gifs now called cinemagraphs

reblogging from on jamie beck’s wonderful moving gifs. just awesome:

New York City-based fashion photographer Jamie Beck, in collaboration with Kevin Burg, a web designer with a background in video and motion graphics, has created a series of gorgeous animated GIFs she calls “cinemagraphs”. A couple of them feature Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha, and these have gained quite a bit of media exposure recently. According to Rocha, cinemagraphs are “more than a photo, but not quite a video.”


Jamie Beck’s first few animated images were sequenced still shots looped in rapid succession which is a fairly common way of making an animated image. Then she began utilizing more fluid motion isolated in certain parts of an image to to capture a moment of time, but also to un-freeze a still photograph by showing that moment’s temporal movement. Says Jamie Beck:

We feel there are many exciting applications for this type of moving image. There’s movement in everything and by capturing that plus the great things about a still photograph you get to experience what a video has to offer without the time commitment a video requires.





see more from the amazing planet website here or from here

art & design, costume design, filmmaking, food trip, interior design, movies, set design

i am love (io sono l’amore)

one of the most gorgeous films ive seen in recent years is practically unknown on this side of the world and i wonder why. tilda swinton stars in I Am Love (2009), a sweeping melodrama directed by luca guadagnino, production design by francesca balestra di mottola, set decoration by monica sironi, costume design by antonella cannarozzi, cinematography by yorick le saux and features previously produced music by john adams.  this film is just exquisite, from the opening titles that evoked classical italian cinema to the magnificent modernist interiors of villa necchi and the impeccable tailored costumes by fendi (sylvia venturini fendi is an associate producer) and jil sander (with raf simons) plus the elegant plating and emotion of carlo cracco’s culinary masterpieces.

the deliciously stylish film, set in milan in the year 2000, follows a haute bourgeoisie family through changing times and fortunes, and its disruption by the force of passion. the title is taken from a line from the aria La mamma morta, which is explored in the film philadelphia (starring tom hanks and denzel washington), a scene of which emma is watching while in bed with her husband, during the film. wiki source

the detail that went into the film is beyond words. it was a beautiful showcase of family, tradition and the unmaking of it. every frame of this film is a masterpiece and every scene just breathtaking.  i love the real time take on the opening sequence where the whole family arrives and sits for lunch while swinton, gorgeous in a burgundy dress, orchestrates the household serving the perfect meal from her seat.

the opening titles had me at hello. it is reminiscent of many old films by visconti, hitchcock and the like

much of the film was set at the villa necchi campiglio in milan, which is a character in itself. the interiors, reckoned the producers, were a wonderful mix of home, museum and prison.  i marveled that the director highlighted the house by showing us not just the main rooms of the villa but also its kitchen, staircases, sitting rooms, entryways and even the househelp’s private quarters.


“I wrote a script that called for a cube of marble with a big staircase and sharp surfaces,” Guadagnino says. “I was banging my head trying to find a home that suggested great wealth but also a restrained sensibility.” After searching for years, he saw Villa Necchi in a book and immediately knew that it was the one. “It shows the obsession with perfection and details that the Milanese bourgeoisie have,” he says. “Old money always comes with great charm. Their real success is making others believe that money doesn’t exist — and luxury, as most people perceive it, doesn’t really exist in this house. It’s very severe, and feels almost unmovable, like a piece of rock.” source

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music, musings

LSS: i know him so well

whitney houston and her mother cissy houston


i remember hearing this song on the radio as a kid and it was a huge hit in the 80s. it wasnt until i heard the original version that i was blown away by the power of the song. i only learned/realized this year (what?!!) that the song was from chess the musical, written by tim rice and music by benny andersson and björn ulvaeus (from ABBA, yes that group). whitney’s version is very pop, palatable to a larger audience but im starting to love the musical version more and more. chess the musical involves a romantic triangle between two top players, an american (frederick trumper, loosely based on grandmaster bobby fischer) and a russian, in a world chess championship, and a woman (florence) who manages one and falls in love with the other; all in the context of a cold war struggle between the US and the soviet union, during which both countries wanted to win international chess tournaments for propaganda purposes (source wikipedia).

