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Arts, Music

Colin Lane Explains the Iconic Photograph Behind the Strokes “Is This It”

Credit: Colin Lane

The jump between film and photography is a lateral one that many take one way or another. Colin Lane when to the University of Texas for film, a long way from his New England roots. When he made the transition to a photographic focus, being a band’s principle photographer had not been his goal—but between 2001 and 2006, he achieved just that.

Credit: The Guardian

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Colin Lane explains his most iconic photo, which coincidently, is arguably the most iconic album cover The Strokes ever had.

The Captivating Photo

One slender hand cloaked by a black, Chanel glove rests easily on the lower back of a nude woman, who leans forward and arches her back. The shot is a close composition, and reveals absolutely nothing seemingly “inappropriate” by any means. We see her shape and her smooth skin—nothing more. By simply describing the piece, one would have no idea just how erotic and eye-catching the photo truly is.

The iconic album cover. Credit: Colin Lane.

Though he had just spent the day at a fashion shoot, the photo was not among those taken in a professional setting. He was at his apartment, wanting to use up the rest of his Polaroids. The woman in the photo is not a renowned model (at least, we don’t know for sure, as the identity of the woman has never been revealed), she is his at-the-time girlfriend.

…when she slid the glove on and bent forward, I knew it was the perfect shot – simple, straightforward, graphic and just so sexy. When I developed it, I stuck it in my portfolio and thought nothing more of it.”

Photography for the Strokes

Fast forward a year or two to early 2001. Colin Lane has been commissioned by the Face, a fashion magazine popular between the 1980s to the mid-2000s, to photograph an up-and-coming band, The Strokes. It was Lane’s first commission, and it was The Strokes’ first real photoshoot. They snuck up to the roof of a building to get great shots of the band against the New York Skyline at sunset.

The Strokes. Credit: Colin Lane

 

A few weeks later, Lane was called upon again by the band to take a few more pictures and just hang out. Lane brought his portfolio on a whim, and out of sheer luck, their art director called and insist they find an album cover for their first album, Is This It. So, Lane handed it over, and the band picked the photo of Lane’s ex-girlfriend.

From then, until 2006, Colin Lane became their regular photographer. He toured with them, shot the lead singer’s wedding, and became friends with them. When things began to unravel between bandmates, Lane moved on to other acts—such as Kings of Leon, Beck, and many more, but Lane says, “nothing has ever compared to the Strokes.”

It’s a shame, because they were incredible: even when they were on top of the world, they never became jerks. To the end, they always were welcoming, intelligent and humble young guys who deserved their success.”


Popular song from The Strokes’ first album, Is this It.

To read the full interview, visit theguardian.com.

Arts, Film

Sean Penn and His Controversial Debut Novel

Credit: Greg Williams

For over 35 years, Sean Penn has been a star people across America easily recognize. Be it a result of his five Oscar Nominations and two wins for Mystic River and Milk, his directorial ventures, his ties to actress Robin Wright, or perhaps a scandal, Sean Penn is a man who as truly established himself as a righteous force in Hollywood.  

With the screen being such a prominent part of our understanding of Penn, many did not expect the actor who portrayed stoner Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High a topical and experimental novel.

Credit: Images Dawn

A New Brand of Limelight

Bob Honey Who Just do Stuff is Sean Penn’s debut novel. The 176-page boook revolves around title character, Bob Honey, who partakes in a number of odd jobs from selling septic tanks to Jehovah’s Witnesses to assassinating the elderly. The plot is non-linear, the narrative is loose, and the satirical tone of the book has produced two realms of thought: some see the story-telling techniques as unique and comic, while others feel it is too undisciplined and a mess of incoherent writing.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Penn discusses his ambitious work, as well as the transition from the world of film to the world of fiction. Feeling burnt out with the movie-making industry, Penn enjoys how writing a novel offered him “freedom from collaboration,” as he, “got to where [he] was not enjoying playing well with others as much as [he] used to.”

Credit: News 1130

However, similar to the story itself, the book did not have a traditional conception. Penn wanted to release the book before the election in 2016, but hadn’t realized how time consuming publishing truly is. As a result, he released an incomplete version on Audible.

Some compare the novel’s style to those of Terry Southern and Thomas Pynchon, complex and satirical writers of the 20 century, Penn insists the potential impact other writers may have had on him was never a conscious one.

The influence that a writer can have on you is that you get a sense of how somebody has a freedom with words or something, and makes you want to find freedom with your words… You find a voice like you find a character and it’s not from a movie—it’s from life. It’s not from a book—it’s from life.”

A Complex Novel for a Complex America

It is clear feelings on the book extend from one extreme to the other, but many can agree on one aspect: it is politically charged. “America’s a complex place that’s doing all it can to be without any complexity at all,” Penn says.

