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FASHION

ILLUSTRATION

MUSIC

MOVIES

PHOTOGRAPHY

FREE WHO KILLED BRUCE LEE EP INSIDE

FEBRUARY / MARCH

CHROMOSOME XX

THE WOMEN CHARLES HADDAD RAMI HAJJ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DIANE PERNET EDDI FRONT EXHIBITING KRYSTEL KOUYOUMDJIS OUMAYMA TANFOUS + MORE COOL SHIT FIRST AID KIT

MUST-HEAR ALBUMS FROM FEMALE VOCALISTS

MUST-SEE MOVIES

LEADING LADIES IN KICKASS ROLES 10 USD 15.000 LBP

BRIGITTE

LIVE AT THE MUSIC HALL IN BEIRUT

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WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE

FASHION 34 THE X FACTOR CHARLES HADDAD & RAMI HAJJ

9 GENDER FUCK WOMEN AND FASHION

44 DIANE PERNET INTERVIEW WITH THE HIGH PRIESTESS OF FASHION

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ILLUSTRATION 17 KRYSTEL KOUYOUMDJIS EXHIBITING ILLUSTRATOR

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MUSIC 10 EDDI FRONT INTERVIEW

29 GENERATION GAP KARIN PARK LIANNE LA HAVAS

67 SOUNDTRACK REVIEW WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

68 LIVE REVIEW BRIGITTE

56 ALBUM SELECTION A LOOK AT OUR PERSONAL RECORD COLLECTION

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WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE

MOVIES 58 MOVIE REVIEWS BARBARELLA QUEEN OF THE GALAXY FIRST WIVES CLUB ELIZABETH THE GOLDEN AGE THE SECRETARY

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WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE

PHOTOGRAPHY 47 OUMAYMA TANFOUS EXHIBITING PHOTOGRAPHER

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OUR PEOPLE

N 04 CHROMOSOME XX

CREATIVE DIRECTORS / EDITORS IN CHIEF MOHAMAD ABDOUNI & RUDY SHAHEEN MANAGING PARTNER FATIMA M. EL MARINI RESPONSIBLE DIRECTOR LAMIS KHAWAJA ASSOCIATE EDITOR KARL HITTI FASHION EDITOR CHARLES HADDAD PROOFREADER AND LIFE SAVER krystel kouyoumdjis EXHIBITING PHOTOGRAPHER OUMAYMA TANFOUS EXHIBITING ILLUSTRATOR KRYSTEL KOUYOUMDJIS CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS CLARA ABI NADER RAMI HAJJ MARIA KASSAB TOMMY CHASE LUCAS JINANE CHAAYA & ROY JAMHOURI (ANIMAL BAR) CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS TIMI HAYEK TINA MAKHLOUF FOUAD MEZHER EXHIBITING FASHION DESIGNER CHARLES HADDAD CONTRIBUTING WRITERS SERGE KALDANY SAKO DERSAHAGIAN STEPHANIE KOYESS

BADARO, SAMI EL SOLH BLVD. LABBAN BLDG. 2ND FLOOR BEIRUT, LEBANON INFO @ FIMP-MAG.COM +961 (0)3 71 90 86 +961 76 64 41 26 +961 (0)1 38 17 73

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FASHION ARTICLE: SUPERHEROES, FASHION & FANTASY

an·drog·y·nous adjective \an-’drä-j -n s\ having the characteristics or nature of both male and female, neither specifically feminine nor masculine, suitable to or for either sex, having traditional male and female roles obscured or reversed. Let us decipher this shall we? ARTICLE BY CHARLES HADDAD

COLLAGE BY MARIA KASSAB

MS. ANDROGYNY

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he morality of dress today has evolved in such a way that it could dissociate itself from the societal codes of our past. The word Androgyny is derived from the greek words “Andro” which means male and “Gyn” which means female. The key behind an androgynous look is to have both male and female characteristics. In some cases it is portrayed when a woman bends her gender to be perceived on the border of masculinity. In other cases it’s about looking genderless; reaching a certain ambiguity which comes from a rebellious state of mind. Going against the grain of societal expectations of what a woman should look like. If you look at the likes of Stella Tennant or Agyness Deyn with their sharp features, boyish figure and chopped hair you see this aura of masculinity that the fashion industry cannot get enough of. Androgynous women are favored over your average Jane since fashion is all about newness and experimentation. We believe the ideal form of beauty viewed by industry professionals is slowly disintegrating into models like Freja Beha Erichsen and Jamie Bochert rather than another Adriana Lima. In the fashion world today there is a new form of androgyny that has evolved from the likes of Grace Jones and Annie Lennox, where the gender lines are blurred in a way that forces the viewer to question that person’s gender. One Ms. Tilda Swinton comes to mind with her boyish charm creating this illusion of is he/she or is he/she not? She is considered to be one of fashion’s most androgynous looking females. Apart from the roles she portrays on screen she has a significant role in the fashion industry. Being an icon to many fashion enthusiasts and a muse for designers such as Haider Ackermann keeps her pretty busy hopping from one fashion show to the next and on to the galas and the after parties. However, why is it that the fashion world cannot get enough of the Swinton? Perhaps it’s that defined jaw line, that chopped hairdo, or maybe its just the fact that she has a noncommercial different type of beauty. However she definitely dresses the part, but then again she has to, no? Having those high expectations of her it would

be disappointing to see her in a frou frou ball gown. Nevertheless, who knows, she could make that Oscar De La Renta ball gown look quite interesting… Martian Couture anyone? We can’t help but wonder what if Ms. Swinton decides one day to do some reverse psychology of her own and dress the opposite of what is expected of her to wear. That is the backbone of androgyny after all, isn’t it? We wonder how fashion critics would react if she wore something completely out of the norm. Why do we have expectations of what people should and shouldn’t wear? Let us go back in a fashion time capsule and retrace: Coco Chanel raided her lover’s closet and wore his trousers to look masculine but completed her outfit with custom jewelry to look feminine. YSL and his smoking jacket made a huge impact at the time when women were significantly entering the workforce. Then you have designers like Helmut Lang, Calvin Klein, and Giorgio Armani who promoted strong tailored clothing; some consider it the time when the third gender entered the picture. Nevertheless today you have the likes of Rick Owens having such a clear focus on how he sees a woman, completely deforming her feminine silhouette into something so unrealistic yet undeniably beautiful. Alexander Wang, is another designer that has adapted that aesthetic with a much more downtown hip girl vibe; as she stomps the city in a pair of boots rather than stilettos. Rad Hourani comes to mind as well when mentioning gender neutral fashion. In fact he is considered the first high end Unisex designer to fashion one line targeting both men and women. He was able to showcase his first Couture show in Paris a couple weeks ago during Couture week and was just declared as one of the new members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. It made a lot of people very happy to see a Couture collection that was completely genderless and focused more on tailoring rather than dressmaking. So ladies what do you say? Gender neutral or gender specific? Take your pick.

