Saturday, October 31, 2009

L'Enfer sur Pellicule /Hell of a Film!

Romy Schneider lifting the veil on the realities of her just-married condition. Any reasons to be scared?

Peekaboo...Ghastly Romy! Tonight is Halloween, and I feel like publishing a post on L'Enfer. How appropriate is that?
In France, L'Enfer de Clouzot, a docu-fiction directed by Serge Bromberg, was released on September 23rd, and since then it has been all the buzz among my community of friends,
Believe it or not, the just-married woman that I am could not but be titillated by the eye-catching beauty of this unknown version of l'Enfer. Years ago, in 1994, I saw quite a poor version of Clouzot's script directed by Claude Chabrol, with Emmanuelle Béart and François Cluzet. Nonetheless, I know that this film is going to please me more as it delves into Clouzot's 1964 script.
Arthur Rimbaud is very often quoted for his famous 'L'enfer, c'est les autres'. The story of this film is no exception...A young couple goes through the throes of jealousy until the poison performs its little nasty work, like an evil worm in too appetizing an apple.

L'Enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot,
a film on Clouzot's interrupted film by Serge Gromberg and Ruxanda Medrea, 2009 (94mins)

"Our film is a legend! In 1964, Henri-Georges Clouzot chose 26 years-old Romy Schneider and 42 years-old Serge Reggiani, to be the leads of L’ENFER. An enigmatic and original project; an unlimited budget; a film, which was meant to be the cinematographic event at its release. However, after 3 weeks into filming, drama happens. The project is interrupted and the images, which were told to be “incredible”, will never be shown.
I have recovered those images that were forgotten for half a century and they are more mind-blowing than the legend predicted. They are telling a unique film, that of madness and jealousy filmed from a subjective point of view, the story of a cursed filming and that of Henri-Georges Clouzot, who had set free his mad film making talent. Romy Schneider has never been so beautiful and magnetic. Never a director has been so close to the hero he invented. Our film shows L’ENFER such as it was shot and tells the emotional story of a magnificent failure."

The film was part of the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) selection last September, but we unfortunately missed it as we were in France...getting married, you remember. I hope this docu-fiction film will soon come back on Toronto screens. I can't wait too, too long! It really is hell on earth to wait for... L'Enfer!
To be continued...
See the trailer of L'Enfer de Clouzot...and let me know of your impressions!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Welcome to Mon Cher Coco!

Hello Mes Chers!

I am very happy to welcome you to Mon Cher Coco, my new blog that is more exclusively devoted to everything homemade for you... like food, for instance. I will therefore, and as of now, publish all my recipes and food-related anecdotes on this new-born blog.

See you soon chez Mon cher Coco ;0

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Being Ourselves and Others: Candice Breitz's Factum Jacob

At our home, chez Marco & Christine Jacob, setting up the scene before filming. Photo by Nick Kozak, Flickr.

June 4, 2009. Artist Candice Breitz and her crew arrived at our place at 9 A.M for a whole day of filming to make what was to become Factum Jacob. The consultation had already taken place in another meeting that Candice Breitz had carefully planned a week prior to the interviews. I remember when Candice first introduced herself to us, we could tell right away that she was determined, extremely friendly and articulate, well, in a nutshell, a very remarkable person.
Candice Breitz. Photo: Alex Fahl, 2008
Setting up the decor was interesting to watch. Nick Kozak, one of Candice's assistants, captured a fleeting moment of hesitation in choosing which butterfly frames would suit best (see opening photo). It only took them about half an hour to gather the right objects scattered in our apartment that could render the personality of the twins; and, I think, they did a fantastic job!
Miguel and Marco Jacob were assigned a real test of endurance, the experience was a real journey digging in their memory. Four hours each of non-stop interviews. Quite an ordeal! Of course, it was done with the utmost confidentiality, and each twin was interviewed in total privacy, without the other one being present. So for instance, Marco and I had to step out when Miguel was being interviewed; we took a stroll that afternoon, a good excuse to go have a coffee outside!
They knew they could pass some questions if needed, but none was eluded, as they recollected later. But the mystery is still intact as they didn't want to share their views and answers before the final Factum work is shown...
Candice Breitz, Factum Jacob, 2009, stills from a two-channel video installation. Published in Artforum, September 2009.

