And now for something completely different: Baz Luhrmann‘s 21st century take on The Great Gatsby, recently released on DVD, gets a “supercut.” Editors at Tribeca Film scouted the latest cinematic adaptation of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel to find all of the utterances of the “old sport” that peppers Gatsby’s speech, turned up at least 43 (for the record, we counted 45 in the book), and strung them together into this mesmerizing video. “After a while, the ‘old sports’ start to tell their own twisted tale of lost love, delusion, and desperation—or something,” say the editors. “Enjoy! Just don’t turn this into a drinking game.” Bottoms up, old sport.
film + video
They’re ba-ack! The unlikely art world power couple of Herb and Dorothy Vogel returns to the big screen in Herb and Dorothy 50×50, a follow-up to the heartwarming 2008 documentary that brought them to the attention of millions worldwide. In the new film, which opens today in select cities, director and producer Megumi Sasaki follows the Vogels as they see the results of their national gift project, launched in 2008 with the National Gallery of Art, to give a total of 2,500 artworks to museums in all 50 states. The road movie through the art world goes from Honolulu to Fargo, visiting 11 of the museums that were on the receiving end of “The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States.”
Sasaki decided to embark on a second film about the Vogels after visiting the first exhibition of the 50×50 gift, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and realizing how little she knew about the storied collection that was at the center of Herb & Dorothy. “The artworks were so small in size yet carried such beauty and elegance,” she says in her director’s statement. “I felt as though I had been documenting a famous actor behind-the-scenes for four years without ever having seen him act onstage.” The project gained a new poignance—and took a challenging turn—after Herb’s death last year at the of 89. “My only regret is that Herb didn’t get to see the film,” adds Sasaki. “But I know his spirit has been with us this whole way, and I hope the film’s release will be a wonderful tribute to him.”
The unlikely gang of Johannes Vermeer, an inventor named Tim Jenison, and the magical double act of Penn & Teller got critics (and everyone else) buzzing at the recently wrapped Telluride Film Festival, where Tim’s Vermeer made its world premiere before heading north to the Toronto Film Festival, which runs through Sunday.
The documentary, directed by Teller and produced by Penn Jillette and Farley Ziegler, follows Texas-based Jenison who, after devouring David Hockney‘s 2001 book Secret Knowledge (which makes a case for the Old Masters’ use of camera-like devices), tries to adapt 17th-century technology for a DIY Vermeer. Part scientific investigation, part art historical mystery story, the film features appearances by Hockney, actor and artist Martin Mull, architect-turned-Vermeer expert Philip Steadman, and neurobiologist Colin Blakemore, who illuminates the optics and visual processing particulars.
“I’m very worried about how the movie is received. Of course I want it to do well. I hope that people won’t be disappointed watching me in my daily life, taking dancing lessons. They might feel that I’ve fallen off my pedestal. I don’t know. People think I’m some kind of fashion icon, always perfect; but that’s not always the case. What I would like is for the audience to say ‘Fashion is cool!’ at the end of the movie. Because how I live my life—with lightness and without pretension.”
-Carine Roitfeld on Mademoiselle C, the documentary by Fabien Constant that opens Wednesday in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and Dallas
A still from “This Must Be The Only Fantasy,” a new Rodarte film by director Todd Cole.
Rodarte designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy have long been inspired by films, and they’ve translated their otherworldly aesthetic to the screen before in “The Curve of Forgotten Things,” starring a luminous Elle Fanning. The designers have again teamed with director Todd Cole for a mesmerizing short film, produced and released by Intel and Vice Media’s The Creators Project. Scored by Beach House and set in Los Angeles, “This Must Be the Only Fantasy” (below) cinematically showcases Rodarte’s spring 2013 collection, which drew heavily from medieval-era design cues including chain-mail armor, marquetry, and corseted silhouettes. “When we conceptualize a collection, we are always thinking about how we can further create an immersive experience,” say the Mulleavys, “one that brings to life the world that we are imagining.”
The third issue of the chunky dreamtome that is CR Fashion Book is hot off the presses (literally) just in time to relive its gestation and triumphant launch in a new documentary directed by Fabien Constant. Opening in select cities on September 11, Mademoiselle C follows Carine Roitfeld as she bids adieu to her decade-long post as editor of French Vogue. Will New York media embrace La Roitfeld? Will the designers and advertisers follow once she has, in her words, surrendered “the crown” of French Vogue? How will she adapt to life as a grandmother?
