CRITERION CHALLENGE | Summer With Monika

Summer With Monika | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithSummer With Monika | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithSummer With Monika | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithSummer With Monika | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithSummer With Monika | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith*title image by la porte rouge

In a whirlwind teenage romance, Harry and Monika escape the drab duties of their blue-collar jobs in Stockholm to live without rules on an isle of the archipelago.  The two young lovers arrive on the island in Harry’s father’s boat, and the celebration that ensues is quite wonderful. If you’ve seen Wes Anderson’s latest creation (Moonrise Kindgdom) then you will certainly recognize a few moments of tribute to Summer With Monika. That’s where the similarities end, however, as our young Monika and Harry actually get to stay on their island for some time. Long enough, even, to start having the inevitable problems that happen when you decide to live on an island. (They run out of food, she gets pregnant, etc.) I don’t think it would be fair to reveal any more of the plot but let’s just say — as the title suggests — all seasons must come to an end.

The story is very engaging and the actors give superb performances. Harriett Andersson as Monika is particularly fascinating — we know, almost immediately, that she is untrustworthy. Bold, selfish, manipulative… and yet these same traits make us believe that she will survive — not only on the island but in society as well. In what I thought was the most poetic visual of the movie, Director Ingmar Bergman indulges in a lengthy shot of the headstrong, striving Monika wandering through the tall grasses of the island in search of food.

In the end the thing that struck me most about Summer With Monika is that movies like this were actually being made in 1953. This old Swedish film captures a certain intimacy, a real-life kind of sexuality between the characters that I’ve almost never seen in American movies, even today.

Without revealing too much about how things play out, I will say this: Part of me wants to judge Monika (who is, most definitely, a “bad girl”), but I’m also left admiring something about her… maybe her commitment to herself and instinct for survival. You’ll have to decide for yourself.

Miss Cherie Dior by Sofia Coppola

Miss Dior Cherie | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith


Miss Dior Cherie, by Sofia Coppola

Sigh… don’t you just adore Sophia? She really has a distinctly feminine point of view with everything she creates, even silly perfume ads. It’s fun to see the world through her eyes. She directed this commercial for the fragrance Miss Dior back in 2008. I love the playful song  “Moi Je Joue” sung by Bridget Bardot. Tres chic!

 

THE POP FACES | A project from Yee Wong and Joshua Scott

Pop Faces | Yee Wong and Joshua ScottPop Faces | Yee Wong and Joshua ScottPop Faces | Yee Wong and Joshua ScottPop Faces | Yee Wong and Joshua ScottThese photos are from a series called “The Pop Faces” created by Yee Wong and photographed by Joshua Scott. I’ve always liked the theme of pop culture in fine art and these are really cool. They make me think of both the disposable quality and the power of celebrity in our culture. Even rumpled on the floor, the subjects are instantly recognizable. I like the accompanying video (below), but love the still photos. Those would look great framed and leaned against the wall in my bedroom!

CRITERION CHALLENGE | Charade, 1963

Criterion Challenge | CharadeCriterion Challenge | CharadeCriterion Challenge | CharadeCriterion Challenge | Charade

Criterion Challenge | Charade

If you grew up in the eighties or nineties, you may not have seen Charade. But you’ll be sure to recognize Audrey Hepburn’s famous line, “Oh, I love you, Adam… Alex… Peter… Brian… whatever your name is,” from the film’s brief cameo in Pretty Woman (1990). I really can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this movie. The phrase “crowd-pleaser” definitely comes to mind. It’s a comedy, a romance, a thriller — but most of all it’s a high-stakes caper that will keep you on the edge of your seat! With an ingenious plot and quippy dialogue, Charade has sometimes been referred to as “the best Hitchcock film that Hitchcock never made.” All that, and the story was filmed in lurid technicolor on location in Paris, with a Givenchy-clad Audrey Hepburn as it’s star. What more do you want, people?

Also of note — the trippy intro credits designed by Maurice Bender are definitely worth a rewind. The chemistry between Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn is real good stuff. And for his dynamic and funny performance as Hamilton Bartholomew, I now have one more reason to love Walter Matthau.

If you’re currently in a rut with dark, moody indies or melodramatic tv shows, I prescribe to you one giant box of buttered popcorn and this movie. It will remind you why we like to watch movies in the first place: To be dazzled. To be entertained. And there’s no doubt about it — they’re not making ‘em like this anymore.

Mick’s Tape | #4 Over And Done With: Songs from Movies

Mick's Tape Vol. 4: Over And Done Withclick to listen

Sooner or later, we all end up in the soundtrack aisle. And if you’re like me, then you’re not ashamed to hang out for a while. One of the first cds I ever bought for myself was the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction”. I’ve still got it, and it still rocks. Especially in the 90s, it seemed like soundtracks were just mixed tapes made by the coolest people on earth — not to mention a gateway drug to new bands. So I’m really digging this fourth installment from Mick, “Over And Done With”, featuring songs he discovered via film. Some of these movies Mick and I watched together long ago (still laughing over the Clay Pigeons reference) and some of them I’ve never even heard of. This mix is doubly cool, because now I have new bands to explore as well as new movies to watch. Beginners and Submarine are moving to the top of my Netflix queue. Thanks, Mick, and see you at the record store. (Or the video store.)

Readers, what are some of your favorite soundtracks?

