(Stock media: Malchev / Pond5. Final video version: me)
Famed rock and roll photographer Ethan Russell has a story to tell, or make that, many.
Starting in his early 20s, Ethan Russell fell into photographing the biggest of the 60s British Invasion bands, such as The Rolling Stones, whom he also went on tour with. He also photographed the concerts and created album covers for The Beatles and The Who. And he has the distinction for being the only photographer who provided album covers for those three iconic bands. He also gained friendships with the renowned band members, and was invited to capture more personal shots, such as those between John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
That was then but this is now and yet, there’s no slowing down for Ethan Russell. His work is ongoing.
For example, in 2006, he captured some ethereal photos of Chris Cornell while he was working with Audioslave. And the list continues.
Apropos to his past touring with rock greats, Ethan Russell currently tours with personal stories, music and over 350 images of times well-lived. He shares stories of friendships, concerts, music, and unique moments that are best exemplified with the side by side screening of his legendary photographs. It’s an up-close and personal telling of rock and roll history. These are his Live shows. And he will be Live in Los Angeles this weekend. Buy any ticket you can get to this Saturday’s April 28th show at The Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA. You’ll have “The Best Seat in the House.”
That’s Saturday night. In the meantime, I have interviewed Ethan Russel about his aesthetic, his longevity, and his luck.
Although luck is debatable. Just listen to the lyrics from the best Rolling Stones’ song ever, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,”
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need.
In other words, Ethan Russell fell into a lot of luck (opportunities), but he had the work ethic, skill, and abilities to try and pull it off. And he did.
Q: You weren’t a trained photographer. Yet, it’s clear you had a strong aesthetic in mind when you were offered those early opportunities. How were you so confirmed in your aesthetic convictions at such a young age (early 20s)? Or were you just a natural?
Ethan: I was intuitive, but I was entirely untrained. Photography was not a career choice of mine. [Read more…]
This is a review of the film, In Search of Fellini and a reflection because it reminded me of my own Italian adventure.
Nancy Cartwright (best known as the voice of Bart Simpson) and Peter Kjenaas wrote the screenplay for the film based on Nancy’s real life story. Here’s their premise: “A shy small-town Ohio girl who loves movies but dislikes reality, discovers the delightfully bizarre films of Federico Fellini, and sets off on a strange, beautiful journey across Italy to find him.” The film was nicely cast with Ksenia Solo, Maria Bello, and Mary Lynn Rajskub; and was directed by Taron Lexton.
The film opens with a quote by Fellini, “Realism is a bad word.” This is so true because we create our own reality. We are in charge of our lives. We make the choices or make the necessary adjustments when life hits us hard. We each have our own dreams and goals. If we don’t go after them, no one will just lay them at our feet. Even though some people do look to others to be their source of happiness, how disappointing can that turn out to be?
In the film, Clair (Maria Bello) is a mother and an eternal dreamer. When she gives birth to Lucy Jean Cunningham (Ksenia Solo), she sets out to spare her from the sorrows of life. She hopes to keep her safe within the world of fantasy. Clair and Lucy often spend their days watching nostalgic Hollywood movies.
As a latchkey kid, I grew up watching movies. Since my mom was at work, I watched alone.
Clair begins to get ill but tries to hide it from Lucy. Unfortunately, Lucy overhears Clair and her Aunt Carrie (Mary Lynn Rajskub) talking and gets a hint that problems are ahead. Lucy makes the move to get a job.
We do get sicknesses, lose friends and loved ones, but we are still allowed to dream and so much the more. Films might be fabricated and pretend, but they show us there is much more to life than the mundane. Sometimes life is as good as a movie or better! Federico Fellini presented scenes and images that are akin to beautiful obscure paintings or elaborate masquerade parties. He presented dream-like backdrops with romantic figures, or made the ordinary a bit humorous. Yes, we should be realistic, but too much of that is like staying glued to the news all day long.
You can limit your life by being too realistic because even reality is selective. If we were fully steeped in so-called reality, would we actually be happy to get up in the morning?
What we fill our heads with eventually comes out, whether verbally or experientially. [Read more…]
You may have heard some buzz about the upcoming Film Awards Database founded by Liam Heffernan. As a past writer on Liam’s La La Film, LTD, I was already familiar with him and his film knowledge. Naturally, I was curious to hear more about his latest venture and what he plans for it. I hope through this interview, you will learn more about his latest film site offering and a get a little insight into what keeps him on top of the film awards.
Liam Heffernan is a Film & Television graduate of York St. John College and has an MA in American Studies and Film Studies from the University of East Anglia.
After dabbling with other film writings and contributions, he hit unexpected success as the Editor-in-Chief of La La Film, LTD, which he launched in May of 2013. The film news site originally began only to fuel his passion for awards which is why he first named it Only Oscar. After only a few months, the site grew beyond expectations, and La La Film quickly became a full-fledged film source offering way more than award updates. And Liam as Editor-in-Chief ticked off his first success in the world of digital film journalism. In June 2016 he commingled that site and his Oscar-niche expertise with Movie Marker as the Awards editor. In less than a year, Liam’s continuing movie magic made Movie Marker a notable source of film awards news in the UK.
Here’s my interview with Liam Heffernan:
Q: So what is the Film Awards Database?
Liam: The Film Awards Database is a new online resource that aims to make film awards data easily accessible and transparent to the global film community. The focus is definitely on creating a central source of truth, with a user friendly site and data that can be easily extracted and manipulated.
Q: Who do you think will benefit from it?
Liam: The database is aimed primarily at bloggers and critics, who can use the database to add value to their own work. However, anyone with an interest in the Oscars, the Globes or any other award should find something useful in there. [Read more…]