Cinematic Paradiso pt 2

{THURSDAY} Aspires to inspire. Grit and musicality will have you rooting for Killa P. The underdog of the summer. (Pattie Cake$) Cast: Danielle McDonald, Bridget Everett Directed by: Geremy Jasper

Pattie Cakes$, Killa. P reverberates an American dream that lingers on the cusp of of fame.  Small town jersey girl, big voice & no opportunity. An unwillingness to resign to archetypes of race and poverty she drops rhymes to kill time. Hopes to inspire before she expires in a film that profoundly echos a story of wanting to be heard, taking care of those you love while being a bad ass bitch.

I’ve been torn down. Defined by others.

If I had listened… I would not be the person I am today. Pattie Cakes$ reignited a fire in me. Burning to blaze while keeping my fidelity. Consistency and character are the seams that hold relationships together. Once those qualities are compromised you have a no chance to move past in the world.

{Friday} Creative & authentic. A oddball coming of age story that looks to understand the traumatic complexities of the world. (Brigsby Bear) Cast: Kyle Mooney, Claire Danes, Mark Hamill Directed by: Dave McCary

Isolated from society. Entertained by his captors. James played by Kyle Mooney grows up with television persona Brigsby Bear that was uniquely created to teach him about life. He has no contact with the world outside of his subterranean home yet is enlighten by Brisgby’s artificial identity. As local authorities save him from his captors he makes contact with the “real” world and seeks to  find closure with the Brigs by making one final episode that will benchmark his relationship as he differentiates reality and produced life.

Things in life may not appear to be what they seem. Regardless of truancy, those images hold value. Bigsby Bear closes the gap between presentation and reality by allowing the protagonists direct the end. In life you may not have the ability to control what people do but you can control your response. Much like James in Brisby Bear I’ve taught myself to take control.

 

Cinematic Paradiso part one

Cinema Paradiso

This week I decided to watch a film everyday as I make sense of the world. Some say that art imitates life; others say life imitates art. I decided to put it to the test as I challenge my day-to-day experiences through the lens or lenses per se of the big screen.

 

{MONDAY} Insta-famous or Insta-lonely? One girls’ quest for friends and followers. (Ingrid Goes West) Cast: Audrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olson. Directed by Matt Spicer

Ingrid grows up not having genuine friends. In hopes to fill this void she turns to the interweb of socialness A.K.A Instagram and Facebook to find beacons that will light her way to happiness. Ingrid stumbles upon Taylor’s profile; a vibrant trendsetter who has the “BEST” that Los Angeles life (Prayer Hands Emoji) has to offer. In discovering Taylor’s online persona, Ingrid decides to move to L.A .as she hopes to follow in the steps of her Insta-role model.

Internet personas are tricky. We’ve grown to adopt everything we see online as truth and have commoditized ourselves to fit a mold. Using a byte size portion of the Internet, life gets magnified and unfortunately has repercussions thus leaving a person underwhelmed. My recent experience with this paradigm is one of dating. Interestingly enough it’s an encounter where my interactions in real time created problems online. An impasse occurred where the person I’m “seeing” has to decide if he values reality or his online identity.

 

{TUESDAY} Epic cannon from the gospel of Nolan. Masterfully done with technical precision. (Dunkirk) Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles, Tom Hardy Directed by: Christopher Nolan

400,000 soldiers left behind, 35,000 needed. Christopher Nolan provides cinematic joy as he tells the story of the allied troops that were evacuated from the northern town of Dunkirk in France during World War ll.

Today I was reminded how fortunate I am. As I have freedom and rights some would die for. Having the ability to walk away from an awful situation is an action some people don’t have. Much like waiting for a ship of absolution that may or not arrive, I am thankful.

 

{WEDNESDAY} Comedic powerhouse of female proportions. (Girls Trip) Cast: Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee

Two words, Flossy Possy. The girls are back together and stronger than ever. Showcasing the power of friendship, the unity of laughter and downright raunchiness of reality. Girls Trip proves you don’t choose the ones you consider family.

Today I was reminded of what it was like to have a “flossy possy.” A group of friends that support and defend you until the end, I miss those days.

