Tuesday, January 31, 2012

To Rent: Sync Or Swim

Hi Everyone,
Happy National Girls & Women In Sports Day!  In honor of this momentous occasion, I’m gonna come out and say something in I’ve been holding in for 4 long years ... I love the Summer Olympics... I mean, a lot.

It's the kind of love where I spend an entire month picturing myself in a shiny track suit standing on a podium, waiving a bouquet of flowers in front of an American flag.  Track & field, cycling, the weird sports like fencing and badminton, swimming, gymnastics… ooh, don’t get me started on the gymnastics. Men’s, Women’s, I love it all. 

But there is one sport that I find far more compelling than the rest. It’s a sport you’ll rarely find airing during the coveted 8pm time slot.  The bathing beauties of the Synchronized Swimming team are always tucked somewhere in the middle of the day between the Today Show and Days of Our Lives... But not anymore. 

Look what I found!

Filmmaker Cheryl Furjanic opens a window in to a sport that has been overlooked by the mainstream for far too long. It’s one of two Olympic events that is exclusive to female athletes, and is often dismissed in conversations regarding the level of athleticism and rigorous training that is required to become an Olympian.  (5 points if you can name the other sport.)

Sync Or Swim takes you beneath the choreography and sparkly outfits, and in to the lives of these athletes who spend hundreds of  grueling hours in and out of the water, training to make it all look so effortless. 

“Sync or Swim provides a firsthand account of the nine women of the United States Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team as they endure and overcome obstacles in training to compete for the Olympics. It follows the lives of these athletes as they undergo day-by-day training, attempting to perfect an excruciatingly difficult routine where split-second timing is everything.” Garden Thieves Pictures

In honor of every girl who’s ever played a sport, please support this film. You can rent it here, on iTunes for $3.99. (Which is cheaper than anything else we tell you to do.) And you can download the app for free!

The film maker, Cheryl Furjanic, is pretty great too.. Here’s a little info about her:

Cheryl Furjanic is an award-winning filmmaker who has been teaching documentary production at New York University for over a decade. She is currently directing Back on Board – a feature documentary about the life and legacy of Olympic champion diver Greg Louganis. Her first feature documentary – Sync or Swim (2008) – received numerous awards, including a Billie Award for Journalism from the Women’s Sports Foundation, and is now available on DVD and iTunes. Her short documentary and fiction films, which range in length from 30 seconds to 13 minutes, have screened at 100+ festivals worldwide and on television. Cheryl holds a BFA in Film & Television Production from NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts and a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. When she’s not making films, Cheryl researches audience relationships and fandom in fiction television.

She's badass.. Trust me, I've met her. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This Month: Vivian Maier @ Merry Karnowsky Gallery

I was introduced to Vivian Maier's photography a few years ago while flipping through a discarded magazine on a plane. It all felt very appropriate. Maier was not a artist. She worked as a nanny for most the 50's and 60's, taking moments to snap photos of the various worlds she lived in. The majority of her work was never published, rather, it was found in a discarded shoe box in a Chicago thrift store.

The brilliance of her work is not only in the work itself, but in it's timing. She represents the dawn of the urban photo journalism era, while also participating as the subject. She was a normal woman, just like us. We share the moments we capture with our Instagrams, and Twitpics, she did the same with her Kodak Rolleiflex and makeshift dark room. She was documenting the rapidly changing world  around her long before we did it with our uploads and tagged photos. I see my friends post dozens of staged 'candids' every day, and I always think of Vivian.

You have to check out her work, but perhaps more importantly, you have to learn her story. In fact, you may already know it.  Meet Vivian Maier.

The Merry Karnowsky Gallery is exhibiting some of her most profound work through the month of January. Here's the info:

Where: Merry Karnowsky Gallery
            170 S. La Brea Ave
            Los Angeles, CA 90036

When: Through January 28th, 2012

I'm nearing obsession, so I'll definitely be there.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

7th Annual Focus On Female Directors Film Festival

Happy New Year Everyone!

Let's ring in the New Year short film style! The Egyptian Theater is hosting a short film festival called the 7th Annual Focus On Female Directors this Thursday, Jan. 5th at 7:30pm.

This is the first year that I’ve found out about this event in advance, so I’m excited to attend. Many of this year's filmmakers are new to me, which I love, however, there is one contributor who’s work I celebrate as often as possible. Perhaps you've heard of Penelope Spheeris, Director of one the most celebrated films of our time. Ms. Spheeris will not only be showing her 1998 short film "No Use Walkin' When You Can Stroll", but she will also be hosting a post-screening discussion. (Awesome...)

Here are  trailers for some of the films I'm looking forward to:

I have a very soft spot in my heart for beautifully shot student films. 
"Tsyuako" - byt Mitsuyo Miyazaki 

The only thing I love more than Stop Motion Animation is food. I'm real excited for this one. 
"Zerg├╝t" - by Natasha Subramanian and Alisa Lapidus 

Pretentious short films with semi-famous actors get me every time. I'm sorry.
"Animal Love" - by Mollie Jones

I'm sure there will be many more great things to see. I hope you can make it! 
Thursday, January 5th @ 7:30 PM
Egyptian Theater
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Tickets Here!
P.S. In honor of the possibility of meeting Penelope Spheeris, I would like to share a very special moment with you. My BFF Dawn and I paid homage to the Queen of Schwing herself this Halloween. (I'm Garth)

See you on Thursday!


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