“Life and What Comes After,” 2016
“The Art of Holding Back,” 2014
Five Star Roundup
“Compound Interest,” 2015
Ready for an odyssey of epic proportions? This porcelain tray will steer you clear of decorating danger with superior design featuring swirls of blue water engulfing a ship on the high seas. Whether a soap dish, a hors d’oeuvre plate or a jewelry catchall fit for a siren, you’ll always know you’re home when you use this enchanting tray.
Encore! Shine a spotlight on your art collection with this updated take on classic theatrical lighting. Subtly elegant in design, this light fixture will draw attention to your best features.
Keep your eyes on the sparrow. This darling bird pops against a light background, with soft texture that suggests feathers. Hanging on your bedroom wall, it will bring in all the charm of a twittering bird without the early morning wake-up call.
The bloom is not off this rose. Libby Black’s extraordinary handling of richly warm colors against a sober gray background takes the tradition of still life painting and modernizes it, breathing new life into this classic form. This print’s bright blossoms rendered in loose style will look right at home on your bedroom walls.
Raindrops keep falling on my head. Hanging on your wall, though, they look whimsically stylish. These distressed metallic coat hooks not only look snazzy, they also will hold your scarves, umbrellas, bags and even Fido’s leash.
A bird may love a fish, but where would they live? Here on a panel of this Panamanian woman’s traditional costume, of course. Made from a reverse appliqué process, a mola is a panel using two to seven layers of fabric cut away to reveal layers of color that create patterns. In your home, this panel of a Kuna’s costume will appeal to your artistic and cultural sensibilities.
Off with their heads! These single Tushiez dolls will not only add a fanciful touch to your home, they are handmade ceramic, making them a unique keepsake. Place these little charmers anywhere and use them for anything. A paperclip catchall for your office, a quirky vase for your kitchen counter, a funky toothbrush holder on your vanity – this is not only adorable, but multi-functional.
If I had to sum up Tiny Furniture (or as I kept thinking of it, Girls: The Prequel), the phrase that comes to mind is “Disgusting Yet Engagingly Real.” Or maybe, “The Teenagerifying of the Young Adult.” The themes of narcissism, entitlement, paralyzing indecisiveness and privileged youth “figuring it out” are painful to watch, but yet you can’t look away. What I appreciate about this film is how the plot movement echoes the main character’s meandering through life. Aura’s initially promising attempts at adulthood dwindle into lazy self-indulgence, rendering her alternately sympathetic and irritating as a protagonist. While this doesn’t make for a wildly entertaining film, it does convey a nice artistic point; that privilege can be a disadvantage, for no one wants to grow up to be Lena Dunham’s character. Growing up to be Lena Dunham, however…different story
9 1/2 Weeks
This was my first time seeing 9 ½ Weeks, so let me get this out of the way: OMG, SEX. Ahem, moving on. Despite the fact that yes, it’s very erotic, this film offers more than just titillating sexy-times. The commentary on the relationship between sex and power struck me as extremely well developed and subtle enough give the movie surprising depth. It explores questions of establishing relational boundaries while still feeling free to experiment, sexual game playing and how people compartmentalize their lives when it comes to fantasy and reality. By the movie’s end, it felt like watching a healthy woman’s relationship with herself take precedence over desire, her recognition of want vs. need.
To me, a successful documentary draws you in and makes you forget you’re watching a documentary. By the end of The Punk Singer, I felt as if I had been invited into riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna’s living room, right up front where I could hear her message and life story, which are inextricably tied to one another, without getting trampled by the boys in the mosh pit (or the ones usually pulling the media strings). As a documentary it’s not terribly avant-garde in its simple telling and straightforward, flattering portrayal of Hanna, but given that it covers third-wave feminism – a fringe movement if there ever was one – I think this only serves to highlight the subject.
I’ll definitely watch it again, if only to recapture those first feelings upon discovering that anger and femininity are not exclusive of one another.
Ghost World is the antidote for everyone tired of formulaic comedy-swill pushed on general audiences. Exploring themes of friendship, growth, love and identity without resorting to cliché, this film is like a trip back to high school for anyone who had half a brain and a dark sense of humor. It captures the plight of two girls dissatisfied with the shallow constructs of society around them, trying out identities that don’t quite fit yet. In their revolt against a superficial world, they fail to cultivate genuine emotion, discovering that what may have worked for them in high school doesn’t work in the real world, where you may need to sell chemically-flavored popcorn. Yet the film leaves us feeling that they will eventually figure it out, even if in the space of a film doesn’t allow them to do it all.