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Space is a lonely town: interviu cu regizorul nostru preferat

Dupa o pauza de meditatie prelungita, revenim in forta pe micile ecrane de calculator. Si nu oricum, ci cu un material care astepta sa fie degustat cu pofta. De voi cei pentru care American Astronaut este un film-cult si nu cineva care se plimba pe luna prin 69.

Mai jos un fragment cu regizorul American Astronaut, Cory McAbee, un tip care face un act creativ din orice se apuca sa faca, fie ca e muzica, filme sau pazit baruri, dupa cum veti vedea in continuare. Interviul integral poate fi citit in numarul urmator de Oogli, suplimentul cultural de fiecare luna al Igloo. Enjoy:)

Incepem cum se cuvine cu trailerul filmului:

1. Where do you get your ideas for the movies? Which are your sources of inspiration? For American Astronaut for example, the plot is so unusual that I’m quite curious how did that come up as a story.

I wrote THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT after three years of living without a home. During those three years I worked part time filling in as a substitute doorman in bars and nightclubs and living out of my friends’ garages. That film was inspired by the people in my life and my own circumstances at that time.
STINGRAY SAM was written at the end of the Bush administration. The US government had done so many horrible things to the world, the environment, and destroyed America’s economy and reputation. I felt it was important to make a film that would embrace and celebrate America’s culture while criticizing it. I created a science fiction landscape based on the modern US landscape, including privatized prison systems, creating poverty by outsourcing labor, jeopardizing natural resources, abuse of pharmaceuticals…etc. I worked them into a story that incorporated well-loved American-grown genres such as musicals, westerns, singing cowboys, sci-fi serials and cute little girls with classic American melodrama problems. The intention was to make a modern film that everyone could enjoy, and I hope they do. I made it in serialized segments to make it compatible with every way that people watch films today.


2. Does the movie have a certain message or is it pure fiction and thus an artistic form of entertainment?

I don’t claim to have the righteous end-all point of view, so I steer clear of creating propaganda. If I try to push a point that I feel passionate about, the writing usually falls flat. Maybe it’s because I get excited over partial information. My beliefs are written into my stories, but the thing that tends to inspire people of different mindsets is the spirit behind the productions themselves.


3. Since is an unconventional mix between western and one of a kind SF. Probably this is the reason why the way you depicted the outer space was totally different from what I’ve seen in other movies. How did you come up with the unusual way the outer space looks like?

THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT was styled after my family and how they lived. It looks like my father and my grandfather. My dad was a cowboy auto mechanic and my grandfather lived in the desert and fixed anything that came his way. I was close to both of them. I’m still close to my father.
I was fortunate to be working with our production designer, Geoff Tuttle, on some personal projects when the funds were secured. He had never done film work before, but I knew he would understand the look I was going for. He lives out in the desert now making sculptures.


4. Tell me three movies one should definitely not miss.

1. The Wizard of OZ (1939)
2. “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” (1947) with Gene Tierney & Rex Harrison.
3. Spirited Away (2001) Hayao Miyazaki

5. What would you do if you stopped making movies? And what means compromise when it comes to a movie?

I love making movies. I’m always working on a story in my head, but I don’t get to make films very often. I spend a lot of time distributing my films, writing, drawing, recording music and being a father. As far as a compromise, it would depend on what your intentions are. We all come to it for different reasons. Some people want to be rich and famous. I think that’s a sickness.

6. What’s your next project about?

WEREWOLF HUNTERS OF THE MIDWEST is about an old man who hunts werewolves in a world where no one believes in monsters.


7. Each cinematography age has its own traits. Where do you think the cinema is heading now, in terms of purpose and characteristics?

People will have to consider how their films will look on small screens, like iPhones.

8. And last but not least, what did you wanted to become when you were little?:)

When I was 8 and 11 years old my teachers told me that I was going to be a philosopher. I didn’t know what that meant. Someone told me that it was someone who thought about things. I pictured a man in a suit sitting alone in an office. That made no sense. I just wanted to make the other kids laugh and get through the day without being picked on. I was small for my age.

