I am not one that is moved easily and emotionally by watching films. Not to say I don’t love films or I don’t appreciate the craft or technique that goes into making films. From the very first frame of Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘ROMA’ something switched in me. This film was different, a good different and I knew I was in for what would be an emotional journey. Told through harrowing film making, acting, unique and dynamic choices in storytelling and plot line. All of this from the perspective of two domestic workers of a politically charged 1970’s Mexico. Although as the movie progresses the storyline focuses more so on one domestic worker than the other (there’s a reason).
Cléo (played superbly by newcomer Yalitza Aparicio in her first acting role no less!) as a central character shines throughout the movie where a story such as this could get boring or trite. This doesn’t. Yalitza with just the smallest of gestures shows how aptly she ingested this character coupled with brilliant acting from the rest of the cast as well. You feel as if you’re not watching a movie but getting a sacred glimpse into a family’s home. This also holds true to Alfonso Cuarón’s editing style and choice of film. The use of a Kodachrome black and white style make the film have a simple look and feel, akin to a 70s home movie. To a viewer these choices may seem pointless as they are quite minute. Cuarón’s choices no matter how big or small serve us the viewer two major things watching this … To put you into a nostalgic mood and in the perspective of Cléo’s character. In real is a person who often goes nameless and faceless in society. Cuarón by doing so allows the viewer to relate to Cléo the most as we draw empathy for her and her situation with the use of Nostalgia. Cléo represents not only herself but countless others in her position. So Cuarón drew less upon a backstory per se unlike other characters in the film, most notably Sofia, the wife and maternal figure of the family Cléo worked for (who is played by the brilliant, Marina De Tavira). All in all I got exactly what Cuarón was trying to convey across the screen and that’s the goal of a filmmaker. Especially from a film that is so well acted across the board and with so many tiny intricacies you could write a term paper on it. This also was the first film I’ve seen from Alfonso Cuarón so you can bet I will be watching more.
It has been 54 years since the beloved original had it’s Disney debut on the silver screen. Now Mary Poppins is back and finer than ever, drawing inspiration from the P.L. Travers book series. Director Rob Marshall (Into The Woods, Chicago) brings the film some 20 years forward to Depression Era London with the Banks children, Michael and Jane Banks now grown up and requiring some much needed help and possibly a bit of magic…
In Mary Poppins Returns we see the beloved nanny (played by Emily Blunt in a role where she absolutely shines!) return to sprightly form to help out the Banks children who are now adults in London. Jane Banks (played by Emily Mortimer) has moved back in to the Cherry Tree Lane family home to help out her Brother Michael Banks (played by Ben Whishaw) after a recent tragedy. Michael now has three small ones of his own (played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and newcomer Joel Dawson so adorably and brilliantly). After several losses including what could possibly be the loss of their home. Mary Poppins re-enters the Banks family life when they most need it, when all of the hope and magic from their childhood has long gone.
Along with the help of a street lamplighter named Jack (played by Lin Manuel Miranda superbly in his first movie role) who just so happens to be a friend of Mary Poppins herself. Through the teachings of Mary, many friends along the way (be on the lookout for some fun guest appearances including Dick Van Dyke who was in the original from 1964), and lots of fun sing-along song and dance numbers. The absolutely grand spectacle that is ‘Trip A Little Light Fantastic’ and the teary and beautiful ‘The Place Where The Lost Things Go’ which is so well suited to Emily Blunt’s voice, are absolute standouts in the film. Mary slowly but surely works to restore the magic and joy that once was at Cherry Tree Lane with the help of the three younger Banks children coupled through the elder ones and all that seemed impossible becomes practically perfect in every way. It got me thinking that maybe we should all go and fly a kite.
The book now a film ‘No Alternative’ by writer and director William Dickerson, (DETOUR, DON’T LOOK BACK) stars Michaela Cavazos as Bridget Harrison, Conor Proft as Thomas Harrison, Chloe Levine as Jackie O’Brien, Kathryn Erbe as Maureen Harrison and Harry Hamlin as William Harrison is out this Friday. The big premiere is at the ‘Dances with Films’ Festival on Opening Night June 7th at the TCL Chinese Theater.
