1. Cutie & the Boxer (2013). A documentary by Zachary Heinzerling

    A film about how ART brings torture, poverty, love/hate, inspiration and passion for life. 

    Heinzerling’s lens is loving in a calm and clean way, infused with unpretentious humor (the part about Guggenheim acquisition, and their struggle with English vs. the eloquent agent’s LOL). The few shots about Brooklyn (the protagonists’ living environment) yield vibrance in spite the apartment looks so run-down. 

    It tells a good (though common) story about the dilemma of artists’ life: the reality of unstable economy and the undeniable eagerness to express and create. It’s never an easy path, let alone stick to it until your 80s. And Bullie is the center of this story.

    Then there is Cutie. Women artists living in the shadow of their life and artistic partners is not a new story to tell. Think about Rodin, Eames, Hopper, to name a few. Cutie is just far less famous, but her love and endurance are no less, and her strive for independence is just as much. 

    The little interlude about Alex is a great touch. The moment Alex showed his work, I felt like crying, because the context I’ve been prepared with. What is art? It is not as conscious as design for sure. Design is functional, art is about personal experience. The difficulty lies in yielding completely to your inner self to guide your work. 

    Cutie and Bullie’s story ends (and goes on) in routines. That’s just another day in an artist’s life, one of the many struggled artists.  

     

  2. 山田洋次 Yôji Yamada Movie Posters

     

  3. Love and other drugs.

    Love Maggie’s rustic apartment and outfits, very Anthropologie…

     

  4.  

  5. Los abrazos rotos (2009) by Pedro Almodóvar

    Almodovar would never disappoint his audience with his set design: lush colors and modern furniture, all tell their own stories of the characters. 

     

  6.  The Grandmasters / 一代宗师(2012)


    Rewatching Kar Wai Wong’s latest film “The Grandmasters” on my laptop, all thoses exquisite details become so vivid. There are many scenes I love about it, but here are two from the scene when the two protagonists met for the first time. 

    With an aria in the background, the lens slowly reveal a grandiose composition. The light, the colors, the postures… just like a Western oil painting.

     

  7. 洋菓子店コアンドル/洋果子店/ Patisserie ”Coin de Rue”  (2011) 

    The movie is a feast of French style patisseries, yet the story is bland and kind of cliche. 

    The coffee shop, “Coin de rue” (corner of the street) is vintage and warm. The lighting is nice, with a mix of lovely lamps and more sumptuous pendants. 

     

  8. Midnight in Paris (2011) (part 1)

    I love Woody Allen’s city series. Always hilarious and beautiful. He dedicated almost 3 minutes at the beginning of the movie to the city I admire the most. 

    The first part of the SC shows Woody Allen’s Paris by night and her sunny days.  

     

  9. Midnight in Paris (2011) (part 2)

    Paris streets are beautiful for a reason. The architecture, the flowers, street lights…some city may have a few, but Paris has it all; together they make an elegant and charming scene.

    And Paris in the rain! Wet and a bit hazy, even more poised. 

     

  10. Before Sunset (2004)

    Writing about Paris yesterday, it reminds me of Before Sunset, the second of the trilogy about Celine and Jess’s one night romance. 

    Celine’s studio is impressive for its exotic deco: Chinese lantern, Arabic light and rug,  bohemian textiles. The chairs are well selected too. But I can’t stand small working desk!!

    When I visited Paris last month, I had a walk on part of the path they took (the first photo above) during their conversation. It was a great walk on a renovated old wall, with lovely greenery and wonderful view of Paris’s graceful buildings. The idea is very much like High Line in NYC, only more dated: the project started (and ended) way earlier than the High Line.