October 18, 2010

Herb Ritts: The Golden Hour: A Photographer’s Life and His World
He shot everyone. A comprehensive new book covers the life and world of the iconic photographer whose work defined the “€˜80s and “€˜90s. Herb Ritts’ early photographs of his friend Richard Gere catapulted him to fame, and he followed up with portraits of everyone from Cindy Crawford and Calvin Klein to Tom Cruise and Ronald Reagan. His campaign work for Chanel, Versace, and more graced the pages of Vanity Fair, Vogue, Esquire, and countless others”€”and his genius even extended to music videos (he directed Madonna’s “€œCherish”€). Finally, eight years after his death, his contemporaries are remembering him in a handsome book worthy of the creative genius. Pick it up in stores October 26.

CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival, New York City, October 19 “€“ 23
Hipsters, descend! The annual music and film extravaganza takes over Manhattan and, of course, Brooklyn this week with a little something for everyone. An astonishing 1,200 live shows featuring Drums, DeVotchka, and hundreds more will crisscross around the city for the music fest’s 30th anniversary (the film section was added 14 years later). The beauty of the CMJ Fest”€”put on by the College Music Journal”€”is that it strays from the usual roster of overplayed names and exposes music lovers to plenty of previously unrecognized bands. Also screening is Love & Other Drugs, the new film featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, and panels abound on the future of the music business and how reality killed the video star.

The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei, Tate Modern, London, Now “€“ May 2, 2011
Take a very close look”€”these sunflower seeds are not the kind eaten from a bag at a baseball park. They”€™re actually individually crafted and made of porcelain. And there are 100 million of them. With the help of “€œan army of 1,600 Chinese artisans”€ working in Jingdezhen, Weiwei constructed the seeds to challenge the typical views of the “€œmade in China”€ phenomenon. The seeds have all been poured in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall”€”and although the curators have already banned visitors from walking across them because the porcelain dust could be dangerous, nothing’s stopping guests from observing”€”and potentially going crazy by counting them.

The Union
Well, this is satisfying. Elton John and Leon Russell have finally come together for a 14-song journey complete with jangling melodies of rock, pop, soul, and country, and oft-plaintive lyrics (mostly co-written by Elton’s longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin). The musicians first met in 1970 and last year Elton convinced the semi-retired rocker to work on a duet. Collaborations are of an all-star caliber: Brian Wilson, Booker T, and Neil Young are all onboard. T-Bone Burnett, coming off last year’s Oscar for Best Song for “€œThe Weary Kind”€ in Crazy Heart, produced the album. And the reunion isn”€™t stopping with the music, in stores October 19″€”Cameron Crowe filmed the creative process for an upcoming documentary.

The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men
The fourth season of the mind-blowing AMC series just wrapped and for those already feeling withdrawals from 1965, this book by the show’s costume designer will help the transition back to the 21st century. Part of the beauty of Mad Men is ogling the period costumes”€”Joan’s prim yet seductive office manager dresses, Betty’s polished and stiff garb, Don’s impeccably cut suits. Janie Bryant has made every accessory part of a phenomenon. Her new guide, out November 4, is packed with tips on how to dress in vintage clothing befitting your favorite characters and insight into how those items reflect the inner workings of their minds. There’s really no one better to take with you to the dressing room.


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