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Thom Kerr bling bling photography

Un fotograf australian de fashion si advertising a carui stil epatant si stralucitor nu da gres. Nu te lasa sa nu il observi. Ceea ce e ok, pentru ca ai de ce. Enjoy.




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KITE playlist: Orouni, sau cum se aude pitorescul

Totul legat de Orouni e pitoresc. Numele – o planta-parazit frumoasa-, versurile, muzica. Cum suna? Am citit descrierea perfecta pentru asta: like Leonard Cohen happy. Asa canta. Un francez atras mai mult de ideea de Paris decat de Paris, un visator contagios. Imi place mult. Mai jos o piesa de-a lui, A greased and Golden Palm, care are un video pe masura (by Marisa Lai). Enjoy.

Orouni- A Greased and Golden Palm from Marisa Lai on Vimeo.

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KITE playlist: handrei

Exista o muzica subterana care hraneste constant peretii orasului. Nu muzica urlata in boxe la stop. Nu cea pusa pe casetofon in chioscuri detinute de melomanii de Bucuresti. Si nici macar cele trei ‘housele’ (manele house, pt cei cu urechi fine)  puse pe repeat de vecinul de la trei.

Muzica faurita de dragul muzicii, nu cea ingurgitata mai mult sau mai putin fortat la radio sau aiurea. Muzica artizanal facuta, in beciuri, in parcuri, in subsoluri, cea in care nu exista act final pentru ca e intr-o perpetua repetie si transformare. Cea care nu a cunoscut pana acum cizelarea si uniformizarea impusa de ‘scosul sau in lume’ sub forma unui album comercial sau a unor contracte de difuzare. Muzica in stare bruta, inainte de a da ochii cu lumea si de a-si fixa niste obiective, e cea mai personala forma de auditie, vezi exact artistul din spatele ei cat de talentat e, cat de sincer sau ipocrit, pentru ca nu au intervenit alte cosmetizari.


Asta va propunem spre auditie. Un proiect muzical care pana acum a stat foarte low profile, handrei se numeste, muzica dintr-un pod de prin centru pe langa care ati trecut de multe ori. Un proiect greu de incadrat in niste tipare stilistice, ceea ce-l face cu atat mai sincer in contactul cu urechea.  Eu una ma bucur ca au facut pasul. Si le-as recomanda sa puna si versurile pe site, alaturi de piese, pentru ca functioneaza foarte bine si independent.

Aici puteti asculta intreg albumul.


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Despre animatie, fotografie si tetris din blocuri comuniste

Poate ca numele lui Sergej Hein nu va spune multe (momentan). Sergej e un tip cam ca tine, sau ca mine. Si-a trait portia de comunism in Riga si in Germania de Est, acum e student la animatie in Londra (ok, aici incepe sa difere povestea). Ce e cu adevarat tare in cazul lui e ca a luat cate ceva din culturile cu care a interactionat, le-a mixat in joaca si a iesit ceva nastrusnic si care pune un zambet zdravan pe fata oricui il vede, locatar la bloc sau nu:  un tetris dintr-un bloc comunist. Alcatuit din una bucata doza de experienta comunista, niste stat la bloc, umor cat cuprinde si niste programe de editare pur capitaliste. Despre animatie am mai scris anterior, mai jos o parte din interviul pe care l-am luat lui Sergej, ca sa aflam mai multe. Interviul integral il puteti citi in suplimentul cultural din igloo de luna aceasta, pe care parte din redactia theKITE il pun la cale in fiecare luna. Enjoy:)


theKITE: The tetris block really caught my eye, as it’s quite an original parody on the lack of individuality of the communist architecture. Or at least this is how I perceived it. What inspired you to do the Tetris project?
S.H.: I think it is vary interesting that Tetris, one of the biggest symbols of Pop culture and capitalism was invented in Russia, where only a few people could play it at the time. Half of my life in Riga and Berlin I lived in very boring Block Suburbs. I don’t remember when exactly but one day I just thought, `man these blocks actually look like Tetris Bricks why don’t you combine Communist Architecture with Tetris? `

theKITE: Let’s follow this scenario a little bit: it’s 2009, you live in a communist country, and you have this Tetris block idea. What do you do?
S.H.: It is hard to give you a serious answer for this because the past communist dictatorships were somehow surreal in themselves, as you could never know what reaction you can expect from the authorities. Hm, lets say if I had a computer, Internet access, know Tetris and had a communist version of Adobe After Effects to make the animation I would probably have done it for my self and friends and spread it on the black market. Until the Soviet or GDR secret service finds me, locks me into prison and brainwashes me until I become a normal hard working artist who makes nice Animations of workers praying to their communist leader.

