Tags archives: Art For Progress

  • The feature film debut by director William Oldroyd (with a screenplay by Alice Birch), Lady Macbeth is a stark, violent drama that takes place in a classically sedate setting: rural, 19th-century England. Based on the 1865 novella Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District, by Nikolai Leskov, Oldroyd’s film stars Florence Pugh as Katherine, a young bride who claws her way out of a stifling marriage with a cold, much older husband. The young actress (19 at the time this was filmed) is riveting in a role that demands tremendous effort, physically and emotionally.We first see Katherine at her wedding, wet-eyed and frightened under her veil; that night her glowering husband Alexander (Paul Hilton, darkly Dickensian) orders her to take off her nightgown, then doesn’t touch her. It’s clear this is a loveless, almost perverse match. Expected to stay indoors and play dutiful wife and daughter-in-law, respectively, to Alexander and his even chillier father Boris (Christopher Fairbank), the teen is clearly bored out of her mind, nodding off at dinner and napping constantly. Whatever hopes she may have had for this marriage, they sure aren’t being fulfilled. A resentful maid, Anna (Naomi Ackie), seemingly in thrall to “the master,” roughly brushes Katherine’s hair and yanks tight her corset, adding to the latter's general discomfort.When Alexander and Boris have to leave town, Katherine escapes the dull house to walk out on the moors and the film’s mood changes drastically, bec[...]
  • For over ten years, Art for Progress (AFP) has been providing vital, exciting music & art programs for students in New York City public schools.Why we need your help:* Public arts funding in the U.S. is suffering more than ever in the current political climate.* Many public schools in NYC do not have the funds to hire full time art teachers. AFP provides financial support to schools with budget shortfalls.* AFP teaching artists provide a safe place within the school environment for kids to learn who they want to be, and the results are astonishing!* AFP's programs are customized to achieve the goals of of each partner school, while focusing on the lives and interests of the students .* Students need to explore their creativity.Art for Progress is able to provide these programs through private grants; but a grant that has been sustaining AFP's programs was cut in half this year, and we're asking for your help to make up the difference.AFP currently works with seven schools across the city with plans to expand into new schools next semester, but without your help we may not have the funding to accommodate these programs.Please help us today with a donation and help keep the arts in New York City’s public schools.
  • What better way to push your latest collection than by casually featuring it throughout an entire music video.Photo: Urban Daddy That's just what Raf Simons- helmed Calvin Klein did in a collaboration with Brit indie band The XX, featuring A-list teen stars Paris Jackson, Millie Bobby Brown, Ashton Sanders ('Moonlight'), and designer Raf Simons' go-to muse Lulu. Talk about an ideal off-runway opportunity that perfectly provides an outsider's edge to the iconic mass All-American label!The mini-film within a traditional music video, set in Los Angeles, plays out like a sendup to mad-cap teen movies of the past like 'American Graffiti' or 'Dazed and Confused' — a day in the life of teens, beautiful and bored, looking for love and adventure. However in this instance, the kids are playing hooky from school, and the kids wind up in two architectural treasures — Lloyd Wright’s Sowden house and John Lautner’s Rainbow House. (Check out the video at the bottom of this post)But the triumph in this video is the fact that mostly every stitch of clothing in the mini-movie is from yet-to-be-released Fall 2017 collection from Calvin Klein. Simons, recent CFDA award winner for both best Menswear and Womenswear Designer of the Year, served as artistic director for the video -- directed by Alasdair McLellan.According to The XX, this is the third video that McLellan shot for the band, and Simons provided the creative concept. It's also a 'love letter to Los Angeles, a city clo[...]
  • The 28th edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival takes place this year from Friday, June 9, through Sunday, June 18. With 21 feature documentaries and panel discussions that showcase the courage and resilience of activism in these challenging times, the event seems more relevant than ever. The festival is co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center, and all screenings are followed by discussions with filmmakers, their subjects, Human Rights Watch researchers and special guests.Several films address the worsening refugee crisis and migration, including opening night presentation Nowhere to Hide, directed by Zaradasht Ahmed. Using a camera given to him by the filmmaker, Iraqi nurse Nori Sharif documents the catastrophic events surrounding his family as war and ISIS devastate their region.The need for change in U.S. law enforcement and the justice system is another festival theme, represented by films including Erik Ljung’s The Blood Is at the Doorstep, about a fatal shooting by Milwaukee police, and Peter Nicks’s The Force, about the long troubled Oakland Police Department. One of the films addressing the changing face of journalism and how we get our information, closing night’s Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, directed by Brian Knappenberger, explores the recent Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker case and others.The Resistance Saga, a daylong special event, includes a trilogy of films by Pamela Yates on the plight of the Mayan people of[...]
