Thursday, April 24, 2014

Amiko Li

Amiko Li was born in 1993 in Shanghai. He is the winner of 2014 Center Project Launch Award Juror Choice, American Photography 30 and ArtSlant 2014 1st Showcase. This young photographer, whose works have been featured in many online publications and exhibited throughout the USA and China, is currently pursuing his degree in Photography at the School if the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a melancholic tone in his images, capturing the emotions present in the atmosphere frozen in time - still life, landscape and portraiture oozing a sense of isolation, stillness, silence and nostalgia.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What I've Been Watching #5

Breakfast on Pluto (2005) » One of the most adorable, quirkiest films I've ever seen! Cillian Murphy is, along with Michael Fassbender, my favourite Irish actor and he really amazed me as the naïf tranny Patrick "Kitten" Braden, a young lovely creature whose story brought tears to my eyes. In the 1970s, he/she leaves a small town in Ireland, heading London, looking for his biological mother and some answers from the past. The soundtrack is groovy and I can assure you it's impossible not to empathize with the protagonist. I wonder why I haven't seen this film before.

Michael Collins (1996) » Here's one hell of an epic biopic! For those who never heard of Michael Collins, well, let's just say he played a major role in the freedom of Ireland, even if it was only partial. I actually visited his grave when I was in Dublin this month. He was the intelligence of the IRA, leading it against British rule and established the Irish Free State in the 1920s but soon became a threat for those who dreamed with a completely independent Irish Republic. Neil Jordan's depiction of the life and death of "The Big Fella" is pretty accurate, entertaining and dramatic, with a balanced amount of action, politics and romance. Liam Neeson's charismatic portrayal of Collins is compelling and thrilling - and you know that I'm crazy about Liam, don't you? Julia Roberts, on the other hand, wasn't convincing at all - absolute miscast.

The Crying Game (1992) » Three Neil Jordan's films in a row! This one is a film to remember. A British soldier is kidnapped by IRA terrorists and befriends one of them. An unlikely friendship develops between Jody the soldier and Fergus the IRA volunteer. The hostage goes terribly wrong for both sides and next thing we see is Fergus escaping and going to London, where he looks for Jody's lover, an exotic hairdresser named Dil, as he promised Jody to find her. What happens next is the most unpredictable thing... I kinda forsaw it, but that's just me being hyper-observant.

We'll Take Manhattan (2012) » Photographer David Bailey met it girl Jean Shrimpton in the early 1960s and their love affair gave birth to a new concept of pop culture, young icons, fashion and beauty standarts. This partnership epitomized the beginning of the Swinging Sixties at its coolest. Bailey and Jean were sent on a photoshoot to New York with Vogue's old fashioned editor, Lady Clare Rendlesham, who dislikes Bailey's innovative photos... Well, her loss. I just can't see Karen Gillan as Jean Shrimpton... ever!

Burton and Taylor (2013) » The lives of Richard Burton and Liz Taylor in 83 minutes of brilliance! Helena Bonham Carter steals the show as the 50-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, capturing the essence of the boozy diva with a turbulent soul. Burton attends Taylor's 50th birthday party as her recovering alcoholic ex-husband, asking her to star in a stage play with him. The setting for this TV movie is 1983, a year before Burton's death. Not to miss.

Liz & Dick (2012) » Forgettable version of one of the most passionate love stories ever born in front of the cameras: the torrid relationship between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Hollywood's most scandalous couple. Most of you already know that but... They divorced and married twice! Anyway, I can't take Lindsay Lohan seriously but in this film someone did a fantastic job on making her look almost exactly like Liz Taylor! Still, Helena Bonham Carter wins.

