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ISSUE 13 July 2015

An independent magazine aimed at bringing the works of the young and talented to the whole world.


You WILL be rewarded a copy of Garde Magazine Anniversary Issue!


An independent magazine aimed at bringing the works of the young and talented to the whole world. Believing in ideas, thoughts and concepts, Garde Magazine follows the principle of simplicity and honesty.

Founders Cleo Tse Natasha Chan

cleo.tse@gardemagazine.com natasha.chan@gardemagazine.com

Copy Editor Marie-JosĂŠe Kelly

mariejosee.kelly@gardemagazine.com

Creators Stickyline

Erika braccini

Jacqui J. Sze

Contributors David Madsen

david.madsen@gardemagazine.com

ODSKT

Special thanks Sylvia Moritz

TimothĂŠe Mion


Content Jacqui J. Sze Graphic Design A mixture of creativity

Erika Braccini Product Design Designs to sustain the earth

Stickyline Installation A little bit crazy

Creative Happening The City Works Sylvia Moritz and Rowen Ottesen

Creative Happening hm221 TimothĂŠe Mion

What is it... Filmwatching 101 David Madsen

Story teller ODSKT Kuro Ex Machina

Kuro Ex Machina


Editorial In this issue we have three talented creators: Jacqui, Stickyline and Erika. Each of them possesses their own special kind of fresh and fascinating creativity. Please do spend some time to get to know them and their works, because you wouldn’t want to miss out! There are also two creators returning and joining us in Creative Happening, showcasing their latest creative projects. Sylvia Moritz, with her design partner Rowen Ottesen, brings us The City Works, a hand crafted souvenir brand and Timothée Mion tells us about the hm221 showcase, a furniture design collection. Movieholic aka Garde Magazine contributor, David Madsen, joins us in a different feature this time. He shares with us four tips on how to pick the perfect movie for ourselves. Last but not the least, our literature creator, Oskar Östgård, is going to have his work published in Garde Magazine! We will keep posting his story monthly, so keep your eyes peeled for that! We wish to hear from you and most importantly, we hope that you enjoy this issue!


Jacqui J. Sze Graphic Design

A mixture of creativity


Jacqui J. Sze - Heart of Darkness Illustrations for a novel, Heart of Darkness (1899) by Joseph Conrad.


Photographer, illustrator and designer, Jacqui Sze, has ties in different corners of the world. Originally from Hong Kong with Portuguese roots, she grew up in the West-Midlands in the United Kingdom and has resided in London for nearly six years. Having graduated from Central Saint Martins, she is currently the lead graphic designer at a PR firm in the city. Aside from her main job, she also creates on her own. Her works consist of a combination of different art fields, echoing her own mixture of where she’s from and where she calls home. “My personal work encompasses a stretch of different mediums, predominantly between photography and illustration and sometimes collaborative short films,” she said. Described as friendly, confident and genuine by those who know her, Jacqui found her passion and love for the arts when she painted for the first time at the age of three. “Ever since, I always had an innate passion to create imagery and ex-

periment with new ways of drawing,” she said. “I was fascinated with 19th century novels - those books always had beautiful print work inside, which drew me to learn about traditional methods of printmaking when I was at London College of Communications for my foundation degree; and carried on developing further into this skill at Central Saint Martins.” She also said it was the “simplistic, yet bold lines and style of illustrating” of Aubrey Beardsley’s work that inspired and encouraged her passion for using monotone colours. More than that, she became deeply interested in cross-cultural references and controversial imagery. Speaking about illustrating, photography and design, Jacqui said she loves and needs them all. “Illustrating is therapeutically vital to me and usually the treasured rare moments where I can have some alone time. As an extrovert, I am thankful to always be meeting new people on new projects and collabo-


her different works. Her graphic design, branding, photography and film pieces are on byjacqui. com. “It shows a varied body of work in how I can merge different skills together – hopefully it’s a testimony in itself to potential new clients that I am your one-stop-design-shop!” rations when it comes to photography and film work; whether that is a fashion model I’m shooting or a new team to be videoing with – it’s always an inspiration to be meeting other creatives in different industries,” she said. “With design, it’s a wonderful balance and mix of both – meeting new clients and discussing their vision together; creating new concepts with them and tackling new briefs have always been a delightful challenge.”