"Candice Breitz’s current exhibition "Candice Breitz: Same Same" at The Power Plant in Toronto includes the premiere of the first works in Factum, a series commissioned by the gallery. Named after a pair of paintings by Robert Rauchenberg, Factum I and Factum II (both 1957), that appear indistinguishable but reveal differences on closer inspection, Breitz’s Factum consists of interviews with identical twins, found by placing ads on craigslist in Toronto and in the city’s alternative weekly. Each set of twins appears side by side one another on matching monitors, hung portrait-style. Breitz spoke to each sibling separately about their lives, but using similar questions, then edited the discussions so the pair’s words and gestures play off one another, highlighting both parallels and departures.(...)" (from I'll be your Mirror: Candice Breitz at the Toronto Film Festival, by Ed Halter on Monday, Sept 28th, 2009- in Rhizome)

Marco watching and listening to Factum Kang. The Power Plant, Toronto, October 25th, 2009.
Factum Misericordia
Unfortunately, Factum Jacob as well as 4 other Factum's subjects could not be shown at Toronto's Power Plant Same Same exhibit. The editing could not be finished on time but they are in the process of completion.
I found it fascinating to sit, put the headphones on, and listen to the answers of these 3 pairs of female twins that are currently displayed. Funny, irritating, or intriguing, but always vibrant testimonies of their joys and anxieties met along the way to achieve individuality. Same Same; and yet, different...

Marco Jacob at the Power Plant exhibit, posing in front of the Factum portraits.
Dear Marco & Miguel, I can't wait to discover your Factum Jacob! Time will come soon enough when we can see the complete exhibition. Factum was purchased by a consortium of Toronto donors for the Art Gallery of Ontario's permanent collection.

PS: If you are in Toronto and haven't seen the exhibit yet, you have until November 29th. Don't miss it! Factum is buffered by Breitz's earlier work, which provides some worthwhile background reading.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Midnight soup: Of Fashionistas and Pumpkins!

Pink Tartan S/S 2010 Collection
Last Wednesday, we had planned to leave our house at 7PM to attend some events at the LG Fashion Week. Our evening was fully booked with 2 fashion shows and 1 art opening party. But before we left, I had come up with this idea that we should have a soup for dinner, you know a nice pumpkin soup... I unfortunately thought about it a bit too late, and started cooking at 5.30 PM...I know...It nevertheless left me enough time to get started, so I peeled the veggies, fried them and boiled them. After approximately 50 mins (preparation and cooking time), the mix was ready to be processed and savoured; but we were running short of time as we still had to get changed. Bah, too bad! The soup had to wait...
We made it on time for the Pink Tartan and the Joe Fresh Shows, we even had time to surf through the crowds of fashionistas, grab a drink or two and chat a bit before it all started. Nice!

Joe Mimran, shortly before Pink Tartan's show. He has become quite an icon over the years, here in Canada! Well, you know what, I like Joe Fresh a lot, and have the deepest respect for his line and ethics in the fashion industry. I was also happy to discover the new Pink Tartan Show. I enjoyed it. I found the style not only consistent and well structured, but also very wearable . Kimberley Newton-Mimran and Joe Mimran, husband and wife, are a very creative and inspiring couple. The few times I saw them together, they beamed with mutual love. I know I am a just-married type of girl, but I have always had a tendency to notice love around me quite accurately. I am a believer in the power of love and, in their case, it clearly (fashion) shows!

