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8:34 pm

CINEPHILE | GHOST IN THE SHELL


In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: a human who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world's most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people's minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that she has been lied to, and her life was not saved. Instead, it was stolen.

It's no secret we are sci-fi fans, with Blade Runner, Ridley Scott, Phillip K Dick among others always piquing our interest. So we are pretty excited about the new Ghost in the Shell film being released by Paramount and DreamWorks pictures at the end of this month. Full disclaimer, we haven't actually seen it yet. So this isn't a review, but from what we have seen it looks pretty major. 


Set in 2029 Japan, the story cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi and her elite cybercrim-fighting task force. She is played in the film by Scarlett Johansson, a casting decision that outraged fans who accused the filmmakers of whitewashing the beloved 1980's manga series. Which is fair enough. The original is about as Asian as things get: Japanese cult manga, ground-breaking anime, Hong Kong–inspired locations, Eastern philosophy–based story. So of course Scarlett Johansson's casting as the dark-haired, obviously originally Asian lead sent netizens into a rage.


But, this is Hollywood and casting decision's are lead by many things, although mostly dominated by the all mighty dollar. And for a film of this magnitude with a female lead, there were limited choices in terms of who could actually financially be able to carry the film. Margot Robbie was actually in earlier talks for the lead, but went on to be casted as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad instead. Politics aside, the fact that we have a strong, kick ass female lead is something to celebrate, and Scarlett is all of that. 

Closer to home the film was mostly shot in Wellington New Zealand with Weta Workshop working on all the amazing effects. Watch the clip below for a behind the scenes look at the Geisha masks used to download the minds and thoughts of humans.



Directer Rupert Sanders says the film is about the hope that humanity will prevail amongst a technological revolution. As we all look at our increasing dependancy on technology are we really aware of where our future may be taking us?
"We are very trusting of technology. We give so much of our location, of our desires, of our thoughts into these devices that, ultimately, we trust. You already see kids in their strollers flicking through iPads as though they're software designers. And one of the questions of our film is, "Can you trust?" Part of what we're trying to say is that humanity at some stage is gonna be absorbed more and more in technology. The important thing is that we figure out a way that humanity is needed by technology rather than the other way around. I think technology will evolve beyond us and [when that happens], what's the need for us? We're greedy, we're wasteful, we are destroying the environment that they would need to survive."
GHOST IN THE SHELL 
Opens 30th March 2017



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5:53 pm

EAT | TWO CHAPS

For anyone that has been to Sqirl in Los Angeles, I want to tell you we have found its sister cafe right here in Sydney. Now thats pretty big statement given the cult following and absolutely amazing food that Sqirl is known for. But, we 1000% stand by our words. Two Chaps is just that good!

When we started frequenting the area about 10 years ago there was nothing but industrial warehouses as far as the eye could see. Now its a hive of activity as young families and creatives have moved in.
Two Chaps is literally in an old brick factory with a  roll up garage door that leads straight onto the footpath. It follow's a from-scratch and sustainable approach in all aspects of its operation; is 100% vegetarian with most items able to be made vegan or gluten free so it even feels very LA! Best thing is not only is it a cafe but its also a bakery making fresh bread and pastries daily. 


 
"We operate on a collective creative energy, a strong sense of responsibility with respect to food production and consumption and our engagement with the local community. Our ever-changing, produce driven menu is a product of our enthusiasm for working within the seasons and we have a strong focus on local supply and supporting like-minded producers. All of our bread and pastry is made by hand, daily using sustainable and organic Australian flours. Our Sourdough levain is the life of all our loaves and is used to produce a wild-fermented bread."

Their menu follows a mediterranean flavour and like all good cafes, they serve breakfast all day. On Thursday's and Friday's from 6pm they open for dinner offering fresh made pasta, local cheeses, salad and desert. And just when you thought it couldn't get any better they have a dinner set menu which included BYO corkage for $55. 



Their menu is jaw dropping. There are too many to name but some of our favourites are....

Merango Crumpets
Torched meringue, mango and line curd on sourdough crumpets w/fresh cream and meringue crumb

Croissant Loaf
w/chocolate, espresso and wattleseed custard, figs and fresh cream

Avocado Toast
w/heirloom tomate, seaonal leaves, vannella buffalo fetta, pickled chilli and paprika oil (v)

Fried Rice Brekkie
Biodynamic brown rice with chilli, ginger, soy, greens and two fried eggs (gf) (v)


We all know the Sqirl started as a jam company, well Two Chaps even has a similar back story. Their first product was handmade Sticky Chai and when we first discovered them years ago that was all they were doing out of the current location. Manufacturing and producing the chai along when doing takeaway cups for passerbys. Cut to now, and its a major destination for anyone in the know. And these two chaps have been busy to say the least. Not only have they extended the operation into a fully fledged cafe and bakery, but they also launched their specialty coffee roasting project - Blind Man Coffee. 




On weekends the lines get crazy and you have to arrive early to get a seat. And if you want to eat dinner, just make sure you make a booking.


