Christian Serratos photographed by Xavier Guerra for MTV News
“Serratos recalled an incident where she did an independent film, then read reviews that referred to her character, one of the four leads of the film, as “the Latina friend.” The other three leads, she said, were described in detail.
“I’m like, ’You just bastardized everything that I just f–king poured my heart and soul into,‘” Serratos explained. “Because yes, that is what I am, and I’m proud of it, but that is not all that I am… They didn’t mention anything at all about this character, who had basically saved her friend’s life. It was a very important person to talk about.”
This might seem a folly on the surface, but if James Comey can re-open inquiry on a closed investigation on emails that turned out to be insignificant in the end, then DOJ should have no problems doing an independent investigation review of our elections as a non-partisan matter. At minimum, they can detect voter suppression and vulnerabilities in our election security, in light with intelligence reports of Russian hacking to interfere with our elections.
Disclaimer: I’m not a film critic, I’m a photographer who gets excited about pretty, emotional things.
By the time I was 16 years old, I had become obsessed with drama, independent and art-based movies. This was to the extent that I could barely fathom the fact that - on my first day of film studies class - our teacher informed us that our lessons would largely encompass generic blockbuster titles.
‘But there’s so little to these films…’, thought the younger, less knowledgable me. 'What could possibly be of interest about easily interpretable movies that follow cliche, overused narrative tropes, structures and visual stylings?’
Eventually I learnt the error of my thinking, and how dense filmic scrutiny could extend, even in the most conventional of titles. However, my love for movies that differ a little from the norm never really ceased. If its obscure, super dramatic/romantic, bizarre, confusing and/or beautifully shot I’ll probably be convinced by the end that it’s changed my life somehow. Yes, it’s relatively pretentious of me - at least I’m honest about it.
Since my departure from university, I’ve found myself with a little evening time to watch movies again. Subsequently, I’ve proceeded with my incessant hunt, in which there is no final target, to find films that are worthy of my 'list’. This is a catalogue of cinema that has moved me via nothing less than pure, superlative artistry. To celebrate this continuation, I have decided to share a section of my list so far with you. Whether a positive experience or not, these flicks are sure to blow your mind.
If you’ve heard of a wonderfully talented American musician named Tom Delonge (that dude who played in blink-182 and somehow managed to make bad singing sound great), you might also be familiar with the numerous art projects completed under the alias and associated iconography of his band, Angels & Airwaves. Delonge has crafted a wealth of different media under Angels & Airwaves, but no other manages to compare to the 2011 LOVE feature length movie. Directed by William Eubank and produced by Delonge, LOVE is a truly gripping movie that aims to explore the unconditional human need for contact, connection and companionship.
At the very end of a long space exploration mission, astronaut Lee Miller becomes the last human in existence as an unexplained apocalyptic incident sweeps across the world. This event is insinuated only by Miller’s discontinued contact with earth. LOVE possesses a pace that is binary in nature; utilising calm, suddenly sporadic and inconsistent shots to expertly depict Miller’s descent into madness. These skilfully crafted scenes are successful in simulating feelings of irritability and hysteria within its viewers - perfectly epitomising the human need for raw emotion that LOVE strives to explore and present. In turn, we are guided towards the films resolution: Love is the answer; the reason for our very existence. To truly feel gratitude for those you have in your life, you need to experience LOVE.
’Why do we struggle to breathe a more righteous breath, when we all end up in the same place?’
This is a movie which is set in a town called Swansea, south-west Wales. What’s kind of wonderfully coincidental to me is that five years after seeing this movie, I am now dating a girl who’s lived in Swansea her whole life (200 miles away from my current location), and roamed some of the locations in the movie during its production. I also met a guy back in university who was actually in the movie as an extra! Kind of strange… anyways.
As a slightly bleak coming of age comedy about a lovelorn boy named Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts), Submarine manages to adhere to, and subvert the conventions of the genre simultaneously. As Oliver tries to work out who he really is, he makes attempts to save his parents marriage and develop his relationship with his equally strange and somewhat pyromanic girlfriend, Jordana (Yasmin Paige). His naivety often results in ill-informed decisions and hilarious results.