let me just say, listening to the various versions of this song will overwhelm and may even confuse you. and you might even end up hating the song for too much recall. my apologies in advance 🙂

i know him so well is sung by florence, the lover, and svetlana, the estranged wife, reflecting on their relationship with anatoly (the russian chess player).  the london cast version was recorded by elaine paige with siobhán mccarthy but here’s paige (florence) and barbara dickinson’s (svetlana) hit version from the original concept album (1984).


when the show moved to broadway in 1988, judy khun replaces elaine paige as the role was rewritten to be an american. here, she sings this song with marcia mitzman. for the uninformed, judy khun played cosette in les miserables for the original broadway cast and was singing voice of pocahontas (whose version of “colors of the wind” will remain my favorite over vanessa williams’s pop take). this is such a beautiful version i never tire listening to (along with paige’s version) on loop.

listen to this again and try to imagine pocahontas singing this 😉

in 2008 a concert version was staged with josh groban (anatoly), adam pascal (from rent and aida, playing freddie) and idina menzel (of wicked and glee fame, as florence). i do think her version of “i know him so well” with kerry ellis was an abysmal performance. although i love idina as elpheba, she was just screechy in this version.  kerry ellis also played elpheba on broadway.


the always magnificent lea salonga sings the song in a tv show in the 90s (probably aired on rpn9).


elaine paige sings along with one her biggest fans, susan boyle in this link here. we should remember susan boyle did mention her greatest idol was paige during her famous audition in the tv show, britain’s got talent.  there is another version recorded by barbra streisand with richard page in 1992.  of course, locally the divine kuh ledesma, with regine velasquez, covers the song here (start at 4:23 if you wanna get straight to the song). another with regine and lani misalucha here (start at 4:09).  the australian pop group, steps, also performs this song (accent is heavy!). link is here.

stumbled upon an amazing male version by john barrowman and daniel boys. they didn’t bother changing the lyrics here. awesome!


this blogpost is sort of a comparative study, if you may, on the different performances of this incredible song.  ive listened to paige and kuhn’s versions endlessly i just had to blog it. it was inevitable. to lessen the blow of listening to various versions of the same song, i leave you with another beautiful song from chess the musical. this is someone else’s story, performed by judy khun (remember pocahontas?) and was only written when the show moved to broadway.  first heard this song when lea salonga performed it in her broadway concert (link here).  let’s listen to the original version:


im all for im-all-alone songs from musicals (someone else’s story, aida’s i know the truth, and avenue q’s there’s a fine, fine line, etc.) but let’s save that for another day and another blog entry. cheers!

art & design, costume design, filmmaking, interior design, movies, musings, set design

60s love on the x-men

i was excited when teaser clips of this film were circulated.  what’s not to love? a younger batch of x-men in the 60s? it’s like porn. and rightly so, with the magnetic chemistry and undeniable bromance between professor charles x xavier and erik lehnsherr, played by james mcavoy and michael fassbender.

this may be the best x-men film out there for me. the pacing was right and fassbenber’s performance is just killer. he owned the film actually.  online reviews reflect a more mixed feedback but im all for this film. weak link was probably january jones, playing the white queen, because she doesnt seem to know how to act.  she always had this blank stare and looked like she’s eternally bored and it’s not a very convincing bored look in the first place!


but the biggest selling point for me with this film is the 60s look. i thought it was an obvious route for director matthew vaughn to take this movie to that era because he also did the 60s advertising tv series, mad men.  i apparently have mistaken him for matthew weiner haha.  vaughn, a totally different guy, produced lock stock and two smoking barrels with director guy ritchie (ex-mr.madonna) before he went on to direct stardust and kick-ass, among others.

credit for the gorgeous set design go to the production designer chris seagers and his team of art directors led by john king and dawn swiderski plus set decoration by erin boyd and sonja klaus. costume design is by sammy sheldon. i just love anything 60s-70s.  they’re so much fun to look at and do.  full info at  i do not take credit for the photos below.  details on the photos were taken from architectural digest.  im just a fan  🙂


more after the jump.

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