Friday, 29 January 2010

I'm here

I came accros this little trailer today and I have to say I'm more than intrigued and interested in seeing it. This has the potential to be the most heartbreaking thing you'll ever watch..a robot love story...might as well rip my heart out now, I got goose bumps everytime I played it and for some strange reason it also reminded me of "Eternal Sunshine..." don't know why but that's another favourite of mine. But enjoy this little diddy!

Banana Watches...

The new video for Groove Armada, Paper Romance.
I like these sort of videos with an ambiguous story about a troubled character...maybe because I have a special affinity for those kind of characters in general, be it in movies or books...but when they're beautifully shot and nicely presented with that low budget "independent film" cinematic quality about them I just can't resist. Maybe that sounds pretentious but give me this kind of video over your standard RnB monstruosity of semi naked girls, designer clothes and sports cars anyday...

Thursday, 28 January 2010

JD Salinger

Sad times...JD Salinger, author of my favourite book has died today...Apparently he was famously recluse after the success of his only novel The Catcher in The Rye and remained something of an enigma to this day, shunning the limelight and turning his back on the fame that this book brought. I managed to read that last year and I absolutely loved it...I may just have to read it again as a tribute.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Buck

I love Buck - design studio with offices in New York and LA - and I'm a big fan of their work, it's always so slick and basically pretty amazing...I like to think that working there is a constant flow of creativity, fun and hard work obviously ...hhhhmmm that should probably go first...but everyone looks like they're happy being there, getting on with their work, shooting things, solving technical glitches that kind of thing. No doubt I'd have a lot to learn from those peeps and truth be told if I was straight out of Uni now I'd probably be applying for their intern position, the New York one me thinks. Anyway check out these little videos part of their latest body of work which was commissioned by the people at Sundance - annual film festival which as it happens it's taking place at the moment - and I absolutely love the hand made quality these movies display. So clever and once again execution wise pretty darn good. Check out their other work at: http://buck.tv/
video
video
video
video

Freya Najade

I came across the most fascinating article today...in fact a photographic study conducted by German born London based photographer Freya Najade entitled If you are lucky, you get old. It has to be the most heartbreaking thing I've ever read possibly because it brought home some truths and made me realize a couple of things. Her study was initially meant to be on gay elderly people and their relationships which subsequently became an open subject of elderly people and their relationships and to explore this she went around retirement homes in the U.S stopping first off in Portland and then to Palm Springs where she spent 5 weeks meeting old people in retirement centers and discovering their life stories. The result of that was a collection of photos which told a thousand stories and what amazed me the most was that reading these people's tales, besides getting the obvious message that they were proud of having made it so far, bearing in mind that everyone she spoke to was at least 70 years old, was that we have so much in common when it comes to love, loss, heartbreak, relationships...walking down the street and seeing an elderly person you wouldn't think that they deal with the same issues as someone in their 20s. I mean these people were talking of boyfriends/girlfriends, breaking up, suffering, longing and sexual desires with the same passion and vulnerability and perhaps to a certain extent the same inexperience as someone like me. And hearing some of them talk about life partners, people that they've been in a relationship with for something like 30-40 years, with so much pride and sometimes sorrow yet acknowledging that growing together with that one person was the most amazing thing to happen to them...well you'd have to be made of stone not to get at least a tiny bit emotional about it. Sure, with age and life experience, one learns how to deal with situations in a different manner but how refreshing that these oldies have the same adolescent spirit and when it comes to love it doesn't matter what age you are , everyone wants to love and be loved so I guess for me, I've realized that love and heartbreak go pretty much hand in hand and I might as well buckle up and enjoy the ride because if I am lucky enough to get old I'll probably experience a lot more of it. We never stop growing and as long as we live we'll continue to experience the same things as everybody else and next time I see an elderly person on the bus/tube whatever...I'll sure be wondering what their story is. Check out the project itself here: http://www.freyanajade.com/work/stories/