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INTERVIEW: EDDI FRONT

“I’M AN ASSHOLE” INTERVIEW BY KARL HITTI

PHOTOGRAPHS BY Tommy Chase Lucas

Girls with boy names, you’re a fan? Why Eddi Front? I like the way it looks written down, and how it sounds. It sounds tough. Like a boxer. Or a big boned gangster. You’ve moved around quite a lot during your early years, what is your fondest memory of life on the road? Would you say that this influenced your views on life? Moving around gave me a strong stomach. I can eat almost anything now. Food is different everywhere. A very fond memory: I think I was 8 or 9 and my mother and I were moving across the country and driving through one summer- it was nine thousand degrees and we had no air conditioning in the car- I had a little Spritz bottle that I’d keep refilling at truck stops with cold water. We had three cassette tapes that we rotated through the entire trip. TLC Aint Too Proud To Beg, the Out Of Africa soundtrack, and The Beach Boys Pet Sounds. I really loved them all, but Pet Sounds... no matter how many times we played it- I always heard a new harmony or some new sound happening underneath that I hadn’t heard in the previous listens. Completely mind blowing. Did music help shield you from the “new kid syndrome” while growing up? Not even a shield could shield me from the new kid syndrome, but yes music and art kept me occupied when I was at home. It definitely kept me going in those days. Break-ups suck. We’re usually content with being sedated during most of the recovery process. How do your musical endeavors help you crawl out of the “hole” that has been dug by past lovers? Well, I think it helps anyone to write about whatever’s going on in sad times. You have to get it out somehow. I used to say that making music is like throwing up. I still believe that this is true. How would you describe the evolution of

youR sonic craft during the past several years? Is the “Western Saloon” feel that floats around your music today pure coincidence or simple denouement? It’s coincidence... I try not to have the music sound like any specific thing. The only western that I like is ‘Bonnie And Clyde’. I just do what I think sounds good for each song.   The single covers that accompany your releases all seem to have a specific story to tell. Are your tunes purely biographical or do you draw inspiration from other people’s experiences? They’re biographical and specific to a situation- or some are train of thought or sort of subconscious or just words that I think sound good together. People inspire me but I usually write about what I think of them, and not really what I think their point of view might be. I’m an asshole. Equally calming and worrying, your music gives out the aura of being eerily content with one’s mortality. Have any of the other ladies that have linked their own demise to their art inspired you? Francesca Woodman is the first that comes to mind. Sylia Plath, Billie Holiday, Maeve Brennen, Amy Winehouse... So many. All inspiring for their work and passion. The Music scene today: murder everyone and save three artists… GO! This is impossible. Let’s see. Let’s save the children. Zachary at PS118 who writes stories, Jennie at Mandalay Elementary who likes papier mache, and my own little girl Jane whom I hope to meet one day- she will enjoy sculpture, I’m sure. Plans for 2013, can we expect you to bless humanity with a full-length album? Yes. Well I don’t know about blessing humanity- silly- but I will put out a full length.

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A SHOP TO DIE FOR: SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS

A Magical World of Toys for Grown-Ups SAIFI, HAMRA, ABC DBAYEH TOYSTORE, ABC ASHRAFIEH TOYSTORE | +961 1 973 603 | +961 1 349 699 WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/SUPERCALIBEIRUT

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A SHOP TO DIE FOR: SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS

‘DIANA F+’ LOMOGRAPHY CAMERA

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emember when you were a kid and you walked into a store that was so full of the most wonderful things that all you could do is stare, open-mouthed, without really knowing where to begin. A store that was to be rediscovered every single time you walked into it, always finding something magical, something shiny, something like nothing you’ve ever seen before. And then you grew up, and it became harder and harder to get that feeling, as you discovered that store after store looked the same, felt the same.

the size of the Saifi branch, there’s more room to get lost in a world of toys, stars, kitchen utensils, and a black box that we’ll leave you to discover for yourself. In addition to the Saifi and Hamra branches, SupercaliFr agilisticExpialiDocious also launched a new concept late last year inside the Toy Stores of ABC Mall in Ashrafieh and in Dbayeh: They call it SuperCaliFragilisticExpialiDociousCan dy, and they specialize in every kind of candy you can imagine (including some things from your childhood and others you’ve never even heard of).

And then, one day, you walk into a tiny unassuming shop in the heart of Saifi Village, and it hits you. It’s a familiar feeling. You’re standing there, in the doorway, and you don’t really know where to go. A familiar tune your childhood is playing. Everything is so colorful, happy, interesting. You’re greeted by a kind salesman or woman that is sitting surrounded by a mountain of some of the most amazing things you’ve ever seen: cameras, books, toys, bags, candy, fairies. Just about everything you’ve ever loved is suddenly right in front of your very eyes.

But the magical, hyper feeling remains throughout all of the branches. That’s because every single item is handpicked to create happiness. For example, SuperCaliFragilisticExpialiDocious is the exclusive distributor of Lomography; those awesome cameras that still use film and make everything look really cool. They have just about any model you want, in a rainbow of colors, and with accessories to make the cool even cooler. The store also regularly holds workshops to teach people how to use the cameras.

This is SuperCaliFragilisticExpialiDocious, and it’s as wonderful a place as any you can find in Beirut or anywhere else in the world for that matter. It’s hard to describe the store, since so much of it relies on feelings and emotions, and on discovering the knick-knacks that are certain to make you smile. Every time we think of a word that would be perfect for the store, another one pops into our head: magical, happy, mysterious, nostalgic, emotional… Fact is, the only word that can really truly describe SuperCaliFragilisticExpialiDocious is, you guessed it, SuperCali FragilisticExpialiDocious.

The store is also the representative of the International Star Registry, so you can name a star after whomever you want. If you’re not in the mood for a star or a camera, worry not, there’s an entire world left to discover, with plenty of shine and excitement. The store is divided into categories (Super, Cali, Fragilistic, Expiali, and Docious), and if you buy 1 item from each category, you automatically get a 10% discount. If you’re in a rush, they also have a great option where you give the store a call, and an elf will choose a gift for you based on your budget and your description of the receiver, package it up, and get it ready for you to drive through and pick up.

The tiny Saifi branch clearly wasn’t enough to handle all of the wonders, and so, in 2012, SupercaliFragilisticExpiali Docious opened a new branch in Hamra. Its out of the way location (it’s really at the very very end of Hamra) makes it a pleasure to discover, and because it is more than twice

All in all, SupercaliFragilisticExpialiDocious really is a place where you can spend hours looking at things, playing with things, imagining things. It’s a place where you can find gifts for people of any age, and a place where you can, once again, be completely flabbergasted (in the best of ways) every single time you walk in.

