A personal favourite of mine. A movie I am constantly compelled to revisit. A documentary that celebrates a city, the people, the history and in general, life itself. Timothy "Speed" Levitch is simply a joy to watch. His old school romanticism, passion, philosophy and knowledge, draws you in since the first opening frame. It is a strong unique debut from American filmmaker Bennett Miller.
A slick, stylish crime drama that is rich with character and atmosphere. An ignored gem of 2014, which is made by, in my opinion, one of the best new voices of American cinema, J.C. Chandor. All three of his films deserves a recommendation but this one for me stands out the most. A film that at times feels like it is a Sydney Lumet film, in the best possible manner. A fascinating look into 1981 crime filled New York, where tensions are high. A dazzling cinematography by Bradford Young and an unforgettable score by Alex Ebert. And one cannot mention the strong performances, not only by the two leads but by the entire cast.
It has been over three months since I have made a video. However, i can finally present my first video of 2017 - RECREATING HISTORY. Hope you enjoy!
This is one of my all time favorite films. A movie that just oozes with style and confidence. A picture that is more to do with the visuals than narrative (cinéma du look) but oh what a journey it is. From one set piece to another, it just doesn't hold back. Constantly surprising the audience. For that reason alone, it is better to go and watch it without knowing anything about it.
A low-key road trip drama starring the incredibly compelling Ben Mendelsohn and an amazingly charismatic Ryan Reynolds, whom in my opinion puts out his best performance seen on screen. If you crave for a picture that harkens back to those of the 70s, this movie is for you. It is all about the characters, and it is a pure delight to watch it unfold.
An impressive directorial debut from Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi, it was one of the most audacious and impressive films to come out in 2014. It has challenged the language of cinema on how to communicate with the audience. It is truly one of those cases of "actions speak louder than words". Sure, the picture is tough to watch. Certainly challenging not only due to the limitations of any actual verbal dialogue, but mainly due to it's subject matter and the actions of certain characters commit. It is definitely challenging because it feels real. Without a doubt, it is one of the best films to come out of Ukraine in recent memory, and it is a picture I will constantly revisit in years to come.
This week's pick is a film by Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambéty. A beautiful picture mixed with fantasy and naturalism, inspired by the French New Wave. The imagery, the music and journey completely sucks the audience into the world Mambéty has created. A picture that is clearly made by a poet. This film and the filmography of Djibril Diop Mambéty in general, is one of the most important voices of the African cinematic history.
Few weeks ago, I have created an Instagram based on the idea that I can easily share my photography with you. Instead of once in a while, just sharing with you some of the photography on the website (which i will occasionally update), I have now an Instagram page which makes it more accessible and i will frequently keep it updated. If my photographic journey/discovery is something that has you interested, you can follow me at: @vugarefendi
In 2016, we saw many great documentaries across the globe, covering wide arrange of stories/events/issues. However, the one that really caught my eye and made a serious impact on me, was Keith Maitland's Tower. Covering the events of the University of Texas shootings in 1966, this documentary is a powerful, emotional and thought provoking cinematic tour de force. Rather than focusing on the shooter, it is more about the impact it made on the people during that day. Tower is one of the best films I saw in 2016.
Everybody has their favorite film by Martin Scorsese. From the 24 feature films that he has directed, there is that one movie that really speaks to them. Be it Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990) or more recent works such as Aviator (2004) or Wolf of Wall Street (2013). For me however, it will be always the understated and overlooked classic that is King of Comedy. One of the career best performances from Robert De Niro in my opinion, this movie is both hilarious and tragically depressing at the same time, as it is a social commentary on public's obsession with celebrity culture in a Reagan Era.
This is a smart, unique, provocative and darkly humorous film by Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain. The film does not only focus on a man's obsession with John Travolta's character from Saturday Night Fever, but is a reflection of Chile, under the brutal Pinochet regime (a topic in which Pablo Larrain furthermore explores in his other filmographies). At times it makes you smile with its dark humor but do not be fooled, as it is equally tragic and disturbing. This being his second feature film really placed Larrain on the map as to one of the most interesting filmmakers to watch.
One of my favourite films by one of my favourite filmmakers. This ignored gem by Jacques Audiard, may not be as flashy or popular as his more recent works such as A Prophet (2009) or Dheepan (2015), however I still believe that it stands out as one of his best works. Extraordinary performances by Emmanuelle Devos and Vincent Cassel, a unique use of sound in terms of storytelling and just simply an engaging story, this film stands as one of the best but forgetten contemporary French films in recent years.
Today marks the one year anniversary for the very first video I made titled, "Her - Space". Making this small video for myself in my final year of university, as an experimentation of expression, it was a start of something I didn't in any way anticipate. I decided to publish it on the internet not knowing what to expect. Since then, the reaction and the journey has been nothing short of amazing. Your enthusiasm and passion has constantly challenged me to make better and newer experiences. And I've got all of you to thank for. I am extremely grateful!
A small cinematic documentary on Scottish singer/songwriter Edwyn Collins. Collins was a very popular musician back in the 90s, especially for the song "A Girl Like You". However in 2005, he suffered two catastrophic strokes in which resulted in loss of memory, movement disability and speech impediment. He couldn't say any words apart from yes/no, the name of his wife and 'the possibilities are endless'. A touching and unique documentary on music, memories, love and life in general.
Brand new year is greeted with a brand new fresh coat of paint. In 2017, I wanted to make few changes and one of them is the look of the website. First, everything looks much more streamlined and cleaner. Making it easy to navigate. Something the previous look lacked. Now it is simpler and eloquent.
However, it is not all about the visuals. There are few new additions as well. First and foremost, as you are reading this, you will see the addition of a whole new page dedicated to "BLOG". In here, I can post announcements/news as opposed to only posting them on the social media. Now it is easily can be accessed and found. In addition to that, I will constantly write materials such as opinion pieces/written essays, as well as anything else that I might deem worthy of sharing.
Thank you for being patient and hope you enjoy the new site!
Movie of the week is Bill Pohland's "Love and Mercy". A forgotten gem of 2015 in my opinion. Following the life of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys in two different decades, the movie is not your traditional biopic per se. Captivating performances both from Paul Dano and John Cusack whom both play Brian Wilson. A unique storytelling structure and an unforgettable soundtrack from Atticus Ross. Love and Mercy is my first recommendation in the series of many to come in the future.
Several of my previous works will be featured in the audiovisual expo called ArtFutura. Videos such as The Evolution of Stop-Motion, Her - Space and few others will make an appearance. My videos, along with other artists, will be showcased under the program "Feeding The Web". A lot of cool stuff will be shown there, such as VR Art and Werner Herzog's documentary "Lo and Behold - The Reveries of the Connected World".
If you are in London, it will be happening in the Hackney Attic -Picturehouses on the 29th of October.
In Madrid it will be from the 28th to the 30th (from 7 to 9pm) of October in Espacio Fundacion Telefonica.
Other cities include Barcelona, Bogota, Buenas Aires, Miami, Paris and many others. In some cities and countries it is free entry, some it is paid such as London (only 5 pounds). To find out more and see what other countries and cities it will be showcased in, scroll down on the link.