Twenty years after his breakout film Welcome to the Dollhouse, writer-director Todd Solondz revisits its protagonist, the middle-school geek Dawn Wiener (nickname ... More
Film by Todd Solondz
Twenty years after his breakout film Welcome to the Dollhouse, writer-director Todd Solondz revisits its protagonist, the middle-school geek Dawn Wiener (nickname Wiener Dog). She is now a lonely vet technician played by Greta Gerwig and one protagonist in a series of piercing vignettes connected by the shifting ownership of a dachshund.
Wiener Dog progresses through three other humans from various walks of life: a young boy and his frenzied mother (Julie Delpy); a tired film professor (Danny DeVito) wrangling his Hollywood manager; and a grandmother (Ellen Burstyn) visited by her drug-addled granddaughter (Zosia Mamet). Expertly helmed by Carol cinematographer Edward Lachman, the film aims straight for the grittier aspects of human nature. Each story finds the dachshund sadly overshadowed as its owners grapple with mortality and regret, all underpinned by Solondz’ dark, absurd humor.
Told Slant is the project of Brooklyn-based Felix Walworth, a lyricist, producer and founder of The Epoch arts collective. Walworth returns with ... More
Album “Going By”
Told Slant is the project of Brooklyn-based Felix Walworth, a lyricist, producer and founder of The Epoch arts collective. Walworth returns with his ambling, melancholy songwriting on Going By, the follow-up to his 2012 self-released debut, Still Water. With quavering falsetto and banjo twanging over faraway guitars, there is a requisite comparison to Modest Mouse, yet Walworth incorporates this sound into part of something updated and fresh. Lyrically, Told Slant takes on anxiety and isolation in simple phrasings like, “I want to be a good sky on a bad day” and “I don’t know how to talk to you without a can in my hands.” The album is largely written and recorded as a solo project, but Told Slant’s raw and dynamic live shows feature fellow Epoch members Emily Sprague of Florist, Oliver Kalb of Bellows and Gabrielle Smith of Eskimeaux. Also featured on Going By are Cleo Tucker & Harmony Tividad of Girlpool.
via Double Double Whammy
From first-time Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas, Desde Allà (or From Afar) garnered the top prize of Golden Lion at the 2015 Venice ... More
Film by Lorenzo Vigas
From first-time Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas, Desde Allà (or From Afar) garnered the top prize of Golden Lion at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. The film is co-written by Vigas and Mexican novelist Guillermo Arriaga, whose past work with Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu includes screenplays Amores Perros (2000) and 21 Grams (2003). Chilean actor Alfredo Castro plays an introverted 50-year-old man who cruises the poor, gritty neighborhoods of Caracas watching boys from afar and later paying for their company. He hones in on the 17-year-old gang leader Elder, played by newcomer Luis Silva, who is aggressive, volatile and becomes more and more attracted to the older man’s quiet persistence.
Detached and observational in style, From Afar was shot by Sergio Armstrong, who often works with Chilean director Pablo Larrain (No, The Club). The camera’s understatement and neutral palette work to heighten the slow build of emotion between the two men, capturing even minute body language with tight closeups against the bustle and grit of Caracas.
American Apparel takes pride in the philosophy “Made in the USA.” With the launch of the new initiative “Made In,” the company ... More
Contest by American Apparel
American Apparel takes pride in the philosophy “Made in the USA.” With the launch of the new initiative “Made In,” the company will support small US manufacturing projects by giving them the chance to be carried in the 200+ American Apparel stores worldwide.
The contest focuses on accessories: leather goods, canvas goods, footwear, jewelry, paper goods, fragrances, small home furnishings and more. To enter, submit a new or existing video up to 60 seconds in length that displays your “Made in the USA” product and company. Submissions will be selected based on voting as well as advisors on the expert panel, which includes us at Issue Magazine.
Moonface, the side project of Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug, once again teams up with Finnish rockers Siinai following their 2012 collaborative album, ... More
Album “My Best Human Face”
Moonface, the side project of Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug, once again teams up with Finnish rockers Siinai following their 2012 collaborative album, With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery. Krug’s last few releases as Moonface have been solo, comprised almost entirely of contemplative piano ballads, but their new album My Best Human Face proves raucous and celebratory from its first single, “Risto’s Riff,” whose melody accelerates to an explosive chorus. As Krug explains, “The title speaks to the vague theme of identity—confusion that is loosely woven into the songs—a reoccurring theme I recognized only after the writing was done. It’s a confusion which I think exists for most of us, sure, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the campfire in the middle of our circle; we don’t have to stare into the flames. It’s simply not that important. At end of it all, these are good-time songs, meant to inspire good times in the listener. They were made joyously with a stubborn love of music at their centre. And while some of the content might be dark or sad, the memories of making these songs brings only gladness and gratitude, and it’s their construction, not deconstruction, that I want to celebrate now.”
