Traditionally Sunday has been known as the day of rest. A day set aside to do nothing. Or, to devote time to following passions and desires that a life, and full time employment, never seems to allow. For Mckenzie James, Sunday was the one day he could focus on artistic endeavours. With The Sunday Naked Project, Mckenzie, allows, or forces himself, to slow down and re-discover the simple beauty that can be found with just light, skin, subject, and photographer.
'While I would LOVE to reach a point where everyday I'd be able to shoot what I want without expectations and to just explore what I want to explore, I don't think it would be particularly realistic of me. Working for clients is still the only way I know of making a living, and sadly that pretty much means work on other peoples ideas/concepts/goals, while trying to make sure your message/aesthetic remains part of it. I think that at least I will reach a point where at least half the week is Sunday :)' Mckenzie James
I wrote the above comments in my profile of photographer Mckenzie James, and the Naked Sunday Project for the Autumn 2012 issue of tMf Magazine. I am a long time fan of Mckenzie's work, especially the imagery he has created for TNSP. I have been wanting to feature more from the project for awhile now but as usual, patience ends up being a virtue resulting in my being able to feature Mckenzie's images of his recent work with Claudiu.
Claudiu has become one of my favorite models to cover on the blog since he first appeared on FH in an image for pic of the day by Chris Teel back in January 2010. Since then I have been fortunate to collaborate with Claudiu on several features showcasing his work with several different photographers. A full time student studying multiple degree's, modeling has been a great way to help pay for his education as well showcasing his incredible body. As good as he may look with his clothes off, Claudiu also has a great body and look to showcase fashion and is looking to increase his commercial work in the future.
I titled this feature Metamorphosis, as one of the most interesting and beautiful aspects in featuring the his images has been experiencing the changes and growth within his work. The changes in Claudiu go beyond the physical, although he has put a lot of energy into getting his body to the place it is at. The changes within his imagery also speak to the spiritual and emotional, as the degree of not only confidence but sense and self has shown through stronger and stronger with each shoot. Claudiu was always mature and serious about his goals and aspirations, but his desire and dedication has only deepened which is evident with each new shoot and image. Maybe especially with the incredible portrait shots from Mckenzie shown here.
It's been awhile since True Blood gave us a really great nude scene with one of the shows hottest actors Ryan Kwanten. It has also been awhile since the show an enjoyable episode, but it delivered both last week. Maybe TB, there is a connection? Now if the show would only permanently switch which Stackhouse it focused on!
For anyone who feels they are different, seeing themselves on television or on the big screen can be an incredible experience. Even if they may think otherwise however, Hollywood is sill not great at making and promoting movies that don't star white, usually good looking men. For a little person, the struggle for decent roles can be that much more of a challenge. Sure last year there were a couple of versions of Snow White requiring seven dwarfs and there is sometimes the little person role, usually as the brunt of silly jokes, in the odd teenage comedy, but truly great characters can be few and far between.
An Insignificant Harvey (2011)
Thankfully that is beginning to change a little. Peter Dinklage is breaking ground on Game Of Thrones, but there is another actor who recently grabbed my attention. A month or so ago, I read the description of a movie that piqued my interest. I had never heard of An Insignificant Harvey, but the title, and that description had me programming the DVR. It is odd for me to love a movie from the first second or two, but with this film I did. Writer and director Jeff Kopas took me instantly back to my childhood, and the opening scene had me not just seeing, but feeling like I was transported back to the early 80's and the chill of the long winters I experienced as a child. Not the December winters with holly and bright lights, but the late January and February winters when the cold, snow and wind chill was without a holiday to polish it up.
A janitor at a small town ski resort, who also happens to be a little person, has his life dramatically change when he finds a stray husky and falls for an exotic dancer.
Not sure if the description above grabbed you, but after reading it, I knew I found a movie I would love. In An Insignificant Harvey, actor Jordan Prentice play that janitor Harvey, and as in the description, Harvey's size is not really an issue or part of the plot. It certainly is not important to Inca, the husky who is most concerned about finding an owner, someone to love and take care of her. The package that person comes in is really not relevant. Harvey has been a bit beaten down by life, a childhood in an orphanage, no family and few people around to support him.
Mirror Mirror 2012
I loved the movie and Jordan's performance. The actor didn't try to make Harvey overly likable, instead channelled his life experiences through each scene and each moment. You might not always like Harvey, but he is hard not to love. As a viewer, my relationship with the character was sort of parallel with Harvey's with Inca. You may not really want to, but somehow you feel for and want to give him a hand. The film is slow at times, a focus on character and small moments, so I know it may not be everyone's cup of tea. If however, the brief description above somehow grabbed your imagination like it did mine, it might be a film to seek out.
American Pie Presents The Naked Mile (2006)
Jordan Prentice got a crash course in the ups and downs of the movie business with his first motion picture role as one of the Howard T Duck's in the 1986 high profile bomb Howard The Duck. Since then he has worked steadily, sometimes playing the typical roles I described above. Prentice was Napoleon, a dwarf in last years Mirror Mirror and played Rock, the brunt of many jokes in the American Pie teen flicks Beta House and The Naked Mile. In addition however, Prentice has worked steadily in both movies and on television and has well received notices for his work in both including In Bruges with Colin Farrell.