Fact: The video above is for a Canon printer called the Pixma. Nonetheless it’s an absolutely beautiful commercial that uses simple and abstract visuals to try and create a colorful, vibrant identity. The creators are Dentsu London, who had the video where they used the iPad as a writing tool, so clearly they’re doing some amazing work right now. What they did was stretch a thin membrane over a speaker, put some paint over the top and then played a sound through the speaker, causing the pain to explode all over the place. In order to capture this they used a macro lens and a spinning rig that shoots at 5000 frames a second. Pretty crazy, but with an incredible result.
When it comes to high fashion there are few people as cutting edge, or weird, as Gareth Pugh. The man basically makes clothes for when we’re living in Buckminster Fuller inspired pods on the surface of Mars, and his Spring/Summer 2011 collection is no exception. The video above was created to give a look at his new collection, which visually lands between the imagination of Chris Cunningham and Mark Romanek’s video for Michael and Janet Jackson’s Scream. It’s flashy, it’s edgy and it’s intense, but that’s sort of the fun of it. My favorite part is at the 9 minute mark, so if you can’t make it that far be sure to fast forward and see what I’m talking about.
Imagine, if you will, that you are a cultured and intellectual lady or gentleman attending one of the first screenings of Luis Buñuel’s The Golden Age that took place at the end of 1930 at Studio 28. You, the perhaps unsuspecting viewer, would be confronted with scenes of sadistic cruelty towards animals, bizarre erotic sequences (the most famous of which involves the female lead performing fellatio on the toes of a garden sculpture), stream of consciousness surrealist imagery, anti-bourgeois sentiment and an ending that pays homage to the Marquis de Sade’s horrifying The 120 Days of Sodom. Would you be shocked and appalled or sensuously liberated from the shackles of middle class conformity? Although The Golden Age is reasonably tame by today’s standards, in the 1930s it was as confronting to some viewers as recent audiences found Gaspard Noé’s Irréversible (2002).
Sometimes watching a movie is a bit like being raped.
- Luis Buñuel
Co-written by Buñuel and Salvador Dali, The Golden Age can arguably be considered a moving manifesto for the ideals of the surrealist movement. At the first screenings of the film, a written manifesto did, in fact, accompany the programme, espousing the importance of love, liberation and warning against censorship and the “bankruptcy” of emotion. The film itself is composed of a serious of dream-like vignettes that focus on the passionate and unconsummated love between a man (Gaston Modot) and a woman (Lys Lys).
The loose narrative is filled with bizarre hallucinatory sequences that align lust with the flushing of an excrement-filled toilet, that display sexual frustration through the act of throwing a burning tree out of a window and that consistently undercut moments of tenderness with unexpected violence. For a contemporary audience that is accustomed to certain ideas of visual eroticism, Buñuel opens up a space for uninhibited madness. Notably, the structure of the film, while reasonably linear, flows from disparate events and subjectivities and effectively utilises montage to create a dream vision. To this end, the imagery is replete with sexual symbolism and incongruity, capturing the vocabulary of Surrealist reverie and l’amour fou (mad love). However, this is clearly a perspective on the dreams of two very strange and, dare I say, disturbed men that has proved too much for some censorship boards.
Of course, just about everyone has either seen or heard of the fabulously grotesque eyeball scene in Un Chien Andalou (1929), but I actually prefer the eccentric charm of The Golden Age. For all its lofty ambitions to undermine convention and the Church, I love this film because it so ridiculous and perverse. I can almost see Buñuel and Dali cackling away as they were writing the outlandish plot, mischievously rubbing their hands together while concocting scenes involving murder, scorpions and odd fetishes.
The folks over at Imaginary Forces have put together this great retrospective video of Paul Rand’s work because of his induction into The One Club Hall of Fame which showcases some of his best work from across the years. It also uses a bit of an interview he did a while bac,k and for me, listening to him speak is so damn inspiring. I promise you, this will be the most inspiring 4 minutes of your day.
I’m not entirely familiar with the work of Rachel Whiteread but after watching this video created by the Tate (yes, the museum) I’m becoming quite a fan. Born in 1963 she was the first woman to win the Turner prize and is known for her sculptures, installations and drawings. Her most famous piece (and my favorite part of the video above) is a piece called House, which was a concrete cast of a Victorian house and the reason for winning her the Turner prize. Basically she filled an entire house with concrete and then removed the outer shell of the house, leaving a ghostly hollow remaining on the grounds.
I guess she recently had a show at the Hammer Museum here in Los Angeles, I’m bummed that I didn’t get to see it. If any of this sounds interesting you should definitely watch the video.