LOCATION
122 Chapel Street
Marrickville NSW 2204

HOURS
Tues/Wed 7-3
Thurs/Fri 7-3 & 6-10
Sat/Sun 8-3
Closed Mondays


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10:55 pm

BENAH BOOK CLUB | LES FRANCAISES

Welcome to Benah Bookclub. Where we explore books we love, own or admire and celebrate independent and interesting publishers, books stores and sites. Owning beautiful books is one of the great joys in life. 
Print is not dead, just more luxurious!

Publisher : Rizzoli
Artist/Author : Sonia Sieff
Editor: Patrick Remy
Pages: 96 pages
Cover: Hardcover
Publication Date: Feb 28th 2017
Language: English/French


With Paris and its interiors as a frequent backdrop, Sonia Sieff gives readers an intimate portrait of some of France’s most recognizable faces. From fashion models to writers and ballet dancers, Sieff captures the distinct personality of each while also depicting a unique sense of place. Beautifully staged and artfully shot, this book focuses on Sieff's fascination with the female form.
 
With more than 150 stunning photographs of Sieff’s subjects in Paris, in their homes, on the shores of Normandy, and in the gardens of Champagne, Les Francaises exhibits Sieff’s undeniable ability to capture the beauty of the female form while at once offering an intimate glimpse into the world these women inhabit. 

Read more about Sonia here
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10:34 pm

ART | MIRAGE BY DOUG AITKEN

In collaboration with the Desert X Art Festival, 16 artist's have installed striking artworks across the arid landscape of the Coachella Valley just outside of Palm Springs. American artist Doug Aitken’s top to bottom mirrored house would have to be our favourite.



The Mirage sculpture is modelled on a ranch-style suburban American house but is composed of 100% mirrored surfaces reflecting the surroundings and camouflaging the structure.

Aitken reconfigured the idea of the suburban home by removing its inhabitants and their possessions. He has done away with the doors and windows so the structure is not private or secure. Inside, the reflective surfaces create a kaleidoscopic effect intended to evoke confusion rather than comfort.

"Mirage distills the recognisable and repetitious suburban home into the essence of its lines, reflecting and disappearing into the vast western landscape," - Doug Aitken

Desert X opened 25 February 2017 and runs until 30 April 2017
Aitken's Mirage will remain in place until 31 October 2017
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10:33 pm

BENAH BOOK CLUB | GESTALTEN

Welcome to Benah Bookclub. Where we explore books we love, own or admire and celebrate independent and interesting publishers, books stores and sites. Owning beautiful books is one of the great joys in life. 
Print is not dead, just more luxurious!

Publisher/Copyright : GESTALTEN
SpecialityDesign, Lifestyle, illustration, architecture, Fashion, Photography, travel, art, & children's
Founded: Berlin 1995
Sold internationally

Today we spot light one of our favourite publishers, Gestalten. 
Best known for some of the most beautiful visual books on the market, they have really made a name for themselves with their travel, lifestyle & children's books. This is the go to place for the perfect adventure publication for the men in your life.



They also keep extremely good company by producing all the Monocle Travel and lifestyle Guide Series in both book and video form. We all know that Berlin is a hub for creativity so its extremely rare to visit the site without adding at least 10 books to our wish list. 


Buy Gestalten Books Locally HERE

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8:54 pm

BENAH LOVES | CALIFORNIAN WILD FLOWER SUPER BLOOM

For anyone that has visited the deserts of southern California, you will know just how magical they are. All the colours that you though were filters are actually real, and there is a stillness there that just some how makes your creativity come to the surface.

Last weekend the dry earth popped with the scent of spring, and an eruption of color as a carpet of purple sand verbena, white dune evening primroses, orange poppies and other wildflowers emerged in a super bloom that one ranger called “flower-geddon.”



“This kind of huge bloom happens maybe once a decade,” says Jim Dice, research manager at the Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center who hasn’t seen so spectacular a bloom since 2005.
Spring made an exuberant entrance after an unusually wet winter and consistent rainfall through 2016 after a five-year drought. Much of Southern California teems with flowers, but the 630,000-acre Anza-Borrego State Park is alive with color. The nearby community of Borrego Springs more than doubled in size as 5,000 people poured into the area on Saturday, an influx that filled motels, prompted the sheriff to close miles of road.
https://www.instagram.com/trojanray/
If you can't make it to SoCal just Search #superbloom, #superbloom2017, and #eschscholziacalifornica  on instagram for more great images.
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9:34 pm

GIRL CRUSH | HAYETT



Hayett B Mccarthy

Likes:
To those who know me, they know I love bowling and beer. I love art and poetry, I love rejoicing and celebrating the very simple things in life, I don’t need much to be content. I could be awed and inspired by an abandoned frisbee on the curb.
Fact check:
I’m from Lyon and London, my mother is Algerian and my dad is British, I am the only French person in both my families (technically), given I was born there. Grew up in Lyon, south of France and went back and forth to England, where I ended up living in my late teens up until this July. I now live in Greenpoint Brooklyn. [Before modeling] I did so many joe-jobs: Leafletting, pet-shop/dog groomer assistant, intern at a big music label, worked in pubs, you name it! Suffice to say I now have the value of a dollar. Word.
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9:29 pm

