Category Archives: Films

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And now, for something completely different..

Planet Earth was the most expensive documentary ever commissioned by the BBC and now there’s an even pricier follow up.

Life the new documentary by the BBC picks up where Planet Earth left off, and will be airing on the Discovery Channel at 8 p.m. on Sunday March 21, 2010. The documentary is 10 hours long and will air in two-hour episodes. It was not cheap to film.

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This may have something to do with the super fancy high-definition cameras used to capture the various life forms of our little planet. For instance, capturing the smallest creepy crawlies required an Ionix camera the size of a tube of lipstick. Gyroscopic stabilization allowed the crew to keep cameras steady in vehicles, even on bumpiest terrain, to keep up with traveling herds of animals.

It also took extreme perseverance on the crew’s behalf, after living in snake and rat infested huts in Madagascar. Not to mention the hours of tracking animals.

The effect of this toil? Letting the viewer get up close and personal as a frog the size of a thumbnail takes care of her young, or a glimpse of Komodo dragons (a terrifying bunch) take down and devour a buffalo.

After Life, Human Planet and Frozen Planet will be released in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Human Planet is about indigenous cultures and their relationship to the environment, while Frozen Planet focuses on the north and south poles. It’s still unclear whether Discover Channel will pick these up.

The BBC already started airing Life late last year; it was in their agreement that they would air the documentary first. The Discovery Channels airing will be the North American premiere. The only difference between two channels is the narration; David Attenborough on the BBC and Oprah Winfrey on Discovery.

After the influx of otherworldly CGI content, it’s refreshing to see something a little more, well, lifelike.

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Alice in Wonderland mania

The world has gone mad-hatter-wild for Alice in Wonderland.

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The highly anticipated film hit theatres on March 4, 2010, and the excitement is palpable. Fashion designers are dedicating collections, department stores their windows and the Four Seasons Hotel is even hosting mad hatter tea parties.

That’s right, the luxury hotel in its Toronto, Chicago and Los Angeles locations are hosting Carroll and Burton inspired teatime. Menu items include Nutella and caramelized banana, raspberry jam and cream cheese pinwheels, cheddar and apple butter and desserts such as dark chocolate mousse with crunch toffee, almond cake, mini vanilla cup cakes and Alice’s special sugar cookies. Not bad!

The tea parties in Chicago take this one step further down the rabbit hole with Wonderland inspired activities, such as giant chess (the pieces are two feet tall), tea cup decorating and Red Queen’s croquet. And yes, the mallets will be traditional pink flamingos.

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On the other side of the world, Alice madness is equally present. Zoom in on Parisian department store Printemps, which has dedicated its display window to commissioned pieces by Chloé, Alexander McQueen and Nicholas Kirkwood.

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Kirkwood’s Alice heels are a chaotic representation of nonsensical absurdities that are on the other side of the looking glass. ”This time, I figured, why not just pile as much as I can on top?” Nicholas said. He did this, and he did this well.

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Maison Martin Margiela designed a spectacular creation, which emulates the idea of falling headfirst. How better to achieve this than by creating an upside down dress? Indeed, the skirt is a bustier and a chiffon veil begins at the waist and goes over the head. One of the sleeves mimics a crinoline made of whale-boned velvet, embroidered with pearls, crystals, and recycled jewels.

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None of these items are for sale.

Bergdorf Goodman has also decorated its windows à la Lewis Carroll and Bloomingdales is set to do so later this month.

-Elli Stuhler


Filed under Books, Fashion, Films, Food/Drink, Hotels

Banksy releases Film, opens Gallery

International renegade and guerilla graffiti artist, Banksy is back, and in his prime.

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To help promote his new film ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop,’ originally titled ‘How To Sell Sh*t to C**ts,’ Banksy created a gritty, underground Pop-Up Cinema, where he can not only display his famous stencil art, but also his physical art and the film.

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The film, shot by French filmmaker Thierry Guetta, documents Banksy going about the world as he does his art.

It received mixed reviews at Sundance, some critics described it as a mockumentary, believing none of it to be real, while others said it was a real and honest film.

In keeping with being real and honest, Bansky’s theatre is a filthy, underground shrine is a 150-seat theatre located under the Waterloo train station in London, that has been dubbed ‘The Lambeth Palace.’ Now, Banksy is back on the streets and now underneath them as well.

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Despite being rather eerie the dwelling being almost decrepit, the film sold out immediately after tickets were released. Shows are scheduled only until March 4, 2010, talk about a limited release!

To promote the film even further Banksy shot a video that will appear on various websites showing him doing a classic stencil piece: spray painting a monkey holding a movie clapper in front of a back alley security camera.

Banksy has been a staple in the art world for not only his work, but the political statements that go along with it: everything from painting KKK members being hung in Birmingham to painting ladders on the separation wall at West Bank.

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So, Banksy has a new film, new theatre/gallery, what’s next?

“I was planning on making some huge paintings about sleepwalking our way towards the apocalypse, but I ended up going to the pub and getting some crisps,” said Banksy to London’s Times Online.

Here’s the trailer
– Tim Morse

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CHANNEL and Scorsese unite

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Fashion and film collide once again at the house of CHANEL, as Academy Award-winning Martin Scorsese directs a TV commercial for the new men’s fragrance.

The dare we say, handsome French actor, Gaspard Ulliel will be the leading man in Scorsese’s offering and  will also be featured in all advertising for the scent.

 CHANNEL’s prior foray’s into the cinematic arena have included working with Jean Pierre Jeunet, director of Amalie and the upcoming Micmacs and Audrey Tatou, director Baz Luhrmann of Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge fame and Nicole Kidman.

 Scorsese’s venture into commercials combined with his amazing imagery, adrenalin- driven plot lines and complexity  will all be present as he gives his view of  a man’s world.

CHANNEL or Scorsese fans don’t get to excited yet, as the commercial won’t be out until September 2010.

-Melissa S. Robinson

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Filed under Art/Design, Campaigns, Fashion, Films, Media News

Lou Doillon Vanessa Bruno’s Muse

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Lou Doillon, is the daughter of Jane Birkin (yes of Brikin bags) and style muse and has been noted in CHEEK’s pages for her collaboration with Lee Cooper’s jeans. She has now landed a new job as a dancer in the second instalment of Vanessa Bruno’s video poem directed by Stephanie Di Gusto. The video is a perfect example of fashion and art blending together. Completely outfitted in Bruno’s designs, Doillon performs unplanned choreography while she prances around dancing to pianist George Gonzales in talc powder.

photo from style

The video itself is heart warming to watch as she flounces around to strum of the keys. Weather you like Vanessa Bruno or not, this adorable video worthy of a watch.

-Melissa S. Robinson

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D&G Has Some Fashionable Films

Dolce and Gabbana is jumping on the youtube bandwagon to raise excitement for the launch of their F/W men’s collection.  Today the brand released the latter half of its two-part video that previews the line.

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The videos are made up of close-up shots of sketches of the designs, cutting of the fabrics, and small parts of some finished products.  Instead of focusing on the clothing itself, the film focuses on the efforts and creativity that were put forth in the making of the clothing.  The small snippets only create excitement for the final products D&G unveils in Milan next week.  The brand regularly uses video to keeps their fans up to date and wanting more.  Its youtube channel is filled with videos of backstage footage from their shows, their artful advertisements and previews of all their lines.  It’s definitely worth taking a look at.

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-Emily English

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Filed under Fashion, Films