Aesthetics Now Vol 2


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Vol 2 of Aesthetics Now Magazine. Features on k-os, David Kassan, Anikiko, Stanley Street Station, Melbourne International Film Festival, Nanami Cowdroy, The Magic of Reason, Top Cult Films of the past 10 Years, Tutorial plus more. Visit Website to Download

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Aesthetics Now Vol 2

  2. 2. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR L et me first commend and congratulate you on the your very insightful and informative first issue! The content was truly aesthetically pleasing, and the work showcased was of the highest standard. I must however single out the feature on the young Jamaican artist Taj Francis, which singlehandedly pointed out to the reader everything good, and bad, related to the arts and indeed our society. Francis' work is simply extraordinary, and demonstrates what can become of the talent hidden within the suppressed minds of Jamaica's youth, if only harnessed. His formal training at the Edna Manley School for the Visual and Performing Arts is undoubtedly instrumental in the actualization of his full potential, potential stifled in others with his abilities by socialization and the inculcation of academic excellence before all else. It is quite counterintuitive to foster to such an extent the virtues of traditional education in a country rich with talent in the arts. World renown music, dance and contemporary art are apparently not enough to coerce a paradigm shift towards a greater emphasis on the arts, rather than the assembly line that is our primary and secondary education system. Matriculation into our universities is not the end-all to a life of schooling, wake up! Ryan Smith
  3. 3. W here do I begin? From the time I saw the cover I had hopes that this magazine would have the potential to really inspire me in a creative way... and it did! Each artist featured shows a really interesting style and it’s nice to see artists of different mediums put together in one magazine. I really like the Film Festival feature and how it explains the progress of film over the years. I am so used to reading really short reviews on film or music festivals so to see an actual article which really delves into the details of the concept of the event is fantastic. Good work Dungog on the success of the festival and good work Aesthetics Now for making international artists like me aware of what is going on in different parts of the world. I really appreciate having the opportunity to be exposed to this and think it is definitely a very important aspect in assisting nations in developing creatively on a whole. Lucia Gonzalez VOLUME 1 IS A-MAZ-ING! I enjoyed reading this so much! I took particular notice of Protoje and his fantastic feature. His music really manages to strike a chord in making me feel emotion Lucia Gonzalez for Jamaica and wanting to visit there to experience the way it’s described through his lyrics. He sounds like such an encouraging young artist who is dedicated to making a change within his society through encouraging the youth. It’s so nice to see that happening in today’s world where so many people are consumed by materialistic things, so witnessing the love that this young artist has for the place his roots are firmly embedded in is so amazing. I wish you every success with the development of the magazine and will be eagerly waiting each month to see what new artistic talent is featured. Congratulations with such an achievement; I would definitely buy this magazine if I saw it on a newsstand! Samantha Hatch Thankyou! I think that one word completely sums up the appreciation I have for a magazine of this calibre. Good luck with every coming issue. I can’t wait! Sarah Brown I read your mag and loved it. The visual art was awesome. Great job. Caty Schildmeyer ALL READERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO WRITE TO US. HAVE YOUR WORDS PUBLISHED BY SENDING YOUR EMAILS TO
  4. 4. THIS IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT AESTHETICS NOW... Aesthetics Now is a magazine of the new era that explains culture in the upmost fashion. Aesthetics Now keeps you informed on today’s emerging artists in all genres, and to me this is so important simply because I truly believe the arts help shape our world, our society and our cultures. So basically Aesthetics Now is going to play a huge role in shaping culture ...bottom line....let alone help shape my culture. STAY PROPER STAY FRESH Chor Boogie FIRSTLY, A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS ON SUCH A SUCCESSFUL FIRST ISSUE! I really enjoyed reading the magazine and felt a sense of disappointment when I got to the last page because I wanted to see more! I was particularly drawn to Che Kothari’s article and work. His photography is absolutely stunning and captures the depth in his message, not to mention an interview of words that left me feeling that I could sit in a room listening to him talk all day and leave knowing that a lot of what he has to say would leave a motivational impression on me. Cannot wait to for each 1st of the month to roll around to read each new issue... I feel like I have huge expectations of this magazine and Aesthetics Now will pull through and even exceed them. Raylene Thompson Aesthetics Now arts magazine... absolutely awesome! Browsing online at work has just become so much fun! Don’t ever stop... change can definitely be made through the arts. Thankyou Kaiona Feni
  5. 5. CONTENTS JULY 2010 VOL.2 A DEEPER REALITY Take a journey through the amazing work of David Kassan. Be sure to do more than just glance over his portraits, look in thier eyes and see their longtales PHOTOGRAPHY TUTORIAL Ever wanted to capture water in one of it’s most amazing forms? Here’s our guide to creating beautiful photography through the help of some simple tricks. SYSTEMIZED DISARRAY The work is busy, it’s messy, it’s smudgy, some might even findit confusing. Yet, when complete, the work of Nanami Cowdroy still shines in equisite detail STANLEY STREET STATION Step off the platform and venture into an artistic playground where art meets knowledge, knowledge meets music and music meets delictable treats totantalise the tastebuds. IF THEY COULD TWEET When in doubt, ask yourself... What would DaVinci Tweet ?