I loved the striking performances delivered by the cast of the film; strong portrayals of refreshingly authentic character types. Additionally, the dry humour that remains consistent alongside more serious themes keeps the storyline concurrently sincere, yet humorous.
However, what I found most imposing about Submarine was its unconventional cinematography, visual triggers and narrative structure.
The camera work by Eric Wilson has an idiosyncratic, stylised dynamic; beautiful and often erratic. Alongside the choppy and quirky editing, this helps contribute towards the comedic undertones of the movie whilst remaining superficially alluring. The grain from the use of film cameras, and the use of only natural and existing artificial light, also contributes to Submarine’s 80’s era nostalgia.
Basically… it’s dope.
'You’re the only person that I would allow to be shrunken down to a microscopic size and swim inside me in a tiny submersible machine. We have lost our virginity but it wasn’t like losing anything. You’re too good for me, you’re too good for anyone.’
'The Tree of Life’ (2011)
This one is going to have you Googling explanations before the movie has barely begun. Its a CONFUSING film, but an emotional and gorgeously shot one at that. The cinematography is saintly and, as a photographer, I may have wept at little at this movie’s sheer beauty.
The film follows Jack (Sean Penn), the eldest son of a family as he reflects on his childhood in 1950’s suburban America: his relationship with his parents (Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain) his experiences and the premature death of his brother.. however..
The way the movie has been moulded comes across as more of a lengthy video-based art-installation piece, rather than a feature film. The manner and pace in which the films develops, projects an inarticulate dream-like quality; an exploration of themes, ideas and visuals with no real events to drive any gripping or discernible narrative.
It’s damn complex - at times appearing complicated simply for the sake of being complicated. Some might call it art, some might call it pretentious - I call it poignant and moving.
The Tree of Life is a fantastic movie, demonstrating Terrence Malick’s auteurist style.
'Help each other. Love everyone. Every leaf. Every ray of light. Forgive.’
'Never Let Me Go’ (2010)
Much like the central theme of this movie, this is one that I will never let go of (or forget). Based upon Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel of the same name, NLMG follows its protagonists Cathy (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley). The trio are pupils at a school of children, all of whom were born and raised to be healthy, donate their vital organs and die young. Yeah.. it’s pretty grim. But hold up.. it gets additionally tragic.
A love triangle forms amongst the three and throughout the movies three act structure (spanning about a decade… I think) it becomes evident that Cathy and Tommy are meant to be. Deep down they knew this all along, yet by the time they act, they’re days from beginning their donations.
There is nothing more tragic than true love that cannot be allowed to exist. I’m getting worked up just thinking about it. Seriously, though… watch this movie. It’ll cut you up but you’ll know what it is to feel true gratitude and appreciation to be a free soul.
‘We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time.’
'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ (2004)
So on account of its cult status - and being that this is Tumblr - my number one is probably one that you’re already familiar with. For those unfamiliar, however, I will enlighten you.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind tells the story of two seemingly incompatible people, Joel and Clementine (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) and the deterioration of their relationship. The films director Michel Gondry, presents a tender, endearing and intimate companionship that becomes reduced to a jealous, frustrated and dispassionate mess.
Sounds pretty conventional so far, right? Well, conventional it ain’t.
Overwhelmed and exasperated, Joel discovers Clementine has visited Lacuna Inc, a company which provides a form of brain damage; allowing her to forget she had ever met Joel. Devastated upon realising this, Joel has the same treatment performed upon himself. Joel’s erasure is what guides the films narrative.
Beginning in the present day as Joel starts his treatment, Eternal Sunshine traces back through the cherished memories of him and Clementine as they are removed one by one. However, as the procedure is occurring, Joel realises that he can’t bare the thought of losing Clementine for good; even if only as a memory. From the depths of his unconsciousness, Joel tries desperately to hold on to this paradigm of his psyche.
The reason I adore this film so much is the muddled narrative structure, the obsessively detailed mise-en-scene and visual triggers. This is to the extent that new little details and easter eggs seem to reveal themselves with every viewing. Additionally, the conclusions, lessons and themes of Eternal Sunshine are most certainly transferable to real life.