ART | NUDE

In a partnership between Tate, London and the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney, Nude: art from the Tate collection presents over 100 major representations of the nude, including paintings, sculptures, photographs and prints by renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Lucian Freud, Henri Matisse, Sarah Lucas, Marlene Dumas and Louise Bourgeois.
 Femme 2007 | Louise Bourgeois

At the heart of the show lies the world’s most famous image of erotic love, Auguste Rodin’s sculpture The kiss 1901-04. Never before has this work from Tate’s collection left Europe.
Showing now until Feb 5th 2017 at the Art Gallery of NSW
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4:38 pm

ART | ALEXIS ARNOLD


Alexis Arnold's practise is material and process drive. She utilises sculpture, installations and mixed media 2-D art to create a dialogue around time, transformation and perception. Her crystallised book series is so so beautiful. Fragile yet strong at the same time. Frozen in time, words locked in a crystal tomb.
McSweeny's 39
13 x 8 x 8 inches, 2015
Hugh Johnson’s Story of Wine
10.5 x 9 x 10.75 inches, 2016

“The crystals remove the text and solidify the books into aesthetic, non-functional objects. These pieces are transformed into artifacts or geologic specimens imbued with the history of time, use, and memory. The crystals and book shapes spark a sense of wonder akin to a great piece of literature.”  


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2:40 pm

BENAH BOOK CLUB | NEON LOVERS GLOW IN THE DARK

Welcome to Benah Bookclub. Where we explore books we love, own or admire and celebrate independent and interesting publishers, books stores and sites. Owning beautiful books is one of the great joys in life. 
Print is not dead, just more luxurious!

Publisher/Copyright : Museum of Neon Art Los Angeles
Artist : Lili Lakich
Printed and Bound by Dai Nippon Co. Tokyo Japan
Pages: 96 pages
Cover: Hardcover cloth bound with foil emboss
Publication Date: 1986
Language: English

 

Lili Lakich (born June 4, 1944) is a pioneer of neon sculpture. She began making art in the 60's and choose neon because at the time no one had considered it a medium worthy of fine art. It was a medium for advertising - sleazy bars, shoe repair shops and cheap motels. It was the connection between the stigma of neon and the equal contempt with which emotions are regarded in our culture that informed Lili's early work. Her first light sculpture was a self-portrait with tiny light bulbs controlled by a motor, blinking down her face like tears. 
"For the first time in my life, I felt that I had really and absolutely expressed myself. For me, art is cathartic—-a means of packaging emotion and exorcising it. Once I had made a portrait of myself crying, I could stop crying. The sculpture cried for me. If you can express mangled feelings in a work of art, you can overpower them. They then exist as a set of lines, colours and forms. They're no longer an amorphous nausea eating away at your gut. They're incorporated into an object. You can see it. You can hang it on a wall. And if you can make it beautiful, you can somehow feel that it has sanctity...that it is an icon capable of arousing an emotional response in other people as well." 
"We are given support for denying our emotions, for not being 'hung up', for not wallowing in depression or pain, for not expressing and opinion for fear of hurting someone. I believe in emotion. I believe in wallowing in it"
It was these emotions that lead her to create our favourite work in the book - Vacancy/No Vacancy (1973). A contemporary Madonna who puts forward her availability or lack of it in no certain terms. A flick of a switch will change her from an open and willing seeker of intimacy to a woman who needs nothing from anyone.


Neon Lovers Glow In The Dark was published in conjunction with her exhibition of the same name in 1986. But its so much more than a catalogue of the art, its a personal journey through her creative process and inspirations which lead to the development and creation of each sculpture. Featuring illustrations, photos and colour plates, It is a highly personal document by one of the pioneers of neon art.
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9:45 pm

BENAH BOOK CLUB | The Day Of My Death

Welcome to Benah Bookclub. Where we explore books we love, own or admire and celebrate independent and interesting publishers, books stores and sites. Owning beautiful books is one of the great joys in life. Print is not dead, just more luxurious!



Man of the moment Gosha Rubchinskiy's cult aesthetic has attracted legions of devoted fans. The man is shaking up the men's streetwear game and wherever the Russian designer goes, young, socially and style obsessed consumers follow. The Day of My Death marks Gosha's third collaboration with publisher IDEA books and follows his sold out hits Kids (2014) and Youth Hotel (2015).

Publisher/Copyright : IDEA
Author/Photographer: Gosha Rubchinskiy
Cover: Soft with slip cover
Publication Date: 2016


At just 1,000 copies, the US$62 limited-edition book will be exclusively available from June 25th at COMME des GARÇONS Trading Museum in Paris, Dover Street Market London, New York, Ginza Tokyo and online from the 27th here and here.

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8:24 pm

ART | REN HANG

Photographer Ren Hang has certainly made a name for himself. Notably, to the authorities back in his homeland of China who want to censor him, or more to the point, arrest him. But in art circles around the world he's known as photography's new blood, shooting his friends in the nude, sometimes in deliberately provocative and explicit poses. 


You may not know his name yet, but you definitely would have seen some of his images floating around social media. If you are in LA check out his new exhibition - What we do is secret - and get his latest book here before its sells out like the rest of them.

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