portrait of a small town

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Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women (2016) arrives today on Blu-ray & DVD!

The expanses of the American West take center stage in this intimately observed triptych from Kelly Reichardt. Adapted from three short stories by Maile Meloy and unfolding in self-contained but interlocking episodes, CERTAIN WOMEN navigates the subtle shifts in personal desire and social expectation that unsettle the circumscribed lives of its characters: a lawyer (Laura Dern) forced to subdue a troubled client; a wife and mother (Michelle Williams) whose plans to construct her dream home reveal fissures in her marriage; and a night-school teacher (Kristen Stewart) who forms a tenuous bond with a lonely ranch hand (Lily Gladstone), whose longing for connection delivers an unexpected jolt of emotional immediacy. With unassuming craft, Reichardt captures the rhythms of daily life in small-town Montana through these fine-grained portraits of women trapped within the landscape’s wide-open spaces.

A town in Mississippi that doesn't exist

You may notice that this story was posted before. For some reason it was removed, and the moderators don’t know why. So they told me to just repost it. Just wanted to let everyone know the situation.I was driving my grandmother home from Nebraska. I think we were traveling south on Highway 45. Everything was normal, we were just cruising along.There were no side roads, and no gradual splits. We were just driving straight down highway 45. All the sudden, we found ourselves in this small little town. The road didn’t Veer off, and no turns were madeAll of a sudden we started noticing strange things. Wide open hilly land, turned instantly too thick Woods that you couldn’t see through. The trees started getting closer and closer to the highway, until they were almost brushing the driver side mirror.The thick wooded area started giving way to buildings. Looking around my grandma and I found ourselves in a little town. It was just a main street that led to the end of the town. Which held a strange, large, grey and black church or town hall type building. There were very few cars, and the cars that were there were odd. One of them I remembered, it looked like a mix between 50s and 80s Construction.The town itself was just so strange. The second we pulled into this little town, my grandma starts getting extremely uneasy. I knew something was up, the town was just wrong. It’s hard to describe. At first glance it looked like any other small town. It’s when you started examining things more closely, that the wrongness of this place became apparent. The resulting effect was just creepy beyond words.I think it’s called The Uncanny Valley. When something looks a little too lifelike, but not lifelike enough. And you’re left with just a very creepy sensation. That is how this (impersonation) of a town left us feeling. It’s hard to describe the strangeness of this place.Okay imagine that somebody took a very skilled artist, who has never seen, what a small town in America looks like. The artist is given a detailed, and “highly stylized” description of (Small Town, Main Street, USA). He then paints an extremely detailed portrait of what he believes a small town in America looks like. The resulting painting, would be very odd at best, or downright terrifying at worst.That’s the best way I can describe this town. A deceptively realistic representation, of a small town . A strange place designed off somewhat flawed information, with no first-hand knowledge to aid in the detail. The end result is a place that looks normal but upon closer inspection, is the stuff of nightmares.Everything about the place just seemed off. Especially when you take into account the fact, that we never made any turns. One moment we were headed south down Highway 45. The next the forest on either side of us thickens to the point where you couldn’t see anything through it. The forest growing so close to the highway, that you could reach out your window and touch them. The forest then thins out, and opens up. Out of absolutely nowhere, a little town pops up we’re slowing down into the small little Main Street town. At this point I’m thinking “wow this is really strange”. My grandma on the other hand, is already in the “we should be anywhere else on the planet except for right here” stageI didn’t see any people at all there, in hindsight that’s probably a good thing. The big building at the End of the Street. The building that looked like it was the most important building in town. It had gray walls, a black roof, with “I think” four Towers l, maybe more. If the town looked somewhat ominous, then that building looks downright diabolical.I was becoming very apprehensive the more I thought about our situation, I knew something extremely strange was happening. Highway 45, doesn’t just dead end into a town that’s not on any Maps. Like I said, there were no gradual turn offs, and we definitely did not make any turns.Getting back to the way that place looked. It was like a dream. At first glance if you were just driving by. Everything might appear to be normal. You stop to look for a moment, and you see so many irregularities. Windows in wrong places, storefronts with no doors and no signs.There were no other streets turning in or out. It seriously looked like, just the description of a small town. It was missing so many details. On the way into it, the woods got immensely thick. The trees were growing all the way up to the highway. There was no shoulder, a tree could have taken my mirror, just by getting close to the edge. Sorry I know I mentioned the forest before, it was just so strange.Tension was growing in the car. about halfway to the building at the End of the Street, I had slowed the car down to a crawl. My grandma in the seat next to me, was absolutely freaking out at this point. To her credit she was doing it relatively silently. Just terrified and shaking, saying we need to leave, we need to leave.I guess I’m very lucky that my Grandma was with me. If I had been alone in that place, curiosity would have absolutely gotten the better of me, and I would have definitely gotten out to explore.It felt like we were in a place that we were not supposed to be. A place that we weren’t supposed to know about, that human eyes were not meant to see. It was like this mask, was put over whatever was really there. Just in case, any uninvited guests showed up. All they would see was the strange small town. I don’t know how we ended up there, a place where people aren’t supposed to be. If I’m right, and what we saw was just masking something. Then how terrifying would the truth have been?So thank you Grandma, you probably saved my life. Because I would have absolutely had to have explored that place. I did a two point turn. If you don’t know what that is. It’s when you pull close to the right side of the Road. You put your car in reverse and turn your wheel all the way to the left. You hit the gas, and your car spins around backwards. You hit the brakes right before you go off the road on the other side. Drop it into drive, turn your wheel back to the right, and hit the gas. 2 points, reverse then forward.We start driving back up the street that we’d come down. And I honestly didn’t even know if this would work. I had no idea how the nature of this place worked. I was half afraid that we would be stuck there. But soon the strange odd looking buildings, gave way to the thick Forest. The forest that was almost touching the highway. After driving through this for a while, the trees started clearing out a bit. We drove until the highway went back to normal. With the trees far off of the highway. And the forest not so unbelievably dense. I continue driving north until I saw sign, that said I was going north on Highway 45.I made a u-turn, and started heading back south down Highway 45. All the way through there were no turn offs, there were no merge lanes, and there were no slight turns that I might have mistaken for the main Highway. Once driving South on Highway 45 again, nothing else weird happened. Besides not seeing any turn-offs, and never coming across any unnervingly dense Woods. Grandma was shaking, she and I both knew something out of this world had just happened. I don’t know what town we ended up in. I do know there is no such town in Mississippi, I checked.So this is one of my bigger glitch stories. I would absolutely love to know, if anything like this has happened to anyone else out there. And once again, thank you Grandma.