Voyeuristic Solipsism

Olivia Wilde

In a world where subversive thinking is punished and individualism is deleted, the new Broadway play “1984” challenges theater goers to experience a gut wrenching story that eliminates the safety of the infamous 4th wall. Based on the critically acclaimed novel by George Orwell, Directors/Adapters Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan take themes of surveillance, humanity, power and corruption to the stage by following the central character Winston (played by Tom Sturridge) through wormholes of a dystopian society.

A fractured and confused Winston attempts to keep a hidden diary to recount his memories as he writes for the future by remembering the past. This type of “Double Think” is an ideology that threatens “Big Brother” as it circumvents the governing body’s ability to revise the truth. Accomplished by deleting people from databases and mentions in media thus making a person or an idea an “Unperson”, you will have never existed to those not yet born.

Through the following 110 minutes of experiential theater, audience members watch Winston’s descent into a palace of horrors that not only challenge his moral thread of right and wrong but reveals his inner most desires. His on stage romance with Julia (played by Olivia Wilde) gets perversely showcased to the world (played by the audience) as they attempt to discover love from a secret room they have found. All taking place on a stage laden with telescreens and hidden cameras that watch the most intimate of moments through a vehicle of telegraphical voyeurism.

Brilliantly staged the new adaptation makes you understand the need for privacy and how corruption sets a precedent for the future. “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies- this IS indispensably necessary.” If two plus two equal four, does it equal five if “Big Brother” said it’s so?

As the show comes to a bone chilling end the ultimate questions get presented; Who is Big Brother? and Who’s watching who?

For more information and tickets regarding “1984” on Broadway checkout 1984 by clicking here.

Reality Distortion #Americanmade

image1

Location, New York City. Time, 8:07 PM. Suit, Valentino (Couture)

The scrim highlights the traces of Patrick Batemans red-hot apartment as he presents his hardbody to the audience. He charismatically confesses the urge to kill his friends while simultaneously winning over Broadway goers. With a Gagaosian quality, the show presents itself as a decadent feast of style that is sure to entertain millennials. The story is brought to the stage by masterminds Duncan Sheik & Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and follows the hedonistic life of Patrick Bateman played by Benjamin Walker. All of who execute a devilishly styled interpretation of the controversial novel American Psycho. The production emphasizes the disparity between carnal pleasure and sustainable happiness as the story’s antihero creates a world filled with a void that can only be satiated with murder. Synth and sex take center stage as the audience experiences a sensory overload of visualness that ultimately questions reality. A reality built on a consumeristic mindset that makes you feel hollow and want something more. As Bateman states, “although I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel my flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.” An unraveling begins to occur that ultimately connects with viewers during the final moments of AP. Thus, cathartically landing the novels existential identity crisis into a moment that feels as comforting as the tracking on your favorite VHS tape.

For tickets and more information go to American Psycho.

 

 

Chic-ly Confident

IMG_2019

In a world of fast fashion, designers are faced to sacrifice design & quality for fast money. Within the visceral ecosystem of fashion one still finds new designers that are able to hold their own by creating signature looks that embody elegance and confidence. Which is why I would like to bring Brandon Maxwell up to the forefront as he recently debuted his second RTW collection at NYFW this February.

Maxwell is widely known in the industry as the man behind Lady Gaga’s red carpet looks as of late. (Aka that AHmazing Oscar look, that Grammy moment, & the stop and gaze pause that got me gaga for Gaga at the Golden Globes.) His second RTW collection can be described as Chic, Confident and 70’s centric for a classic girl with avant-garde taste. This collection displays his keen eye for flattering silhouettes and his expertise in blending structure with design to make the dress fit in all the right places. During the show Lady Gaga even showed her support by flying all the way from LA right after her epic performance at this years 2016 Grammy awards to be present for her dear friend and creative extraordinaire. Outside of Gaga’s support Maxwell is known as a strong contender within the fashion world and has already signed to be sold at the illustrious Bergdorf Goodman this upcoming season. He is also being hailed as this year’s best new designer at the upcoming L..A. Fashion Awards, which will also be honoring fashion giants Carine Roitfeld and Karl Lagerfeld.

Check out the article on Hollywoodreporter.com.

Check out his collection by viewing the video below and be ready to hear Maxwell’s name a lot more. I believe we have only seen a small fraction of he’s capable of doing.

 

 

FASHION, & the narratives that bind us.

