Wednesday, May 26, 2010

4 Reel - Samurai Films

I'm gonna start a new feature... themed movie lists. Lists of 4 films that I think are awesome. And rather than try and be a movie critic, I'll think of 4 words that describe each movie, then include the trailer and IMDb link so you can explore them for yourself.

My first theme? Samurai Movies. One of my favorite genres, because the idea of Samurai is so intriguing to me. Grace, honor, violence, pride. These four all contain those elements, but are all quite different.

Onibaba. Eerie, desperate, strange, lonely.

Taboo. Beautiful, ambiguous, obsession, secrets.

Rashomon. Uncertain, Psychological, humanity, powerful.

Twilight Samurai. Honor, sacrifice, family, grief.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

photo reflections

Using reflections in pictures is such a neat way to add interest to subjects. It gives photos a new perspective, sometimes distorting the subject, sometimes just multiplying the beauty. After seeing this Smashing Mag post of some STUNNING reflection photographs, I gathered some of my favorites from my own photo adventures:

A random building/street in Chicago.

My BFF with the Washington Monument reflected in her cool shades, from my trip to DC earlier this year.

My cousin and his fiance being silly with a mylar balloon.

Creve Couer Lake in winter. The sky was so amazing that evening. I love how the reflection of it in the lake makes kind of draws your eye in.

My friend Eric's band, So Much Closer, played at this place called The Library. It's a neat venue that was once a bank, so there are these security mirrors on the ceiling. One is right over the stage, so I took a picture of the band reflected in it for a different perspective.

The next three are from the same lake in South St. Louis County:

These are all from the Clouds' Gate Sculpture (also known as "the Bean") at Chicago's Millennium park. I was so totally enamored with this big mirrored bean. Endless options for reflection pictures:

And you know there's a Flickr group for such photos.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Last week, a couple fellow-designer friends and I attended a screening of the documentary Lemonade, put on by some local folks who wanted to get the film's message out, LemonadeSTL. I wasn't sure what to expect. It's a movie about people who have lost their jobs at advertising agencies.

I graduated with an advertising degree, and currently work doing design in-house for a local company. When I graduated from college, I had hopes and dreams of working at some hip agency. I am happy now to have ended up working in a more corporate environment... the agency life is fun for some, but I prefer job stability. So what could I take away from a film about people who have lost theirs?

It turns out Lemonade is very inspiring as far as following your dreams and unleashing your true self. The people the movie took the lemons that life gave them and made lemonade... hence the movie's title. In the end, they all started their own projects/businesses and were all thankful for the opportunities that getting laid off lent them. What a great message! So, even though I am employed at a job I love, the film made me that much more optimistic about life and personal creativity.

One of the people in the movie started the AdRants blog, which I had actually heard of before, and visited sporadically ( I will visit more often now, of course.)

One started an employment site called Please Feed the Animals, which is much more like a support community than your average job-seeker site.

Another started a really neat website called Cards of Change, in which people have lost their jobs alter their business cards to show how they have changed. Here are some of my favorites:

I love the poster for Lemonade, too. It is by designer Brad Kayal. I checked out his site, and there is some awesome stuff in his portfolio. How much do I love these CD covers for the band Fatal Flaw? LOTS.

So, yeah, tons of inspiration to be had from Lemonade. You can watch the whole movie on hulu. Tell me what you think!