bennet_7: (Default)
This is about a documentary called Bill Cunningham New York. Actually, it's a plea to watch a documentary called Bill Cunningham New York. For some of you, knowing that it's about an eighty year old photographer who has been chronicling New York's street fashion for decades will be enough to induce you to seek it out and watch it: you like fashion, you like photography, you like New York, you just plain like documentaries. But even if this film doesn't immediately sound relevant to your interests, give it a chance because it's a wonderful story, a very human story, about a man who has a passion, who has integrity, who doesn't allow himself to be bowed by other people's opinions, and who is kind in a cut-throat industry and and cut-throat city.



Bill Cunningham is fascinated by fashion and one of the few photographers to be invited to sit in the front rows of designer shows instead of being crammed into the press gallery at the end of the catwalk. But what he truly loves is how regular people take what the designers produce and wear it, reinterpreted through their own viewpoint, on the street. He spends most of his life riding the streets of New York on an old Schwinn bicycle or walking the pavements so that he can dart off at any moment to get the perfect picture of someone's outfit. He doesn't care if they're rich, famous, or a complete nobody - he only cares about the clothes. By taking so many pictures he notices trends that everyday people are generating - sometimes it's a colour or element. This he makes the focus of his "On The Street" feature in The New York Times. On other occasions he chooses to focus on something that fascinates him like shoes or the rain ponchos people wear in bad weather.



At night he goes to photograph charity galas, choosing them not for their guest list but for which cause he wants to devote column inches to. No matter who is there, he always finds something interesting, something beautiful, and the rich and fashion elite recognise and respect him for his choices. Anna Wintour says early in the film - and it's in the trailer so it's not too great a spoiler:

"I think everyone knows Bill and understands who he is and what he represents will always be thrilled to be photographed by Bill. I mean, I've said many times that we all get dressed for Bill."


But Bill himself is a man of contradictions. He doesn't wear clothes that are expensive, designer made, or particularly stylish. Most often he can be seen in the blue smock worn by the street cleaners of Paris because it's got a lot of convenient pockets. Nor does he accept any of the perks that are offered to him, not wanting his integrity to be compromised. He lives in an apartment in Carnegie Hall that is crammed with filing cabinets full of negatives, sleeping on a tiny camp bed, and uses a bathroom across the hall.

Bill's life is strange, but he obviously feels that it is incredibly rich because he gets to do what he loves. He's warm and funny, ready to laugh and be delighted, and thoroughly engaging when on screen. His story is fascinating and his contribution to fashion and photography will surprise you.

If you want to watch the film but are at a loss where too find it, drop me a line. For those that don't mind a little more spoiling, I hope this picspam whets your appetite for more.



It isn’t what I think, it’s what I see. )
bennet_7: (GW: The good lawyer)
1. I changed my layout. May change it again or play around with the colours.

2. Do you ever see businesses or meet people and they have the same name as someone famous? Not just the first name but the entire name? Yesterday I saw a car with 'Kevin Smith Cleaning Services' written on the side. Two weeks ago I walked past 'Leonard Cohen Legal Attorneys.' My thought on both occasions was that there should be a blog or a Tumblr dedicated to the phenomena. Which will lead to a book deal. And then a film (it would feature the famous people doing the jobs of their less famous name-sharers).

3. I've been waiting on tenterhooks for this episode of The Good Wife and it did not disappoint. Spoilers )

4. The Chicago Code has been cancelled and I am bummed but not crushed. I thought that with time it might have sorted out the kinks and become truly great but I understand that the ratings haven't been good. I think the latest episode demonstrated a few of its weak points all too well. Spoilers )

5. One of my favourite TV shows of last year (that I think I only posted about on Tumblr) was The Trip, a British comedy starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Basically, they play fictionalised versions of themselves and go on a trip together where they review restaurants in the north of England. You don't need to be familiar with either of them or their careers to enjoy it (I know, because I showed it to my mother and she loved it), because they establish the relationship and the tension between them really well and after that you just sit back and enjoy their duelling impressions, their petty squabbles, and the surprising moments of humanity.

The TV show was directed by Michael Winterbottom as a six episode series and he has re-edited it as a film for international audiences. The trailer is here and below is one of my favourite scenes.



