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15 June 2016 @ 05:08 pm
Nandan Ghiya  






 
 
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10 June 2016 @ 05:17 pm
Cassandrha @ Tumblr (RPGS: Relatively Persistent Girls)  










(Wish I still had the direct link for these; unfortunately, seems as though the owner has deleted their blog or renamed.)
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dev
08 June 2016 @ 06:29 pm
Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth ('Eyes as Big as Plates')  






 
 
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07 June 2016 @ 06:10 pm
Brendan George Ko ('Remembrance')  










 
 
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10 May 2016 @ 12:50 pm
George Platt Lynes  






 
 
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07 April 2016 @ 06:23 pm
JeeYoung Lee  














(even more installations beyond here)

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dev
27 March 2016 @ 06:00 pm
Inge Prader  






 
 
dev
20 February 2016 @ 03:30 pm
Carol (2015, UK/US)  


Surprisingly...boring. Proof that good representation does not necessarily make a compelling film, I guess.

'Carol' is an adaptation of a 1950s Patricia Highsmith novel originally titled "The Price of Salt." The story itself was ground-breaking because during that time lesbian women weren’t really allowed to have "happy endings"--that would seemingly encourage homosexual devilry and be affirming to gay people, I guess. It is actually pretty ambiguous and that was about the best one could hope for in those days. The movie we have today is clearly a labor of love; it was tediously conceived and filmed over a period of 11 years. This is partly due to Highsmith's friend, Phyllis Nagy, working on making a believable screenplay that did the novel's more experimental style justice. And as far as adaptations go, it's probably a good one. I wouldn't know as I haven't read the original novel, so bear that in mind. It's possible that lots of qualities in the film I take umbrage with are largely due to the tendency of film-makers to be a little too faithful to the source material, and clearly "The Price of Salt" is not one of those books that translates easily from print. So with that said...

I found myself engaged primarily by the gorgeous filmography and acting as opposed to the plot. It wasn't wholly uninteresting--there were a number of engaging parts, particularly involving Carol's personal struggles with her husband and fight to get custody of her daughter--but I just felt as though they were disproportionately shrugged off in favor of boring, dreamy, wordless stares which seem to go on for hours at a time. Which were lovely! But still boring. 'Carol' seems like a film that could have benefited from far more moments of personal intimacy and vulnerability and far fewer scenes of desperately silent artistry. It just didn't feel particularly "real" to me, so to speak. Therese is about as well-developed as a background character and as engaging as off-white paint. She's obviously aware of this: "I don’t know what I want. How could I know what I want if I say yes to everything?"

Because that is, quite literally, what she does in the film. Taken with the beautiful and charming Carol, she honestly shows no hesitation in doing practically anything asked of her; coming to lunch, coming to Carol's house, leaving her life behind for a road trip with someone who's practically a stranger, etc. Even in the final scene, after all these two have gone through, she shows hesitation in actually moving in with Carol...and within 15 minutes or so, has had a change of heart and approaches her as the credits roll. I have a more tortured, lengthier inner struggle when I'm deciding which cereal to buy at the grocery store.

Perhaps that's the point; Carol is painted, obviously, as someone who’s ethereally attractive and very easy to fall for. But that easily? I don't think the two of them even had a conversation longer than 5-10 minutes in the time before Therese decided to uproot her life and go on a trip to the Midwest with her. I understand that this film is an adaptation of a novel published in the 50s and as such is not necessarily going to be reflective of truly modern relationship interactions*, but a little more development between these two would not have been remiss. I think this problem may go much deeper and is kind of indicative of issues within the romance genre in particular; you get a lot of fluffy content and ultimately wind up with people who have apparently fallen in love through lots of staring and not much else, and that's that.

I think 'Carol' is just an OK romance film hailed as a critical masterpiece because the two leads happen to be the same gender. It's not bad, but it definitely is not good enough to be nominated for 'Best Picture' by any measure. I'm sure a lot of straight people love it as a standalone film because they think it gives them Ally Credentials or something, which in the meantime makes me wonder--what on earth do you even think actual gay relationships are like, really? Just putting that out there as someone who's, well, in one.

