Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Paradise love, a great film by Ulrich Siedl.

Paradies: Liebe is a paradoxical film. On the surface, it seems harsh: a study of the sex tourism in Kenya and the power connections between young Black males and mature White women. Actually, it is a film of subtlety, harder than Vers Le Sud (2005) that faced the same issues with a touch of romantic tragedy: one that merges historical echoes with humour and horror.

The director, Ulrich Siedl opens Liebe with Teresa shouting instructions to a group of SEN adults as they bump and grind their cars at a fairground attraction. This disturbing image is a re-creation of La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler (1950). The fantasy merry-go round and circle of sex is about to be brutally re-created.  Ironically, this image will be evoked again as the White female tourists and Black hotel entertainers perform a circle dance in the swimming pool whilst singing hakuna matata. And in the gyrating stripper scene during Teresa’s birthday where bumping and grinding become a freakish sex show.

Liebe is beautifully photographed and plotted. Images such as the one below

remain in the mind, as do those of the mosquito net which Munga pulls like a religious veil around the artistic nude body of Teresa…the same net which she opens to take cropped, racist holiday souvenirs of Munga’s body, especially his large penis. Siedl has a real eye for the use of motifs and symbols.

There is much to admire in this film; notably, the stunning and convincing portrayal of Teresa by Margarete Tiesel. Her quest for Paradise moves towards a stay in Hell. Her acting was so good that the film almost seemed like a documentary at time.

On the night I saw Liebe at The Hyde Park Picture House, in Leeds, the audience was made of mainly grown-up people who had come to watch a difficult film, to be entertained by images and ideas. The film left me with many thoughts, as a young black male. It made me think about what love is, how love is often connected to money, how the wealth of White fe/males can be used by them to manipulate youthful Black males like myself. The film wasn’t just about Kenya. It was about the racist power structures that tie people in the net of love. I have never seen a film like Liebe before: it was a special experience for me!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Latest Photo Shoot in Yorkshire.

Hey Arnold,

It was a really enjoyable day in Ilkley. We were lucky to have been there on the best day this summer. Usually, Ilkley is shot as a dark place with moody weather. How interesting it was to see the moors in sunlight. Also, I think a new dimension was given to the fashion image you wanted to work with. Often, that clothing line (Delusion) is represented by a shadowy, urban image, the exact opposite of the bright, country setting we opted for. I hope you liked the final images, when you viewed them. I have a real liking for black and white images, but I think the colour shots best caught the feel of the day as well as the shirts you wore.

I don't know what you think, but I do believe that a good model has to be good at dealing with people as well as clothes: a model isn't just a clothes rack that you put clothes on. And there is more to photography than expensive lenses and having a big ego. Successful images come from human contact and seeing wth new eyes...all the time. It's always a pleasure to work with you. Thanks for you all your energy in climbing rocks and patiently waiting for the exact light to appear. Shooting outdoors is so different from studio work. In some ways, outdoor work teaches us that we aren't in total control as photographers-- it makes us humble and respectful of nature and the creative forces around us.

I know this wasn't strictly part of the shoot, but it's an image I love. It says something about youth, struggle and dreams.

Your photos were evocative too :-) of the wild and wonderful countryside.

Hope to work with you in the future, sooner the better. Many thanks.

Monday, 12 August 2013

The Weeknd in Manchester.

Hello Everybody!

Recently I remembered attending a concert by my favorite PBR&B artist Abel Tesfaye, known as "The Weeknd". It was magical and the images of that night still remain. The Weeknd is a Canadian PBR&B singer. His style is very different, a little bit like Michael Jackson. He has a very unique voice which I personally believe separates him from all R&B singers, leaving the others miles behind! 

The Weeknd played at the HMV Ritz in Manchester and the concert was breathtaking, an absolutely amazing experience. The turn out was really massive! People came from all places to attend the concert. I am really happy to have attended the concert. The Weeknd played songs from his latest album Trilogy: every song on his album (you can tell) has been written and produced from the heart. There is not a single song from his album that I do not love! I would recommend it massively and suggest you purchase it.
The Weeknd is currently working on his next album titled Kiss Land, which should be out soon. I am very excited by the thought of its release.