Hunger (2008) » This is not a film for the weak of stomach. It's a raw, shocking and dramatically powerful masterpiece. What struck me the most is that I was witnessing something that actually really happened. Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender are fucking brilliant whenever they work together. It took me a while to "digest" this film... Fassy got so thin to play the role of Bobby Sands (google him if you don't know who he was), you can see his bones, like some sort of ghoulish walking corpse. His performance still haunts me! Hunger follows life in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, during The Troubles. You can't possibly imagine the conditions in that prison in the 1980s. It also takes a closer look to what happens when body and mind go through a ruthless hunger strike - it's beyond martyrdom, beyond sacrifice, beyond honour and even beyond the cause itself.

Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013) » A man meets a wounded woman in an alley and brings her home, where she reveals her story of life, lust and nymphomania. Their conversation is intellectually stimulating, wandering through subjects like Literature, love, instinct, death, Art, philosophy, music, etc. Von Trier digs into human sexuality and psyche with a brutal and poignant honesty that surely isn't everyone's cup of tea and possibly makes the audience feel uncomfortable. Also, Uma Thurman's performance was outstanding!

Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013) » In the second part of the latest Lars Von Trier's film, we witness Joe's obsession with sex spiraling down into self-destruction and her tormented struggle. Her erotic experiences explore other concepts and sources of pleasure and her own persona dives into the underworld of depravity. It's very depressing. What I loved the most about the second volume of this film was the way it ended: totally unpredictable yet quite relatable to reality... You'll understand what I mean if you watch it. I won't spoil it but all I can say is that has a feminist undertone condemning patriarchy and hipocrisy. By the way, I loved the chemistry between Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jamie Bell.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

♥ Sunday Best ♥ #53

Enter the dark side of Easter. How disturbing...!

Can you imagine having a tea in these two? So damn cute!

Yes, this is exactly what you think it is: a submerged turntable.

Wouldn't you just love to live in this lovely house?

This pale mint dress is beyond beautiful.

I really have to go to Gdansk someday!

Oh hello, strawberry socks!

Infused olive oil is the ultimate flavour enhancement!

Yukino Ohmura's work is worth checking out.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Chicken Curry

2 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic (or garlic powder)
1 tablespoon paprika + cumin
2 tablespoons ginger
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup soy sauce and/or teryiaki sauce`
1/2 cup lime juice and zest
1 onion
4 fresh basil leaves
1 can mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
3 chicken breasts

Marinate the chicken in lime juice, soy sauce and all the spices above. In a wok, sauté the onion in oil, gradually adding ginger, garlic, paprika, cumin, red bell pepper, mushrooms... and let it simmer! Add the coconut milk and the chicken, and also the basil. Place on a high heat. It should be ready within 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with rice.

I love how exotic does chicken taste with all those intense spices. My kitchen ended up smelling like an Indian restaurant and I kinda liked it. Coconut milk adds a creamy texture that always turns out delicious. I added coriander and flaked coconut to enhance the flavour - beyond yummy!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Daisy Fields Forever

Trench Coat: Sammydress | Satchel: vintage | Blouse: vintage | Skirt: eBay | Tights: H&M | Saddle Shoes: eBay

I'm not sure if this outfit and photos were ruined or blessed by the wind. I am slowly getting used to Spring and its mood swings. I've also been trying to get back to reality aka everyday life. After my so well-deserved holidays, I still don't feel ready for routine to kick in. Not to mention I miss Ireland terribly and can't wait to go back. My days at work are getting busier (I blame Easter!) and I hardly have time for myself. I guess that's the price I have to pay so I can afford going somewhere else. All the money I've earned with my own sweat is the living proof of how sacrifice pays (well, crime would pay more, obviously). At least, in this case. I am proud of not depending on my parents when it comes to save and spend - that's probably my biggest achievement. It doesn't sound like a big deal but it is to me. I've been working hard for years so I could have my financial independence and it feels good when it finally comes the time for a little reward.
Now, back to the outfit. Saddle shoes, floral tights, ponytail - isn't this an in-your-face Springtime look? Oh, and daisies. Of course. As if one could ever imagine Spring without daisies...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Best of Lookbook #11










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