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Mattel Tribute Art Show – Gallery 1988

Mattel, ce n’est pas que Barbie ! Pour toute une génération, ce sont également des gammes de jouets cultes comme bien entendu Musclor et les Maîtres de l’Univers, mais aussi les Dino Riders, les Food Fighters, les M.U.S.C.L.E.S. (ces petits personnages à collectionner, l’équivalent des fameux Babies, mais pour garçons !) la boule du destin, et autres pléthore de jouets cultes et vintage. Cet été, laGallery 1988 rend hommage à ce fabricant incontournable à travers une exposition multi-artistes. Chacun a rendu hommage à sa façon à une certaine gamme de jouets. Les prints sont disponibles en ligne sur le site de la Gallery 1988, et impliquent des noms bien connus des fans de Geek-Art tel Jason Edmiston, Tom Whalen, Dave Perillo, 100% Soft, Anthony Petrie et bien d’autres. L’expo dure jusqu’au 5 septembre si vous êtes dans les environs de Los Angeles. Voici ma sélection. Enjoy !

Mattel is synonym of awesome games and figures for millions of adults who grew up in the 80s. Appart from Barbie, this huge brand also created He-Man and the Masters of the Universe of course, but let’s not forget the Food Fighters, the Dino Riders, the M.U.S.C.L.E.S. and many other vintage toys. Gallery 1988 is paying tribute to them all through an awesome collective art show featuring names you may well know if you follow Geek-Art such as Jason Edmiston, Tom Whalen, Dave Perillo, 100% Soft, Anthony Petrie and many more. The prints are available on the Gallery 1988 website, and the show is up till the 5th of september in L.A. Here is my selection. Enjoy !


I met Chris fucking Evans and I still get goosebumps when I think about it… We drove to the Leipzig airport and waited nearly 6 hours outside on the fucking parking lot (what happened to our lives?!) 

Long story short: When he came out of the building where they filmed, we freaked out and screamed CHRIS!! CAPTAIN! but he just went straight into “his” car. He drove in our direction and suddenly the car got slower…and slower…and stopped and the window went down and the beautiful, angelic face of CHRIS EVANS looked directly in our eyes!! This sounds like a cheesy story but it’s SO REAL! He signed our things and apologised, for not having the time to take photos with us… 

HE SMILED AT US AND ONLY STOPPED FOR US NERDS! FOR US FOUR, WHO STOOD IN THE RAIN! I still can’t believe, that this really happened but here is the proof: 

He signed my Marvel IFINITY comic (and we exchanged some sentences)

(btw we stole the pink tape from the set :D)

thank you Laura, Lara and Marie for this absolutely awesome and amazing day(s)!!! **ugly crying**

I’m a Kinjaz fan as much as the next guy (following their journey since 2011) and I can definitely say that they deserved to win America’s Best Dance Crew. But at the same time, since they didn’t, I just have to say that us Kinjaz fans need to stay humble about it. We have to keep in mind that our boys have slain 3 past Champions, and we helped them in getting more votes to put them in 2nd place.

Second place isn’t exactly WINNING, but considering the circumstances ( vs 5 past champs, astounding the judges with literally EVERY performance, #respectallfearnone, first performance ever with no live music, but an effing beat boxer, the list goes on) they have certainly made their mark on this competition. And they’ll continue to do so. So stay humble in our brotherhood.

Congratulations to the All-Star Champs Quest Crew, and congratulations to the people’s Champ, The Kinjaz.

Legends of the Fall (1994)

Following his rousing success in directing the American Civil War epic Glory (1989), which tells the story of the first all-African-American Union regiment, Edward Zwick soon set his sights to the mountainsides of Montana for a melodramatic familial Western epic – even for the 1990s, the dramatic period piece epic was nearing endangerment (today, it is nearly extinct) – for Legends of the Fall. The film contains breathtaking panoramas rivaling the greatest Westerns, a brotherly rivalry that recalls John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, and exaggerated romantic themes reminiscent of Gone with the Wind (for a more contemporary comparison for Legends of the Fall, try 1996′s The English Patient). But before the most defensive classic film fans (especially GWTW fanatics) brandish their pitchforks and accuse me of committing cinephile blasphemy, Legends of the Fall is a valiant, inconsistent experience so enormous in scope that sometimes teeters towards silliness – a third of the film feels like a Brad Pitt commercial with his flowing hair and lots of wind/fans. No matter your opinion of the concept of a melodramatic familial Western epic running more than two hours long, Legends of the Fall – just over twenty years old now – is the sort of film that Hollywood used to make with some regularity. How things change so quickly.

