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Film Reviews for Rainy Days : Boyhood|The Purge 2

July 29, 2014

Say bye bye to Paris Plage and hello to the dark rooms around the corner. No, it’s not your daily dose of Le Depot, but more like a movie cinema filled with frustrated locals. After all, nothing says parisian summer better than a rainy day in. Lucky for you, the options are plenty and are good.

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First off, Boyhood. A movie that took Linklaker  more than 12 years of production, but it will only take you 2hours to realize the beauty of life with a captial L. Although the acting skills of our actors get a bit rusty at times and seeing the blue eyed baby boy grow year after year after year till a hormone full teenager getting in college will only make you start reminscing of your childhood and questioning your life. The cherry on the top? The late 90s references (from Aaliya’s iconic Try Again blurring out in the bowling center to the X box Golden Eye hysteria) are down to a T. Don’t be fooled by the casualness  and familiarity of it all, there is great character development and it takes a real genius to turn a project so complex seem so effortless.

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Second in line, social commentary turns into gory horror in The Purge 2. If you loved the concept of purging once a year as a gratitude to an economical system that seems to work (at least on the surface) in the first movie but craved for more in your face agressive scenes then this splatter movie is for you. This time around, the gap between the very helpless poor and the very richy rich kids of the block becomes even bigger, with the latter joining hunting parties and auctioning people like they were vintage pradas. Despite the occasional, unconfortable cliches and storytelling, the movie passes great critisicm on US gun culture. Cudos to the mask choices that will make you sleepless at night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring It Back: Best Of SS2015

June 30, 2014

 It was lights, camera, spring! in the latest menswear collections that didn’t hesitate to put on a show in order to impress those boys. Following a rather blunt FW2014, spring seems to be back with designers craving for more, more, more!

From Comme des Garcons make-love-not-war cool statement pieces, Prada’s return to denim basics and Rick Owen’s homage to ballet heros, inspiration seemed to go with the flow. But certain did make the sartorial cut just a bit better..

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1/ Raf Simons gave us NASA realness with artist Ruby for a second time in a row, but his instagram primaries had us screaming for more. Personal memorabilia seemed to be a reccuring theme this season.

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2/ After a quite dissapointing retrospective at Arts Decoratifs, Dries strikes back with harnessed boys in ballet shoes showing skin in an effortlessly romantic way.

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3/ Kris made crayola chic look cool again printed on all kinds of denim. A rather playful take on Dior that has commercial success written all over it.

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4/For the past seasons, among all designers Riccardo has managed to create the clearest brand vision with a clear urban vibe that seems to still entice boys from the hood. This time around, his floral sportwear met favela chic girls with Isabeli and the comeback of Adriana.

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5/Kim Jones travel memoires have once again managed to look cool (although often flirting with Missoni heritage) and to elevate LV in a brand desirable beyond ostentatious mode of bourgeois consumerism. And it works.

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6/JW Anderson has always flirted with androguny. This time around, his damsel in distress looked put together and with a sartorial view that would appeal beyond the eclectic minority of his audience.

Under the Skin: A film review

June 29, 2014

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Warning: Do not watch if you are expecting to see a science fiction film, a sensationally nude Scarlet Johansson or a one dimensional story telling Sunday movie.

Cause Glazer’s latest movie (loosely adapted on Faber’s book) is not a go see film as much for the movie lovers, as for the art lovers. Cause unlike his fellow utopic directors (like Kubrick, Von Trier, Lynch etc) Glazer manages to alienate the viewer even more from any sort of rational, linear narration.

After all, the magic comes to life through beautiful nature morte scenes, element superposition and daunting musical sounds somewhere in Scotland, flirting constantly between reality and fantasy. And the casting selection is down to a T, as who better to incarnate an alien among the average hometown people, than a A list bombshell Scarlett. Cold, ruthless and distant as much as the opening birth scene a la Kubrick, Scarlett manages to show the evolution of self discovery throughout her killing journey, whether through a simple act of tasting a chocolate cake or by being penetrated for the very first time.

Finally, for all the wondering, recurring motor drives look no further: Leo Carax had us running after machines in Holy Motors a couple of years ago. It was alien then and it’s still alien today.

For all the rest, sit back, relax and enjoy a movie that is better enjoyed at the comfort of one’s home. If impatient to long shots and irrational mood vibes, this movie will have you craving for the nearest exit.

 

 

We Need to Talk About Hair: From Fairytale to Hairytale

May 10, 2014

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Bush is back. No, we are not talking about annoying political figures of the past. We are talking real blown out hairy bushes. And armpits. And facial hair. And hairy butts that don’t lie. Seriously. From Brooklyn, to Berlin and beyong the Canal, boys with hairy toys are filing those hipster bars. Girls outside the L world are letting it grow. And men from the City dare to bare a 3 day beard sans hesitation. And believe it or not, they are not alone.

Madonna instagramed about it, American Apparel flaunted it on their windows, Eurovision crowned it and too cool for school media sources such as Nowness and Holiday magazine or even too bore to explore Huffington Post obsessed over it on their latest issues.