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

I am A Great Man

So last summer I was involved with this project, it was pretty much a last minute thing that also led to an impromptu appearance in front of the camera. I was mainly supposed to assist the props department and generally help out on the day but you see it would've been such a shame for my dashing good looks to go unnoticed like that and good thing too that the producer came to her senses and saw some potential in there which led her to mutter hose magic words " Would you like to help us out with this one scene? " and of course with me being the good Samaritan that I am I could not refuse. It was such a great experience albeit way too short for me. Filming was spread over a couple of weekends and I unfortunately couldn't commit to more than just the one but that should be enough I reckon to guarantee me a little cheeky credit at the end. Anywhoo the guys have set up a facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Am-A-Great-Man/189229854002?ref=search&sid=513365307.3903705595..1page - keeping us entertained with the latest progress on the editing front, little video snippets and behind the scenes images and I must say I am very impressed. The trailer has been released today and you can check it out below and oh yeah the film is meant to be one of those mocumentaries about a politician and the crazy little world he lives in. Enjoy

Fenech Soler

I like to treat my little ears now and then you know..and thanks to a very helpful insider's tip I checked out this band over the weekend and what can I say I'm in love. Listening to these guys puts me in a constant mood for dancing and not just any type of dancing...the kind you do on a Fri night at home by yourself when you turn your living room or in my case just my room into the funkiest dance floor the world has ever seen - with the help of a few glasses of wine of course - , throwing everything with sequins on and pulling some crazy shapes that even the coolest scenester from East Londo would be jealous of. After having a few good months of pretty much obsessing over Julian Casablancas and The XX, albums respectively, subconsciously I think I was ready for the next big thing and Fenech-Soler are proving to be much more than a simple remedy for melancholy January and a good lesson in what The Klaxons could never be because you know...they're so much up their own arses and way too concerned with how many lines of glitter they should apply on their cheeks.... Anywhoo back to Fenech-Soler...big sound bursting with melodic synth flavored rhythms, the occasional aggressive drum beats but carried throughout by the soft vocals and glazed with indie electro pop dance-ability these guys have next big thing pretty much plastered all over their white skinny jeans and sequined tops and yes I am pretty jealous of the sequin jacket rocked by the lead singer in their Lies video. My little feet can't stop dancing and I can't stop dreaming of the summer. Fenech Soler thanks for putting a smile on my face, time to get excited again me thinks.
Check out their magnificent work at: http://www.myspace.com/fenechsoler

Banana Rates...

This trailer for the BBC's coverage of the winter olympics...I've never really been a fan of those introductory graphics for major sporting events, I always find them waaaaay too cheesy or tediously politically correct but this one is different. For one, it's a completely different style, quite bleak as opposed to the happy /sunny /fair play feel that most of these intros go for, it's quite clever with a dramatic soundtrack and the execution is fantastic. And the work was completed by Studio AKA...only down the road here in funky Soho.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Banana Likes...

The XX video for VCR.
Ok it's not my favorite track on their album, which I did rave about a couple of months back by the way but I like the video because with the risk of sounding pretentious - yeah it's black and white, nicely shot etc etc - I think it really fits the song and I've always been a big fan of this type of music video where no matter what the budget might have been, what you saw on the screen really fitted the music and you just get sucked into it. And I think that's the case here too...like you might not necessarily make sense of it all somehow you're still watching it because the music just carries you through....yes? no? maybe? Just watch!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Wes Anderson Stop Motion-ified

Since we're on the stop motion bandwagon how's this for a little spot of genius?! Wes Anderson accepting an award in stop motion...for his Fantastic Mr. Fox work, more precisely Special Filmmaking Achievement Award from the National Board of Review. It's a nice little touch and I should really try and watch this movie soon I guess.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Banana Likes...

This cute little video. To prove that I'm not one dimensional and like more than just slow motion stuff....I like stop motion stuff too...the quirky type...but that's about it really! So I guess that makes me...

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Banana Rates...

