Floria Sigismondi Takes to LA’s Chateau Marmont For a Tale Of Glamour and Madness
“LA is a sunny place for shady people,” says singer-songwriter Lawrence Rothman, describing today’s promo for his entrancing, entropic debut single, “Montauk Fling.” Shot in LA’s foremost den of glamour and vice, the Chateau Marmont, the video is the dark brainchild of artist and filmmaker Floria Sigismondi, whose past projects include 2011 feature The Runaways and a long list of ingenious, era-defining music videos for the likes of Björk, Marilyn Manson and David Bowie—she directed his recent video for “The Next Day,” starring Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard. Released on June 20, “Montauk Fling” is not only Rothman’s debut single, it’s also the first 7-inch to be released on Sigismondi’s own label, Mama Roma, which she’s launching as a platform to put out undiscovered new music. Rothman describes Sigismondi’s visuals as “a spew of consciousness about a messy love triangle,” the director having cast the singer as a deranged Elizabeth Taylor, stuck, as she puts it, in a “tragic parallel reality where the character’s hunger descends into madness.” Far from taking his role lightly, Rothman spent hours prior to the shoot watching Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula on loop to fully prepare himself. The backing dancers were choreographed on set with no rehearsals, and ended up drawing a little upon the spirit of the Chateau, says Sigismondi, “like haunted spirits roaming its halls.”
The Los Angeleno Fighter and Fashion Muse Explains How He Learned to Box Smart
“Boxing is like playing poker—you can really feel someone’s emotion,” says 24-year-old Zachary Wohlman of going head to head in the ring in this penetrating short by filmmaker Crystal Moselle. Having entered the world of professional boxing at a relatively late age, the striking Los Angeleno has taken the sport by storm, climbing its competitive ranks at a startling rate. He began in the ‘behind-the-barn’ amateur boxing scene in Mexico while attending military school across the border in Texas, and went on to win the coveted Los Angeles Golden Gloves in 2009. He turned pro in December 2011 and his signature slicked-back hairstyle has since graced the cover of LA Weekly and appeared in American Apparel campaigns. With a current four wins to a single loss and coaching support from the legendary Frederick Steven “Freddie” Roach—whose past training successes include the swift-footed world champion Manny Pacquiao—2013 looks to be his year. Moselle, a NOWNESS contributor who has shot for the likes of Sony and M.A.C. cosmetics, takes us to the other side of the ropes to unveil the boxer’s secrets before his upcoming fight against fellow welterweight Shawn Wate on February 22. “I like to capture the off moments and reveal the vulnerability that is not always visible,” says the director. Read on for more on Wohlman’s pre-fight rituals.
What’s your personal routine leading up to a match?
Zachary Wohlman: You want your body to be in a rhythm and have your timing right. Before I get into a fight I go to a witch doctor and light a candle. You basically write what your intention is on the candle and it burns while you’re fighting. I also wear the same T-shirt under my robe every fight. It’s pretty funny—I’m very superstitious so that’s part of my mental preparation. I have to stay very calm before a fight—whether or not you stress about it, you’ll still be getting in the ring.
Is the ring a lonely place?
ZW: You might think it is, but there’s a team vibe. It’s the energy from the trainers and coaches—I just go out there and carry the message.
Is being intuitive the best asset you bring into the ring as a fighter?
ZW: I’m very self-aware and conscious of what’s going on around me and how I’m feeling. It’s not always great as sometimes I can overthink things, but for the most part I’m just connected to the general energy. You learn intuition and street skills growing up but I think it’s also something you’re born with. A world champion once told me that your personality will show in the ring—boxers translate their lives into the way they fight. I’m not Mike Tyson. I’m not the come-in-to-knock-him-out kind of guy. I go in there and I box smart, I work off the jab, I set things up. I’m crafty, I’m tricky—that’s my personality both inside and outside the ring. There are pictures of me laughing while I’m fighting.
Oscar-Winner Fisher Stevens Narrates an Homage to the Poetic Landmark on New York's East River
“It hath cables and it does one good to cross it every day,” wrote Jack Kerouac in his 1956 poem “Brooklyn Bridge Blues,” inspired by the New York monument that also attracted the likes of poets Vladimir Mayakovsky, Marianne Moore, and even Walt Whitman, who immortalized the part-built landmark back in 1878. The neo-Gothic symmetry of one of the city’s most recognizable structures is honored in this short by filmmaker Harrison Boyce, narrated by Academy Award-winning actor and director Fisher Stevens. Today potentially overlooked as an object of mere utility overshadowed by the imposing skyline of Manhattan, here the Brooklyn Bridge’s aesthetic appeal is reinvigorated some 130 years after it first opened in 1883, when it was one of the tallest structures in the city. The 1.1 mile steel-wire suspension bridge was originally designed by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling and took 14 years to complete, linking Manhattan and Brooklyn across the East River—a cultural connection that continues to flourish today. Boyce filmed the ode to his favorite landmark in between shooting the titles for Saturday Night Live and working on fashion and music projects for Dazed & Confused. “What I really love about the Brooklyn Bridge is how many different elements were brought together to build it,” he says. “While the other bridges in New York are made primarily of metal, the Brooklyn Bridge has stone, wood, steel, cement, and all these old signs and doorways; it has a lot of mystery to it.”