Maybe it’s a normal (r)evolution. After the epidemic of HIV awareness, plastic barbies and even more plastic condoms redefined fashion and beauty. The austerity of Calvin Klein 90s silhouttes somehow goes hand in hand with the austerity of a hairless, ephebe body. Today, the plastic, barbie looking role models are officially back in the closet of the early naughties.

Call it  a statement of sexual liberation beyond stereotypes, a statement of political revenge from vintage feminists, or even a revamp of that 70s show, but don’t call it maybe. After all, hair is here to stay.

Mapplethorpe at Grand Palais: Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!

May 1, 2014

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It was lights, camera, penis! at the latest retrospective dedicated to the NYC enfant terrible of the 80s. Grand Palais was filled with imagery filtered in black and white geometrical nudity and more curious than not tourists that were ready to instagram the life out of those naked shapes.

Unfortunately  the shock factor did not come from the nudity (after all we are overexposed, oversaturated, overfed with nude nude nude) but from the lack of a visionary curation that could turn the artist’s portfolio into sth refreshingly new. Instead, normal plain linear curation, with simple black Ikea inspired cadrage, backroom rideaux and ordinary exposition made the whole thing look more than an outdated thing stuck in google’s past: it ended up looking cheap. What’s worse, the exhibition started with the gift shop, pushing us even more to the commercial, mundane side of the overexposed Mapplethorpe, too bad he’s not Warhol. 

The only thing worth seeing is Mapplethorpe’s perverse way of perceiving shapes. Beautifully modern shadow playing on ordinary shapes made the simplest of vegetables extraordinary. For all the rest, he was into dirty business and was not afraid to show it. Kudos to honesty.

Gerontophilia, Her, Eastern Boys & other love films

April 22, 2014

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Gay, for pay or simply on a future day, these movies are living proof that in today’s world we are here to love and lust without borders, limits or taboos. Blame it on the narcissistic me myself and I society that is one the one hand responsible for the overflood of self centered selfies and on the other hand the perfect platform to make any clandestine fantasies approved. And most of the times, the result is movingly beautiful or at the very least beautifully bizarre enough to watch.

Gerontophilia: Old is the new young in the latest film by controversial Bruce LaBruce, portraying love without botox. Teenage eye candy meets vintage queer. Visually and accoustically exciting with its downfall being the limiting acting skills of a more often than not poor cast.

Her: Newly moustached Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his android, husky perfect voice (Scarlett Johansson) in a future a bit too realistic to be called science fiction. Human love gets a 2.0 upgrade and it’s worth downloading every single byte.

Eastern Boys: A gare du nord dodgy rencontre turns into a belami love affair without papers. The camera choice and down to earth acting contributes to a rather realistic, quite sad portrayal of forbidden love with eastern boys.

 

 

NYFW: Killing me Softly

February 15, 2014

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After a very intense, overtly colorful and exuberantly arty spring season, the gang of NY seemed to retrieve back in their (soft) shell, killing softly all kinds of loud color. In fact, the urban almost agressive vibe that NY normally offers, seemed to soften up to the point of pastel and fuzzy material. From mohair overdose at Costa’s take on Calvin Klein, cashmere OTT at the Olsens’ brand and Jeremy Scott’s subversive take on lockroom action, or even Wang’s first shy steps to slighly more feminine shapes, the message was loud and clear: go soft or go home.

The biggest hommage to soft was done by none other than Marc Jacobs who got his inspiration somewhere over the rainbow. The question still remains whether this season will end up being a total snooze. Here’s hoping that Muccia, Phoebe, Nicolas et al will give us yet another season to remember.

Trier’s Nymphomaniac: A Sex Odyssey Review

February 1, 2014

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Lars Von Trier’s talent has always been based on his unprecedent capacity to shock and surprise his followers through his overtly provocative, overtly visual and overtly critical take on society’s moral or more often than not immoral rules.
This time around, he focuses on sex excess with his usual cast and always troublesome Charlotte Gainsbourg. What’s interesting about his latest film, is that unlike his previous, melancholic heavy drama palava, Nymphomaniac is somewhat on a lighter almost comical mood at times, due to the stark contrast between the cultural naivete of his heroine and the abundance of knowledge of the male virgin character Seligman.
Although Joe’s journey is separated into two visually identical, occasionally too commercial and explicit volumes, the two films are quite different. In the first part, the viewer is exposed to the chronicles of her sex addict life, without necessarily exposing any character development but more of a shock tactic visual symposium. On the second part, Charlotte’s character is finally revealed and shows the transfomation of the woman who is more than aware of her victimhood to her raw, untamed sexual insticts.
Trier manages to flaunt all his views on human nature and society (whether on the lethal human nature, on pedophilia, religion, motherhood, s&m etc) in a way that only he knows how. His only problem is that towards the end, in an effort to cover too many topics, the films becomes almost a victim of social cliches and ends up being lisible rather than scriptible, losing its credibility.
For all the rest, God and Trier created pussy and penis for a reason.
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