Birth Pangs In his latest film, Los Angeles-based director Eliot Rausch, who recently finished working on a documentary alongside Babel director Alejandro González Iñárritu, turns his lens on historic injustices and ego in a haunting portrait that continues his work documenting marginalized communities. “Are we at the end of the world, a last gasp of the collective ego, a human race finally confronting its demise?” says Rausch, who has worked previously with organizations such as The Red Cross and the Veteran Affairs of America
Bath Director Charles Guo explores the subtleties of boredom, sensuality and desire that we experience when bathing—in a film from NOWNESS China’s original series, High Tide. Taking inspiration from Chinese scenery painting ( Shan Shui ) and traditional drumming, the film depicts the vitality and rhythm of bodies underwater.
LoveSick: Nights & Weekends – Fading Light Wife and husband Jenny and Daron Hollowell are the creative duo behind Nights & Weekends, the breakout LA-based outfit whose video for their latest single, taken from debut album Music for Marriage via Ring The Alarm, was directed by filmmaker and photographer Justin Tyler Close. Set in the band’s native Los Angeles in 2078, the film explores a dystopian future in which a mysterious and threatening symbol has revealed itself in the sky. Accompanied by the band’s haunting music, Close’s film explores—through moments of intimacy and confrontation—how different people lead their lives in the shadow of an ominous, extraterrestrial symbol, and the possibility of the apocalypse that will end all life on earth.
LoveSick: Age, Height, Education In this special edit of Australian filmmaker Kate Lefoe’s multiple award-winning documentary, we are introduced to the marriage markets held in Shanghai’s People’s Square, where parents arrange dates for their children based on information such as hometown, height, and career. While these marriages are not enforced, hopeful parents aim to find a suitable partner for their offspring. Lefoe’s story unpacks the strong cultural expectations of finding an ideal marriage, though many of the parents feel it is too sensitive and private a matter to address on film.
Moss Kena: Square One Rising from the Soundcloud underground with their cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “These Walls” in 2017, enigmatic singer-songwriter Moss Kena now sets the score for this visceral music video directed by the London-based choreographer.
Surf’s Up: Pōhaku Previous NOWNESS contributor Bradley Tangonan, a Hawaiian-born director and producer, presents this thoughtful new film taken from an ongoing series exploring native Hawaiian culture, craftsmanship, and the spiritual energy (or ‘mana’) of raw materials. Telling the story of a single, traditional craftsman—Tom Pōhaku Stone—and their journey to hone a wood-carved surfboard, Tanognan’s film rides the waves of life, spirituality, and landscape. Speaking of the film’s reflective protagonist and his relationship to the natural (and spiritual) world, the filmmaker explains: “Tom is one of the native Hawaiian responsible for reviving the tradition of shaping surfboards from wood, in which the techniques and materials are of secondary importance to the spiritual nature of the practice.” He continues, “As a craftsman, he sees himself as a medium responsible for transforming wood from one state to another, channeling the ‘mana'”.
Fantastic To mark the launch of their new ’90s inspired collection, Fantastic, the eponymous fashion label led by British writer and model Alexa Chung—in a film directed by London-based photographer Jesse Jenkins—a dreamlike celebration of one of the decade’s biggest musical and cultural movements. Speaking about Britpop’s connection with disenfranchised youth, the label’s creative director, Chung, explains, “In times of solitude, music transports us to places we never knew.” Wearing a mustard outfit inspired by pop icon Jarvis Cocker—and backed by a recitation of the work of punk poet John Cooper Clarke—the film’s dancing ingénue sheds his isolation and joins a gathering of glamorously glitzy youth. Jenkins, the film’s director, speaks of their own relationship to this atmosphere: “I was born and raised on the seaside, 5000 miles away from England.
Photographers in Focus: Wim Wenders For the latest episode of our ongoing Photographers in Focus series, German filmmaker Wim Wenders—who enjoys cult status for his prolific contribution to international cinema, including Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire —talks to NOWNESS about the elusive joy of capturing immediate and disposable images. In a love letter to Polaroid film, The genre-defying director explains the appeal of this inherently ephemeral photographic format, with his images capturing intimate, behind-the-scenes moments on set and archetypal American landscapes—from neon-bathed motels to empty desert highways. This film coincides with a retrospective on Wenders’ photography that is taking place at The Photographers’ Gallery until 11 February 2018
Toydrum: I’ve Got a Future (Nick Cave & Warren Ellis rework) In this new video from British filmmaker Jack Weatherley, a track from Brighton-based band Toydrum gets a sombre reworking by longstanding musical collaborators Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. “I’ve Got a Future,” featuring the vocals of late singer-songwriter Gavin Clark, first appeared in Shane Meadows’s coming-of-age drama This is England ’90. Weatherley, who has been lauded for his emotionally-packed shorts—including BFI London Film Festival selection Pieces— talks about how the song affected him: “I was blown away when I first heard Nick and Warren’s reworking of the original
Finding Saint American filmmaker Jordan Hemingway collaborates with British-Jamaican designer Wales Bonner in this meditative new film, which introduces three emerging faces from Jamaica’s Saint Models agency—Tevin Steele, Jordanne Wellington and Jermaine Downer—as they reflect on faith, beauty and their experience of travelling from home to participate in Des Hommes et de Dieux, the brand’s Autumn/Winter runway show during London Fashion Week. Partly shot by the models themselves in both London and Kingston, Jamaica, the film explores each man’s relationship to his homeland, its landscape and the water that surrounds it—ideas that further extend the themes of the collection. Produced and creatively directed by Bureau Future, the film also includes sound by composer and producer James William Blades