Liz Goldwyn Directs the Award-Winning Actor in a Dark Burlesque Portrait
Perched in a dreamy rose garden, a seductive and melancholic Jena Malone narrates this poetic 19th-century-inspired short by filmmaker and author Liz Goldwyn. Part of a series of works devoted to demystifying the sex industry, The Painted Lady casts the future Hunger Games: Catching Fire star—who made her name in Donnie Darko and Saved!—as a young woman who recalls an encounter with a lushly powdered call girl. As Malone's distinctive voice glides over the hazy footage, intercut shots transform her baby-faced ingénue into a defiant, colorfully made-up femme fatale against a floral backdrop. Only 21 when the vignette was filmed six years ago, the actor’s performance was informed by her own personal transformation at the time. “I was definitely a girl on the verge," explains Malone. "Liz had the sense to see the woman that was crystallizing inside of me. It felt comfortable and somewhat voyeuristic—like the woman I was to become was having a muse’s sitting with my younger self, asking her to remember things." Much like Goldwyn's acclaimed HBO documentary Pretty Things, an exploration of American Burlesque culture, The Painted Lady and its sister project, Sporting Guide, spark discussion of broad social issues, such how our view of the body impacts feminine identity. “In all the work that I do I'm promoting an intelligent conversation about sex,” the director explains. “Jena might look glamorous, but there's a lot of darkness in these stories.”
Japanese Animator Naomi Nagata Crafts a Sand-Swept Video for the Veteran Soundsmiths
Ribbons of sand shift and swirl under the meticulous direction of Kyoto-based artist Naomi Nagata in her video for indie outfit The Sea and Cake’s newest single. Painstakingly charted over the course of a month, the hypnotizing stop-motion animation was created by forming lines and patterns in sand on a traditional Japanese paper scroll. The Edinburgh College of Art graduate has used the medium in such exhibitions as 2009’s Seconds Under the Sun, a touring celebration of 13 Japanese animators, as well as showing with the gallery/record label Presspop and appearing on NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster. “On and On” is the lead track from Chicago-formed The Sea and Cake’s latest record Runner, the 10th studio album in a career that spans nearly two decades. Featuring on soundtracks for films like Walking and Talking, the cult group has long been known for pushing boundaries when it comes to genre. Runner is a departure from the band’s earlier jazz- and Brazilian-influenced sound, towards a more minimal feel that showcases the melodic vocals of Sam Prekop. “We're a fairly insular group,” says bassist Archer Prewitt of their collaboration with Nagata, whose work he calls “precise, poetic and atmospheric.” For this video, they left the visuals entirely in the artist’s capable hands: “When we trust an artist, we give them free reign to develop their own contribution to a project. I really like the way Naomi's animation turned out: lean and imaginative.”
East London Heartbreaker Dudley O'Shaughnessy Throws Punches in High Style
Photographer Sharif Hamza captures boxer-turned-model Dudley O'Shaughnessy demonstrating the finesse and intense concentration that training for the sport demands. The 22-year-old rogue beauty stepped into the ring at the respected West Ham Boxing Club at the age of nine, following in the footsteps of his father and brother, both boxers. "Their trophies were my Action Men," says the Canning Town-bred youngster. Armed with his trademark sleek style, O'Shaughnessy went on to become the senior Amateur Boxing Association welterweight champion last year and narrowly missed a place on Team GB for the 2012 Olympics. Scouted as a model aged 19, and currently represented by Next Model Management, the blue-eyed, six-foot-one stunner has recently added acting to his CV, starring in Rihanna's steamy music video for “We Found Love,” as well as in two short films. Here, the fighter answers a round of quick-fire questions.
Muhammad Ali or Joe Frazier?
Professional or amateur?
Swarmer or brawler?
Jab or hook?
Sway or duck?
Boxers or briefs?
Natural or bleached?
Sportswear or suit?
Football or rugby?
Modeling or boxing?
Crowd or alone?