1. 1928-2014

    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may tread me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

    Does my sassiness upset you? 
    Why are you beset with gloom? 
    'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I’ll rise.

    Did you want to see me broken? 
    Bowed head and lowered eyes? 
    Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
    Weakened by my soulful cries.

    Does my haughtiness offend you? 
    Don’t you take it awful hard
    'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
    Diggin’ in my own back yard.

    You may shoot me with your words,
    You may cut me with your eyes,
    You may kill me with your hatefulness,
    But still, like air, I’ll rise.

    Does my sexiness upset you? 
    Does it come as a surprise
    That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
    At the meeting of my thighs? 

    Out of the huts of history’s shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
    I rise
    I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise
    I rise
    I rise. 

     
  2. thephotographicjournal:

    Ezra Caldwell.

    Ezra Caldwell passed away this weekend, and seeing him go brings me great sadness. Dynamic, audacious, and fucking funny - he faced life with a gut-wrenching honesty that I could hardly believe was real. His zest for life inspired me, and watching a man I admired slowly lose his battle with cancer ultimately broke my heart. Seeing those bushy eyebrows through all their states - laughing, crying, full of hope, and finally acquiescing was soul wrenching and sobering, a testament to an undying spirit with a passion for life that always held its own.

    I had the great fortune to interview Ezra for The Photographic Journal. Hearing the tinny of his voice and watching his eyes melt back into memories for a few hours from my home office left me dizzy. Interviews like his, with their ability to manifest emotions and demonstrate passion, are the reason I started The Photographic Journal. To this day, I hold my conversation with Ezra as what our journal aspires to capture.

    And while I am tempted to mourn, I am inspired instead to celebrate. Celebrate the life Ezra lived so well, and hope that I can live my life with even half the fervor with which he lived his.

    - Agustin Sanchez, Co Founder of The Photographic Journal

     
  3. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

    Oh I dunno…it was fine? Lots of weird plot stuff, and by “weird” I mean “lazy”, and several times you wonder why the super-powerful person doesn’t just do something powerful and save everybody. The special effects aren’t all that impressive. 

    My buddy sitting right next to me at the movie says to me after it’s done, “if I’d have suggested a movie based on Days of Future Past ten years ago, you would’ve slapped me in the face,” and he’s right.  We are living in a great time to be a person who’s been a nerd since the mid-80s.  All the things I wanted to see on the big screen? I get to see them on the big screen! 

    THERE HAVE BEEN FIVE SPIDER-MAN MOVIES.  

    THERE HAVE BEEN SEVEN X-MEN MOVIES.  

    I watched Thanos on the big screen, man.  This is staggering.  

    BUT.  But as we’re well into this golden age, it’s probably about time the comic book movies got better.  

    This movie is not an example of Better.  Things happen, people yell at each other, lots of people use their hands to signal they’re using their powers even though their powers are mind-based.  There’s never any momentum to the story, never a point at which you’re a) unsure what’s going to happen and/or b) are really invested in anyone or thing.  The movie is just a bunch of things that happen.

    I’ll say this: The acting is pretty damn good.  Michael Fassbender is perfect as Magneto, and James McAvoy plays “angsty Professor X” to the hilt.  I was really into all the emoting those guys did.  

    Oh, and for those keeping count: there’s only one female lead and mostly she just looks pained.  

    There are two black people in the film, and they both Blackrifice within seconds of each other.  

    And, like all comic book movies now, there’s a post-credits scene.  It is bland as white bread. Used to be, a post-credits scene was a punch in the gut (the good kind). These filmmakers didn’t get that. 

    GRADE: C+

     
  4. 5.22.14 - Keva

     
  5. newyorker:

    Richard Brody on Adam Sandler’s new romantic comedy “Blended”: http://nyr.kr/1naRKcc

    “The romance is sweet and even effervescent, the comedy is homespun and sentimental, but it’s packaged with such a repellent batch of stereotypes and prejudices that it’s unpalatable even to contemplate.”

    Photograph: Warner Bros. Pictures

    I enjoy criticism of all kinds, but there’s a special place in my heart for negative movie reviews.  You’ve got a host of folks who say that it’s just sour grapes, that every critic is a failed writer, and that’s entirely possible. 

    But there is value to someone who has a passionate reaction to a film and is then compelled to be equally as passionate in their describing that film.  

    The fact that someone feels so strongly about a film, that’s telling ya something, brother.  They may not be right, but it’s coming from the heart.  

    "such a repellent batch of stereotypes and prejudices that it’s unpalatable even to contemplate," that there is a doozy.  A sentence like that, THAT’S PASSION.  I’ll read the writing of a passionate person any day over the rote, perfunctory "this latest x-men movie hits all the right notes" + [obligatory mutant pun] any day of the week. 

