Between the rise of Chance the Rapper and a continuing epidemic of gun violence, Chicago's West Side has been a regular feature on blogs of all stripes lately. But director Eric K. Yue captures a different kind of stardom in his short on basketball playing Chicago high schooler Sire, who treats the camera to a blend of natural charisma and self-promoting ego.
The film is part of "Tribute," a collaboration between Dazed & Confused and Mainline films focusing on the state of youth and we are already curious to see more. Read an interview with the director at DazedDigital.com.
There's been a buzz around the massive archive of Alan Lomax recordings that were recently made available online. The NEA-funded CulturalEquity.org now hosts over 17,000 downloadable field recordings made by Lomax during over 60 years of research and documentary work on American folk music. This independent archive is distinct from the collection of recordings Lomax made for the Library of Congress in the '30s and '40s. Folk junkies, open culture advocates, and Lomax-ophiles, go and knock yourself out. But while you're at it, dig into the videos, too. Yes, Lomax and his team shot film—sometimes with multiple camera angles—of folk and gospel performances everywhere from Appalachia to New Orleans in the '70s and '80s. We've culled a few of our favorites below, but trust us, we've just scratched the surface of this treasure trove.
For a new documentary profile, Ghostly sent filmmaker Will Calcutt to Rochester, NY to spend some time with artist Andy Gilmore in his studio. Gilmore, a frequent Ghostly collaborator who has contributed cover art for albums from artists like Gold Panda (whose music happens to soundtrack the profile), also releases his own work through the label's in-house art division, Ghostly International Editions. In addition to prints and music packaging, Gilmore's geometric illustrations have appeared in the pages of Wired, The New York Times, and a long list of publications. Check out the profile, and some of Gilmore's work below.
Enlisting Werner Herzog to direct a short-film-length PSA for ShareATT on the topic of texting while driving and its effect on society was a stroke of brilliance. The director brings a weight and consequence to the tragic topic often absent from didatic or smarmy PSAs. His subjects, as always, are afforded a level of humanity and dignity that transcends the topic at hand. Herzog frames the issue as a grave miscalculation in our cosmic bargain. As one subject says, "It's life. You get one chance and you live with the choices you make." Choosing to text while operating a vehicle, if it isn't obvious from Herzog's short film, isn't just selfish and stupid; it's a crime against nature.
Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano, more commonly known as LAB, was Bolivia's oldest airline before it was ordered to close by the Bolivian government in 2007. Once a much larger operation, the airline and its dilapidated headquarters are now manned by a single employee.
Photographer Nick Ballon first came across LAB's strange story after noticing one of their disused buildings while waiting for a flight out of Bolivia. Instead of trying to track down whomever was left in charge with a series of emails and phone calls, he simply knocked on the closest door he could find. According to an interview at Creative Review, within minutes, he was speaking with the CEO about LAB's story.
Ballon's research, which falls under the larger umbrella of The LAB Project, has led to a book, a gallery show, and countless documents and photos on his LAB Project site.
Photos from The LAB Project will be on display at the KK Outlet in London for the entire month of August.