selfportrait.net's blog covering community artists, gallery shows, and the whereabouts of young entrepreneurs and artistic talents from NY, LA, London, Paris, the world.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Summer funz


Film: It's a constant struggle between adoring aged classics and trying to figure out the minds of contemporary geniuses. To make things more difficult there are those obscure old masterpieces that are rediscovered, making old tropes fresh and exciting again. MOMA's To Save and To Project, has been one such attempt to befuddle our expectations.

The double feature on this past Saturday began with the short "Isabelle aux dombes," a daringly shot set of montages evoking emotion and drama without the use of linear narrative. The visual feast is reminiscent of, or rather prefigures, the tranquility of Abbas Kiarostriami and the intensity of Christopher Doyle. In only 9 minutes, this 1950 short by Maurice Pialat is a concentrated nugget of powerful visual storytelling.

Following the appetizer came Jean Renoir's "Whirlpool of Fate," a simple, idyllic, fairy tale like story about a misfortunate girl named Gudule. Though perhaps indulgently childish, the film still evokes a powerful response through its beautiful scenes, sets, and acting. What made the experience even more special was the fact that this film, once thought to be lost, was rediscovered in the form of a English backup print. Since its rediscovery, the subtitles were retranslated back into French. Then in the MOMA theater, along with a piano accompaniment by Stuart Oderman, we get a live reading of the subtitles translated back into English. Good thing the story was simple enough that nothing could really have been lost in transation. It was like story time. Most of the lines were read with a straight face but once in awhile, when Gudule thew her rare tantrum, the reader too threw in a bit of her sass giving the film some extra flavor and contrast.

Music: Everyone knows ToddP by now. His DIY all ages show range from revolutionary to totally f'ed up (not sure if I should get into details). The No Age show I went to this past Thursday was somewhere in between. It was fun and pretty mellow (not the bands but the atmosphere). The line up went Thank You (formerly More Dogs) from Baltimore; No Age, that somtimes pop, sometimes ambient, sometimes noise skate punk band from LA; and Meneguar. My heart went out to Thank You. They had the cutest drummer with pig tails and a blue dress drumming with more force than Zach Hill (of The Advantage). During one of the songs her mouth opened wide like she was screaming. But she was still smiling. Somehow. Then afterwards she giggled and panted and drank some water. Profoudly sexy... sorry if this is getting creepy. Speaking of creepy, their music sounded like a black and white sci-fi horror flick, like old Doctor Who or The Thing, very cool very different and definitely well executed. Hey if some member of the band sees this please make a Selfpotrait account cuz we love you, all three of you!



Image: Nothing Lasts For Ever is the motto of the notorious graffiti collective Faile. Check out their open gallery at 201 Christie St. Ponder the importance of Mao. And anime girls. The themes of media, resistance, and sexiness seem consistent. Other than that Faile is definitely unoffensive in a good way; after all graffiti is public statement.

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