Cutting Through The Matrix

Bertrand Sirven (Sir20,  feuilletourne & menorca-sir20)

I am an amateur photographer from France. I have no real favourite style: I like good photographs, nice light, beautiful framing, composition, colours, contrast… whatever the subject is. I try to apply those things in my photography. My 1st blog is about… everything! Landscapes, travel, experiments, architecture, portrait, macro, fine art nudes. My 2nd is only dedicated to my small town of Tournefeuille in France

sir20.tumblr.com ,  feuilletourne.tumblr.com & menorca-sir20.tumblr.com

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Meeting Familiar Strangers with @a_collage

To see more photos of collaged portraits, follow @a_collage on Instagram.

“Our identity is usually defined around our face,” explains Boston creative director Molly Tibbetts Scannell (@a_collage). “It’s what babies resonate to immediately. It’s in our DNA.” She compares her collaged portraits to familiar strangers, “(They are) people that you see everyday in a particular setting but know nothing about.” In her artwork, Molly often distorts or erases the faces. “It allows anyone that sees it to illustrate their own story. Removing the ‘identity’ brings in a bigger landscape of color and shapes. It has the ability to tell a bigger story. Maybe you see yourself. Or maybe not. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.”

Looking back, Molly assumes her deep love for art and portraits is rooted in her childhood. “I grew up in a small bohemian town where a base of artists lived. The ones that we all were closest to as kids were mainly portrait painters and sculptors. So, perhaps, that was an influence early on.”

But, who is Christopher?

I’ve been sharing our adventure for the past days but, you may be wondering by now who the kid on the photos is. Well, he’s Chris, and he was the perfect guy for the documentary. They casted around 400 guys (if I remember well) He’s not an actor, he was just the guy they were looking for. And they found him!

For the main role on the documentary they were looking for some specifics:

-Hero’s never seen the sea.

-Hero’s never been to Mexico City.

-Hero’s never boarded a plane.

-Hero’s never left his small town.

-Hero must never know which our next stop will be. Everything must remain a surprise.

I may be forgetting some of the other specifications but, leaving all those aspects behind, he was just the most amazing guy. He comes from a very humble background and has been pretty much on his own most of his life. His parents took him to Guanajuato and left him there with some relatives at a very early age so that he’d have a better future. Now, he attends college, and works at night at this falafel place (so good, btw!) He has the most amazing personality and there’s no possible way you wouldn’t end up just loving this guy.

He never followed a script, and every word you hear on the videos is 100% him. All the crew was left tear-eyed after watching every video and, well, how-could-you-not!

Thanks for everything, Chris!

-A.