  6. 6. ANIKIKO On her way to musical stardom, the strong yet seductive tones of singer/songwriter Anikiko will have your ears begging for her sounds to linger on through the air. ORGANISED K-OS Canadian hip-hop artiste K-os is no rookie to this industry. In this exclusive, we discuss his life, his inspirations, and what’sto come. BOOKMAN REVIEW Magic of Reason , a fantastic series of novels that will open your eyes to greater dimensions POETRY IN MOTION Love, lust, passion. This is where poetry and the visual arts combine for their own interpretation of the others creations TOP 5 CULT FILMS OF THE LAST 10 YEARS A toast to the ones that may not be number 1 at the Box Office, but resides at the top of out film loving hearts MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Insight into the event and films that will be showcased in the heart of Australia this July
  7. 7. VISIONARY SQUAD EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT Editor in Chief Neville Ewers Managing Editor Simone Colosi Copy Editor Ryan Smith Art Director Neville Ewers CONTRIBUTORS Andre Hall Dutty Bookman Allison Charmaine Tasha Williams Joao Encarnacao Deidrean Williams Email Website Copyright © 2010. All rights reserved. Material in this publication may not be repro- duced in any form without permission. Requests for permission should be made to
  8. 8. SPECIAL 0414.870.232 5% OFF 876.423.6030 2 347.435.1568 E ONLY L IM IT E D T IM
  9. 9. “Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.” -Dag Hammarskjold
  10. 10. Photo Credit:
  11. 11. DAVID JON SSAN
  12. 12. DAVID JON SSAN “Realism to me is the same intensity of looking into one’s soul. His paintings stir By creating life size portraits, David begins the long yet inspiring capturing truth in emotion and have the viewer task of beginning to paint. His what we see”. wanting to get to know the person; touch them, talk to them, canvas is stocked with numerous colours as he combines them to gaze into their eyes and understand perfect the shades of his model’s He goes by the name of David their inner thoughts. skin tones, aiming to convey the Jon Kassan, and for those who exact luminosity and texture that aren’t familiar with his paintings, The concept behind his work is natural skin entails. “The paint is prepare yourselves to be inspired an evolution of “observing more layered over, because a person’s as you take a journey into a and slowing down life”. Through life is layered over, and I want reality deeper than you could taking time to understand the that to come through in my possibly imagine. finest details of all that surrounds paintings”. Through merging him, David allows people, the layer upon layer of paint he Having travelled throughout environment and street art to act works tirelessly until every detail Europe as a child, David’s love as the source of what he creates. is completely intact, enjoying the for art was ignited through his By painting exactly what he sees, different interactions of colours parents exposing him to numerous from a distance the untrained eye that form to create that feeling of museums, where he fumbled can be fooled into thinking age and experience. “I am a huge through pages of old reading David’s work is a mimic of fan of Rembrandt and how hard material and stared at artistic photographic art. However, they he worked to get it right”, and masterpieces. A later trip in 2003 couldn’t be more wrong. Take a each time he puts his brush to revealed a wider perspective look closer and view the tiniest of canvas, David delicately works to encompassing the concepts he did details that these paintings entail.. form every imperfection and not understand as a child, fuelling They are not photographic in any create every fold, adding to the David’s creativity and providing shape or form; they show no sign many levels of paint as he mimics encouragement through the many of flat surfaces or lack of texture. the exact patience of Rembrandt. challenges he would face as a fine In fact, his paintings are the artist. complete opposite and if you still You only need to watch David refer to them as replicas of pho- working to know how intense the David’s work, while unique in its tography then stare into his process is in creating such amazing style, bears a close resemblance to portraits eyes; you will become results. David has just released a the paintings of Dutch artist exposed to their feelings and will video of a live web stream recording Rembrandt, who happens to be truly understand the overall where he finger painted from his one of his greatest sources of essence of David’s unique style. trusty iPad. Conjuring the brilliant inspiration. His technique acts as idea to paint a live model while in a vehicle to observe and then capture an emotion or feeling “I’m trying to his studio, David worked for hours on end to perfect his technique without being idealised in any create something outside of his usual paint medium, shape or form. “I just want to capture that person the best I that‘s real, showing art lovers the process of how he works in his own space. can”, and through the use of rich something that is He does this all the time, observing details and endless passion, viewing David’s portraits convey in your space”. people on the subway and quickly painting them in the short timeframe
  13. 13. DAVID JON SSAN David has just released a video of a live web stream recording where he finger painted from his trusty iPad. of them being in his presence. His idea is to create a drawing within the iPad that replicates his style, enjoying the fact that he can record every stroke produced by the brushes, so that when replayed you can embrace a clip of an image being painted by an invisible source. Now for all of those who have not warmed to this savvy piece of technology (like Aesthetics Now’s Art Director who has since taken an incredible turn), you only need to view David’s video to have your negative notions removed. Since taking the time to interview David we have decided that if his love for art becomes solely a hobby, then his best (and most profitable) move would be to work for Steve (Jobs) himself, as we’re pretty sure he can do a better job at selling this product! David never experiences “painter’s block”. On the contrary, he is often inundated with too many ideas, excited to paint more than one image simultaneously. He is inspired by the challenge of having to express so many ideas and attacks the issues of ensuring the accuracy of every detail of his technique. “These are my visions that I want to get out, and I want to make them as clear as possible and to do that I have to be as critical as possible”. Having painted numerous portraits over his years as an artist, David holds two paintings particularly
  14. 14. DAVID JON SSAN close to him – those of his mother and aunt. “I think they’re some of my strongest work”, reason being that he knows them personally having grown up with them, and has thus seen them age as the years have gone by. This in turn enables greater focus on depicting those exact markings that have changed over time. Along with these two paintings David feels that his “self portraits are getting there”. His opinion on why is actually quite enlightening; “it’s the funniest thing, it’s like you live with yourself the most but you end up knowing yourself the least. I feel like the self portrait is always a search to find yourself, and it changes so much that you feel like you’re continually searching”. “These are my visions that I want to get out, and I want to make them as clear as possible and to do that I have to be as critical as possible”.
  15. 15. DAVID JON SSAN Aside from painting from his studio, David is also teaching others how to paint. With the idea that “we all gain knowledge from being in the class”, David enjoys the collaboration of a large number of people coming together in search of a common goal. He has taught in Australia, Iceland, Spain, and Portugal (just to name a few) and is heading to Belgium for a month, inspiring individuals the world over with his painting style. “I feel like I’m not that far removed from learning myself so I find it crazy that people are inspired by me. I get lots of emails from people asking question, it’s bizarre. I definitely appreciate that, the people who compliment me like that”. David is also working on a solo show in his gallery in New York next September that will see him grounded in the States as of next March, working on pieces that reflect his family, where he can express his strongest art yet. In what was close to an inspiring interview with an amazing artist, we asked David to pass on some encouraging words to you, our readers; words that you can take along on your many journeys through art, and words that you can openly embrace, allowing you to develop your creative expressions with a building desire. “I guess be as true and honest with your work as possible. This is a really hard gig; you are the only person you can lean on which is sad and depressing but also kind of enlightening at the same time. It’s a full contrast all the time. The idea is that everything relies on you so only you have yourself to answer for, if you don’t do it you don’t have anyone to blame except for “The idea is that everything yourself. But you can work whatever hours you want, relies on you so only you you can work as hard as you have yourself to answer for, want, you’ll never have a boss over your head. It’s if you don’t do it you don’t the best job in the world. have anyone to blame However I work way harder than I will except for yourself.” in any other job, I work way harder for myself.
  16. 16. DAVID JON SSAN You are constantly refining yourself and that becomes a very worthwhile and very honourable thing to do, to learn about yourself. And my job, I monitor life, and understand things. I’m constantly learning about that as well. It’s a hugely inspiring gig, but it can be taken away at any minute and I know that, and so that keeps me working like a dog to get it right”. And that hard work has definitely paid off, personally embracing these words with open arms as encouragement to continue striving to develop on a daily basis. A truly inspirational and talented artist, you can view more of David’s paintings at “And my job, I monitor life, and understand things. I’m constantly learning about that as well.”
  17. 17. DAVID JON SSAN
  18. 18. DAVID JON SSAN
  19. 19. DAVID JON SSAN
  20. 20. DAVID JON SSAN
  21. 21. TUTORIAL TRIBUTE TO JAMES CAMERON’S by Joao Encarnacao T here are many ways of shooting water drops and this month Joao shows us how he sets up his working environment to perfect the art of photographing water. The main object you require is patience. Outside of that it is beneficial to have access to an external flash, as you’ll be taking photos at 1/200 shutter speed and f/13 aperture. With this speed there generally aren’t many natural light sources to accommodate successfully in allowing you to control where the light hits as you take your photos. Materials Placing your Camera So here is what you need to success- When positioning the camera regard- fully photograph water; a flash and ing the tray, you should try to get as remote trigger, as well as a low as possible without having the wired/wireless remote for the front or back of the tray appearing in camera. The remote is a must have the picture. Avoid the camera being when you are shooting water drops too low as you should not be able to and can be purchased relatively see the rim of the back of your tray, cheaply at as little as $5 nor too high as you'll lose the depth of the drop of water within your bubble Setting Up Your Environment The final setup should look something like the photo above. Please note: The best place to conduct this experiment is in your kitchen as the progress of this masterpiece can become slightly messy with the splash back of water.