“Fabien brought up the idea of the project when I was launching my new magazine. I had just left Vogue was starting everything over. I found that period interesting,” says Roitfeld. “I said ‘yes’ instinctively, without really thinking about what it meant.” Having worked with Constant before (“I like his sense of humor and the fact that he doesn’t look at people who work in fashion with a critical eye. He doesn’t judge us”), she was comfortable with his presence (“he just blended into the scenery”), but old editorial and styling habits die hard. “Pictures can be Photoshopped. It’s harder to do with movies,” explains Roitfeld. “I’m so used to controlling everything, the hardest part was being shot from a less-than-flattering angle.” And her favorite moment captured on film? “When I’m singing in Russian,” she says. “I’m quite proud of that. I think that I’m singing pretty well and it’s one of the lighter moments in the movie.” Voici le trailer:
(Image courtesy EarthCam)
Raise your Warhol-themed bottle of Perrier, because Andy would have turned 85 today. We think the artist would have gotten a kick out of one morbid, panoptical take on a birthday party: live-streaming footage from his elaborately landscaped Pittsburgh gravesite. The footage–which is also available in high-definition 16-megapixel and pop art-style formats–is a collaboration among EarthCam, the Andy Warhol Museum, and St. John Chrystostom Byzantine Catholic Church (home to a temporary “ChurchCam” in honor of the birthday boy, who was baptized there). “I think my uncle would have been jealous. He would have said, ‘I should have been at Marilyn’s gravesite filming everything,’” said Donald Warhola, Warhol’s nephew, in a statement announcing the birthday grave webcam. “It pays homage to one of his most famous and controversial projects, the ‘Death and Disaster’ series.”
Once upon a time, creating signage involved more than Microsoft Word, 72-point Comic Sans, and an inkjet printer. Everything from storefronts to street signs were hand-lettered—with brush and paint. But all is not lost. Even as staid (and quick-and-dirty DIY) signage proliferates, there’s a revival afoot in traditional sign painting. Dedicated practitioners get their close-up in Faythe Levine and Sam Macon‘s Sign Painters, published last fall by Princeton Architectural Press. But with a subject as scintillating as hand-lettered signage, why stop at a book? The anecdotal history of the craft and stories of sign painters working in cities throughout the United States comes to the big screen in a documentary that is now making the rounds (next up: screenings in Orlando, New York, and Seattle). The trailer is bound to inspire you to drop that die-cut vinyl lettering:
(Photo: James Ewing)
New York’s Park Avenue Armory is an insatiable monster of a space, able to accommodate art fairs and the Royal Shakespeare Company, atonal German operas and homespun missions to Mars, all with what feels like acreage to spare. Until now. Paul McCarthy’s “WS” manages to fill every orifice of the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thomson Drill Hall, oozing under the bleachers and out into the period rooms to tell the grimmest of fairy tales—the artist’s debaucherous take on Snow White, or White Snow (WS). Bring on the depraved Disney magic, because through August 4, the Park Avenue Armory is where nightmares come true.
“Let’s not beat around the bush, this is a really tough work,” said Tom Eccles, consulting curator at the Armory, at Tuesday’s press preview. “It’s painful.” Bracketing a kind of hellish studio backlot are giant elevated screens playing a four-channel video that follows WS from the forest—which alternates from a Rousseauian jungle studded with tropical megablooms to just plain trippy, depending on the lighting—into the home of the dwarves, an oafish, mentally challenged, and pants-free bunch who favor Yale and UCLA hoodies. A series of increasingly raucous house parties ends with Walt Paul (McCarthy himself, stealing the show as a Walt Disney-like character who unravels from inscrutable butler mode to a kind of coked-up Walter Matthau) on all fours in the basement “rumpus room,” sodomized with a broomstick—as if Bosch and Brueghel teamed up on an alternate ending for “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”
The seven-hour feature, culled from some 350 hours of footage (“We couldn’t even watch it all,” says McCarthy), takes place mostly inside a thoroughly trashed, gravy-and-chocolate smeared replica of the artist’s childhood home in Salt Lake City. The ranch-style house has been recreated in three-quarter-scale, a choice that, when combined with the tightly shot, loosely edited cacophony of sins, foodstuffs, and liquids, makes for a claustrophobia- and queasiness-inducing viewing experience.
Holocaust survivor Ben Baseman spent four years fighting off Nazis in the birch forests of what was then Poland (now part of Ukraine). Decades later, the episode inspired his son, Gary, to create the Buckingham Warrior, a “defender of strong ideals and a stark reminder to the fragility of our own ecology.” The artist, illustrator, and cult toy maker’s multi-headed deer character comes alive in a new MOCAtv animated short released to coincide with Baseman’s megashow, “The Door Is Always Open,” on view through August 18 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Directed by David Charles and animated by Peter Markowski, the allegorical tale plays out against a raging score by the South-African rap-rave duo Die Antwoord.