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A SHOP TO DIE FOR: SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS

‘LIAR’ BREATH SPRAY

‘GENITALS’ HAND SANITIZER

‘LIP SHIT’ LIP BALM

‘FISH EYE’ CAMERA

‘WHO’S THERE’ SHADOW BOOK

‘RAINBOWS’ COIN PURSE

‘JACK THE RIPPER’ LAVATORY MIST

‘PAPER TOWEL’ DISH TOWEL

‘FAMILY DRUGS’ CIGAR BOX

‘HAND SHIT’ HAND CREAM

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- ILLUSTRATOR Could you sum up in a few words for us who you really are and what it is that you do? I’m not really sure... on both accounts... but I guess the most valid thing I can think to share is that I draw stuff... sometimes they’re crappy and I hide them, sometimes they’re cool and I share them with people, usually annoyingly through pictures on Whatsapp. What is Chromosome XX to you and how does your exhibited series convey how you see women? When I first thought about it, I tried to sum it up... but that was somewhat impossible, so instead I broke it down to some of the different faces of what I think chromosome XX or a woman can be... Each woman is a kaleidoscope of identities merged into one person, and I guess that’s why men are always baffled by them. So what I tried to do with the series is have a deck of Tarot cards with each card depicting a different aspect. Oh, and the nudity and sultriness are mainly there cause I was called a goody two shoes! What do you reward yourself with when you finish a piece that you’re happy with? Sleep! I am usually so stressed about it (somewhat of a performance anxiety slash stage fright kinda thing) that I tend to lose sleep over it, so when it’s done, and if I feel like I did a good job, I get to have a proper night’s sleep. What is the one illustration you wish you had illustrated? To be honest, I get pencil envy every time I see an illustrated children’s book... specifically, anything done by Oliver Jeffers. Where do you mostly draw your inspiration from? I’m fascinated by faces... But not the pretty ones, I love faces that tell the stories the person has lived through... Old faces with lines and creases and adventures hidden in scars and cracks... I also seem to get inspired whenever I’m on a plane... Which is odd, but gets me out of having to converse with the stranger sitting next to me. When was the last time you laughed so hard that tears came out of your eyes? My tear ducts are directly linked to my funny bone and I tend to find myself wiping tears in between bouts of laughter quite often... but most recently I watched The Producers with a friend and I couldn’t stop laughing/crying... Hilarious movie!

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*Whispers* This lady is also our proofreader.

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ARTICLES BY KARL HITTI

ILLUSTRATIONS BY TIMI HAYEK

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GENERATION GAP

NAME: KARIN PARK COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: SWEDEN GENRE: ELECTRONIC DOWNLOAD: RESTLESS - NEW ERA SOUNDS LIKE: THE KNIFE

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tudents of Christian schools always seem to think that they had it harder than their secular counterparts. Imagine having to sit through several obligatory excruciating minutes of prayer every morning. But that in turn seems pretty insignificant when you look at the 2 hour masses that were inflicted on them every single time there was a reason to “celebrate”. NO! Thank you very much I would rather take on another hour of Arabic literature! Let’s not forget the strict dress codes, and the always kinky religion teachers that ended up standing a bit to close to us while preaching the love Jesus had for his disciples.

Now imagine having to endure a pretty much similar situation but in your own home. Singer Karin Park’s parents were missionaries that spread the word of Jesus while she was growing up. To presume that the chanteuse had a strict religious upbringing in a remote Swedish town would be a safe speculation. In fact, things got a bit more severe when she turned seven: the whole family was uprooted from Sweden to a remote village in Japan. These adventures obviously contributed to the shaping of an awkward existentialist adult.

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Fast forward to 2003 when Karin took the Norwegian pop music scene by storm. (Now we imagine that a failed holy water objection from the Church council was definitely a precursor to this decision) Her first attempt at breaking into the music business was quite a success; she in fact amassed several Norwegian Grammies. Two albums followed Superworldunknown and the music gradually got grimier and the base more meaty. 2012 marked the release of her fourth studio album, Highwire Poetry which subsequently was her first album to get a worldwide release. Even though she might not be part of a duo Karin does Indietronica better than Nicki and that so called Dove. Producer Christoffer Berg (The Knife, Massive Attack, Fever Ray) keeps the music at a high note. He sank his teeth into this project, while giving Ms. Park a joyous amount of freedom in order to maintain her own individuality. Vocally she reminds us of Bjork but clearly not as annoying. This means that you can actually listen to her music without feeling like you’re about to give up your bodily vessel to everyone’s favorite androgynous demon Leviathan. Inflicted religion carved the initial shape of Karin Park’s worldwide debut. What would Jesus Do? Walk around in architectural dresses, and go on tour with Gar Numan!

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GENERATION GAP

NAME: LIANNE LAHAVAS COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: ENGLAND GENRE: FOLK & SOUL DOWNLOAD: AU CINEMA - AGE SOUNDS LIKE: CORINNE BAILEY RAE

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ome people seem to have it all… or so we think. Models are pretty but most of them can’t even carry a conversation with a chicken. Nerds are smart but usually smell like naphthalene. Shakira can speak god knows how many languages but still sings like a dying goat. Let’s face it there’s a village in China with little worker children that rue the day Steve Jobs was born. And yes your beautiful, rich, tan neighbor cries herself to sleep three times a week because she can’t help but be attracted to spatulas. But you see there’s this young dame from London that we came across not too long ago… and she doesn’t seem to have a single flaw. Lianne La Havas has accomplished by the age of 23 what most of us dream to maybe, hopefully attempt to overtake in a lifetime! Her musical beginnings were nurtured by two parents who taught her how to play guitar and piano, while exposing her to a buffet of different musical genres. When she turned eleven she had already written her first song, and even though her mother and father divorced she seems completely stable and levelheaded! After quitting college where she obviously had straight A’s,

Lianne toured with Paloma Faith as a backup vocalist. In 2010 she got signed to Warner Bros. and perfected her musical skills before being revealed to the general public for the first time on October 21st 2011 following an appearance on Later…With Jools Holland (a talk show in England). The gig was such a success that Bon Iver who was a guest that same night invited her to go on tour with him. Ms. La Havas’ eclectic mix of folk, soul, blues and rock has also captivated the minds of legends like Prince and Stevie Wonder who sang her praises after watching her tear the house down at one her shows. Her first full LP Is Your Love Big Enough? has obviously amassed a generous load of worthy recognitions. If this enchantress ever found herself bored at an award show dinner, she could always hang with the peers that she so cleverly emulates. Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys and Laura Marling join the list of accomplished musicians that have fallen in love with this optimum of beauty, intelligence and talent. All we can hope for now is that someone uncovers Lianne La Havas’ hidden secret… we are placing our bets on a Monica Lewinsky type scandal. Watch yourself Obama…

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WRITTEN BY KARL HITTI

hyperbole and a half l’armoire de lana

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THE BLOGGER

hyperbole and a half(hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com)

