Friday, February 24, 2017

Bert Stern: Original Mad Man

Mad Men was a very popular series. But this is a documentary film about Bert Stern, who was an original mad man. Before he got into the advertising scene in the 1950s, ads were quite boring. With his creative use of photography, ads became more interesting and his creativity was in demand. He paved the way for others to be more imaginative and creative in advertising.

This documentary produced and directed by Shannah Laumeister (who was also married to Bert Stern from 2009 until his death in 2013) explores his life, career and loves of his life including dancer Allegra Kent who was his wife and mother of his 3 children named Susannah, Bret and Trista.

Bert did work for different companies including Vogue. He's not only taken many photographs for advertising but also of many famous people including Marilyn Monroe. He claimed to have loved her but that it wasn't much more than a 'photographic' relationship. His work with her was the last photo session she had before she was found dead. It also involved him a lawsuit.

It's interesting to note that Bert Stern died since this documentary by his wife was released.What a great tribute to this creative spirit...Bert Stern. BTW, in German 'Stern' means Star!

Anyone who wants to be inspired as an artist whether a photographer or any other kind of artist, will enjoy this film. Some of his photos are so beautiful and even very sensual.If you like photography or are interested in being inspired by some amazing photographs, be sure to see this film.

Here are some scenes from this film:

Some quotes from this film:

"I guess the pyramid was the best picture. Because it was so conceptual."---Bert Stern

"Our relationship in the beginning was more a photographic one that transformed into a more personal relationship. It was taboo. Kind of insane and kind of brilliant."--Shannah Laumeister

"I'm your mentor. You're my muse."---Bert to Shannah

"Beauty is power."---Bert Stern

"As if I throw pictures in the garbage pail."---Bert Stern

"Anything about Marilyn Monroe becomes overblown."---Bert Stern

"There were basically only two women in the world that interested me. One was Allegra Kent whom I was married to and the other was Marilyn Monroe."---Bert Stern

"You want to do nude."---Marilyn Monroe to Bert Stein

"Jean-Paul Sartre said, "Hell is other people."---Bert Stern

"I think success is a problem, huh? Makes you unhappy. You always want more. You always wanna do this, you wanna do that."---Bert Stern

"I shouldn't have been so happy so young. I should have saved it for now.  Now I should be happy. When I need it. ---Bert Sern

"So I'm a prisoner of all the things I've done. And you can't undo it."---Bert Stern

"My life has been about discovery. About seeing....I mean that life keeps moving. So it's always over. You look at a guy, he walks by, he's gone. It's over, right? But if you have a picture of it, you have it forever.."---Bert Stern

"I always thought the picture I took was between me and the subject. Not the subject and not me, but the space between us. Because it's an invisible space. It's a space where anything can happen."---Bert Stern
Here's the official trailer for this film:

Note: After this film in 2014, there was a family feud. See this article online.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Beauty Inside --a Korean love story with an unusual plot

Imagine waking up every day as a different person? That's the plot of this Korean film about a young man named Woo-jin (played by many different actors listed on this cast page) and best friend Sang-beck (played by played by Dong-hwi Lee who's quite the comedic actor!)  Since his 18th birthday, that's how he's lived his life. He could wake as a man or woman, young or old,  or with a totally different appearance, even that of a foreigner and even unable to speak Korean but some other foreign language. On top of that he might be a fatter or thinner person or shorter or taller too! All these possibilities have led him to keep a very diverse wardrobe on hand!

The only people who know about his condition are his mother (played by Suk Mun) and best friend Sang-beck. Woo-jin copes with it and doesn't think he could have a steady girlfriend until he meets E-soo (played by Hyo-ju Han).

The other fascinating thing about this film is that Woo-jin supports himself by designing and building custom furniture. Doing business online means he doesn't have to be seen and that's very important for someone who looks different every day.

This film was a surprise sleeper hit at Cannes! I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone so I won't say much more about it. One thing for sure: I will never look at wood or furniture the same way again.

It's funny, sad, romantic and a little kinky too! A good chick-flick or film to watch with a sweetie. Valentine's Day is coming soon...if you want to watch a different kind of romantic film this could be a good choice.

The truth is that even in a so-called normal relationship, people often change. But if you love the person inside, then what they look like doesn't really matter.

The director of this film is Jong-Yeol Baek and I imagine that it was very challenging casting all the different actors to play the different versions of Woo-jin. BTW, Mi-do Lee plays Eun-soo and I found her to be quite a comedic actor too!

Some quotes from the film:

"Yesterday my hand was bigger than my face...I wake up to a different face every morning."---Woo-jin

I can never fall in love because I have a different face every day."---Woo-jin

"You woke up like this today? Shouldn't you be at a PTA meeting or something?"---Sang-beck to Woo-jin

"Just let me see your boobs."---Sang-beck to Woo-jin.

"People say true beauty lies inside but first impressions are equally important."---Woo-jin

"A love chair for the lovers.They must go crazy at night. ---Say-beck as he unwraps a piece of furniture and plays with it.

"You're feeling butterflies. You think it's true love. Then bam! You do it!"---Eun-soo to E-soo

"I promised to see her again. But she's looking for yesterday's me."---Woo-jin

"I feel safe around her. I'm no longer alone."---Woo-jin about E-soo

"I don't ask for much. Please just let me be a man."---Woo-jin

"I tried really hard. I was a grandma."---Woo-jin to E-soo

"Stop staring at each other. I feel like vomiting."---Sang-beck to Woo-jin and E-soo

"He once woke up as a hot girl. I almost did him."---Sang-beck

"Men go. But things remain."---Eun-soo (her sister) to E-soo

"I remember everything. Where we went and what we ate. But I can't remember his face."---E-soo to Eun-soo (her sister)

"Call me back when you're Woo-jin."---Sang-beck to Woo-jin.

Some scenes from this film:

Here's the official trailer: