Main Tabs

31.12.12

Valtari Mystery Film Experiment


Ok, let's get meta for the end of the year.
That was my tweet on the 9th of December for the Sigur Rós Valtari mystery film experiment screening.  During that weekend of December 7-9, more than a hundred screenings of the project were taking place on all seven continents.  The screening for Montreal was at the more than awesome Phi Centre, where guests viewed 16 shorts inspired by the tracks on the band's latest album Valtari.

And the result? Let's discuss!
The premise was to give the filmmakers creative freedom.  Neither the band nor the filmmakers knew the content of anyone else projects. Knowing this, it is interesting to observe overall themes and imagery that came out of the shorts.

The album Valtari consists of 8 tracks, some of which were used as the sole guide to the video or two or three songs were compiled to create a longer piece.  The most dominant track was "varúð", which was featured in five of the videos.  Overall feel/conjured imagery: atmospheric is a given, moody, end of the world as we know it/economic collapse aesthetic.
Examples:




Another dominant theme was nature (surprise!)  The sweeping sounds of Sigur Rós dares you not to conjure images of (Icelandic?) landscapes full of dollies and pans of forests and celestial montages.
Examples:




The films varied in themes, styles and production values.  The music lends itself easily to dance/performance and is represented by 5-6 shorts in the series (depending on your personal interpretation.)

Two dance/performance pieces from top: film #7: varðeldur by melika bass and film #13: varðeldur by clare langan

But things start getting tricky when a narrative is applied; such as leaning towards solace by Floria Sigismondi.  Being a fan of her work since the nineties, I was surprised at the heavy handed voice-over and certain clichéd imagery.  The video featured Elle Fanning and John Hawkes; two actors whose faces and expressions I could stare at for hours, but with the already emotional Sigur Rós track, the extra maudlin touches lacked subtlety that could have taken the clip to the next level.

Floria was not alone in the heavy narrative catagory, but somehow film #9: seraph by Dash Shaw and John Cameron Mitchell fared a bit better.  Maybe because it was an animation.  You be the judge.

But enough with being critical- let's talk about coincidences!  As mentioned earlier, there was no conferring between the directors or the band.
The carving/drawing with glass and making eyes.
Seen in film #3 fjögur píanó by alma har'el and film #9, mentioned above.

Removing peeling paint from walls
seen from top: film #15: varúð by björn flóki and film #14: valtari by christian larson

People crying (even in the same aspect ratio!)
from top: film #4: rembihnútur by arni & kinski and film #3: fjögur píanó by alma har'el and yes that is Shia Leboeuf getting all performance art on us.

There is also blonde haired girls with gemstones glued to the corner of thier eyes, plenty of animals, New York City, and snowfall/rainfall. But please feel free to treasure hunt for those yourselves!

I'll take this moment to mention one of my personal faves, a short that features a body covered in what looks like gooey marshmallow, shot in negative?

That's it for me! Wishing you lots of food, art, film and fashion awesomeness in the new year!
Amusez-vous!



28.12.12

Arielle de Pinto Holiday Sale

During the gift-giving season Arielle de Pinto went and had a series of holiday sales in TO, NYC and MTL, yo.  Only having finally recently acquired jewelery from this awesome designer, I thought why not add my own piece of merry ho ho to my imaginary christmas stocking.  Cheque book in hand, off I went.

Hosted in the awesome space by Hercules Taxidermy just up the street from me (convinient!), the sale featured Arielle's signature crochet pieces in a variety of metals, hair bun cages, and crystal baubles.  What intrigued me the most was that mass of shininess above-I was compelled to try it on.


 ...And the result? The insanely beautiful Waterfall tanktop- admittedly my sweatshirt is not the best piece to go with it, but you get the idea yes?  Unfortunately this wasn't the piece to go home with me.  But with more hesitant than usual hemming and hawing (should I really be spending money on myself today?!)  I picked out this:
 The Everybody Duster is a three finger ring of six conjoined figurines, it's a little hard to wear with gloves admittedly, but it. looks. amazing.

