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April 24, 2014

Joanna Hogg: Exhibition

Viv Albertine is an Artist Unleashed Between Four Walls in the Director's Study of Domesticity

“I had absolutely no fear,” says former Slits guitarist and punk icon Viv Albertine of taking on the role of artist D at the last minute, at the behest of her close friend Joanna Hogg. “I said: ‘I’m putting myself completely in your hands, I’m like your baby, do what you want with me.’” The writer and director’s third feature film Exhibition depicts the often-silent relationship of her two protagonists—D's husband H is played by conceptualist one-time YBA, Liam Gillick—who are readying to leave their home. Defying the rural settings of 2008’s Unrelated and 2010’s Archipelago, this work led the former apprentice of Derek Jarman back to her home city of London. “I wanted to push myself into new territory,” explains the director, who premiered the film at the 2013 Locarno Film Festival. “I was interested in looking at a marriage, a husband and a wife of a certain age existing within the space in which they live and work.” The third protagonist of the story is the setting itself; the property’s staunch angles and walls of glass form one of the only private homes built by late Modernist giant James Melvin, to whom the film is dedicated.

Exhibition opens in the UK on April 25.

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Spotlight

Deborah Turbeville’s Night Cry

A Vision of Mexico’s Day of the Dead from the Late Pioneer of Brooding Photography

A crowd clambers across ghostly ruins in the town of Mineral de Pozos, Guanajauto, Mexico, in Night Cry, today’s haunting film from the late New York fashion photographer, Deborah Turbeville. Steeped in religious iconography, Turbeville envisions her guilty protagonist’s final moments. “I hear people talk about John Ford having a particular place to shoot—Monument Valley in Utah. This was Deborah’s, a location characteristic of her sentiment, mood, and the way she worked,” says cinematographer Marcin Stawarz who first met Turbeville at the dilapidated mining town during Valentino’s Spring-Summer 2012 campaign. The influential image-maker, who recently passed away at 81, started her career as a fit model for friend and designer Claire McCardell, before going on to become Fashion Editor of Harper’s Bazaar in the early 1960s and realizing her passion for photography, shooting for Vogue and W magazine. Turbeville was dubbed the anti-Helmut Newton for her melancholic fashion imagery. “She was always searching for a certain strangeness,” says Stawarz of Turbeville’s approach. “This ruinous architecture reminded her of Roberto Rossellini’s work. Referencing [his 1950 film] The Flowers of St. Francis, she was very much amazed at the way he used architecture in film. She talked about him a lot when we were working.”

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Spotlight

Sara Blomqvist: Sommarstället

The Model Steps Off the Runway and Into a Lost Weekend in Her Native Sweden

Sara Blomqvist makes her feature film debut in today’s bespoke excerpt of Sommarstället (Summerhouse), the latest from directors Marcus Werner Hed and Johan von Reybekiel. An exploration of frayed relationships and clandestine encounters, the film is set over a weekend of hedonism in a remote corner on the west coast of Sweden. “Acting is something I feel like I’ve done my whole life,” says Blomqvist, who has graced the catwalks of Chanel, Saint Laurent and Kenzo, and fronted campaigns for Missoni and Dolce & Gabbana. “But to really get into another person’s train of thought was something I’ve never experienced before.” Playing the lead protagonist, Stina, the actress finds herself torn between her fractured love for her boyfriend and her mounting desire for her cousin, Carl, whose birthday the group are celebrating. “We hope it captures some of our generation’s traits,” says Werner Hed, who with Von Reybekiel relied heavily on improvisation and used a handheld camera to achieve a realist aesthetic. “A generation who takes responsibility, but maybe only when it’s too late.”

Sommarstället premieres at Raindance Film Festival, UK, on October 3.

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