Jacqui has two websites for

On her other website, chalkandboard.com, Jacqui shows illustrations from both commissioned and personal works. Asked about who she mainly designs for, Jacqui said she reaches a widespread audience because her freelance clients are spread out between design, technology and marketing sectors. “It could range from designing pop up banners for Fitbug, to creating signage or logos for MonkeyShoulder one day, to shooting Intercontinental Parklane and designing websites for tech companies. Every project can be a different adventure!”


Jacqui J. Sze - Heart of Darkness Illustrations for a novel, Heart of Darkness (1899) by Joseph Conrad.


Jacqui J. Sze - Gates of Eden Inspired by Bob Dylan’s Song, Gates of Eden is a series of illustrations mirroring certain characters. (same as magazine cover)


Each time Jacqui creates, she said she gets a lot of inspiration from the Bible. “It is incredibly in depth and symbolic in its narrative and imagery,” she said. “A lot of the other times I get my inspiration from exhibitions all around the world or literally following inspirational individuals on Instagram.” For illustration, Jacqui sticks to a simple routine that works best for her and keeps surprising her each time. “I have tiny notebooks from Muji - I always bring one with me and I draw doodles of whatever I see and find interesting. If it’s something I think is worth pursuing as a project I’d take a photo of it on my iPhone and go home and blow it up on my screen and work on a more detailed sketch on paper,” she said. “Maybe I’ll sometimes bring it into Photoshop or Illustrator afterwards to see if it looks good next to a photograph that I’ve taken… The flow usually goes from there onwards and who knows, there’s always something new to try out!” Calling herself a perfectionist, Jacqui said one of the challenges in her line of work was finding it difficult to leave a piece behind. “I tend to keep overworking on them - a challenge I’ve found that I need

to learn to walk away and leave it as it is.” When asked what the best part of her creations were, Jacqui honestly replied, “All or none of it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Jacqui is quite the busy bee and is currently working on a branding project for a client in Knightsbridge who wants to launch her own line and at the same time is editing a film for Brojure, a start-up company that creates online brochures. She is also designing a marketing pack for a PR firm and doing headshots for their company, she said. Talking about the future, Jacqui said she hopes to create more space and time for personal and illustrative works. “Recently I’ve just picked up a new hobby of creating calligraphy for meaningful quotes and photographing them in front of interesting vicinities – actually, most of these quotes are inspired from Proverbs, one of my favourite books in the Bible! “I hope to always continue doing what I love and not to compromise my values or morals; and hopefully in the process, meet new people and build on existing relationships (not even necessarily to do with work),” she said.


Erika Braccini Product Design

Designs to sustain the earth


Erika Braccini calls herself the “guardian of nature” - a fun way to describe herself as a person who strongly cares about the environment. She simply never stops thinking about what significant impact her design will have on people and their surroundings. Describing herself as sociable, strong and adventurous, the positive Italian (who is currently living in London) reuses materials and creates useful products out of them. “I extend the lifespan of the so-called ‘waste materials’ and turn them into something else that is more desirable,” she said. At the beginning, Erika was confused as to what she wanted to study for her undergraduate degree at the Camberwell College of Arts. “I really wanted to study something about the environment and at the same time do something to prevent its destruction,” she said. “I was very open with my tutor and explained my confusion in what I should study, also considering that my background was in arts. I still remember the day he said: ‘Erika, if you really want to do something for the environment, you should really think about design.’ He opened my eyes and horizons; he helped me find the answer I was struggling to find. From that day I have never had a doubt in the path I have chosen and I believe that design has a great potential to be part of the solution to tackle environmental and social issues.” Erika was passionate about conserving the environment from a young age with her love for animals and the beauty of nature. “I have never understood why humans had to destroy such a balanced and beautiful environment mainly because of power or because of their greed. Nature has given

Erika Braccini - Pulp Me Clock If we take materials from the Earth to make objects, we need to make sure that these materials will either return to the Earth or receive a new life in the shape of another product. We live in a consumerist society that has shortened our interest in all sorts of objects and pushes us to constantly buy new products instead of trying to repair the eventual fault in what we already possess. Pulp Me Clock wants to be an alternative to this. It is entirely made with recycled paper pulp and leftover coffee grains. The choice of these materials represents an attempt to limit the impact of the paper and coffee industry, two of the biggest industries generated by the consumerist society. The concept behind it is that, once it is no longer needed or in use, Pulp Me Clock can be easily disassembled and recycled.