For those who did not attend The Weeknd concert, truly you have missed out on an amazing experience. BUT not to worry. The Weeknd is back in Manchester in November on the 23rd and the 24th at the 02 Apollo Manchester. 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Dsquared2 "LA NOUVELLE NOIR" Men's Fall/Winter Collection Runway Show
This is my favourite fashion show yet. It is by Dsquared2, Men's Winter Collection 2013-- I really love this design concept . Its style riffs are music to me.. The theme, I think, is absolutely beautiful, "LA NOUVELLE NOIR," meaning the new black. The show featured at a Jazz cafe in Milan.

Who are Dsquared2?  Well they are two Canadian twins, designers Dean and Dan Caten. They are well known, respected designers and major celebrities have worn their clothes, such as 50 Cent , Bill Kaulitz, Lenny Kravitz Karl LagerfeldJustin TimberlakeRicky MartinRihannaChristina AguileraBritney Spears, Madonn and many more.

I noticed Dsquared2 had used all black models to sell their concept. I really approve of this as a Black male model myself-- It is very rare you will see designers book so many Black models for a runway show, Their quality Black models were  the right medium for the designs. This show had it all. Everything that I love to wear! Style!
The fashion show was based on a World War 2 GI theme. To me it felt like, after the war is over and the troops have returned home. The show had an upbeat theme, a sense of Black is powerful. 

As a model myself I have to have an interest in fashion shows. I have viewed a lot of fashion shows and therefore have a pretty good idea of what a bad fashion show is like and what a good one is! This one was very good, it flowed, it had drama, it had story.

About a year ago when I was first introducing myself to modelling, I took part in my first fashion show. It was in Manchester and the show was based on African, ethnic styles of clothing. It was not the greatest fashion show. There were only one or two good designers. It did nothing to suggest that Africa was organised and inspirational. The show was very badly organised. It was supposed to start from 7 and finish at 10 but we did not start to rehearse till half 6.30 because the casting directors and the directors who were organising the night were very late. People need to know how much effort goes into making a show run smoothly. And to run like the DSquared2! Wow! What choreography! 

This is the first time I have seen top designers host a fashion show and only book Black models. The show made me feel good about modelling. It's been suggested by some fashion reviewers that the Black male model concept was just a publicity stunt to hide not very exciting designs. I honestly think that the Dsquared2 designs were not ordinary, they were very creative and stylish. I will sum it in three words. Different, clean, stylish.

Here are some of my favourites styles from the show...

I really like the first style, I think everything works. Really nice warm coloured shirts, precisely fitted around the neck. The brown matching braces and belt go perfectly with bag. Also I noticed every model had glasses on. I think this is a pretty cleaver idea that Dsquared2 have played with. It identifies the models with the designers' own look.

Style two is a very beautiful suit. I really love the fitting around the shoulders. Yellow ties don't often work on a suit. But here this yellow tie works really great with the strong black patterns on it. The tie also matches the scarf in the left pocket-- neat sartorial detail. 

In the Dsquared2 show, I recognised two supermodels David Agbodji and Salieu Jalloh

David Agbodji is a super model from New York. He has worked with all of the top designers and has been in top magazines such as as Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Vogue, Numero and loads more. 

             Salieu Jalloh

Salieu Jalloh is also a well known model in the fashion industry. He has also worked with big designers and been in top magazines such as Diesel, John Varvatos, Stone Island, Bloomingdale's, City Magazine and many more.

The show finished with the models walking out in long johns/boxes underwear and white t-shirts. Again some reviewers have seen this as a cheap beefcake climax. Not so. It was a joking tribute to the underwear of World War 2, as if to say, "Underwear was part of GI style...imagine GIs wearing these!" That was totally unexpected and a fantastic idea to finish with. There was such bravado when the models ripped off their shirts, to show ripped bodies, and casually flung their t-shirts to the audience. I hope Dsquared2 are thinking of bring out a underwear line. I want some...please