    (Source: newyorker.com)

     

  6. "Insist on engagement. Wrestle with what is difficult. Pretty is boring. Seek intensity."
    — 

    W.M. Hunt (via photographsonthebrain)

    I keep forgetting this, so have to continually reblog it from Milo, the ol’ memory booster shot.

    (via milobelgrove)

     
  7. new set on my website, starring Whitney Moore, shot during the “OH GOD IT’S SO FUCKING HOT I’M NEVER GOING OUTSIDE AGAIN MATTER OF FACT I’M NEVER LOOKING OUT MY WINDOW NO NO WAIT I’M NEVER SAYING THE WORD ‘OUTSIDE’ AGAIN NOPE CAN’T MAKE ME” heatwave we had in LA last week: Beach Streets

     
  8. Godzilla (2014)

    This whole goddamn thing is gonna be a spoiler, so turn back now if you don’t trust me and, for some misguided reason, plan to see this movie. 

    Because christ on a crutch, what an insipid waste of everyone’s time this was. 

    And yeah yeah, what else should I have expected? Oh, I dunno? Characters, maybe, as opposed to the cardboard cutouts they had moving from set piece to set piece?  Stunning imagery, rather than the same shots I’ve seen again and again, and done better.  

    Matter of fact, let’s take a moment, shall we, to really drill down into the visuals of this film.  80% of the time they’re showing the monsters, the director felt the need to come up with some kind of visual affectation to, what, jazz it up, maybe? You see the monsters fight on tv.  You see the monsters through goggles, through a visor, you see the monsters over the shoulder of one guy, then another guy, then through the gap in wreckage, then through some smoke.  What you rarely get to see is just monster on monster action, so impressed with themselves are the camera crew.  ”Look how we can detract from the actual things people want to see this time!”

    Which, I go to a monster movie, I wanna see the goddamn monsters.  And if you think you’re a fancy-pants director making the monster version of The Third Man and you want to delay gratification, want to build the suspense, maybe create some sense of grandeur when we finally see the monsters.  

    Because I, for one, was not impressed.  Godzilla looked like Godzilla, good job VFX team.  The other monsters looked like the monsters I’ve seen in Cloverfield (which I liked more.  Yeah, exactly), like the monsters I’ve seen in Pacific Rim, like the monsters I’ve seen in Monsters.  

    I was never sucked into this film.  The eye candy hit my senses and slid right off, so uninspired as it was.  The monster fights were lackluster, save for a cool moment with atomic fire.  

    And if there had been a cool story, I might’ve let some of that slide. 

    If there had been any interesting characters, I might’ve let some of that slide.  

    IF THEY HADN’T KILLED BRYAN CRANSTON IN THE FIRST FIFTEEN MINUTES, I MIGHT’VE ENJOYED THE MOVIE MORE.  

    If they’d given Elizabeth Olsen anything to do but quiver and cry during the entire film…jesus, I feel so badly for that actress.  I’m sure she got a handsome check, but brother, what a worthless performance.  

    Matter of fact, they could’ve switched her with the guy who plays Kick Ass (our lead in this film, such as it is) and it would’ve been far better.  

    Because none of the people DO ANYTHING in this movie.  Kick Ass gets a total of one decent moment where he kills the monsters babies.  Good job. Other than that he merely survives.  Every plan is laid to waste.  Every idea goes down in flames.  This movie…that I may prevent some of you seeing this movie, that almost makes the experience worth it.  The miserable, time-consuming experience.   

    THEY KILL THE BEST ACTOR THEY’VE GOT IN THE FIRST FIFTEEN MINUTES.  

    Not a single character has any personality except for Cranston, and they figure that’s an excellent reason to have him fall down a walkway and die, OFF SCREEN.  He doesn’t even get a death scene, what the deuce is up with that.  

    GRADE: D

     

  9. "Do not try to be pretty. You weren’t meant to be pretty; you were meant to burn down the earth and graffiti the sky. Don’t let anyone ever simplify you to just “pretty.”"
    — Things I Wish My Mother Had Taught Me | d.a.s (via organicafe)

    (via justwords)

     
  10. 5.11.14 - Ani

     
  11. 5.10.14 - Brandon

     
  12. From that time I hung out with Future Islands at a laundromat, 6.26.10

     
  13. 5.4.14 - Brenna

     
  14. 4.26.14 - Kristin

     
  15. ianbroyles:

    I made an app for selfies with a video twist.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/selfie-vision-video-selfie/id866436928?mt=8

    Ian makes all the best things. go get this.