17.12.12

Eastern Bloc: Data Salon II

I'm a little late to the posting party. Things got busy, but it's never too late to share!

Sometime back I went down to the Eastern Bloc to check out Data : Salon II, featuring the works of Alexandre Larose and Félix & Paul.  The evening was an off-site presentation in conjunction with the "Looking through time" event organised by McGill University’s Moving Image Research Laboratory.  

Félix&Paul presented two 3D works and judging by the image above, there is no way I can do it any justice without sticking a pair of 3D glasses on you!  And yes, that is the head of a caribou.  This is a still from the film "Kobe" that was shot in and around Igloolik (yes, that is the arctic!) revolving around a young boy and his daily life.  In case you're expecting the caribou head to come out and jump off the screen as we've come to know commercial 3D films, let me assure you that is not the case.  In fact it is the inverse that takes place, the depth of space is what is most remarkable here, alas, I can only describe it to you!

Above, “Aller/Retour” is Alexandre Larose's film installation/performance of one mega film loop that passes through each of the four 16mm projectors, displaying four images following each other through time and space.  Larose moves back and forth between the projectors, maintaining the tension of the loop and compensating for the not perfectly sync 24fps vintage beasts.

Some seating, placed with a slight curve to reduce the parallel distortion of the projectors.

The projectors, some gobo stands and the giant loop! Projectors also placed on a slight curve to compensate for distortion.

Close-up of the loop at work. Rad!

I like GIFs, Larose at work

3.12.12

Dita Von Teese, NYTimes

Quote day!
I'm catching up on some reading and thought I'd share an excerpt from the New York Times article "Dita Von Teese, From Burlesque to a Brand" by Ruth La Ferla.

"She shared with her husband, a penchant for self-invention. Problems arose in part because, she says, "I liked being Heather Sweet from Michigan, but I don't think he liked being Brian Hugh Warner from Ohio." 

The husband in question is of course Marilyn Manson, to whom Dita was married to for just over a year.  What was great about this quote was the discovery that Dita's real name is a perfectly acceptable burlesque stage name; although limits one to very soft/cute/delicate numbers.  The whole kinky/fetish side to Miss Von Teese would have been ix-nayed had she stayed Sweet.

The couple during happier times: above left pic is from here and the koala is from this tumblr with no credit of origin.

27.11.12

En Mouvement

Is there anything more poetic and super awesome to view than the human body in motion?
Ok, natural vistas are pretty spectacular too, but we'll save that for another time.  For this post it is the feats and force of the body that makes me go "wow" and trust me when I say I get very emotional when the Olympics come around.

I was so, so stoked to have seen Compagnie Marie Chouinard's Henri Michaux: Movements, during the CINARS Biennale.  Chouinard is seen above explaining concept: dancers follow Michaux's illustrated figures from his 1952 book, as if it were transcribed choreography.  It was kinetic, wild and exhilarating.  Watch a clip here.

Bang! Bang!
Cirquantique's Bang! Bang! Cabaret Prohibition featured plenty of saucy and sexy burlesque and circus oriented feats.  Arial work always impresses!  Above (literally!) on the corde lisse is Lili la terreur.

More from Bang! Bang! Melodie Martin Couture on the fixed trapeze

And finally if you wanted to have inspiration for getting buff/ripped/jacked, while yelling your lungs out and having sweaty palms all in one evening, then Tour de Bloc is for you.  We watched with bated breath as the men and women of Canada's bouldering elite conquered plastic at Allez-Up, (who was showing off their new facilities.)  In the foreground: Marine Cusa and in the background Cloé Legault.

Phew...I'm pooped now.

15.11.12

MMM x H&M just landed


It is safe to say that there was much anticipation for the Maison Martin Margiela collaboration for H&M after early views of the collection were released. Last night at the media/industry preview a controlled chaos took hold of the flagship store as shoppers staked their claim.

 Crowd view from above!

Frothy cocktails and a staff member wears a Margiela apron.

