Roger Ebert 1942-2013



I am so sad about this. I started watching “Sneak Previews,” in the late 70’s on my PBS station in Anchorage, AK. There is shit to do up there folks, especially if you were an arty introverted type like myself. And this was the late 70’s/Early 80’s! Meaning no cable TV, no computers, no VCR’s. Nothing but books, board games and movies if you wanted to stay inside. That show and Elsa Klensch’s CNN fashion show saved my friggin’ life. A taste of art and culture that sustained my appetite till I could make my escape.

Not only could I take a peek at all the new movies (the arty ones did not make it up to Anchorage), I got to listen to a heated debate pro or con on the film’s merits or missteps. It lit a fire in me to seek out different films, foreign films, independent films. It opened me up to the dimensions of film, what characters really were, the importance of directors, the craft of great writing. This set the stage for me deciding to go to film school and abandoning a more financially stable path, much to the chagrin of my immigrant Korean parents. So yeah, my parents can blame Roger Ebert for me not being a lawyer.

I followed Siskel and Ebert to their syndicated show, “At the Movies,” hanging on their every word, and starting to agree or vehemently disagree with them. I was more of an Ebert gal. Gene Siskel didn’t have the credentials I required if one is to be so full of himself. You could tell Ebert was a great writer. He was awarded a 1975 Pulitzer for criticism. You also could tell he was smarter than Gene, and that’s why Gene was such a dick. Most film criticism involved summarizing the plot, but Ebert made reviewing a movie like reviewing a book or a play or any other piece of serious art. He elevated being a film fan from something passive to something active.

He succumbed to cancer, but fought valiantly, and served as an inspiration to all of us.

roger ebert

RIP Mr. Ebert. Photo

LACMA Stanley Kubrick show



Kubrick. Even the name sounds geometrical, weighty. Who isn’t in awe of the creative monolith of Mr. Stanley Kubrick?

I went to the show with the little guy, so forgive the out of focus pix. I debated whether I should even put them up. Or whether I should go back alone to take better pictures… I was fooling myself. Who’s got the time, really?

But hey, an out-of-focus pic is better than nothing. I was literally pulled in every direction and only had my iphone (3GS, sigh) because dealing with the mommy bag, and real camera and a 3 year old was not happening.

kubrick costume sketches

I think these are from “Eyes Wide Shut.” Sorry couldn’t write anything down either. You get the jist.

kubrick camera lenses

Here are some of Kubrick’s camera lenses. He was such a technician as well as having a superb eye.

Lolita slides Kubrick

I love how they displayed the slides from “Lolita.”

kubrick alex delarge costume

I almost gasped when I saw this. Of course one of the most famous film costumes, and my camera is out of focus. Sigh. Apologies.

kubrick a clockwork orange

This one isn’t that bad. Miracle.

kubrick typewriter twin dresses the shining

So here’s Jack’s typewriter and creepy twins’ dresses from “The Shining.”

kubrick barry lyndon costume

From “Barry Lyndon.”

kubrick barry lyndon costume

More from “Barry Lyndon.”

kubrick movie posters

Posters. I still crave that “Lolita” one. Where can I get those sunglasses?!!

It was such a well-rounded show. From his noir roots, to “Full Metal Jacket,” annotated scripts and set models, this is a show for all film fans, not just Kubrick devotees.

But wait! There’s more…

kubrick app

Filled with timelines, interviews, script notes. Jeez. Free on itunes, for iphone, ipad, and android.

Hollywood Camera App



Just in time for the Oscars… The Hollywood Camera App, features costumes from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Hollywood Costume Exhibition. Sixteen looks from Maximus to Chaplin’s tramp is yours for the wearing.

hollywood camera app

Playing dress up without dressing up. Available on iTunes. Happy Oscar viewing! Personally, I’m pulling for “Life of Pi.” I feel it’s the most ambitious of all the nominees in regards to story, technical challenges, originality, and a most unlikely worldwide box office success.


Golden Globes 2013

Hey folks. Haven’t posted in a while, and I’m truly sorry for that. I miss me blog somethin’ awful. Had some family stuff I had to take care of, but had to write about this supremely awesome weekend.