Well time flew by as usual and it was already 10ishPM when we decided to take off for our next event: Shadowplay, an in-store event/opening at Carte Blanche . The store had selected influential members of the young Toronto fashion and art communities to present the F/W 2010 collection from their in-house line Pink Cobra.

Marco and I were looking forward to attending this opening night as we knew it would come as a relief after several nights of Fashion Week events, we needed a change of scenery and the immersion in the glam'punk-rock artsy scene proved to be rejuvenating!

Miguel Jacob (photographer) and Dwayne Kennedy (Stylist), who that night had decided to let his hair 'up', great idea! And a friend of theirs. All were very happy with the show!

Above, selected photo of Miguel Jacob, styled by Dwayne Kennedy. See more in the post Fearful Symmetry, the behind the scenes of the shoot.

On that night, Marco put on his studded leather jacket and declared he was officially sick with the exclusively sartoriale look! Good for him ;) Here with his mother, Zuly, and Elizabeth Kaye, one of Miguel's passionate interns who shared the night with us.

After all, we got back home for midnight and believe it or not, we were hungry for soup. Ready to be turned into pumpkins! I blended the soup I had prepared, and Oolala, it looked and smelled exactly like what we needed : A yummy flavourful pumpkin soup to warm up and feel the comfort of good mother nature on our plate and palate...Pumpkin will never go out of fashion!

Impromptu Pumpkin Soup: (up to 8 generous servings)

- 2-3 tbsp of safflower (or olive) oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves
-500g pumpkin (or butternut squash), peeled and sliced
-1 leek
-1 celery stick + leaves (very tasty!)
-1 carrot
-1 potato
-fine sea salt and ground pepper
-rosemary dried leaves, and three bay leaves
- a pinch of curry powder, cumin and cinnamon (or nutmeg, instead of cinnamon)
-1 tbsp of soy sauce
-1 tbsp of olive oil
-fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish

Heat the safflower or olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic cloves. After 5 min, once they have softened and toasted a bit, add all the vegetables: pumpkin, leek, carrot, potato and celery. Let the magic work for 10 min or so, all the vegetables will greet each other and fry a bit to look gently golden!
Season to your taste with: pepper and salt, the above-listed spices, rosemary and bay leaves.
Pour in enough water to cover the vegetables. If you prefer, you can replace water by 1.5L of vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, cover, lower to medium-low, and cook for 20-30 mins until the vegetables are soft.
Let the soup cool down for a few minutes (or hours in my case on that very night...). Purée the soup using an immersion blender, until the soup is smooth with just a few remaining chunks.
Stir in the soy sauce and olive oil (I used Croatian award-winner olive oil, Izbor 2008, from the Meneghetti property, 22 euros per 0,25L bottle: very expensive, but beyond compare with its bitter-sweet flavours!), taste, and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into bowls. Serve with a nice piece of multigrain bread + butter and tapenade spread (black or green olives purée: miam-miam!).
Wine: Côtes-du Rhônes red wine, Antonin Rodet - 2008, is what we had and it worked very well. The matching duet, soup+red wine, played the flawless score of its gentle melody on our taste buds.

Upon the stroke of 1AM, we had been turned into a pair of roasted giant pumpkins, happy and content, ready to be tucked in bed!
Bon appétit!

Marco Jacob: Once Upon a Chair...

Two days ago, Marco answered the door for a special delivery. Here it was, Gestalten's latest publication: Once Upon a Chair, an international up-to-the minute survey of contemporary furniture design. And yes, you guessed it right: Atelier Jacob, Marco Jacob's studio of architecture and design, is part of the selection!!

Chapi Chapo Hoop Chair. Material: Powder-coated steel. Photography: Miguel Jacob. Producer: Atelier Jacob/PD Lab

The story of that hoop chair, Chapi Chapo, started last February at the IDS09 in Toronto. The press was really impressed by Marco's new designs, so much so that Chapi Chapo was selected for this Gestalten's publication and the Warp chair for the cover of Canadian Interiors, May/June issue.

