A Weekend of Film

“When fashion fans talk about street style these days, they’re likely to drop the names of Scott Schuman, Yvan Rodic aka The Facehunter or Garance Doré . But most of them forget about a true pioneer in this field, 80-year-old New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, who now gets the credit he deserves in new documentary Bill Cunningham New York.”
– The Independent (UK)

Bill Cunningham is a jack of all trades that has finally settled into his passion of fashion photography with his name co-branded with the New York Times fashion pages. Dropping out of Harvard in 1949, Cunningham moved to NYC to make hats under the name of “William J.” He published a series of photos in the Times in December 1978 that was a milestone in newspaper. The above documentary is what one could call a tribute to the career and creativity that this photography pioneer has brought us from his amiable personality down to the meticulous nature of developing film (yes, he’s still old-fashioned and uses film). Check out more info on the film here: http://zeitgeistfilms.com/billcunninghamnewyork/playdates.html. Note: there is a screening at CU on 4/22 if any of you are interested!

A friend and I went to a few films at the Boulder International Film Festival this weekend and to be completely honest. . . I was beyond impressed. So great! The films chosen were absolutely fascinating, surrounding topics that I ordinarily wouldn’t go to see in theaters, yet, there was something romantic about seeing a film about clowns wielding machetes during the Spanish Civil War in the Boulder Theater. A paradigmatic shift in my perception of a local music hall has been born.

Two films listed below surround the act of spectacle within the circus and I would argue can (and should) be watched together, along with the 1929 Tom Browning film “Freaks”.  The first of the two videos is from the 2010 Alex de la Iglesia film “Balada Triste” (Sad Ballad), or in English, entitled “The Last Circus”. The film depicts a love triangle that stands as a trope for the strife between the Spanish and the rebels during the Spanish Civil War. On screen the film reads along the lines of what we Americans love to call an “epic” movie (something along the lines of 300, Troy…), however, much of the cinematography is actually enthralling, the makeup and costuming are wonderfully contrived, and the film moves quickly enough to keep your attention. After seeing this, I couldn’t help but return to a film that I saw last summer by Alejandro Jodorowsky entitled Santa Sangre (1989). The second of the two videos below is the trailer to this film that is hard to find in English subtitles let alone FIND in the US. If you can, watch it though, for the grotesqueries within it are mindboggling. I’m still trying to figure out if the two films could be shown side by side, as they both contain many similarities surrounding the act of spectacle within the circus and the psychological effects of the circus culture on children. Each film’s primary character is a product of a peculiar lifestyle that was not of their choosing but predestined by another selfish force. Though the Last Circus fails to directly address the carnivalesque aspect of the paradigmatic shift of subject-object relations, I would argue that within the insanity of the “sad-clown” character Javier, the shift from his position of subordination within the circus to that of control in his newfound position as a lunatic clown running about Spain with AK-47’s is an undeniable embodiment of the shift of objectification. Definitely check them out!

The trailer immediately below, of Into Eternity, is a documentary about the construction of Onkalo, the Finnish solution to discarding of nuclear waste. Onkalo is a a cave, 500 meters beneath the earth’s surface, that is to be the solution to the disposal of dangerous radioactive waste. The film is beyond captivating, as it is not necessarily about that waste itself, but moreso the communication structures of the future, and if (and how) we will be able to communicate with future generations. These future generations of topic, however, are 100,000 years away from us, today. The primary question of the people constructing Onkalo is whether or not individuals of the future will find this cave (as it is to be covered up and hidden entirely from the world) and whether or not to warn them of its existence, for fear of curiosity gettting the best of them, thus risking an occurrence of all of Finland being exposed to radioactivity without knowing, as such material has no warning through smell or sight. The film fascinated me most of all when one of the directors of Onkalo jokingly stated that each day the staff fears that they will stumble upon a copper cylindrical container while drilling, implying the question of whether or not lifestyles similar ours may have existed before the ice age. Is it all cyclical?

For more information, CNN has coverage here.

And who can forget about Thom Yorke? New album came out this past week.


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