Portrait of a Place: Southside Forever—A Motion Picture of Black Chicago In a compassionate documentary on one district’s battle against violent crime, director Rodney Lucas illustrates life and death in his hometown of Chicago. Featuring the voices of community champions and activists, “this project is a reclamation of black narrativization,” the South Side Chicago native comments. Lucas entrusts the heart of his film to the city’s residents who have often had to tolerate sensationalist or demeaning narratives promulgated by the media. Working with directors of photography Kassim Norris and Brenton Oechsle, Lucas is able to “creatively humanize the plight and delicate rawness that makes Southsiders one of the most resilient tribes in the fight against systematic oppression,” the filmmaker explains.
Baloji: Zombies For hist latest self-direct video, Congolese-Belgian musician Baloji has created a visual declaration about the zombie-fying effects of communication technology. In this two-part music video, which he also wrote, art directed and styled, we first travel to a Kinshasa nightclub where the hypnotizing blue glow of cellphone screens compete with the dancefloor’s neon lights. Despite the presence of a playful selfie stick dance routine and comical crown forged of phones, this is a baldfaced commentary on today’s digital culture. The Lubumbashi-born Baloji, who also produced this high-octane film, wanted to critique through satire what he calls the “self-imposed isolation” encouraged by mobile technology
Men of Maize Under the tutelage of a Guatemalan shaman, New York-based director Anthony Prince explores the steadfast preservation of Maya culture in the face of centuries of Spanish colonization. The Brooklyn-born filmmaker—who is also a classically trained dancer—brings his love of movement and abstraction to the fore by weaving ethnographic footage of Guatemala from the 1930s to the 1980s, with like-for-like scenes of the communities who live by the country’s Lake Atitlán today. Men of Maize is a flipbook that cycles though images of Catholic paraphernalia and Mayan iconography—creating a visual allegory of how ancestral traditions are preserved through assimilation into modern life. Shaman Luis Ricardo Ignacio Ventura, this documentary film’s spirit guide, uses the legend of Popol Vuh—the Mayan creation story about the first humans, who were made of corn—as a way to explain the unbreakable bond between the descendants of the Maya and their ancestor’s rituals.
Katanga: The Female Slum Boxers of Kampala Directors Robert Mentov and Dwight Jantzi bring us this honest retelling of the life of Ugandan Helen Baleke and the makeshift group of girls that she trained to protect their homes in Katanga, Kampala’s largest slum. After being assaulted on the way to school at the age of 16, Bakele was sent to Katanga’s Rhino Boxing Club to help her regain her confidence and learn how to protect herself
Raw Materials: Carolee Schneemann Multidisciplinary artist Carolee Schneemann was no stranger to controversy.
Fairmont Loves Film For decades, Fairmont has set the scene for some of Hollywood’s most iconic films—from classics Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961) and Vertigo (1958) to recent award winners The Great Gatsby (2013) and All the Money in the World (2018). To celebrate its role in cinema history, the luxury hotelier has announced the Fairmont Loves Film event series. With Palo Alto director Gia Coppola as its ambassador and curator, the initiative is comprised of pop-up events around the world including a retrospective photo exhibition that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and recently traveled to London
Photographers in Focus: Richard Billingham Tobacco-tinged wallpaper and battalions of porcelain dolls are some of the scenic tropes that connect Richard Billingham’s most acclaimed photographic work to his debut feature film, Ray & Liz. Most notably, the raw, polychromatic detail of his 1996 photobook Ray’s a Laugh (1996), which endeared international audiences to his post-industrial West Midlands home
People of The New Sun Embarking on a new era defined by a spirit of innovation and urban adventure, new fashion brand AlphaTauri showcases its Spring/Summer 2019 collection in a new film featuring a cast of young and restless sunseekers. Drawing on the spirit of its founder Red Bull, AlphaTauri is challenging the fashion industry’s norms with purpose-driven textiles that fit both the body and mind. The innovative fashion label is embracing an evolutionary energy, through breathable knitwear, packable jackets and water-repellent outerwear. This is clothing for a new generation who shift between urban and natural environments. With self-engineered Taurex® technology empowering its clothing to be as premium and lightweight as possible, AlphaTauri is at the forefront of authentic textile design and innovative clothing
Between the Clock and the Bed Delve into the proto-existentialist ideas and psychological themes of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s work via the minds of musicians Patti Smith and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Touring an exhibition of the nineteenth-century artist’s work, Between the Clock and the Bed, held at the Munch Museum in Olso, the artists take time out from their performances at the Øya Music Festival last summer to take in the 38 paintings on show.
Afterlight Director Littichai Siriprasitpong collaborates with choreographer and dancer Dujdao Vadhanapakorn to create a performance piece that questions the roots of identity. Screened alongside a live performance during the Bangkok Biennale in 2018, the film explores colonial mentality and western influence in East Asia.