Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


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Design Online is an electronic library containing a digitised record of Design journal for the years 1965 to 1974. One of the great things about the internet. [via Coudal]

Friday, November 18, 2005

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

AFI Film Fest Notes...

Every now and then I have to take a break and go to a film festival. Here are some blurbs from some of the films I've seen this week at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Initial D - Dirs Andrew Lau & Alan Mak
The aesthetic of fast cars racing down a mountain road and skidding smoothly around hair-pin corners gives this film a strangely addictive quality. Hard to explain but no matter how much I thought the film dumb and predictable I couldn't wait for another car to expertly skid through a turn.
The main teenage character has a winning insouciance and his drunken father - who talks to everyone with his eyes closed - make an interesting team. Based on a manga cartoon this Hong Kong film has obvious comparisons with The Fast and Furious although it has a coming-of-age theme.

Screaming Masterpieces - Dir Ari Ergis
What makes Icelandic music different from music in other parts of the world? Is the difference based on their location on the planet? Maybe it's just the Viking blood that runs throught the veins of the culture? Most all of the musicians featured in this documentary are screamers. Sigur Ros, Bjork et al are shown in full throated throttle. The soundtrack is cranked prompting some to put plugs in their ears. Good stuff. However, I'm not convinced Icelandic music is any more different than other countries who have a music scene.

Ryna - Dir Ruxandra Zenide
A young tomboy woman living in the delta region of Romania has to deal with a tough father, less than enlightened locals and the city's mayor who wants to get her alone. First time filmmaker and cinematographer are very impressive with a rather slight coming-of-age story. Still the perfect casting, a bleak environment and the main character's independent spirit make the film work.

C.R.A.Z.Y. Dir Jean-Marc Vallee
Boy in extended family in the 1970's - 80's has to contend with the fact that he may be gay. Father yells a lot, mother is soft, each of the kids fits a stereotype and the narrative arc is so predictable it hurts. However, this coming-of-age Canadian film is so well made it's easy to forgive it everything. The soundtrack featuring the Rolling Stones, Bowie, Pink Floyd, Patsy Cline is pretty amazing. I'd be surpised if the film gets clearance on the songs once the film is released in the US.

Zozo Dir Josef Fares
Another coming-of-age film! A Lebanese boy loses his family in a war during the 1980's and is relocated to Sweden with his grandparents. Heartwarming and humane this is another film that works because of casting and because it manages to touch the heart and the head. I particularly like the grandfather who is a tough but lovable S.O.B.

What a Wonderful Place Dir Eyal Halfon
A series of [ironically] interconnected stories about citizens and refugees in Israel is the primary subject of this affecting film. The primary story is about a group of women who get caught in a prostitution ring. Other characters include Thai and Phillipino refugees all struggling to make a living. Over time various relationships are forged but their is always a feeling of danger around the corner - which is exemplified by the hand held camera and the grainy look of the film.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Tuesday, November 01, 2005