  22. 22. First of all you will need to define a If reflections from the light start to place on your tray where the bubble become a problem because of the direct can be placed. Several techniques can flash, try to tilt the bulb so that it’s be used and Joao found that a positioned as low as possible; since your measuring tape was the best means camera is on a higher plane, it should to determine the arrangement. not be a concern. If flare occurs, use a lens hood. Secure the tape from both ends so that it hovers right above the water. Placing the bubble in the correct spot is an important factor, so you The Editing should put the tape measure one Joao used Photoshop CS4 to edit his third of the distance from you to the photo, and by following the adjust- end of the tray. This allows you to ment technique he has used, you get more breathing space in the top should be guaranteed excellent results. of the bubble, where it really adds to the composition of the photo. For this photo shoot Joao used ISO 100, f/14 and 1/200. And a flash These markers will also be used for power of 1/16 or 1/8. This is what you to guide the bubble when taking The Drop his original photo looked like before the shot. Even your breathing causes With the existing water in the tray, fill editing the bubble to shift position ever so the eye dropper in preparation for the slightly, and you'll know that between water drops. Get the remote release in the markers the area is in focus. one hand and the eyedropper in the other, and get ready for some long shooting. The first time Joao tried this he took up to 400 photos but can now get the results he desires within 30-40. Drop some water from about 7" high (or more, depending on your focal Imported into ACR with roundabout range and line of sight), and fire away. these settings: Some shots you will miss, some shots will look ok, and every once in a Next, focus on the measuring tape. while, one is excellent. If the bubble If you have an option for live view, it bursts very easily, add some more helps to zoom in. If not, use the soap to the water to make the bubble viewfinder in order to have all the thicker. However do not add too measuring tape in focus. Manual much soap as it will cause the bubble focus has to be used. to become too thick and will not allow He then used the Topaz "Smooth the water droplet to get in easily. Portrait" preset, lowered the satura- tion, increased adaptive exposure and If the bubble moves across the water regions, and added detail. After as your droplet falls, use the side of completing this he used “Smart the eyedropper to gently shift it back Sharpen” to finish with, his final to focus position. photography looking like this: The Bubble Pour some soapy water into the tray and use the straw to create a bubble by blowing into the water. Do some test shots of the bubble before continuing with the water droplets so that you can adjust the flash power and zoom. Also check for relative size of the bubble inside the frame. View more of Joao’s work at
  24. 24. NANAMI COWDROY T here is always one or more things in our apart as a familiar face in the successful artist world. lives that we cannot perfect not matter As you glance through her pieces you have no how hard we try. “Hi, my name is choice but to be fascinated by the many elements Simone and I am a qualified designer. It that make up her art. has been 6 years, 14 days and 22 hours since I first discovered my inability to loosely create. I have Before you open another browser to look her up compulsive structured disorder (yes, it’s a new yourself, travel through our pages as we disclose disease), and when I create pieces with messy the creative talent this artist presents. This month elements the overall feel is exactly that... messy!” the Aesthetics Now team had the opportunity to get to know Nanami on a more personal level and Having just defaulted myself to the typical AA are pleased to be able to share with you her thoughts meeting environment, the fact is that my appreciation about art, inspiration, her style... and not to mention for art that has been created freely is no secret. those beautiful pieces that will keep you in awe! Flowing lines coupled with paint splatters and messy marks, spread between the folds and AN: Tell us a little bit about what it was like textures of the canvas really hit the spot if pulled growing up in Sydney with strong Japanese off effectively. So it was no surprise that I was roots. stopped in my tracks when I one day stumbled When I was little, being half Japanese and half across Nanami Cowdroy and her chaotic imagery European was never something I was particularly that comes together to form visual bliss. conscious of being - I always just thought of myself as an 'Aussie', and being little, I didn't want to be With a vast imagination and an ability to create seen as different really – I wanted to be the same as intricately detailed illustrations through pen and everyone else and to fit in. ink, Nanami (whose name means “Seven Seas” in Naturally though, I grew up with distinct Japanese Japanese) influences and had strong ties to my Japanese has set background and culture which influenced me herself greatly and shaped my psyche. We regularly went to Tokyo to visit my relatives, Mum was an Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) teacher in Sydney and we would speak in both languages at home. Our place was filled with lots of creative objects, photo's and paintings from both countries - so it was a natural & integrated part of life grow- ing up. Obviously there were times when I was made to feel self-conscious of being part Japanese, but it was my dad who told me that one day I'd understand and embrace both my roots equally - and he was right! I'm definitely proud of both cultures. AN: How did you come to form such a strong appreciation of art? Art has always been a great part of my life. I come from a creative family on both sides and it’s a particularly strong characteristic of the Cowdroys. On dad's side there are fine-art painters & artists,
  26. 26. NANAMI COWDROY graphic designers, (political) cartoonists, writers. let it go. As art is such a personal process I do pour Then on mum's side there are photographers, a lot of myself into it and tap into a lot of stuff filmmakers and she herself did Ikebana. So from from within, so it can make me feel quite vulnerable. very early on, I'd been exposed to and developed Especially after spending a significant amount of an understanding of many different forms & styles time creating it, I do develop an attachment making it of art. It's something that runs in the blood. hard to let go at times because it feels like a part of yourself is now out there for all to see, so it can be AN: Do you remember your first piece of art and a little daunting but equally exciting at the same how you felt upon its completion? time. Generally speaking - it's the creative process which truly gives me a genuine feeling of freedom and AN: Tell us a little bit about your style and what contentment, as I feel connected to my inner being defines your artwork in its own uniqueness and imagination. It's hard to explain, but it has I love the colour black and being a meticulously always just felt right. That said, with most of my obsessed perfectionist - I'm definitely one who work - when I finally complete a piece that usually enjoys getting lost and carried away with lots of takes a few weeks to do, I normally experience a detail and my artistic style reflects that. It mixed bag of feelings, both positive and negative. allows me the perfect means with which to express my style without any boundaries. I always feel a mix of satisfaction and apprehension, where I feel comfortable enough to step My artwork is generally made up of mixed media, away from the piece but also apprehensive but essentially my artistic technique is quite tradi- as to whether or not I’m ready to tional - I love illustrating with pen and lead pencil on paper, and this is the foundation and heart of all my work. I love to try to reflect a kind of refinement in my pieces, where I can compose as well as channel the chaos, and try to harmonise the complexity. I enjoy dirtying and roughing up clean lines and forms, as well as blending both Japanese / European subjects - it gives me a great sense of freedom to create and combine contrasting elements and techniques. While this may sound quite planned - in actual fact the process is really organic and kind of just happens. Also working with a dark, monotone palette is a challenge that I love! The contrast of black and white is how I feel most comfortable expressing myself. Unlike other colours such as red, yellow, blue - which often reflect or evoke a mood, I personally find the colour black draws me in and creates uniquely dramatic effects. In order to gain a deeper understanding and insight into something, it invites the viewer to look at things more closely. I love the sense of wonder that comes when you first see something that is hidden in plain sight.
