Monday Mood Board #12

ART Immortal – the Holy Grail of art rediscoveries to be auctioned at Christie’s.  If only I had an extra 100 million dollars to spare…. 

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” unveiled recently at Christie’s. Credit: Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In something of an auction coup, Christie’s has secured two blockbuster works for its November Contemporary sale: the last known Leonardo da Vinci in private hands, “Salvator Mundi” or “Savior of the World,” and Andy Warhol’s final silk-screen, “Sixty Last Suppers.” – The NY Times

Andy Warhol’s “Sixty Last Suppers,” at Christie’s New York. Credit: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Christie’s Auction House

The Leonardo da Vinci work is estimated at $100 million and the Warhol at $50 million. Each has been guaranteed by a third, undisclosed party.

Read the whole New York Times article here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/arts/design/christies-leonardo-da-vinci-and-warhol.html

PICASSO’S OLD ART SCHOOL

L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière,

At the unchanged atelier of L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière, you might find yourself sitting in the very same chair where Pablo and a few of his friends, such as Manet and Cezanne, sat sketching their model a century ago. It’s open to the public for sketching workshops in the afternoon, Monday to Saturday, except on Wednesday when there’s an evening session from 7-10pm. No reservations are necessary, just show up with paper and pencils, no teacher, just the model. (14 rue de la Grande Chaumière, 6eme; See the ‘Free Workshop’ and ‘School’ sections of the website for all prices and timetables: grande-chaumiere.fr/en).  Oh by the way, this is in Paris.

L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière,

Channel Gabrielle, the eternal rebel (new Chanel perfume teaser) with a message

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxYRrb7nJ9M

It’s madness out there

“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at your 3 best friends. If they’re ok, then it’s you.” – Rita Mae Brown

There is no great genius without some touch of madness – someone said.

 

 

VIFF: The Nile Hilton Incident

My reasoning for choosing this feature from the many contemporary world cinema selections were the words “Nile Hilton.”

That’s because I stayed there for almost a month in 1999 (now it’s called the Ramses Hilton) in a beautiful 2-bedroom suite on an executive floor as my husband had business in Cairo.  I would take my coffee on the balcony overlooking the River Nile and enjoy all-day refreshments in the lounge.  It was very decadent at that time and I got to know the staff while Don was working, hung out at the pool and walked a short distance to the Egyptian museum to check out the mummies…more than once.  I got to know a lot of shopkeepers too.  I bought gold jewelry, perfume, leather bags, a silk carpet and a belly-dancing outfit.  I had a lot of time on my hands.  I had my own little incident at the hotel which got resolved quickly with the help of a burly bouncer who came to my rescue, but there were no casualties that I was aware of.

Well that was my first reason. My second was that the movie blurb appeared to be intriguingly film noirish.  It turned out to be better than I had hoped for.  It was a gripping crime mystery filmed on the streets of Cairo; seedy and corrupt. All the elements of a good detective story. It won the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. This was the Canadian Premiere and the line was loooong.  I sauntered in thinking I had plenty of time to spare but it was already sold out.  I stood in the standby line even with my media pass (“but you don’t understand…I lived at that hotel”).  Just managed to make it, along with my medium bag of $9 popcorn.

An innocent young maid is witness to the murder of a beautiful singer in one of the hotel rooms.  Noredin, The cop who gets involved, (played by Fares Fares, that’s his name) meets resistance at every step of his investigation and you begin to realize that many people are at play here and politics are involved.  Always, right?

The movie is set in a Cairo on the edge of revolution. On January 25, 2011, all across Egypt, millions of protestors from a range of socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of Egyption President Hosni Mubarak.  As the engrossing story enfolds, it keeps you on the edge of your seat.

To check out more great cinema at VIFF please visit: https://www.viff.org/

 

 

VIFF: A Fantastic Woman & The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Una Mujer Fantástica – A Fantastic Woman (subtitled)

If I didn’t know any better I would swear this movie was directed by Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar (Volver, All About my Mother). But it was not. Instead it was Chilean director Sebastián Lelio (who made the smash hit Gloria in 2013).

This is a timely film.  Because it is about time that people are more compassionate and at the very least, more tolerant of those who are different than what those of us less broad minded deem to be “the norm” in society.  But guess what?  This is the new normal.