Though he vocally disapproves of our current president, when asked about a portion of the story that seems to refer to Donald Trump, Penn insists that “at the end of the day, the book isn’t about leadership in our country. It’s about the culture in our country,” and even if there are some controversial aspects of the story and that people dissect it and point fingers, ultimately, it is fiction.

My business is to be clear that what I leave behind is going to be in sync with what I intended to leave behind.”

To read the full interview, visit rollingstone.com

 

Arts

Patrick Moore, Director of The Andy Warhol Museum, Discusses Life, Art, and Andy Warhol

The world of art seems elusive and exclusive to many, but Patrick Moore helps collapse that stigma with his fresh interview with The Sophia News.

If there’s one thing we learned from Andy Warhol Museum Director, Patrick Moore, it’s that life can take us in all sorts of directions. Working as museum director at the world’s largest collection of the late and great Andy Warhol wasn’t a realized dream of Mr. Moore initially.

Credit: The Warhol

Winding Road to the Warhol

Patrick Moore didn’t major in art history of anything of the sort. He got his degree from Carnegie Mellon in theater directing. His first gig was in a space in New Your City known as “The Kitchen,” which was highly influenced by artists in the area. Much of the world done at this location was centered around the AIDS crisis, and this led Mr. Moore to a non-profit—The Estate Project for Artists with Aids—where he eventually became director.

Though the work was impactful and important, it is the type of work that takes a toll, and Patrick Moore burned out. In need of a stark charge, he packed his bags and changed paths once more. In Los Angeles, Mr. Moore became a writer and producer for Yahoo!. It wasn’t until his husband wanted to discover on new horizons that The Warhol came into focus.

…we came upon the idea of Pittsburgh, which I had always loved from my college days.  It was then an obvious idea to get involved with The Warhol as Andy had always been my favorite artist and my background had been in the art world.”

Credit: The Warhol

Success in Pittsburgh

At the Warhol, Patrick Moore thrives. In an age where many feel that museums are dying, the Warhol is flourishing. It’s the careful balance of visual art, film, and music that makes the Warhol a “first day” attraction in Pittsburgh. The five unique floors delight Warhol curators and newcomers alike.

A large part of Andy Warhol’s platform—socially and work-based—was inclusion. Patrick Moore feels that is part of what makes the museum so successful, and what makes Warhol’s art consistently relevant for years to come.

He brought together every possible kind of person, both in his personal life, his creative environment of The Factory, and in his work itself.  These were people of differing economic backgrounds, sexualities, races, genders.  You name it.  It was the mix that made it interesting.  Uptown and downtown was just the start of it.  And The Warhol is the same… We have one of the most diverse staffs of any art museum in America… There’s space for lots of different people at The Warhol and that’s because of the richness of Warhol’s legacy.”

To learn more about Patrick Moore and the Warhol, read the full interview at The Sophia News.

Arts, Film

Hollywood Legend Rob Reiner Looks Back on an Epic Career

Nowadays, when people think of legends of Hollywood, they think of people like J.J. Abrams, Lady Gaga, or maybe even Steven Spielberg. Rob Reiner is not a name that is readily on the tongues of youths listing off their favorite celebrities, but what they don’t realize is without Rob Reiner, many of their favorite classics wouldn’t exist.

One of the Most Notable Filmmakers in History

Perhaps All in the Family doesn’t ring a bell for those looking into Reiner’s work, but movies like The Princess Bride, Miss Congeniality, and When Harry Met Sally… certainly do. These accolades alone are enough to establish Reiner as one of the most iconic men in Hollywood, but his credentials as director and producer also include Stand By Me, Misery, A Few Good Men, and so much more. His work has not only shaped Hollywood, but cinema as well.

Rob Reiner, renowned actor, director, and producer. Credit: Brian Ach/Invision/AP

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Rob Reiner talks about his legacy in the industry and some favorite memories of his film work, but with an abashed and humble attitude that surprises, coming from someone who has been in the limelight for 50 years. It almost seems hard for him to imagine that his films have made such an impact on the world. However, when the interviewer suggests this may be due to the fact that Hollywood doesn’t make films like his anymore, Reiner agrees.

It’s a different time now and studios are making big event pictures and franchises and sometimes an R-rated comedy. So everybody who wants to make movies about people, politics or relationships has to find independent financing, and that’s what I do with Castle Rock Entertainment.”

Reiner expresses that big production companies are wanting more and more to make millions of dollars, but he entered the business “to express [himself] and tell stories, not just churn out a product.”

Learning with Harry and Sally


As a man who has worked on so many unique and exciting projects, Rob Reiner has learned a thing or two about the industry and life itself. One bout of knowledge he recalls is illustrated in the iconic “I’ll have what she’s having” scene in When Harry Met Sally…

While working on the film, a friend of his mentioned the fact that females fake orgasms, and when he asked his collaborator, Nora Ephron, she easily confirmed the fact.

Men don’t know about this, we have to put that in the movie!” Reiner said.

