5:07 pm

Behind the scenes of “L’Amour de Cinq a Sept”, a short film by Carmen Chaplin

27/07/2011, by Stephanie LaCava

From left: Carmen Chaplin, Bambou Gainsbourg and Dolores "Dolly" Chaplin

“I remember feeling frustrated and wanting to do something radical,” says Carmen Chaplin as she sits in the dressing room created on the top floor of L’Hôtel in Paris. There are black wigs hanging on the foam heads behind her, one newly cropped to be worn by Chaplin’s sister, Dolores (“Dolly”), in her role as M. in L’amour de Cinq a Sept. Chaplin not only wrote the short film, she’s now directing it here in the hotel where Oscar Wilde spent his last days. This is the third night of shooting from 10 p.m to 5 a.m. (“It’s like being in a casino,” Chaplin says of the windowless space with its leopard carpeted spiral staircase.) It’s 2 a.m., her boyfriend, filmmaker Ash Bhalla, hands her a tea. Someone yells “Room Service,” parodying a line in the film. Everyone laughs. Bhalla’s helping supervise Chaplin’s script for her first turn as a director. She’s already an established actress, well known for her work in France.

Tea in hand, Chaplin continues, “I had this boyfriend I thought was into my appearance, so I decided to shave my head.” The character M. has a similar hysteria as she waits for her married lover to arrive only to receive the inevitable call that he’s detained with his wife. Devastated, the beautiful M. breaks down. She’s saved by two intimate encounters, one with a beast-like bellboy and the other, an aged rock star turned fairy godmother played by Bambou Gainsbourg. It’s part Cocteau’s La Belle et La Bete (the multi talented Frenchman’s letters and work hang in the salon downstairs) with perhaps a little of Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere in the plot and setting. L’hotel is the backdrop to the story of M.’s misguided protagonist. Like Coppola, Chaplin has cinema in her blood. Her grandfather was Charlie Chaplin. The short will debut at Cannes where they are also planning a tribute to Charlie.

Come back tomorrow for Part II of this piece.

12:20 pm

Helmut Lang Exhibition at The Fireplace Project

27/07/2011, Photo by Rachel Chandler

Edsel Williams (The Fireplace Project owner) and Neville Wakefield (curator of the exhibition)

To create his latest artworks Helmut Lang put his archive, nearly 6,000 articles, through an industrial shredder. Neville Wakefield, who curated the show at the Fireplace project in East Hampton writes, “The columnular forms that rise from floor to ceiling invoke forces of nature and culture. They suggest both the accretive geological slowness of stalactites, and the destructive force of tornadoes. And if their material has been subjected to similar violence here it takes on the graceful abstract form of the endless columns; odes perhaps to Brancusi’s sculptural connection between terrestrial form and spiritual grace, life, and afterlife. Lang’s ambiguous forms are made not of stone or bronze, but of the objects and things he created during his twenty odd years as a fashion designer. The archive that stood testament to his immense achievement within that field – he had shredded. The materials and fabrics he used to give temporary definition to the body are now just traces of natural and synthetic fibers, plastics, metals, leathers, fur, skins, feathers and hair – erasing the past and the difference they once stood for. Thus metabolized, the material began to take the form of strangely beautiful excretions: witnesses to both the transience of our creative endeavors, and the enduring need out of which such efforts are born.”

8:38 am

Helmut Lang Resurrection

26/07/2011, Photo by Rachel Chandler

9kVeHW on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

1998 Helmut Lang dress from the Resurrection archive.

1:26 pm

Esteban Cortázar at Café Flore

22/07/2011, Paris

11:16 am

Fornasetti commode at Betony Vernon’s Eden in Paris

21/07/2011, Paris

Irving Claw Bettie Page photo, Portrait of BV by Mihael Milunovic