After the initial rush of the crowd I got to lean back and enjoy a tasty canapé or two and watch those who scored a large haul exit with arms full of the logoed white on white shopping bags.  As for yours truly, I picked up the silver candy wrapper clutch and hightailed it to the cinema to watch two and a half hours of Daniel Craig wearing Tom Ford suits (nerd out here and here).

13.11.12

Underground art sale & OMEN

In the mid to late nineties I remember reading the Mirror's Best of Montreal polls and seeing Omen's name over and over in the graffiti category.  When we met for the first time in the mid-00's, I remember thinking to myself that I imagined him to be much older in my teenage mind.

The other day I met Omen in the afternoon to do a little art shopping.  The pieces that I was interested in were from the 2008 show So Low back when Gallerie Yves Laroche was down in Old Montreal.  The works were a series of small black and white paintings on Canadian Tire money.  We went down to a basement where the works were being stored.
By the light of Omen's mobile telephone, I picked out two pieces and took them home.
Sweet.

4.11.12

Brick

Movie post!
It's been a while eh?
You may or may not recall sometime ago in this space I had mentioned that a group of friends and I held monthly movie nights to discover hidden (and not so hidden) cinematic gems?  Well we have finally completed a cycle and my time to choose has come up again.
  

Last time around I chose Lindsay Anderson's
If... , Malcolm McDowell's first film, winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1969 and a movie I loved back when I watched it in my Cegep days.  Upon re-watching I kind of felt that the film, dare I say, needed an edit?!  I felt terrible having these thoughts. Didn't I love this movie?  Didn't I get a kickass grade on my term paper about the film?  Has my attention span been reduced to nothing?!
I draw no conclusions here; let's move along.


Movie choice this time around is Brick, the 2005 debut by Rian Johnson (Looper yes!), starring my school girl crush Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  I saw this neo-noir-ish film back when it had a limited release in theatres.  I struggled with the whip smart, fast talking, detective story set in a high school setting, asking myself: who talks like this?!  My movie date whispered to me: "think of it as Shakespeare."  And with that I was able to chill the fuck out and let my suspension of disbelief kick in and enjoy the show.  In a nutshell there's a guy, he's the hero, there's a girl, she's the ex-girlfriend in trouble, there is also a femme fatal/gangster moll, there's some drugs, there's some bad guys with names like the Pin and Tug.  This all takes place in a high school scenario. It is awesome.

There are great little nuggets of info on this film from its
wikipedia page, including how the first-time filmmaker began developing the script in 1997, the fundraising of its shy of half a million dollar budget, and the shooting of the film in twenty days.  Geek out on the film trivia!

Of course this film is PACKED with amazing
quotes, one of my faves:

THE BRAIN:  What first, tip the bulls?

BRENDAN: No, bulls would gum it. They'd flash their dusty standards at the wide-eyes and probably find some yegg to pin, probably even the right one. But they'd trample the real tracks and scare the real players back into their holes, and if we're doing this I want the whole story. No cops, not for a bit.
                        
THE BRAIN: So what first?

BRENDAN: I don't know. Your mom still have the cell?

THE BRAIN: In her car.

BRENDAN: Borrow it for a few days, get me the number. Wait for my word, and cover for me first period. I'm going to be a little late.

2.11.12

Vans-OTH x Taka Hayashi


Last night Vans-Off the Hook hosted an event to show off longtime Vans Vault collaborator Taka Hayashi's spring '13 offerings and personal artwork. The "Vault" is premium skate line featuring limited edition styles and collaborations that revamp Vans' classic models.

Some of the wares for spring 2013

Tooled leather detailing

Hayashi's ink and watercolor artworks

I would like to take this moment to say: other than the Isabel Marant high top wedge that has spun a million "inspirational" versions, why don't women have really cool kicks?  I do not want the thin soled, pink and silver version of the men's shoe.  Maybe I'm exaggerating just a bit, but sometimes I just want the smaller size of the guy's shoes and no sequins please.

