Authentic Kiwi girls don’t come much more fun than Kylie McKenzie.
Here’s girlfriend rocking an original “Tawa School” yellow tee, with two buds. How authentic and sweet is she, not forgetting her roots. I love it.
The occasion: Taika Cohen’s Boy movie, Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
Highlight: Question & Answer time with the director at the end of the film, Kylie said: “I just want to thank you for bringing Poi E the song, written by Patea Maori club to America. Back in the early eighties, who ever would have thought it would play at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, all those years ago. But you achieved that with this film.” The song was originally written to save families who had lost jobs from “freezing works” lay offs.
If you grew up bopping to this song, it was a very significant Hollywood momento.
Kylie is such a good Kiwi girl. She says all the right things, to add to a special Hollywood occasion. Oh yeah, and Kylie totally bawled her eyeballs off at a certain part. (Don’t want to spoil it, go see the film).
Thanks Kylie for a fun night. Lyn of Tawa (a comedic character based on a resident of Tawa, Wellington, New Zealand –picture Britney Spears in ten years time, going to get the cheetos in her ugg boots to get the ‘Lyn of Tawa picture and appeal’) would have been so proud of you rocking Tawa School this fine Hollywood Eve. Nice one.
Jeremy (on the L) was born in Whangarei City, went to high school with Kylie in Wellington and has been in Los Angeles for over 20 years. Kiwi’s of LA. The accent is still 100% there. Too funny. Alright, press play to see some Maoris turn on an MJ tribute from the closing credits of Boy.
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA.
Hola, Kia ora. I’m writing this in Hollywood at the dawning of a new pop cultural super moment – here in America.
Everyone is buzzing about Kanye West‘s new film Runaway and what this could mean – not only for the US but a global world (shikes!) as an Arts text that’s captured the world’s cultural mileu even. If you drop a ballet dancer into anything, it conjurs up old world high cultural art. West was clever in doing his take on Swan Lake – the ballet.
Kanye is very matter of fact about it saying his favorite piece is when: “The ballerina’s are just still.” A symbol of youthful potential frozen in the world in economic times. Interesting. However MTV is doing way too much, so let’s let them break it down what the influences within the film text mean, and where they all come from. Here’s their thoughts borrowed from other people’s thoughts – the way of all bloggers and critics:
“So, from Yemi Akinyemi to Leonardo da Vinci, here’s our artful guide to Kanye West’s “Runaway”:
Akinyemi, Yemi: Czech-born choreographer responsible for the elaborate dance sequence in “Runaway.” Also runs the JAD Dance company in Prague.
Beecroft, Vanessa: Italian contemporary artist who specializes in large-scale performance-art pieces, most of which feature nude female models. The phoenix in “Runaway” is indebted to her work, as is the film’s dinner sequence, which is reminiscent of her controversial “Last Supper” piece, which featured African immigrants wearing suits and seated at a banquet table laden with chicken.
Breuning, Olaf: Swiss-born artist who works in several mediums. In “Runaway,” his photograph “Smoke Bombs” — which shows a series of smoke bombs emitting multi-hued plumes — is recalled in the scene of a child running toward the camera while holding a flare aloft.
Cirque Garuda: Czechoslovakian performance troupe specializing in acrobatics and pyrotechnics. Several of their members can be seen whirling around West and the phoenix in the lead-up to the “All of the Lights”/ Michael Jackson scene.
Corbijn, Anton: Famed Dutch photographer and director. His video for Joy Division’s “Atmosphere,” which features hooded figures prostrating themselves before images of late frontman Ian Curtis, clearly influenced the “Runaway” Michael Jackson parade scene. Or, if you prefer to call them Klansmen, well, Corbijn famously featured a little girl wearing a Klan robe in his iconic video for Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box.”
[Cover Artwork -A young ballerina in her prime, poses against a back drop of an industrial building with a green overlay, symbolizing "Green Technologies, is the future of power fueling industry - the Runaway Train for super powers to focus on to remain sustainable and relevant players in the global market economy]
Crewdson, Gregory: American photographer famous for his elaborately staged, supremely surreal portraits of suburban life. Many scenes in “Runaway” — particularly those in which the phoenix sits contemplatively in West’s backyard — seem to have been taken directly from his portfolio.
