Like Crazy.

Young film director Drake Doremus created an intimate romance drama of an physcial and emotional tale.

Like Crazy is profoundly heartbreaking to watch for an audience to experience a devastating yet thrilling first love, life changing journey.

As a British college student, Anna (Felicity Jones) falls in love instantly with an American design student, Jacob (Anton Yelchin) when they meet at an L.A. university, it’s bliss. Yet after returning home to England for a family obligation, she violates her student visa. Now Anna is to be separated from Jacob wwhen she’s banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa.

To be apart of each other’s lives becomes a struggle while fighting customs and immigration battles, Anna and Jacob have to decide if their relationship is worth the distance and all of this hardship. It’s difficult to be apart because of circumstances beyond your control where you feel stuck in this place and you can’t do anything but face the challenges.

This film is crafted with lots of sexual content and strong language to a point where the intimacy doesn’t seem inviting to the audience. The style is similar to Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También. The fact that the camera floats in and out of intimacy and into voyeurism makes the audience feel connected yet wonder if they should be watching which was shown in Steve McQueen’s film, Shame as well.

To achieve this effect, Doremus used lots of improvisation on the set to establish this lively visual style from mostly backstory seen through scene objectives, subtext, plot points and of course emotional beats except that it lacked actual dialogue which comes later on after the audience is hooked from the emotionally gripping premise of how the characters are feeling. This allows each scene to be spontaneous and feel more real to the viewer. Those taglines become instilled in your mind: ‘I want you – I need you – I love you – I miss you’ while watching the film, you become like crazy.

The film gathered attention at the 55th BFI London Film Festival last October 2011 as well as during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Best Picture Grand Jury Prize. Like Crazy will proceed to gain support from its overpowering desire for viewers who enjoy seeing awkward yet passionate love.

Haywire

The fast-paced and action-packed thriller film, Haywire topped the box office this week.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the film is full of lots of chases and fight scenes leaving the viewer wanting more and more.

Film Poster. Photo from Google.

Hired by a private government company, Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) was a highly trained operative who performed several tasks which the American government couldn’t authorize and heads of state wouldn’t allow. Working on a mission in Barcelona, she rescued a Chinese whistle-blowing journalist with the assistance of Aaron (Channing Tatum).

At the top of her game, the skilled ex marine, Kane is approached by her former director/ex-boyfriend, Kenneth (Ewan McGregor) for a vacation mission where she poses as the wife of a charming British MI6 agent, Paul (Michael Fassbender) in Dublin. While on this covert assignment, Mallory discovers she’s been set up when her alleged husband attempts to divorce and delete her from existence.

Soon enough, Mallory realizes the mission was to help a contact, Rodrigo (Antonio Banderas) who was working with a French National. It appears everyone has their own agenda. Then Kane is on her own mission to seek revenge on the person responsible.  Kane’s only focus becomes protecting the one she loves and only person she can trust, her father. Travelling and escaping the leos (law enforcement officers) and traps from New York to New Mexico, Kane manages to teach everyone a lesson along the way with her tricks and abilities to find out the truth which leads to Mallorca.

Shot very well, the film has intense narrative flow, violence and sex appeal which transcend into melodic Bond-like scenes from the cars, street and bedroom moments.  Like most films, there was a realm of emotions tied into the twisted motives as it all came down to money. It’s great how the film ends the same way it began with one word of dialogue.

Fashion Times

Designers have an experimental approach with differently designs and prints.

Menswear and womenswear from recent fashion weeks have projected ideas of power and glamour with a hint of craziness.

Many young fashion lovers admire clothes from tluxury brand stores.Yet many designers have shown a Fred Astaire influence in their collections such as Prada as well as and other fashion style icons. Still some designers stick to their own comfort zone. Famous for this California’s Rick Owens uses an avant garde style which can be appealing even to someone walking on the street who desires a similar look.

The aspirational founder of Commes des Garcons, Rei Kawakubo from Japan followed the street style with a punk theme spotlighting the rocker, Joan Jett. And of course, Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci was exictingly interesting with sleek, black, leather and wool jackets and nose rings. It was something different all the same.

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Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci Fall 2012 Photo from NY Times.

Happy Errol Barrow Day

The significance of today’s national holiday, only the people of Barbados can know.

