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Showing posts from February, 2011

Exit Through The Oscars - Banksy Goes To Hollywood

Without doubt, the one thing that most makes me want to watch the Oscars this year is British artist Banksy, whose wonderfully anarchic and entertaining documentary (he is either its subject, its co-creator, or both - or more) Exit Through The Gift Shop is hopefully a shoe-in for Best Documentary.

Aside from my feelings about this year's crop of movies in general - more on that in a moment - when did the Oscars last have any sense of the unexpected, of something really interesting and unusual possibly happening?

Banksy - a mysterious, identity-concealed street artist (of sorts - his works now sell for six figures and he storyboarded and directed a stunning opening sequence for The Simpsons), whose work is akin in spirit to the upheaval caused by the "hacktivist" group Anonymous - may or may not appear at the Academy Awards ceremony in some form or another. (I'm sure he will but whether we know it is a different matter.)

Banksy's typically amusing and all-inclusive…

Life in the Hood ain't so Grimm (Red Riding Hood)

As a break from the mix of disturbing and encouraging news from the Middle East (see my Twitter feed in the left sidebar) - and, for that matter, the Midwest (um, Wisconsin - may the GOP back down and recognize social realities) - here is an absolutely hilarious review of the upcoming movie Red Riding Hood, from my favorite newspaper, The Guardian.

Okay, so it's not actually a review of the movie - it's a review of the trailer!  The Guardian does this from time to time...and frequently makes me laugh out loud.

Red Riding Hood trailer: life in the hood ain't so Grimm

If you go down to the woods today, ladies, it seems you're more likely to get lucky with your fella than meet a cross-dressing wolf...

Fairytales have always played a vital function, offering strict morality lessons that help to mould each generation of children into well-developed adults. However, now that they're primarily being used to sell subscriptions to satellite television companies, there's a …

Mos Def - Umi Says

Ease into the weekend with one of my all-time favorite Mos Def songs, Umi Says...just incredibly cool and wise and beautiful.

Hudson and the W Hotel Hollywood: A Love Story:)

Hudson, who is six, loves hotels.

It started in London, when we stayed there a couple of years ago at a hotel on Curzon Street called the Washington Mayfair. He loved the room, he loved the elevator, the doorman, the front desk, the location - everything about it.

Recently, we needed to drive into Hollywood from Topanga and Hudson wanted to try out the wifi on the netbook Santa generously brought him at Christmas. We thought about where to go - Starbucks seemed too obvious - and Charong suggested the new W Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. (We used to live not too far away in Laurel Canyon.)

So along with our two year old daughter, Paradise, we all visited the spacious and very cool bar/lounge/lobby area of the W, which features a wide circular staircase and vast Swarovski crystal chandelier, a "bridge" suspended by (I'm guessing) steel wires and a kind of Moroccan-inspired lounging area with plenty of cushions.

Hudson got to use the free wifi and we all had fun exploring the el…

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

If you haven't sent a card yet, it's not too late - try the World Wildlife Fund's free Valentine WWF E-cards.

And please donate to the WWF, I've been a fan since I was a child.

Watch The Social Network Making-Of Documentary Online

If you enjoyed David Fincher'sThe Social Network as much as I did, you should check out IMDb's online streaming presentation of the 93-minute making-of documentary, How Did They Ever Make A Movie Of Facebook?

It's the same documentary that's available on the Two-Disc DVD of The Social Network, but maybe you streamed the movie - or got a screener copy as I did (the awards screeners don't usually come with all the accessories).

IMDb has split the documentary into four parts, each with a different url:

Part One: Commencement

Part Two: Boston

Part Three: Los Angeles

Part Four: The Lot

Keep a note of these links, as there doesn't appear to be an automatic link to the next part of the documentary when one part ends.

If you liked the movie, you should also check out the book on which Aaron Sorkin's excellent screenplay is based, The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich - or the rather better analysis of Facebook's development (with involvement by Facebook founde…

Fish

Our six year old son, Hudson, wanted me to add the Fish widget to this blog, because he has it on his!

