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film + video

Watch: Ai Weiwei Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

“Ah yes, the summer of 2014, I remember it well,” you’ll tell your robot grandchildren. “The world lost Elaine StritchRobin Williams—tragic! And everyone was dumping buckets of ice water over their heads.” The latest celebrity to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge—the DIY dunk-tank-for-charity viral sensation that involves chilly water, a video camera, and the magic of social media—is Ai Weiwei. No word as to whether the Chinese artist made a donation, but he definitely got soaked. Two buckets were required. Watch the scene unfold in the courtyard of his Beijing HQ, much to the delight of onlooking studio assistants.

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Watch: On the Art and Craft of Art Forgery

art and craftWhen it comes to films about art forgers, woe betide the documentarian who attempts to top Orson Welles‘s delightfully gonzo F is for Fake (1973), which you can—and really should—watch in its mesmerizing entirety at the bottom of this post (what else are late summer afternoons for?). But the directorial trio of Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman, Mark Becker have quite the character in career art forger Mark Landis. After he dupes Matthew Leininger, the intrepid museum registrar will stop at nothing to expose the technically skilled fraudster. The cat-and-mouse game unfolds in Art and Craft, which has been burning up the festival circuit and opens in limited release next month (keep an eye out for showtimes here). Behold the trailer:


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LACMA to Honor Barbara Kruger, Quentin Tarantino

(Barbara Kruger)Any number of lines from the films of Quentin Tarantino (perhaps the Pulp Fictional: “Just because you are a character doesn’t mean that you have character” or “Personality goes a long way”?) would look swell sprawled out in Futura Bold Italic by Barbara Kruger. The artist and the filmmaker will come together on November 1 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as the honorees of its 2014 Art+Film Gala, the museum announced today. Further upping the Gucci-backed fete’s cinematic koan quotient will be Leonardo DiCaprio, who is chairing the event with LACMA trustee Eva Chow.

In other exciting film-related LACMA news, the museum is prepping the first major retrospective of the work of Pierre Huyghe. The exhibition, which is being “designed as a single, extraordinary environment,” opens November 23.

Pictured: Barbara Kruger, Untitled (You Are A Very Special Person), 1995

Quote of Note | Paul Hornschemeier on Giant Sloths

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“There actually is a prehistoric giant sloth on the campus of the college I went to, Ohio State. I think it was vandalized sometime in the last couple of years, but I think they repaired it since then. I can’t remember which school it’s a part of. I want to say it’s the geology school. Whatever museum it’s in, a lot of the signage and a lot of the exhibits kind of feel like these leftovers from the ’70s and ’80s. It just always felt a little out of step with modern times. It just kind of had this very particular vibe that really stuck with me. But I didn’t really have the idea for the actual story….There was always something about the giant sloth, just being this creature that its modern day equivalent is so puny and so inconsequential. It’s funny, when I mention the film to some people, they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s funny, like a giant sloth.’ I’m like, ‘No, there really were giant sloths.’ A lot of people aren’t even necessarily aware of them. They were these gigantic, huge, powerful things the size of bears. So there was always a metaphor there in the back of my head.”

-Paul Hornschemeier on the slothful inspiration for his animated feature-in-the-making, Giant Sloth, starring Paul Giamatti as an insane museum curator

Quote of Note | Takashi Murakami

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“I have this idea for a sweet comedy about death. A middle-aged author of e-books, with middling sales, retreats deep into the mountains of Japan to build a grave for his recently deceased father. After getting scammed out of all of his money, he falls into despair, but for some unknown reason he is visited by a savior in the form of a middle-aged woman. And then his divorced wife from ten years ago appears unexplainably too. Then this young woman with whom he spent a single night in a club many years ago is being treated for an incurable disease in the mountainside sanatorium, and she comes to him for emotional support. I’d love to do that story.”

-Artist Takashi Murakami discussing his filmmaking aspirations in a recent interview. Also on his wishlist? “Some form of a collaboration with J.J. Abrams.”

Watch: Marina Abramovic Teams with Adidas on New Film

Opposing bunches of talented young people shuttle purposefully from one side of a rectangular surface to another. Sound familiar? No, it’s not the World Cup—sorry, the 2014 FIFA World Cup™—but Marina Abramovic‘s restaging of her 1978 performance Work Relation. And hold on to your Sambas, because the film (below), which was shot in Brooklyn by Dustin Lynn and debuted today on Nick Knight‘s Showstudio, was made in collaboration with Adidas. And so the eleven performers, wearing not only white lab coats bearing the monogram of the Marina Abramovic Institute but also Adidas kicks as they go about their competitive task, evoke a team of clinically precise athletes, with Abramovic in the role of wise—and presumably very well-compensated—referee.

Watch: Packing Tips from Casey Neistat

Spend even a few action-packed moments with the invigorating YouTube channel of Casey Neistat and you’ll soon be yearning for an adventuresome escape from the screen: isn’t it about time you grabbed your passport and hopped on a plane, and then a skateboard, bicycle, motorcycle, and surfboard—or at least climbed behind the wheel of a Jeep after a monster downpour? The intrepid filmmaker has followed up his J. Crew-sponsored guide to stylish travel with a characteristically DIY approach to luggage for himself and his bright pink penny skateboard.

Amar Kanwar to Receive $25K Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change

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Indian artist Amar Kanwar is the recipient of the 2014 Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change. The $25,000 award is presented annually by New York-based nonprofit arts organization Creative Time to an artist whose work has been devoted to “instigating social awareness and harnessing the communicative power of art to engage communities around important public issues.” New Delhi-based Kanwar plans to use the prize money to advance his ongoing The Sovereign Forest project, which brings together moving and still images, texts, books, music, objects, and seeds, among other things, in an attempt to reopen discussion and initiate a creative response to our understanding of crime, politics, human rights, and ecology. He will receive the prize on November 15 at the Creative Time Summit in Stockholm. He joins past winners including Fernando García-Dory, Jeanne van Heeswijk, and the Yes Men.

A Forest Grows at Ground Zero

The 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan is a living memorial in more ways the one. Approximately 400 swamp white oak trees were transplanted from the New Jersey countryside to the Memorial Park, which also happens to be one of the largest and most complex “green roofs” in the world—planted atop a seven-story, below-ground museum. Brooklyn-based filmmaker Scott Elliott seeks to explore this confluence of remembrance, monumentality, and landscape architecture in a feature-length documentary, The Trees, and he’s looking to Kickstarter to help cover post-production costs in time to get the film on next year’s festival circuit. Learn more about his project in the below pre-trailer of sorts.

OK Go to Debut Latest Video at MOCA

OK Go is pulling out all of the stops for its new music video, the band’s first in more than two years. The video for “The Writing’s on the Wall,” a single from their forthcoming album Hungry Ghosts, will have its world premiere on Monday, June 16, at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (head to the Ahmanson Auditorium at MOCA Grand Avenue between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.) followed by the Tuesday release of a new EP called Upside Out, which offers up four songs from the new album “selected especially for warm air and beach days.” As for “The Writing’s on the Wall,” expect “melancholic fireworks,” according to band members Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka, and Andy Ross, who have put together these visual morsels as a teaser for the video they’ll reveal Monday at MOCA.

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