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The Kids Are All Right

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Here we go again…

Features and Essays 

Egypt again.

Yuri Kozyrev’s Egypt work on Lightbox.

Yuri Kozyrev: Egypt’s “Second” Revolution” (Lightbox)

Related to Kozyrev…had the chance to read a very interesting report written by BJP’s Olivier Laurent on the Italian post-processing lab 10b Photography who work closely also with Kozyrev… The report includes several before/after processing Kozyrev pics (big ups for 10b and the photographer for having agreed to it and being so open) and comes out in British Journal of Photography’s December issue… and should be online late this month… Check it out… [by the way, it seems Moises Saman and Kozyrev photographed at same Cairo election polling station during the recent elections. If you want to compare not just how they framed the scene, but also how differently the files are processed, go to my Twitpics here.]

Daniel Etter: Egyptian Election Symbols (Newsweek)

Noticed Ed Ou has a new website. His on-going Egypt series…

Ed Ou:  Egyptian Youth (in progress) (photographer’s website)

Saw two new features by James Nachtwey this week… One from Japan for Vanity Fair and another from Burma for Time… The VF gallery is online….

James Nachtwey: The Forgotten Heroes of Fukushima (Vanity Fair)

The Burma work was in Time magazine, but unfortunately the Lightbox slideshow I was hoping for didn’t materialise… You can see the frames below…[obviously not the actual layout, just iPhone pics I stitched together]

Afghanistan.

Charles Ommanney has started a project in Afghanistan concentrating on the effects of war on the country’s children…Looking forward to seeing how it will evolve..

Charles Ommanney: The Kids Are All Right (photographer’s website) Afghanistan

Behrouz Mehri: The Bird (Life Force Magazine) Afghanistan Medevac

Alixandra Fazzina: The Flowers of Afghanistan (Project website)

Sanjit Das: India’s Lowest Castes (WSJ)

Looking at VII photographers’ best of the year selections last week I ended up browsing the agency’s archive  …You can see long/full edits of all the features unlike at main VII Photo site which is pretty cool if you want to take a closer look at any series. Below links to a large edit (130 photos) of Lynsey Addario’s recent Gaza work in the VII archive….Originally shot for the New York Times if I’m not mistaken.

Lynsey Addario: Gaza (VII Archive)

Also couldn’t help but noticing, there was no gallery by Antonin Kratocvil in the VII Best Ofs..only an intriguing thumbnail of what looked like naked ice skaters and a link taking me to his website…Later it was pointed out to me on Twitter that the photo was from a series Kratochvil shot for the ESPN magazine’s Body issue….if you too want to see the naked ice skaters (why not, right?) and other nude athletes from the piece, head to Kratochvil’s website by clicking the link below…[Added note 11 December 2011: this has received by far the most clicks in the post thus far]

Antonin Kratochvil: The Body Issue (photographer’s website)

John Stanmeyer’s National Geographic Magazine feature Girl Power now on VII site…

John Stanmeyer: Girl Power : Brazil (VII)

Tomas Van Houtryve: In the Shadow of North Korea (Magnum  Emergency Fund)

Iraq.

Ben Lowy: Iraq Perspectives (Project site)

Mario Tama: Iraq Transition (Denver Post) NB slideshow includes two photos by Joe Raedle

Marieke Van Den Velden: Daily Life in Baghdad (NYT Lens)

Cristina Garcia Rodero: 500th Anniversary  of Baracoa, the first village in Cuba (Magnum)

John Vink: Cambodia Land Issues (Photographer’s website)

John Francis: Morocco (Lightbox)

Stephanie Sinclair: Caring for Chris (NYT Mag 6th Floor blog)

Chien-Chi Chang: Bongo Fever (Magnum in Motion)

Tina Barney: Small Towns (New Yorker)

Katja Heinemann: The Graying of AIDS (Lightbox)

Laura Boushnak: Survivor (Photo Raw Magazine)

Ciril Jazbec: Life on Kiribati (Foto8)

Devin Yalkin: Underground Boxing in New York (Lightbox)

Occupy movement.