NYFW Collage

FASHION, the ultimate canvas for self-expression. Within a matter of minutes a person can transform the way they are seen by the world as they express a different aspect of themselves. NYFW is a creative tsunami of colors, patterns, and textures, which create a candy store for fashionistas to feast on. In the past NYFW was mostly centered in one venue, which facilitated a program of endless shows from 7 am until the wee hours of the night. Unfortunately this set up made the shows feel very regimented and uniformed since most designers were utilizing the same space. They had their creative freedom stifled in not being to create a full sensory experience with unique spaces and exteriors. This year designers broke the mold as they used New York City as their canvas to present their Spring 2016 collections. This not only enhanced the full scope of their vision by creating more detailed narratives, which embodied the spirit of the collection. It also allowed designers to have a symbiotic bond with the visceral characteristics that New York City offers every day by using its one of a kind eccentricities. Creative designer Riccardo Tisci used this moment by bringing his new collection for Givenchy stateside for their first ever-American show. The show took place on Pier 29 on September 11th and the catwalk veered off into the Hudson with One World Trade as its backdrop. A powerful message of starting new, being bold and standing strong resonates not only in bringing his vision to NYFW but also draws a strong parallel with new beginnings. One World Trade stands proudly as models walk down with an undying perseverance that inspires as a memorial of two lights beam straight into the sky. This blend of internal strength with the fierceness of being bold is what makes the radical American dream a reality.

Watch the full show here! #GRTnyc17

As NYFW continues I was able to partake in the premiere launch of Coach’s first ever NYFW ready to wear line for Spring 2016. The show was built upon the future site of the Hudson Yards which connects the Highline park with an uncharted part of New York’s west side giving way to stunning views of the Hudson and the beauty of New York City’s skyline. This industrial blend with nature gave the perfect venue for Stuart Vevers new line, which embodies a prairie city girl who loves texture and knits but still wears chic silhouettes. The models walked down a mirrored catwalk as they displayed a fresh new take on the American girl. Sensibly edgy and strong in her identity, this girl isn’t afraid to play with patterns and textures.

****Side bar note: As the show ended I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite fashion industry icons, Carine Roitfeld. She is an exuberant and iconic individual who has been spot on in picking out the best in all facets of living a wonderfully spectacular life. Till next year! #stillLiving

Watch the full Coach Spring 2016 show here! #Coachspring2016

Underneath the shadows of darkness one can see the starlight

IMG_0157IMG_0155

Set in late 19th century Germany, “Spring Awakening” returns to the stage raising the bar as it innovatively blends American Sign Language with English spoken words and music. Book & lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Ducan Sheik “Spring Awakening” starts at the Brooke Atkinson theater on September 8, 2015. The Deaf West Theater company brings this revival to Broadway after a critically acclaimed run from Los Angeles. The show’s unique approach in bridging the gap between nonverbal and verbal communication makes it’s visually stunning and profound in displaying the frustrations of not being able to be understood. I had the opportunity to watch the first performance and I was left blown away by the way they artistically remastered the Tony award winning show.

The whole show is structured in such a way where the main characters are Deaf and have an inner voice played by another actor which is projected and showed only to the audience. This duality is compelling to watch since the shows subject matter is about be left in the dark as adolescents grow up in a world where parentocracy is law. The adults of the show want to shield these young students from the realities of life such as sex, pregnancy, homosexuality, and failure. As these teens develop and have natural curiosities in regards to their body and life after school, some are plagued with questions in which the adults refuse to answer. The mixture of the verbal and non-verbal make the show compelling to watch as the audience realizes that you don’t to speak in order to be understood.