* or perhaps the book is far better and I should actually read it as opposed to making baseless speculations?
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dev
18 February 2016 @ 03:11 pm
Peep Show (2003 - 2015, UK)  


You know, this is far less of a review and more of a memorial. Mostly because I can't quite fairly review Peep Show; I think it's the best TV sitcom of all time, and there's not much else one can say about that. It's similar to Seinfeld in that it doesn't really offer anything narratively substantive to viewers. You're just suddenly in the middle of the tragically pathetic lives of two 30-something British men living together and subsequently have to deal with it as you follow them and their personal thoughts through their prime years. It's dark humor that makes the trendy 'dark humor' of most modern comedies look passé and completely lacking in authenticity.

It's quite terrible; Mark and Jez are clearly just two fuck-ups who can never have even the slightest bit of happiness for anything longer than a few seconds, but the best part of it is that it's entirely their own faults. It's not that they're bad people for the sake of being bad people. This isn't South Park, where one (supposedly) delights in how terrible the characters are as human beings to the point that they're scarcely meant to be seen as people at all. In fact, Mark and Jez are pretty relatable because they find themselves in so many familiar situations; the tedium of bullshit workplace politics, the pain of unrequited romances or spurned loves, drug and sex addiction, the challenge of learning to let go of failed relationships, the unending annoyance of familial conflicts and disappointment, and on and on. But you can't feel all too sorry for them, either, because they're both phenomenally egocentric and show a general disregard for social decency, honesty, and penance.

They are in a hell of their own making for all eternity because, as Jim Gavin smartly observes, they can't ever just let go of what makes them miserable. Primarily, each other, because no one else will have either of them. Every episode leaves you asking, "What terrible, soul-crushing, socially disastrous and horrendous circumstance can they find themselves in that could possibly top this one? What on Earth could possibly bring them to a lower point than this insanity?" And then you watch the next episode, and your only response is, "Oh. That, I guess."

(This is particularly true of the one with the dog. Anyone who's seen it knows what I'm talking about. For the record, it's the one Gavin refers to as "The Episode" in the above link.)

And it's a bit twisted and beautiful, because it somehow never manages to get old. Mark and Jez never really learn their lesson, and each mistake they make and resentment they build is never fully resolved. Just forgotten about, however briefly, until the next one piles right on top in a never-ending tower of humiliation and regret. I've never watched a program before where I've been delighted and almost compelled to re-watch old episodes, but every single Peep Show episode holds up on its own and is perfectly great to watch again, and again, and again, and remain sadly funny all the while.

I'm upset to see it go. I was first introduced to it by my best friend when I was either fresh out of college or in my last year--maybe five or six years ago or so--and it was practically my hobby during that time to get high, eat whatever crap we had sitting around, and marathon it on Netflix for what seemed like days with her and R. Watching it was sometimes blessed relief, because no matter how bad things were in my life, things would always be worse for Jez or Mark. And for the most part I've been able to, quite gladly, hold it to that.

Here are a few more interesting reads on it and it's timely end:

'The British comedy Peep Show was a very funny show about very sharp pain'
VICE: An Oral History of 'Peep Show,' the UK Sitcom That Defined a Generation
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dev
10 December 2015 @ 04:47 pm
Petra Mrzyk & Jean-François Moriceau  









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10 December 2015 @ 04:45 pm
Myka Arnado  










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dev
10 December 2015 @ 04:33 pm
The beautiful, erotic ex libris of Alphonse Inoue  











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Current Mood: weird
 
 
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10 December 2015 @ 04:16 pm
Duy Anh Nhan Duc & Isabelle Chapuis  




 
 
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10 December 2015 @ 03:31 pm
Cathy Johnson -- "Dear Amanda"  




It's pretty rare that I recommend a single work by an artist in particular, but this one kind of stands out because it's a cool, honest portrayal of a trans woman who I'd probably be friends and smoke with if she were real.

READ MORE AT CATHYBOY
 
 
Current Music: Cemetary Gates- The Smiths
 
 
dev
10 December 2015 @ 03:24 pm
Okuu Pin / Jason Garcia  




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10 December 2015 @ 03:16 pm
Heather Benjamin  










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10 December 2015 @ 03:10 pm
Lauren Albert  
















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10 December 2015 @ 02:49 pm
Kustaa Saksi  




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dev
10 December 2015 @ 02:37 pm
CRAPHOUND  






As someone who collects a lot of weird images from books and old magazines... there's something indescribably cool about CRAPHOUND.
 
 
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09 December 2015 @ 06:11 pm
Michelle Kingdom  




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