William Daniels: Les Indignes (Panos)

Barbara Davidson: Occupy LA: Items Left Behind (LA Times)

Nicky Loh: Occupy Wall Street (photographer’s website)

David I. Gross: Occupy California (zReportage)

Ricardo Silva: Occupy Amsterdam (photographer’s website)

Laura Pannack: Saving the Cursed Children of Ghana (Guardian)

Karla Gachet and Ivan Kashinsky: Bolivian Believers (Panos)

Karla Gachet and Ivan Kashinsky: Down by the Riverside (Panos)

Andrew McConnell: Yangambi Research Station (Panos)

Espen Rasmussen: Women of Peace (Panos)

Justin Jin: The Dragon and the Bear (Panos)

Alfredo D’Amato: Forward onto Zion (Panos)

Chloe Dewe Mathews: Caspian (Firecracker)

Damon Winter: Meaning in Madness (NYT)

Nina Berman: Fracking in Pennsylvania (Photo Booth)

André Cypriano: Rocinha: Rio de Janeiro Slum (NYT Lens)

Rena Effendi: Oil Village  (Photo Booth)

Bharat Choudhary: Exploring Islamophobia (Lightbox)

Gideon Mendel: Through Positive Eyes (Project website ) AIDS

Aids in Hipsta…

Carol Allen Storey: World Aids Day: Uganda’s Forgotten Women (Guardian)

Brian Shumway: Happy Valley (Lightbox)

Carlos Javier Ortiz: Migrant Workers (Facing Change)

Jan Grarup: Somalis Flee to Ethiopia’s Refugee Camps (Trust.org)

Terry Richardson: Lady Gaga (TIME)

We got started with the best of the year galleries last week… here’s more… Both Time and Life are opening their ‘best-of’ selections with the same Yuri Kozyrev Libya photo… Expecting to see Kozyrev winning some World Press Photo awards with all the great work he has produced the past year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this particular frame would take the top prize…Certainly one of the most iconic images of the past year…

Time Lightbox: The Top 10 Photos of the Year

LIFE: 2011 Pictures of the Year

Interviews and Talks

Alex Webb (NYT Lens)

Moises Saman (NYT Lens)

World Press Photo has now put the interviews done with the Joop Swart Masterclass attendees…the page also includes videos with some of the mentors…

Joop Swart Masterclass 2011 interviews

Really good interview with Ed Ou…

Ed Ou (CPN)

Yuri Kozyrev (FK Magazine)

Ben Lowy (CNN iReport)

Samuel Aranda has been working in Yemen for the New York Times…

Samuel Aranda : In Yemen, a Photographer Without a Name (NYT Lens)

John Stanmeyer (Vision Project)

Marco Grob shooting portraits of Afghan landmine victims  (PDN)

Bruce Gilden (Leica blog)

Sanjit Das (121cliks)

William Albert Allard on how he became a National Geographic Photogaphers (photographer’s blog)

Louie Palu : Wish You Were Here (George Eastman House Podcasts)

Steve McCurry’s One-Minute Masterclass #8 (Phaidon)

Jonathan Torgovnik (CNN interview via Reportage Tumblr)

Edward Burtynsky (A Photo Editor)

Jodi Bieber (Photo Raw Magazine)

Taryn Simon (Nowness)

multiMedia

photo: William Albert Allard

Photo Society : “We are a group of contributing photographers for National Geographic Magazine, committed to telling the world’s stories through pictures.”

