’Twas the season to indulge, friends, but now ’tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or, at least stop, eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.
Just coming clean here: We’re not exactly ready to start working out yet, but we would like to think about working out while laying on the couch for just a little while longer. And ideally, the thinking we’d like to do on the topic of working out would really be creative thinking. Like, what can we do that counts as working out but isn’t exactly working out? Call it six degrees of separation from actual exercise, but right now, rollerskating sounds a lot better than running laps. Here are ten movies that might just put these sweats we’ve been wearing to actual use … someday.
Amid typical film fest fare—foreign narratives, art house shorts—Houston Cinema Arts Festival includes in its week-long offerings Street Scenes, a multimedia four-title presentation and conversation with the artists about life in the city, or more to the point: cities.
Houstonians: you’re encouraged to submit your own urban images with the hashtag #HCAFstreet. The winner gets their pic thrown up on a monitor in the Street Scenes gallery and entered into the mix of city shooters feted all month long at a related gallery show.
Zombie Ryan Gosling is so 2012. And so are those scorpion jacket knock-offs from Drive. Here’s a last-minute Halloween costume you can likely pull right out of your closet, en route to hunting and gathering for peanut-butter cups with your kids tomorrow night.
While our generation’s Paul Newman (controversial! but we’re not the first to say it) wore a pretty distinctive red moto jacket in 2013′s The Place Beyond the Pines, your tried-and-true black one should do the trick. Black jeans? If you don’t already own a pair, now’s the time. And although one of our favorite parts about Gosling’s carnival-daredevil/bank-robber was his penchant for Metallica T-shirts, any black tee should suffice. (This Joy Division-themed one would be a funny alternative to Ride the Lightning, even if you’re the only one who gets the joke.)
Accessorize with a baby, if you have one handy, and a couple dollars’ worth of temporary tattoos from your nearest party store (or have your leading lady draw some on with washable marker, if you forget). Emulating the bleached-out coif Gosling donned for the film takes a little more commitment—so if you’re not into it, just pull on your motorcycle helmet. Or a terrible wig. Bonus: Your wife can probably whip up this Eva Mendes “costume” in a pinch, too. Congrats on proving you’re the coolest couple in the cul de sac—yet again.
You can talk Star Wars and Scarface for days—but are you fluent in French New Wave? For a primer on the genre that will score you more conversation points with girls (or guys) who wear glasses, check out our previous post on the topic—and to rep your favorite Jean-Luc Godard film wherever you go, pick up the Vivre Sa Viesnapback seen above.
It’s one of three custom New Era hats brought in exclusively for our French Fling Pop-In Shop. The title of the 1962 film translates directly as To Live Her Life, but it was released to American audiences as My Life to Live—an aptly self-assured headwear sentiment whether you’re lightening the vibe at a cheese tasting or out-classing your friends in a game of pick-up basketball.
We’ll gloss over the seedy details of the film’s plot line (no spoilers!), but do check out the classic jukebox scene in the clip above—and keep watching until the end, for a pick-up line that would never work in a million years. Unless, maybe, you’re French. Or wearing a great hat. But still, we don’t recommend it.
To purchase a top-of-the-line edition of Vivre Sa Vie on DVD or Blu-Ray—and for more in-depth film reviews, essays, and photo galleries than you can shake a baguette at—visit The Criterion Collection.
You wouldn’t believe how much useful information we gathered last week. (For a brief glimpse at the whirlwind tour of menswear design studios we conducted in New York and LA, check our Men’s Shop Instagram feed.)
We learned how pouring concrete pertains to achieving the perfect lapel roll. We found out why real men aren’t afraid of emoticons. And we nabbed some tips on which 1960s films to Netflix posthaste. (Three guesses which perennial favorite men’s brand is named after a 1964 Jean-Luc Godard film…)
Watch for much more on the topics above, and more, in the weeks ahead. But for now, a brief crash course on French New Wave—an informal cinematic movement of the 1950s and ’60s, whose progenitors embodied the “social and political upheavals of the era,” and in which “radical experiments with editing, visual style and narrative” imply a “general break with the conservative paradigm.” (Thanks, Wikipedia.) Here are a couple trailers from Godard films, which, like the films themselves, play more as a series of sensations than a traditional narrative arc:
…A circa-1963 interview with the elusive director himself:
…And testimonials from the good people at Criterion Collection (who are “dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements”):
Check out some of these films if you haven’t already—if nothing else, for tips on what kind of girl to date (if you want to end up dead).
Further Reading: For more classic films—plus top-10 lists from A-list directors and actors, and a massive compendium of film essays ranging from esoteric (Naked Lunch: Drifting In and Out of a Kafkaesque Reality) to just plain awesome (Martin Scorsese on Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket)—visit the official Criterion Collection website.
[Images via Criterion.com. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]
The universe is a weird place. Just yesterday, we found ourselves debating the merits of Kubrick vs. Schwarzenegger here at Nordstrom HQ. That very night, listlessly cruising our Tumblr dashboard, we serendipitously stumbled upon two pieces of evidence that just might sway the debate.
