But the Girl is Safe – A film review of ‘Drive’

But the Girl is Safe - A film review of 'Drive'

There is a defining moment in Drive, when Ryan Gosling stops smiling. The subtle change from soft-hearted mechanic to vigilante protector and maker-of-all-things-right creeps in and marks the point of decent into violence for this leading character, whose only motivation is to protect the woman and child he loves, but hardly knows.

Based on the novel by James Sallis and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, the opening teaser of Drive could play as a short film in itself. Here, Gosling’s character “Driver” is introduced as a lone wolf, contracted to drive get-away cars for L.A underworld heists. “Driver” is dangerously serious, smooth, and in total control for the 5 minutes that he is employed in the racket. Any time either side of that, he declares independence and lives a simple withdrawn life as a stunt car driver for Hollywood films. That is until he meets “Irene”, his point of obsession played exceptionally by the great Carey Mulligan. The genuine interplay between “Driver” and “Irene” would otherwise be misplaced in an action film. They hardly converse, preferring to hold each other’s gaze and smile bashfully until they come to the reality of the awkward moment. The distinction here is Refn’s choice to opt out of the conventional shot sequence between these two characters, and employ a type of long take, letting the camera linger on their interactions to the breaking point. These soft moments, create the backbone of the film and are pivotal in grounding Gosling’s character as a human before he transcends into monster-vigilante hero.

At the very minimum Drive is about car chases. Refn, whose previous films include Valhalla Rising (2009) and Bronson (2009), favors the exchange of visual language over dialogue, in what is Drive’s 86 page script. At its fruition, the film relies heavily on the core performance of its small cast, and succeeds in producing a cohesive work of art from a pastiche of genres. Borrowing style and pacing from film noir, and using the framework of a classic one last heist story, what emerges is a genuine love story between two unlikely neighbors that tugs at your heartstrings when it all goes wrong.

Outside the parenthesis of the “Driver” and “Irene” love story, tragedy ensues. Cloaked in a euro trashy white silk bomber jacket with an emblematic gold scorpion covering his back, Driver sets out on his path of revenge to make things right, return the loot to its rightful owner and get ‘out of it’ for good.

His vengeful actions are presented in extreme violence, without limit for gruesome details, the type where you might actually need to look away. Yet, at no time, is Gosling’s “Driver” out of control. Each violent act is lean, and premeditated to have a beginning, middle and an end and is contained through his will to be protector. Before and after each violent act, is a tormented soul that weighs the guilt of letting a situation spiral out of control.

The heartbeat of the film, provided by Cliff Martinez curated soundtrack, runs an unequalled parallel to the depth of the character’s, the intensity put forth, and the ethereal vision that Refn has accomplished.

Christina

Christina Stimpson

October 20, 2011 / By

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Gregory Euclide

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Gregory Euclide

Gregory Euclide

About a week ago I tweeted something to the effect of, “Write someone you admire and tell them you appreciate them, try to start a friendship from that connection.” Taking my own advice, I decided to write an artist named Gregory Euclide, who many of you will know as the guy who’s work is featured on the new Bon Iver album. I had recently seen his work in person at the PULSE Art Fair and was taken with how dimensional it all is. I spoke with a woman from David B. Smith Gallery (who represents him) and she mentioned how his work is more like a mixed media sculpture, which doesn’t really come across on the Bon Iver cover. And it’s true, when you look at Gregory’s work on his site, you see just how much depth there is, that’s it’s not just a large illustration, he’s creating miniature worlds.

So I wrote Gregory, and is it turns out he reads the site, which was awesome to hear, and he agreed to create a wallpaper set of the image you see on the cover of Bon Iver’s record. Each size is actually a different detail of the large image, so you should check out each one. And remember, you can always use a larger size for a smaller monitor. A big thanks to Gregory for hooking us up, and remember, it’s easy to meet people, you just have to take a chance.

Edit: If you’d like the full image you see above, click here, I’ve attached it as a 2560x1440px image to fit pretty much any monitor.

Bobby

Bobby Solomon

October 19, 2011 / By

Re-Covered Books: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Re-Covered Books: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Re-Covered Books: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Re-Covered Books: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Re-Covered Books: Dracula by Bram Stoker

I’m a little late in the month for this, but I couldn’t resist doing a themed Re-Covered Book contest for Halloween. So this time around we’re tackling Dracula by Bram Stoker, a classic novel who’s reach has influenced pop culture in so many ways and defined what a modern day vampire was. The book was written back in 1897, and as Wikipedia says, “touches on themes such as the role of women in Victorian culture, sexual conventions, immigration, colonialism, and postcolonialism.” I think this is a great way to look at the book, these themes not necessarily coming across from a pale guy with fangs and a cape.

Your job is to make a super rad cover the portrays those themes without resting upon Hollywood cliches. Perhaps your cover is gruesome? Or maybe you say fuck it all and make the funniest cover ever? It’s up to you, but be sure to steer clear of pre-existing imagery like Bela Lugosi and the such.