I found this film to be beautiful, disturbing, touching and frustratingly maddening.  It makes you want to fight for equality.

The main character is played triumphantly by Daniela Vega, an actual trans performer.  As Marina, a nightclub singer living with Orlando, her much older heterosexual lover (played by Francisco Reyes) who suddenly dies, you see her struggle in dealing with non-acceptance and disrespect from all angles. From the police who suspect her to be a factor in Orlando’s death, to the ex-wife who doesn’t want her to come anywhere near the funeral because she will only upset the family….she is humiliated constantly. 

Even so, she faces it all with dignity and a strength most of us would envy.  A powerful movie.  A Fantastic Movie!  I give it a score of 5/5.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a whole other animal.

Here is a perfect example of two top-notch performers: Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell being cast in a perfectly flat out psychological disaster of a movie.  Sorry; but that’s just my opinion.  I’m not saying the performances were not good (the characters were supposed to be flat, joyless and strange I’m guessing) but overall it was so disjointed with no explanation given to……too many situations.  But the music was anything but flat.  It was over the top (again; meaning to be) outlandish.  I never saw the film “The Lobster” but apparently it was a pretty good twisted movie, directed by the same person – Yorgos Lanthimos.

In a NUTshell Farrell plays Andrew, a surgeon who’s patient dies while undergoing an operation.  The patient’s son Martin (played by Barry Keoghan) is a total screwball looking to get back at Andrew.  He keeps showing up in oddball places while I keep wondering (trying to make sense of course) why Andrew keeps allowing him access.  Well it is a movie after all so just don’t question the bad sensibility of the surgeon who invites this boy into his home and brings harm to his once happy family.  And it just goes (and goes, and goes on) from there.  And it gets even weirder.  And there’s spoiler alert: NO happy ending.  My final words are:  I’m just not that into this one!

Special mention: Okja

AND here I thought the special presentation of “Okja” was strange………….  although that one had amazing computer-generated imagery (CGI), and Tilda Swinton who did an excellent job (as always) playing the big boss-lady of a huge company manufacturing genetically modified super pigs.  Also, a surprisingly zany Jake Gyllenhall.  It had everything….humor, violence, glamour, scenery, car chases, crazy people, animal rights activists, capitalists, consumers and mostly, an innocent animal friend. I found it very schizophrenic but with outstanding direction from Bong Joon Ho.  Very Hollywood.  Now streaming on NefFlix.

If I lived up in the mountains of South Korea with only my grandfather for companionship, I’d love to have Okja for a pet.

More reviews to follow

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the films playing until October 13th @  https://www.viff.org/

 

 

 

 

ART/FILM/VIFF: Loving Vincent

I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.

This anticipated animated film about Vincent Van Gogh was a real story telling treat.  What’s so amazing about this film is that it is entirely hand painted with Van Gogh’s paintings serving as the backdrop for each frame.  In fact, it is the very first fully painted feature which took seven years to complete.  It’s visually astonishing!

The story takes place in the French village of Arles (a place I visited with my husband where we sat in the famous Terrasse du café le soir.  Yes; that one!

The son of a local postmaster goes around hunting for clues as to why the painter took his own life. There were conflicting reports as to whether he actually committed suicide. The question is really why Vincent went from a complacent quiet man to someone who would take his own life in a matter of weeks.  A look into a complicated, talented but tortured soul.  Sad that in his lifetime he sold only one of his fine works.  Can you imagine?

He saw beauty in the tiniest of objects and in things that most people would deem insignificant.  A man of true genius.

I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream – Vincent Van Gogh

Your dream came true, it’s just too bad that you were not around to realize it. 

How people all around the world admire your work and can only dream of owning a piece of you!

Please visit: https://www.viff.org to find out more and how to purchase tickets.  The Film Fest runs until October 13th

 

 

 

 

VIFF: BREATHE & MEDITATION Park

Funny thing about timing that the first two movies I’ve chosen to see at the Vancouver International Film Festival would have the words “Breathe” and “Meditation” – two things that I’m trying to better accomplish.  But enough about me.

Meditation Park

How to make choices?

