Embroidery never seemed as dark and suggestive as in the art of London-based Italian artist Maurizio Anzeri. In his meticulous work, he transforms old discarded family photographs into three-dimensional objects with intense psychological evocations. ?
I’m always fascinated when the great European directors come to work in America. Zabriskie Point, while a hands-down favorite of mine anyway, in my eyes, almost succeeds more as a relative failure because there’s something poignant about Michelangelo Antonioni‘s need to make sense of a landscape more disjointed than Rome (L’Eclisse), more baffling than North Africa (The Passenger), and possibly more empty than ‘60s London (Blow-Up). Antonioni might not have succeeded in making sense of countercultural America, but there’s something undeniably beautiful about his attempt.
Jacques Demy‘s nearly forgotten film, Model Shop, is another example of a perceived failure that somehow manages to succeed all the more so for it. Released, briefly, by Columbia Pictures in ‘69, when Demy was still basking in the international glow of his Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Model Shop stars Gary Lockwood as a Vietnam-dreading drifter who starts trailing around Los Angeles Anouk Aimee’s older French woman (well, who wouldn’t?!) Thus begins a hall-of-mirrors roundelay that, despite it’s strained dialogue and meandering plot, comes off as much a love letter to Los Angeles as it does to melancholy romance.
And while Model Shop flirts with themes of the “universal condition,” it’s also wonderful to see (as it is in Don’t Make Waves or Play It As It Lays) what the city looked like back then, less burdened as it was by cars, noise, and signage. A (typically) colorful clip from Model Shop follows below:
As spotted in today’s Daily Mail, Leipzig veterinarians are baffled as to what, exactly, is causing the sudden, full-body hair loss of the zoo’s female bear population. Global warming, a possible virus? No one knows. But there is an upside: the zoo has experienced a tremendous surge in attendance.
After flying well below the radar for the last few years, Barack Obama’s younger brother, Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, surfaced yesterday—his first public speaking event—to promote his new, autobiographical novel, Nairobi to Shenzhen.
Speaking from Shenzhen, where he lives with his Chinese wife, Ndesandjo said little about Barack, but he did say, “We are family. I love my family and we are in touch.” Seeing his brother win the Presidency helped Ndesandjo come to terms with his painful past—enough, anyway, to finish the book, what the Brown and Stanford-educated Ndesandjo calls a search for “identity and self.”
In the 255-page novel, self-published through Aventine Press, Ndesandjo’s character is called David. He makes no reference to his brother, Barack. But he depicts their Kenyan father as an abusive alcoholic who beats David, and David’s Jewish American mother.
Barack Obama Sr. married Mark’s mother, Ruth Nidesand, while he was studying at Harvard, after divorcing President Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. The elder Obama and Nidesand lived together in Nairobi, Kenya, where Mark spent much of his childhood. How much of the book is true?
‘It’s a work of fiction, but there’s a lot going on in there that parallels my life,’ Ndesandjo said.