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icasso was a painter that revolutionized the world of art. He paved the way for a new movement called cubism with his painting ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’. The style through years grew more and more abstract as every shape in the painting was remodeled into an extremely basic figure. This art movement would later be dubbed as one of the most influential of the 20th century and would trickleinto other disciplines like music, architecture, literature and sculpture. Artists like Picasso give us hope that expressing ourselves might not be such a bad idea. In fact they make us want to become more experienced at what we do. But sadly most of us fall flat on our faces after being subjected to countless hours of so-called teaching in various overpriced universities. And barely one in one thousand ends up turning himself into a productive artist. Now, Allie is a peculiar young lady; her work is her own LSD trip brought to life. Her blog is called Hyperbole and a Half and she shares everyday stories with us while using Microsoft paint. This may seem very weird, but we can assure you that Allie’s sense of humor will make you cut down on those pesky antidepressant pills that are slowly poking holes in your stomach.

l’armoire de lana (www.larmoiredelana.com)

L

ana El Sahely is a tenacious young lady born and raised in Africa. She now apparently resides in Lebanon, and is bold enough to share fashion tips, tricks and reviews with all the ignorant baboons out here. Her website is constantly updated with several different headings and the fashionista is always on track with all the recent trends making headlines. A simple visit at the beginning of every season, will help every girl, or guy that likes to dress like a girl, know what is missing from their closet in order to not make a fool out of themselves. Interviews with up-and-coming fashion designers and stylists that are skyrocketing towards the top of their game are also at hand. Lana covers interesting fashion events that are taking place around Lebanon. And obviously Miss Sahely blesses us with her own personal input on products, fails and blunders. Think of it like a sex and the city blog minus the sex but with a bit of the city. Actually the two aren’t really that related... we have no idea why we just made this comparison.

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THE X FACTOR FASHION DESIGNER CHARLES HADDAD STYLIST MOHAMAD RIDA

PHOTOGRAPHER RAMI HAJJ MODELS CARLA DAHER & LETICIA HADDAD

PRODUCER MARIANE EL KHOURY

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SWINGING SIXTIES: THE GALS THAT TOOK OVER THE WORLD ARTICLE BY SAKO DERSAHAGIAN

A

re you like us? Do you feel that by some weird cosmic fluke your papers got misplaced up there in Heaven Headquarters? Probably some dumbass intern new to the area (we’re looking at you Whitney!), messed up the paperwork and delivered it to the wrong cubicle or something, where some grumpy angel who hadn’t had their morning coffee, didn’t care a whole lot that our documents were being sent to the wrong decade, and BAM! We were born in the nineties, a decade with plaid shirts and Starbucks. No one gave a flying eff that we were completely misplaced and that our papers should have gone to the goddamn 1960s! That’s where we would have fit in perfectly, that’s where short hemlines and colorblocking came from, where cat eyes and smooth soulful ballads came in packages of three or more and ranged from gumdrop cute, to sultry and tempting. Yes ladies and gentlemen of the free world, we should have been in the 60s where the girl group genre of music erupted and transformed into a worldwide sensation!

Yes one cannot compile a list of 60s girl groups and have the gall not to discuss one of the most famous and world wide known girl groups! There is no doubt in our mind that you all figured we’re talking about The Supremes, or as they were known later on Diana Ross and The Supremes (that’s what you get for hooking up with the boss of the record label… just saying). They all start the same way: a gaggle of schoolgirls, innocent and sweet start out harmonizing in their backyard (or school, church, boyfriend’s garage, where no doubt some producer/friend of a friend of a friend/ soon to be influential composer sees them and realized what a unique gem they are. One girl recruits her best friend and they form a group. The Supremes were no different! Originating member Florence Ballard sang with an all boy group called The Primes, where their manager convinced her to form a group. Soon she’s joined by Mary Wilson and the shy schoolmate, later to be mega super star, Diana Ross. Fast forward a few years… The influential Berry Gordy comes along and transforms the girls into The Supremes; making Ross the lead with her eccentric look and frail figure. After a string of non-charting singles, the girls finally got their break with ‘When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes’, followed by the cultural phenomenon of ‘Baby Love’ and ‘Stop in the Name of Love’, and the rest kiddies, is Motown history!

ILLUSTRATION BY FOUAD MEZHER Now, even though The Supremes are the most well known group to step out of the sixties, they were not the first. The Crystals were the ones who created the mold of the girl-group formula; sweet ballads and bubble gum pop harmonies, with innocent young ladies singing about puppy love! Are you listening Ke$ha? The Crystals reigned the pop charts in the first half of the sixties and began the whole snowball effect of this kind of music. In 1961, Barbara Alston, Mary Thomas, Dolores “Dee Dee” Kenniebrew, Myrna Girard and Patricia “Patsy” Wright formed The Crystals and all signed with Phil Spector (before his awkward hairdos and killing actresses in random villas phase) under his label. The girls beautifully churned out songs like ‘There’s No Other Like My Baby’, ‘He’s a Rebel’, ‘Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)’ and ‘Then He Kissed Me’. Like many girl groups though, The Crystals faded out with bitter arguments, lawsuits and replacements; their reign ended somewhere in the mid sixties. Now we know that when 60s girl groups pop in your mind, you see feather boas and harmonizing black women, but surprisingly, one of the best girl groups from that era had a lineup of tough biker chicks. Ok maybe not 2013 tough, but these girls embodied the dangerous girls your mother warned you not to socialize with because they’d teach you how to smoke, or make your eyeliner go up to your hairline. The ShangriLas were another 60s girl group that had a couple of long lasting, culture forming gems on the charts; complete with matching white leather boots. Who says you need a bunch of hit songs to sustain cultural significance over time. The Shangri-Las did that with just one song ‘The Leader of the Pack’. The song is basically a scene out of Grease 2, with Michelle Pfeiffer. Girl meets boy, boy smiles at girl, girl falls in love with rebel boy. Girl’s parents object to union, parents forbid girl from seeing boy, boy in despair, rides motorcycle off to sunset, where he crashes and dies miserably. We promise the tune is much hipper than we give it credit for. It has been parodied, covered, stretched and redone so many times since that its camp value has transcended through time and space to stay relevant to this day. Well until the time comes, where a gaggle of scientist figure out how to build a time machine to zip us back through alternate universes, so we can be where we truly belong, we’re just going to have to make do with what we can. The Supremes, The Crystals and the Shangri-Las, along with the whole gaggle of beautiful groups will remain forever burnt into our sequined mind.

