Brad Ouellette by Walter Kurtz
"Ask anyone I’ve shot and they’ll tell you that shooting with me isn’t even remotely sexy. It’s actually physically painful at times. I had one guy who had to go to the chiropractor the next day."
Walter Kurtz (Source)
This quote sums up why I love Walter Kurtz so much. Yes I love his work, his signature shot, his use of lighting and most importantly his use of form (building, flower or body, Walter is a genius with form). Beyond his work, Walter Kurtz has a dangerously sharp sense of humour. Walter can smack you hard with the stroke of a few keys. I love his ability, and especially his sensibility to cut through the smoke and mirror of his occupation. Walter is indeed a master at the art of portraiture, but to many he simply shoots a mighty fine 'nekkid'. If you want to experience the wit and talent of Walter Kurtz spend a few minutes checking out his site HERE:
"Walter's one of the first photographers I shot with in NYC. He more than made up for horrible experience I had with another one prior to him. He's really funny and sarcastic which is why we get along so well. He make shooting so easy. He knows exactly how to work the light and tells you exactly where he wants your foot, your elbow, your chin, your hand etc so the shot comes out perfect. I see and speak with him on a regular basis and he's become a good friend. I've done a few shots with him over the past 2 years and am always impressed with his work... and his witty sense of humor"
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I finally watched a movie last week I have been waiting to see for a long time, Tom Ford's 'A Single Man'. For the sake of this post, let me start with the end. I intensely disliked the last several minutes of this movie very much. Yes I can why the particular ending was chosen and yes it was rather dramatic but I still hated it. There is something almost dishonest about taking an audience through a movie all about 'a choice' only to have that choice never get made. Ironic yes, satisfying...no. But...if I choose to end the movie, in my mind anyway, with George lifting the blanket off Kenny to discover the gun...then I can say I just watched a nearly perfect motion picture.
Some might think nearly perfect might be a bit of a stretch but let me give you my reasons. My favorite movies are not ones that involve action or even specific scenes for that matter. My favorite movies are ones that focus on moments. From the minute 'A Single Man' begins it is a series of moments, some important, most not, in George's journey.
Colin Firth inhabits George fully and through his talent, his eyes, his voice, we live each moment with him. It really does not matter the size of the moment. Whether it is attracting the eye of a hot student, discovering the only bread you have in the house is frozen, waving hello to the woman next door or learning your lover just died. Each moment is given equal attention and equal meaning and each moment lets us know exactly what George is feeling.
When I previously read reviews for 'A Single Man' there was a lot written about this being Tom Ford's first movie and that it was mostly Style over Substance. The movie was without a doubt stylish, I expected nothing less. To me this movie had more substance than most of the movies I have seen in years. I guess if your used to see movies about Wars and Dinosaurs, Space Ships and Murders, 'A Single Man' might seem lacking in substance or story. Most movies have you forgetting them before you make it out of the theatre. 'A Single Man' haunted me for days, still is in fact.
I think the reason the movie hit me so hard is that to me it through a commonly accepted theory on it's ear. Most people believe that it is...
'Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all'
'A Single Man' throws this theory out the window. George's great love for 16years has tragically ended. The ending of the love also ended much for George. His desires, his ability to find any joy out of life. Most of George died with his lover Jim. His unmanageable pain is what is leading him to want to end his own life. I certainly have felt like George. As much as I look back on the main relationship in my life (it was only 7 years, not 16) as the best time of my life...in some ways it has made the years since some of the worst. Not everyone ends relationships only to jump into another. Some end wonderfully relationships never to find another. There is something about this pain that I relate to and find very profound. I think it is why 'A Single Man' hit me with such an emotional punch.
Tom Ford and Colin First made each moment of 'A Single Man' a beautiful portrait, each able to stand on their own. As much as I love Julianne Moore (she really is one of the best actress's alive) I somehow did not really enjoy her scenes with Firth. Their first scene together, as he rushes to her after the death of Jim (Matthew Goode) was great, but after that I found that her character just got in the way of George's journey. That may have been the point...
Colin was at his best in scenes where George is either alone or with a minor character like his neighbour or the neighbour's children (such great scenes!). Whether it be threatening to kill the boy next door or flirting with a secretary at the university, these moments are the ones that are masterfully tied together by Ford to create what I loved so much about the movie. I think that is why I disliked the ending so much. Up to that point the movie was a series of moments. The last scene felt almost as if they inserted a scene within the moments and therefore it simply did not fit.
My favorite moments or scenes from 'A Single Man' were the brief scenes between George and Carlos (beautifully played by Jon Kortajarena). Their brief interactions were almost like a movie within a movie. Beautifully written, beautifully acted and beautifully shot. If I were Tom Ford I would be writing a sequel with these scenes inserted in the middle of the movie. I would then features the life of Carlos and his journey to America before them and his life and after.
Like all of the best art, 'A Single Man' was like no movie I have seen in awhile. A throwback to an era of film aking that focused on character over plot. Thank you Tom Ford!
I know most of you have seen caps from the scene before but I wanted to add them to the post. I could not have predicted when I first saw Nicholas Hoult in 'About A Boy' that he would turn into such a talented and beautiful actor. I did know watching Nicholas in 'Skins' however that there was a major talent about to break out.
I would have loved to have gotten to know a bit more about Kenny. Many seemed to view Colin Firth's 'George' as lucky to have gotten the attention of the much younger Kenny. I am not so sure... I think if Kenny had remained in George's life he would have brought a whole lot of trouble. As much as it would be nice to think Kenny was just attracted to George, you have to question a teenagers obsession with an almost 50 year old and what he actually wanted out of the relationship.
Just Because: My favorite shots of Jon Kortajarena.
Jon by Brian Atwood.
Below: Jon by Joan Alsina.
Below: Jon for Tom Ford Eyewear.
Below: Jon by Sergi Pons
Below: Jon by Shoky Van Der Host.
Below: Jon in Vogue Hommes
Below: Jon by Xevi Muntané
23 year old London based model and personal trainer GregD graduated Brunel University with a degree in Exercise Physiology and Biomchanics. Greg is currently completing a Masters Degree in Human Performance. Greg's motivational skills are renowned in the London Fitness Industry.
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 185 lbs
Hair color: Brown
Hair length: Short
Eye color: Brown
Skin color: White
Below: Greg by David Hart of ShootMeUp
Below: Greg by Sweatshop Boutique.
Below: Greg and his abs on the runway for clothing designer Orschel-Read.
Love the three shots below shot by model turned photographer Paul Reiffer.