  27. 27. NANAMI COWDROY AN: Your imagery is bold and strong, yet amaz- ingly beautiful. How does this reflect on your personality as an artist? Thank you. I guess being a creative person at heart, emotions are an integral part of my personality and they reside fairly close to the surface. I've always wanted to have 'thicker skin', which is perhaps why I tend to be drawn (literally) to subjects I feel have a sense of fragility and sensitivity about them. On some surreal level I feel a kind of affinity towards them. So by using bold lines and strong, definite forms - I love trying to 'toughen' up and bolster up my delicate subjects, to give them more of a sense of strength and permanence. I guess it's just my way of wanting to preserve them more, using ink as a means to give them a greater presence and solidity - because I do think they're beautiful. AN: What and who inspires you and why? I have a pretty freakish memory; particularly when it comes to remembering things visually. I don't know why or how - but my memories of things, subjects as well as the emotions associated with them do tend to be the things that inspire me. And inspiration comes from anything and everything. It's nutty what randomly pops into mind, or turns up in dreams and I experience déjà vu quite a bit also, but it's no secret I find a lot of inspiration in the humble, unassuming goldfish. I've always owned them ever since I was little, and to me they're such simple yet stunningly unique creatures. I've always loved and have been
  28. 28. NANAMI COWDROY fascinated by their flowing and floaty forms - they're of the desires in me to try and let go and follow so expressive and I love trying to reflect that in my my dreams. The silhouetted head in the work is works. They're the perfect subject which allows me actually my own, blowing away some goldfish to create and combine both my hard edge style and and bubbles into the air. I created it at a pivotal curvy, organic forms. Not to mention, along with time, where I had recently lost my dad who was a their delicate beauty - they equally display a curious very important and influential figure in my life - kookiness which greatly appeals to me also, and and the one who always encouraged me not to give the kind of feeling I like reflecting in my works. up on my love of art. AN: What is there in store for the future? Are Also, I love the work of the Surrealists such as there any upcoming events or plans in the Salvador Dali and MC Escher. Last year I went to making? see the Dali, Liquid Desire exhibition held at the As far as new pieces go, it's been a while - but at National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne - and it last, I'm stoked to say I'm finally about to release totally blew me away! It was so inspiring and a my newest works. On a different note regarding fantastic showcase of his work. exhibitions - I'm very happy to say I will be taking “ part in an exhibition called 'Tokyo Love' at Strychnin Gallery, Berlin Germany in September - I can't It amazes me - without wait! Also have plans to take part in an upcoming the aid of too many fancy show in Los Angeles at the end of the year (dates to be confirmed). I'm also finalising details for my technologies, how some creative first solo show hopefully happening in Canada early next year which I'm very excited about! Just individuals can not only break gotta get some serious scribbling and coffee drinking done in the meantime ;) the mould, but can completely AN: Our readers are artists just like yourself. Any turn it inside out, flip it words of advice that you could pass onto them upside down and open up to encourage their creativity? Stay true and trust in your own creative instincts new possibilities through the and skill - it's the stuff that cannot be taught, and I ” feel lies at the heart of creative individuality & power of their thinking originality. and the imagination To find out more about Nanami or to delve deeper into her work visit AN: Is there any particular piece or series that has stood out in particular for you and projected a stronger message about who you are? That's something I'm still working on I think ;) … but "Blow Fish" is a work I definitely feel reflects some
  36. 36. by Simone Colosi
  37. 37. hile brainstorming perfecting the flavours that hit your pages of volumes of knowledge. All this the approach to take palette. To the left are some tables, coupled with the tiny details likening this for this article, an cleverly surrounded by small screens that restaurant to a train station environment ingenious member play short videos that have left a favour- – such as the scene of a wreckage beside of the Aesthetics able impression within the film industry. the coffee machine, complete with Now team giggled and said Yet your journey through this restaurant miniature people involved in or vulner- “Imagine Culinary Art and Visual Art is far from over; as you follow the tables able to pain – add to the unique are having lunch at Bondi Beach; Visual around the bar you are met by a number surroundings that you are met with as Art goes back to Culinary Art’s house of comfortable sofas, a bookshelf that you take the chance to come on board for and together they partake in an act most delves into the ideas of psychogeogra- this interesting ride. of us keep behind doors... and 9 months phy, a combination of game boards, and later Stanley Street Station is born.” an array of artwork sprawled across the Okay, so aside from personifying the various arts, my original thought when I walls to be seen from every corner of your eyes. “your eyes are in heard this was “Oh my goodness, I work with a clown”. It was only after my Stanley Street Station is a dining constant motion many attempts at trying to convince him experience which hits the core of all of as they jump from of his delusional concept and being rebutted that I realised exactly how right your senses. The beautiful aroma of the terrariums target your sense of smell, artwork to film and he was; Stanley Street Station was the brilliant conception of an environment while the enticing flavours of the menu dance upon your taste buds. The smooth through the many fused with multiple fields of art, that sounds of 50s music or the talented DJs pages of volumes of stimulates your creative senses and fuels your artistic mind. of the night have your ears begging for the evening to linger on. While mindfully knowledge” engaging yourself in a range of games Snuggled in the corner of Sydney’s busy you not only target your sense of touch Crown and Stanley Street, you are but also challenge your mind as you I have many times dined at this restau- invited to take a step onto the platform wistfully think of new tactics to win. rant and can honestly say that I and venture into an artistic playground. Last but not least your eyes are in thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere and Enter through the doors and to your right constant motion as they jump from experience. All personal biases aside, are the culinary minds, hard at work artwork to film and through the many there are 14 friends I took along who
  38. 38. STANLEY STREET STATION would totally agree. We chose from a With a stunning food menu, expectations Having launched only weeks ago this variety of different delicacies and must be set high for the beverages that creative space has been an instant hit! snacked from each other’s plates eager to complement the meals. Bec Foley, “We have been busy ever since launch choose a crowd favourite. Rave reviews Manager of Stanley Street Station joins which is just brilliant. Probably the most were had of the the Pork Belly. Not only us while we dip our taste buds (literally) rewarding thing has been seeing locals the favourite of my hungry tribe, Greg into the luscious flavours on the drink returning night after night. It's such a Vankuyk, Owner and Chef at Stanley menu, and while we love the sweet great savvy area here and to see such Street Station agrees as he tells us “It’s aromas and the beauty of the gentle hues discerning customers reward us with very naughty but nice; crispy skin pork that mix within our glasses, she is very their patronage is telling us that what belly with sautéed Asian greens, dressed quick to let us know which beverage hits we're doing is bang on.” chard and apple jus.” the spot for the patrons every time. “The Moore Club, which is dedicated to With plans for moving into the future, Clover, happens to be really yummy and constantly developing what Stanley we use our own house raspberry syrup.” Street Station has to offer, Amy “would Another brilliant idea from the Stanley love to see the space exhibit a range of Street Station team, naming a cocktail local artists regularly so that the way that after a loyal woman that has left an we understand Stanley Street Station and important mark in Australian society. its context in the Sydney playground is “to see such through the interpretatiotns of young artists and designers.” She also tells us discerning custom- that “in the near future there will be more art and design works in the space so