Kei Kagami is a Japanese architect and designer living in London whose conceptual, avant-garde designs have been referred to as Torture Couture for their integration of mechanical elements and contraptions. What’s closer to the truth is that they are, like the haute couture of a designer like Alexander McQueen, wearable works of art.
Anatomy, biology, ecology and futurism combine in his more surreal designs in which glass tubes, vials and magnifying glasses are used to break the traditional boundaries and tackle themes of transformation, and a garment’s interaction with the wearer. Using an eclectic mix of materials such as silk, lether, metaol, plastic an glass, Kagami’s conceptual pieces are always informed by his study of architecture.
The Anatomy1 Ensemble (2007) was originally featured in the Museum at FIT’s 2008 show, Gothic: Dark Glamour, but it can also currently be seen as part of Exhibitionism: 50 Years of The Museum at FIT, on view through April 20th, 2019.
If you’ve seen the two previous feature films by writer/director team Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, then you understand that these guys enjoy being meta. Both their 2013 breakout sci-fi flick, Resolution, and 2014’s body horror/romance, Spring include references to a common character (“Shitty Carl”) who is never seen onscreen, and the duo even appear together in one scene in Resolution. Impressively, their new film, The Endless, takes meta to a delightfully mind-bending level. Not only do audiences finally get to meet Shitty Carl, but the two main characters (and one minor character) from Resolution appear in a few pivotal scenes of The Endless, reprising their roles from the previous film. Stephen King does this type of cross-referential thing in his novels all the time as a way to expand and validate his fictional worlds, and here the device works well to let The Endless serve as both a possible sequel to Resolution, while also letting it stand alone as a solid, separate story that contains a few winks and nods for hardcore fans. You don’t need to see one to ‘get’ the other, and to infer that this reveal is a ‘spoiler’ would be like saying that seeing Rogue One spoils the plot of Star Wars.
The Endless stars Benson and Moorhead as brothers Justin and Aaron Smith, roommates who own and operate a small housecleaning business, but struggle to pay the bills. Although they appear to be about the same age, it is inferred that Justin is the elder sibling by, say, ten years. One afternoon, Aaron receives a battered package in the mail, containing a video tape on a format that is long obsolete. After hitting up a couple of yard sales, he finds a device that will play the tape, which shows footage of a young woman who speaks to the camera about an unspecified, upcoming event. Aaron recognizes her as Anna (Callie Hernanadez), whom he knows from a cult-like commune that took-in the brothers after their parents died in a car accident. It’s unclear how long they lived at the commune, but suggested that ten years have passed since they left – or was it ‘escaped’?
Aaron shares the tape with Justin, insisting that the two make a return visit to the commune so that he can gain some type of closure, and also make sure that Anna and the other friends they left behind are all okay. Justin has zero desire to go back, but indulges his younger brother on the condition that the trip be limited to just one day. Right.
There Might Be Something in the Lake Other Than Fish
Though it’s not immediately obvious that the group worships or follows the teachings of any particular figurehead, guru or phenomena, things get weird right away. First off, Justin quickly observes that residents of the commune appear to not have aged a day in the ten years since the brothers left. Aaron sees flocks of birds flying in odd, circular patterns, and surprise photographs and other recorded media containing images of the two just kind of ‘show up’ randomly. And, oh yeah, isn’t that a second moon up in the sky? What’s that about? And who, or what, is on the other end of the rope in that midnight Tug-of-War ritual?
Make that Three Moons
The Endless is one of those films that’s comprised of multi-layered mysteries and plot twists that you won’t see coming no matter how much you think you know what is going on. The subtle horror, slowly-mounting suspense and ever increasing sense of dread will have you on the edge your seat, and it’s really best to go into the theater knowing as little about what happens as possible. While it could be described as Cabin in The Woods meets Primer, The Endless will also appeal to those intrigued by the exploration of cults and cult-mentality, as addressed in the Netlfix documentary series, Wild Wild Country. It is certainly a film that invites multiple viewings, and it will leave you with lots to discuss with fellow viewers long after leaving the theater.
The Worley Gig Gives The Endless 4 1/2 out of 5 Stars!
The Endless Hits Theaters on Friday April 6th, 2018. Find a Showing Near You at This Link!
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead Direct and Star in The Endless.
In the above photo you can see artist Doktor A modeling his hand-crafted Safety Pin Sunglasses inspired by HR Giger’s late ’70s painting, Illuminatus II (seen on the left in the above photo). While these would certainly get you noticed on the beach, I bet they would have also been all the rage in the late ’70s London Punk Scene! More information on the glasses – which were a one-off project and are not for sale – is available at This Link.
Writer Tim Hall and Cartoonist/Illustrator Dean Haspiel have collaborated on an intriguing short story — told in the form of a graphic novel — entitled The Last Mortician, which has been published at literary website Tor Dot Com. The dystopian vision of this brief but powerful tale focuses on a time in the future when mankind has opted to trade the ability to procreate for the questionable “gift” of eternal life. I loved the story and the illustrations, and just wish it had been longer. Maybe Tim and Dean will turn it into a movie script?!
Both Tim and Dean have strong ties to The Worley Gig: Tim having originally named The ‘Gig way back when it was just a syndicated print column in a little NYC free alternatively monthly called The NY Hangover. Dean, whose work has earned him an Emmy, designed (in my likeness) the Worley Gig avatar you see on the website’s header! Do visit The Last Mortician, when you have a few minutes to spare. It is a fairly quick read and very much worth the click!
Tron (1982) is one of my favorite sci-fi fantasy films, ever. The long-awaited sequel, Tron:Legacy – which from the looks of this trailer should be totally amazing – will be released in mid-December of 2010. Can’t wait!
Hey what’s up? How is your Saturday going? I just got in from a pass through Trader Joe’s (milk chocolate covered peanut butter crackers, mmm) that I made on my way home from seeing the amazing new film, Moon. All I knew about this film going in was that David Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones is the director, and it stars Sam Rockwell (who was so excellent in Choke). If you don’t know much about Moon, I would recommend not reading any reviews, because the element of surprise that you get from the film as its plot unfolds is so worth it. Moonfeatures some familiar themes of advanced future technology and life on an isolated space station that we saw in classic sci-fi films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Silent Running. But I was really not expecting the twists and turns that Jones throws at you in this truly original story. Rockwell’s portrayal of Sam Bell, an astronaut who wonders if he is going insane as his three-year mission on the space station comes to a close, is top notch and finely nuanced, and Kevin Spacey is fun as the voice of the ship’s computer, Gerty. Clint Mansell (Pop Will Eat Itself), who does the soundtrack music for all of Darren Aronofsky’s films, wrote the score. Moon is a very beautiful, eerie and touching film that I am giving two thumbs up!