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The debut album from LA-based Nico Yaryan, What a Tease is an intimate 11-track portrait that tells the “uncomplicated tale of complicated, ... More
Album “What a Tease”
The debut album from LA-based Nico Yaryan, What a Tease is an intimate 11-track portrait that tells the “uncomplicated tale of complicated, transcontinental love.” After an adolescence spent mining record stores and dreaming up hip hop beats in Northern California, an aimless Yaryan began playing as a drummer with musician Hanni El Khatib. While touring, Yaryan found two new loves: a woman in Amsterdam and the guitar—both of which became catalysts for What a Tease. These soulful, urgent songs were penned while Yaryan was working at a Humboldt County pot farm to raise money for airfare, and offer gritty meditations on hope, perseverance, fear, failure and heartbreak. Yaryan’s forlorn vocals and Americana stylings channel his musical inspirations: masters of soul Bill Withers and Al Green as well as John Lennon and Neil Young. The resulting album is honest and self-reflective, capturing the universal heartbreak of long distance love without sacrificing an infectious energy.
via Partisan Records
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Photography played an integral role in the formation of the national parks, providing the earliest glimpses into the geysers of Yellowstone and ... More
Book by Jamie M. Allen
Photography played an integral role in the formation of the national parks, providing the earliest glimpses into the geysers of Yellowstone and granite behemoths of Yosemite. It revealed America as a nation of startling and sacred beauty. When the National Park Service was signed into creation by Woodrow Wilson in 1916, it was a radical idea that the natural wonders of the country should be available to everyone rather than the privileged few. Writer and historian Wallace Stegner called national parks “the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”
George Eastman founded Kodak in 1888 and popularized the use of roll film in the following years. To celebrate the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service, George Eastman Museum presents Picturing America’s National Parks, a collection of the best landscape photography in America’s history. Included are nature photography pioneers Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, William Henry Jackson, Edward Weston and Minor White as well as contemporary photographers Lee Friedlander, Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld. An informative essay and commentary from curator Jamie M. Allen unfold the role of photography in promoting America’s national heritage, land conservation and wildlife preservation. With a focus on the extreme landscapes of the vast American West, this volume traces the historical decision to protect our national lands alongside images that unequivocally prove its value.
via Aperture/George Eastman Museum
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Big Thief’s Buck Meek (guitars) and Adrianne Lenker (vocals and guitar) have worked together for a number of years, releasing dual albums ... More
Big Thief’s Buck Meek (guitars) and Adrianne Lenker (vocals and guitar) have worked together for a number of years, releasing dual albums A-Sides and B-Sides in 2014. With the addition of Max Oleartchik on bass and James Krivchenia on drums, they’ve outfitted themselves as a powerhouse of a full band—at times raw and bluesy, then soft and serene, always charged with emotion. On their debut album, Masterpiece, Meek’s fuzzed guitar is paired with Lenker’s visceral lyrics and forlorn, honeyed vocals in what Sharon Van Etten describes as “some of the most compelling songs I’ve heard in a long time. Driving songs that take you on a real journey, with intelligent stories and twist-and-turn melodies.” Masterpiece was recorded over a summer on Vermont’s Lake Champlain and blended by producer Andrew Sarlo, alloying familiar rock territory with delightfully unpredictable melodies, tones and rhythm.
via Saddle Creek
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Mutual Benefit, Jordan Lee’s project featuring a fluid cast of musicians, follows 2013’s gorgeous Love’s Crushing Diamond with Skip a Sinking Stone. ... More
Album “Skip a Sinking Stone”
Mutual Benefit, Jordan Lee’s project featuring a fluid cast of musicians, follows 2013’s gorgeous Love’s Crushing Diamond with Skip a Sinking Stone. The album is an exercise in accepting impermanence—a landscape glimpsed from the window of a train, a good dream, lost love. The Boston-based Lee is still clearly influenced by Texas, where Mutual Benefit began, but his sound is really that of a man on the move, enjoying every mile of the journey. Recorded during Lee’s residency at the Silent Barn in Brooklyn, Skip a Sinking Stone was penned between touring his Love’s Crushing Diamond and settling down in New York, at least for a bit. From the slow-building orchestral opening—reminiscent of windchimes foretelling a storm—Lee uses sustained piano, woodwinds, horns, finger-picked guitars and vibraphones to wrap his falsetto in atmospheric bliss. It all works wonderfully. For the duration of the album, Lee shows us the world through his eyes, and it’s a pretty view indeed.
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