Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Electric Shadows

Electric Shadows moved me in a way few films have the power to do. The film tells the story of a young girl, Ling Ling born to an unwed mother with a passion for film in a small Chinese village. The mother and daughter are shunned for lacking a father/husband. What moved me so much about this film? Let me count the ways... 1. The mother-daughter relationship. They dressed up together and looked smashing despite the village's bigotry. 2. The pure love of cinema expressed so poignantly in the film. Ling Ling and her mother are buddies with the town projectionist who runs an outdoor cinema. 3. The friendship formed between Ling Ling and the town clown (a boy). 4. An unexpected twist in the plot that I can't divulge.

The film captures a sense of wonder at the world despite difficult circumstances. Characters are always on the edge of loneliness, but reach out to each other in unexpected ways. See it!


Last night I saw a great movie, C.R.A.Z.Y. Its Canadian and features a large family of boys growing up throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s in Montreal, speaking French and looking cute the whole time. The main character, Zac, is gay, which causes an unbearable rift between him and his father, who he adores. The costumes are great, bringing the viewer through 3 distinct eras in style. The film portrays a family of characters you want to hang out with, well-developed people with both negative and positive aspects to their personalities. Smoking hot Pierre-Luc Brillant plays Zac's older brother, Raymond, the brother with which he has the most intense relationship. Director Jean-Marc Vallee portrays the complexity of sibling relationships with a depth of understanding not often found in film.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Japan Trends: less consumerism

image courtesy of eBoy

This article explains that there is a growing trend in Japan against rampant consumerism, even including (gasp!) not working full time in order to slow down and enjoy other parts of life. I must admit that Japan is the last place I expected this trend to show up, but its comforting to know that even the most LCD and plastic-crazy place I know of is waking up to the emotional toll and emptiness of basing one's life on consumerism. Not that I don't want to walk the streets of Tokyo one day, soaking up jumbotron fireworks while listening to my ipod and planning my next purchases...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Americans Valuing Experiences Over Consumption

Madeline having an "experience" with a water cave

This week the New York Times published a great article about how Americans are valuing experience over consumption now that we're in the Great Recession (their term). This makes me happy! Its boosting museum attendance, which of course tickles me, but thats not the only thing. I have wondered my whole life how such a large portion of our society puts such a high priority on material belongings. Its a conundrum for me in a way, since I am a collector and I have built my career around "material" culture (museum collections!), yet I shun consumerism. My collections mostly come to me second hand, through the flea market, the very generous sidewalks of New York and San Francisco, or the thrift store.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New York Images

High Line Park

The High Line is an inspired park in Chelsea, NYC that is made from a converted elevated train track that runs right through the city. I took these photos as the sun was setting:

Fall Leaves on UPenn Campus

South Philly!

When I visited Nicole in South Philly she showed me the local fashion trends.

New York, New York

I was thrilled to visit lovely New York city in November with a side trip to Philadelphia to visit the fabulous Nicole. I mostly wanted to visit with friends I hadn't seen in too long, but I also wanted to see the United Nations headquarters and my favorite museum, the Neue Galerie.

Gustav Klimt, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907, oil, silver & gold on canvas, courtesy of Neue Galerie

The Neue Galerie had the beautiful painting, Adele Bloch-Bauer I on display, whose fascinating story of repatriation you can read about here.

The UN Building was a dream come true for a girl obsessed with anything international. The strong 1960s futuristic design of the building was also a thrill. Here are some photos I took at the UN: