Tuesday, May 28, 2013
I am not sure there is any other current actor doing it for me quite the way Liam Hemsworth does. A couple of weeks ago he was looking pretty hot in a suit walking the red carpet at Cannes. This week, the suit is off and Hemsworth is cooling off in the pool in a scene for his new movie Paranoia, a thriller co-starring Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman.
There is a reason that most of the photographers I have profiled describe photography as a passion. We love lots of things, family, friends, partners, puppies and kittens and going to the beach. There are things however that separate passions from being just another love...
We can love many different people and many different things, but we are usually only passionate about one person or one thing. We like to do things we love, but with a passion, it is more of a compulsion. When my body talks to me about red meat, it is more than just a want, it is a need. A compulsion that if not filled, leaves us less than we are than when we give in to it.
Nashville photographer Donald Chambers has thankfully, given in to his passion. Donald's images feel like the result of the completion of an elegant compulsion. Erotic images full of both respect and grace. Donald is doing what he is passionate about and that passion flows beautifully through his all of his work. When my spirit requires replenishing, it is usually a visual and/or emotional burst of stimulation that brings balance to my equilibrium, Donald's images accomplish that in spades.
Donald's primary love had always been landscape photography. Over the years he has photographed pretty much every national park in the United States and most of Canada. Just recently he returned from a trip, and a shoot, in Machu Picchu Peru. About five years ago, Donald was introduced to portrait photography and has not looked back.
'My landscapes now come in the form of the human body. I love the male form and consider it an amazing honor when a model allows me to capture such a private part of their life.'
Over the past several months I have had a few models write me about their images. Some were applying for new jobs and were concerned about the impact the images might have on their prospects. Donald is fully aware of the power of the internet and takes time to meet with every model to assess their comfort level. Donald also cautions them about the eternal life of an image on the net. This respect for the models he shoots speaks again to Donald's passion for his work as well as the professionalism he exhibits.
'One time I apologized to a model about my enthusiasm, he said you should never be sorry about loving your art. That really stuck with me because I really do love my art.'
When I profile an artist, I usually point to the one image that compelled me to contact them about a feature. To be honest, with Donald's work, that first image I saw was not of Matt. When I started putting together my favorite images however, without noticing at first, almost all of the images I had chosen were of Matt. There was just something about Donald's images of the 23 year old that sort of summed up all I felt about his work. Donald's images of Matt simply made a beautiful impression. Great body and an ease in front of the camera, but most of all those incredible hazel eyes. Matt's eyes are hypnotic. When he is staring directly at the camera and even when looking down or away, they are so full of emotion and depth.
'Matt doesn't have conventional model looks but I think that what attracted me to him, he was so expressive and his entire soul is in his eyes. I just loved that aspect of him. He was so beautiful and sensual and it just came so easy to him, you have to admire that and be a little envious of it too. I loved working with Matt, he had the beauty of youth and the beauty of an amazing soul.'
The first time I saw actor Matt Damon on screen was in 1992's School Ties. I remember going with a group of friends and although many were bored with the private school drama, I was in Heaven watching Brendan Fraser, Chris O'Donnell, Cole Hauser and Randall Batinkoff. Although I was mostly crushing over Brendan and Chris at the time, I certainly took notice of Damon for his both his acting, and of course, when he dropped his towel to join to join the others in the shower scene showing his cute little backside.
School Ties (1992)
Damon has been an interesting actor to watch. Although he has certainly used his talent, looks and appeal to take on blockbusters like the Bourne series, Damon has also taken on smaller movies with more character driven parts, such as the object of Jude Law's affection in 1999's drama The Talented Mr. Ripley.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
At 42, Damon is still looking mighty fine and a meatier Matt, still delivers. The movie was watchable, good, but not great. I had a small issue with Damon in this role, as think it significant that Scott Thorson was 17 when first seduced by the 60 plus year old piano player. Although Damon was terrific, he still could not quite pull off 17 which I think will change the way the relationship will be perceived by viewers. Michael Douglass was good, I could not help but feel he missed an opportunity by downplaying the role. Although Douglass still played Liberace as a manipulator and predator, he gave him almost the same degree of flamboyance on and off the stage which I found made it more difficult to see him more of a caricature more than the real person I had hoped the movie might unmask.
Behind the Candelabra (2013)
The movie really did belonged to Damon..His scenes demanded your attention, and not just because of his lack of wardrobe. The movie wasn't so much a Liberace piece as much as it was Scott's journey through his six year old relationship with the entertainer. Damon was able to bring a real face to the plastic one, most people got to know in magazines and newspapers.
Captures via the incredible Superherfan.net
Sunday, May 26, 2013
There are only a small group of women who usually get mentioned when the funniest females from Saturday Night Live are discussed. One woman who always makes my list is Siobhan Fallon (Hogan). Siobhan was only on the show for about a year, but her career since has been a long string of memorable roles.
SNL, Sorority Girls Sketch (1991)
On television, Siobhan had roles on such shows as Third Watch, Rescue Me, The Golden Girls and Fred: The Show. I especially loved on Seinfeld in her role as Elaine's roommate Tina, who I really needed much more air time! Although a stand out on television, it was in movies where the actress really got a chance to shine.
