Invisible Artists – A Preview of ‘Sign Painters’

Sign-Painters-Movie-Po

My theory about signage and typography has been proven true countless times. It predicts that no matter how perfect a new business is set-up, if they use a questionable font for their signage, the business will suffer and eventually close within six months. Okay, maybe it can take up to a year, but inevitably it comes true, I swear. Unfortunately, in most cases signage has become a thoughtless second to other branding materials. But artful, hand-painted, hand-crafted signage was once the shining star.

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Christina Stimpson

June 6, 2013 / By

Polygamy Meets God in L.A. – A Film Review of ‘The Source Family’

TheSourceFamily_Poster

Apparently, the Age of Aquarius has been in full swing since 2012, and as you can see, it has had a great effect on all of us. Well, not me. Not even a little bit actually. But I also don’t belong to a family that forces you to ingest the ‘Jewel of Truth’ and the ‘Wisdom of the Ages’. My family are meat and potatoes kind of people, although I can fully accept that family means something different to everyone. Dysfunctional, urban, organized, nuclear, blended – a family becomes exclusive through the bond (whatever that may be) that is shared among its members. For members of The Source Family, subject of the 2013 documentary, that bond is whatever YaHoWha says it is.

Who is YaHoWha? He is the Earthly Spiritual Father, also known as Father Yod, who was, at one time just plain old James Baker.

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Christina Stimpson

May 30, 2013 / By

Isn’t It Femmantic? – A Film Review of ‘Frances Ha’

Frances Ha poster Noah Baumbach

I have a problem with the word platonic. It defines something that is way more interesting than what it seems to be. Male friendships have now become widely accepted as a ‘Bromances’, yet the bond between females, equally as deep and meaningful, is stuck being defined by the old lifeless descriptor, platonic. A non-sexual love. Snoozer. I’m hoping Greta Gerwig, the lead in Noah Baumbach’s newest film Frances Ha, will be remembered as the femme that helped shed platonic from its drab and stuffy skin. Be it, ‘Femships’ or ‘Bromances’, Frances Ha, actualizes what every woman feels inside for her best friend, love in its lightest form.

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Christina Stimpson

May 23, 2013 / By

On the Fringe of Genre – A Film Review of ‘Upstream Color’

Upstream Color_poster

Thoughtful filmmakers intent on making engaging experimental films in today’s cinematic climate are fearless. Only a handful of filmmakers, able to uncover the balance between formal abstraction and narrative fluff, succeed in making films that are a cut above the rest. Harmony Korine of course rules this utopia, as does David Lynch, Michel Gondry and to a certain extent Terrance Malick, with his rapturous depiction of regeneration. Hopefully, Shane Carruth, the writer, director and star, of his second film Upstream Color, will become the newest, most promising member of this crew.

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Christina Stimpson

May 16, 2013 / By

‘Stranded’ by Sitka

‘Stranded’ by Sitka

‘Stranded’ by Sitka

Life can get hectic, and sometimes I wish being stranded on a desert island was an option… for like, a weekend. I would catch-up on some reading, get a tan, think about life, maybe play some cards. In essence, I would re-group. The one thing I wouldn’t expect to think about would be what I was wearing, and if my clothes were in season. The west coast based surf and skate shop Sitka, has put some serious thought into the desert island dream for the concept of their Fall/Winter 2013 ad campaign with Stranded, a short film directed by Benjamin Schuetze and Ben Gulliver.

The production on Stranded is phenomenal. For at least 6 of the 8 minute film, it had me fashionably duped before I realized I was essentially watching a commercial. Stranded is a novel and a seriously fun way that Sitka’s brand can reach farther than any print campaign possibly could

Christina Stimpson

April 11, 2013 / By

Film Art: The posters of Akiko Stehrenberger

Funny Games a film by Akiko Stehrenberger

Before any discussion of the poster for Funny Games ensues, I must emphasize that the German turned American film, by Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke, is without a doubt a terrifying, horror movie. Funny Games is grotesque, actually, with very sinister undertones and a fair bit of gore. In designing a poster for this film, L.A. based creative Akiko Stehrenberger, made a definitive choice. Rather than funnel perception of the film toward a bloody and bone chilling horror mess, Stehrenberger focused the branding toward a clean and minimal approach, one that is rarely seen within the horror genre.

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Christina Stimpson

April 4, 2013 / By

Sociopathic Pop Misfits – A Film Review of ‘Spring Breakers’

Spring Breakers poster by Harmony Korine

Spring Breakers film by Harmony Korine

What do you get when you mix teenage starlets and pop sensations with America’s most enigmatic independent filmmaker? The answer is Spring Breakers, the neon-blazing, experiential, psychedelic pastiche that is Harmony Korine’s most commercially successful film yet. Comprised as a symphony of character, narrative, and social-political layers, Spring Breakers is a maze through an ultra-fun then frenzied trip for four freshmen that will stop at nothing to get to Daytona Beach in time for spring break.

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Christina Stimpson

March 28, 2013 / By

Film Art: Neil Kellerhouse

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo poster by Neil Kellerhouse

The Social Network posters by Neil Kellerhouse

We’ve all said those three powerful words when deciding which film to watch: “This looks (insert negative or positive adjective here).” Whatever adjective finishes that short sentence decides the fate of that film for you. In my most presumptuous of moods I will judge a film based on what typeface they used in the movie poster. As a cinephille, I can be condemned for such triviality, but I believe the rule of first impressions always apply.

Production companies that design the brand identity for a film have the responsibility of maintaining that first good impression. The movie poster, the driver of that identity, can also be an indication of failure if it subscribes to the common and conventional denominator of ‘thoughtless design’. Successful poster design moves beyond symbolism to choose an interpretive vision. When interpretation pushes curiosity to it’s limits, a simple promotional movie poster can be elevated to into the caliber of art.

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Christina Stimpson

March 18, 2013 / By

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