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INTERVIEW: DIANE PERNET (A SHADED VIEW ON FASHION)

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INTERVIEW / ARTICLE BY CHARLES HADDAD & SAKO DERSAHAGIAN

t’s astonishing how the most incredible people seem to come in the smallest of packages. At just 5 foot 2 inches (sans the headpiece and the platforms) Diane Pernet stands there in her billowing black jacket and matching black veil, her hair adorned with the most peculiar metal spiders. Had Morticia Addams starred in an Almodovar movie, which was styled by Frida Khalo, it might have come close to looking like Pernet. “It’s all organic” she says. For this woman, being enwrapped in black drapery is just as comfortable as Sunday sweatpants are to the rest of us civilians. It all ties into her design days in New York in the 80s; prints and colors distract her from her work! So she just simply pulled a Superman, and filled her closet with everyday items all in black. A veteran of the fashion industry, with more stories and anecdotes than one can handle in an evening, she compares herself to the glinting spiders that nest in her hair, “you’re either repelled by it, or you’re drawn to it.” This is her version of demure, with the black being a tool to simply blend in with the rest of the crowds. You wouldn’t think that this widow in black was once the epitome of androgyny. Back in the day, she says, she had her long black locks cut short, and as she giggles and confesses that God hadn’t blessed her with a full rack. She admits that people would come up to her just to ask if she was a boy or a girl. And she would get off on that thrill, way before the time when New York boy-girls and girly boys on the club scene were experimenting with the gender f**k genre. It’s the thrill of the unknown for her, the ambiguity of it all. She praises the new rise of these androgynous models like Andrej Pejic and Lea T. and the on goings at Candy magazine. She’s quick to mention her view of the history of androgyny from her standpoint. Holly Woodlawn a former Andy Warhol muse and superstar streams through her mind, simply because she knew them (gasp!) when she was living in New York. But we got to know the real fashion juice when the subject of designers came up. The striking thing about Ms. Pernet, is that she herself was and still is, on occasion, a fashion designer. She’s not some vapid, guccied, photoshopped trend-whore of a critic. She truly understands the creative process and manufacturing process that designers go through. She knows of the labors and endeavors that artists of the craft have to endure. She marvels at how some designers can be a walking self-advertisement,

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prancing about Studio 54, making connections and marketing themselves. She applauds it, but admits she could never have done that as she’s painstakingly shy! As to what’s going on right now in fashion with all the re-appointments, firing and replacing, she delves into thought before building up momentum. “What IS happening?” she giggles and asks, “We all thought it was going to be marvelous, but the truth is it didn’t really change the landscape of fashion”. She recalls the same incident that happened back in the 1999/2000 season, where everyone expected to see magnificent earth shattering changes in fashion to only reveal mere disappointment. As for the appointment of Alexander Wang at the famed house of Balenciaga, she finds it “depressing”. Looks like someone’s not fond of the new “It” designer. She understands that his hiring is all just a from of commercial standpoint. She fails to see the common ground between the Asian-American Wang, who’s cotton Ts and black leather jackets have made many a glitterati quiver with the sheer awesomeness of how “cool” and “urban” they are, and the delicate creations of the late Cristobal Balenciaga, whose sculptures of fabric burst with color and life. Wang’s predecessor Nicolas Ghesqiuere is someone who Ms Pernet thinks really knew the brand’s ins and outs. It all comes down to the show and we shouldn’t judge till we see. Diane agrees that Wang will appeal to the latest and richest fashion market for luxury goods: China! We can just easily imagine this woman being worshipped. She has the veil and the whole Catholicism working for her already. She literally is a patron for the arts because not only does she greatly support fashion, she also has her hand on the pulse of the growing art of fashion film. She has her own festival every year to promote young emerging talents in film in collaboration with her very good friend Rossy De Palma. It all started more than a decade ago when she herself directed short videos for Bernard Wilhelm and Three as four. She figured because there was no platform for young directors and artists to showcase their work, she’d simply make one! The last note she leaves us with is a piece of practical advice for all designers: “Understand, cut, form, and fit. You can’t just sit there and design for some ideal person.” She understands that items have to be able to function, to move. A designer has to be humble and know the little gritty manufacturing details. “Persevere and evolve” she said, “I’m happy to see evolution!” WWW.FIMP-MAG.COM


A SHADED VIEW ON FASHION . COM

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- PHOTOGRAPHER Could you sum up in a few words for us who you really are and what it is that you do? I’m a photographer based in Montreal, Canada. I was born in Tunisia in the 90’s and left the country when I was 10. I discovered photography when I was 14 years old. I always wanted to take pictures with the family camera but they would never let me use it since I used to break everything when I was a kid. I got my first point and shoot when I was 15. At that moment, it was clear in my mind, I wanted to be a war photographer (I’m serious). I started looking at photographers like Paolo Roversi and Helmut Newton and started photographing random good-looking people. What is Chromosome XX to you and how does your exhibited series convey how you see WOmen? Women are my main inspiration in photography. For me, the women in my family are the example of strength and independence. That’s how I always try to portray women in my pictures, they are always mysterious and strong. What do you reward yourself with when you finish a piece that you’re happy with? Chocolate maybe? I’m never fully happy with a finished piece, I feel that I’m always learning and my photography style is always evolving. I always feel that I could have done something different or better and I kinda like this, because I’m always challenging myself to do better. What is the one photograph you wish you had taken? That’s a hard question. It’s not even a picture, it’s a scene from a video, but you can find many screen shots on the web. It’s a black and white scene from the video Rapture by photographer Shirin Neshat. You can see a group of women wearing all black and walking seawards. It’s strangely beautiful. Where do you mostly draw your inspiration from? A lot from different photographers, the big names of the industry but also the ones that nobody know. Strangely I get a lot of my inspiration from war photography, I’m especially fascinated by the arab world. Alexandra Boulat is one of my favorite war photographers. I also get a lot of inspiration from fashion designers like Thom Browne, music, French movies and people in the metro, especially teenagers and old men… they’re fascinating! When was the last time you laughed so hard that tears came out of your eyes? I don’t remember. Probably with friends... but I do remember the last time I cried.

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FOR THE MODERN DAY ARTIST & CULTURALLY INTRIGUED INDIVIDUAL 56 ALBUM SELECTION