that ers reward us with regulars can come in each time and be their patronage is approached with a different kind of welcome.” telling us that Stay tuned in issues to come for more information on this creative atmosphere what we're as Aesthetics Now takes a journey doing is through Stanley Street Station in the lead up to our monthly art event. Jump on bang on” board, take a comfortable seat and prepare to be awoken to all of your What we are served on our plate is So how did the concept of Stanley Street senses as you discover the levels of visually pleasing. In an artistic environ- Station arise you ask? Artist Amy Yong enlightenment that art, music, and ment our meals are presented in their Siri, who was commissioned to design delicious food bring on this joyous ride. own creative way; layer upon layer each and create the atmosphere of Stanley element plays an important role in Street Station, tells us that the concept is adding to the contrast and beauty of loosely based around psychogeography. these interesting meals. Needless to say, “This space touches on the notion of that with Greg’s fantastic culinary bible Sydney as an urban playground. All the embedded inside the back of his mind, elements of the space from the bar and we wouldn’t have expected anything dining areas to the artworks and terrari- less. Having cooked for 15 years, Greg’s ums and accident scenes pay homage to skills have seen him move to London the idea of micro climates and the way where he worked at “OXO Tower and that certain markers in a space lead The House of Lords”, creating mouth people here and there and encourage watering masterpieces for the likes of the them to use the spaces in the restaurant Queen and Dalai Lama. I giggle as I in a way that is dependent on them.” write this because I often hear my While psychogeography can come across mother say to me that her cooking is ‘fit as a daunting and quite complicated for the Queen’; yet in Greg’s case this is concept behind an environment, the way actually true! It’s no wonder the next in which it has been applied tenderly to Visit move was to embark on his own venture, Stanley Street Station acts as a “gentle to view to scrumptious menu and to take bringing his skills and artistic passions to introduction to it by encouraging people a sneak preview at what Stanley Street what is now Stanley Street Station. to wander in and throughout and drift. “ Station has to offer!
  39. 39. Austrlain cheese Lavash, Muscatels & Predilecta guava paste Krishna Pakora Pannacotta 300g New Yorker Vanilla Bean Gelato
  40. 40. if only they had by Neville Ewers W ith all the great marketing possibilities and personal connections we gain through twitter, there is is still that negative 9th Grade High School pressure to always be smart, funny, witty and inspiring. Who the hell needs that ? Well we decided to pass on this pressure to some of our favourite people of the past. They haven’t let us down. TheRealMrMarley @PTosh made I a slingshot today... make that 2 little birds by the I doorstep 6 minutes ago via web DaVinci So guess what a month alone in Florence with @monalisa gets you?... a big comfy seat in the friendzone #FAIL about 30 minutes ago via TweetDeck LudwigVanB Played 9th Symphony on a Vuvuzela today... in other news, apparently bee stings send me in anaphylaxis shock #whoknew about 1 hour ago via Übertwitter RayCharles My key seems to be stuck, can eel it... AWW UCK... this is not unny about 1 hour ago via TwitBraille
  41. 41. ColumbusC Last time I checked, the score was still Columbus 1 - @googlemaps 0 1 minutes ago via ÜberTwitter WillShakespeare Worst Hamelt performance in history today, experimented with a mime at lead, can you say #awkwardsilence about 1 hour ago via Übertwitter Nietzsche Dianetics is DEAD! about 1 hour ago via Übermensch ....and don’t forget to follow us
  42. 42. words by Allison Charmaine
  43. 43. ANIKIKO I fell in love with a particularly freedom of the clubs, and later enjoyed the privi- lege of being the designated driver, taking her musical boy who gave me an parents to big band performances. It was at these clubs she would sit and write: whether it be poetry awesome gift - he put or her emotions in their rawest form. These music to my words poems would later form the base for her music, such as her third release the EP “Soul Naked Before You”, and her soon to be released full- length studio album. will admit that I started my research for this article by watching her video for the track A Kinesiologist, her artistic parents encouraged “Like No Other”. Before reading the press her to study psychology instead of embracing the release, the biography, or even the interview title of musician. Her decision to pursue a musi- questions – my intention was to take a peek at the cal career which she wittily describes as an illness, video to see if I was interested. It was only when and the only remedy being to “create, write and I had heard the applause at the end of the video, tailor/refine the art” – is one she stumbled upon. which I admit was well-directed and produced In her own words:”I fell in love with a particularly that I realised I had just spent 4 minutes and 38 musical boy who gave me an awesome gift - he seconds with one thought: where can I get this put music to my words and melodies.” song for my playlist? Dear Particularly Musical Boy, we thank you. Her voice, which has been compared to Beth Without that encouragement, Gibbons (of Portishead fame), while being a fair this musical talent would have comparison and a compliment – is not even close ended with a Grade 5 perfor- to being an imitation. I could sit here all day and mance (accompanied by her think of cute adjectives and phrases, and not father Czech revolutionary properly describe the pure quality of her voice and poet and musician Jiri Nerad- the beautiful range she employs to deliver equally ilek) of “Slow Boat to China”. beautiful lyrics. When asked about her mus- ical nfluences and the develop- However, before I go off on a tangent that might ment of her unique sound, resemble a newfound girl-crush: let me give you AniKiko credits her the facts about this songstress. AniKiko, a early exposure to Czech-Australian singer/songwriter currently the trumpet and residing in Sydney, New South Wales launched double bass found her EP “Soul Naked Before You” in April of this in Jazz. “I like the year. To fully appreciate her as both singer and space the double b- songwriter, you have to understand her back- ass creates and I have ground. Her mother was a classical flautist, and so much room to fill her father a poet and trumpeter who one could in the gaps with mel- say helped to hone her natural talent by exposing ody and lyrical phrases. her to jazz clubs, and performing on stage. I also am drawn to the intensity of artists like By her own admission, AniKiko hated the pierc- Nine Inch Nails - Trent ing sound of the flute, and the “farting” sounds of Reznor and the beats or the trumpet that often filled her small childhood electronic influences of home. Her parents who never believed in babysit- trip hop artists like Porti- ters would take her to musicals and jazz shows shead or Massive Attack.” from an early age. The alternative to these outings was staying home with her brother and Good musical found- listening to him blast Poison and Van Halen while ation aside, she draws he did chores. Needless to say she preferred the from life to create
  44. 44. music: she is inspired by people and relationships. “Music doesn’t need to be encouraged by anything in myself. It happens and continues – rain, hail or shine.” She acknowledges the plight of artistes in this simple statement: “I find encouragement more applies to the times when you wonder how you can keep going to sustain the amount of time; dedication and commitment to a project when all blood, sweat and tears don’t necessarily support the new equipment you need to buy, etc. That’s when the handout from the folks really comes in handy... (Laughs) or when someone just says how much they were moved by a track you wrote or when a company wants to use your track for licensing.” By now, deciding she is both talented and beauti- ful, Aesthetic s Now decided to attempt to stump her with a standard beauty pageant contestant question. She did not falter for one second in her response. Music doesn’t need to be encouraged by anything in myself. It happens and continues – rain, hail or shine AN: Our readers are artists just like you. If you could give them some words of wisdom to encour- age them to continue fuelling their creative passions, what would they be? AniKiko: “I would have to say keep going and learn to ask for help and support. Find a strong team as I do believe when you are on your own as an artist the community, family, friends, society, public can quite easily make or break you. I wrote this song – "Like No Other" that speaks exactly of that support and is inspiring to me – to keep fine-tuning your craft, keep expressing and asking the questions of yourself most people do not dare to and you will crack through. I dedicate that track to my dad, Jiri.”