Although the movie appears as somewhat incoherent at times, Gondry somehow manages to find a perfect harmony within the films delivery; superlatively demonstrating the importance of love and memory, irrespective of life’s eventual outcome.
It’s kind of difficult to express through words the impact that this movie has had on me, and the cinematic quality I think it possesses. It’s gorgeously shot, magnificently executed and hard-hitting. The soundtrack by Jon Brion is also expedient and gets you RIGHT in the feelings. It’s one of those films that makes you feel as though a deep, innermost element of your being has been changed somehow. It did with me, at least. It’s breathtaking.
'What a loss to spend that much time with someone, only to find out that she’s a stranger.’
Interview With Artist Midas Charles; Premiering “Woolgather.”
Woke up early this morning, grabbed myself a cup of coffee in the kitchen then made my way to the computer. As I check my email, I noticed this message from Roatan, Bay Islands; an Island off of the coast of Honduras (place I’ve never received any sort of media from to begin with) I guess you can say something smelt fishy.
The cryptic email has photos attached, barely any text but just the words November 30th + a link. A google drive link redirects me to a 7 minute montage full of very strange elements, combined and altered into different colour schemes and scenery. Monsters, sea life, video game references, drugs, sexuality all blended to a rapidly changing and morphing soundscape that runs the operation.
I’m thinking this isn’t the final version of whatever Midas might be cooking.
1000+ questions go through my mind like “Who is this guy?” - “Who produced all of this?” - “Is there a download link anywhere?” So I decided to email sir Charles himself to ask him a couple of questions.
Greetings Midas Charles, How are you? I have received your email and wanted to ask you a couple of questions if you don’t mind. First off, do you have a name preference between Midas, Midas Charles or Charles?
- Thank you! I’m glad it made you want to speak about it and open dialogue. I don’t have a preference, I’ve always had nicknames. Either one is acceptable.
How would you even describe your music to be? How would you describe the visuals? The first few times I saw the video, I was a little confused about how things blended together, is this the final version?
- I would portray my music as, I guess the word I can think of would be potent. Potent is a neutral way to express it… I wouldn’t say my music is neutral but depending on who listens the opinion differs, but it’s still strong in my judgement.
The visuals you saw are out of context as of now, later they will make a little more sense. This isn’t the final form, the project is evolving as things fall into place I suppose.
How has growing up in the Caribbean influenced you? What are your influences in general?
It has influenced me greatly, nature has been very present in my life as of now. Growing up in an island was truly a magical experience, mostly because of how real everything was. Reality for me isn’t a city or something manufactured by multiple systems, that is someone else’s reality that I don’t understand yet. There’s nothing wrong with either one, I’m just grateful for what I have and what the outcome will be. My influences are everything that have I have gathered up until now I guess, the yings and yangs. They’re pretty present in what I’m creating, just open the eyes.
What was the first album you ever listened to fully / first album you’ve ever bought?
first album in full: Aquarious - Aqua and the first album I bought was a black metal album by Cradle Of Filth - Nymphetamine haha, totally parallel.
What happens November 30th?
woolgathered so close, so far.
You can stream Woolgather via Soundcloud and watch out for november 30th for the audiovisual premiere of it: here
The micro-budget indie drama Krishawon the narrative feature jury and audience award at the 2015 South by Southwest Film Festival, and has already brought considerable attention to the first-time filmmaker, Houston-born writer-director Trey Edward Shults. He used members of his own family, among them his aunt, Krisha Fairchild, who plays the film’s protagonist:
Cinematographer, director Nicolas Roeg’s romance thriller based on the eponymous short story by Daphne du Maurier is the subject of this podcast. We discuss it’s technical and narrative idiosyncrasies and appreciate its skillful foreshadowing. We also make comparisons to other works in Roeg’s impressive oeuvre.