58 MOVIE REVIEWS

67 SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

68 LIVE REVIEW

THE MIXTAPE

PHOTOGRAPH BY CLARA ABI NADER

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A PEEK AT OUR PERSONAL RECORD COLLECTION : THE WOMEN

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MUST-SEE MOVIE: BARBARELLA - QUEEN OF THE GALAXY

JANE FONDA IS

ARTICLE BY SERGE KALDANY

ILLUSTRATION BY MOHAMAD ABDOUNI

W

hen it comes to charming women, Barbarella takes the gold medal. The movie starts with a cosmonaut jumping out of his space suit. The cosmonaut is Jane Fonda. And she’s not exactly jumping out of her space suit; she’s stripping away to the opening title “Barbarella”, a 60’s ballad, turning and twirling in an antigravity ship: a space stripper. This movie starts off strong and has you trying to keep up with sex allusions in its wake. This movie is so psychedelic that we’re going to tell every single detail of what happens in it. In a peaceful universe, scientist Durand-Durand (Milo O’Shea), a weapons scientist, has gone missing. Barbarella (Jane Fonda) is the girl assigned to find him. On the way, she encounters several curious creatures, but not cyclops, sirens, and witches… On her journey, she faces a magnetic storm that throws her offcourse. We need to interject here that this movie is full of ridiculous special effects. You’d think that it’s because it’s an old movie. Well let us put it into perspective: 1968 is also the year that gave us 2001: A Space Odyssey. Enough said… Her space ship crashes on planet 16. Her “Ulysses’ Odyssey” style adventure starts now. There, little twin children on a stingray chariot kidnap her to feed her to their dolls. The dolls do exactly that: they start eating her away, and of course, they start at the crotch. We did mean eating her. Her savior, a hunter, escorts her out and offers to help her get closer to her target. The only thing he asks in return is to sleep with her, and to that she answers “Alright!” and lies there waiting. Submissive much? Ravished, she sets out to her next experience. On the rare occasion where she’s not naked, she’s wearing a leather corset and see-through leggings. Much more conservative Lady Jane! Seems to us like the best wardrobe for space! Now, the damsel in distress (not much of a hero after all) falls down and finds herself getting groped by winged man, Pygar (John Phillip Law). Talk about sexual encounters! She then meets the infamous professor Ping (Marcel Marceau) and his colony of stone-people. He tries to fix the hyper-dondesomethings of her ship, which are damaged but thankfully not irreparable. But wait, a winged man! Surely he could fly her to get to Durand-Durand! Well no, silly, he pulled a muscle. Yes, cause that’s not the stupidest excuse in the universe! At this point, leather men with whips (no allusion to S&M whatsoever) attack the colony, but are quickly fended off by the guy who pulled a muscle. Meanwhile, the great tyrant (Anita Pallenberg), with the help of her fleet of breast space ships, manages to catch Barbarella and

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traps her in a maze of death pits. If this is space, then we, as the human race, would rather stay on earth and not bother asking about alien life at all. The movie’s director Roger Vadim used the most extravagant sci-fi beings, gadgets, and manners; some that even Stargate and Star Wars hadn’t thought of. Some creatures in this movie are magnetic living liquid energies that watch people and feed on their negative psychic vibrations… sounds logical enough. And even the great tyrant in her introductory scene appears, half naked, with a dildo crown; She’s after angel sex. Expectedly, and like in every movie we’ve seen, Barbarella is put in a cage to be eaten by birds until Dildano (yeah right!) saves her, and asks her to join his cause to overthrow the queen. His fee... you guessed it: sex, well, space sex. This encounter brings her closer to finding Durand-Durand. Barbarella, Ping, and Dildano join forces to prepare a coup against the black queen and save Durand-Durand. An invisible key, of course, and the secret map are the tools for such a revolutionary plan. Bravely, dick-gun in hand, and breasts-a-blazing, Barbarella marches to victory, but first, some “essence of man” shisha is in order. She fights the queen’s right hand man by breaking the orgasm machine; because cyber-whore Barb is insatiable. The climatic end is unexpected yet expectable and universal peace is temporarily restored, thanks to everyone but Barbarella, because as it seems, she’s pretty useless, except when getting plowed is the main purpose. Pretty much like the script, the colors, too, are vivacious: there are more colors than in the movie Avatar, and their display would get you high without the need of a joint or straw or needle. The music accompanies and enhances that feeling. A pre-Pink Floyd David Gilmour helped in the musical pieces of this movie, and you guessed it, it was preparation for his psychedelic genius. The music in the movie is simply hypnotizing and spectacular. Throughout the movie, all her enemies manage to do is rip out her clothes and f**k her. F**k you Superman, Batman, and others; Barbarella is the superhero we want to be! Barbarella was originally a French comic, which kinda explains it all. This movie starts strong and keeps at it, and it’s the reason why we absolutely love it. The uncountable flukes and overlookings make it one perfectly fractured project, a project that is a delight to the most important sense: sight. This movie invented the expression “eye candy”. If you’re still looking for a reason to watch the movie, here it is: space sex is much more intense than the sex you know and love. WWW.FIMP-MAG.COM


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MOVIE REVIEWS

DIRECTED BY HUGH WILSON

“ You are married. You have a daughter. You don’t need self-esteem

ARTICLES BY SERGE KALDANY ILLUSTRATION BY TINA MAKHLOUF

B

ehind every great man, there’s a great woman and apparently there’s a club uniting such women. If you find this club, do let us know, because this specific club is far from being the thing we thought it was. In Spanish, the movie’s called El Club De Las Divorciadas, in French, it’s Le Club Des Ex. Is the picture getting clearer? The First Wives Club deals with the word “First” as past, not premium. However, that doesn’t mean that these women are not special… As you might have guessed by now, and frankly you’re an idiot if you haven’t, this movie is about a club for divorced women. Three women, Brenda (Bette Midler), Elise (Goldie Hawn) and Annie (Diane Keaton) seek revenge on the husbands who left them for younger, more plastic-y blond tanned women. Having lost touch since college, they get back together at the funeral of a common friend. After catching up on their similar lives, they set out to form a club and help each other out against their respective replacements. Their plan is to hit where it hurts most. You’re thinking of the crotch aren’t ya? Close enough; they’re after the big fat wallets. Each of the three women gets a different answer, some make peace, some create feuds and some get hilarious surprises.

The cast includes a few male actors, like Dan Hedaya and Victor Garber. Along side those men, we find Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Maggie Smith, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ivana Trump, Kathie Lee Gifford, Heather Locklear, Marcia Gay Harden, Stockard Channing, Dina Waters… s**t, that’s a whole lot of star actresses! Then again everything remotely linked to this movie deals in estrogen; women in a womanly movie fit for women. Guys, we won’t really blame you for not wanting to watch that film, but you should give it a try. Really, it’s not like you have anything better to do.

into modern society. Things might have been so back in 1500, but this is the 90s sister! And, in any case, revenge is not the way to go, usually. Yes, here it’s done in a funny way, but out there, in the real world, an eye for an eye keeps the whole world blind. In essence, that whole “an eye for an eye” crap was meant to push people to do good in this world, not to get back at one another. As we said, the three main characters are played by very distinctive actresses. For starters, Diane Keaton is an acting institution. This movie is the second in which she plays a character by the name of Annie. If you didn’t get that reference, then you’re not familiar with Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, catch up. Diane Keaton is the icon in the movie, Goldie Hawn is the irresistible curvy charm and you know it’s gonna get loud and cheerful with Bette Midler. This movie hits the trifecta. First Wives Club is a movie that doesn’t take itself seriously. Its director, Hugh Wilson, is the man responsible for the original Police Academy, one of the funniest movies ever made. It’s no surprise that he was able to pull this one off brilliantly. So yes, behind every great man, there’s a great woman, and she’s holding a knife waiting for the opportune moment to stick it deep in his back. If you’re lucky enough, you just might catch that opportune moment and get a few laughs out of it, you know, as long as you’re not that guy.

Once again, we are faced with a movie that empowers women. This one dates back to 1996, and shows women that divorce isn’t the end of their lives, nor should they necessarily strive to find new replacement husbands. A woman should be all that she could be, and doesn’t have to depend on a pair of testicles to affirm her

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MOVIE REVIEWS

DIRECTED BY SHEKHAR KAPUR

“ Are you here to tell me I must murder a Queen?