theKITE: You were born in Latvia and then spent your childhood in East Germany. That’s a heavy ‘block living’ repertoire:) So how was your ‘living in a block ‘ experience?
S.H.: When I think back to the times when I was a child I must say that it was nice to grow up in a Block suburb. It was so cool to play on the playground in there middle. When your mother finished dinner she just opened her window and screamed “Chiiilllldren” and you run upstairs. When I was older and able to rent my own Apartment (Block flats in Berlin are cheap as hell, because nobody wants to live there) I missed the lack of Individuality. Guess you know that, if you come home from work or university, driving through miles and miles of the same block design you feel kind of trapped.

theKITE: You seem to enjoy the utopic/real mixture. Can you give us some examples of similar projects you are particularly impressed with?

S.H.: Nothing similar but I quiet like the work of some Music Video directors or Animators. Check out the work of Leo Le Bug and Megaforce, some Franch guys who are making amazing music videos ( I also think that there is much more stuff to come from Jordon Clarke (, Team G ( or Bent image Lab ( where you definitely have to check out the “Whale Song” which is a visual master piece in my eyes.

theKITE: You are interested in both animation and photography. Who should we keep an eye on from the new promissing generation of animation artists and photographers in London?
S.H.: That’s a tough one. There are so many amazing Artists in London. I am quite used to a good quality of work from my Berlin days but in London there is just so much more going on. I actually like the work of Max Hattler ( or Pia Borg.

Berlin Block Tetris from Sergej Hein on Vimeo.

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Exclusiv: Luca Ionescu despre design, inspiratie si cum e sa fii artist roman in Australia

Initiem azi o noua rubrica, ceea ce rar ni se intampla, deci e un moment de mare sarbatoare. Pe scurt, va supunem atentiei in fiecare luna un artist roman super tare, fie de pe meleagurile noastre fie de afara. Cu bune, cu rele, cu amintiri tari si cu ce-i hraneste pofta de de ‘supertarism’.

Primul pe lista, nu intamplator, e Luca Ionescu, care pe langa a fi un roman nascut pe Ana Ipatescu si crescut printre surferi si canguri (acum sa va vad cum ghiciti tara!) e un designer de nota 10. In Sydney dezvolta simultan proiecte de identitate de brand (pentru d-astia gen Redbull, MTV, Etnies, Absolut, Cola sau Reebok in cadrul studio-ului sau LikeMinded Studio – pentru opere complete, intrati pe pagina lui de flickr), este curator, face design de produs si co-editeaza Refill Magazine. A explorat cam tot ce se poate in domeniul graficii. Asa ca l-am rugat sa puna putin stop desenului si sa treaca un pic la scris pentru noi. Ce-a iesit e un prim interviu dintre serie speram cat mai mare.

Republik: Tell us a little bit about the projects you are running. You have a graphic studio, but also curate an exhibition and publish a design magazine. Whats the the reason behind the last two?
Luca: The last two give us an opportunity to collaborate with other artists and give back to the local community.

Republik: What are the differences in terms of design between the Australian graphic designers and the Europeans? Is there a specificity for each of these two categories?
Luca: I think in Australia the design scene benefits from the lifestyle we have. This is access to beaches, good weather and a very large multicultural influence. In sydney our diverse ethnic backgrounds, means each designer brings an unique point of view to the table and many different influences, such as oriental, european, as well as the fusion which is Australian. I guess what i am saying is our scene is young and not afraid to try new techniques and ideas which is helping the community establish itself on an international level. I think the there is a lot of talent in Australia and its starting to be recognised internationally.