The first thing I look for when going through the movie listings are the film titles, then to find out who the actors are.  It doesn’t go to prove that actors who are well known will make a better movie, but if I’m familiar with and like the actor’s previous work, I’m more likely to want to see another film they’re in.  But since this is an International Film Festival, you must keep in mind that you will NOT likely be familiar with the talented actors and worthwhile great story telling from a host of other countries.

Then of course the overall synopsis.  But I don’t like to know too too much about the movie because it ruins the element of surprise (which can work out good or bad, depending.) I try to keep it diversified mixing drama, comedy, documentary and thriller. Well done animation is good too  The great overall thing about going to a film fest is that you get to see films firsthand.  And that in itself is exciting enough.  So having said that, here are two simplified reviews to begin:

BREATHE

Oh; and the film clip photos in the booklet attract me.  The romantic, dreamy looking picture has two actors whom I admire: Claire Foy (she played Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix series “The Crown” which I became addicted to) and Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge, The Amazing Spiderman). Suffice to day that was enough of a decision for me to say YES.  Bonus: Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham in Downton Abbey – watched ALL episodes as it was one of my favourite series).

Breathe is an inspiringly beautiful but tragic story.  In a debut directorial role, Andy Serkis directs the true story of the parents of his best friend and producing partner, Jonathan Cavendish.

It’s about how a couple, Robin and Diana Cavendish refuse to give up their fight when Robin is struck down by polio at only 26 years old, and just before he is about to become a father.  It’s about how people face challenges and overcome hardship in the face of adversity and with a debilitating disease. It is heartwarmingly sad and uplifting at the same time.

MEDITATION PARK

This film was chosen for the Opening Gala.  Directed by Mina Shum, it’s filmed entirely on Vancouver’s East Side & Chinatown.  While I’m familiar with incredible actors Sandra Oh and Don McKellar, the real star of this film is Cheng Pei Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) who plays Maria.  A  traditional  first generation immigrant Chinese wife, Maria turns a blind eye to her husband’s (played by Tzi Ma) infidelity at first, but when she decides to break from convention, take charge of her life and become more independent, all hell breaks loose.  It is charmingly funny in part and because I live in Vancouver, partly familiar.

The only common denominator between the two films is that they are family dramas.

VIFF is on until October 13, 2017. For information and to purchase tickets please visit: 

https://www.viff.org

 

Feel-good Friday: Film Fest

It’s that time of year again!

The 36th Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). Otherwise known as movie marathon mayhem.  Well not really; because I’m planning to pace myself to no more than three movies per day.  Actually that will only happen one day, because a few of my weekly evenings are tied up with other commitments.  And it could not come at a better time as I’m really looking forward to losing myself in this years most anticipated international films, new discoveries, special presentations, documentaries, contemporary world cinema, and a spotlight on French filmmaking.

And after having carefully leafed through the VIFF guide and marking down my choices, I’ll be happily sharing my thoughts about each film.  Stay tuned…(especially if you’re a film buff).

VIFF takes place from September 28th to October 13th 2017.  For more information and to purchase tickets please visit:

https://www.viff.org/

Monday Mood Board #3

What time is it?

A visitor looks at his mobile phone as he visits the “Proper Time” installation by Lee Wan, at the Korean Pavilion, during the 57th Biennale in Venice, Italy May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini.

Where Are We?

Barbara Kruger’s “Untitled (We Don’t Need Another Hero)” is displayed with David Moffett’s “He Kills Me” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York – Where we Are.

“Art instigates, but it also brings solace…” A perfect quote for these difficult times by David Breslin; curator of the collection at the Whitney.

Focusing on works made from 1900 to 1960, Where We Are traces how artists have approached the relationships, institutions, and activities that shape our lives. Drawn entirely from the Whitney’s holdings, the exhibition is organized around five themes: family and community, work, home, the spiritual, and the nation.

Beach Vibes

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

Speaking of Inspiring Women…

O’Keeffe in a 1929 gelatin silver print by her husband. Credit ALFRED STIEGLITZ; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Alfred Stieglitz Collection

You’ve got to admire how O’Keeffe was the master of her own public persona at a time when there was no social media.  She told photographers how to “shoot her”, not the other way around.

A refreshing new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum (on until July 23, 2017) for the first time combines O’Keeffe’s art and her wardrobe with photographic portraits. “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

The painter of simplified images of enlarged flowers, Lake George tree trunks and New Mexico’s terra-cotta hills applied her meticulous sense of austerity and detail to every garment she owned. Some she designed and sewed herself, others she had custom made, and still others she bought off the rack or in antique shops (Japanese kimonos, for example).

