Sunday, August 30, 2009

robert polidori

Black & white photography can be striking, but photographer Robert Polidori enters a completely different realm with his vivid, detailed, and engrossing photos. The Montreal native's photographs have such a high degree of detail it seems similar to high definition television and movies, where every tiny blemish can be seen. Likewise, Polidori's work seizes not only the atmosphere of the subject, but also more minute elements like peeling wallpaper on the abandonded nurseries in Chernobyl or a remaining Southern Comfort advertisment on the wall of a living room that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Some of Polidori's work is currently on display at the Musee d'Art Contemporain de Montreal, he has numerous books of his work in various countries and cities, and his work is often published in The New Yorker magazine and Vogue.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

cigarettes & alcohol

AMC's Mad Men overthrew cable television three seasons ago when it first premiered. Such exquisitely written and directed shows are usually reserved for premium channels like HBO and Showtime. Mad Men reveals the grittiness and corruption of an era that is usually idealized for its white-picket fences, perfectly groomed families, and wholesomeness. But Matthew Weiner, the show's creator, explores the generation's infidelity, deceit, restlessness, and even alcoholism. Some of these are done more subtly than others. While the men on Madison Avenue are constantly cheating on their wives and making lewd comments to their secretaries, they are also always drinking and smoking. Mad Men's themes are perceptible in both the character's actions and inactions. The sets of the show are also magnificent; transporting the viewer into the venal offices of the ad men or to the restless housewife's domicile. The Golden Globes exemplify the show's popularity, Mad Men has won numerous awards in the last two years, including best television drama. The show is definitely one of the few things on the tube that doesn't make you feel as though your brain is leaking out of your ear.