Month: June 2010

Sofia Coppola Debuts “Somewhere” Poster + Trailer

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For whatever reason I’ve apparently had my head so far up my ass over the course of the past week, enough to miss huge news and updates from the lastest project, Somewhere, from my favorite director in all of film; Sofia Coppola.

The first full-length trailer and official poster were released last week and all I can say is I’m nothing short of epicly GEEKED beyond words. The film feautures usual Coppola staples…a muted color palette, placid (and a tad timid) cinematography, and fantastic music from Phoenix (Coppola is married to the band’s frontman, Thomas Mars).

If I can gather anything from the trailer, it’s that the film will be a signature Coppola piece…doing for LA what Lost in Translation did for Tokyo.

As if we haven’t been waiting long enough, the release date is currently set for December 22nd, 2010 (in a very wise bid to gun for Oscars, something Marie Antoinette stumbled with due to its just-outside-Oscar-season October release back in 2006).

The film was also a no-show at all of the major film festivals thus far in 2010, which prompted some industry analysts to question the studio’s confidence in the film (or perhaps, their reluctance to show the film at Cannes, where Coppola’s last film, Marie Antoinette, was met with extremely vocalized negative backlash immediately after the showing).

Regardless, I’m nothing short of amazed with the trailer…not to mention beyond excited.

Click here for the amazing trailer.

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Lady Gaga to Announce Album Title on 1/1/11!

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According to GagaDaily’s Twitter…

“LADY GAGA WILL ANNOUNCE HER NEW ALBUM TITLE ON 01/01/11 AT 00:00 BY POSTING A PHOTO OF IT TATTOED ON HER”

If there is any truth to this whatsoever (they’re usually right about everything they report about her), I’m pissed I have to wait another 6 months. But in all seriousness, that’s super exciting.

Photo-Forward; Seeing the World Through Jenn Hoffman’s Eyes

An Interview by Joey Nolfi

Jenn Hoffman – Photographer

Photobucket(above: Portrait of Jenn Hoffman)

To put it simply, through a photographer’s eyes the world becomes a different place. It is their visionary, imaginative, and creative point of view that enables the rest of us to see things from (literally) an entirely different angle. And judging from the looks of the extensive images in the portfolio of photographer Jenn Hoffman, that world is an artistically-chic and edgy playground inhabited by some of the fiercest people on the planet.

From visionary conceptuals, stunning fashion pieces, classic wedding photos with a contemporary twist, to celebrity portraits (we’ll get to that in a minute) of some of the hottest names in fashion, Hoffman’s portfolio is as diverse as the people she shoots. From models of all skin colors, backgrounds, and roles in the fashion world to actors, actresses, and ordinary people that don’t fall into any specific category, Jenn Hoffman has shot them all. “I love to shoot all kinds of people, but my personal favorite are fashion models! Tall, skinny, interesting faces…so fun!” says Hoffman, and that’s definitely apparent in her work; some of her clients include top outlets for models such as the LA Models agency in California, magazines such as Fiasco, and even international publications such as Popcorn Magazine in Germany.

Celebrity clients are also nothing new to Jenn Hoffman. Hoffman has shot Hollywood actors and actresses, notably Danielle Harris, one of the stars of the recent Halloween remake. Hoffman has even worked with modeling royalty like Janice Dickinson, for whom she shot a promo for Season 4 of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. Hoffman says that Dickinson “…was just AMAZING! She knew her modeling, so when I was shooting her I barely had to say anything!” and that she enjoyed working with some of the male models from Dickinson’s agency as well, most notably Brian Kehoe and Paul Vandervort.

Photobucket(above: Supermodel Janice Dickinson by Jenn Hoffman)


You’d think that working with such high-profile subjects would drive anyone absolutely insane from anxiety, but Hoffman says that with her, that isn’t the case. “It doesn’t bother me anymore” Hoffman says about her nerves, “I used to get nervous before agency model shoots, but now it’s a breeze because it’s part of me. It’s a privilege!”

