November 2010


Tomorrow is december the 1st and we are entering the month of Christmas. About time to name the 5 best Christmas movies to put you in the mood…

1. Bad Santa (2003)

The miserable conman Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) and his partner Marcus (Tony Cox) pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores during the Christmas season. They run however into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot. This is just so far out there and dark in a funny way set in a Christmas environment. Great performances from Billy Bob Thornton and an always beautiful Lauren Graham.

2. It´s A Wonderful Life (1946)

An angel helps the compassionate, but despairingly frustrated businessman George Bailey (James Stewart) by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. Frank Capra´s Christmas classic is a beautiful film showing us how each one of us has a place in life and earth.

3. Scrooged (1988)

The cynically selfish TV executive Frank Cross (Bill Murray) gets haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve. Charles Dickens classic novel “A Christmas Carol ” in a modern setting is a brilliant Bill Murray one man show vehicle. Nice performances from Bobcat Goldthwait and the underrated Karen Allen. I know it by heart after having seen it several times and I still love watching it. The movie had a great title track in Annie Lennox and Al Green´s “Put A Little Love In Your Heart”. Another take on the meaning of showing your humanity and giving spirit during the Christmas season.

4. Die Hard (1988)

The New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) gives terrorists a dose of their own medicine as they are holding hostages including McClane´s wife in an LA office building during Christmas Eve. Bruce Willis major breakthrough movie and what a movie! I still love this excellent actionmovie. Alan Rickman is doing the role of his life as the terrorist leader Hans Gruber together with his righthand Karl Vreski (a brilliant Alexander Godunov). Bruce Willis best movie for sure.

5. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (1989)

The Griswold´s plans for a big family Christmas turns into a big disaster. The third installment with Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and this family during the Christmas holidays is a classic you can see over and over. A solid laughing riot.

“Reverting To Type” opens next week at London’s Standpoint Gallery and will feature new work by a host of letterpress practitioners from around the world, including Black Stone Press (Canada), IMPO$T (Australia), Prensa La Libertad (Argentina), Yee Haw! Industries (USA), and London-based Mr Smith (the star of our latest CRTV studio-visit film).

The exhibition has been curated by Graham Bignell of New North Press and Graphic Designer Richard Ardagh. Besides featuring prints and publications by letterpress print practitioners from around the world, New North Press has also approached a number of artists, designers and writers – including Catherine Dixon, David Pearson, Phil Baines and Vikram Seth – to collaborate with them to create new work. “Reverting to Type aims to highlight the pioneers at the helm of the current resurgence of interest in letterpress,” says Ardagh of the show, “from computer-based designers with a desire to ply a craft with a tactile immediacy that has been lost with modern technology, to traditional presses finding new ways to revitalise their design output.”The full list of contributors reads thus: Black Stone Press (Canada), Brad Vetter (USA), Carl Middleton (UK), Dafi Kühne (Switzerland), Flowers&Fleurons (UK), Hand & Eye (UK), Hatch Show Print (USA), Hi-Artz Press (UK), IMPO$T (Australia), Jens Jørgen Hansen (Denmark), Markus Müller (Switzerland), Mark Pavey (UK), Mr Smith (UK), Occasional Print Club (UK), Prensa La Libertad (Argentina), Rosa De Carlo (UK), Team Nerd (USA), Typoretum (UK), Yee Haw! Industries (USA)

And the full list of collaborators New North Press invited to produce work with them on prints looks like this: Catherine Dixon, David Pearson, Fraser Muggeridge Studio, OPX design, Peter Aston Jones (artist), Phil Baines, Stevey Scullion (sculptor), Vikram Seth (author of A Suitable Boy). (via Creative Review)

Photographer, music video director, musician and former partner at design company Hipgnosis, Peter Christopherson, sadly passed away on Wednesday in his home in Bangkok, Thailand, aged 55. Leeds-born Christopherson, who was affectionately known as Sleazy, is probably best known as a member of the band Throbbing Gristle, although before his musical career, he was a commercial artist, designer and photographer. He was a partner at Hipgnosis – he joined  Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell as an assistant in the mid 70s, becoming a full partner in 1980 and contributed to the design and artwork of several Hipgnosis covers including “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd and he is credited with the sole art direction of Peter Gabriel’s first three LPs.

“Peter had a habit of surprising Storm and me with his particular outlook on life,” recalls Hipgnosis’ Aubrey Powell in the 2008 book “For The Love of Vinyl: The Album Art of Hipgnosis”. “Hipgnosis were once asked to design a cover for Paul McCartney for his album Tug Of War,” he continues. “You couldn’t find a more conservative fellow in the album cover department than Paul McCartney yet, knowing this, Peter presented a picture, beautifully crafted, of a man hanging himself, surrounded in gold leaf, in the style of Gustav Klimt. Paul said politely, “Just not my image.” Pity, as it would have been a brave move. I think I got a bit of stick too, for being audacious enough to show that idea to Paul.”

As a freelance photographer, Christopherson took the first promo photographs of the Sex Pistols in 1976 – and in 1977 he created a highly controversial window display for Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood’s King’s Road clothing boutique, SEX. He also designed the logo of fashion label BOY.

And as a music video director he shot well over 40 promos for the likes of Nine Inch nails, Paul McCartney, 10cc Erasure, The The, Van Halen, Jah Wobble, Sepultura, Robert Plant, Rage Against The Machine, Rollins Band and Björn Again. (via Creative Review)

Irvin Kershner, best known for directing the second and excellent Star Wars movie “The Empire Strikes Back”, the James Bond movie “Never Say Never Again” and “RoboCop II”, has passed away at the age of 87.

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