  45. 45. With a new album being released on September 30th and a roster of live shows including: Vangard (Newton, New South Wales) on Sep- tember 30th, and Vault 146 (Windsor, New South Wales) on both October 29th and 30th – this artiste is busy sharing her amazing voice and soothing lyrics. Speaking of sharing her music, her thoughts on travelling and perform- ing before a live audience perfectly sums up how I feel about her: “It feels connected. It feels universal. It feels boundless and timeless. I hope that I get more opportunities to do this.” For more information and performance updates on this artiste, please visit her MySpace profile:
  46. 46. is Grandmother handed him a melodica at a young age, and told him to “just play”. e melodica, a free-reed instrument with a musical keyboard on top, played by blowing air through a mouth piece that ts into a hole in the side of the instrument, is not exactly how most musicians would describe their rst direct contact with creating music. Without any knowledge of notes, technique or style, he took his melodica, and just played. is was the rst spark for Kheaven Brereton, popularly known as K-OS (pronounced “chaos”) that would light the tunnel towards his destiny. With 4 albums to his name – Exit (2002), Joyful Rebellion (2004), Atlantis: Hymns for Disco (2006) and Yes! (2009) – each with writing and production credentials, as well as playing in a live band at times during his shows, a rare sight in hip hop, K-OS is a fully groomed, well-rounded veteran in this music industry. If he can call up Crazy Legs and the Rock Steady Crew tomorrow for some B-Boy lessons, I’m personally dubbing him “ e Hip Hop Swiss Army Knife”. K-OS has through the years formulated a style of his own that has been modelled o some of the original pioneers of the genre. “My sound was based more o the Fugees and A Tribe Called Quest, but I get Black Eyed Peas a lot, guess I look like him (Will.I.Am)” he chuckled. Truthfully, if there was a celebrity-only celebrity lookalike contest, my money would surely be on Will.I.Am in resembling K-OS, and vice versa. is however, has absolutely nothing to do with his musical style, and once you hear K-OS on the microphone, you understand something signi cant is happening. Originally calling himself “Cosmic” due to his early fascination with space and Star Wars, Kheaven went through a number of name altering phases before becoming K-OS. “ ere was an episode of Seinfeld where they found out that Kramer’s real name was Cosmic, a er that my dad would repeatedly make fun of my name, I had to change it so I dropped the last 3 le ers to become Cos” he told us. “It then went on to become K-OS, which at the time stood for Kheaven’s Original Sound”. e nal modi cation came, as much as a surprise to K-OS as it did to everybody else. In an elevator, the question was randomly posed what did K-O-S stand for. “Knowledge of Self” were the three words that rolled o Kheaven’s tongue, three words that at the time came as a shock to him – three words that have stuck ever since. At an early point in his career, K-OS decided that his music would not be stereotypi- cal hip hop. Without sacri cing self-worth for success, he has consistently produced conscious music with a message. Being a humanitarian, K-OS described how the rst humanitarian work any artiste should do, should be the work he/she produces. “Your humanitarian work should actually start in your (art), making it environmentally safe which is being concerned about the messages and ideas you put out there”. Years later, K-OS is still using his talent to spread his knowledge, most recently through his 2009 album Yes! K-OS’s work on Yes! is a concoction comparable to the e orts of Victor Frankenstein, the hard work of a mad scientist, whose e orts result in the creation of what can only be considered a “beast”. Easily his best album yet, Yes! is WORDS BY NEVILLE EWERS
  47. 47. a moving and conscious piece of work that exempli es the in the right direction in terms of what they should focus on level of con dence and comfort the artist has found within with the progression of their careers, and of course his himself and his abilities. With a wide array of styles, K-OS response is one of true inspiration; a message K-OS has shows o his willingness to experiment with sound, and been consistent with communicating since the release of his that his versatility is just as strong behind a production rst album Exit. board as it is behind a microphone. “I don’t wake up trying to sound like anyone, I grew up in the suburbs listening to K-OS: It’s more about saying that you should be yourself, di erent sounds, from Fugees to Bob Dylan, and it comes looking towards people like Bob Dylan who said that great naturally” he said when asked about his style; “It’s just what artists are people who are either running towards God or I know”. running away from God, and then in that way there’s the underlining fact that as long as you tell the truth to yourself e progression of Yes! has since gone through another and God, then that’s all you really have to be concerned transition with the release of Yes It's Yours (Fan Remix about. e real justice of the world is knowledge of self, Album). Yes It’s Yours is a special remix being truthful to yourself, being version of the Canadian rapper’s 2009 truthful to some higher power that you album. It is comprised of tracks from believe in, whether you call it God, the the 2009 studio album mixed by fans universe, energy. Also in that, no of the artist from all over the world. “It ma er how awkward you are, no wasn’t easy” K-OS admi ed. “As artis- ma er how weird you feel, just be who tes we get very sensitive about our cre- you are because that will pay o in the ative work, this helped me get more in end; when you just be yourself, you touch with my fans and helped me to let don’t need to feed o other people’s go and share my work”. is is easily one ideas but (can still) be inspired by of my favourite concepts yet. I can only other great artistes. If you follow a imagine the look on the faces of salivat- person’s footsteps you can only go as ing young producers jumping at the op- far as they can go. Pre y soon you portunity to put their creative vision on have to create your own path so my one of their favourite artiste’s work. It’s whole thing was trying to carve a path also quite impressive to see an establish- of my own from the beginning while ed musician agreeing to such a risky still loving certain artistes and trying concept. to emulate them as well. Quincy Jones said something along the lines of “you At the moment, K-OS is enjoying the need to pick an artiste you like, try to idea of being free within himself and be them and try to sound like them with his music, currently touring with because you never will”. at no present plans on the next studio al- “THE REAL JUSTICE OF THE WORLD (statement) being said is very true in bum release. Fans should hold the river IS KNOWLEDGE OF SELF, BEING the sense of everyone is original and tears for another day though, as we won’t TRUTHFUL TO YOURSELF, you like someone original, whether have to wait long to hear new material you like Michael Jackson or whether I BEING TRUTHFUL TO SOME HIGHER from K-OS. “In July, we will be releasing like (A) Tribe Called Quest, or Lauryn POWER THAT YOU BELIEVE IN” a new mix tape titled Anchorman; this Hill or whatever, these are the ones I one is for the fans.” e interesting title look up to and some people say “yeah for mix tape came from, as you have probably already you can hear that”, but for the most part it goes over your pondered, the 2004 Will Ferrell comedy of the same name. head who I really love. Some artists want to control outer “I love that movie; we’re always watching it on the tour bus. space, and some artists want to control inner space. Some roughout the mix tape will be quotes from the lm.” To people get o on being top of the charts and want to control that, all I can say is “I’m legendary anchorman Ron outer space, they want to control money, they want these Burgundy. I’m si ing here in my aqua jet 9000 enjoying outward things to make them feel secure about the art that uh...well my favourite meal of steak, wa es, french fries, they do. Some artistes are cool with the inner space, they and of course scotch. Now if you don't think this is the want to feel cool within themselves, and then there are greatest mix tape ever...I will ght you. at’s no lie.” artistes who are both. at’s all the advice I would give. Really by having some understanding of yourself and then As per usual, I asked K-OS to leave a few words of wisdom going into the world and realising that, you can do whatever for aspiring artistes; for our young readers who need a push you want to do”.