The prize for winning, as always, is $100 to Amazon.

RULES

• Please save your images as JPGs no larger than 800px wide at 72 DPI/RGB mode, there’s no height restrictions (within reason). Feel free to play with the dimensions and have fun with what you make. Making a front and back cover with certainly help your chances, but is not required.

• Label your files “Firstname-Lastname-Dracula.jpg”

• Send all entries to [email protected] with the subject “Re-Covered Books: Dracula“. Cut and paste what I wrote there, it’s super easy and it helps me keep track of your entry.

• All entries are due Saturday, November 12, 2011 by Midnight, PST.

If there are any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with and be sure to tell your friends/classmates/pets to participate. Good luck and have fun!

See the entries below.

Continue reading this post…

Bobby Solomon

October 19, 2011 / By

Denis Andernach, Houses for Landscapes

Denis Andernach, Houses for Landscapes

Denis Andernach, Houses for Landscapes

Denis Andernach, Houses for Landscapes

These beautiful drawings stem from the hands of Denis Andernach. He describes his drawings as “houses for landscapes and landscapes for houses” but it may be hard for the architecturally inclined to pry their eyes away from the fictitious structures that dominate these drawings. Yes, there is context surrounding the structures he precisely renders; landscapes that usually contrast the hard-edged and abrupt angles that we like to build (or draw) with. There’s something a little shedish about many of these drawings that reminds me of the Sea Ranch houses from architects who came out of Princeton in the ’50s: Charles Moore and William Turnbull. A contient away from California, Denis works in Frankenthal Germany, where he imagines these houses, hostels and the occasional ossuary situated in lanscapes that do not exist.

Alex

Alex Dent

October 19, 2011 / By

‘Shangri-La’ by YACHT

'Shangri-La' by YACHT

It’s funny when you live with someone, you end up listening to music that you might not normally seek out (or want to listen to at all). The former was the case with Shangri-La by YACHT, the self-titled track from their newest album which came out about 4 months ago. The song is immensely catchy, I have the melody and chorus in my head all the time. It’s such a positive sounding song, there’s something about it that makes me want to blast it while I’m driving in the car, irregardless of the weather outside. Here’s my favorite part of the song:

St. Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I love my friends in hell, as above and so below
When the rapture comes, if you don’t mind
I’ll be waiting down here and sweating

Bobby

Bobby Solomon

October 19, 2011 / By

The Photography of Ylenia Arca

The Photography of Ylenia Arca

The Photography of Ylenia Arca

The Photography of Ylenia Arca

The Photography of Ylenia Arca

Ylenia Arca is a photographer from Italy. A student of architecture, Arca’s work is a glimpse into how she sees the world and her website show’s a photographer with a keen eye for shape and texture. Arca’s photographs often explore the irregularity that exists between nature and architecture and her lens marks out the lines and shapes that exist amongst these spaces.

Arca has a portfolio filled with images from all over Europe and her camera gives us an insight into a way of seeing different parts of a city in a way that we might not normally look at it. Currently she lives and works on the island of Tenerife and her photos from there give an interesting view of an island so often considered solely as a holiday destination. If you like the photos above make sure to also check out Ylenia’s Flickr page.

Philip

Philip Kennedy

October 19, 2011 / By

A beautiful video shot on the iPhone 4S

A beautiful video shot on the iPhone 4S

A beautiful video shot on the iPhone 4S

A beautiful video shot on the iPhone 4S

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the iPhone 4S, both good and bad. A lot of folks had some silly expectations of what the iPhone 4S should be and do, and how it shouldn’t have even been 4S, how it should have been 5. But what Apple has done has made some small but powerful tweaks to a nearly perfect phone that makes it only better, perfect example, the camera.

The video above was shot completely with an iPhone 4S, and the quality is stunning. I wonder how many people would have guessed it was shot on an iPhone if they didn’t have previous knowledge?
The video was made by Benjamin Dowie, who did a wonderful job of capturing a day at the beach, but couldn’t anyone do the same with an iPhone and a bit of knowledge of filmmaking? That’s kind of the magic with this update is that we all have the potential to make beautiful things. The iPhone is good at cashing in on this, democratizing tools and allowing most people to create amazing things, like what Instragram does with photography.

Bobby

Bobby Solomon

October 18, 2011 / By

Jing Zhang Builds Letters

Jing Zhang "Building Letters"

Jing Zhang "Building Letters"

Even though Jing Zhang says that she is “running out of patience” to finish this letter marathon, I’m hoping she can trudge through because these letters are fantastic. The communicative constructions are rendered in axonometric projections, as if we were playing an architectural video game. Zhang is no architect, but started out as a fashion illustrator. Now, she works in a variety of styles and you can tell from her portfolio that her interests are varied. What’s fun about this series are the surprising scenarios created within the framework of the letters and the curious scale figures that inhabit this unfinished alphabet.

Alex

Alex Dent

October 18, 2011 / By

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