I've recently watched this movie - last Sunday - courtesy of a friend who lent it to me. I had wanted to see this a long time ago - I am aware I keep using this phrase but it's true - and I am glad I've finally watched it is an absolutely stunning movie. Beautifully captured and amazing acting albeit some pretty graphic and quite violent sex scenes but the story is quite thrilling and while I was watching I thought if I had had to do some of the scenes I would've just cried...straight up. Lead actress Tang Wei who was picked from more than 10,000 actresses to play this role and was also in her first major movie role drives this film and all the credit to her because she's so graceful and innocent with an underlying strength that you'd never imagine this is a debutante. The male lead played by Tony Leung Chiu-Wai - have fun trying to pronounce that name! - is also quite fascinating as he seems to be pure evil and yet....somewhere deep down...brilliantly acted as well and although you want to punch him you can't help at being completely ensnared and you almost feel sorry for the character in the end... I was pretty transfixed too with the costumes especially the stuff they had her in, the make up and in general all the little touches like the women who were quite obviously rich would always have perfectly manicured nails, the jewelery they wore was exquisite yet I know I would never wear most of that stuff cause I'm just not lady enough...all in all though Lust Caution is a great movie, deceit, suspense, thriller, murder but ultimately a story about love and conflict and with quite a sad ending. Definitely worth checking out.

Banana Likes...

Music led abstract videos like this one....the lonesome piano in the background makes it quite melancholic yet engaging...

Black Lake from David OReilly on Vimeo.

Banana Listens To...

Ok...new reasons to get excited, inspired etc etc...downloaded this album yesterday and it really struck a chord with me. I saw the video for We Want War a couple of months back and I was hooked and intrigued by these guys. The subsequent new album buzz - this is their second - on various music sites and blogs made me even more curious. I've only managed to listen to it once so far whilst going for a run last night and I'm pretty hooked. It's so dark and atmospheric with aggressive drum beats and ear distorting bass lines. It's quite experimental I suppose but I can't help at being mesmerized by it, some of the sounds are so strange but somehow manage to work so well together and the result is beautifully dark. Of course there are some mellow moments too, piano led instrumentals and flute/xylophone/brass intros - don't quote me on this as I'm not too sure - but these are quite brief as the antagonistic drums are never too far behind and the disposition is quickly reset to moody and stark and even the children choir on 5 gives it an almost unsettling haunting quality. While I was listening to it last night I kept seeing these images in my mind for what their respective music videos might look like. I kept thinking some of the tracks would make a perfect soundtrack for a gritty British film, for example Three Thousand would really work on like a British gangster movie but obviously not the glamorous gangster type but the real council estate hardened up, violent type... Anywhoo, the video for We Want War was directed but this guy called Daniel Askill whom I have checked out since falling in love with his work and I found he did this short film which looks absolutely stunning. Of course it's abstract but it's enthralling and once again mesmerizing with a soundtrack that just enhances the visual experience. Check out his work below.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIfKqgWPVvk

Monday, 18 January 2010

Banana Likes...

Ok I've seen this trick done before but I still think it's quite clever...The quality of the video is not great but it'll do for now...

parkour motion reel from saggyarmpit on Vimeo.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Up In The Air

So yesterday I managed to check out another film at the cinema and this time I opted for something less epic and action packed...I chose clever dialogue and story and even though it felt like we'd crashed some community day trip - the majority of the audience were. how can I put this...well....old, I mean the screening room smelled of death okay - it was definitely a good choice. Plus it does have George Clooney in it and that's always a plus but what an amazing movie...great story and well acted no wonder it has the Golden Globe and Oscar buzz all around it, I expect it will do well all the same. My favourite line when Natalie (Anna Kendrick) says full of confidence that "during times of crisis children tend to apply themselves better academically" or something like that anyways, J.K Simmons' character pauses and looks at her for a second before concluding " Go fuck yourself!!"....classic. Worth checking out!