6. It's that time of year again: Eurovision! Because they only sing one song throughout the competition, I don't watch the semi-finals because I like to be shocked, awed, and appalled by the final on Sunday. But I did find a bunch of photos of the costumes we can look forward to and they are under the cut.

Eurovision is the definition of so bad it's good )
bennet_7: (I: The Pointman)
It's rare that contemporary costume design in a film makes you sit up and take notice. Sometimes while watching a movie I'll think to myself "Hey, that's a cute dress!" or "How can she run in those heels?" or "How the hell can that character afford this wardrobe?!" but it is few and far between where I look at contemporary design and feel admiration and appreciation for the costumes as a whole.

Inception is one of those films. From start to finish I am in awe of designer Jeffrey Kurland's work. He had the difficult task of creating costumes for a largely corporate world set five minutes in the future and that could have resulted in everyone wearing futuristic suits of the same cut. Instead, the looks in this film are modern takes on classic silhouettes which magically equals fashion forward somehow. There are a few great stand out pieces, some subtle referencing of fashion archetypes that serve as characterisation shorthand, and there are a lot of unglamorous everyday looks that give authenticity to the characters' lives.

Clothing, especially the suits, is a huge part of the Inception fandom: there has been a tonne load of suit!porn, writers generally mention what the characters are wearing, it frequently informs the characterisation (especially of Arthur, but also Eames), and there has been a lot of fantastic art drawn to showcase the characters' outfits. There have even been a couple of great guides with [livejournal.com profile] hackthis's tutorial How to dress your man/character and [livejournal.com profile] butterflythread's essay on Dressing Arthur. Fandom, on the whole, loves Kurland's work.

You want to know who isn't loving it? The critics who hand out awards for such things. Now I never expected Kurland to win any awards because contemporary design is rarely recognised when there are period and fantasy films to contend with. Any film featuring kings and queens of the past is a shoe-in for a nomination (crowns! ceremonial robes!); add in films about classic literary figures or based on the work of classic literary figures (corsets! frock coats!), musicals (sequins! fringe!), fantasy epics (armour! tunics!), and sci-fi (uniforms! shiny!), and contemporary design starts to look like something you could buy at the mall.

The last time a film with contemporary design won the Oscar for best costumes was 1994 and as that film was The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert it still featured a high quotient of sequins and fringe. The Queen and The Devil Wears Prada were both nominated in 2006 and the former had the benefit of royals and being a biopic, while the latter was actually about contemporary fashion and its importance, and they still couldn't win (losing out to Marie Antoinette, natch).

Warner Brothers has done some campaigning on Kurland's behalf (see here and here for the 'For your consideration' ads) but, generally speaking, in order to win the big awards (or even get nominated for them) you need to build up momentum by getting recognition from the smaller, earlier awards. And as of this posting Kurland has received just one nomination for his work. This is in the contemporary category of the Costume Designers Guild Awards (because they do have specific categories for contemporary design as well as period and fantasy) and will face stiff competition from Black Swan, which has also been nominated for a BAFTA. The award ceremony will be held on the 22nd of February.

So the purpose of this picspam is to examine the work that went into these costumes, tease out what they say about the characters, and generally just heap praise upon Jeffrey Kurland because, dammit, someone should.



And hey, if you don't like Inception but you do like good looking men in suits then just sit back and enjoy the pretty. )
bennet_7: (BOT: an emotion like joy or spicy food)
[livejournal.com profile] picspammy's latest challenge is to create a picspam centred around emotions so I chose to look at one of my favourite episodes of Better Off Ted, 'The Impertence of Communicationizing'. Better Off Ted was one of those TV shows: brilliant, subversive, hilarious, barely watched, cancelled. But for a little while it was possibly the best comedy on network TV and once Community and Parks and Recreation were in play it still gave them a run for their money and even bested them some weeks.

Basically it's a satire of corporate America. The characters work for a huge and frequently evil company called Veridian Dynamics. Ted is the head of Research and Development, overseeing scientists Phil and Lem and product tester Linda. They're all essentially good people, it's just that sometimes the company asks them to weaponize pumpkins or be cryogenically frozen or created cyborgs that can kill without remorse. Ted's boss Veronica tends towards the sociopathic (on one occasion she uses Ted's 8 year old daughter Rose to fire people so that she can avoid unpleasant conflicts) but even she has her human moments, as explored in this picspam.

