Sunday, December 29, 2019

Favorite Movies of the 2010's

11. The Revenant
12. The Founder
13. Melancholia
14. Widows
15. Call Me By Your Name
16. The Social Network
17. Uncut Gems
18. Sorry to Bother You
19. Manchester By The Sea
20. 12 Years a Slave
21. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
22. Warrior
23. Drive
24. Django Unchained
25. The Tree of Life
26. Black Panther
27. Undefeated
28. American Factory
29. Hell or High Water
30. The Favourite
31. The Last Jedi
32. Diego Maradona
33. Moonlight
34. Crazy Rich Asians
35. A Star Is Born
36. Coco
37. Mad Max Fury Road
38. Arrival
39. Everybody Wants Some!!
40. Moneyball
41. Focus
42. Carol
43. If Beale Street Could Talk
44. I, Tonya
45. Attack the Block
46. Tron Legacy
47. Blade Runner 2049
48. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
49. Mission Impossible Fallout
50. Burning
51. Locke
52. Her

Favorite Movies of 2019

Honorable Mentions:
Knives Out
Ford v Ferrari
Toy Story 4
Avengers Endgame
Long Shot
Late Night

Past Years:

Favorite TV Shows of 2019

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Most Versatile of Christmas Gifts

By @TwoClawsMedia: "None of the kids wanted toys for Christmas this year, they just wanted cash. Understandable, but cash as a gift, while practical, always feels impersonal, so I made special packaging. Went over well"

The Making of the Safdie Brothers's Uncut Gems

New Yorker – "The Safdie Brothers’ Full-Immersion Filmmaking"

The Ringer – "Kevin Garnett Gets the Rock"

New Yorker – "The Mesmerizing Chaos of “Uncut Gems”"

Uncut Gems Trailer
Good Time Trailer
Good Time a Cult Classic

Sunday, December 22, 2019

America's Game

New York Times – "Beautiful. Violent. American. The N.F.L. at 100."
By James Surowiecki

"...with the exception of Disney’s assorted properties, no cultural product unites Americans the way the N.F.L. does.


That enduring popularity speaks to the way the game taps into deep and abiding strains of dominant American culture. The N.F.L. appeals, paradoxically, both to the American veneration of toughness and to the American love of organization and management. Walter Camp, the father of the game, wanted to make players “exercise equally their minds and bodies,” demanding both physical sacrifice and careful tactical planning. So he constructed a sport that is at once incredibly violent and tightly organized, and in that sense thoroughly American."

Friday, December 20, 2019

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Tenet (Trailer)

July 17, 2020
Written & Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh

Christopher Nolan's Tenet

The Woman in the Window

May 15, 2020
Directed by Joe Wright
Based on The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
Starring Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Fred Hechinger, Wyatt Russell, Brian Tyree Henry, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Julianne Moore

The American Ax Fetish

New York Times – "Our Lives in the Time of Extremely Fancy Axes"

"The 2000s felt like a decade of looking forward. Wi-Fi went mainstream, phones got smarter, social media connected us, digital tools let us rely less on physical ones.

But the 2010s brought a shift. There was still tons of new technology, but also glamping, #vanlife, tiny houses, “Cabin Porn,” the mainstreaming of the farm-to-table movement, a market for artisanal cast-iron pans and boutique butter churns, a fascination with going back to the land (lived out, for many, via Instagram) — all signs of longing for a simpler life.

Also: pervasive political anxiety, a wave of post-apocalyptic literature, the reign of “The Walking Dead.”

It has been a decade of pushing back against the increasingly isolating life we’ve created, and of feeling the need to make preparations for the aftermath sure to come. The ax as a household item, even for people in cities with no cause to fell trees, fits right into the zeitgeist of the 2010s.


As of two years ago, he was working mind-numbing 70-hour weeks at Smoothie King for $7.25 an hour. When he discovered ax throwing, everything changed.

“We call it ax therapy,” Mr. Applegate, 29, said. “Get away from the 9-to-5, hit the pause button, throw some steel into some wood and feel a little bit better.” Some participate because it makes them feel powerful, confident, joyful. Others because it brings them calm.


He thinks the growing interest in axes foreshadows a larger renaissance for craft tools: that at this point, consumers seek objects that are beautiful, authentic and useful.

He may have prophesied the next decade. Refurbished vintage ball peen hammers with ombré painted handles are already cropping up on Instagram."

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Banksy for Christmas

The Guardian – "Have a Banksy Christmas: his Birmingham reindeer are an artistic miracle"

The Vikings Logo

The Athletic – "The man behind the iconic Vikings logo: Remembering the life of Karl Hubenthal"

"In 1960, the Vikings’ initial ownership group was prepping for their inaugural season, choosing the NFL after initially agreeing to join the upstart AFL. Ownership named Bert Rose, the former Los Angeles Rams public relations director, as its general manager and he chose Norm Van Brocklin, a former quarterback who had played for the Rams, as the franchise’s first coach.

