"The scariest ending of any film ever made…" and some project updates for April.

I’m not quite sure where the past 3 or so weeks have gone but, true to form, April is speeding by in a flurry of activity. I’ve been working tirelessly on a bunch of new projects including motion work for adidas, web design and redesign for an animation company and a new (and hopefully disruptive) NYC apartment rental company, a continuing installation for a midtown financial firm, another year of collateral for the University of Colorado, and a viral print/video campaign for a new (and, again, hopefully disruptive) streaming service. They should all be popping up on the site over the next month or two, so stay tuned!

Outside of all the work, there’s plenty culture to be excited about, as well. We live in a world where The Afghan Whigs and The Replacements are working, touring bands again and the art houses are stocked full of good flicks such as Grand Budapest, Only Lovers Left Alive, Under The Skin and more. I just saw Denis Villeneuve’s follow-up to Prisoners (even though it was filmed before that great film from last fall), the appropriately menacingly titled Enemy and it creeped me out in a major way. More so than the works of Lynch and Cronenberg, and that’s saying a lot. The last scene of Enemy has rightfully been called the scariest final scene of any movie ever made and it really did scare the hell out of me. You’ve been warned. That said, Villeneuve is now THE director to watch as he’s on a superb winning streak. The film, about an morose history teacher in a bleak, lifeless Canadian city who discovers—and then stalks—his “twin” starring as an extra in the background of a movie he watches, evokes the experimental horror of the 70s and 80s with such a sure-handed and masterful tone of dread and oppression while being utterly mysterious, subjective and almost completely minimalist in approach. And it’s absolutely terrifying. It’s also far more riveting than my synopsis would suggest, as it’s almost impossible to do the film (and filmmaking) justice with description. Jake Gyllenhaal, Denis’ collaborator on both Enemy and Prisoners, is also knocking one after another out of the park, from Source Code to End of Watch to Prisoners and now Enemy. He’s quietly become the finest and most daring actor of his generation. See it here in a few days, it’s unmissable. As is the film’s poster below. A+!


"The scariest ending of any film ever made…" and some project updates for April.

I’m not quite sure where the past 3 or so weeks have gone but, true to form, April is speeding by in a flurry of activity. I’ve been working tirelessly on a bunch of new projects including motion work for adidas, web design and redesign for an animation company and a new (and hopefully disruptive) NYC apartment rental company, a continuing installation for a midtown financial firm, another year of collateral for the University of Colorado, and a viral print/video campaign for a new (and, again, hopefully disruptive) streaming service. They should all be popping up on the site over the next month or two, so stay tuned!

Outside of all the work, there’s plenty culture to be excited about, as well. We live in a world where The Afghan Whigs and The Replacements are working, touring bands again and the art houses are stocked full of good flicks such as Grand Budapest, Only Lovers Left Alive, Under The Skin and more. I just saw Denis Villeneuve’s follow-up to Prisoners (even though it was filmed before that great film from last fall), the appropriately menacingly titled Enemy and it creeped me out in a major way. More so than the works of Lynch and Cronenberg, and that’s saying a lot. The last scene of Enemy has rightfully been called the scariest final scene of any movie ever made and it really did scare the hell out of me. You’ve been warned. That said, Villeneuve is now THE director to watch as he’s on a superb winning streak. The film, about an morose history teacher in a bleak, lifeless Canadian city who discovers—and then stalks—his “twin” starring as an extra in the background of a movie he watches, evokes the experimental horror of the 70s and 80s with such a sure-handed and masterful tone of dread and oppression while being utterly mysterious, subjective and almost completely minimalist in approach. And it’s absolutely terrifying. It’s also far more riveting than my synopsis would suggest, as it’s almost impossible to do the film (and filmmaking) justice with description. Jake Gyllenhaal, Denis’ collaborator on both Enemy and Prisoners, is also knocking one after another out of the park, from Source Code to End of Watch to Prisoners and now Enemy. He’s quietly become the finest and most daring actor of his generation. See it here in a few days, it’s unmissable. As is the film’s poster below. A+!


Designer Dirty Talk; Kevin Drew; BBC Designs Of The Year; Doll & Em, Musings for March 27th, 2014.

A few of my favorite things this week; Doll & Em on HBO is a delightful British export starring Emily Mortimer playing herself and her real life best friend playing her Hollywood assistant. The show, directed by the great Azazel Jacobs (who directed my favorite movie of 2008 Momma’s Man), has that classic HBO-awkward-comedy thing happening and it’s definitely worth checking out.