In 'The Impertence of Communicationizing' Veronica is forced to deal with her feelings of guilt when faced with the idea that her promotion should have gone to another colleague. She's not used to confronting her emotions (or knowing what emotions are) so hilarity ensues.

If you're looking for a new show to pick up, hopefully this picspam will pique your interest. Better Off Ted deserves your love (and massive DVD sales).



In the past I’ve always just counteracted this feeling with other emotions like “sugar” or “drunk” )
bennet_7: (I: The point man)
So, like everyone and their mother, I saw Inception. And I thought it was pretty good. Great concept, great cast, great costumes, and great effects. However, I think Nolan isn't as skilled when it comes to dialogue and characterisation as he is with plot. Luckily, that's where the Inception fandom kicks ass and takes names. There is so much good fic out there, it's unbelievable. People are writing wonderful backgrounds for these characters, going into their motivations and relationships. I think that the reason Inception fandom is chugging along so nicely is that the lack of characterisation on Nolan's part allows for so many different interpretations of the characters.

I came away from the film looking for fic because if the characters weren't fully dimensional on the page, the actors made them compelling on screen. I particularly liked Arthur because: 1) played by JGL, whom I've crushed on since he cut his hair in the later seasons of 3rd Rock, 2) he is a loyal friend and incredibly competent at his job, 3) GQ-ness, 4) badass zero gravity fight. Ariadne was basically there to ask questions that the audience wanted answered and act as Cobb's therapist, but she took control of situations, called Cobb on his bullshit, and Ellen Page imbued her with enough spunk that I really liked her too.

Shipping them? Well it's kind of canon, but never has so much been made of so little. Still, I latched onto those teeny tiny moments and have been blessed with a fandom offering an unproportional response. Arthur/Ariadne fans: you're awesome.

I swear I was humming 'Slow Show' by the National as I left the theatre. Some of the lyrics work so well that it immediately became their song in my head, but from Arthur's perspective. Now, the traditional response would have been to make a fanmix but the fandom was flooded with those in the early days (hasn't much let up of late, either) and plus, I couldn't find many other songs to suit.

But I have always wanted to try one of [livejournal.com profile] picspammy's challenges and in this one, 'illustrate a song with a fandom', seemed like the perfect opportunity to mash 'Slow Show' and Inception together. The only problem was the lack of usable images. This was cobbled together using two different trailers, a couple of production stills, screencaps from (500) Days of Summer and Whip It, and various photoshoots that JGL and Page have done. Trying to make images from different sources of varying levels of quality, colouring, and lighting look cohesive was impossible. In the end I decided to embrace the variety and thus this picspam is a little schizophrenic.

I only used lyrics that I felt were relevant but this is still quite long - avoid if you're on dial-up.



I dreamed about you )
bennet_7: (KKBB: The Amazing Harold)
So remember when I got very, very angry about the new TV series based on 10 Things I Hate About You? Well tonight I decided to give it a go, partly because I was pretty curious to compare and contrast, but mostly because there is so very little on at the moment and I'll watch pretty much anything.

Verdict? It's not awful, and sometimes it's even pretty good (note: my bias is totally clouding my judgment. I love the film with a passion). Don't care much for the characterisation at this point but the writing is generally sharper than you'd expect for one of these ABC Family series and there are some funny lines.

But I'm going to keep watching mostly because of the guy who plays Patrick.

Now, I wasn't wrong about him looking like a lost Jonas brother. He does and it kinda freaks me out. But here's the thing: unlike the Jonases, whom I could take in a fight, this guy is solidly built and not a waify elf-child. And he's decently tall too.



He's a bit too pretty here...



...but yes I would like tickets to the gun show.


For the first 2/3 of the show he mostly sits and broods and looks mysterious and vaguely dangerous and rides a motorcycle because that's what bad boys do (actually, real bad boys steal from you so that they can go and buy heroin after they've cheated on you with some other girl). But then, they finally let him talk and whoah. Dude has an unexpectedly deep and sexy voice - I really did not expect him to sound like that but it's good.

A few more pics under the cut )

So yeah, I'm gonna keep watching because mostly because I'm shallow...and partly because I'm hoping that the White Rastas, Urban Cowboys, and Bogey Lowenstein will eventually show up.
bennet_7: (curiouser and curiouser)
Thanks to a post in [livejournal.com profile] bbccostumedrama I have learned of a new mini-series of War and Peace, produced by a bunch of European TV networks.