1.11.12

Dark Horses

A one day sale will be taking place at the awesome art space of la Fonderie Darling.  Tomorrow November 2nd, Dark Horses will take hold of the space formerly occupied by Cluny to host a sale of young designers, where you can drop your cold cash and dance til the late hours.


Intrigued? Me too...tomorrow I'll be checking out the wares of Genevieve Savard, LaLaYeah, Pedram Karimi, Mylène B., Ovate, Ursa Minor, Marmod8, Maude Nibelungen and by Thomas.  Oh yes, and the sale is cash only, which might be more reasonable than a credit card.

30.10.12

MMM x H&M

With almost twenty designer collaborations under their belt H&M got everyone all excited back in 2004 with their first guest designer Karl Lagerfeld.  Many other mass market retailers have gone collab cray cray, increasing the interest in the luxury market and bringing forth many covetable and affordable pieces to your wardrobe or your home (Target x Neiman Marcus is coming up for those watching).  The downside of this are the hoarders who line up, clean up and sell on eBay for way more than the items' worth, thus defeating the purpose.
Ok, now that I got that out of my system...


Dropping on November 15th is the mysterious house of  Maison Martin Margiela collaboration with H&M.  The collection consists of approximately 104 items of apparel and accessories for men and women of off-kilter proportions. (And I do mean this in a good way).

While I was browsing the press site, I had an accessory surprise moment: I got a kick out of these metallic candy wrapper clutches.  I visualized them the size of a wallet or an standard issue envelope clutch and thought that that was awesome in of itself.  But wait! There's more to it...
Extra baggy pants aside-look at the size of that clutch! It's HUGE! How can you ever be cranky carrying that thing around? Sign me up!

23.10.12

Toqué!


One of Montreal's most celebrated restaurants Toqué! is marking it's 20th anniversary with it's first book Toqué! Les artisans d'une gastronomie Québecoise/Creators of a new Québec gastronomy (éditions du passage).  The book launch took place at the very cavernous Arsenal art complex, complete with tasty snacks and purveyors of wine. Yum!

 The massive space used to be a shipyard and now houses the works of two galleries (René Blouin, Division Gallery) and a private collection; all while acting as a host to a variety of events.

Some bites were provided by the Grumman '78 and Nouveau Palais food trucks.  Long lineups ensued.

The very lauded Chef Normand Laprise and his associate Christine Lamarche packed the mighty hardcover not only with the restaurant's unique recipes but also with tales of the journeys from the farms and rivers to the kitchen and on your table.

Photographer Dominique Malaterre shot all the accompanying images for the book; from the atmospheric to drool-worthy.
Above left: a river view at Kamouraska and right: an apple and vanilla grass cocktail.

21.10.12

Street, Lifestyle and Spring13

The very lovely people of streetwear/action sport oriented Agence Royal and Dela Cruz Pr hosted a preview of their SS13 collections.  With a tea in hand I perused the goods.

Why hello again to the west coast cool of Lifetime Collective.  Above their skinny ties show off two prints that will reoccur in the collection.

A newbie in town is the label minimum from Denmark.  The lifestyle brand is laid back/cool with a touch of dapper for men and a touch of cozy slickness for the ladies.  For SS13: matching bowties and pocket squares!

Hi again Generic Surplus!  Love the yellow sole!

While I kind of have an aversion to plastic/rubber shoes (Crocs?! *shudder*) I somehow found this teeny tiny Native waterproof boot pretty rad.  Each model is based on a classic shoe design, (Adidas Stan Smith's, Converse's Chuck Taylor's, etc; it is safe to assume this one would be a Sorel).  I also learned you can toss these in the wash and they are smellproof. How convenient.

I actually want that blue VELOUR shoe.  It's from Native's fall collection and it belongs to Audrey from Agence Royal...love it!

Also on show was Stance Socks, the street/skate/snow oriented brand full of prints, patterns, deliberately "mismatched" socks and the ever present artist collab.  As a lover of happenstance, I had to Instagram Audrey and PE who were coincidentally wearing the same pair.