Greedy (with Phil Hartman, 1994)
Forrest Gump, Greedy, Jury Duty, Striptease, Men In Black, Dogville, We Need To Talk About Kevin and Baby Mama are but a small portion of Siobhan's credits. I think my favorite role of Siobhan's was Blanche, Renée Zellweger's cheery secretary in the underrated 2009 comedy New In Town. The movie is not great, but I love the characters and the town and the world in which the movie is set. Renée Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr are fine, but Siobhan steals the show in every hilarious scene she is in.
Baby Mama (2008)
New In Town (2009)
When checking my blogger stats, I always know that when my 2012 Blast From The Past feature with actor Martin Hewitt comes up near the top, that Endless Love was playing on some television channel somewhere. The movie was quite memorable, but not so much due to story or acting. Martin was certainly memorable, but I think the most famous part of the movie was the theme song sung by Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross.
Not sure if the song will be part of the re-make, but for some reason Universal pictures has decided the flick needs revisiting. Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde are taking on the main roles in a film due in theatres next Valentines day. Although Pettyfer didn't get the best press for Magic Mike, he did stand out in a few movies (Beastly, I Am Number Four) which were mostly, except for his performance, were quite forgettable.
Endless Love was actually an interest story, with a decent foundation, and all the ingredients to make a great romantic tragedy. Will be interesting to see what can be done with the material in the hands of capable actors and a good director.
Pettyfer in Magic Mike
Martin Hewitt in Endless Love (1981)
'These images are like the human figure shedding dried leather leaves-the leather being more interesting than just a drape of cloth cascading from the form.'
One of the many cliches associated with gay men, is a love of leather. Leather is a material that not all men, not all bodies, can truly pull off. I have never worn leather myself, but when I see it worn well, it has the ability to sexually catapult the mind to wild and wonderful places. In many respects, leather has an almost retro feel. Although still popular, it harks back to a specific time and part of ones life. Blue Magazine, Australia's gay lifestyle magazine, also has a sort of retro feel. Featuring top photographers from around the world, Blue launched in February 1995 under the name (not only) Blue, later changing simply to Blue. Since 2007, the magazine has styled itself as Blue+. I could not find anything recent about the magazine which seems to have folded awhile ago.
In this 2003 Blue Magazine profile, one of my favorite artists, Robert J Guttke, uses the leather, and the leather cliche as a metaphor within the theme. The images touch on not only the material's overuse in gay culture, but also speaks to it's decline in popularity. In these images, leather drops from the body like dead leaves, a shedding of skin, a getting rid of the old and worn creating almost a rebirth or sorts.
Blue Magazine#46 (2003)
Blue Magazine#46 (2003)
When Robert John Guttke was growing up in a prefab community outside Chicago, he didn’t just live in a fantasy world-he actively constructed it. Using clay, stiff card, tape and scissors, the nascent aesthetic would design and build his own mythic realms, peopling them with a variety of heroic figures, ideally represented. Arguably this was a necessity, according to Guttke, brand-new Carpentersville consisted of nothing but ‘a highway and a shopping center.’
Studying sculpture at Rockford College, two hours west of the Windy City, he was discouraged by most of his lecturers from rendering the human figure, perceived to be an outdated subject. In an environment of post-modern pastiche and clever clogs conceptualism, such a classical approach to art must have seen passé. But for Guttke, it was something to be proud of.
Now, many years later, he has left the modeling clay behind in favour of that most modern of instruments, the camera, to sculpt with light. And in place of fantasy figures that wouldn’t look out of place in an Ursula Le Guin novel, we have a living, breathing subjects. Yet the form remains heroic and idealized.
In this series, a strut of mesomorphic models adorned with leather-chaps, caps, capes et al-cavort and pose in dishabille for his lens. Each picture is comprised of four images set side by side in a manner reminiscent of a peepshow gallery. Carefully selected and arranged, the juxtaposed nudes enhance each other. Viewed as a ‘four-in-hand’, a tantalizing narrative of repetition and permutation emerges. But while erotic overtones are undeniable, the photographer is keen to stress it’s not a striptease.
“To me, these images are like the human figure shedding dried leather leaves-the leather being more interesting than just a drape of cloth cascading from the form,” says Guttke who now resides in Minneapolis. “(It’s) a ballet of movement which starts with a cocoon of leather that eventually peels away, and in doing so creates serendipitous abstract shapes that enhance the body.
Being concerned mostly with nudes, Guttke is used to misunderstandings about his work. People inquire as to whether his models are straight or gay- ‘as if it matters. You might as well ask what their religious and political backgrounds happen to be.”
Apparently they also assume he’s a dirty old man getting his thrills behind the lens. “I think of myself as a latent Victorian”, he says. When all the components before me fall into perfect order, I don’t snicker. Actually, my jaw drops in awe, being witness to something beautiful that I am lucky to capture with my camera.”
He hopes others share in his aesthetic appreciation. But experience has also led him to believe that once the picture is out there, hungry eyes want to do with it what they will. “One cannot control the reaction of the audience.” So for those who wonder as to the difference between his images and those found in plastic-wrapped titles, Guttke is impressively succinct. “Lighting and intent.”
Jaw dropping perfection of pants-dropping petits fours. You be the judge!