  • The Asian-American experience in popular culture has been an interesting and sometimes troubling one. Where other minorities have made great, often vocal, strides in advancing their place in the pop culture firmament—music, movies, TV, comic books—Asians have not always been as successful. Bad Rap, directed by Salima Koroma and produced by Jaeki Cho, is an enlightening look at the careers of four Asian-American rappers—Dumbfoundead (Jonathan Park), Awkwafina (Nora Lum), Rekstizzy (David Lee) and Lyricks (Richard Lee)—as they struggle with prejudice and their own cultural expectations in a genre created and dominated by African-American artists. (Of course, white artists don't exactly command the field either, but Eminem is shown as the obvious example of major success.)The film opens with scenes of Dumbfoundead--the best known and longest performing of the four—onstage in front of an excited crowd, as the others praise his talent and 2011 song “Are We There Yet?,” which specifically addressed the experience of his Korean immigrant family. He interviews that he hates being called “an Asian rapper,” yet admits to also embracing that identity. Ultimately though, “I’m American,” he says, a sentiment that is echoed by others throughout the film.Bad Rap delves into hip hop history, starting with 1980s West Coast Filipino rappers who were heroes in the Asian community around the time that NWA and Ice Cube first became popular. We hear from rap pioneer MC Jin, who app[...]
  • Like athleisure, bodysuits have become an important fashion staple for the past few years.  So much so they've even seeped its way into haute couture shows and even this year's Met Gala with Bella Hadid rocking a sheer and glittery Alexander Wang number.https://www.instagram.com/p/BTpgA6khVlb/?taken-by=bellahadid&hl=enAnd just recently, Refinery 29 featured the The Negative Underwear 'Essaouira' bodysuit in black, which has sold out a record FIVE TIMES since its release.Here's a version of the same bodysuit in white (still fabulous)https://www.instagram.com/p/BPxKppDA_L6/?taken-by=negativeunderwear&hl=enThe 'Essaouira' is made with a stretch eyelet fabric that the label calls its "anti-lace," Refinery reports. And the model has been worn by a multitude of famous names including Miley Cyrus, Hannah Bronfman, and Emily Ratajkowski.https://www.instagram.com/p/BNR_h2pDjQu/?taken-by=negativeunderwear&hl=enAlthough bodysuits are de rigueur because they are super sexy and effortlessly hug close the body, the ones made without snappers certainly come with many drawbacks, and toilet challenges, and the pantless ones can ride up, leaving you with an unflattering wedgie.As demonstrated perfectly by Mariah Carey:https://www.instagram.com/p/BS1Cz1KFtv0/However, despite the drawbacks, bodysuits are still fun to wear, and there are so many options to choose from, including from brands like Wolford, ASOS and Need Supply Co.But if you ne[...]
  • Bucket List confession: It's been a dream of mine for quite sometime to attend the Costume Institute's Met Gala. Colloquially and affectionately referred to as “fashion’s biggest night out,” the Costume Institute's Met Gala is PEAK celebration of iconic style.And as we all know by now, this year's Met Gala was a spectacular showcase of quasi-wearable, avant-garde fashion, honoring the Costume Institute's latest exhibition on Rei Kawakubo and her label Comme des Garçons.And unlike past Met Gala events this hullabaloo was loaded with an incredible mix of celebrities smoking in a bathroom and meme-inducing sculptural looks that are still keeping the internet in a frenzy.https://twitter.com/MarcSnetiker/status/859172626362585088?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.allure.com%2Fstory%2Fbest-met-gala-memes-2017But if you still haven't visited the 2017 Costume Institute exhibition on Rei Kawakubo and her label Comme des Garçons you are missing out on a treat.Here are three things you need to know about this incredible showcase.Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art Of The In-Between at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo by Jemal #1 This showcase makes history  Aptly named Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, the exhibition highlights the reclusive designer's wide array of left-of-center, hyper-modern, sculptural constructions — retracing almost 40 years of clothing. And this is first exhibition since 1983 Yves Saint Laurent sh[...]
  • Tomorrow Ever After is Israeli-American filmmaker Ela Thier’s second full-length feature (the first, 2012’s Foreign Letters, was inspired by her own immigration story). This smart, entertaining indie, about a historian from the year 2592 who is accidentally transported back to present-day New York City, mixes comedy and science fiction to tell a story that resonates deeply in these unsettled times. Unlike many time-travel movies, in which the future is a post-apocalyptic dystopia, Tomorrow Ever After features a protagonist, Shaina (played wryly by Thier herself), who comes from a much better era than the period known as The Great Despair (that’s us, folks!). She's initially shocked by everything here, from litter to our isolation from each other. Through her eyes, we see ourselves and it’s not a pretty picture.We first see Shaina wandering the streets, wearing a long dress and pants ensemble that's vaguely high-tech, but not enough to stand out in modern-day New York. She gapes at everything from heavy bike chains to cigarette butts and discarded fast-food cups. Spotting fellow humans at an outdoor café, she runs over and hugs one guy, happily introducing herself and asking what year it is. Of course he’s freaked out and she is repeatedly rebuffed when she hugs other strangers, asking for their help. Shaina tries to contact home on her "Implement," a cool device that morphs from a small card into a tablet, and reports her shocking findings (“I’m looking at plastic and[...]