O’Keeffe’s self-created image shaped her work’s accessibility, while at the same time shielding her privacy. This unity is revealed in the links drawn among some 50 works of art and 50 garments or ensembles, accessories included, and nearly 100 photographs of the artist taken by 23 photographers, from Ansel Adams and Cecil Beaton to Andy Warhol and Bruce Weber.

The greatest number of these images were taken by O’Keeffe’s husband, the eminent photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz, often considered her domineering mentor, whom she met in 1916, began living with in 1918 and married in 1924.

For years, O’Keeffe limited her wardrobe to mainly black and/or white, until the Southwest loosened her color sense a bit and also introduced her to denim and jeans. She favored an androgynous look, frequenting the same New York men’s tailor — Knize — (as did Marlene Dietrich), liked Ferragamo flats and wore little jewelry. A rare favorite, visible in many photographs, was a brass brooch made for her by Alexander Calder. It represents her initials, OK, with ancient rock-painting complexity, and she wore it vertically to make it more abstract. In later years, she had it copied in silver, because she thought brass didn’t look good with her white hair.

Source: NY Times

https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/

Style: blending an iconic denim brand with Art

Calvin Klein has always been known for attention grabbing advertising campaigns.

Images from Calvin Klein's spring 2017 campaign.

Images from Calvin Klein’s spring 2017 campaign.

I mean unless you weren’t born yet, who can forget a young Brooke Shields flaunting her jeans, a skinny Kate Moss and a buff  Marky Mark (Wahlberg) wearing all American classic T shirts & underwear…and nothing else.

Now we have Raf Simons (previous creative director for Christian Dior) blending Art with Denim in a New Calvin Klein Campaign.

Images from Calvin Klein's spring 2017 campaign.

Images from Calvin Klein’s spring 2017 campaign.

Continuing to drop hints online about his direction for Calvin Klein, Raf Simons has unveiled a spring campaign for underwear and jeans that juxtaposes those iconic items with modern and contemporary art.

Images from Calvin Klein's spring 2017 campaign.

Images from Calvin Klein’s spring 2017 campaign.

Just released on Calvin Klein’s web site and its own social channels, the ads showcase archival denim, a cotton tank top and quintessential men’s briefs in playful contrast with works from the second half of the 20th century. The clothes strike up a conversation with the art — much the way designers and artists in New York’s Pop heyday — on the streets of SoHo or on the dance floor of Studio 54, the company said.

Works by Andy Warhol, Dan Flavin, Richard Prince and Sterling Ruby are featured, photographed at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami.

Images from Calvin Klein's spring 2017 campaign.

Images from Calvin Klein’s spring 2017 campaign.

Simons, chief creative officer of Calvin Klein, is well known for his passion for art.  “It’s a celebration of Calvin Klein’s iconic underwear and jeans, acknowledging their status as Pop and showing them in the world of art,” he explained.

Pieter Mulier, creative director of Calvin Klein, added, “Looks were specifically chosen from the Calvin Klein archive for the campaign; it’s both a recognition of design firsts and the photographic history of the brand that made these garments famous.”

The eight advertising images were photographed by Willy Vanderperre and styled by Olivier Rizzo, featuring a largely unknown cast.

One ad, for example, features a guy in jeans standing in front of a 2,000 joke painting by Prince. It reads: “A guy goes to a psychiatrist wearing only Saran Wrap. The psychiatrist says to the guy, I can clearly see your nuts you nut.” Another shows a guy in a pair of jeans and taking off his white T-shirt and standing in front of Warhol’s 1976 “Skull” painting.  And a third shows a guy in underwear and a girl in jeans and a white tank top admiring Warhol’s “Elvis 11.”

Images from Calvin Klein's spring 2017 campaign.

Images from Calvin Klein’s spring 2017 campaign.

Each of the ads features a description of the artwork and a snippet about the artist. Ads launch this month on billboards, the Internet and in magazines.

Photos credit: the series of eight distinct advertising images was photographed by Willy Vanderperre.

Source for story: Lisa Lockwood for WWD.com

Website: http://calvinklein.com