First off, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge sports fan. Can’t watch as much (OK, none at all now) sports as before after having a baby, but I did watch some football this weekend, and IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. Hooo, weee, that was some good football! Heartbreaking for Peyton, but Ray Lewis and his Ravens will live to play another day. How they did it? Craziness and sheer force of will for Lewis, probably. And San Francisco? Kaepernick was on FUEGO. Stud. I lived up in SF for a few years and left in 2009, and they had been SUCKING for over a decade. Happy for them.

Secondly, was that the BEST Golden Globes/awards telecast ever? Tina Fey and Amy Poehler threw down. They dare you to be funnier than them. Ex-presidents! See-through dresses! Jodie Foster coming out of a very transparent closet! So good.

Will post soon, promise.

Diana Vreeland: “The Eye Has to Travel”


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Before there was Anna Wintour, there was D.V.  Diana Vreeland ruled Vogue with an iron fist, albeit one clad in jewels and velvet.  I think she’s the one who said, “More is more.”  She directed Vogue that way, steering through the tumultuous 60’s and 70’s, in an explosion of art, color, revealing skin, newly realized feminine power, and diversity.  Capturing the popular, cultural zeitgeist like no other since.  Editors these days don’t have the vision or the balls to do what she did.  She pushed for not just ethnic diversity, preferring personality over perfection.  Lauren Hutton and her gap-tooth smile as one example.

Diana Vreeland The Eye Has to Travel

It’s a book and a doc. The doc is in limited release now. The book is over 350 pages of fantastic images that any would-be magazine editor, fashion designer, stylist, photographer, graphic designer should run out and buy.

And to think, she didn’t start her magazine career till she was in her 30’s and didn’t land the Vogue gig till she was in her 60’s.  Let all us late-boomers take heart.

I Love Your Style


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A great go-to book by Amanda Brooks to help you solidify your look, or get you to try a new one.  It’s full of IT girls, cool girls, chic girls, all of them AB FAB and inspirational.

It’s also a great pictorial reference book for you young-uns just learning the style icon vernacular.

I love your style amanda brooks

She also has a blog:

Closet App


For the supremely organized (not me)… The Closet App lets you take pictures of everything in your closet.  You can then mix it up planning outfits for every day of that week or month.  So when you’re in that morning fog, staring into your closet, you won’t have to waste precious morning time trying to cobble together a look.  It’s also handy for planning a trip, or filling holes in your arsenal of chic.

Closet App

Closet App. Free on iphone and ipad.




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Michelangelo Antonioni’s, “L’Avventura,” was booed at it’s first screening at Cannes, in 1959. Such is the reaction to all things new and groundbreaking. The second screening fared much better, it was hailed as a genius work of art.

Anna, her boyfriend, Sandro, and best friend Claudia, go for a lovely boat ride one summer. Anna goes missing, and the boating party tries in vain to find her. Sandro and Claudia bond over the incident and start romantically seeing each other. Anna is never found, which begs the question, what happened to her? Which Antonioni never answers. It’s an art film. No tidy endings, people. It’s more like a meditation on love, life, and the transitory nature of it.

Anna’s father tells her Sandro will never marry her. Don’t you love his polka dot tie? Lea Massari and Renzo Ricci.

Anna’s simple dress is perfect for Spring/Summer. I love that there’s two ties at the waist. Monica Vitti and Lea Massari.

Anna fears losing Sandro, but simultaneously feels numb in her surroundings. This might reflect an Italian post-war sensibility. Intense feelings towards comforting emotions like love, but a numb psyche as a result of the recent WWII horrors, and unable to fully enjoy emotions like love.

Anna, Sandro, and Claudia embark on a short cruise.

l'avventura Monica Vitti

Love the deep V back of Claudia’s, (Monica Vitti) swimsuit.

l' avventura Italian fisherman's sweater

Love this Italian fisherman’s sweater.

l'avventura Lea Massari Gabriele Ferzetti

Anna has misgivings about getting married to Sandro. She wants him but at the same time, would be fine without him. She’s cornfused. This is the last we see of her.

Anna goes missing. Claudia, Sandro, and their friend Corrado stay on the island to continue searching for her. Claudia and Sandro develop an attraction to each other.