So now you can feed the fish (just click your mouse over them) at the bottom of the left hand sidebar:)

Sean The Chef - Muse Elementary

This piece is from my wife, Charong Chow's food blog, Eating With Hudson. Muse is a remarkable school...

Nestled in the hills of Topanga Canyon, California, is an extraordinary school called MUSE School CA. Inspired by the Italian Reggio educational philosophy, founders Suzy Amis-Cameron and Rebecca Amis wanted to create a school where minds and bodies were equally nourished.

Students hike through the 20 plus acre campus, use self-motivated, project-based learning, and meet in global councils, as part of a truly exceptional, child-led approach to learning.
MUSE students are truly "citizens of the world." They communicate and work with sister schools in New Zealand and Thailand, but at the same time they are completely in tune with their local community.
One of the aspects of the school that greatly impressed me was the fact that the school has a real chef who prepares nutritious daily meals and snacks on site for the students and staff.  


Recently, I met up with head chef and…

Barcelona!

I mentioned on Twitter how much I love Barcelona and the city's signature architect-genius Antoni Gaudi, and moments later Andre Goes, a musician based in Brazil, I think, tweeted me a link to his charming video of Barcelona.

It is full of energy and light - just like the city - and the accompanying song by Giulia y Los Tellarini perfectly fits the mood...and makes me want to go there again...NOW:)

Wolves - Hyperbole And A Half

Some time back, in September 2010, I mentioned a blog I loved called Hyperbole And A Half, created by Allie Brosh.

Somewhere between a comic strip and short graphic novels, and drawn in an engagingly simplistic yet deceptively sophisticated - and sometimes disturbing - style, Hyperbole has quite a following, and with good reason.

Allie's latest offering, Wolves, from which these images are taken, is a cautionary tale about Benny, a 13-year-old boy, who is lured into a "wolf pack" game by a bunch of six-year-old girls at a birthday party.

What starts as a party game - at least from Benny's point of view - soon becomes an almost Lord of the Flies-esque run for survival.  The strip is funny, beautifully drawn, extremely perceptive of the nature of six year olds, and at times quite scary!

You should check out Allie Brosh's work - but if you're thinking of reposting entire strips, scroll down to the bottom of her blog and be aware of the terrifying Copyright Monste…

Happy Chinese Year of the Rabbit!

Wishing everyone a very happy Chinese/Vietnamese/Asian/Lunar Year of the Rabbit! May we all hop with joy:)

Astonishingly Beautiful - An Antarctic Sunset

The London Colour Studio

Situated right next door to the Pacific Palisades office of realtor Coldwell Banker is my British friend Dennis Giedd's hair salon, The London Colour Studio (tel: 310-573-9444).

When I visited Dennis recently, I was stunned by the design of the salon, which is almost entirely the work of Dennis himself.

Using a mix of stone, metal and a technique of dripped wax that a friend of Dennis' perfected, a relatively small and intimate space has been transformed into a warm and welcoming salon.

Featuring a water wall that is Dennis' trademark from his earlier salons, The London Colour has a mood somewhere between LA contemporary and a modern London private member's club, such as the Soho House.

Dennis, an award-winning stylist who trained at Vidal Sassoon and has been a hairdresser for thirty-four years - including stints in Paris and Milan - is an expert at hair color, as his salon's name might suggest. If you're in West LA and want a haircut or color, he's the ma…

Tahrir Square As Darkness Falls And The Crowd Remains

More Than A Million Gather In Tahrir Square

It is hard not to be moved by today's huge and very peaceful demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square - and similar demonstrations elsewhere in Egypt - estimated by Al Jazeera English to be well over one million people, with numbers possibly as high as two million, with crowds in surrounding streets trying to enter the square.

It is possible to set politics aside for a moment and simply reflect on - and empathize with - the sheer outpouring of emotion and energy of such a mass of humanity.

Astonishing, too, to think that these demonstrations in Egypt would have been unthinkable a week ago. These crowds are not the result of an organized movement, although some initially used Facebook and Twitter to initiate protests last week, and certainly both social networks have been critical around the world in communicating international support (from individuals, if not so swiftly from governments) to those who wish for peaceful change in Egypt.

But with Egypt's own internet - and, at…