Pastel: A Photoset

Saturday, 21 June 2014

I have a bit of a fetish for all things pastel. So yesterday,  I went out on a mission to photograph pastel colours around my neighbourhood. I would challenge you all to do something similar: it forces you to see the world through a sort of selective filter and before you know it, you're noticing colours, textures, and even massive buildings which had been there for years but always passed you by. It's somewhat sad that it takes a project like this to make you look up from that iPhone, sway from that everyday route, and take those damn blinkers off - but it's a start.

                         


                         

On Memories

Friday, 13 June 2014

Today's post is inspired by filmmaker Will Darbyshire's recent and brilliant YouTube video on 'Memories' (click here to watch it!). Now, memory is a funny thing.

 It's 2014 and our brains are saturated with hundreds of digital images on the daily. And social media hardly helps. On Facebook, we're tagged in such a volume of photos it can be hard to separate the meaningful from the mundane. Many, we'd rather forget. Meanwhile, Instagram serves as something of a showreel - or rather, highlights reel - of our lives. These photos, with endless filters, come closer to choreographed constructions than memories of something that has truly happened. 

Maybe it takes something physical - a song, a scent, a printed photograph - to really provoke a memory. Something you can touch, smell, hear. I don't doubt that digital images hold the power to do the same, but to me at least, they merely float - to little effect - in cyberspace. I think it takes a physical attack on the senses to provoke real feeling: from bittersweet nostalgia to nausea. That song you at one point played to death now only haunts.

 Polaroid of picnic                    Polaroid of burgers

I'd encourage you all to gather and treasure not only digital souvenirs, but physical ones. Not only will you be able to embrace (or burn) them at will, but they'll later serve as snapshots of memories. Polaroids do just that: they capture us at our most authentic but least glamourous, with that enormous-red-pimple-on-your-chin-you'd-rather-hide. To me, a momento can only really be physical.

Frankly, I'd rather my grandchildren rummaged through a box of my old polaroids than scoured the Web for my MySpace profile (oh god imagine that?!). Only time will tell of course. In the meantime, I'll be sure to save some memories.                                  

polaroid
Mum takes a roadside power-nap during long drive to Italy. 
Polaroid
Incompetent swimmers, Summer 2012
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Cheesy. Summer 2012.
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Just last week at a Hudson Taylor gig, June 2014.
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Last day of school, May 2013.
polaroid of oxford
The Bodleian Library, Oxford, February 2012.
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My Italian class back at school, May 2013.

June Playlist ♫

Saturday, 7 June 2014

1.) 'For The Time Being' by EDIE BRICKELL

2.) 'Unbelievers' by VAMPIRE WEEKEND

3.) 'Holly' by HUDSON TAYLOR

4.) 'Don't Wanna Dance' by MØ

5.) 'Surfin' USA' by THE BEACH BOYS

6.) 'New Slang' by THE SHINS

7.) 'Heartbeats' by  JOSE GONSALEZ

8.) 'Far Away' by THOMAS J. SPEIGHT

9.) 'Nerve' by HALF MOON RUN

10.) 'Sweet Disarray' by DAN CROLL


Welcome to the third instalment in a series of monthly music playlists. Listen to all this either on the Spotify playlist below or here on YouTube. Enjoy - and happy June!

The Magic of Wes Anderson

Monday, 2 June 2014

Flo in all her glory!
'The Grand Budapest Hotel' is Wes Anderson's latest masterpiece. It's a feast for the eyes and a really decent line-up of famous faces: Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Saiorse Ronan, and - yes, you guessed it - Bill Murray. 

I went to see the film on opening weekend with fellow Wes-worshipper and friend Flo. And I was not disappointed!

'The Grand Budapest Hotel' recounts the life and times of the hotel's concierge, Gustave H, in the fictional republic of Zubrowska. M. Gustave manages to be similtaneously camp and a casanova, while his lobby boy, Zero, is at once humourless and oozing charisma. The film is made a whole lot sweeter by Alexandre Desplat's predictably brilliant orchestral soundtrack.

It differs from Anderson's previous works in that it's the first and only to be set in Europe. This made a change in terms of both aesthetics and tone: the leafy suburbia of 'Rushmore' makes way for European-looking cobbled streets, while Anderson's characteristic dry, American humour is replaced by a laugh-out-loud near-British wit. 

Oh, and if you have yet to see Anderson's previous gem, go watch 'Moonrise Kingdom'. Now? Yup, right now. Get off that backside.

It brings to life the coming of age tale of Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop – two gloriously odd 12 year olds who fall in love and run away into New England’s wildernesses. With parents, a scout troop, and Bruce Willis’ depressive cop in hot pursuit, Sam and Suzy survive on their own by combining their still childlike imagination with an adult resourcefulness (“I forgot my comb but I’ll use my fingers”).

Sure, Anderson's films are something of an acquired taste, but shrugging them off as style over substance? That, I won't take. They're worlds of their own, inhabited by people similar to us but with deadpan delivery and superior taste in interior design. Ultimately, Wes Anderson's films have as much heart as you do.

I saw 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' at the lovely Gate Cinema in Notting Hill
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