Based on the 1979 novella of the same name by Jim Harrison, the film begins with an elderly One Stab (Gordon Tootoosis, who, like his character, is Cree) recounting the story of the Ludlow family. Through One Stab’s opening narration, we see the patriarch, Colonel William Ludlow (Anthony Hopkins) disgusted at the United States’ seizures of Native American land despite repeated promises. Ludlow moves to Montana where he raises his three sons on a remote mountainside ranch: oldest son Alfred (Aidan Quinn), middle son Tristan (Brad Pitt, whose character is like Cal from East of Eden), and youngest son Samuel (Henry Thomas). Col. Ludlow’s wife, Isabel (Christina Pickles), is unable to adjust to the harsh Northern winter and moves away to the East Coast; this angers the Colonel, who vows never to speak of her again. Also working on the ranch is One Stab (who is a friend of the Colonel’s), an outlaw hired hand named Decker (Paul Desmond), Decker’s Native American wife Pet (Tantoo Cardinal), and their daughter Isabel (Sekwan Auger as a young girl, Karina Lombard as a woman; Isabel Decker is nicknamed “Isabel II” throughout the film).

Of the three sons, Alfred is the most austere and responsible, Tristan is unrestrained and has been taught American Indian traditions by One Stab and Pet, and Samuel is the most educated and is physically weak. When Samuel returns from Harvard University with his fiancée Susannah Fincannon (Julia Ormond), the other Ludlow boys contemplate their temptation, but that is sullied by the onset of World War I – all three brothers join the Canadian Expeditionary Force to assist British forces where the course of the Ludlow story will change irrevocably. Yes, Brad Pitt must cut his luscious, long hair for the war scenes. 

The main narrative to Legends of the Fall begins just before World War I and concludes during Prohibition. A brief final scene with Tristan takes place in 1963 and One Stab delivers his narration (which is interwoven into the screenplay and frames the story) and documents to an unseen listener some months/years after that 1963 scene.

Screenwriters Susan Shilliday and William D. Wittliff have the unenviable task of cutting material from Harrison’s novella as well as ascertaining which moments should be given more screentime. Harrison’s Legends of the Fall concentrated on Ludlow’s three sons and the Colonel. The brotherly and father-son love remains, but, in true Hollywood fashion, the role of Susannah Fincannon is enlarged for the film adaptation (according to The Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Turan, Susannah was, “only lightly sketched in the novella and described by Harrison as ‘a frail, lovely girl’”). Even with more time dedicated to the always lovely but gradually despondent Susannah, she lacks the agency of a Scarlett O’Hara and the development of so many romantic female protagonists in films with a similar scope to Legends of the Fall. Is it Susannah’s inarticulateness to attraction and love? Is it the charismatic masculinity of Brad Pitt’s Tristan that obfuscates Susannah’s conscience and decisionmaking? Whatever it is, do not blame Julia Ormond as she – in a testosterone-filled cast – giftwraps one of the better performances in an outstanding acting turn for the ensemble.

Anthony Hopkins must convince audiences in transitioning from being a graying, quinquagenarian patriarch wounded by the United States’ final actions to fulfill its Manifest Destiny and “civilizing” of its Western lands to an ailing, partially paralyzed soul shattered by the absence of his wife and sons. Brad Pitt might have top billing in Legends of the Fall, but Hopkins – in his quietude – is a physical menace/presence even when his character is doing nothing but listening to the conversation at hand. Hopkins is not in Legends of the Fall as much as one might expect, but he takes full advantage of all his screentime. But make no mistake: this film is Brad Pitt’s. With his star-making performance in A River Runs Through It (1992) under his belt, Legends of the Fall is considered the film that turned Pitt into a legitimate leading man. His incredible physical acting as the rugged, muscular Ludlow son must have throbbed hearts in movie theaters – even if it ludicrous that too many of his several entrance scenes on horseback sees him herding horses rather than him entering the frame alone, with only his horse and he ascending the hillside where the Ludlow residence is perched.

Residing with the Ludlows are some of the Colonel’s close Native American friends: One Stab, Pet, and Isabel II. Though Legends of the Fall might be one of the more respectful treatments of Native American characters for a 1990s film and the white saviorism is not as prominent as, say Dances with Wolves (1990), the three principal Native American characters are underused. Their behaviors rooted in decades-worn archetypes of Native American characters in fiction – One Stab is the reticent elder who seldom speaks English, if at all, and Pet is the affable servant. Isabel II – without spoiling her importance to the film in its second half – assumes the role of a romanticized half-white, half-Native American maiden in a film that attempts to deconstruct the United States’ racial paternalism (examples include Tristan’s schooling in American Indian traditions, the Colonel’s dismay over the United States’ military intentions, and an incident involving One Stab in a bar) but never allows its three main American Indian characters much nuance. One never senses that One Stab, Pet, and Isabel II are prostrating to the Colonel for his generosity, but that they have all made a conscious choice to stay in this household (even if they dine in a separate room every supper). Considering Native American history at the turn of the 20th century, their decision to remain with Colonel Ludlow – who wants nothing to do with local, state, or federal governments or lawbringers – could be interpreted as an escape from the destruction of their cultural identity and a chance to live with friends they have become accustomed to.