Every issue of 8 Magazine from 2001-2011 online, fullscreen and free to view

NYT: Picturing World at 7 Billion

Knight Digital Media Center, Berkeley

Everybody Street by Cheryl Dunn

Videos

BBC: America in Pictures: The Story of Life Magazine (available to UK viewers on BBC iPlayer)

Articles

Lot of talk about Massoud Hossaini’s Kabul suicide bombing scene photo during the last couple of days…NYT Lens interviewed him…

NYT: Massoud Hossaini’s Front-Page Photograph From an Attack in Kabul

Washington Post: The Post, NYT and WSJ show same scene of Kabul carnage via different photos

LA Times: Afghanistan bombing photo: Graphic, yet important

NYT: Leo Friedman, Photographer of Broadway’s Glamour Years, Dies at 92

Photo Society: How to respond to requests for free photographs

Peta Pixel: CNN Lays Off Photojournalists, Citing the Accessibility of Quality Cameras

American Photo: The Best Photo Books of 2011

Adam Westbrook: How to record better interviews in video & audio

New York Magazine: H&M’s New Lingerie Models Are Computer-Generated

PDN: 2011 Photo Gear of the Year

PhotoShelter: Photography Gifts Guide for the Holidays: $50 Or Less

NYT Lens: FotoEvidence struggles to help photographers get a book published

BJP: “Tight schedule” forced ban on DSLRs, says London Transport Museum

Phonar: 6 tips for self-publishing by #phonar contributor David Gray

PDN: Rinko Kawauchi, Pieter Hugo on shortlist for Deutsche Börse Photography Prize of £30,000

Guardian: Worlds apart: who has the best shot at winning the Deutsche Börse prize? | The 2012 photography prize has an intriguing shortlist of very different artists – Rinko Kawauchi, Pieter Hugo, John Stezaker and Christopher Williams.

Reportage and Getty Images are partnering with ICRC on the launch of ‘Healthcare in Danger’ (Reportage)

LA Times: Kodak’s long fade to black

Guardian: Saatchi’s scathing portrait of the art world: ‘Vulgar, Eurotrashy, masturbatory’

PDN: Vanity Fair names new Photography Director: Judith Puckett-Rinella

David Campbell: Thinking Images v.24: Lu Guang’s activist photography

CNN Photo blog: Iraqi agency fosters photojournalism

Rhona Wise (EPA): Read it or don’t read it, but at least learn how to write one! (Sportshooter: 2004)

Mike Davis: How do you know if you’re any good, as a photographer? (Mike Davis blog)

Mike Davis: If Cliches Are So Bad Why Do They Win Contests (Mike David blog)

Finbarr O’Reilly: Reuters Photographs of the Violence in Ivory Coast (NYT Lens)

AJC: As US leaves Iraq, AP men recall a war in picture

Guardian: Featured Photojournalist: Matt Dunham 

Photo Booth: CPOY Awards What Winning Means

NYT: Formerly Graffiti Outlaws, Now Artists of Renown

Lightbox: Weegee’s Naked Hollywood 

NYT: Francesca Woodman Retrospective 

Lightbox: Tilda Swinton on being photographed

LPV Magazine: Top Photography Sites of 2011

Peta Pixel: Easy Ways to Exceed Client Expectations

Peta Pixel: How Not to Shoot School Portraits

Daily Mail: Stanley Kubrick’s New York: Pictures of Manhattan from when film director was just another unknown teenager with a dream

Verve: Gordon Welters

Verve: Mimi Mollica

Verve: Olya Ivanova

Awards, Grants, and Competitions

 2011 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar contest winners 

Entries now being accepted for World Press Photo 2012 

Anastasia Taylor-Lind Delighted won the Pikto Top Pick prize for her Nagorno Karabakh series. Solo show at Pikto gallery in Toronto in 2012

$20,000 Aftermath Project Grant for 2012 Awarded to Andrew Lichtenstein

Bertha BRITDOC fund

Magnum Foundation- Human Rights Scholarships Applications are due December 19

Agencies

photo: Seamus Murphy

VII Photo December 2011 newsletter

Boreal Collective : Call for submissions

Promised to post this one again…

Cartel Photos : “Cartel Photos is a new and specialised photography agency based in Falmouth, Cornwall. It is exclusively made up of current undergraduates and alumni from the BA(Hons) Press & Editorial Photography course at University College Falmouth (UCF) who form the members of the agency. All our members are educated to the same standard and are all naturally passionate and enthusiastic in the field of photography.”