Republik: The world is full of people doing their job in a lousy way, just because they are not right for it. You know, creatives that become accountants (not that theres anything wrong with accountantsJ) and so on. How did you discover your talent? And equally important, what did you do to pursue it.
Luca: In my case was lucky. I was drawing since i was a kid living in Ana Ipatescu. I never really put the pencil or crayon down and my grandmother and parents encouraged me to keep drawing, they recognised the talent. I was just having fun , i did not think it was going to become a profession. So I guess it was natural for me to do something creative, I am still having fun.

Republik:In which direction do you think graphic design is heading to in the next few years?
Luca: I think the cross over between illustration, street at and fashion have created a very rich tapestry in design. I think the new design will have a new level of depth that has not seen before, as craftsmen from all those mediums are producing work in the design arena. Hopefully new design will not just be plagearism because of the access to information on the internet.

Republik: Tell us a little bit about the creative process. Where do you find your inspiration? And how do you cope with lack of inspiration in short deadlines?
Luca: I guess I am always doing design work, so I am always exposed to design of some sort. I love collecting old books about typography and logos. Also looking at design posters, movies, listening to music. Or sometimes going for a walk. Its hard to explain but inspiration sometimes comes from unusual places. I guess ideas just pop into my head because i have been exposed to design for so long, and I have trained my mind to inspire itself. On short deadlines i usually try get the best understanding of teh brief, whatever it is the client wants is usually in there and there is always a quick effective method to answer the clients brief, if the brief is understood properly. Even if i am feeling uninspired there is always an idea that will come into my head and help do the job. I also now have a 1 year old son Jaga, his mother and him are both my everyday inspirations.
Republik: Whats it like living in Australia for a Romanian? Im not sure how relevant is the fact that you are Romanian, cause I dont know how old you were when you left the country.
Luca: I was 9 years old when I left Romania with my family. I like the fact that i have fond memories of Romania, my grandparents taking me for walks or on the boat in Herastrau and Cismigiu. As well as going to the beach in the summer time, then my relatives holiday house in Ploiesti. I used to wake up in Ploiesti and eat fresh chicken eggs as well as drink milk from a local farmer who milked the cows everyday. It was a very healthy and happy upringing in Romania, but i know my parents also sacrificed alot and suffered during the old regime. It was not easy for them but i was sheltered from the hardships of life. My grandmother was a big Alain Delon, Lino Ventura, and Belmondo fan. So i grew up being very cultured aboutr french italian and american cinema, spending most of my early years in the cinema. Anyway I guess growing up around ana ipatescu and the old part of Bucharest helped me develop a good eye for old lettering , the flourishes and detailing in the old archtitecture around the city. Because Sydney does not have the same style of architecture or old city streets, i have been able to combine best of both worlds. my new life in Australia and the old memories of bucharest. Both of them have shaped me into the designer i am today.
The fact that i am ROmanian doesnt matter here in Sydney, its very multicultural so no one really puts emphasis on background. Its more important the kind of person you are and what you do with yourself to gain the respect of your peers.
Republik: Whats the nicest / the worst thing you recall about Romania>?
Luca: I remember i loved being taken to Muesul Antipa as a kid by my grandmother, because i used to pretend i was Rahan especially in the section with the cave and the mammoth. Also eating hot “covrigi cu mac”. The bad memories are i remember being my parents being taken away for interviews in the middle of the night and being interrogated because they wanted to leave the country. Also not having any heating in our apartment and having to sleep with 3 layers of my grandmothers fur coats over us to keep warm.
Republik: And now, questions to generate traffic:)

Whats your favourite movie/band?
Luca: Science of Sleep

Republik: Which celebrity would you like to share a day with?
Luca: Takeshi Kitano

Republik: AC/DC or INXS?
Luca: mmm very hard one but it has to be.. AC/DC

Republik: Nicole Kidman or Naomi Watts?
Luca: Naomi Watts
Republik: Cangoroos or sheeps ?
Luca: Kangaroos please ;) sheeps are for Kiwi’s
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Blogul Republik devine theKITE

Ne citeati pana mai ieri pe blogul Republik. Azi ne-am mutat la casa mai mare: Un loc unde sa incapa toate ideile, proiectele si taraseniile de soi din domeniile creative. Si alte minunatisme de zi cu zi care ne fura ochii si ne fac sa scriem despre. Bine v-am gasit:)


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