For more information and tickets check out Spring Awakening

Generational Moxie At It’s Finest

MISTRESS-AMERICA

New York City changes everyday as it welcomes millions of people daily. The city also bids farewell to millions as they search for a place to call home. This journey of self discovery is fueled with romance, passion, pitfalls and, learning experiences that carryover into the building blocks of a person’s character. Director/Writer Noah Baumbach & Writer/Actress Greta Gerwig make viewers fall in love with this tempestuous love affair, which happens, everyday in New York City. Their new movie Mistress America oozes charisma while maintaining a dangerously sharp accuracy of what it is like to be a part of millennial culture in the city. Mistress America follows the enigmatic Brooke (played by Greta Gerwig) throughout New York City as she dances and laughs her way into colorful situations that reminds viewers of a unique quality we have lost in society. The quality of living within the moment while relishing within that moment in time, which once lost can never be imitated but only re-experienced by memory. Brooke is a free spirit renegade with a clever wit that makes it impossible to not root for her. She teaches spin class, tries to start up her own restaurant, confronts cat stealing ex roommates and, learns how to adult in a world where conformity becomes a necessity as one grows up. Undeniably entertaining and unique by its voice and screenplay, Mistress America makes one laugh as they remember the bittersweet moments that crafted their 20 something’s identity while echoing the fanciful message that success in life is not entirely measurable by riches alone. Noah Baumbach gets it right as he portrays the evolution of what it means to adult in a city where things change at the blink of an eye and what it takes to love the individuality a person possesses amongst a sea of people all trying to be the same. Throughout the transitional process of growing up, Brooke displays an energetic fearlessness, which becomes addicting to watch. Thus leaving the viewer both secretly scared and in awe of her moxie; one cannot help but fall in love with Mistress America.

Now playing in select theaters.

Check Out Mistress America for more information and showtimes!

The Not So Distant Future

X-men Global Premiere Shawn Ashmore Daniel Cudmore

The fifth installment in the popular and extremely successful X-Men franchise knocks it out of the park. I had to privilege of attending the global premier of X-Men: Days of Future Past this week on May 10th, 2014. Director Bryan Singer definitely steps up his A game with an A-list cast of stars; Possibly the largest assortment of A-list actors ever to join forces on the big screen. So big in fact your going to want to see it in I-max 3D. The movie sets the stage in the not so distant future where a few of the remaining X-Men have to join together to travel back in time, in order to change an event that will lead to the decimation of the human race. Merging two timelines from the initial X-Men movies with The story of X-Men: Future Class. This movie will keep you on the edge of your seat while tantalizing your visual senses with some pretty nifty fight scenes that are both innovative and fun to watch. My favorite scene in the film would have to be the display of quicksilver’s powers when going against a group of governmental mercenaries in attempts to break into the pentagon. The quirkiness of Evan Peter’s character in using his super fast reflexes to save the day is not only hysterical but also very stylized in stop motion 3D effects. This blockbuster film does not solely rely on the special effects to carry the content of the film but is heavily reinforced by the genuinely talented actors that bring depth to the characters from the ever-popular comic book series. The cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender Nicolas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian Mckellen, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Evan Peters, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Daniel Cudmore, Omar Sy and Josh Helman. The film will not only show the impact of our decisions today but will also test the will of mankind in attempts to unite to protect an unknown future. This is a definite must see and by far the best X-Men movie created to date, Way to go Bryan Singer!

For more information on the film be sure to CLICK HERE

Violet looks to cure the soul

 

Violet 3

The journeys we take in life are varied, usually unexpected and sometimes chock full of surprises. Venturing forth into the unknown, placing one foot in front of the other without the assurance that one is heading in the right direction can be a daunting and paralyzing feeling. All we have in life is the faith and confidence in ourselves to provide reassurance in the decision and direction we choose to take in life. This is also the story of Violet, written by Brian Crawley and currently playing on Broadway at the American Airlines Theater. Violet is the story of a girl who was horribly disfigured at a young age and has lived her life in solidarity and solace with her Father. Longing to be beautiful, touched and happy she packs her bags, prays for a miracle and heads East on a Greyhound bus in hopes of finding a healer that can cure her disfigurement. She throws herself into the harshness of society fearlessly with no abandon in a manner that can only be described as inspiring. The role of Violet is played by Tony winner Sutton Foster, laying all insecurities down on center stage while making herself vulnerable with performances that will make you cry, laugh and root for her. The strength and power of her voice that accompanies her soft image, edifies Fosters role in the Broadway community making her an American staple, which can only be described as powerful, strong, and gentle. I could not think of a better person suited for the role of Violet. Being a softy at heart, I walked into this production with high hopes and I was very content with the results. It’s a great story that leaves the message to live life fearlessly while having faith in the unknown. Paired with a talented cast including Colin Donnell, Alexander Gemignani and Joshua Henry alongside a live band on stage, Violet is an empowering story that will show that the best cure for the soul is love.

For Tickets and more information CLICK HERE