Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Greatest Words of Muhammad Ali, by Louis Vuitton and Yasiin Bey

Hip-hop emcee, Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def), and calligrapher, Niels Shoe Meulman, pay homage to The Greatest, and sport’s greatest showman, Muhammad Ali, in this video for Louis Vuitton’s Core Values campaign. Drawing on Ali’s most famous quotes, Bey adopts the role of storyteller, bard and (literal) ringmaster to glorify the heavyweight champ. The results, directed by Stuart McIntyre, are beautiful. Both visually and lyrically dazzling.

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Men Throwing Rocks With The Wrong Hand

Beautifully, joyfully awkward. And with a Carla Bruni soundtrack. Lovely.

Fargo Documentary

Minnesota Nice is a fascinating, 30-odd minute documentary about one of the finest, strangest and funniest films to come out of America of the last couple of decades, Fargo

Beautiful Movie Map

I absolutely love this.  From the design team at Dorothy (via Kottke)

“A street map made up of over 900 film titles including cinema classics such as Lost Highway, On the Waterfront, Jurassic Park, Reservoir Dogs, Carlito’s Way, Nightmare on Elm Street, Valley of the Dolls and Chinatown.

The Map, which is loosely based on the style of a vintage Los Angeles street map has its own Hollywood Boulevard and includes districts dedicated to Hitchcock and Cult British Horror movies. Like most cities it also has its own Red Light area. There’s an A-Z key at the base of the Map listing all the films featured with their release dates and names of the directors.”

Miles Davis Blind Listening Test

This is a really interesting interview with a typically frank and pugnacious Miles Davis (via Noise Made Me Do It)

Down Beat Magazine interviewed Miles Davis in 1964 and asked him for his opinion on some music via a blind listening test, and checked his ability to pick out other musicians based on the way they played.

Now, Miles Davis wasn’t known for listening to just about anything – he was very selective in what he spent his time listening to, so he’s definitely got some opinions.

On Les McCann-Jazz Crusaders“All Blues” (Wayne Henderson, trombone; Wilton Felder, tenor saxophone; Joe Sample, piano; McCann, electric piano; Miles Davis, composer):

What’s that supposed to be? That ain’t nothin’. They don’t know what to do with it – you either play it bluesy or you play on the scale. You don’t just play flat notes. I didn’t write it to play flat notes on – you know, like minor thirds. Either you play a whole chord against it, or else . . . but don’t try to play it like you’d play, ah, Walkin’ the Dog. You know what I mean?

That trombone player – trombone ain’t supposed to sound like that. This is 1964, not 1924. Maybe if the piano player had played it by himself, something would have happened.

Rate it? How can I rate that?

On Terry Clark“Cielito Lindo” (Clark Terry: trumpet; Hank Jones, piano; Kenny Burrell, guitar):

Clark Terry, right? You know, I’ve always liked Clark. But this is a sad record. Why do they make records like that? With the guitar in the way, and that sad fucking piano player. He didn’t do nothing for the rhythm section – didn’t you hear it get jumbled up? All they needed was a bass and Terry.

That’s what’s fucking up music, you know. Record companies. They make too many sad records, man.

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The xx – Angels

A Prosaic Approach to Civil Rights Images by Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks was a prolific and brilliant photographer, musician, director and writer.  He is best known as the director of seminal “blaxploitation” film, Shaft (1971), and as a photo-essayist for LIFE magazine, where he produced photographs on subjects such as Muhammad Ali, Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X and Barbara Streisand, as well as fashion and sport.

Perhaps his most important, and interesting contributions, however, were his images documenting racial segregation and the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and ’60s.

This article in the New York Times is a celebration of some 70 previously unseen photographs from the 1956 The Restraints: Open and Hidden photo-essay, for LIFE, recently discovered by the Gordon Parks Foundation. They are powerful, quiet, intense. Dignified and beautiful. A fascinating and essential alternative to the more widely published and frequently brutal images that record that tumultuous and violent period.

Parks would have been 100 this year and in celebration the Schomburg Center, NYC, is exhibiting 100 his photographs.