june – july 06

6/23/2006

SKETCHES OF FRANK GEHRY

I watched Sketches of Frank Gehry last night, expecting little more than an respectful overview of his work. Instead, the documentary turns out to be one of the most inspiring stories of a creative underdog since Portrait of an Artist.

Gehry befriended many fine artists at the beginning of his career (including Edward Ruscha and Charles Arnoldi, both of whom are interviewed, giving moving testimonies of their friend of forty or more years) – because they were “cooler”? No! But because the other architects wouldn’t have him. Professors failed him and told him to get out of architecture. Up until recently, he had been bobbing in and out of bankruptcy. While half the people in his life told him he was a genius, the other half said he’d go nowhere. So Gehry worked doubletime in order to prove the other half wrong.

Normally one remains skeptical of the reverence depicted in biographical documentary films; but in this case, the sheer number of people willing to step forward – many of them friends since his early days – confirms the unexpectedly funny, kind, self-deprecating man that comes across.

He was deeply sensitive to criticism; and without these strong friendships might have gone back to the uninspired work that originally paid the bills. The world is a much more beautiful place because he didn’t. As the New York Times Magazine said about the unveiling of the Guggenheim in Bilbao, “Miracles Still Occur”

“It needs to be …crankier,” he says, dissatisfied with a model, before folding up a sheet of paper, putting this “cranky” fan-like addition at the side of it. Another scene shows him tracing the outline of a Hieronymus Bosch print, before displaying the blueprint to a building inspired by those lines.

Posted by site admin at 12:26 pm |

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6/15/2006

GOD SCARES KIDS

Here’s a bee for the CAP Alert’s bonnet: “Facing the Giants,” written by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, who are the “associate pastors of media” at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga, was slapped with a PG-rating (parental guidance suggested) because of excessive god-stuff.

The MPAA, [noted Kris Fuhr, vice president for marketing at Provident Films,] tends to offer cryptic explanations for its ratings. In this case, she was told that it “decided that the movie was heavily laden with messages from one religion and that this might offend people from other religions. It’s important that they used the word ‘proselytizing’ when they talked about giving this movie a PG. …

 

“It is kind of interesting that faith has joined that list of deadly sins that the MPAA board wants to warn parents to worry about” …

“Facing the Giants” cost $100,000 and resembles a fusion of the Book of Job and a homemade “Hoosiers,” or perhaps a small- school “Friday Night Lights” blended with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association movies that used to appear in some mainstream theaters. Sherwood Pictures used local volunteers as actors and extras, backed by a small crew of tech professionals.

The movie includes waves of answered prayers, a medical miracle, a mysterious silver-haired mystic who delivers a message from God and a bench-warmer who kicks a 51-yard field goal to win the big game when his handicapped father pulls himself out of a wheelchair and stands under the goal post to inspire his son’s faith. There’s a prayer-driven gust of wind in there, too.

Posted by site admin at 12:52 pm |

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6/14/2006

“THE WHOLE PYONGYANG IS LIKE THIS”

“As soon as you try to take a picture different from the magazine ‘Korea’ the guide will say: ‘why are you taking a picture’ ‘it’s forbidden here’,” nevertheless, a Russian tourist, Artemii Lebedev, took some fascinating photos of DPRK. (via Metafilter)

 

Posted by site admin at 7:16 pm |

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6/12/2006

INTERNATIONAL TRANSPARENCY

 

I can’t say enough good things about Amnesty International’s new ad campaign. I just hope they get funding for similar posters in the States. (via Wooster Collective.)

Posted by site admin at 7:33 pm |

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6/5/2006

NEW ARTICLE FOR BRAINWASH

Google Bias?

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