The well-known line, delivered by Reiner’s mother, Estelle Reiner, was a product of the main actor, Billy Crystal.

More than a Film Executive

Rob Reiner has told a number of classic stories the world has grown to cherish, but many of his recent passion projects are in the political spectrum. On top of being one of the most renowned Hollywood executives, Rob Reiner is a celebrity philanthropist. His work includes the founding of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which pushed for the legalization of same-sex marriage in California. As a man strongly against smoking, Reiner campaigned for higher taxes on cigarettes in his state. The money was transferred to prenatal care and childhood programs. His most recent project is in the realm of gun-violence.

With a longstanding career that has stood the test of time, and advocacy that has truly made an impact on society, Rob Reiner has shaped much of the world we know today. From simple things like silly film references, to the political landscape of California, Rob Reiner is a film executive who has truly made a difference.

Arts, Music

Interview With Lorian Bartle, A Guitarist of Elegance and Grace

Editor’s Note: Lorian Bartle is a guitarist and music educator in Denver. Her career has spanned more than two decades. She is noted for her graceful playing and her melding of classical guitar with more uniquely stylistic flourishes that brush upon the traditions of folk music and other genres.

This interview was conducted via email.

Interviewology: What was your favorite musical instrument growing up? At what age did you begin playing an instrument? 

Lorian Bartle: I always had an affinity for string instruments.   I began taking violin lessons at age 7.   When I was 15, I switched to the guitar.  I began my guitar studies learning chords and singing Beatles songs, but soon began to learn classical guitar.  The guitar is such an intimate instrument due to the direct hand contact one has with the strings and the ability to create a myriad of different tone colors.   I have been hooked to the beautiful sounds and wonderful repertoire of the classical guitar ever since.

Interviewology: Describe your path and evolution as a musician.

L B: I received a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Vassar College and Master of Music degree in music theory at Florida State University.   Following my university studies, I received extensive post-graduate private instruction from guitarist Ricardo Iznaola.  In addition, I took private voice lessons from Kevin Kennedy and Katrina Twitty.  I worked as an elementary music teacher for 12 years and have running a guitar studio and performing in the Denver area since 2012. 

Interviewology: How would you describe your teaching philosophy as a music educator? 

L B: I encourage my students to experience the joy of playing an instrument by developing skills that lead to confident playing: (1) acquiring a solid playing technique (2) applying music theory to performance (3) cultivating artistic expression.  Students are given three studio performance opportunities per year in community-based settings to share their musical gifts with others.

Interviewology: If you could play with any musician who would it be? 

L B: I would play classical guitar duets with Christopher Parkening, the American guitarist who brought classical guitar into mainstream America.  Christopher Parkening recordings are unabashedly expressive.  His technique always served to express his musical intent.  In addition, he has a very humble approach to his accomplishments on the guitar and is an engaging storyteller, both in his music and interviews.

Interviewology: Which musicians have inspired you the most along your path? 

L B: Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin’s musical accomplishments made during a time in which female guitarists were few and far between was very inspirational to me during my teens and 20s.  Conductor Marin Alsop’s engaging, informative approach to conducting was an additional inspiration to me.  I was fortunate enough to live in Denver when she was the principal conductor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

Interviewology: Do you believe classical music has a demographic issue regarding attracting younger audiences? What would you say to orchestras to increase their audience? 

L B: I definitely think it takes innovative programming approaches and effective marketing to attract younger audiences to classical music.  The most effective marketing of classical music involves classical musicians reaching out and performing in their communities outside the concert hall.  I believe that the coffee house singer-songwriters should be an inspiration to classical musicians as far as connecting with a community in intimate community venues goes.

Interviewology: What was the most rewarding artistic experience you have had so far? 

L B: It is hard to pinpoint one specific performance that was the most rewarding–I have experienced so many!  One performance that stands out in my mind was playing at the Foothills Art Center member night opening for an art exhibition.  Performing instrumental music from the ages while surrounded by beautiful glass sculptures was an exquisite experience!  In contrast, I have been very inspired performing for Alzheimer patients who don’t recognize people around them, but have vivid musical memories which allow them to lift their voices in song.

Interviewology: Describe your relationship to philanthropy as a musician. Have you ever played to help or enchant others on a pro bono basis? 

L B: I began my evolution as a performer by volunteering at local senior homes.  In addition, I performed during church services and at open mics.  I gained valuable performance experience in interactive performance settings.   To this day, I perform new repertoire in community-based settings to gain a deeper understanding of my music with an appreciative audience.

Interviewology: How do you feel about experimental approaches to classical music? Are their any composers from the 20th century that you enjoy? 

L B: I wrote my thesis on twelve-tone music by Anton Webern, so I definitely am a proponent of innovative approaches to music!  Additionally, I enjoy watching developments in opera with creative staging, new compositions, and unorthodox musical writing.  I think that many of today’s experimental approaches to music are taking place in the world of opera.