  48. 48. MINIMALIST POSTERS Jamie Bolton
  49. 49. BOOKMAN REVIEW The Magic Of Reason from Justine Larbalestier mentally adjust. e brilliance of Larbalestier is in the way her s short chapters communicate the by Dutty Bookman perspectives of the three main characters, Reason, Tom and Jay-Tee. In addition, the W hat is magic? What does it look like? Would we language slightly changes know it when we see it? Does it even exist in our depending on whose reality the world? Is it a supernatural phenomenon or is it chapter surrounds – Reason’s one of humanity’s conveniently discarded and forgo en and Tom’s chapters are meant natures? Is magic a sort of sixth sense that can be devel- to have Australian characteris oped during our childhood in the same way that modern tics due to their origins, while education develops our cognitive and logical brain func- the chapters for Jay-Tee, the tions? American, displays American mannerisms, vocabulary and grammar. Even the way words Justine Larbalestier’s e Magic of Reason might evoke are spelt re ects the version of English known by the these very questions. e thickness of the publication, subjected protagonist. In this literary strategy the reader is slightly intimidating, is less so when it becomes clear that it made to feel like a y constantly transporting from wall to compiles a trilogy: Magic or Madness (2005), Magic wall, ge ing a more complete picture from the various Lessons (2006) and Magic’s Child (2007). e rst points of view. is intensi es the drama and turns out to introduces the reader to Reason Cansino, a 15-year-old be a delightful experience. e second instalment in the Australian girl, deliberately kept away from her magical series progresses with less disbelief in magic powers and heritage by her mother, Sara na, who named Reason as further exploration of the deeper truths associated with such because, as the inside ap of the book describes, she Reason’s magical heritage. e third and nal episode, “liked it be er than Logic or Rationality or Intellect – all then, brings with it some conclusions, closure and new good words representing the calm, ordered certainty that beginnings. opposed Esmeralda’s world.” One of the more interesting aspects of this ctitious story – Esmeralda, “a real-life witch,” happens to be Reason’s the Fibonacci series as a factor of magic – might seem a grandmother. Conditioned to avoid her at all costs, Reason li le disconcerting at rst. What could a mathematical had been living in the Australian Outback for most of her phenomenon have to do with magic? Apart from the fact life when destiny changed her course. She suddenly nds that the reader would rst have to believe in the magic that herself living in Esmeralda’s home when Sara na is the book supposes by the time this revelation takes place, captured and delivered to a mental ward. us begins a the Fibonacci series is nothing more than an abstract previously unfathomable journey for the young Miss scienti c concept to most people who have ever come Cansino. across it. What could be magical about something used in computer algorithms or nancial market analysis? en Along the way, Reason nds herself travelling to New York again, those markets could very well be the hocus-pocus where she encounters new acquaintances bound to her by responsible for the world’s repeated economic crises. the fate of a twisted reality with which she struggles to Magical indeed.
  50. 50. Nature is garrulous to the point of confusion, let the artist be truly taciturn. Paul Klee
  51. 51. You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. Mark Twain
  52. 52. “I shut my eyes in order to see.” Paul Gauguin
  53. 53. TO BE NICE words by Deidrian Williams
  54. 54. To be nestled in your arms At a time like this, to have lived A moment like this, at a moment like this
  55. 55. To have your a In a net of safety, t That, for me to
  56. 56. arms encircle me to be touched like o feel like that
  57. 57. To have your lips touch mine In a manner like that, to be able to Dwell like that, on a taste as soft
  58. 58. To have your deepest desire opened to me To an extent like that, to be able to partake Pleasurable bit by bit on that building desire...
  59. 59. To be able to enjoy you as I do In moments of dark, in moments of light, In the way I do, in the manner I’m able, To appreciate you, and all there is, in a Moment like this, at a time like this, In a place as this, is simply...wonderful
  60. 60. TOP 5 CULT CLASSICS TOP 5 CULT CLASSICS OF THE LAST TEN YEARS otherwise known as they usually take on a life of their “Reefer Madness”, an own, usurping the director’s original absurdly alarmist PSA on intention. That’s actually the best the dangers of marijuana. litmus test for the authenticity of Ironically, the film went on to a cult film, weighing the intention become a staple of the late night vs. the outcome. Taking this into stoner crowd who unfortunately consideration, recent movies like did not succumb to the evils of “Snakes on a Plane” (2006) and jazz music and fornication as Harry the Paris Hilton mess, “Repo: The Anslinger predicted. Genetic Opera”, are obvious attempts at manipulating the The 60s and 70s were a mainstream audience with more good time for the night Hollywood pre-construction. If A “Snakes on a Plane” (2006) became s the old models of marketing owls, weirdos and other cemented in pop culture, it was and distribution bow down members of the perhaps more due to the purposeful to the ubiquitous presence of the Internet, you’d be counterculture; inclusion of Samuel L. “Mother Fuckin’” Jackson and a clever hard pressed to find a more hotly films like “Eraserhead” (1979), marketing scheme catered to the debated topic than the criteria needed “El Topo” (1970), “Night of the woefully naïve, than any kind of to elevate a film to cult status. Living Dead” (1968), “Pink Flamingos” natural evolution on the film’s The main aspect which defines a (1972) and “The Rocky Horror part. Some harbingers of doom cult film is its relative obscurity, Picture Show” (1975) dominated have gone on to claim “The Big as if it were some sort of secret which the midnight movie circuit, covering Lebowski “ (1998) as the last of only a small group of devotees knew varying themes of transgression the true cult films, a personal about. “Unusual” and “hard to and subversion of the current favourite of mine that was slaughtered find” are becoming increasingly social norms. “The Harder They by the critics upon release and difficult to define in an age where Come” (1972), the Jamaican film has since gone on to spawn a anything and everything is available equivalent to Bob Marley, flopped yearly festival and the philosophy to anyone at the click of a mouse; a on release, but ran as a midnight of life known as “Dudeism”. time when literally any film is available movie for 6 years, helping to spread to be ironically viewed out of context. Regardless, recent times have a love of reggae in the US in the spawned some prime additions to In the early days (as far back as process, and inadvertently causing me the new cult canon, riding on the say, 2002), it took some serious to incorporate “avoiding mindless coattails of their predecessors, who dedication to amass the repeated hippies with dreadlocks” as a part of paved the way for the strange and viewings and word of mouth my daily routine. “Night of the unconventional to take their place promotion needed for a film to earn Living Dead” (1968) went on to in ‘normal’ society. Here’s a subjective its rightful place in the cult canon. become the definitive influence of look at some of the better films of Early cult films were of the “so the zombie genre, with its satirical the past decade I believe have bad it’s good” variety: the campy take on American consumerism, earned the right to be authentically B-horror and low-budget sci-fi of a theme critics lauded and George A. defined as “cult”. Ed Wood; exploitation films like Romero famously answered “Ah, Tod Browning’s “Freaks”(1932) ok. Yea sure that’s what I meant!” and “Tell Your Children” (1936), Another aspect of cult films is that By Tasha Williams