Designer Dirty Talk is an amusing Tumblr diversion where font size does matter.



Listen to Mexican Aftershow Party, another jam from Kevin Drew’s masterful Darlings LP. What does it all mean? I dunno, but it sure sounds good.



Finally, head over to BBC News to see a slideshow of 76 finalists for Designs of the Year at London’s Design Museum. Everything from typefaces to illustration to furniture design to architecture, they’re all worthy of inclusion in the exhibit.

Retro Breakfast Cereals; Eternal Sunshine Turns 10; Saying Yes To The War On Drugs; Kate Ascher. Musings for March 19th, 2014.

Can you feel it? Spring, my favorite time of year, is imminent and I couldn’t be more ready or happier about it. It’s getting darker later, the blizzards are behind us, and New York is getting restless and randy, despite the promise of a week or two more of chilly weather. Good things are just around the corner, folks, so I thought I’d do a round-up of some of the stuff out there this week that’s putting a spring in my step as we head into a new season.



This list of 54 classic, long-gone breakfast cereals made me happy, snacky, and nostalgic. Powdered Donuts! S’mores! Ice Cream Cones! Why not just a bowl of Snickers bars covered in half & half? I remember many of these. And I’m loving Pac-Man cereal with missing children, video game characters and building set/Lego & Erector set hybrid. 



One of my very favorite movies of all time (and still, I think, the best relationship movie ever made) turns 10 this week and prepare for the retrospective tributes to be popping up this week. I love this movie. It’s exceedingly imaginative, beautiful, and ultimately heartbreaking (or affirming?), and it’s the finest hour for Carrey, Winslet, Gondry and everyone else involved.



The War On Drugs have just released this week what will probably end up being my favorite album of the year Lost In The Dream and, to my surprise (because albums that sound like this don’t usually get this level of praise not because it doesn’t deserve it), it’s getting raves across the board. And I’m talking best of the decade kinds of raves. I couldn’t be happier about that because it really is a perfect record and as original and fresh as it is evocative of 80s-era Petty, Henley, Dylan, Dire Straits, Springsteen, etc. Enjoy Red Eyes, above. The rest of the album is even better. Can’t wait to see them live tomorrow night.



Kate Ascher is one of my favorite authors and her new book is out tomorrow. Her previous books about urban engineering include the fascinating visual explorations of the inner-workings of cities (The Works) and skyscrapers (The Heights), and this time around, in The Way To Go, Kate explores transportation. If you’re into “how things work” geekiness, her books are for you. Check out an excerpt here.

'Cause everybody owns the great ideas, and it feels like there's a big one round the corner.


Elbow never makes a bad record. They don’t write bad songs. Their consistency is almost otherworldly and the world is a better place with them in it. Most of England would agree with me on that, too, seeing as their national treasure across the pond. I’m ears-deep in great new music these days. Between Real Estate and Beck and Mac DeMarco, to name a few, it seems like every week there’s a wonderful new album to enjoy lately. As always, Elbow tower above with their latest The Take Off And Landing Of Everything, with New York Morning one of the many standouts on an album full of ‘em. This song sounded so right on the train today and the beauty of this lyric below nearly made my legs buckle. Lead singer—and personal hero—Guy Garvey’s lyrics are always so perfect, so sweet, so unpretentious, so honest, much like the above video for the song.

The way the day begins
Decides the shade of everything
But the way it ends depends on if you’re home
For every soul, a pillow at a window, please
In a modern Rome, where folk are nice to Yoko.

 

'Cause everybody owns the great ideas, and it feels like there's a big one round the corner.


Elbow never makes a bad record. They don’t write bad songs. Their consistency is almost otherworldly and the world is a better place with them in it. Most of England would agree with me on that, too, seeing as their national treasure across the pond. I’m ears-deep in great new music these days. Between Real Estate and Beck and Mac DeMarco, to name a few, it seems like every week there’s a wonderful new album to enjoy lately. As always, Elbow tower above with their latest The Take Off And Landing Of Everything, with New York Morning one of the many standouts on an album full of ‘em. This song sounded so right on the train today and the beauty of this lyric below made my legs nearly buckle. Lead singer—and personal hero—Guy Garvey’s lyrics are always so perfect, so sweet, so unpretentious, so honest, much like the above video for the song.

The way the day begins
Decides the shade of everything
But the way it ends depends on if you’re home
For every soul, a pillow at a window, please
In a modern Rome, where folk are nice to Yoko.