The first is a collection of photos depicting director Stanley Kubrick on the set of his abstract, enigmatic 1968 sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film itself is dense, difficult (if not impossible) to decipher, and moves at a snail’s pace. It’s also breathtakingly beautiful to look at, and unflinchingly original to the point that it could be considered on par with the works of Beethoven or Picasso. (Read an eloquent essay on LIFE.com, from whence these photos originate, in which the Editor of that site convincingly draws those very comparisons.)
Whether or not 2001 is your cup of tea (Tang?), we think you’ll agree it’s inspiring to see a man so intent on realizing a vision, no matter how grandiose or perplexing, that only he could.
(The intricate sets, the eye-catching costumes, the intense atmosphere…Even amidst all that, we’re drawn to Kubrick’s elegantly disheveled, overturned tie. It’s exactly how a well-dressed man, utterly immersed in a hands-on job, should look.)
— — —
The second piece of evidence in our abstract cinema vs. action movie dialogue is the video montage below, illustrating a favorite camera trick that Kubrick returned to again and again—in Space Odyssey, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and more. You’d think, given the sheer number of examples, that this could become redundant; but it’s the otherworldly visuals and impassioned performances that Kubrick places within that lens, that make his camerawork come to life. Touché, sir—consider yourself back at the top of our Netflix queue.
[Photos by Dmitri Kessel via Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images and LIFE.com. Video by Vimeo user, and apparent extreme film buff, Kogonada. We found these via two of our favorite sources of inspiration: Nickel Cobalt and The Only Magic Left is Art. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]
The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is the largest and most highly-attended event of its kind (and, in our opinion, the coolest—screening everything from alluring art flicks to twisted sci-fi). During the 39th-annual fest, now through June 9, we’ll be sharing favorite films hand-picked for us by the SIFF team. Today, cult classic sci-fi by the director of Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet. Think of it as Star Wars’s troubled cousin.
The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is the largest and most highly-attended event of its kind (and, in our opinion, the coolest—screening everything from alluring art flicks to twisted sci-fi). During the 39th-annual fest, now through June 9, we’ll be sharing favorite films hand-picked for us by the SIFF team. Today, a date movie you’ll both enjoy, where everything isn’t all roses and one-liners.
9 FULL MOONS Director: Tomer Almagor
From SIFF.net: A powerful, brooding love story about the seemingly implausible relationship of two radically different personalities somehow always meant for each other. Set against the hipster music scene of Southern California with a remarkable performance from Amy Seimetz. (More info)
[9 Full Moons star Amy Seimetz, photographed by Williams + Hirakawa for Flaunt Magazine.]
From Carl Spence, SIFF’s Artistic Director: “A love letter to the City of Angels that centers on the relationship of two seemingly mismatched lovers who can’t seem to figure out that they’re perfect for each other. Starring the remarkable and rising talent Amy Seimetz—series regular on AMC’s The Killing and in motion pictures like The Off Hours, Upstream Color, Tiny Furniture and more.”
The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is the largest and most highly-attended event of its kind (and, in our opinion, the coolest—screening everything from alluring art flicks to twisted sci-fi). During the 39th-annual fest, now through June 9, we’ll be sharing favorite films hand-picked for us by the SIFF team. Nab tickets if you’re in Seattle, or look for them on DVD and in theaters near you if you’re elsewhere.
PRINCE AVALANCHE Director: David Gordon Green
From SIFF.net: Stern, meditative Alvin (Paul Rudd) and his girlfriend’s insecure brother, Lance (Emile Hirsch), spend the summer together repainting traffic lines on country highways in this exquisitely crafted existential odd-couple comedy, a true return for David Gordon Green [of Pineapple Express and HBO's Eastbound & Down] to the style of his early indie films George Washington andAll the Real Girls. (More info)
From Carl Spence, SIFF’s Artistic Director: “Quirky and hilarious, but also character-driven and intimate. Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd are captivating as two lost souls stuck on an isolated and seemingly endless road to nowhere, with nothing to talk about but their relationships with women and each other. A film for men that women will also find thoroughly amusing.”
The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is the largest and most highly-attended event of its kind (and, in our opinion, the coolest—screening everything from alluring art flicks to twisted sci-fi). During the 39th-annual fest, now through June 9, we’ll be sharing favorite films hand-picked for us by the SIFF team.
HER AIM IS TRUE Director: Karen Whitehead
From SIFF.net: Starting in the 1960s, revered rock music photographer Jini Dellaccio created startling and artistic portraits for bands like The Sonics and The Wailers, rejecting the boring five-member line-up and producing iconic album covers. She’s now 96, living in Seattle, and as cool as ever. World Premiere. (More info)
From Beth Barrett, SIFF’s Director of Programming: “Her Aim is True is an extraordinary story of a groundbreaking local artist, Jini Dellaccio. From her early years as a saxophonist with the ‘girl groups’ of the Depression era to the stunning photographic portraits of 1960s musicians breaking the mold, Jini brings passion and sophistication to her iconic art. Karen Whitehead’s film connects us to a true Seattle treasure.”