My friend Maria's FashionvFashion site

I've been looking at my friend Maria's new fashion blog: fashionvfashion. She's been asking me for tips on how she should make it more search friendly as it doesn't show up in any search engines. We had a long conversation and then I realised she'd only just made it. I explained how Google's elves probably hadn't got round to looking at it as yet.

She has pics of Brooke Shields on her blog.


Viggo Mortensen at Bafta Q&A with Francine Stock

Viggo Mortensen at Bafta Q&A with Francine Stock
Originally uploaded by Catfunt

Went to a Q&A with Viggo Mortensen (well, I went with Yol actually) at Bafta last night. What a nice man! Generous in praise to his colleagues, thoughtful, self-deprecating. We're going to have a small Viggo Mortensen retrospective in his honour round at our place later this year.


Tom Ford, Colin Firth and Jason Solomons at Bafta

Tom Ford, Colin Firth and Jason Solomons at Bafta
Originally uploaded by Catfunt

Saw Tom Ford's quite amazing debut feature A Single Man at Bafta last night. It's based on a Christopher Isherwood story following a single day in the life of a lietrature literature professor at a Los Angeles university. The film's magical and most reminded me of Steve McQueen's Hunger and Julian Schnabel's Diving Bell and the Butterfly in that all three were made by non-directors who're hugely successful in their own fields. There are moments of real freshness of vision that it's hard to imagine them coming from a battle-hardened Hollywood director.

There was a Q&A with Colin Firth who plays the university professor and the director Tom Ford. Sadly it centred too much on the fact that it's Ford's first feature and the problems that might have created. When a film's this good you know it's no fluke and the result of a real determination and vision.

The other slightly irritating thing was the near constant returning to the idea of it being a gay story rather than one of loss, loneliness and how we might find redemption which far overshadows the sexuality of the cast. Similarly, there were several questions to Firth about a straight man playing a gay character and how that works. Er, he's an actor for fuck's sake - they pretend, it's what they do!

There was an interesting moment when in describing the fact that Nicholas Hoult's mohair jumper need Tom Ford's constant attention with hairspray to stop it fluffing up (fashion tip!) Colin Firth said something like "You can see from that Nicholas is very secure in his masculinity." What caught my attention is that he said "masculinity" when I think he perhaps meant "sexuality". So not "heterosexuality" versus "homosexuality", which is the usual binary opposition that is made, but one of "homosexuality" versus "masculinity". Does this mean that male homosexuals can't be masculine?

Finally the beautiful John Lautner house (more pics) that was used in the film is for sale.


Flying to Perpignan

Flying to Perpignan, originally uploaded by Catfunt.

Ryanair flying near to the ground. Apparently it uses less fuel.


Grayson Perry book signing at Victoria Miro, 2009

Went to Grayson Perry's opening at the Victoria Miro gallery last week. He'd had some insane tapestries made and he signed some books.



Matthew Barney by Elizabeth Peyton at the Whitechapel

Saw this a few nights before it closed. I'd never really thought about Peyton's work before and I'd never seen a lot of it together which means I'd never properly realised how influential her work is. Looking at it made me want to go home and paint and I think that's probably the highest accolade I'm giving out at the moment.



Back from holiday I decided to try and make the pics a bit more interesting by mashing them up with some Lomo and Holga effects scripts. The scripts (available here) are pretty good and the guy who wrote them has said it's OK to mess with them. I did tweak them for each picture otherwise you do get Donatella-ified: totally overdone and distracting from the thing you're meant to be looking at. Pics here.


Glenn Ligon at Thomas Dane

Typically for me and disappointingly for you I went to see the excellent Glenn Ligon show at Thomas Dane the day before it finishes. It's a small show consisting of one room with a film-transferred-to-video projection; a larger room with a single large scale neon light and a corridor space with two small neons and three drawings made of oil stick, coaldust and gesso on paper. The central piece and the one that offers the most clues is 'The Death of Tom', the 24 minute long video set to a jazz piano soundtrack. It's based on the final scene from Uncle Tom's Cabin, Edwin S. Porter's 14 minute silent made for the Thomas A. Edison studio in 1903. Ligon had set out to recreate Tom's death scene where Tom lies on the floor of the woodshed while visions of the future pass over his head. However, after the film was processed the images were both blurred and degraded but Ligon, liking the chance effect pressed on and transferred the 16mm film to video and added a commissioned score by pianist Jason Moran based on the vaudeville song 'Nobody'. The video is very dark, an all-black screen interspersed with flashes of light, so dark in fact that there's a real likelihood of falling over the viewing bench in the middle of the floor. What could be pure visual abstraction is held together by Jason Moran's plaintive soundtrack and the darkness of the room becomes a place for contemplation of what the gallery notes, quite correctly, call 'unfinished business'.



The end of the project

There's something strangely sad and a little poignant about seeing a stream of meeting uninvites pop up on your screen in the last days of a defunct project. It's the bit they don't show you in Downfall.


The smartest journalist in town

Killing the Kangaroo: a bad case of analogue thinking in digital Britain

"Killing the Kangaroo project is a perversely stupid move which begs the question whether anyone on the Competition Commission has ever actually used the internet.

Viewed from one direction, the project looks enfeebled: the commercial video on demand service for the UK terrestrial broadcasters excluding Five seems like a somewhat lightweight offering compared with the global well of video output currently freely available online."

Read more>>