 

'Cause everybody owns the great ideas, and it feels like there's a big one round the corner.


Elbow never makes a bad record. They don’t write bad songs. Their consistency is almost otherworldly and the world is a better place with them in it. Most of England would agree with me on that, too, seeing as their national treasure across the pond. I’m ears-deep in great new music these days. Between Real Estate and Beck and Mac DeMarco, to name a few, it seems like every week there’s a wonderful new album to enjoy lately. As always, Elbow tower above with their latest The Take Off And Landing Of Everything, with New York Morning one of the many standouts on an album full of ‘em. This song sounded so right on the train today and the beauty of this lyric below made my legs buckle. Lead singer—and personal hero—Guy Garvey’s lyrics are always so perfect, so sweet, so unpretentious, so honest, much like the above video for the song.

The way the day begins
Decides the shade of everything
But the way it ends depends on if you’re home
For every soul, a pillow at a window, please
In a modern Rome, where folk are nice to Yoko.

 

You’re not just on Diet Coke…

63 years later, Vasilis Dimitriou is the last living movie billboard painter in Greece.


Greek painter Vasilis Dimitriou, who has been painting movie billboards and posters since he was 15, is still going strong with no signs of slowing down, even as his craft borders on extinction. Technology is grand and all—I couldn’t do what I do for a living without the benefits of modern technology—but there are some things I just don’t want to go away. Hats off to Dimitriou and his (almost) lost art. The artists and designers of film posters have always been people I admire, and I even got the chance in my career to design a handful of posters. It’s tougher than it looks and a fascinating art form. Here’s a great doc on Netflix about another titan of movie poster design Drew Struzan, whose work everyone almost certainly knows from the Spielberg/Lucas heyday of cinema. Here’s more of Dimitriou’s work:




Faux-Bass does Oscar 2014 & a farewell to the father of Helvetica.


Still debating that Oscar telecast tonight, but while I mull, here’s a clever poster series from designer Neven Udovicic that imagines the key art for today’s Oscar nominees as Saul Bass works. It’s startling—and not surprising in the least—how fresh Bass’ style remains. Timeless.



Speaking of timeless, an honorary mention of the passing of designer Mike Parker last week. Parker and his team took inspiration in the 50s from Swiss type and, with a few modifications here and there, gave the world Helvetica, one of the 1,000+ typefaces he’s responsible for. 

Tom Hanks was robbed of an Oscar and here’s why…(spoil-y spoils ahead)


I’m debating whether or not to watch the Oscars this year. I probably do every year, but this year may just be the first time I actually skip it. It’s not news to anyone at this point that the Oscars are as much of a sham when it comes to awarding artistic merit as, say, the Grammys are, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s almost laughable what gets nominated and wins over what doesn’t. Can I really take any contest seriously that doesn’t even acknowledge that Inside Llewyn Davis was one of the best pictures of this year? Or that Nicole Holofcener didn’t deserve recognition for her lovely Enough Said screenplay or that Ryan Coogler didn’t get acknowledged for his assured debut Fruitvale Station over frontrunner David O’Russell’s largely improvised, nearly incomprehensible, inarguably derivative American Hustle script? The argument is redundant at this point, and has been since the outcomes of Brokeback vs. Crash, or Costner vs. Scorsese, or Chariots of Fire vs. Reds or even Citizen Kane vs. How Green Was My Valley, but Oscar seldom gets it right. Yet it’s all subjective, isn’t it? Who’s really to say what the best anything of cinema is ultimately? One thing that is not subjective, though, is Tom Hanks’ performance in Captain Phillips. I liked the movie and all—it was tense and well-crafted, for sure—but the last 5 minutes hit me HARD. It’s impossible for me to watch this scene above without getting overwhelmingly choked up and I attribute that not to my sensitivity (the only movie that really gets me choked up at this point is still E.T.), but to Tom Hanks’ mastery. I’ve always liked Hanks, but I’d forgotten how stellar of an actor he is. The final minutes of Captain Phillips are the finest minutes of acting he’s ever committed to film. It’s a scene that goes up in the pantheon of the very best screen acting. It’s an utterly shattering scene and performance, despite losing a slot in the Best Actor category to Christian Bale’s SNL sketch/performance in Hustle. And spoily, too, so if you haven’t seen CP, skip the clip and see the film.