The film takes place in typical suburbia in the aftermath and chaos of the death of Kurt Cobain and grunge. It was essentially a new age “The Day The Music Died” for many teens and young adults. ‘No Alternative’ focuses on the Harrison family a small conservative upper middle class family. The central characters though are the two teen children, Thomas (who is older) and Bridget. Thomas starts a band named the ‘Latter Day Saints’ to pay tribute to his late idol Kurt Cobain while his sister Bridget is anti Kurt, Grunge and Nirvana finds solace in rap music, something that has just hit suburban White America and with aplomb. Bridget finds a Midi Keyboard & Sequencer by the train tracks and takes it home. At home is where her at first sketchy and troublesome rap alter ego “Bri Da B” is born. Both siblings seemingly different, love music are now using music to cope and to a point share their creativity. Because according to their father William (played by Harry Hamlin in a very curt yet apoplectic performance ) both Harrison children have “issues” they just deal with them differently. As Bridget has been medicated nearly her entire life when Thomas has not.
These “issues” as we learn in the film (and in life) are not just “issues” but Mental Illness in which the Harrison family tend to dance around. This is the central issue for this family not only is the family dealing with it. It involves a case that the father, William mishandles and his wife played by Kathryn Erbe (in a icy stoism of your typical 90s conservative Mom for most of the film) tries to keep hidden. Mental Illness is what could ultimately pull the Harrison family apart or pull them together and the director’s filmaking style, which borderlines an almost documentary or on the go style of film. It really puts you further into the mind of certain characters. Using unique angles and lighting you feel ever more present in these characters lives and story. At times haunting and sad other times uncomfortable and brutal. Which makes the twist in this film no less shocking. One of the most emotional and hard to watch moments in this film.
My only criticism was the way certain racial issues were handled and glossed over with Bridget’s alter ego. I do know, we all have different points of views but I felt that scene could have been handled better. All in all the film is an entertaining, highly emotional if slightly morbid and tunnelistic look at a certain part of society that once ruled the world.
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At some point every photographer makes a post like this. I have been trying to avoid it realizing that maybe it’s best not to as my photography tips, tricks and editing style is definitely a bit different than most and might be of some interest. So here goes, these are my favorite and most used apps in my pursuit in the art of photography. I hope you enjoy! 🙂
CAMERA SETUP: Canon Rebel EOS T3i EF-S 18 55 IS II Lens Kit with Nifty Fifty lens & MOTO DROID TURBO 2.
1. Snapseed – It’s a app I use at a bare minimum and only for tiny more exact edits. I also use it more for my Concert photography than say my fine art photography work.
2. VSCO– Again, another app that most photographers use but one I that agree is essential. Great for small and big edits, fantastic filters (you can even make your own with the VSCO + feature), the ease of use is what I love best though. Definitely a fave!
3. Adobe Photoshop Express & Adobe Lightroom CC – First off I’m not the biggest fan of Photoshop to begin with but it’s helpful when used lightly and I mean with a deft hand on my Concert or Editorial work. It can get out of hand real fast. But when I use it, I prefer to the IOS and Android app versions as it’s much easier to control. Other than that I prefer other apps.
4. Pixlr & Phonto – I grouped these together because they’re not are not my go to photography editing apps but rather I use them a lot in my artworking and graphic design projects when my photography is present. Pixlr and Phonto are just more fun and easier to use and add a bit of pizazz as well. Speaking of graphic design …
5. Canva & Desygner – These two are my favorites for more advanced design work using my photography (or not) instead of using programs like Adobe InDesign. They are also much cheaper as well. I do love Adobe InDesign so I recommend it as well but for photographers and designers who can’t afford or just don’t want to it’s a great alternate.
6. Trigraphy – You know those photos of mine that look like old style paintings and very dreamy? Well part of that process (albeit a tiny part) involves the Trigraphy app. As most of it though is just my super weird brain. And yes I repeat it starts out with a photo.
7. A Color Story & A Design Kit – Both are really fun easy tools I use in my fine art photography. Since my fine art photography leans towards nature, still life and abstract variety. A Color Story allows for perfect simple editing and saving of the steps as a recipe. The other app A Design Kit allows you to take your photos or art further adding cute and kitschy designs, lettering and other flair. Making designing for your brand or just cute designs that much easier.
8. Huji – I know it’s pretty new (at least to me) and I know all of cool kids use it. But I still love the kitschy factor to it and unpredictability you get with each photo. Since the app is minicking a disposable camera, it’s basically just fun and fits into my aesthetic quite well.
