Tuesday, January 14, 2014

SF and Calistoga

Wine tasting in Napa and walks in the city.  Dutch Henry Winery's barrel tasting was delicious.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Catching Up

It's been a crazy past year and a half.  Since September of 2012 I've had lots of adventures and a great deal of change- all for the good.  I've taken lots of photographs but they've all been downloaded to my hard drives without being sorted through, posted, and, in many, cases even looked at.  I'm starting to post my favorites from our various travels, starting with the our trip to the Dominican Republic.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

HBO Documentary Film Manhunt Review

My next review over at The Stairs is of former war correspondent Greg Barker's HBO Documentary Film Manhunt about the search for Osama bin Laden.  Good film, must see, airs tomorrow (Wed., May 1, 2013) on HBO.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Invisible War Review

Check out my review of the film The Invisible War over at The Stairs Shortlisted for an Oscar, this is a powerful film and an excellent example of film and media forcing political change. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Blog: The Stairs

I'm not abandoning "from my POV" but I've started a new blog called "The Stairs" with some colleagues about being a young women in the film industry.  I'll be writing my film reviews over there from now on, but I'll still post photos, articles on media topics, and the occasional rant and rave over here.

Check our my latest post at "The Stairs" a profile of director/actress/writer Lena Dunham: http://thestairscwe.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/profile-lena-dunham-directoractresswriter/

Monday, March 18, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

"It is not an insult simply to not be privileged."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kodak Portra Film + Canon AE-1

Link to buy 5 pack on Amazon
So I don't normally geek out about cameras, film, lenses, or any of that stuff on this blog.  I mostly stay focused on media consumption not production.  However, I wanted to do a post on Kodak Portra film because I have been using it lately with my mother's old Canon AE-1 with its 50 mm most likely stock lens and the results are just awesome.  I first received the camera from her to take with me to Paris for study abroad.  I didn't have a SLR camera of any kind and she had long since moved on to something better, so she lent me hers and she never got it back.  I love the ethereal quality of the images I get with it.  Even though I normally shoot on a DSLR now (film and developing are so expensive!), I bought a bunch of film in bulk on Amazon including some Ilford black and white film and this Kodak Portra 400 film.

As the name clearly indicates, it's meant for taking portraits because it has a fine grain and good skin tone reproduction, but I have found that the colors are gorgeous for landscapes, cityscapes, and just about anything.  Here's some of my results from some summer trips to Portland and Santa Barbara, straight from the film scan, no retouching.  I'll post more images from these trips in the coming weeks.
Hana Ripperger-Suhler Photography

Hana Ripperger-Suhler Photography

Hana Ripperger-Suhler Photography

Hana Ripperger-Suhler Photography

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
 While I have not yet read Cloud Atlas or seen the film, I definitely want to do both (in that order), because I have read David Mitchell’s novel The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet a while ago and it was excellent.  It’s the story of Jacob, a young Dutch clerk who, engaged to be married and in search of fortune to support his future bride, sets sail in the year 1799 with the Dutch East India Company for the trading outpost in Dejima, Japan.  During the Edo Period, in an effort to avoid the incursion of Western culture into Japan, as was occurring in neighboring China, the Japanese government refused to allow any Europeans to actually set foot on the empire’s soil.  As a concession to trade, a man-made island in Nagasaki Bay, connected to the city by a bridge, served as the Dutch trading outpost.  It was the only European trading outpost in all of Japan and the Dutch were fortunate enough to be the only Europeans allowed access.  It is against this backdrop of rigid restrictions that Jacob finds himself falling in love with a Japanese midwife, Orito, one of the few Japanese allowed on the island of Dejima.  Mitchell’s novel is intricate and detailed historical fiction, but it’s far from dry; the details enliven the story and transplant you to a time and place little explored.  I think one of my favorite aspects of the book was that I knew so little about this encounter between the Dutch and the Japanese and everything about the relationship is so constrained, it’s like you are waiting for something to explode.  The plot weaves forbidden romance, ninjas, sieges, humor, prophecy, secret mountain monasteries...  Enough I feel like the Peter Falk in “The Princess Bride” trying to persuade Fred Savage to listen to the the story.  Just read it already!  You will not be able to put it down.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Book Review: The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok

The Memory Palace: A Memoir
One summer evening on my drive home, I was tuned into Fresh Air and I heard Terry Gross interview the writer and artist Mira Bartok about her memoir called The Memory Palace. Mira’s mother had schizophrenia and eventually became homeless as Mira and her sister were unable to help her or care for her.  I promptly ordered the book and threw it into my beach bag for a nice day of laying out in the sun.  Sooo the wrong choice.  I mean it’s definitely not odd for me grab a book about mental illness or homelessness and think, “oh yeah, beach reading, that’ll be perfect.”  So it wasn’t really the topic, except that it was.  The Memory Palace is a really moving and personal account of Mira and her sister’s struggle to grow up with a mother with debilitating mental illness and the equally difficult process of dealing with the fact that they simply could not take care of her at risk of their own safety and sanity.  I was laying on my beach towel, tears streaming down my face reading this book.  It’s very well written and engaging, and while it is moving, it’s not saccharine or sentimental because it is Mira’s real experiences, not some imagined version of the story.  The memoir also delves into memory and how memories are formed, reconstructed and preserved as Mira experienced a traumatic brain injury in a car accident that severely damaged her short term memory.

I highly recommend it as an interesting read, and for another perspective on homelessness.  The travesty that is our mental health care system lets people slip through the cracks all the time.  The current presiding policy: Better to let ten mentally ill people became homeless (or worse, think Jared Lee Loughner or James Eagan Holmes) than take away the civil liberties of one person who is mentally competent.  The stigma that still overshadows all mental health care doesn’t help either.  However, all of this is somewhat besides the point this Thanksgiving Day. 

I know Thanksgiving is almost over and we (myself included) are about to go gorge ourselves again, this time our consumerist tendencies, but let's try to hang onto some of that Thanksgiving spirit as we arm wrestle over the last Tickle Me Elmo - oh wait that was 1996. Well, over whatever toy kids "have" to have this year.

Here's the parting thought from The Memory Palace to see you through Black Friday and through the holidays.  One thing Mira talks about in the book is that knowing her mother was out there on the street, but not knowing where she was, changed the way she viewed homeless people.  She found that she began to give some of the homeless people she encountered food or water, thinking, “I hope someone is doing this for my mother right now.”  That experience humanized the homeless for her.  A thought I have since tried to hang onto when I pass by a huddled figure on the sidewalk or in the park, though it is not easy and I still mostly fail.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

FFFF-ck ffffound!

I'm so tired of having to look at sexist, exploitative images on ffffound! Here's some inspiration images for you, from ffffound and elsewhere without the T and A and crotch shots.  Luckily, Pinterest is edging into the image collecting space, which obviously has a much different dynamic since it's so female dominated and doesn't allow nudity. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against tasteful nudity or an honest exploration of the human body, but that's not what is on fffound and its always women who are spread eagle or rearing tits heaven/lens-ward, and very occasionally men. I think I can hear the diehard fffound devotees now scoffing into their hipster mustaches about how cheesy and commercial or just plain ditzy they find Pinterest.  Not for people who are "serious" about art. And that's fine. The what is art conversation is a whole different ball of wax.  I would agree that for a certain guy posting endless "artsy" pictures of naked women may not seem too different from some women posting endless images of shoes and chocolate.  But shoes and chocolate actually are objects... whereas the naked women aren't.

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