Many Bajans are celebating their former Prime Minister, Errol Barrow all over the world.

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Errol Barrow, a man of the people. Photo from The Nation.

As the Father of Independence Errol Walton Barrow was born in St Lucy parish on January 21st, 1920. Growing up on the island, he knew Barbados like the no other. In 1951, he helped the country by acting as a founding member for a new political party, the Democratic Labour Party. In 1961, he became the Premier as a dominant figure to build the country’s infrastructure.

Soon enough, he carried the country into independence by standing up to colonial masters when he achieved the honor of being Barbados’ first Prime Minister making history with independence on November 30th,1966. Although he suddenly died in 1987, in 1989 on his birthday, this day became the first public holiday to honour him. Also on that date, a portrait was painted and placed the new Bajan $50 dollar note. Then later on, he was declared as one of Barbados’ original National Heroes in 1998.

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Commemorating, Errol Barrow is a historical moment reflecting progress within the Caribbean. For Barbados, this is represented on the nation’s flag: blue (water), gold (sand), blue (sky) and the broken trident to signify independence from the United Kingdom which can be seen above.. We can all imagine that he is looking down at the nation today and seeing his vision. Appreciating the creation of Barbados as an independent island is wonderful and it continues to prosper today with pride and industry.

Astrakhan…

Milan Fashion Week brought back lots of animal print designs including panthers, eagles, bears, whales, dinosaurs, hounds, owls and ducks throughout the menswear collections.

Astrakhan, a controversial material returned to men’s fashion for the winter season sparking lots of debate among students and employees within the fashion industry.

Young male fashion designer, Rembrandt Duran, 20, from New York, said, “I would wear an astrakhan coat, if it was cute.”

The fabric is a very expensive type of fur which is made from newborn and at times unborn Persian lambs coming from a region in Russia. Fashionistas are two sided about the use of the material. Some people find it vain and cruel while others feel fabolous while walking down the street in these chilly times.

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Male fashion admirer, Philip Balac, 19, from New York said, ” I would like the designs but I don’t think it’s worth killing that kind of animal.”

Fur is difficult to sell for men yet the fabric is highly recognized as an acceptable contemporary move within the fashion industry. French clothing company, Moncler created a full-blown F1 themed down jacket in the form of a driving suit which conveys the beauty of the astrakahn material as seen below.

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Other high fashion male designer brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli and Prada are using bits of astrakhan on their jackets and coat collars.

After knowing how the material is created, would you wear astrakhan? To some extent, this can be based on the fact that some of us have a different definition of what fashion is and how far would you go to create something beautiful…

The Artist

Directed and written by Michel Hazanavicius, this silent film, The Artist is filled with comedy, romance and drama set in Hollywood during the late 1920s.

The Artist shows several aspects from the early times including the flappers and marquee lifestyle.

The stars in The Artist. Photo from The Guardian.

In 1927, a silent movie star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) asseses his powerful reputation in the business. Valentin has many loving supporters who adore his performance. Yet after posing for pictures with a young lady, things begin to change. Lost in oblivion, Valentin is confused by the misconception of what’s going on which disrupts his marriage.

Soon he finds that the young lady, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) is an aspiring dancer trying to make her big break. After the published photos, the publicity sparks her audition where she meets Valentin once more when the two share a surprising encounter.

After some time, Al Zimmer (John Goodman), a typical big time cigar smoking studio boss arranges a meeting with Valentin to discuss technological improvements. Valentin can’t imagine the innovative changes to his work and dreads how sounds would be exaggerated and altered to suit. After his suspicious behavior, Valentin is made redundant as Zimmer is going in a different direction.

Valentin finds a drinking as a comfortable vice to handle the truth of progression in the industry.The star falls into worse condition after the October 1929 Wall Street Stock market crash. He starts to auction off most of his possessions. This leads to drunken rage and fire use in an attempt to end his misery. In a dramatic scence, Valentin watches as his life burns before his eyes.

Meanwhile, Peppy has been following Valentin’s actions while becoming successful. She visits him in the hospital to declare her love. Peppy helps him to recover from the tragedy and find a reason to live again despite his desire of death. Valentin was the reason Peppy made it into the business and for that she assists him in rekindling his old routes for the better digital age.

The Artist is up fo numerous nominations, leading the BAFTA nominations according to the BBC. The results remain to be seen.