ARTICLES BY SERGE KALDANY ILLUSTRATION BY TINA MAKHLOUF

A

lthough inspired by history, this is not another boring past events TV-movie. It starts with a war, we all love wars, don’t we? Especially those over religion, they’re just plain fun and littered with vicious hypocrisies, fairy-tale legends, controversies, secret societies and all that s**t.

1585, Spain is the most powerful empire in the world. Philip of Spain, a devout Catholic, has plunged Europe into holy war. Only England stands against him, ruled by a protestant queen’, Elizabeth, The Golden Age. Cate Blanchett, with her icy look trademark, wears the majestic robe to magnificence. She embodies the Virgin Queen for her second run at lighting up the big screens with her pale skin. Several A-Mark actors combine their forces to support the Oscar winning actress in her portrayal of one of England’s most renowned queens. First off, Sir Geoffrey Rush steps in as the Queen’s personal counselor. Clive Owen, not a stranger to middle-age-kingdom-y roles, draws his sword, as is expected of a brave knight in aid to his ruler. Les Miserables (2012)’s Marius, Eddie Redmayne, a ginger as indicated by his surname, also joins the cast as the chief conspirer in the plot to assassinate the Queen. As if that wasn’t enough for one Queen to handle, the charismatic Jordi Mollà (King of Spain) coupled with Rhys Ifans (his right hand man and mercenary) try to obstruct the Queen in her attempt to salvage her nation’s pride and repute, and even worse, her nation itself and her life. ‘Tempest must unchain itself from the entrails of thy wretched life’. Back to the plot; all hell breaks loose as tensions build between the Spanish empire and the English kingdom. The war is inevitably declared and the Spanish armada sails towards the big island. Outgunned and outnumbered, England has a measly chance of survival. If the inquisition prevails, then England will loose its freedom, its territory and its Queen. Against all odds, over and over again, Elizabeth surmounts her enemies and prevails in her endeavors. What says “power to women” more than England’s history? A whole empire at the feet of one single lady, even to this day! Even in that matter,

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Cate Blanchett, though surrounded only by beards, manages to diminish man’s spotlight, and annihilate his authority. The cameras rotate around her; literally! Let’s take a short break and go back to school for a quick, painful but noteworthy, history lesson. You know King Henry VIII, the one who divorced and/or killed his six wives, separated from church and caused a chaotic civil war? Well, Elizabeth is his daughter (whose mother was decapitated by order of her father) and heir! You know Queen Mary I, called ‘Bloody Mary’ (That’s where the drink comes from!), the one who persecuted the protestants and tried to kill them off for their beliefs? Well, Elizabeth is her sister and successor! Where her father and sister brought havoc and destruction, she succeeded in ruling fairly, even sometimes against her most heartfelt desires, bringing peace and serenity to a once broken realm. Her most precious aspect was her wisdom and her silence; her motto was “I see, and I say nothing.” She was a remarkable person and arguably one of the best rulers in history; and this is the exact history that has been marvelously brought back to life by Director Shekhar Kapur. Now, there’s absolutely no way we can talk about this movie without mentioning the scene where Queen Elizabeth is facing Sir Babington, the man set out to kill her. And even though he’s the one holding the gun, she is the one in control of the situation. This is also put into perspective with an enhancement of audio, video and lighting, which, in that one single moment, elevate the queen to a superhuman being. We were as shocked as you are: a historical movie within our issues! But really, our only problem with this movie – in fact, our problem with history – is the fact that the Virgin Queen is still a virgin. What’s with all the anti-feminism? Where’s the power to women and all that crap? But we digress… Whether you’re a history buff or not, you will enjoy the whole two hours of this movie. The scenes are filmed in a chastely discreet manner. Careful, you wouldn’t want to show your ankles and get half the village’s blood boiling!

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MOVIE REVIEWS

DIRECTED BY STEVEN SHAINBERG

“ You’RE FIRED! NO, YOU’RE FIRED

ARTICLES BY SERGE KALDANY ILLUSTRATION BY TINA MAKHLOUF

W

hen you think of the hottest women on the planet, you think of Monica Belllucci, you think of Angelina Jolie; you do not, however, think of Maggie Gyllenhaal. We’re sure she has a nice personality and all, and she’s not ugly per say, but lookswise, she’s not high up the ladder. This is where Secretary comes in. This movie turned a non-beautiful woman into one of the sexiest ever. We’ll get back to that idea shortly, but let’s talk about the movie first.

We could let you know about the supporting actors, who they are, what characters they play, but we won’t. They’re more irrelevant than vegetarians at McDonalds, because this story is all about tasty flesh and juicy meat. This is the story of a demanding boss and the woman who loves his demands. This movie teases the most cliché of all the sexual fantasies: the sex-retary. Who among you have never dabbled with this idea, as the boss, or even the secretary? We know we did. Yes, we watched that scene over and over in porn, but here it’s portrayed in a sensual romantic comedy type of setting that allows us to completely get rid of the guilt and focus on the desire and the pleasure.

Pain is so close to pleasure. Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is a troubled teen. Since the 7th grade, Lee has been flirting with the pleasures of cutting herself. After a stay in a mental facility, she sets out to pursue a light career in the secretary business. She finds such a job in the lap of a demanding and harsh lawyer, Mr. E. Edward Grey (James Spader). “In the lap” is usually just an expression. Here however, it can easily be used literally. Quickly enough, she swaps her previous childish pleasures for an adult-rated upgrade. After an incident clashing her past life and her future one, she develops a sadomasochistic sexual relationship with her new employer. Doing so, Lee steps out of her childhood oppression, being a little girl with several complexes, and becomes a self-asserted full-blown woman. This is the part where we usually talk about how the movie is shot, the transitions and all that other nerdy cinema crap. Good news is, this movie doesn’t have them. The entire attention is constantly drawn to Mr. Grey and his secretary, there are no useless shots of scenery and no stupid long boring dialogues; it’s a straight to the point close-up on the lives of two people. Both the actors in this picture deliver their performances brilliantly. They disappear into their characters in a dominating and unrecoverable manner. They manage, as sleazy as they can become, to stay within the limits of tasteful filth and not verge off to, well, porn. To make it clearer, we have reviewed American Beauty in a previous issue; think of Secretary as a remake of American Beauty, but in reverse. This would have been Freud’s favorite movie of all time.

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This movie is a hit because it appeals to all audiences, short of minors of course, even though they would also enjoy the f**k out of it. Steven Shainberg brings to the screen a two-faced affair. “I was feeling something growing in Mr. Grey, an intimate tendril creeping from one of his darker areas.” To take it in the emotional or the sexual sense would be your choosing, bringing forward the notion of you interpreting the movie as you see it. In an opportune moment, Cake’s version of ‘I Will Survive’ pops up to put you back on the right track. This is a feminist sort of movie. It’s a woman’s world, and she should choose to be who or whatever she wants to be. If kinky sex is involved, then all the better! So, sweet innocent average looking Maggie Gyllenhaal has become the object of sexual desire. Before that movie you would never even consider her in one of your fantasies, after it,though, you can’t take that picture out of your head. Her physical looks melt away within the persona, to display a showcase of pure animal lust. No matter who you are, guy or girl, gay or straight, throughout this movie, she is the sexiest creature alive.