Initially was filled with glee and that feeling remained as I looked at the pretty pictures.



I'm not the only one who finds that ridiculously hot, right?

More )

As you can see I'm already mocking, which shows that my hope for the adaptation is over. Mostly because I saw this 8 minute ad for it:



It starts out awesome with Natasha and Andrei dancing and making cute, inter-cut with scenes of war, but quickly devolves into everyone speaking English with a variety of accents (some American *shudder*) with some awful dubbing alongside, and then Malcolm McDowell shows up as Andrei's father and I burst out laughing.

The casting is so odd. Clémence Poésy is French and plays Natasha who is Russian but does so speaking English. The guy who plays Andrei is Italian. Malcolm McDowell and Brenda Blethyn are the only two English actors in the whole production but they seem so out of place, even in that ad. The rest of the cast is a mix of Russian and French but they're all speaking English. It's really weird considering that this isn't produced by English speaking countries. Maybe they wanted a more global appeal, but I would rather watch the characters speak French and Russian as they do in the book.

And yet I find myself looking forward to watching this, if only to mock.
bennet_7: (Steve Holt!)
I haven't posted in aaaaaages. Sorry about that. Life has been weird.

Item the first: Back at university. This is actually my third week and it's all just going so fast. I'm taking a unit on Shakespeare, a unit on the theory of Comedy (Moliere and the Marx Brothers, woo!) and a unit on revolutionary and Napoleonic Europe. I should really be studying right now as I have a debate on Friday. My team is arguing that pre-revolution France wasn't actually so bad ;-)

Item the second: Got a new job today. I'm going to be waitressing at one of the best restaurants in the country. Seriously. It's won that award twice. The head chef has been awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (France's highest culinary award) and he's been knighted (Chevalier Dans L'Ordre National du Merite).

Question: Should I curtsy when I start next week? Or just kiss his shoes and thank him for giving me this job?

Item the third: I was surprised to discover that three Austen novels have been turned into new mini-series: Persuasion, Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park. The official website is also up and running with trailers and galleries.

(Sense and Sensibility is in pre-production.)

Mansfield Park airs this Sunday and stars Billie Piper, James D'Arcy and Blake Ritson (I loved him on Red Cap). Mansfield Park is not one of my favourite Austen novels and I'd never pictured Billie Piper as an Austen heroine (a Dickens character sure) but I'll still be downloading it.

I'm a lot more excited about Northanger Abbey which is my third favourite Austen novel (after Pride and Prejudice and Emma) and was scripted by Andrew Davies who wrote the screenplay for the definitive and most wonderful version of Pride and Prejudice ever committed to screen (SHUT UP Keira Knightley! Go jump in a lake except don't because Colin Firth already did and it was awesome. Take your bangs and never darken my doorstep again!). Then again, Davies also wrote the 1996 version of Emma starring Kate Beckinsale which was entirely sucky and some of it can be blamed on the script. Hmm.

I'm also not much of a fan of Persuasion which lacks so much of the Austen wit. However, this version will star Rupert Penry-Jones in all his prettyness (Side-note: The new season of Spooks starts this friday for those in Oz) and Anthony Stewart Head.

Anyway, here are some pics, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] jellybeanie87, of all three productions.

Click! )
bennet_7: (aaaawesome (Lucky))
I am thrilled people. I watched the latest episode of Veronica Mars and I enjoyed it! I love that I loved the episode. And sure, it wasn't the greatest episode ever but at no point while I was watching did I think "Please hurry up and end."

Way to make me like you again Logan )
bennet_7: (jim/pam)
[livejournal.com profile] miniorr has asked for songs that remind you of JimandPam from The Office. I've actually been meaning to upload a mix for a while but I am...lazy Scranton.

I was going to just post the songs but somehow we now have an accompanying picspam and some fic recs.

Not dail-up friendly )
bennet_7: (Logan has emo!sleeves (sway))
This is the first time this season I've been this excited about Veronica Mars! Plus, there were emo!sleeves!!!!

Oh the awesome! )
bennet_7: (laughing in my head)
Through out season 2 of Veronica Mars, there was a character who delighted us with her wit, made us go 'huh?' at her hair and confounded us with her complete and utter cluelessness.

