Tag Archives: films

STREETSY: IS NEW BLACK-AND-WHITE PHOTO STREET ART BY JR OR JR WANNABE?

Hey, you know JR, right? The French street artist who has become something of a worldwide phenom over the past decade?

Yes, that JR. The one who takes black-and-white photos of people, their faces, close-ups of their eyes and mouths, and then prints them up at massive, mega-blown-up scale and wheat-pastes them on the sides of entire buildings, on the roofs of houses and on the sides of trains.

Yes, that’s the JR we’re talking about.

Well, that JR is the subject of some local speculation with regards to a recent work of street art that appeared on fashionable Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice Beach. See pic above.

Or, rather, the speculation is about who put up this street art. It has all the makings of “a JR.” But is it? Is it some other artist? Is it a JR wannabe? A copycat?

And who is the subject of this artwork? Is it, as one commenter on our Instagram feed asked, a photo of octagenarian French filmmaker Agnes Varda?  The face, the eyes and the haircut — especially the haircut — have all the makings of Varda.

These are questions we want answers to, savvy reader. And we have answers! 

The art was put there by JR (or by his assistants / minions / 3rd-party contractor). The image is of Agnes Varda. It’s placement and timing are not an accident.

As some of you savvy readers may already well be aware, JR and Varda collaborated on a documentary film project called “Faces Places.” The film was a critical success and garnered a 2018 Academy Award nomination. The street artwork appeared around the time of the Awards ceremonies in March, which, of course, are held each year in Los Angeles. Varda herself was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Academy last year.

So there you have it.

(Uh, BTW, follow us on Instagram! We’re @globalgraphica )

The Beautiful Retro-Cinematic Style of “Expencive Porno Movie” (sic)

“Expencive Porno Movie” (sic) is not your ordinary surf film. Directed by Argentine surfer and filmmaker Tin Ojeda and released in 2014, the movie features the to-be-expected great surf sequences by great surfers (the very talented Alex Knost making a couple of lengthy appearances in the flick) and highly original, arty interludes.

But what is so special about this surf film is that it was all shot on actual 16mm film in an experimental retro-style that celebrates — almost to the point of fetish — the low-fi, rough-hewn early 1970’s-era filmmaking style common to low-budget, independent American Blaxploitation, sexploitation and X-rated “adult” films of the period. All sorts of happy accidents that come with using celluloid — light leaks, dust, scratches and other flaws — can be seen in the footage. And the soundtrack is a beautifully curated set of organ-laden R&B, Afro-pop, funk, jazz, and jazz-rock from the era that perfectly matches the film’s aesthetic.

Surfing aside, the movie is a beauty, a true original that has raised the aesthetic bar for the genre. Check out the trailer below and this Wax magazine interview with Ojeda.

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Expencive Porno Movie Trailer – Available on DVD from Grandview on Vimeo.

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Mesmerizing … Steven Soderbergh’s Silent, Black & White Version of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” Paired to “The Social Network” Soundtrack

Acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh (“Ocean’s 11,” “Solaris,” “Sex, Lies & Videotape”) has released a full-length black-and-white version of Steven Spielberg’s action-adventure classic “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in HD. Soderbergh also removed the original soundtrack and dialogue and matched the film to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s soundtrack music from the film “The Social Network.” The effect is mesmerizing. “Raiders” looks magnificent in black-and-white. It’s interesting how B&W makes the film feel like a product of the era in which story itself is set, i.e., the 1930s. Soderbergh mentioned several years ago his habit of watching the movies with sound and color removed as a method to better understanding staging and cinematography.

You can watch here.

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“The Mystery of the Flying Kicks” … A Short Film About Those Hanging Sneakers You See on Telephone Wires

From Closer Productions, writer-director Matthew Bate’s amusing short film “The Mystery of the Flying Kicks” explores the various origin stories, myths, and interpretations of the curious global phenomenom of people throwing pairs of sneakers onto telephone wires.

The Mystery of Flying Kicks from Closer Productions on Vimeo.

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On the Scene … Fake Film-Set S.W.A.T. Team in NYC

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Yet another film shoot down the street from our HQ in the Chinatown area of New York’s Lower East Side (LES) yesterday, this one involving actors and extras dressed as an FBI SWAT team standing around a truck parked at the corner of Eldridge and Grand streets. Love it.

In New York … Space Invader Hits the New Museum

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Here’s another of the new New York City-themed “Big Apple” Space Invader street art mosaics by pioneering French street artist Invader. This one is at the New Museum on the Bowery and is one of several that have popped up in downtown New York City, mostly in the Lower East Side, the past few days while the artist is in town for the screening of his new film “Art4Space.

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French Street Artist “Invader” Re-Invades NYC

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French street art suprstar Invader (a.k.a., Space Invader) is back in New York City, re-invading the Lower East Side where he’s been putting up some new mosaic artworks the past few days. We spotted this fresh New York-themed “Big Apple” Space Invader piece on a tenement building, above the entrance to the bar Marshall Stack, at the northwest corner of Allen and Rivington streets in the LES. Invader’s visit to NYC coincides with the screening of his new film  “Art4Space” and comes on the heels of British street art phenom Banksy’s month-long residency in the city.

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Cool Video … London to Brighton, Side by Side

The BBC recently filmed the train journey as seen by from conductor’s point of view from London to Brighton, England. The journey was filmed twice before by the BBC, once in 1953 and again in 1983. The 2013 film marks 30 years between each of these three films. For this recent project, the Beeb screened the three films side by side, allowing viewers to see how much (or how very little) the landscape and  journey have changed in 60 years. The film has been sped up and shown in fast motion, such that viewer can experience the trip in about four minutes.

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Hey, It’s Mr. Miyagi! … Stencil Street Art in SoHo

Hey, it’s Mr. Miyagi! Ya’ know, the sensei in the “Karate Kid” movies of the 1980s? To be more specific, this piece of stencil street art is the face of actor Pat Morita, who portrayed the Miyagi character in the films series. We began noticing these stencils in SoHo this past weekend. This one appears next to the Deitch Wall at the corner of the Bowery and Houston Street, an intersection where SoHo, NoHo, the East Village and the Lower East Side/Nolita converge, a kind of “four-corners” of downtown Manhattan.

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