  61. 61. TOP 5 CULT CLASSICS BATTLE Kyouichi Motobuchi: If I survive, can I go home? ROYALE Director: Kinji Fukasku Teacher Kitano: Yes, but only if everyone else is dead! Writer: Kenta Fukasaku (based on novel by Koshun Takami) (2001) Growing up in the complacent that the film would follow in Japanese elementary school, West, it’s easy to walk out of a the book’s footsteps and become predictably blamed on the film film like “Battle Royale” (2001) a staple of the new cult canon. and media violence in general. brushing it off as “just a movie”. Although achieving box office Of course, the controversy has only Not so for director Kinji Fukasku, success overseas, the film didn’t increased the films staying power, whose inspiration to make the receive a US release outside of spawning a manga series and a film came from his own real life festivals, and rumours of its sequel I’ve chosen to ignore, but experience as a 15 year old munitions American ban, fueled by its making up for it by introducing worker during World War II. His conspicuous absence from any Quentin Tarantino to a young entire class had been drafted, video store, only increased the Chiaki Kuriyama, otherwise and in July 1945, were caught in anticipation felt when one finally known as Go Go Yobari of artillery fire and forced to act as got a hold of a friend with a Netflix “”Kill Bill”. human shields to survive. subscription. Despite the excessive violence and gore, the “Battle Royale” isn’t all shock and no Those left substance. It serves as an extreme standing had to allegory on the “dog eat dog” nature of life; a literal lesson on “kill deal with the chore or be killed”; Lord of the Flies of disposing the on acid. Like its predecessor, “Cannibal Holocaust” (1980), the corpses of their film employs a stark contrast with former friends. its theme music, the haunting overture ‘Dies Irae’ playing in the background of a murder The hatred young Fukasaku felt by multiple gunshot. at the time towards the adults of his nation and the bad decisions The release of the DVD was they made are brought to the postponed in 2004 when surface in his ultra-violent adap- life decided to imitate art tion of Koshun Takami’s cult in the infamous Sasebo novel, “Battle Royale”. A faithful slashing, a murder conversion, it was inevitable taking place in a
  62. 62. TOP 5 CULT CLASSICS Director: Richard Kelly Writer: Richard Kelly (2001) ocrates astutely stated that mixing coming of age drama Swayze’s portrayal of a snake oil wisest is he who knows he with period piece and science fiction selling life coach who manages a does not know. Apparently to create a whole new breed of genre “kiddie porn dungeon” on the side, some Donnie Darko fans bender and elevating the star power perhaps one of his most memorable didn’t get the memo. In the years of a then unknown Jake Gyllenhaal. roles. Donnie himself represents since its release, it’s not so much the high school everyman, a hero a question of have you seen the for every disillusioned kid who can’t film, but when? There’s a rift between shake the feeling that he’s a pawn the persons who stumbled upon in a game he didn’t sign up to play. the film during their own private The film’s increasing popularity meanderings, and those who caught led to a production of various books on after it had already achieved and supporting material, the release mass appeal. One side cries “wagonist”, of a director’s cut in 2004, the while the other cries “snob”; to spawning of a wretched sequel bring out the true poseurs, just ask and a flood of merchandise in them to explain the plot. Nonetheless, stores like Hot Topic, predictably it’s a definitive film of the 2000’s, capitalizing on its established appeal to “emo” kids. But some of His idea laden films usually us can remember a time before require multiple viewings to “The Prince of Persia” (2010), appreciate, which helps to explain when one insomniac night flicking the dismal box office returns. With through the channels, we stumbled a budget of $4.5 million, the film upon that “weird movie” with the barely managed to scrape past “killer 80s soundtrack”, and “a guy the $100,000 mark on its opening in a giant bunny suit named Frank”. weekend. It was actually saved from the straight to DVD market by Drew Barrymore, whose production company Flower Films fronted the money for public distribution, thus explaining her previously inexplicable presence. There are other inexplicable presences in the film, most famously Patrick
  63. 63. TOP 5 CULT CLASSICS BRICK Brendan Frye: Pin? The Brain: Pin. The Pin? Brendan Frye: The Pin, yeah? The Brain: The Pin is kinda a local spook story, yeah know the King Pin. Brendan Frye: Yeah, I've heard it. The Brain: Same thing, he's supposed to be old, like 26. Lives in town. Director: Rian Johnson anti-hero, absent of morals, the The rest of the film brooding loner with an idee Writer: Rian Johnson fixe; protecting the woman he plays like some dark (2006) version of Charlie so desperately loves. The other High school is a microcosm of students represent various noir Brown, without the the real world, shrouded in secrecy archetypes; dippy dames and unintentional femme fatales; the criminal master and doublespeak, populated by mind with his lap dog muscle; philosophizing. caricatures more than actual the go to guy for information. her too-old-to-still-be-at-home people; life with the drama amplified. Besides the typical meathead son is running in the basement of It’s a wonder it took jocks, it’s high school without the their house with the “tacky mailbox”. awkward, everyone acting with someone this long to the restrained emotional assurance There is no small talk, no conversations make the analogy of adulthood. The absence of without purpose and no delusions with film noir, a genre actual adults isn’t realized until of morality when it comes to getting that has evolved to we’re actually presented with one what you want. Upon release in in the form of the collaborating become a cult vice principal and the absurdly the US, the film fell shy of the $100,000 mark, not coming remotely within itself. comical interrogation scene that close to matching its almost takes place in his office. The only $500,000 budget. Some may be Brick (2006) is a hard-boiled other adult presence is the mother turned off by the snappy dialogue detective story set in suburbia, of the local drug dealer, The Pin, and esoteric slang, but the film is surrounding a dead body, and a sweetly questioning Brendan on dripping with “cool” and the cast of shady characters driven his choice of beverage after he’d convoluted storyline is bound to by unabashed self-interest. Brendan been beaten up for threatening to bring the intrigued viewer back (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is our expose the drug dealing racket for a second watch.