A Private Tour of Beatrix Ost and Ludwig Kuttner's Avant-Garde Country Paradise
Stretching across 500 acres of Charlottesville, Virginia, is Estouteville, a 19th century Edwardian ranch and home to arts patrons and textile entrepreneurs Beatrix Ost and Ludwig Kuttner. An artist, writer and theater producer, the German-born Ost, together with her philanthropist partner Kuttner, discovered the idyllic estate in 1982, when she swung a pendulum over a map of the East Coast which led her to Albemarle County. “There are endless treehouses, sculptures, and art pieces made by other people on the property,” says today's filmmaker Columbine Goldsmith. “They live a life that is very community-based and focused on encouraging the talents of the people around them.” Ost’s idiosyncratic personal style and snow white, purple-tinted hair have earned her a cover of the New York Times Magazine and editorials for Harper’s Bazaar, while Kuttner is the unlikely gourmand, using the grand scale of their private playground to grow local produce. “We really followed them around on what is more or less a normal day,” adds Goldsmith, who was joined by the couple’s granddaughter, Eva, as the family explored the nearby lily pond, with its very own resident snake. “Every part of the farm is a seamless fusion of wild eccentricity and homely life.”
The Model Steps Forward as the Roguish Heroine of a Surreal Desert Tableau
Sauntering down a desolate highway in opaline pasties and pink latex knickers, an otherworldly Erin Wasson enacts an unexpected domesticity in this short by filmmaker Columbine Goldsmith, shot in California’s Mojave Desert. Wearing spring/summer 2013 looks from the likes of Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Chanel and Alexander Wang, Wasson walks the line between the real and the extraterrestrial as an apathetic housewife tending to a fantastical plot of American soil. “The landscape doesn’t reveal time or place, so I wanted to imbue the protagonist with a more defined character: an old-fashioned housewife in 60s and 70s silhouettes who also has something discernibly futuristic about her,” says Goldsmith. Referencing the bleak landscapes of Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura and the humanoid alien of The Man Who Fell To Earth, the film’s title comes from a serendipitous moment: during the shoot at Joshua Tree National Park, Goldsmith noticed a plaque on a nearby boulder that read “La Intrusa Piedra” (The Intruder Rock), an unexpected and welcome nod to Wasson’s outsider status in the film. Below, the Texan supermodel, veteran of the pages of Vogue and the runways of Balenciaga, Gucci and Lagerfeld, and muse to the likes of Ellen von Unwerth, steps out of the sand to reveal her chill-out preferences.
The Japanese Neo-Dadaist Makes a Slow-Mo Splash
A paean to eternal themes of love and sacrifice and the enduring pull of the creative process, Zachary Heinzerling makes his filmmaking debut with Cutie and the Boxer, a meditative observation of painter-boxer Ushio Shinohara. This exclusive sequence, shot on a Phantom camera, shows Ushiro pummeling the glass ‘canvas’ with affecting vigor. The former enfant terrible moved to New York from his native Japan in 1969 in search of international recognition that has never quite materialized. In the Sundance-fêted documentary, Heinzerling captures the Octogenarian and his long-suffering wife and de facto assistant Noriko preparing for their first joint exhibition: Ushio will present a selection of his ‘box paintings’––Jackson Pollock-inspired abstractions created by hurling paint-covered boxing gloves across a massive canvas, and Noriko, a showcase a series of witty illustrations entitled “Cutie and the Bullie”, which satirize their turbulent 40-year-old marriage. “Ultimately, my goal was to absorb the audience in the raw spirit and beauty that emanates from the couple,” explains Heinzerling. “To open a door onto the creative and very private world where the rhythms of the Shinoharas’s lives play out.” The result is an intimate tapestry of a challenging partnership, cemented by a bond that transcends their various artistic and financial impediments.
Cutie and the Boxer hit cinemas in the US this weekend, and will premiere in Europe November 1.