Crowd funding and Initiatives

photo: Barbara Davidson

MSNBC Photo Blog: Shop photojournalism for the holidays

BJP: Spotlight on crowdfunding: The Pastor Marrion Fund

Holiday gift idea…Nuru Project sells prints by photojournalists to support non-profits..

Nuru Project

Services

Labyrinth Photographic : London

Events and Workshops

VII Photo : free online seminars with VII Photographers

Jobs

Save the Children : Photo & Film Officer – Emergency Humanitarian Response

Institute for War and Peace Reporting seeks media manager

Photographers 

Marcus Yam

Marco di Lauro’s website is pretty funky.. Check it out…

Marco di Lauro

Dana Popa

Devin Yalkin

Bharat Choudhary

Nicky Loh

Chie Ming Chien

Bettina Rheims

Ben Guss

Jesus Quintanar

Thodoris Tzalavras

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Looking back, 2010 is not going to be remembered as a particularly good year for movies. In my mind, most of the 150 or so new films I saw from January to December are all muddled together in a big pile of mediocrity. When that happens though, it’s so much easier to pick out the truly great ones. To that end, picking my favorite movies of 2010 was easier than previous years. What was harder, though, was weeding through an insane amount of movies that didn’t end up getting released during 2010. Why recommend them if you can’t see them?

So, after the jump, you’ll find more than just a top ten of 2010. You’ll also find a five worst of 2010 and my top five of 2011 so far. Yes, that’s right. When everyone is strictly doing top tens for last year, we’ve got one for 2011 as well.

My Top Ten Films of 2010

In which I rank my ten favorite films of the year only considering films released theatrically during 2010.


1. Exit Through The Gift Shop – Great movies, the best movies, demand almost infinite conversation. That made choosing my number one film of 2010 simple. Ever since I saw Banksy’s so-much-more-than-a-street-art documentary, I haven’t been able to shut up about it. Analyzing it, describing it and recommending it. And now I’ll do it again. What begins as the story of a man on the ground floor of a cultural revolution quickly shifts to a bio-pic about the film’s director, legendary street artist Banksy, and then becomes something more yet still totally different from both. The film not only introduces us to a whole new world, it simultaneously makes us question how valid that world is at all.

2. True Grit - Call this my No Country For Old Men make good. After harboring a complicated resentment towards the Coen’s modern western that ended up winning them a bunch of Oscars, I’m back in love with how the Brothers do genre. In this film making clinic, they’ve managed to nail every single aspect: dialogue, story, acting, music, cinematography, editing and more into a film that’s deeply layered, but also incredibly entertaining and enjoyable.

3. The Kids Are All Right – When I saw this film at its second ever screening at the Sundance Film Festival, I immediately heralded it as an Oscar contender. A year later, I was right. Lisa Cholodenko’s tale of the modern family is not only dramatic and interesting, but hilarious and uplifting. The way two lesbian mothers deal with their kids finding their sperm donor father not only informs how we classify family in today’s society, but also proves that there’s levity in every situation.

4. Kick-Ass – Having first seen Kick-Ass at Butt-Numb-A-Thon 11 in Austin, Texas with a temporary score that included music from Superman, The Dark Knight, Spider-Man, it might seem like I’m a little biased. That I’m not judging this new spin on the superhero genre fairly. But even the way it was released theatrically, Kick-Ass still reigns as the best popcorn movie of the year, an awesome blend of pop culture violence and comic book fun. The story of what would happen if a normal person up and decided to be a superhero is the kind of simple brilliance that always shines in cinema.