  • Nise: The Heart of Madness, directed by Roberto Berliner, tells the story of Dr. Nise da Silveira (Gloria Pires), a Brazilian psychiatrist who pioneered the treatment of schizophrenic patients with kindness and art therapy, resulting in both medical and artistic breakthroughs. Though a conventional film, Nise is fascinating and poignant. Not only is da Silveira a heroine well worth rooting for, but these outsider artists and their creative processes are portrayed with great respect. (And, unlike some depictions of psychiatric patients, the actors playing Nise's charges seem believably afflicted.)The film opens in 1940s Rio de Janeiro. A small woman knocks repeatedly at a metal door unless it finally opens. This is a fitting introduction to da Silveira, who has come to work at the National Psychiatric Center, the only female doctor on the staff. In a meeting, lobotomy is discussed dispassionately as miracle cure, while a demonstration of a patient forced to undergo electroconvulsive treatment is looked upon equally casually by everyone but da Silveira, who can barely contain her horror. Refusing to take part in these conventional methods, she is relegated to supervising the Occupational Therapy Sector, previously run by a nurse and an orderly.Despite the fact that several of the hospital’s inmates have violent tendencies, Nise is compassionate and patient, unlike most of the staff, who treat them with cruelty and ridicule. Under her care, the previously filthy OC w[...]
  • Even more awesome than the Wackids playing Rage Against the Machine using children's toys, is the announcement that world-renowned sartorialist Edward Enninful will be the new editor-in-chief of British Vogue — one of the most storied woman's magazines in the world.From his work with i-D, Italian Vogue, and W Magazine this shouldn't come as a surprise, however this is actually big news! Simply because, as Lauren Cochran aptly sums it up, Enninful is "a black man at the helm of the most established fashion magazine in Britain" — working in an industry that is predominately white and that seems to largely service more privileged sections of society.In fact British Vogue has been taken to task for "its lack of diversity in model casting." As Cochran points out, Jourdan Dunn was the first black model to grace the cover of British Vogue as its solo star in 12 YEARS! (Naomi Campbell was the last model to appear on her own cover in 2002 ). Naomi Campbell and Edward Enninful at 2016 Fashion Awards Photo Courtesy: REX And Enninful has been highly vocal, dressing down the fashion world for its blatant lack of diversity.In a talk last year, Enninful says to an audience: “If you put one model in a show or in an ad campaign, that doesn’t solve the problem.” He continues: “We need teachers in universities, we need internships, we need people of different ethnic backgrounds in all parts of the industry. That really is the solution; you have to change it from the inside.” [...]
  • The title of Barnaby (aka Barney) Clay’s new documentary, SHOT! The Psycho-spiritual Mantra of Rock, says it all, really. This rambling, entertaining portrait of legendary music photographer Mick Rock is full of its genial subject’s own musings on his life and art. It also encapsulates the excitement and excesses of the heady musical era that Rock (barely) lived through and documented. For anyone with a passing interest in the rock scenes of the late 1960s through '70s, this will be pretty fascinating stuff. For those, like myself, who remember wondering about the photographer whose impossibly appropriate name appeared on pictures of many groundbreaking artists, this will provide context, and then some. (For the record, the man’s given name is actually Michael David Rock.)The film opens with present-day Rock (now in his late 60s) loading his camera at a live TV on the Radio show. He talks about his process, which—at its best—makes him feel like an assassin, “I’ve got my sights on you, gonna take you out.” Later he clarifies, “I’m not after your soul, I’m after your f-ing aura,” which might prompt an eye-roll, except that he really did capture the essence of performers (and friends) such as David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Freddie Mercury and Debbie Harry, among others. For many awestruck kids, Rock's images were their introduction to these genre-defying musicians.The film takes us through a more or less chronological account of Rock’s career, interspersed with[...]
  • Here's a kind-of-a-shocker: Ultra-hip social marketplace Tictail's brick-and-mortar flagship is that it's not profitable.Tictail Market is the brand's one and only storefront, located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side — and surprisingly, the IRL store makes less in revenue than even many of the e-commerce site's online independent sellers."The [brick-and-mortar] store makes about $50K a month; rent is $17K. Salaries and expenses bring us close to $8K, and that about covers it," co-founder Carl Walderkrantz admits to Forbes readers.So why is it important for an e-commerce site that pulls in millions of shoppers a week to offer an in-person experience that doesn't generate significant profits? Is it just to be able to flaunt kickass storefront gifs? (Courtesy of Tictail NYC) Walderkrantz says that while the "future is moving toward online, the joy of shopping is still synonymous with an in-person experience" for many customers.And in the tradition of other successful sites like Warby Parker, Bonobos and Away and less-that-lucative storefront was the best way to guarantee local awareness.Photo courtesy TicTail "Tictail Market literally put us on the map in this city," says Walderkrantz, adding that it gives the brand "street cred."Originally, the DIY e-commerce site was developed as a means of giving entrepreneurs the ability to build online shops.Photo courtesy of Tictail It is now touted as the 'easiest platform for discovering emerging bran[...]