Satire is one of the toughest genres to tackle across any medium. Simien, as a first-time feature writer/director, proves up to the challenge. Dear White People is razor sharp, provocative in the right ways, and you can’t do much besides applaud the effort. Sure, the ending is a bit much, which is unfortunate since the film’s finale packs a sucker punch with each stereotype tossed on screen, and is cut a little short with the tongue-in-cheek. The film offers itself as a mirror, and it uses its four main characters - all walking contradictions - beautifully.
But why four? It may seem an odd complaint, but the film is held back in much the same way it’s propelled forward. Simien seems unsure of himself, cramming all of his ideas into one film, when it could have been so much better had he just worked one idea to completion. You can feel halfway through that Simien is too loyal to his leads, really only able to offer interesting character arcs for two (Lionel and Sam) while the other two get lost in the fray. It’s a bold film, but without one central character to latch onto, the film ends up being a beautiful collection of ideas, with moments of taut irony, forced into a structure that allows for too much downtime.
Early Uber investors put the company on blast for its response to harassment scandal
Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein, two married venture capitalists who were early investors in Uber, published a scathing indictment today of the ride-hailing company’s decision to tap a team of insiders to investigate claims of sexual harassment. Earlier this week, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick announced that he had brought on former US Attorney General Eric Holder to oversee “an independent review” of the issues raised by ex-engineer Susan Fowler in her explosive blog post. Holder will work with Tammy Albarran, another lawyer at his firm, and Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post (and an Uber board member), as well as Angela Padilla, an in-house lawyer, and Uber’s HR chief Liane Hornsey. Read more
John McDonnell responds to the independent Kerslake Review into the Treasury
McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, welcoming the publication of Labour’s
independent Kerslake Review into the Treasury this morning, said:
welcome this report, which has been produced by some of the leading experts in
our country who have worked closely with the Treasury. And Labour will be
responding in full in the coming weeks to the review.
asked Sir Bob Kerslake to head up a review into the Treasury because we needed
to have a serious and thorough examination of one of the most important pillars
of government, and the cornerstone of economic policy making in our country.
Treasury is our most important economic policymaking institution, but one that
has been criticised by some for its approach and attitudes.
review will help shape Labour’s economic policy, as well as being an first
important step in setting a new direction for the Treasury in the 21st Century.
As the views of the former head of the Civil Service are ones that should be
taken on board right across the economic and political spectrum in our country.
Sir Bob has made clear, we need the Treasury in the 21st century to be not only
able to meet the big challenges of the day such as Brexit, but also one that
focuses on all corners of our country, so that no one and no community is left
behind. Therefore, I am deeply concerned that the review has raised this as
areas which need reform.
the severe challenges that our economy and our country face in the coming
years, it is vital that we have a Treasury that is up-to-speed and is able to
match them. The next Labour government will need to deal with many of these
challenges, with what by then could potentially have been 10 years of Tory
economic failure, and it will fall to us to ensure that the Treasury is ready
and properly equipped for the 21st century.
am are deeply grateful for the contribution from all the independent members of
the review’s panel, who represented many different fields of expertise, and who
gave up a considerable amount of their time to take part. And I would also like
thank Sir Bob Kerslake for his time, energy and expertise in producing this
report for Labour.”
Kerslake, former head of the Civil Service, who headed up the review, said:
Treasury is a small but very powerful department. To make the most of its very
capable staff, it needs to fundamentally change both what it does and how it
does it. It should focus on its core economic and financial roles and
work in a much more open and collaborative way. The impact of Brexit reinforces
this need for change”.
Uber’s review of sexism allegations will be run by Eric Holder and some Uber employees
Uber is moving fast to try and quell backlash from a damning blog post that alleged the company suffers from rampant sexism and failed at every turn to solve the issue. According to an internal email sent to Uber employees this afternoon, CEO Travis Kalanick says his company has brought on former US Attorney General Eric Holder to oversee “an independent review” of the issues raised by former employee Susan Fowler, whose blog post on Sunday about her work experience went viral and resulted in widespread outrage. Read more
Here is an independent review of cheaper alternatives to Copic markers. Why would we post a video about cheaper alternatives you ask? Watch the video and see how our products compare to our competitors, and pay close attention to the price breakdowns (especially when you factor in the fact the Copics are refillable and have replaceable nibs). Enjoy!