Dia de los Muertos: Holiday celebrated in Mexico (and, in varying forms, throughout the rest of the world) to remember family members and friends who have died. Often, parades are held, featuring towering skeletons, marching bands and papier-mâché skulls (called calavera), all of which sort of remind us of the Michael Jackson parade in “Runaway.”
Guo-Qiang, Cai: Chinese contemporary artist famed for his gunpowder drawings and so-called “explosion events,” large-scale performance pieces in which stuff is blown up, usually in unison, leaving only smoke and charred earth in its wake. Since roughly one-third of “Runaway” is slow-motion shots of explosions and fireworks, the connection is easy.
Koons, Jeff: American artist and prankster famed for his garish reproductions of banal, household items and a series of life-size, porcelain-and-gold-leaf statues of Michael Jackson cuddling his pet chimp, Bubbles (one of which sold for $5.6 million in a Sotheby’s auction). The giant Jackson head in the “Runaway” parade scene looks strangely similar to the head of Koons’ sculptures.
Kubrick, Stanley: Hugely important American filmmaker who West himself cited as an influence on “Runaway.” Case in point, the languid tracking shots, slightly off-kilter framing or even the elaborate dinner sequence, all of which recall Kubrick films like “The Shining,” “Barry Lyndon” and “Eyes Wide Shut.”
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Arguably the greatest composer to ever live. A portion of his unfinished “Requiem” piece can be heard playing at the beginning of “Runaway.”
MTX Tatra V8: Czech-produced “supercar” with gull-wing doors and an engine positioned over the rear axle. Not surprisingly, they are incredibly fast and exceedingly rare.
The National Theatre: Vaunted Czechoslovakian institution that is home to three artistic ensembles: opera, drama and ballet. A handful of ballerinas in “Runaway” are also members of the National Theatre’s 2010 ensemble, including Jade Clayton and Ivanna Illeyenko.
Phoenix: Mythological firebird referenced in early works by the Persians, Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese. Known for its colorful plumage, the phoenix lives for anywhere from 500 to 1,000 years, at which time it builds a nest for itself and ignites. A new phoenix arises out of the ashes. Subsequently, it has become a symbol for rebirth, immortality and renewal. And the namesake of the capital of Arizona.
“Swan Lake”: Celebrated Russian ballet about a princess transformed into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. In the third act, said evil sorcerer tricks a kind-hearted prince into confessing his love for his daughter by dressing her as a black swan. Kind of like all the ballerinas in “Runaway.”
Tarsem: Indian director famous for his artfully abstract, hyper-detailed and lavishly staged productions, most notably R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religon” video, which seems to have influenced the cinematography — and some of the biblical body language of the dinner guests — in the “Runaway” dinner scene.
Von Trier, Lars: Danish filmmaker famous for his artful, oft-brutal films, perhaps none more artful (or brutal) than 2009′s “Antichrist,” which — much like “Runaway” — features a scene with a deer that doesn’t seem all that afraid of humans. Of course, unlike “Antichrist,” the deer in “Runaway” doesn’t have a dead fawn hanging halfway out of its womb.
Da Vinci, Leonardo: Italian-born painter, sculptor, architect, scientist and mathematician (to name just a few of his endeavors) who created famed works like “The Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper.” The latter work is referenced in the “Runaway” dinner scene, most obviously in the hushed conversations of the guests and Kanye, who, of course, is seated at the very center, just like Jesus.
Did we miss anything? Share the high-culture references you noticed.
Horiwood: Yes. Kanye creating a brand new genre of cinema – that being Hip Hop Art House Cinema is a major achievement on an arts and cinematic cultural-media global landscape. Hot!
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 10.25.10~
Artists of the world, will always respond to an auteur. The Arts are always created when we cross cultures, to the center and push back in creative response. In this moment, we are the center of the world’s pop culture creation too as artists. We are creating the future by speaking back in response to the present in expression with our unique worldviews and artistic reo (voices) and vision too. Let’s go Maori and Polynesian filmmakers, musicians, artists and entertainers – Horiwood
Who: Kanye West
What: Hip Hop Art House Cinema as a new genre of filmmaking.
