Still state of the (street) art

Filmmaker, author and photographer Henry Chalfant, the director of much-loved early-1980s hip hop street art documentary, Style Wars, has just launched a new website that is set to feature his astonishing Big Grafitti Archive. Henry’s portfolio features countless breathtaking shots that effectively helped to communicate grafitti art to the rest of the world, and he plans to make the Big Graffiti Archive available as a DVD set. That’s one for the OG Christmas list, then. Click on the image above to check the subway car in all of its glory.

Another ingredient in the crucible of hip hop, New York’s street gang culture, is explored in Rubble Kings, a new documentary from director Shan Nicholson that’s currently on the film festival circuit. Check the trailer below…

Great film posters

We first became aware of this guy’s work when Hollywood director Jon Favreau tweeted a hand drawn poster for Iron Man II earlier this year.

The illustrator’s name is Tyler Stout, who hails from Washington in the States. He’s spent years caught up watching films and honing his craft, and it’s through this focus that you can see why he didn’t have a girlfriend until he was in his early 20s.

But it’s that kind of love for the subject matter that’s paid off in his later life, getting commissions to produce brilliantly observed re-imagings of current and classic movie posters.

We’re hugely keen on his ‘Kuato Lives’ Total Recall poster – the ‘two weeeeeeeeeks’ head is great – but all of his posters bring something to the party that hasn’t been seen in film posters for years.

Let’s hope we see a return to these sorts of promo values in the near future – all of our lives would be the better for it.

For more of Tyler’s work, stop by at his website – you may even be able to pick yourself up a print, but you’ll need to be quick!

Hollywood greats – underfoot and on screen

On September 18th, the Cinespia crew are set to end their tenth season of post-sundown, open-air classic movie screenings in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on LA’s Santa Monica Boulevard with a showing of Night of the Living Dead.

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Arcade Fire – The Wilderness Downtown

This interactive music video for Arcade Fire by those Google chaps shows some of the more amazing stuff possible with HTML5. And it all takes place in your hometown.

Really worth a look.

Custom belts: art you can wear — from concho to emo

As you’d expect, yer average High Street emo kid has absolutely no idea of the ancestry of their nattily studded fashion belts, and why should they? Adding studs and jewels to leather belts appears to have crossed over from Mexico to American ‘Western’ wear back in the 1920s. The vaqueros’ penchant for affixing conchos and studs to their garments (all the better to reflect their wealth) had picked up native American influences by the time the style hit such mainstream retailers as Miller of Colorado and Montgomery Ward in the 1930s.

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Lifetime Collective’s unexpected new video

The du jour brand for hipsters. Lifetime, started as a DIY basement outfit and have steadily progressed to creating full collections. Watching this video shows they still haven’t lost their edge. It’s nice when brands mess with clichés.

Masterful teaser trailer for The Social Network

I know, a film about the origins of Facebook sounds like nothing more than a TV movie of the week, but when it’s directed by David Fincher and scripted by The West Wing’s Aaron Sorkin you have to take notice.
Like all the best teasers, this one manages to completely grip you without actually showing you anything. Nice, if obvious, movie logo at the end too.

WLC Classic Movie #01 – Duel (1971)

Here begins an occasional look at great movies that succeed thanks to talent and creativity over budget and marketing. And in case you haven’t seen it, the full movie is right here in the post!

Duel was Steven Spielberg’s dress rehearsal for his masterpiece, Jaws. This budget TV movie about a relentless truck unexpectedly gave Spielberg the exact right experience to make his next film (Jaws) the biggest movie ever at that time and Spielberg the hottest property in Hollywood. Spielberg replaced budget with creativity and conjured up a gripping drama from a simple concept and very little cash.

Watch the full movie below…

I’ll tell you what I like about Duel: it’s the camera work around an increasingly terrified Dennis Weaver’s car. From the opening shot of the car reversing out of the garage from the headlamp point of view to the seemingly impossible slow camera creeps around the moving car. Every angle of that car is explored to keep things interesting. Every trixie transition, reflection, shadow, piece of elaborate chrome… it’s all covered in such an original way that you know this isn’t the work of an average director the second you see it.

Its this detail that stood Spielberg in such good stead on the set of Jaws. The shark didn’t work for weeks at a time and Spielberg had most of the movie in the can – so what did he do? He shot innovative, thrilling, dramatic shots of everday objects around the boat. Swooping close ups and improbable zooms on the cleats of the boat are littered throughout and really add tension. Without his apprenticeship on Duel, Spielberg would not have had the confidence to shoot these classic shots.

Oh, and check out the sound of the truck ‘dying’ in Duel and the shark dying in Jaws. Yup, same noise. Love it.

Hollywood loves this newspaper

We all know that every phone number in US movies and TV shows contains the digits 555, but did you also know that everyone reads the exact same newspaper?

Desperate Housewives 2007

Married With Children 1997

No Country For Old Men 2007

Lucky Louie 2006

Scrubs 2008

Dallas 1991