5. Flipped – The list’s first controversial pick. And I say that because nobody has seen this film. If they had, they would realize that director Rob Reiner was back at his When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, Stand By Me best in this parallel period love story that shows how a boy and a girl each uniquely view their blossoming relationship. Sure it’s funny and romantic, but ultimately what made me flip for Flipped was how it brought me back to a simpler time and showed just how different men and women truly can be, even at a young age.

6. The Social Network – The award season’s most hyped movie pretty much deserves all the accolades it’s receiving. David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin have taken one of the most interesting, up to date stories imaginable – the birth of the Internet’s biggest website Facebook – and turned it into a kinetic tale of betrayal, friendship and modern business. The film is so expertly written, directed and acted that the events it portrays can been understood and viewed from any characters perspective.

7. Toy Story 3 – Pixar pretty much has a perennial place on this list as, year after year, they craft movies that play perfectly to both adults and children. Much like 2009′s Up, Toy Story 3 once again works as a simple kids story lined with a deep emotional underbelly that leaves even the most cold-hearted person weeping in the end. It blends nostalgia and action wonderfully and if it wasn’t just a tad too repetitive, it would be much higher on the list.

8. Fair Game – Little known true life stories fascinate me and that’s what grabbed me about Fair Game. Sean Penn and Naomi Watts star in this true story of a husband and wife with some big secrets, mainly that she works for the CIA. When her identity is revealed, as an attack at her outspoken husband, the film shows not only the power of government, but ultimately the power of the truth. Fair Game failed theatrically because it was marketed as a spy thriller but it’s way more than that. More tense, more dense, and more interesting than you can possibly say in only a few hundred words.

9. The King’s Speech – Want to see a movie about a speech impediment? Neither did I. But when it stars Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bohnam Carter and is about one of the most famous men in modern European history, it all comes together. A tale of personal triumph on the grandest of scales, The King’s Speech dazzles the audience with its behind the scenes authority and beautiful characterizations. By the end, you’ll be cheering a man simply talking.

10. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – The list’s second controversial pick. Not because the movie isn’t worthy of top ten inclusion, but because when I first saw it, I was slightly disappointed with it. However, unlike most of the films on this list, I watched it again. And again. And again. And haven’t stop watching it to a point where I’m convinced my initial issues with the film were strictly because I was intimidated by its beauty. Edgar Wright, one of my favorite filmmakers, has crafted the world’s first and best video game movie. With heart. And music. And exploding people. And ninjas. And just about anything someone who loves pop culture can grasp onto.

The Five Worst Films of 2010

In which I tell you about movies I ended up seeing for some reason and want to erase from existence.

The Good Guy – A young girl in New York tries to come into her own. And bores the audience to tears with its clichés and terrible surprises.

Valentine’s Day – An impressive cast in what feels like an almost forced series of improvised vignettes that’s not funny or romantic.

MacGruber – Plenty of people love this movie, but every single joke fell flat for me. It was trying too hard to be clever and ended up just being awkward. Not in a good way either.

Dinner For Schmucks – What I just said.

Tooth Fairy – Had to see this for work and couldn’t believe that people like Dwayne Johnson, Julie Andrews and Stephen Merchant were actually in this abomination.

My Top Five of 2011… So Far

In which I rank the five best movies that come out in 2011 that I’ve already seen (out of 30 total)

1. Bedevilled – My favorite film of Fantastic Fest 2010, this South Korean revenge flick is the most cathartic piece of cinema in recent memory. It’s incredibly violent, but after watching the film unfold, your 90 year old grandma will be begging for blood.

2. Hesher – Joseph Gordon Levitt stars alongside Natalie Portman and Rainn Wilson in the story of how a burnout changes the lives of a small group of people. Hilarious and poignant.

3. happythankyoumoreplease – The Audience Award winner at Sundance 2010 is an easily digestible, but sweet and funny look at life as a young person in New York City

4. Paul – Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, an alien and a slew of awesome sci-fi movie jokes with heart. It’s really great.

5. Thunder Soul – A rousing documentary about the Kashmere Stage Band has a fantastic true story and one of the best soundtracks you’ll ever hear.

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