1. What Aren’t We Going To Do? // Matthew Broderick // Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986
2. Big Fran’s Baby // Lennie Niehaus // A Perfect World, 1993
3. Hearts of Stone // Otis Williams and The Charms // Goodfellas, 1990
4. Nothing To Be Done // The Pastels // The Acid House, 1998
5. Beginners (theme suite) // Brian Reitzell // Beginners, 2011
6. Stuck On The Puzzle // Alex Turner // Submarine, 2011
7. Over And Done With // The Proclaimers // Bottle Rocket, 1996
8. Hundred Mile High City // Ocean Colour Scene // Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, 1998
9. He’s A Righteous Dude // Edie McClurg // Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986
10. Fallin’ & Flyin’ // Jeff Bridges // Crazy Heart, 2009
11. Danke Shoen // Wayne Newton // Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986
12. Mirror In The Bathroom // The English Beat // Grosse Point Blank, 1997
13. Good Bye Horses // Q Lazzarus // Silence of the Lambs, 1991
14. The Killing Moon // Echo and the Bunnymen // Donnie Darko, 2001
15. Korea // Steve Buscemi and Bronson Dudley // Trees Lounge, 1996
16. Trees Lounge // Hayden // Trees Lounge, 1996
17. De Um Role // Novos Baianos // Mada Bala (Send a Bullet), 2007
18. Alone Again Or // Love // Bottle Rocket, 1996
19. Sea of Heartbreak // Don Gibson // Clay Pigeons, 1998
20. The Love You Save (May Be Your Own) // Joe Tex // Jesus’ Son, 1999
21. Bright As Yellow // The Innocence Mission // Empire Records, 1995
22. Ladies and Gentlemen we are Floating in Space // Spiritualized // Vanilla Sky, 2001
23. Here On My Own // U.N.P.O.C. // Hallum Foe, 2007
24. Perfect Day // Lou Reed // Trainspotting, 1996
25. Jisas yu holem hand blong mi // Melanesian Choirs // The Thin Red Line, 1998

Even Cupid goes to Rainey | Valentine’s Day shopping at Javelina

Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

My old friend Craig hosted a fun event at his bar on Rainey Street the other night — a one stop shop for Valentine’s Day shopping! Rainey Street just has a really good vibe, especially when the weather’s just right, and Javelina Bar is one of the coziest little spots on the street. There were several really cool local vendors at the event, but I’ll be highlighting three of my favorites here:

Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith
Pretty bouquets created by Roseship Flora…

Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

And super cool organic-inspired pieces from jewelry maker, Catherine Nicole. I’m in love with those cuffs!

Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Handcrafted artisan chocolate from Arte Y Chocolate

Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

She actually prints designs on the chocolate itself!

Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithAll of these vendors are based in Austin, so if you haven’t done your Valentine’s Day shopping yet you should think about spending locally. Of course you could always just take your sweetheart out for burger and beer at Javelina! Sounds pretty good to me. Happy Valentine’s day, y’all.
Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

SCANNING | A few pinterest finds

Clifford Coffin for Vogue | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Clifford Coffin for Vogue

Deborah Lao | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Design for CCA Summer Atelier Program designed by Sputnik student Deborah Lao

SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

source unknown

Ban.do | SCOUT By Jennifer Rose Smith

from Ban.do

Troyt Coburn | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith
Troyt Coburn for Maire Claire

I’m on pinterest every single day. I think I’m one of the few lucky girls in the world who gets to “pin” as part of her job! While I love my favorite image-sharing site, most of the images I find there are not properly credited. Every now and then I like to do a reverse image-search with google and see if I can’t find the original sources. It tends to be a great way to get turned on to some new designers and photographers. I had good luck with this batch — found all but one!

The Folio Society | Illustrated books

The Folio Society | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Does anyone else dream of having a sort of walnut-and-velvet library someday? Complete with persian rug and ladder? Of course you can’t just fill that thing up with a bunch of yellowed old paperbacks. No! You need leather. You need box sets. You need first editions.

My recent discovery of The Folio Society has rekindled that fantasy for me. The London company has been publishing beautiful illustrated books since it’s founding in 1947. They seem to do a very good job of matching the artists with the books. I’ve selected two fine examples below, but there are countless others on their website. Warning: they don’t come cheap. I still think they’d make a good investment, especially the fantasy fiction ones. (At least those are the ones I tend to revisit the most.) Happy reading!

The Folio Society | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

The Folio Society | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithThe Folio Society | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithThe Folio Society | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

The Folio Society | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithThe Folio Society | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithThe Folio Society | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

 

 

Ed Ruscha | He likes words, plants and the desert

Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas oil on canvas, 1963

Ed Ruscha | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Untitled photograph from the book, Colored People, published 1972

Ed Ruscha | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Cold Beer Beautiful Girls, acrylic on canvas, 1993

Ed Ruscha | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Pool Portfolio, ecktacolor prints, 1968/1997

Ed Ruscha | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Whether it’s the door to an intimidating building or the dusty cover of a giant textbook, it can sometimes feel like there’s a barrier between us and the people who actually create art. A Barrier of Seriousness. And if you’re not someone with the right graduate degree, then proceed with caution. But I see pieces of art that I like all the time, and they make me feel a certain way. And I wonder if the artist felt that way, too.

That’s why this wonderful little movie on Ed Ruscha (found via the Chance website) is so delightful. The short (called Ed Ruscha, Woody, and The World’s Hottest Pepper) reveals Ed’s fascination with words, the city of Los Angeles, and some of the thoughts and experiences that may have fueled his work. He’s laid-back. He’s plainspoken. He’s a guy I could get a beer with. And he creates fine art.

The pieces above are a few of my favorites. They make me think of being alone on the highway, daydreaming in cars, and being apprehensive about the destination. (The pool series reminds me of Andy Spade’s instagram account that I’m so obsessed with.) Cold Beer Beautiful Girls would look great in my guest bedroom, don’t you think?

One of the things I wanted to do with SCOUT was expose myself to more art. With videos like this one and sites like artsy.net, I’m finding that the internet is a pretty great place to do just that. No intimidation required.