It was another beautiful day that started on the right foot or, shall I say, the right leg. ;)
Hope this chair will have a long line of happy four-legged children...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Art Metropole & Luis Jacob's book launch

In the background: The silhouettes of Luis Jacob & Chris Curreri.

Last Saturday, October 17th marked a foray in my understanding of Luis Jacob's art work. It also was a wonderful opportunity to discover this quite unique place for documentation and research in contemporary and conceptual art that is Art Metropole.

But who is Luis Jacob? On a private note, he is the eldest brother of the Jacob Four, the Fantastic Four, as previously mentioned in a former post, but he is better known in the public eye as a noted Canadian artist and writer.

Of course,I had already been impressed by Luis's art work before, but this book launch offered me the ideal space and time to delve into the evolution of his art through his publications. My attention was most particularly caught by the fluid complexity of Towards a Theory of Impressionist and Expressionist Spectatorship.

All photos by Miguel Jacob

This book launch felt like a sort of art forum held in the womb of a fertile Metropole (from the Greek metropolis:'mother city'). I think I even grasped a few fragments of Luis's maieutics.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rebirth in Venice!

To conclude on our pre-wedding trip, I'd like to share the last drops of my Venetian impressions with you. Here is a link that will take you to an article: "Renaissance à Venise" (pardon my French!) that got published in this week's L'Express de Toronto, the French-speaking newspaper.
Have a good trip! I'll see you there ;0)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Once upon a show...Greta Constantine S/S 2010

With my crew of usual suspects: Miguel Jacob & his girlfriend, Jennifer Parsons, and mon cher Coco, Marco Jacob.

Thursday, October 15th started Fashion Week frenzy here with notorious Toronto-based designers' Greta Constantine Spring/Summer 2010 Show at another unexpected location of their choice. This time Kirk & Stephen had chosen to stage their collection, which also marked the runway debut of their menswear line, Ezra Constantine, in a vast garage environment, the Audi dealership on Bayview Avenue. We walked down a ramp and arrived in a huge, concrete basement area, where the runway had been set. It felt big, off Toronto's beaten tracks, for sure.

Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong giving an interview after the show.

To be honest, that collection did not hit me as being my favourite designed by the duo, I did not find it consistent enough. I must say that I did prefer the S/S 09 Collection with its elaborate, coloured jersey dresses, and line of accessories. I was impressed then by the way their draping and design matched on the runway of the Circa night club.
But I will be eternally grateful to this Greta Spring 2009 show as - and it does not happen in every single show, does it!- I surprised myself sharing deep, i.e real conversations, be it with Sarah Casselman and Jordan Porter, both from FASHION Magazine, or with young Amanda and her big black-framed, fake prescription glasses that, as she said, act like a magical shield on such social events, or again with Marlene and her online shopping habits. Oh, and I also had a long conversation with Joyce, who happens to be Karim Rashid's vibrant mother - no wonder he's got such charisma - she is quite a character herself! Like mother, like son... In the meantime, the boys were being hugged by gorgeous Jean-Paul Gaultier ex-model Eve Salvail, who was DJ-ing the event and who found them soooo cute...

See her with Miguel...

...and with Marco. She thought she could make his wife (i.e moi) jealous. Pffeew! Eve, even a purracious Catwoman like you does not stand a chance... No offense ;)

All in all, it was a Great Greta Show!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fearful Symmetry

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

(from The Tyger by William Blake)

Photo; Marco Jacob
Marco's shadow, while taking a picture of Miguel shooting Chloe. I love the mise-en-abyme.