Tom Hanks was robbed of an Oscar and here’s why…(spoil-y spoils ahead)


I’m debating whether or not to watch the Oscars this year. I probably do every year, but this year may just be the first time I actually skip it. It’s not news to anyone at this point that the Oscars are as much of a sham when it comes to awarding artistic merit as, say, the Grammys are, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s almost laughable what gets nominated and wins over what doesn’t. Can I really take any contest seriously that doesn’t even acknowledge that Inside Llewyn Davis was one of the best pictures of this year? Or that Nicole Holofcener didn’t deserve recognition for her lovely Enough Said screenplay over frontrunner David O’Russell’s largely improvised, nearly incomprehensible, inarguably derivative American Hustle script? The argument is redundant at this point, and has been since the outcomes of Brokeback vs. Crash, or Costner vs. Scorsese, or Chariots of Fire vs. Reds or even Citizen Kane vs. How Green Was My Valley, but Oscar seldom gets it right. Yet it’s all subjective, isn’t it? Who’s really to say what the best anything of cinema is ultimately? One thing that is not subjective, though, is Tom Hanks’ performance in Captain Phillips. I liked the movie and all—it was tense and well-crafted, for sure—but the last 5 minutes hit me HARD. It’s impossible for me to watch this scene above without getting overwhelmingly choked up and I attribute that not to my sensitivity (the only movie that really gets me choked up at this point is still E.T.), but to Tom Hanks’ mastery. I’ve always liked Hanks, but I’d forgotten how stellar of an actor he is. The final minutes of Captain Phillips are the finest minutes of acting he’s ever committed to film. It’s a scene that goes up in the pantheon of the very best screen acting. It’s an utterly shattering scene and performance, despite losing a slot in the Best Actor category to Christian Bale’s SNL sketch/performance in Hustle. And spoily, too, so if you haven’t seen CP, skip the clip and see the film.

I just took a @breather and it was glorious. Peace & quiet on demand, indeed.

This is just a genius idea in every way. As a freelancer, I’ve done the cafe thing where you fight for a table and an outlet and drink way too much coffee just for the chance to sit and work somewhere other than your apartment. I’ve also done the co-working space thing and, while it beats the extremely competitive sport of table jockeying at a coffee shop, it’s often just as cutthroat and boisterous as Starbucks. Enter Breather, a Montreal-based company who are renting work/relaxation spaces in Manhattan at 25 bucks an hour. Of course, I wish it were cheaper, but this is New York and I’m sure rent don’t come cheap for such great spaces. You get a free hour for signing up and this morning I put my free hour to good use, getting some work done in what I have to say is the most enjoyable space I’ve worked in outside of my home in the time I’ve been working on my own. Check out the pictures of the Flatiron location above. Comfy furnishings, tootsie rolls (!), cool magazines, great views, lots of light, wifi, chargers; the space has everything you need to work or relax. Peace and quiet on demand, as their slogan goes. Amenities are one thing, but the space itself really does feel relaxing and conducive to getting shit done. I wish it were my apartment. I’ll definitely be back for sure. They also have spots in Soho and near Penn Station for now, and hopefully they’ll expand all over the city. Of course, once this catches on, it’ll be just as competitive as getting a table at your local coffee shop, but for now it’s brilliant, whether for an hour of working alone or, say, a meeting with your team. Check them out at Breather.com.

18 classic rock album covers from the Ramones, Beatles, Clash, etc…minus dead band members.


Certainly this is morbid, and yet…amusing? Witty? Are those appropriate words for this? Maybe I’ll just enjoy the imagination and photoshop skills that went into this series of album covers minus the dead members of famous bands and ignore how this reminded me that we’ve lost some exceptionally stellar talent. And as entertaining and clever as this series is, it’s definitely jarring to see that Ramones cover. Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, I suppose.

Th-th-that’s evolution, folks. A 90-year History of the Warner Bros. Logo


I love movie studio logos. They’re iconic and something about them reminds me of the excitement of being in a movie theater and a movie starting up when I was a kid, escaping the sweltering summer heat at a matinee with a lap full of red vines, popcorn, and a big Pepsi. I always liked Paramount’s the most, I think, especially when it morphed into the mountain in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but Warner’s has always been up there, too, even after seeing it every day on pretty much every surface on the lot when I worked at Warner Bros back in the day. This terrific overview of the WB logo progression over the past century is fascinating, with nary a misstep. I especially like the Saul Bass (bows in awe) Warner log of the 70s, as seen above. They’ve just recently brought it back because, I mean, look at it. Simple, perfect, timeless, and still modern. Great article over on Gizmodo. Check it out here.