Title Work: Runaway, a short film
Duration: 34 mins, 32 secs aprox.
Starring: Selita EBanks and Kanye West
Key Themes: A commentary on America’s nationhood, in Kanye’s lifetime. The rise and fall and what is the rise back up again of the USA. Decadence fused with decay of empire.
The Michael Jackson death of the King of Pop reference, is both respectful and a little spooky in the form of a military like national guard parade, and a blown up head of MJ. The golden phoenix references are powerful. Selita Ebanks is pure art in this role. Naive, beautiful, out of place, learning of a new world–a metaphor of a nation rebuilding, and representing a younger generation in it–as also reflected in a gaggle of strong, youthful ballet-swans, depicted as youthful potential turned statues with their economic? wings ripped off by resulting circumstances of unwise political/ banking leaders of the past. Selita plays the role, of someone being introduced to America now as shown by Kanye, an auteur. She asks: how is it possible to be authentic and survive in your world, when most are cast in stone of economics/ current politics?
Perhaps indicating, patriarchal culture, Kanye’s response is: just stay with me anyway and make love to me. An interesting political commentary, when no one really has an answer to this question Selita posits.
Anyway, it’s a little weird for me, but I love the fact that Kanye has created the Hip Hop Musical, Art House short film genre of cinema. Not enough can be written about that. It’s revolutionary in African-American cinema that he’s done this. Creative plus!!!
Enjoy. And in honor of Taika Cohen‘s artistic filmmaking abilities – who could do the same, for Maori down under, I post this Korowai cloak, as a challenge (or take in Maori) to pick up in future years and do the same as an artist. Maori Art House Cinema, let’s go, thinking outside of commercial, Hollywood narrative structures too – into more artistic expression of Maori cinematic arts. Artists should always respond across cultures to other artists. It’s cultural manners and is also what true artists are about if we hail from centuries-old traditions of artists – which we do as Maori. Any culture with authentic artist will respond from their nation as global artists.
As Maori we are not passive. American culture is boring if it’s monologue. What we need is dialogue for US culture to even be relevant in our Maori mix at all. We don’t just consume from America, we speak back like mature adults, and put our own spin on our own future – as teachers (not children) of America too. So, where’s our film texts (musicals on cinema, please).
Who in New Zealand wants to respond to this, in cinema? I ask. Taika is a good start, with Awanui Reader writing the film’s score and starring in the lead. Ainsley Gardiner, an award winning film producer and Oscar nominated producer, as producer of such a project, showing the strength of good female leadership from New Zealand – would be hot.
But let’s get back to Kanye West’s brilliance and budget spend here. His interweaving on a sound sonic-scape with international accents (German and European) as well as importing the class of Rihanna ‘s hip hop and r n’b proven sound globally via Barbados of the Commonwealth (UK tributes and associations) show’s an American artist seeking cross-cultural ties and connections with a place for Americans in the world. Amidst the American ego–that his nation expects in their pop culture to fuel their own sense of identity, Kanye shows humility too for other nations cultures he’s learned and gleaned from as one of the 30% of Americans who have traveled outside of US borders and dared to be an American minority in another nation’s cultural life–and position himself as a student of the world. I like it that he has and it reflects in this film, from what he’s borrowed and interwoven into his art.
In particular, Kanye uses the elements a lot, of the sky. Perhaps indicating a future where, manipulating the earth’s elements (whether in visual depiction via news footage) or for real, will be common. An oil spill, was the last example of this we witnessed by a multi-national corporation in Mexico’s gulf for example. Oil from depth in the earth’s crust became vapor that filled the sky like a column of smoke. The world had never seen that before, as elements burned from the sea.
Kanye’s film is a version of a vision of America today. Powerful as art and social commentary. He raises the bar of hip hop artists and most music artists too, with this contribution. It’s his version, of “I am King” of pop culture and the arts eg: Muhammad Ali via cinema. Or, his version of “Presidential vision” or “if I was President” in that The Thompson Twins 80′s kinda statement way. Smile America. It does get better, is what West says here. :)
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 10.24.10~