But, putting together these shoots isn’t easy. Each of Hoffman’s shoots usually take at least 3 hours to complete, and even more prep work before anyone sets foot in the studio; “Honestly, there is a lot of computer work, loads of e-mails, and constant networking” says Hoffman, but the creative process behind her work is more than worth the hassle; “All of [my concepts] I have thought of. I do believe a great team can make a huge impact on the final shots as well. My red phone picture [shown below] was a spur of the moment shot!”. It’s refreshing to see someone still so passionate about this craft to be truly devoted to it, even in free time, to constantly come up with the brilliant and striking concepts that Hoffman produces. She even incorporates very powerful religious imagery into some of her more artistic pieces, most notably one in which she used a male model to represent Jesus dying on the cross; “I chose the perfect model for that, Jesse Holland. He got into character beyond belief” she says of her careful process of selecting models for projects like this. But what’s more interesting about art like this withinin contemporary photography is that the religious theme is so overt. “I think other art inspires me to create my own,” Hoffman says, “the fact that I can make my own lifestyle and create art with many different people is rewarding…I do have a Christianity [sic] about me, and this shoot just depicts an icon in life. Jesus is an icon.”

Photobucket(above: Photo by Jenn Hoffman)

It’s clear that Hoffman is as dedicated to her craft as any true artist is, but her ideal way of life that she lives every day almost didn’t happen at all. Hoffman’s early life in Raleigh, North Carolina almost steered her on a completely different path, one that didn’t include the art of photography at all. “My original major was graphic design” she says, “but I realized that wasn’t my forte.” After a random occurrence at the age of 17  in which she witnessed a friend transform a common shoe on the side of the road into a piece of envisioned photographic art, she realized photography was her true passion; after taking a photography course in Raleigh, Hoffman began a new course which would take her to the successful place in which she’s comfortably sitting right now. “I was fascinated by the way photographing something was so fun and adventurous. I then started shooting models, kept going and going, then decided to move to LA to pursue the dream!” Now residing just outside of Los Angeles, it seems as if the dream is already being lived.

But the road to success wasn’t always easy. Hoffman, at one point a struggling photographer like so many others, says she’s felt like giving up; “Sometimes in this field of freelancing, you feel like giving up either due to finances or the slowness of business, but I keep telling myself to go and go! I really could not imagine doing any other job!” Thankfully, Hoffman’s stuck with the craft, because the images this photographer produces are some of the most stunning shots this side of Vogue.

Photobucket(above: Photo by Jenn Hoffman)

Art is ever-present in today’s society, and that presence is growing day by day. “I think other art inspires me to create my own. Other photographers are an inspiration to me as well…[photography] is an addiction you cannot explain,” Hoffman says, “It really is about the way you connect with your subject and the way you put passion into your work that will make it ‘good’ or ‘successful’.” But as far as labeling goes, within the art world it’s easy to become pigeonholed into a generalized category in which you specialize, and Hoffman feels very strongly about her place in the industry; “I consider myself to be an artist, not a photographer” she says with a smile. And trust me, the rest of the world sees you that way too, Jenn.

Jenn Hoffman Photography – Official Site

(below: Brian Kehoe and Paul Vandervort, photo by Jenn Hoffman)

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Lauren Utter: When Art Itself Becomes the Artist

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Lauren Utter, one of the most complex and interesting individuals to appear on Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model, often finds herself as the subject of an artist’s vision; she is a model, therefore, becoming the art itself. However, Lauren’s interests extend beyond just posing to create provocative images; she is an artist herself, creating fabulously avant garde pieces that speak volumes within themselves. I’ve had the great pleasure of talking to Lauren on a few occasions and she’s really a blast and great fun to shoot the shit with, and her artwork definitely reflects the mind (and raw talent) of a true artist.

Lauren is currently selling older pieces from her collection, and it would definitely be in your best interest to pick one up. You can click here to view more of her extensive repertoire. Contact info and pricing are all available at the top of the page. This girl is really passionate about what she does, so please help her out and buy some of her amazing artwork!

Look for a PopSmut interview with Lauren in the coming weeks.

