) of the photo diary will be a mix of the two cameras and astute viewer can likely spot the difference.

A lone windblown tree at Davenport Beach

The pier at Capitola Beach

       Big Sur coming up...
All the superlatives you've ever heard about driving along SR1/Pacific Coast Highway and its epic stunning amazingness are all true.  I couldn't get enough of the view and I was completely mind-bloggled at the many mailboxes and driveways entrances that lined the west side of the highway.  People live down there!? WTF?  I sent out a wish to the universe for a dinner invitation to one of these homes during the short time we would spend down in Big Sur.  Alas, this wish did not come true.  As we were driving back from the Esalen hot springs at 3am blissed out on minerals, our little rental vehicle struck a rock of misjudged size and was promptly ripped of its oil pan.  Major buzzkill.   Thank goodness for insurance.

Onwards to the north...
Driving north on California 1 from San Francisco we headed to Muir Woods. We took a crazy winding detour on the Panoramic Highway, a narrow cliff hugging road that led us to Stinson Beach as alas, the Muir Beach access was closed.  We went back south on the 1 with more twists and turns towards our lunch at the Pelican Inn before heading into the woods.  We saw more epic trees and filled our lungs with delicious oxygenated air. 

Having not been to the West coast since I was a very small child (so I don't think it really counts), I have to say you Californians are SPOILED for intense natural beauty! Oh, and great weather.  I'm having serious denial problems about being back to the cold.