This character's name was Veronica.

However, these traits also apply to the fantastically ditzy Gia Goodman.

Come with me as we look at the evolution of Gia.


bennet_7: (mcdreamy)
Patrick Dempsey? Is hot! 

And every since he landed Grey's Anatomy he's been in a lot of magazines which means...

It's picspam time!

bennet_7: (Dork (Cassidy))
I have updated my picspam on Logan's long sleeves of emotional vulnerability aka his emo!sleeves here.

It now contains spoilers for 2.22 so click at your own risk.

Hee!

Apr. 3rd, 2006 04:09 pm
bennet_7: (Dork (Cassidy))
My younger sister is watching season 2 of VM on the other computer. She really, really wants to watch episode 2.16 becuase she loves the guest stars in that ep but right now she's up to 2.10.

But I just showed her my Lord of the Rings/Veronica Mars picspam comparison and she was like "Oh my god! You are so right!"

So we just bonded. Was kinda cool. We wern't getting along much last week.

Now I must stop procrastinating and get on with this essay!
bennet_7: (jazz hands)

This post by [livejournal.com profile] herowlness is a fantastic look at Logan and Veronica and mirrors my thoughts exactly. Read it. Now.

Renaissance Boy by [livejournal.com profile] amaria is a brilliant Logan fic. Different styles are used in a series of vignettes and it is illustrated as well!

I have joined [livejournal.com profile] vm_macchiatos because though Jackie may not like P&P, she's growing on me ;-)

 

Also I'm rewatching Season 2 of VM and I noticed something in the background.

Couples who buy art together...don't stay together )

bennet_7: (Default)

Ok so I was driving and thinking about Logan and Veronica (which is probably why my passengers took issue with my driving skills. Oops, my bad!) and I noticed a pattern in their relationship. A trend, if you will.

Under the cut you will find evidence, in the form of pics and one graph, which prove the existence of a cyclical trend in Logan and Veronica's relationship.

Evidence )

bennet_7: (jazz hands)

So my internet is finally working again. Not on my laptop though; right now I'm using the family computer which sucks.

It took me about 5 hours to catch up on my f-list. I haven't even started responding to comments yet.

The Mars-a-thon sounds wonderful and I'm totally jealous. Can't wait to read more accounts of it.

There have been some great pics from it but it looks like Jason Dohring wasn't wearing his wedding ring, that naughty boy.

What have I been doing in my internet-less state? Going a little bit crazy. But it has helped me to wean myself off the VM fandom a bit.

I'm going spoiler free from now on. Hopefully my resolve will be firm. I will also be trying to cut down on the negativity. From now on you will be getting happy picspamy posts from me.

Aside from thinking about what I could be doing on the internet if I had access to the internet, I have been watching a lot of movies and TV. 'Silence of the Lambs' creeped me out, 'Dead Poets Society' made me depressed, 'Press Gang' cheered me up and 'The West Wing' made me miss John Spencer even more.

I also convinced my parents to by a multi-regional DVD player/recorder so I have just ordered season 1 on VM on DVD from Amazon. Will be holding a viewing party as soon as my BFF gets back from Hawaii.

I have see the first ep from 'Supernatural' and it looks quite good. I think I'll stick with it. Hell, it has Jensen Ackles who was the main reason I stuck with season 2 of 'Dark Angel' for so long. I'll keep watching.

But it looks like Padalecki (or whatever) is back to looking like a really tall mushroom with that silly hair...sigh.

I missed [livejournal.com profile] irmak's birthday because of the whole no internet thing. Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] irmak!

[profile] [profile]

Where's Weevil? )

bennet_7: (Logan)

MS Paint. It leads to interesting things.

So this idea came to me because in his Veronica Mars recaps at TWoP, Couch Baron started off calling Beaver 'Frodo.' I was going to MS Paint Beav's head onto Frodo's body.

Then I began seriously comparing Veronica Mars to the Lord of the Rings trillogy (movies, not books). And I saw many interesting character parrallels.

picspam here )

bennet_7: (Default)

This is for [livejournal.com profile] tehellie who's feeling a little down. This won't take the pain away but it may distract you for a bit!

(The rest of you are of course free to look as well!)

Gael Garcia Bernal goodness! )

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