In Dogtooth (2009), almost everything has a falsely constructed meaning. Little yellow flowers growing in the garden are called Zombies. Planes flying over a meticulously kept backyard can easily fall from the sky. Cats are ferocious animals to be feared at all times. The first impression Dogtooth leaves stacks nicely into what we would expect from a sci-fi film. But Dogtooth doesn’t take place on a forbidden planet. It’s setting is rural Greece, and it’s center is the home of both thespian and psychotic, Father (Christos Stergioglou) who has successfully kept his adult children hostage for years. It sounds horrific, but the world director Giorgos Lanthimos presents is far from gruesome. Bordering on serene perfection, the family bastille is luxurious and near resort like in its provisions and amenities. The manipulation hides behind closed doors.
Although pushing through their adult years, Older Daughter (Aggeliki Papoulia) , Younger Daughter (Mary Tsoni) and Son (Hristos Passalis) are treated as infants, and are subject to irking forms of mental abuse. Veiled under an icy world of control, the children are feed a heavy dose of disorientation, lies and bogus knowledge, all in effort to support the patriarchal reign. Slightly Wes Anderson in its quirk and style, Dogtooth remains unique in its portrayal of a twisted family drama, or dramedy if hilarity can be found in the outrageous lengths that are taken to keep the “children” from venturing into the outside world beyond their fortified home.
Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2011 Academy Awards and winner of Prix Un Certain Regard at Cannes, Dogtooth brims with recognizable symbolic references and relies on customs of western society to feed its ingenious plot twists. The most important of which in this story is the meaning behind losing your teeth, a person’s undeniable need for sexual exploration and our intrinsic need for freedom.
Given that the foundation of the film is fixed in words, meaning and reference it should be noted that the translation of the film from Greek to English through subtitles is done with success and care, leaving nothing to the imagination. Except what happens in the end.
Dogtooth is available to rent on both iTunes and Netfilx.
I came across this amazing little coffee spot called Little Nap Coffee Stand which is situated in Shibuya, Tokyo. They serve a modest menu of coffee, hot and iced, as well as ice cream and kids beverages – the perfect basics. In addition they’ve got a nice compliment of coffee related accessories, shirts, bags and other small boutique items. To set it all off they’ve got some really nice branding which is simple and text based but certainly gives the space a beautiful identity.
We’ve got some pretty sweet coffee spots in Los Angeles but I’d love to see a simple space like this pop-up in town. There coffee stand feels like it’s a laid back place where you could grab a nice cup of coffee and talk to your neighbors. I’d suggest checking out their Facebook as well to get an insight into their day-to-day business.
Port / $16.95
Port is one of our favorite men’s magazines. It’s well made and well put together: it is always sharp. Their Summer 2012 issue is “The Food Issue.” It covers everything from the practice of food making to suggesting must have items for your own kitchen. The two biggest standouts in the issue is a Juergen Teller photographed story on Nigella Lawson and Giles Revell’s beautiful, painterly fish photography. Port’s usual mix of fashion editorials, lifestyle articles, and smart recommandations are still present in the issue but have a food slant to them.
Wilder Quarterly / $18.95
This is always a great read and is becoming one of those sexy publications that people brag about at dinner parties, qualifying statements with, “Oh, yes, I read it in Wilder.” It’s wonderful and very reflective of how active we are becoming with our food. The magazine always mixes beautiful photography with very interesting inside looks at farmers and food makers, making it very accessible for everyone. Marc Alt’s desert farming interview with Stephanie Smith of Joshua Tree’s Wanna Start A Commune? was particularly interesting as it seems impossible to grow anything beyond cactuses in the desert. Joanna McClure also adds some great photos to Addie Han’s Smell The Roses piece as well as Cari Vander Yacht’s illustrations for the Seasonal Beneficial (the White-Lined Sphinx Moth) and Seasonal Pest (the Woodchuck) articles.
Afterzine / $10
Hamish Robertson’s Afterzine is always a welcome read as it represents such a diverse world of writers, artists, and more speaking on one topic. This third issue is all about records. From Theodora Allen’s paintings of records to a Q&A with Levi’s historian Lynn Downey to actress Dianna Agron explaining how one of her bathrooms is covered in writing, the word and concept of recording is expounded upon in so many fascinating ways. The magazine is also so nice looking, too.
Bon Appétit / $4.99
There really is no reason why Bon Appetit–an internationally sold, grocery-store-check-out magazine–should be as good as it is. First things first: it looks so great. Led by art director Elizabeth Spiridakis, there are so many delightful details this issue that bring the entire issue together. Case in point? The simple recurring dots throughout The 10 Best New Restaurants In America article. Very well done. In the past few months, they’ve seemed to turn up their cool a lot and are catching food and drink trends faster than we can partake in them. Bon Appétit is always a great read and is proving to be one of the most visually interesting mainstream magazines, too.
Last week’s wallpaper took a trip into the ocean, so this week we’re doing the exact opposite, taking a voyage to the arid outback of the desert. Our wallpaper is compliments of Baltimore based illustrator Janna Morton who has a truly unique style. All of her work is extremely iconic and really bold, as you can see above. Her wallpaper is a mix of all sorts of beautiful desert plants as well as lots of random critters scurrying about all over the place. If the desert isn’t quite your style, you may want to download Mary-Kate McDevitt’s iceberg wallpaper!
‘The Ventriloquist’ is a fantastic short film written and directed by Benjamin Leavitt and staring Kevin Spacey. The film came about as part of a wonderful competition set-up by Trigger Street Productions (‘The Social Network’ and ‘21’) and sponsored by Jameson Whiskey. Designed to uncover up-and-coming film talent, the competition asked people in South Africa, Russia and the USA to submit a 7 page script and the winning three entries got to make their short – each one staring Kevin Spacey.
It’s a wonderful idea and the shorts really don’t disappoint. Leavitt’s film is particularly great. It tells the story of an introverted ventriloquist (Spacey) who tries to match wits with his outspoken marionette. What works so well in Leavitt’s film is how it deals with the difficulties of communication. In a world of e-mail, texts, tweets and every-other form of modern communication it’s not too hard to form a connection with Spacey’s character and to empathize with the difficulties he has simply talking to people face-to-face. In this sense, we could all be viewed as being like ventriloquists from time-to-time. Make sure to put some time aside and watch this film.
You can also view the other two great shorts on Jameson Whiskey’s YouTube page. They come well recommended!