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SOUNDTRACK REVIEW: KAREN O AND THE KIDS - WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

“O is like a babysitter who plays kids Joy Division records before lights out: Kinda scary, but they’ll wake up cooler in the morning.” Now, now, we would be more than happy to be quoted for writing such a statement, but unfortunately, we need to give credit where credit is due (because of legal obligations, not a sense of moral decency... Just so we’re clear). ARTICLE BY MOHAMAD ABDOUNI

R

olling Stone may not be the most credible of critic sources but we still go through what they have to say, just for kicks, and the occasional on-point quote.

Spike Jonze’s interpretation of Where The Wild Things Are - a recommended watch - boasts a soundtrack that serves not only as a companion to its on-screen imagery but as a full-fledged album on its own as well. And that’s where Karen O, lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, comes in stringing along behind her a tribe of children that joyously sing chants and refrains at her command.

Fellow band mates Nick Zinner and Brian Chase join a team of oh-so-cool craftsmen such as Jack Lawrence from The Raconteurs, Aaron Hemphill from Liars and Dean Fertita from The Dead Weather, to assist O, like dependable sidekicks, on her quest to find that childish whimsy in every grownup. You wouldn’t expect Art Rock queen Karen to strip back down to her old folky ways, but you’d be surprised to hear the result of her endeavor to create this “unplugged” version of what she usually sounds like, albeit a bit more joyous and care-free. Take away the dialogue segues from the soundtrack and you’ll be left

COLLAGE BY KARL HITTI

with a collection of songs that resonates with all-together-now hooks so simple and meticulously perfected that you will be humming/singing along as of the first listen. ‘All Is Love’, the first single to be released, plays like a nursery rhyme for the adult soul. Granted, all this talk of children and sing-alongs might put you off hearing this record and reading back through it all, it would have the same effect on us, but it shouldn’t. The score to this film truly does take you to a more simple setting where you roam free of responsibilities and the burdens of everyday life. For the die-hard fans, O has served up some good old show-your-bones-style Yeah Yeah Yeahs on songs like ‘Capsize’ and ‘Animal’. As for those who might assume this record could be aimed at a younger generation, we give you‘Hideaway’, the least kid-friendly track of the bunch. It swoons like a lullaby for the broken-hearted… a sequel to‘Maps’ if you will. All in all, what you need to get out of this whole thing is that Karen O, along with her friends and the kids, have crafted a soundtrack that could stand alone, tall and proud, with a selection of Folk tunes which are euphoric at times and melancholic at others.

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PERFORMING LIVE AT MUSIC HALL IN BEIRUT ARTICLE BY STEPHANIE KOYESS

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF Animal Bar for Beirut Jam Sessions

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good dessert, one that makes love to your taste buds, is usually based on contrasts. You know how vanilla ice cream jumps off that hot sizzling dark chocolate coulis. Or how a light lemony cream, comes to the rescue like a fluffy white pillow to rest on following the sudden crack of a crispy golden pastry shell?

On December 16, Eleftériades Productions, in collaboration with The French Institute, served up a visual tasting to remember. Brigitte, a full-on French delicacy, was packed with so many contrasts it added a new dimension to sugar highs. Just as everyone settled into their seats, two grey cone-headed robes took the stage under spaceship wreck-like light work. The gloomy setting was shattered within moments when the robes were off, to reveal a two headed creature in a shimmery gown with plunging low backs, and daring thigh-high slits. Three sailors in tight crisp white uniforms guarded it. And just like that, the Sunday circus had begun. Brigitte, is not one, but two wonderful women from Paris.

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This baby was born in 2008 from the ashes of the two French mademoiselles’ musical projects. Aurelie Saada (the blond) and Sylvie Hoarau (the brunette) say they met in La Rue des Rosiers, where they decided to make music with a different approach: basically, they now do whatever tickles their gluts. The two mothers create their musical pieces with an old guitar, in a living room crawling with children since they both have two of their own. And even though the duo’s work is imprinted with a retro ambiance, it always is so fresh to the ear. On posters, they look like two nymphs out of a Mucha’s painting. But these two, as we revealed earlier, couldn’t be more different. A tall blond, a petite brunette; An expressive eclectic temptress, a prude clean cut little “saint”. A shiny headpiece reminiscent of harem women for one, thick round black-framed glasses for the other. Alright, we’ll stop hammering you with this, they’re different, you get the picture. But we’re only emphasizing it because of the complicity that comes out of these differences. Revealed by the vocal harmony between the two, it is quite phenomenal. As their voices often twirled around each other to become one, their bodies did the same, leaning on one another for an extra passionate kick.

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LIVE REVIEW: BRIGITTE - MUSIC HALL, BEIRUT The energy on stage could turn the most uptight bunheaded socialites in the room into carefree exotic dancers. The ladies delivered a very spontaneous version of their album (without the interludes), and took the audience on an emotional rollercoaster: Getting them fired up with their hit ‘Battez-vous’, calling on the Lorena Bobbit in every woman with ‘La Vengeance d’Une Louve’ and ripping their heart out with the poignant ‘J’veux Un Enfant, which is Aurelie’s real struggle to conceive children, in song. Brigitte proved once more it incarnates every woman. While one laid a soft hollow base, the other swiftly filled it with voluptuous notes. The performance was utterly mesmerizing. Think of beautiful mermaids tempting sailors with hypnotizing mantras; speaking of which, this was exactly what their take on Metronomy’s ‘The Bay’, sounded like. They also covered George Michael’s ‘I want your sex’, Survivor’s ‘Eye of the tiger’, and the famous NTM’s ‘Ma Benz’ which kind of felt like their own. It was to that particular song that some stood up, just to move along to this erotic anthem.

convenient) is undeniable. We couldn’t get enough of her sultry moves, her hoarse voice that could take you high, and drop you just as fast in moving lava. And while her voice made love to the microphone, her partner looked like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. But that last one’s demure appearance, which makes her almost invisible in comparison, hides what could absolutely be a French version of the Princess Turandot, a cold empress out of an opera, who is the answer to her own famous riddle “what is cold as ice but burns like fire?” It didn’t take much for everyone seated inside the red velvet boudoir-esque venue to be drenched in the band’s sensuality. Maybe it was the wine that the audience, not-so-subtly, chugged before they were called to dance along, but hey, nevertheless, the outcome was absolutely perfect. Safe to say Brigitte is one fun schizo to encounter, especially if she lets you score a few of her magical pills.

Whatever the spectators’ sexual preferences might’ve been, that night all jaws dropped to the floor. Aurelie’s aura (how

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F/I/M²/P · Issue 04 XX · FEBRUARY / MARCH 2013  

Chromosome XX - The Women

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