But responsibilities were vast for the pair with a debut season on the horizon, and they were left overseeing the design of the team’s uniforms and logo. So they called Hubenthal, whom they’d known from their time in Los Angeles. They didn’t have much direction for Hubenthal other than the team name, which was chosen to celebrate the Scandinavian heritage in the state. And Rose had graduated from the University of Washington, so he liked the colors of his alma mater, purple and gold.

Today, logo creation is a multi-million-dollar industry. The Vegas Golden Knights, the most recent expansion team in one of the U.S.’s top four pro leagues, charted private jets for meetings with Adidas and the NHL’s marketing department as they developed their logo and jersey.

But back then the Vikings trusted Hubenthal, who sat quietly in his office and designed the uniforms and still-in-use horned purple helmet. His daughters often walked by and occasionally offered a helping hand, but he preferred the solidarity of his studio.

Given the decades that have passed, it’s rather remarkable how little has changed from what Hubenthal originally designed. The helmet is nearly identical. The Norseman logo was updated in 2013, but the core of what Hubenthal envisioned remains the same. "

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Q&A with Parasite's Bong Joon Ho and Indie Studio Head Tom Quinn

Variety – "‘Parasite’: How This Year’s Wildest, Buzziest, Most Unexpected Breakout Hit Came to Life"

"What do you think of the criticism leveled at Marvel movies by filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and others who argue it’s not cinema?

Quinn: I would rank watching “Black Panther” with my family at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn as one of the top experiences that I had that year. So I’m not sure I understand that argument.

Bong: I have so much respect for Scorsese and Coppola, and I grew up studying their films. So I fully understand the context of their comments and I respect their opinion. But on the other hand, if I look at the films individually, I enjoyed “Guardians of the Galaxy,” James Mangold’s “Logan” and “Winter Soldier” by the Russo Brothers. There are great cinematic moments in those films.


Bong: Ultimately, going to the theater is the best way to watch films. And it’s the only place where the audience can’t pause the film. The film will continue to play, and the audience has to watch it according to the rhythm the filmmaker created.


Bong, you’ve shifted between English-language films and films in Korean. Will that continue?

Bong: Actually, I am preparing two different projects. One is a Korean-language one, and the other one is an English-language one. Both projects are not big films. They’re the size of “Parasite” or “Mother.” The Korean film is located in Seoul and has unique elements of horror and action. It’s difficult to define the genre of my films. The English project is a drama film based on a true event that happened in 2016. Of course I won’t know until I finish the script, but it has to be set half in the U.K. and half in the U.S. What are you doing together next?

Quinn: Anything that has his name on it, we’re happy to be a part of. I’ll just give you a blank check."

Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite

The Making of Sunday Night Football

Variety – "Inside ‘Sunday Night Football’: How Primetime’s Most Watched TV Show Gets Made"

"“Ninety percent of what we’ve prepared does not make it to the television, just because the game takes over,” says Gaudelli. “The game has to be to overriding narrative of the show.”

The action on the field often leads to painful decisions in the truck. Gaudelli points to the previous week’s game in which the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Minnesota Vikings 28-24. With 40 seconds left in the game and the Cowboys down by four and about to receive a punt from the Vikings, Gaudelli and his crew were ready to pull the trigger right after the kick on a video package featuring Cowboys legend Roger Staubach’s famous game-winning 50-yard Hail Mary pass to receiver Drew Pearson in a 1975 playoff match-up against the Vikings. The timing for such a highlight could not have been more perfect. But then Gaudelli heard Michaels’ voice in his earpiece, saying, “Wow. He should not have called for a fair catch. He had plenty of room.” Cowboys kick returner Tavon Austin had indeed signaled for a fair catch with plenty of open field ahead of him inviting the opportunity for a return. Gaudelli made the decision to shelve the video and instead go to replay and analysis of the punt. The Staubach-Pearson clip never made it to air.

“You always have to side on the game and if Al, or Cris, or Michele make a big deal out of something, you probably need to be addressing it,” Gaudelli says. "

"Sunday Night Football Is the Best Show on TV"

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Return to Art Deco, Neo-Georgian and Neo-Gothic

New York Times – "The Return of Golden Age Design"

"After watching cutting-edge contemporary residential buildings by starchitects like Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry sprout across the city for years, many developers and designers are now looking in the rearview mirror for inspiration. Rather than trying to develop buildings with contorted forms or monastic minimalism, they are aiming to evoke the romantic glow of New York’s past with new buildings that recall Art Deco, neo-Georgian and neo-Gothic style.