Behind the camera are two individuals offering career-defining work: cinematographer John Toll (Braveheart, The Thin Red Line) and the late film score composer James Horner (two Star Trek films, Apollo 13, and Titanic).

First to Toll. Any aspiring cinematographer must be so envious of Toll as he, by his work in Legends of the Fall, uses the backdrop of Alberta and British Columbia (Legends of the Fall is set in Montana, but the film was entirely shot on location in those aforementioned Canadian provinces). With lush mountainous pines covering the landscape as far as all are able to see and sloping, welcoming mountains looming over the Ludlow ranch clearings, Toll’s cinematography results in one of the most sumptuous films of the 1990s. Evening scenes appear to be an upgrade of the tinting effects seen in Technicolor Westerns of the 1940s-1960s as it is inconceivable that twilight could provide that much natural lighting for Toll’s cameras. Toll’s framework during the graphic World War I scenes appears to be inspired by Freddie Francis’ harrowing cinematography in Zwick’s previous epic, Glory. But in its gorgeous totality, this is how one photographs a dramatic epic – Toll is intimate with his camerawork when he needs to be, but makes nature a character in the film, too.

Composer James Horner, who perished while piloting his plane over California’s Santa Barbara County earlier this summer, crafted one of the most impactful film scores of the 1990s and of his career for Legends of the Fall. And, if you asked me, Legends of the Fall is Horner’s greatest achievement in film scoring – yes, better than his Academy Award-winning score to Titanic. Most recognizable is the John Barry-esque motif for the Ludlow family, which is inspired by melodic progressions in Horner’s main theme to Cocoon (1985). The Ludlow family motif appears in its sweeping majesty in “The Ludlows” (the piano line that begins the cue is based on an original song called “Twilight and Mist” – which is sung by Samuel the night he returns with Susannah) as the Ludlow sons help Susannah adjust to life in the American North. The strings soar, as if evoking the faraway evening clouds gracing the tops of the surrounding mountains. Again and again, the Ludlow motif returns in its wondrous natural elegance. However, that does not mean there is no room for other themes. Following the First World War, “Alfred Moves to Helena” introduces Alfred’s plaintive, simple leitmotif that depends on harmonic depth – you can think the lower strings for the most solemn character-specific motif in this score – and is bookended with the return the Ludlow motif (which, due to the nature of Alfred’s motif, feels as if it has been augmented). Despite its incredible pathos, this is the only appearance of Alfred’s theme.

The score was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and fiddle soloist Jay Ungar and shakuhachi (a Japanese wood flute) soloist Kazu Matsui are featured in some of the most stirring moments. Matsui’s shakuhachi is crucial to Tristan’s motif, which is most developed in “Farewell/Descent Into Madness”. The shakuhachi, though not a Native American instrument, is used to suggest Tristan’s connection to the Native American traditions he has learned from One Stab and Pet. Tristan’s motif is further developed as the score progresses and tragedy sears itself into the middle Ludlow son’s tortured life. Synthetic elements are incorporated into two later cues: “Revenge” and “Alfred, Tristan, The Colonel, The Legend…”. The latter cue concludes the film and is one of the most awesomely integrated examples of film scoring that Horner ever attempted. It begins with the remnants of “Revenge” before restating the Ludlow motif, then Tristan’s. The concluding cue – after a development aided by timpani, shakuhachi, and synthetic elements – presents the final evocation of the Ludlow motif. Think that the Ludlow motif could not sound more enormous, more climactic, more regal? Think again. For these and many more reasons I could write a whole separate write-up about, James Horner’s score reinforces Zwick’s and Toll’s images while occupying a life of its own. This is one of the greatest film scores ever composed, certainly one of the greatest in the last quarter-century.

As wondrous as the cinematography and the music are, Legends of the Fall is still a flawed epic that remains in the shadows of Gone with the Wind and George Stevens’ Giant (1956). It is a repository of a stunning ensemble acting performance, its landscapes astounds, and its music overwhelms. But the film’s treatment of its supporting characters (the presence of white saviorist ideas is debatable, but I contend that Tristan’s character is culturally appropriative) and individual moments will elicit rolling eyes or giggles when none are called for. Legends of the Fall is an accessible (I wouldn’t call it heavy despite its mature thematics), unabashed Hollywood epic and I must admit that its operatic romanticism is a terrible weakness of mine. And though it might not be the finest example of that personal weakness of yours truly, it honors the traditions of such films that came before while clearing its own plot of land – all of this amid grand, forested mountains and the brilliance above.

My rating: 7/10

^ Based on my personal imdb rating.


what you like - sebastian stan

hooooo boy, okay, i just finished my first edit in forever so i thought “hey! i should share this to tumblr!” so.. here you go! :D