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Milla Jovovich Reveals New “iCB” Teasers; Far Cry from “Jovovich-Hawk”

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Milla Jovovich has always been one of my favorite figures in contemporary pop culture. An anomaly within the fashion world, Jovovich has managed to escape the snooty, agenda-ized, better-than-you demeanor most of her supermodel compatriots fell victim to (I’m looking at you, Tyra) shortly after their careers took off. But after being discovered by the legendary Richard Avedon when she was barely even a teenager, Jovovich took the artistic high road and took advantage of the opportunities superstardom had afforded her; free-reign over fine arts. She’s been singing (and writing) fantastic folk-rock music for years on top of her modeling, yet Jovovich also has an impressive track record in something else; design.

The ill-fated “Jovovich-Hawk”, a collaborative effort by Milla and fellow model Carmen Hawk, debuted its first collection in 2003 to extremely positive reviews from contemporary fashion critics. The sleek yet altogether rustic folk designs, at least in their presentation, evoked the truly layered, complex (yet still grounded) quality Jovovich has retained through years of modeling with the pretentiously uptight fashion elite.

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As with many up-and-coming fashion lines, Jovovich-Hawk eventually folded; after what seemed to be a promising first five years (designs were worn in public by the likes of Mary-Kate Olsen, as well as a commercial-consumer line produced for Target)  the pair produced their final pieces for the Spring/Summer 2008 season and subsequently ceased operations. I can’t say I’m surprised, seeing as the whole “rustic chic” look can be very easily (and for much less money) recreated with a quick trip to urban outfitters (or even a local vintage store), but Jovovich-Hawk’s designs evoked a much classier, sophisticated hidden elegance within the seams that set them apart from fellow lines. Their work took time to appreciate; they weren’t immediately striking or enticing; they were true pieces of surprising work that were as layered and complex as the past of the woman who helped design them. A true mashing of contemporary rustic chic with classic 20’s and folk infusion combined to make Jovovich-Hawk one of the most refreshing lines in recent memory.

It’s always truly uplifting to see someone remain so encompassed and rooted within the arts as Jovovich is, considering her career would wholly suggest otherwise (she’s a cult action film icon and has appeared in Men’s spreads for Maxim), so it’s truly inspiring to see her designing (and modeling) skills still utilized after the discontinuation of her own line. Her first campaign for Japanese-based line iCB debuted earlier this year, designs that were completely polariazed from the likes of Milla’s Jovovich-Hawk days. Slim, almost mod-inspired pieces were showcased alongside more masculine, streamlined offerings combined together to create sophisticatedly-chic designs that are yet still easily pairable with other off-the-rack products.

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Jovovich released this teaser (as well as the first photo in this article) for her upcoming designs for iCB today:

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I can’t say I’m either impressed or unimpressed as of yet (the shot looks like a direct cellphone-to-computer capture) but Milla does look extremely fierce and as beautiful as ever. The top half of that design reminds me a bit of a cosmopolitan schoolgirl take on some previous Jovovich-Hawk pieces, but I’m sure (as always) Milla’s end product will be a true work of art.

Kelis’ New “4th of July” Video is Fire, Fans Flames for “Flesh Tone”

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Please please PLEASE click here to see Kelis’ freaking amazing new video for the brilliant single “4th of July (Fireworks). Kelis’ new electronica/dance makeover is the epitome of artistic reinvention and I’m wholly impressed with the dramatic shift in genres that only a true icon in music is capable of. It’s a shame these singles aren’t tearing up the charts, this is honestly Kelis best work since the Kaleidoscope days. The buzz for this thing absolutely NEEDS to build, visionary aesthetic (and phonetic) artistry like this should never go unnoticed.

The new album, Flesh Tone, bumps it’s way into stores on July 6th (an eternity away, if you ask me).

New Musical Obsession: Maluca’s “El Tigeraso”

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Click here to have your mind blown. The ever-fabulous Diplo and relatively new underground artist Maluca collaborate on what is arguably the most intense, pulsating, I’m-gonna-shut-shit-down-when-this-comes-on-at-the-club song I’ve heard in a really long time. I need say nothing more…listen for yourself and thank me later.