9. PRIIME & PRIIME COLLECTIONS – Another great app with the perfect filters and editing features that allow for just enough. It’s also very photographer centric. Showcasing filters you can use by other photographers and how to use them. The VSCO and A Color Story apps do that as well. Plus the app let’s you edit photos in RAW form which is always a major plus!
10. DARKROOM & FILMBORN – This my favorite app for recreating analog and black and white photos. I don’t solely use the app to achieve this look but finishing my photos I shot digitally in one of these apps makes the photos come as close to old school vintage and black and white as I can without using a film camera. I also keep my aesthetic in the process. It’s a win-win.
11. PIXELMATOR – I use this app to edit all of my photography at some point in the process. So it’s great for simple edits and even bigger ones. Also for artistic photography and more editorial or commercial imagery. I even use it for some graphic design projects. It’s a powerful tool that gets the job done.
So these are my favorite apps I use in my photography and graphic design work. I use the apps whether I shoot in RAW on my Canon or shoot on my Moto Droid Turbo 2 Android phone. I hope this article will be of use to some photogs out there. As there are different types and styles of editing and photographers out there. The key is to find your true style by finding what works best for you. I’ve included a list of the apps below and clickable links above for you to get them on iOS App store. But most (if not all) of the apps are also available on Android and the Google Play Store.
“This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.”
HELLO!! HELLO!! HELLO! IT’S OSCARS DAY!! Yep, it’s finally here the moment we as huge movie fans, Hollywood and Pop Culture journalists have all been waiting for. It’s the culmination of what has been a very eventful, proactive, political (among many others things) award season to say the least. But today hopeful the tone is more about the beautiful films over the past year and the people who acted in them and made them. Because today is the 90th ACADEMY AWARDS® hosted by Jimmy Kimmel …
Official 03/04/2018 90th Oscars® Arrivals Photos …
Okay so my Top Ten looks from the night …
1. Lupita Nyong’o in Atelier Versace on both the red carpet and Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
2. Zoe Kravitz – Saint Laurent at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
3. Andra Day in Zac Posen and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.
4. St. Vincent (Annie Clark) in YSL.
5. Chadwick Boseman in Givenchy.
6. Gal Gadot in Givenchy and Tiffany & Co. jewelry & Giorgio Armani gown at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
7. Allison Janney in Reem Acra, Forevermark jewelry with a Roger Vivier bag.
8. Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein By Appointment & Christian Louboutin shoes, and Cartier jewelry.
9. Timothée Chalamet in Berluti.
10. Common in Giorgio Armani and Tiffany & Co. jewelry.
11. Zendaya in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture, Brian Atwood shoes, and Bulgari jewelry.
12. Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton on both the Oscars red carpet and Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
13. Sandra Bullock in Louis Vuitton and Zac Posen with Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.
14. Jenna Dewan Tatum in Pamela Roland gown at Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
Hey guys, It’s Brittney. I’m back with another review. This one is a band I’ve talked about a bit lately. Seeing as I just photographed their concert at The Peppermint Club and reviewed “Hot Streak” already. (I will post the links after this review). It’s Faulkner. The bi-coastal band consisting of Lucas Asher (vocals/guitar/songwriter), Eric Scullin (vocals/multi-instrumentalist/producer), Dimitri Farougias (bass), and Christian Hogan (drums). They released their album ‘PARIAHS’ on February 9th. Led by lead single “Hot Streak”. This is an album of Alternative-Rock for the protest generation. Full of loud forceful numbers, with just enough angst to keep one’s ears attuned while dancing. “PARIAHS” starts off with “Revolutionary” a stomp-rock number with just enough swag to help carry off such heavy lyrics. This leads to “Hot Streak” which is a fizzy Electro-Pop rocker and speaks to feeling invincible. We go into “NY Anthem” which is the track co-written and co-produced by RZA of the Wu-Tang-Clan. It’s as braggadocios as the NY streets themselves. The perfect new day anthem speaking of its highs and lows. RZA brings in a real hip-hop vibe. “Halo Me”, I’m Stoned”, & “Waters Are Rising” offer slightly quieter moments from the 10 track record, but aren’t any less powerful lyrically. “Waters Are Rising” features a great drum intro and “I’m Stoned” has the most acoustic sounds of the entire record. The last two songs “Keep Your Enemies Closer” (with a sweet guest rap from Royce Da 5’9) and “Molly” close out the album, ‘PARIAHS’ the way it started, with heavy electronic synths, a buzzy groove and plenty of guitars to start a riot …. but only on the dance floor.