Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The End of Lawrence & Julie & Julia

My favorite meta-text has ended today. The Lawrence & Julie & Julia Project is a blog about a movie about book about a blog about a book, where Lawrence Dai, a film studies student watched the movie Julie & Julia every day for a year & wrote a blog post every day. What seems like a stupid, pointless project turned into a study in the film process, which includes everything from editing to the title font. One of my favorite segments is Random Actor Tuesday, where he features a supporting character that say one or two lines. I wonder, after a year of having to watch a film, which Lawrence calculated to equaling a month of his waking life, what do you do when the you don't have to push play anymore?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Two View Movie Review: Ladri di biciclette (The Bicycle Thieves)

Taking place in the bombed-out & depleted post-W.W.II Rome, Ladri di biciclette follows Antonio Ricci, an unemployed husband & father of two, who receives a job pasting movie posters in the inner city, but the job requires a bicycle. Without a bike, Antonio's wife pawns of their bed sheets in order to buy one, because this job comes with overtime & allowance for the family, meaning the Ricci's will never have to worry about eating again. But, one his first day, Antonio gets his bicycle stolen & barely sees the thief. He goes to the police & gets no help from them. With his neighbors & Bruno, his son, Antonio searches high & low for the bicycle, which finding or not finding the bike could change the coarse of his life forever.

What can I say about the The Bicycle Thieves? Nothing, I guess. Time to go home.

Just kidding. The Bicycle Thieves is one of my favorite films & was highly acclaimed when released & is still considered the best Italian neorealist films & one of the best films ever. Italian neorealism came after W.W.II & received its name because the directors used real locations, not sets, & non-actors, which director Vittorio De Sica also did. The neorealist made their stories about the poor & working class & showed the tough mental & physical conditions that were affecting the people.

This came about when Europe was going through this big change after the War. People didn't know how to react to such an extreme situation & they were living life next to buildings that were falling apart & new buildings were being constructed. It probably seemed like there was no way to pick yourself up, causing severe psychological & moral questions to be placed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Center Paige: A Line

A Line is a wood cut & linoleum cut story by Suyeon Kim about "a blind fisherman, his dog & the bond between them." The book was printed by Incline Press & bound in an accordion fold & features sixteen prints. Along with the book comes a simple signature pamphlet bound book with the colophon & the written narrative of the book.

The story follows a blind fisherman who uses a line to go out to sea & collect his nets, but a seagull steals the line. The fisherman's dog turns into a bird to take back the line, but as the bird releases the line, a gigantic fish steals the line. The fisherman transforms into a fish, just as the dog turned into a bird,  to reclaim the line, but a shark comes to eat him. The bird turns into a rock barrier to protect his friend. Reclaiming the line, the fish transforms into the dog & the rock barrier transforms into the fisherman, now with the line intact & a big fish in a net, a worthy prize to take home.

The story is about a fishing line, but also the lines that connect us, "lifelines & friendship lines & the inexorable line of narrative that makes a satisfying story" says Kim. The cut images are beautiful & well printed & the book is a worthy addition to the Jaffe Collection.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Books of Occupy Wall Street

Everyone knows that the book & the written word is a powerful machine for ideas, otherwise there wouldn't be book burnings. "Life transforming ideas have always come to me through books"-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. The protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement is aware of this facts & have created a makeshift library for the protesters to read. The Art & Design faction of the protesters have even created an artists' book using protest signs. There is a blog for the library, where you can get up-to-date details or find out how to donate books to the library. Keep this library & movement going by showing your support, because nothing is going to change if we don't stand long & strong.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Graphic Novel of the Month: Tintin in Tibet

Boy adventurer & reporter Tintin gets a horrible premonition involving his good friend, Chang, and a plane crash in the Himalayas. When it turns out that his vision is true, Tintin and his allies, the graceless Captain Haddock & Tintin's white terrier, Snowy, head to the Himalayas in search of Chang. The locals make it clear that the mountains are dangerous & Captain Haddock repeatedly states that the trek is most likely fruitless, but Tintin won't stop until he finds his friend. The three get a guide, Tharkey, and three porters to help with the expedition, but the porters run when there are signs of the fabled yeti. At the plane crash site, Chang isn't anywhere to be found, but Tintin doesn't give up hope, as little clues lead to party further into the mountains, but they have to weather the cold, wind, & the abominable snowman.

Tintin in Tibet is the 20th book in the Tintin series created by the Belgian Hergé. It follows the Tintin trend created by Hergé: cartoony characters with realistic backgrounds, flat-coloring, international adventure, & slapstick humor, usually created by Haddock. Fans and critics of Tintin find Tibet to be Hergé's best work. Tintin has never been braver, & the same goes for the usually cowardly Haddock. This book also features one of the few times Tintin has ever cried in the series, who is usually an unshakable character.  There is a good deal of drama and drive in this book.

The personal history revolving around this book is interesting. Hergé was experiencing nervous breakdowns while going through a divorce from a marriage of twenty-five years & he was experiencing reoccurring dreams of nothing but white space. His therapist advised Hergé to quit the Tintin series, but Hergé sought out to finish his current story, which turned out to be therapeutic. Hergé set the story in the Himalayas to convey the lost & emptiness he feels during his dreams, making Tibet the most colorless book of the otherwise vibrant series. After he finished the book, Hergé's breakdowns lessened, he married his new wife that year, & he never experienced anymore dreams of white.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Patrick Gannon: Cut Paper Art

I've discovered an amazing paper artist, Patrick Gannon. He has aspirations to release a 12-Month Calendar for 2012, but he needs some help, so he opened up a Kickerstarter account in order to get his project rolling. If you donate just $30, you will get the calendar. Help him out, or just take a gander at his amazing skills.