"What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly." It’s been a while since I’ve seen a film that, as I continued to watch, it continually defied my expectations. A film that avoids many of the tropes that we relate to modern cinema creating something entirely refreshing. I’m speaking of After Yang, a film directed by Kogonada, which felt to me like watching a poem unfold. The story follows a family's attempts to repair their unresponsive robotic child, and though the story is sci-fi at its heart, the film feels rather realistic in it’s depiction of technology. Substance over style, and all that.
Without getting spolier-y, I kept waiting for normative film tropes of “mom and dad get in an argument over what to do,” which never happens. The characters (thanks to some incredible acting) are like real individuals, a real couple, who talk and work things out instead of having some over-the-top reaction for dramatic effect. Again, the film never heads toward the obvious, always unraveling more and more layers, and what you’re left with at the end is a beautiful story unlike any I’ve ever seen before.
✖️ — Came upon the work of stacks (who from what I can glean from limited info) is a collagist from Mexico. What drew me to their work was this great series of collages they did called Foliage & Fetish which combines vintage erotic ephemera and all manners of plants, creating some silly and stunning arrangements.
✖️ — It was exciting to see Diébédo Francis Kéré awarded the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize for his incredible work. What I personally love about Kéré is his use of natural materials, creating buildings that feel both hand made and contemporary at the same time. I would recommend checking out the Dano Secondary School, which has a “an elegant truss structure, shaped like the body of a fish, holding up the corrugated metal roof,” as well as the Benga Riverside Residential Community that’s a beautiful mix of bricks and concrete.
✖️ — I really enjoyed Juliette Cezzar’s lecture titled ‘Type, Money, and Power: The First 5000 Years’ which goes over the history of the written word, specifically, how a path was formed for the development of writing and type by those with money and power. This is a much watch if you’re into type, I certainly learned a lot!
✖️ — NFTs are not a thing for me though I’m a huge fan of Craig Redman (you may know him as one half of Craig & Karl) who’s taken his Darcel Disappoints character and created an entire universe, calling it Dour Darcels. I obviously love Craig’s style and his ability to communicate a lot with simple details, but what’s most impressive to me is the fact that he made himself a multi-millionaire doing the thing he loves. For example, he recently did a collaboration with colette and some of these are going for $1.5m each. Do I think any of these are worth that much? Not at all! But it is cool to see someone so talented get that cash.
✖️ — Tricky Taipei has a really nice feature on Sophie Lin who runs an acclaimed tea shop in Taipei called Wisteria Tea House and how she decided to open a Wisteria in Paris. It’s an inspiring story especially because Sophie didn’t speak French and managed to do an entire renovation remote from Taipei, during the pandemic. As a fan of Paris and French culture, this insight definitely resonated with me, “… the French value authenticity. He reminded me to not lose sight of my values in starting this endeavor, that the French are observant.”
✖️ — I’ve seen interviews, and I’ve seen archives of work, though I’ve never seen anything quite so sprawling and incredible as this collaboration between Nigh Magazine and Hassan Rahim. The first time I experienced this it took me at least 20-30 minutes to get through everything, and that was me scrolling rather quickly. I’ve revisited the interview and the work many times now, it’s truly a thing of beauty. Here’s a quote that really stood out to me:
“I hate the idea of “designing for designers” and rather enjoy making work that speaks to a larger audience. And what that typically means is less focusing on flexing your technical skills and more flexing your communication skills.”
✖️ — Nike Japan did one of those super rad isometric video displays (like this giant kitty, you know what I’m talking about) for Air Max Day and I think the result is so great. The energy of the animation makes it really feel alive, and honestly, I want an Air Max glass vase to store flowers, that looks incredible.
✖️ — Bold just unveiled their big brand redesign for Minecraft and I’ve gotta say, it’s extremely well thought out and comprehensive. They’ve made a lot of smart choices in really putting the work in to refine the brand rather than reinventing the wheel here. You’ve gotta watch the little sizzle they put together as it’s a ton of fun seeing this branding move.
The Trend Report™ by my partner, Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick, is a sharp and insightful look at everything going on in the world, arriving every Sunday to your inbox. Highly recommended, obviously.
Oh my! After Yang sounds delicious. Thanks for the tip:)