As you know, I recently married Marco Jacob. The Jacob Brothers or the Jacob Four have an incredibly powerful drive and creative force. Miguel is a photographer, his twin brother Marco is an architect-designer, Luis, is a noted Canadian artist, and Giancarlo is a teacher with a sharp eye for photography too. You can bet family dinners never get boring...But let's have a closer look at Miguel's work today.
Over the last 2 years, I have had several great opportunities to grasp the essentials of his passion for photography, as well as his quest in art. As a Toronto-based fashion photographer, Miguel Jacob regularly shoots covers, editorials and advertising for Fashion magazine and Chatelaine, to quote but a few.
Photographer Miguel Jacob on a shoot for FASHION magazine, September 2008.

But as an artist, a fashion photographer like Miguel, also needs to expand the territories of his creative freedom by shooting what is called in the profession, a creative, i.e a personal piece that has not been ordered by a client. But over to you, Miguel!

"The idea of the shoot came from a photo exhibit at the store called Carte Blanche showcasing the new Pink Cobra pieces through stylists' interpretations. Dwayne called me and asked me if I was interested and I said "Yes". Given the dark nature of the pieces (Pink Cobra, Prada, Gareth Pugh, etc.), I suggested that we use a very electric colour palette for the model's makeup. Geometry played a big role in selecting the location and mirrors also played a big role. The use of an extreme wide angle lens (16-35 mm) added to the warped feeling that I was after."

Believe me, I was really impatient to see Miguel on a creative. At long last, it happened. Last Saturday, Marco and I assisted him on a creative that he directed, in collaboration with Dwayne Kennedy (Stylist), Robert Weir (Make-up artist) and Chloe (Model). So today's topic is the behind-the-scenes of this photo shoot directed by Miguel Jacob. Watch out, he is going to perform his photographic magic right in front of your eyes.
Here are a few notes and photos taken behind the scenes of that memorable photo shoot.

Miguel Jacob, Dwayne Kennedy and Robert Weir designing plans for the day.

Saturday October 10th: It all started at noon chez nous. We had agreed on having our place turned into headquarters for the think-tank crew that day. After 3 hours consisting of fittings, make-up and hairstyle, we were ready to set off. So we got going with our gear, and model Chloe wearing 1980s sculptural make-up and structural jumpsuit. As you can see, we didn't go unnoticed on the streets of Toronto...

Photos by Christine Rochet-Jacob

Once we got off the taxi- we understood that Miguel's destination of choice was ideal: Front Street and its alignment of mirrored buildings. Great idea! The crew stayed on location, in front of this dramatic facade, for nearly two hours, with Miguel shooting under all possible angles (see photos!). It is only when the sun started to set behind the CN Tower that the RBC security guard kindly asked us if we could leave the premises. He had been notified of the photo shoot and had consented to ignore it for... quite a while. Thank you, sir. It takes a lot of people's good energy to make the world go round, the same for a creative to happen!

Photos by Christine Rochet-Jacob

Miguel and Chloe taming each other, like the cobra and the mangoose, or the crouching tiger... Both were ready to do all they could to reveal the underlying magic of geometrical patterns and their symmetry in vertiginous mirroring effects.

Photo by Marco Jacob. Chloe in the hood; the urban tale of a tall, lean black Cobra! Enigmatic and sexy.

Chloe at rest, smoking a cigarette to unwind, and perhaps also to derive a bit of warmth from the cigarette. You have to know that, on that day, the weather was a bit of a gamble, with equal chances of being brightly sunny or grimly overcast; we had a bit of both, in turns...We made do with the whimsical temper of the sky and tried to enjoy the sun when it dared to come out from behind the clouds and stopped playing hide-and-seek with the CN Tower.

And then we moved froward to other locations. On our way, we stopped at the Eaton Centre to warm up a bit and grab some hot coffee. Starbucks's customers could not believe their eyes when they saw Chloe in this amazing Prada dress! She looked surreal, out of context...

But I could not conclude on this creative without showing you the outcome of the day. Here is a short selection of the inspiring photos taken by Miguel Jacob. I think that, through his transcending vision, he did manage to frame that fearful symmetry, don't you think?

Copyrights Miguel Jacob
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