Diane Arbus Thursday, Feb 26 2009 

Diane Arbus was an American photographer known for her controversial portraits of people who live on the edge of society. Her subjects were often dwarves, transvestites, twins and multiples, giants, prostitutes, circus acts, and others. Even though a good majority of her portraits are looking dead-on at their subject, they are something extraordinary because of the subject matter. Many of her photos were also taken in a square format. I think by maintaining these constants, Arbus was able to draw even more attention to her subjects.

So how did I come across Arbus’s work? Well, I heard about a quirky film starring Robert Downey, Jr. (who I love in just about everything) and Nicole Kidman called Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus. I thought the film was intriguing as hell and looked up Arbus to find out more and see some of her actual photos. Her work may not be everyone’s cup of tea (not even mine) but like I said above, I think her photography is significant due to the subject matter. These are the faces of people you don’t see everyday…those who are social outcasts beause people viewed them as “freaks” and “oddities.” I’ve included some of Arbus’s most famous portraits below. What do you think?

Child with Toy Grenade, 1962

Child with Toy Grenade, 1962

Identical Twins, Roselle, NJ, 1967

Identical Twins, Roselle, NJ, 1967

Tattooed Man at Carnival, MD, 1970

Tattooed Man at Carnival, MD, 1970

Masked Woman in Wheelchair, 1970

Masked Woman in Wheelchair, 1970

“Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.” – Diane Arbus

“I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don’t like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.” – Diane Arbus

“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.” – Diane Arbus

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Coraline: A 3D Visual Experience Thursday, Feb 19 2009 

I went to see Coraline in 3D with my sister the other week. I actually didn’t know I was going to see a movie in 3D until they handed me a pair of glasses with my ticket. This was my first 3D movie and it was quite an experience. The film is about a young girl named Coraline who finds a secret door in her house that takes her into an alternate version of her life. While it is rated PG (for thematic elements, scary images, some language, and suggestive humor), there has been much debate about whether this film actually is appropriate for children. Personally, I can see where parents would be concerned and can definitely see how young children could be scared by some of the images. However, I completely enjoyed this film. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before and I highly recommend seeing it. Coraline is directed by Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas). And Tim Burton, who obviously had a hand in it, designed the characters and sets.

Coraline entering a parallel life.

Coraline entering a parallel life.

Shooting Coraline in 3D

Shooting Coraline in 3D