The activity isn’t limited to the Upper East and Upper West Sides, which have long been bastions of prewar style, either. New residential towers that riff on the grandeur of the city’s storied past — but include all the conveniences and amenities that 21st century buyers of new developments expect — are now rising everywhere from Morningside Heights to the financial district.

William Sofield, the founder of Studio Sofield, sees the activity as part of a broader trend that is bringing renewed interest to artisanal, handcrafted goods of all sorts, from hand-stitched leather handbags to bespoke, workshop-made lighting and furniture.

“It became this huge obsession, across the board, of things having quality, and things being handmade,” he said. “All of a sudden, glass towers felt cold, icy, alien. People went back to these things that had material quality to them.”


Compared to glass skyscrapers, Mr. Stern mused that his masonry buildings appeal to buyers because they look decidedly different from office towers and are eminently livable.

“You have walls between the windows so that in your apartment you can hang a picture,” he said. “Or, should you be one of those ancient people who still has books, you can have a bookcase.”


“We are the radical architects,” he said. “We are the architects who draw by hand as we design buildings, who look to the past for formal inspiration and who use wonderful materials, wherever possible, like limestone or brick.” "

Arnold's House

"2001 still somehow sounds like the future"

The Ringer – "How Dre Forgot About Dre: The Story of ‘2001’"

"TheThe first sound you hear on 2001 is the THX Deep Note crescendoing and rumbling like an earthquake. It’s a fitting, on-the-nose introduction to one of the most cinematic rap albums of all time: Throughout 2001, Dre creates a highly curated noir L.A. soundscape, complete with skits, whirring helicopters, bar chatter, and whizzing bullets.


The production on “The Watcher,” like the rest of 2001, is the culmination of years of experimenting: It’s fermented, stark G-funk filtered through the noir of L.A. Confidential, complete with crisp violin plucks, delicate piano, low horns, skulking bass, and pulsing drums. The trademark high synth is still there, but instead of dominating songs, like The Chronic’s “Let Me Ride,” it lingers in the background, an eerie callback to simpler times. Dre had hinted at his new sound on those earlier Eminem and Snoop tracks that same year, but no one was prepared for what 2001 held in store. Even now, 20 years later, it somehow sounds futuristic.


Throughout 2001’s 22 tracks, Dre and Mel-Man reinvented what hip-hop could sound like. Instead of old funk records, this time around Dre incorporated French songs from the 1960s, several TV and film scores, and a bevy of R&B licks without compromising 2001’s nocturnal core. The album is a statement in simplicity, orchestration, and scientifically precise execution. “Xxplosive,” one of 2001’s best beats, flips the first few bars of the classic Soul Mann & the Brothers instrumental “Bumpy’s Lament” from the Shaft soundtrack and pairs it with triangle-twinkles and drums so solid that Kanye stole them to help find his own sound early in his career. “The Next Episode” prominently takes David Axelrod and Dave McCallum’s “The Edge” and pairs it with trembling, reverberating drum hits and a massive, endorphin-generating build-up. “Big Ego’s” and “Still D.R.E.” incorporate producer Scott Storch’s bone-chilling keys and Mel-Man’s gurgling bass, while “Fuck You” and “Light Speed” ooze synths so restrained they feel on the verge of petering out.


As I’ve gotten older, 2001 has remained in my personal rap album pantheon. The beats continue to thrill me, and most of the rapping hasn’t aged. 2001 still somehow sounds like the future. But my obsession with the album’s lore has steadily faded. I interviewed Hittman when I was 20 because his disappearance post-2001 only added more to the myth of the album—and the myth of Dre himself. But when I met Hittman, I found him living happily off royalties with his family in Pasadena, California. And when I learned the reasons for his disappearance—personal tragedy, a disinterested Dre, bad business deals—the bubble popped. Hittman didn’t mysteriously disappear; he got burnt out and chose to move on. The reality was far from the myth, and much more human.

How do we choose the stories we tell about ourselves? Dre chose to bury the shame, anger, and insecurity of his deepest self within tall tales of authority, menace, and, later, questionable contrition. He got one of the greatest rap albums of all time, and a remarkable life, out of that truth bending. But there is always a cost. I asked Hittman, back in 2014, on 2001’s 15th anniversary, whether he had any regrets. He quickly told me no. “And while I may have squandered any remnants of a career, I never compromised my character in exchange for one,” he said, sitting outside at a frozen yogurt shop, watching his two young daughters play. “So I can live with that.” "

Retiring at 35

The Ringer – "Welcome to Retirement: Lindsey Vonn Confronts Life After Skiing"
By Katie Baker

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