L'avventura Esmeralda Ruspoli Leilo Luttazzi Dominique Blanchar

This could be a Prada ad. Old Italian money + whimsy.

l'avventura 10

Antonioni is a master at framing. If I were a painter or photographer/DP, I’d be totally inspired by him.

l' avventura men's scarves

A study in Italian working-class men’s scarves and layering.

l' avventura Monica Vitti

Monica Vitti in repose. I love her shoes and that her sweater is not super fitted, but more blouse-like.

l' avventura Monica Vitti

It looks even better with a great handbag.

l' avventura Monica Vitti

Claudia, Monica Vitti, feels guilt for falling for Sandro. The ocean in the background remind you of Anna’s disappearance.

l' avventura

Antonioni goes out of his way to inject this little scene. This girl, Gloria Perkins, causes a near riot by walking around the city with a ripped side seam, exposing her undies and garter. The reporter Sandro sought out, explains it’s all a ruse to get some attention for herself and maybe a sucker willing to shell out big bucks to “date” her. Is Antonioni commenting on modern love being merely a transaction?

l'avventura monica vitti

I like that the ruffles are arranged on the chair framing Monica. It makes the frame more dynamic.

L'avventura Monica Vitti Esmeralda Ruspoli

Claudia dons one of Patrizia’s wigs, and looks like a certain missing girl.

L'avventura Monica Vitti

Polka dot suit + scarf. Serious, but fun.

L'avventura Monica Vitti

Interesting framing. Claudia’s double layered dress is too. Don’t see it being much for the masses though.

L'avventura Monica Vitti Gabriele Ferzetti

The last shot captures the theme of loneliness in love. Claudia fell in love with Sandro, then felt tremendous guilt for not wanting to find Anna. Sandro thinks he loves Claudia, but then gives in to his lust and hooks up with Gloria. Romantic love is difficult and complex and never is the answer to all of life’s problems. Claudia and Sandro are together but surrounded by emptiness.

Empty, desolate landscapes in natural and urban settings underscore the rudderless and lonely feelings of modern life.

Back with a vengeance

Took more time off from the blog for the summer than planned but I’m back in movie viewing/screen-capturing/clothes-envying mode.  How was your summer?  Is it just me, or are you dying for a cold blustery day so you can snuggle up in a wool fisherman’s sweater and nurse a pot au chocolat?  The summer was way too hot and humid for me.  I tend to wilt and complain when it’s above 75 with the slightest bit of moisture.

Speaking of vengeance and movies…  It’s the day after September 11th, always a somber one, and then we hear of the shocking murders in Libya.  Some wack job makes a horrible “film” that is clearly made to be incendiary and offensive to Muslims, and SURPRISE, it’s inflamed the Arab world and four Americans have been killed in retaliation.  The blame squarely lands of the people who committed these acts, but the filmmaker has shown a callous disregard to the possible and obvious outcome of making that film.  I don’t begrudge him his first amendment rights, but come on, let’s use some common sense.  The same reason you don’t yell FIRE! in a crowded theater.

But now, you can yell GUN!  I didn’t have time to post about the Aurora, Colorado shootings, and then the Olympics swept into town and all media coverage followed, so the shootings receded into the background for me.  I took the little guy to see, “Brave,” and had fun watching the trailers with him.  Then a card came up to instruct people to be aware of the exits in case of an emergency.  I held my little one a little tighter, reminded of the fact that all those people were in that theater doing the exact same thing as me.  We go to the movies to take refuge from life.  If it’s too hot, or cold, or rainy, or if you need a good laugh, or you want a good cry, it’s a place we all go.  Up until that point it was a safe haven.

I don’t have a clever quote to wrap things up.  I tried but they all sounded trite.  My heart goes out to the families of the victims in both Benghazi and Aurora.

The September Issue


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It’s heeeee-re.  And it’s a monster.  If you haven’t heard already, 4.5 lbs, or 916 pages.  Whoa.  USPS, I feel for you, brothers and sisters.

This is THE issue we all wait for all year.  But strangely enough it’s always the same, just different models.  Plaid, black, wools, leathers.  But who cares.  It’s a big-‘ol fantasy picture book.  And we love it.

Lady Gaga September Vogue 2012

Lady Gaga September Vogue 2012.

If you haven’t seen the doc, “The September Issue,” please do.  You can stream it on Netflix.  It shows the behind-the-scenes workings of putting this behemoth together.  Although short on hair-pulling confrontations, there is some creative tension that bubbles up in the form of eye rolls and general passive-aggressive sighs.

The September Issue documentary

The September Issue documentary, directed by R.J. Cutler.