Among the standard bits of information embedded within artist/filmmaker/writer Luca Dipierro’s biography is the sentence, “His life is based on a true story.” Cool! We love ontological riddles as much as the next guy/girl, and Dipierro’s work is studded with them in the darndest places.
There’s a lot to explore on Dipierro’s website. We recommend starting with the ART section, moseying on over to the FILM segment, and ending up with a tour of the WRITING archive. Neat stuff abounds—and it’s always refreshing to stumble upon a genuine polymath.
Lance Bangs and Spike have joined forces with the (RED) foundation to make The Lazarus Effect, a fascinating and emotional portrait of the AIDS crisis’ human impact in sub-Saharan Africa. Tracking a number of HIV-positive individuals’ journeys back from the edge of death as they receive Antiretroviral treatment, The Lazarus Effect offers an optimistic look at the effects of these medicines and the impact of organizations and individuals fighting to make them accessible.
“(RED), Spike and I went into this film wanting the people in it to tell their own stories,” says Lance. “Connie, Bwalya, Concillia and Paul represent people who now have a chance at a future when only seven years ago, a diagnosis of HIV for them would have been a death sentence. This film is a hopeful one, yet still a reminder that almost 4,000 people still die every day from AIDS in Africa, because not all people who need access to the treatment have it.”
The Lazarus Effect will be broadcast tonight on HBO at 9pm EST, in UK on Channel 4 at 11pm GMT, and globally on YouTube starting at 9:30pm EST.
Chrissie Miller’s NYC-based clothing line Sophomore, has spent the past few years making an impact pairing classic American styles with beautifully-lensed marketing campaigns. Her new lookbook is no exception. Based on the 1994 boardwalk youth documentary Wildwood NJ Miller’s short film, directed by Cass Bird, is who’s-who-of-young-NYC take on the original Jersey Shore cult classic. We would have posted the whole thing here but much like the original some of the language is a bit NSFW.
Yo Gabba Gabba’s DJ Lance Rock and animation producer Kevin Sukho Lee are guest programming a festival of children’s films this month at Cinefamily! Every Friday there’s another mind-blowing night of entertainment to delight children and grown-ups alike:
To a child, there are no boundaries of culture, no barriers to acceptance of any external stimuli — as long as it’s cool. Explosions of color, light, music and funky characters are a universal constant, and never fail to, even in our adult lives, zap our inner kid cores into sweet submission. The hit kids’ television show “Yo Gabba Gabba!”, an awesome program for kids and adults alike, is a proud proponent of this philosophy — and we’re thrilled to present guest programmers Lance Robertson (the show’s star, aka DJ Lance Rock), and animation producer Kevin Sukho Lee, as they unearth some choice childrens’ cinematic seeds from the vaults of yesteryear. From personal favorites to prominent influences to the just plain rad, they’ll orbit around this big blue marble of ours to bring you an eclectic assortment of far-out kinder-fare from around the globe.
Painter, filmmaker and sculptress Allison Schulnik has complex conceptions of doom and gloom. She’s a natural creator with a formidable intellect and a far-reaching curiosity— someone who can talk about art as well as she produces it. Schulnik’s oneiric paintings of long-haired hobos, Klaus Kinski, monkey heads, clowns, skeletons, black cats transmute the strange subjects into striking totems; the results are not what you’d expect.
“I seem to be drawn to sad characters,” the artist explains in a Fecal Face interview. “The forlorn reject. Something about being on the outside. The outcast… I’m not really interested in what’s accepted by people. I like the things, places and characters that have been forsaken. On both sides of the field. The happy genius fool and the pathetic misfit. I guess I like drama.”
Check out more of the interview here. We also love that Schulnik fills her non-art-making time with making music, eating cheeseburgers and dancing. Whatta life!
“A Psychoanalytic Symposium on Comedy, Loss, Attachment & Projection” is the catchy tagline for a conference about the work of Charlie Kaufman going down tomorrow at UCLA. It’s called Mirrors, Mirrors in the Mind: Reflections on the Films of Charlie Kaufman and it features a veritable fleet of MDs and PHDs discussing Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Synecdoche, New York from 9:00am to 4:30pm.
As entertainment that satisfies both academic and psychoanalytic exploration, Kaufman’s films offer complex insight into the pain and projection that exists between people by exploring themes of consciousness, integrity, loss, memory, trauma and finitude.
Though stylistically different, his films raise questions about the creative process as defensive vs. growth-promoting mental activity and illustrate how we live with internal primitive mental states in a nuanced world of human relatedness.
There are still a few seats left, so if you’ve ever had your mind blown by a Charlie Kaufman movie, you’d be foolish not to check out this one of a kind discussion!
There will be more coming about this as we draw closer to the premiere but we just wanted to hip you Jeff Tremaine’s new documentary on BMX legend Mat Hoffman. Jeff directed it and Spike and Johnny Knoxville produced as a part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series which features a list of some amazing filmmakers and storytellers diving deep into the ESPN archive and shedding some light on some fantastic athletes and unique moments in sports history. Stay tuned!
There are countless ways to assess a work of art. One method we ascribe to is the “Whoa Dude” factor. If a piece of art brings forceful thoughts of “Whoa Dude” into your head, that piece of art can be said to possess serious intellectual and aesthetic strengths.
“Whoa Dude” is what we think of when we look at Joey Ryken’s work. Ryken makes drawings, installations, moving pictures and sculptures, as well as other, unclassifiable works. “My work is based on an attempt to connect personal anecdote, occult ritual/symbology, and references to both popular culture and sub-cultures, dismantling them through shambolic mimicry,” writes the artist. To this we can only nod with a look of studied concentration. This is art you can spend a long time looking at.
As we mentioned last week the online premiere of Spike’s latest short “I’m Here” has been making a major splash. While the robot love story is available for a free screening every hour online on a first come first served basis, it has also been making its rounds in the real world.
The London premiere at 14 Bike Co drew a great crowd, as did the recent Paris screening which you can read about at Dazed Online. The film will be making its way through Europe playing at outdoor venues (see the freight container pictured above) and with any luck should be hitting the small screen here in the US quite soon. Stay tuned!
Tiny Furniture is filmmaker Lena Dunham’s second feature film (her first, Creative Nonfiction, premiered at SXSW in March of last year). The premise is this:
22-year-old Aura returns home to her artist mother’s TriBeCa loft with the following: a useless film theory degree, 357 hits on her Youtube page, a boyfriend who’s left her to find himself at Burning Man, a dying hamster, and her tail between her legs.
What Aura proceeds to go through is kind of a like a second puberty. (A puberty of the mind?) Played by Dunham (who also wrote and directed the film), you can catch Aura’s misadventures at SXSW this year—screening times here.