Banana Reads

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.
Bought this book ages ago but never got around to actually reading it. Managed to start it towards the end of last year and even brought with me when I went home although I didn't read a page....cause I was ill and all....anywhoo since coming back however, I have hit that point, as it always happens with books, where I just can't put it down and in spite of the dark subject matter it is a well written book and quite a fascinating read. Darkly comic too which I like even though as I said, the subject matter is most definitely bleak, it's the clever format - letters written by the mum to her ex husband and Kevin's father in which she talks about everything - that allow for a sardonic and non compromising look at how sometimes the expectations of the perfect family unit are so cruelly shattered... yet with the passing of time can be objectively observed...which I think makes it for an even sadder outcome.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Teenagers in Tokyo

Kept meaning to check out these guys ages ago and now thanks to the Back Yard newsletter providing me with little nuggets of cool shit I can see clearly that I should've have paid closer attention a long long time ago...But it's ok because it's only the beginning of the year, I've got time to change things, heck it is bang in the middle of the month after all and January is all about new resolutions and sticking to them...until boredom settles in once again that is. Anywho this is a pretty cool song and another "dress crush" reason for me. The video is looking lush too....overall verdict: me likey!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Piotr Holub

New Year New Inspiration...this guy is pretty cool!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Banana Watches...

Alphabeat, Hole in My Heart. Well I'm not too sure about this video but I like the song. I managed to see these guys last year back in November - not that long ago but still feels strange saying last year already - anywhoo...they rocked the venue - Heaven - and I really enjoyed their performance. I couldn't keep my eyes off singer Stine's dress, it was gorgeous, don't know where it was from although I have a sneaky suspicion it was this French Connection little number, but it was blue and sparkly and that's a good enough reason to be seduced.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Banana Likes...

The Sherlock Holmes Credits. So I've read the reviews, I've seen the trailer and I was kinda sold anyways all thanks to the tasty meaty pie that is Robert Downey Jr. but then I spotted these lovely credits and I'm even more eager to see it. Guy Ritchie certainly has a special affinity for titles, his Rock'n'Rolla credits were pretty awesome too with a great soundtrack. I also hear that there's going to be a Sherlock Holmes sequel...
video

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Banana Likes...

The dust had barely settled on my Avatar experienced when I spotted this little beauty of a clip almost as mesmerizing as Pandora at night time....if I haven't mentioned this before I went to see Avatar yesterday and I flipping loved it...

SCINTILLATION from Xavier Chassaing on Vimeo.

Banana Watches...

One thing I was definitely slacking on last year was my movie going habit which kinda fell on the side...that and my reading too. But part of my character reformation for 2010 is to catch up on those things and my first cinema experience for this year was most definitely an epic one. Bar the very early start for a Saturday anyways, I have to say that seeing Avatar turned out to be a good move. It was also my very first experience of seeing a film in 3d...with the glasses and everything....I know I haven't lived! Sigh...anywhoooo I went along cause it was a freebie so I had nothing to lose. The Empire in Leicester Square was absolutely packed with fellow sleepy faces but the excitement was most definitely tangible and somewhere deep down inside me I was giddy with anticipation too at my first 3d experience. And what can I say, I have never experienced so much entertainment on a freezing Saturday morning, it was definitely more than my little brain was expecting. But it was good, I enjoyed this movie much more than I thought I would. Visually it is absolutely beautiful, the special effects are amazing as you'd expect a film with a budget exceeding the $300 million mark would display. The scenes on Pandora are so startling I couldn't help at wanting this place to actually be real so I could go there myself and while the film does display the cliche American dialogue - James Cameron has always been criticized for his dialogue writing skills - the story itself is quite touching and as I said before the technical achievements of this film are to be applauded. All in all it was a good experience, I would definitely watch this again, Avatar was a pleasant surprise for me. I would say it's worth seeing but I wouldn't force feed it on to anyone. Pow

Friday, 8 January 2010

Hello 2010

Ok first post for this year...with Christmas and New Year such an - unfortunately so - distant memory now...the wine was drunk, the pies were eaten, wishes were made and so let's see what 2010 has to offer. I spent a few days with my nearest and dearest and came back to London fresh faced and full of sparkles. Here's a little photo diary of my Christmas and New Year's Eve times.
Actual prezzies...
Pete and Enfys discussing the Menu...
I did actually earn my keep whilst staying over at Pete's house...this was a very brief moment because I wanted to immortalize the view...
And voila...
Me and Mr. Little Man
Sister ActDavid and Victoria Beckham...
Me and Prince Charming...
Brad and Angelina...