almost everything to us: from the air we breathe, the food we eat and the clothes we wear. I am not an extremist environmentalist; I am okay if we use land to grow food, if some people hunt or fish to provide food or if we use natural or even manmade materials to produce objects, houses and if we explore nature or even use cars,� she

said. “But I do think we should all act accordingly and be more responsible. I think a single plastic bag is not a problem if this is used in a more sensible way. The problem arises when plastics bags are over used. I really want to make changes in some aspects of


our system. I want to create a dialogue with people and bring knowledge to them.” Erika graduated from her college of arts studying 3D Design where she started incorporating environmentally-healthy designs into her products. Her creations During Erika’s first two years of studying 3D Design,

one of her favourite works: Gaia Cabinet. “I now believe that through involvement, people can have a bigger impact on the issues I want to highlight with my design. Thus, my last project was a piece of furniture made out of recycled plastics and stainless steel, which instead of functioning as furniture, contained soil and

she focused on “upcycled” products where she converted waste materials into new and desirable products. “I thought that upcycling waste and used objects was the way forward to make people realise the amount of waste generated by us,” she said. In her final year, she shifted towards service design, working on

earthworms,” she said. “I used it as an educational tool for children to teach them how to prevent food waste, how to compost, how to grow their own food, how important it is to have a healthy and balanced diet and how important it is to connect with nature,” she added. Further speaking about the usefulness of Gaia Cabinet, Erika said, “it was designed to be in line with the circular economy,


Erika Braccini - Wonders I have always been interested in reusing existing materials rather than new ones for my projects. Our consumerist society generates huge amounts of waste, and finding new ways of reusing existing materials does intrigue me. The printing industry produces large quantities of materials that are not easily recyclable; some of them have a single use

after which they are thrown away. PVC advertising banners are amongst them. They are very difficult to recycle because of the waterproof plastic they are made of and the heavy inks they are painted with! Wonders is a new concept developed by designer-maker Erika Braccini. It is a brand that uses waste from PVC advertising banners to create attractive applied textile fabrics.

an economy without waste where all the go back into the same system they come from. As described before, Gaia Cabinet is made out of recycled materials and therefore once its life span is over, it can easily disassemble and be placed into the recycling bin, making a truly zero waste product.”

“Also, with little steps, I am hoping to find a possible solution to solve environmental and social issues with my designs. I feel there is no point in going out on the street and protesting anymore. I believe that design and arts are a more tangible solution to have real impact.”

When creating her products Erika said she wants to bring knowledge, create dialogue and make changes. “What I would like viewers to receive from my works is for them to question themselves on the issue I am trying to highlight with my design and to find out more about it and perhaps start their own positive revolution on that particular issue.”

The process As for ideas on how to start her projects, Erika gathers inspiration from a variety of things: “reading, talking, travelling and observing people and everything around me. If there is an issue I am particularly interested in bringing up, I start researching more in depth on that issue,” she said.

“My principal aim in designing environmental products is to create a dialogue amongst people and perhaps inspire other designs/designers to think more of the impact that design has on the environment,” she added.

Once Erika finds an idea through reading, researching and observing she starts sketching what comes to mind. “For me, it is also very important to play with materials and see how I can work with them. Starting to make something is fundamental for


Wonders uses the colourful discarded banners as the thread, which is weaved into a versatile waterproof fabric that is currently being used for cushions, with the intention to extend its use to upholster furniture, curtains and possibly other objects.

tirely hand woven with natural and carefully sourced materials, with the only exception of the PVC advertising banners. At present, all aspects of creating Wonders, from the materials up to the production process, are environmentally friendly.

The peculiarity of this fabric is that it is en-

my design as I can see what is tangible and what actually works,” she said. “You can draw as much as you like in design, but if you then don’t try to make it real and test the materials, the whole process will simply be a waste of time.” Thoughts about the future Right now, Erika is working on further developing her Gaia Cabinet project. “I want to introduce it into the educational curriculum and bring it to primary schools in London and possibly abroad,” she said. “The next project I am working on is about pollution in the oceans and how that affects people’s health. I will be joining an expedition on a sailing boat to research plastics and toxins in the Atlantic Oceans and how these are related to people’s health. “I hope to create a global movement, dialogue and project that can make people realise the impor-

tance of protecting the oceans and its wildlife and by protecting them, automatically we protect ourselves,” she added. Among these upcoming projects and expeditions, Erika’s short-term goal is to settle down as a designer. “I’m still in the process of understanding what kind of business I want to take, considering that I only want to focus on environmental and social issues,” she said. “I would like to design projects that bring positivity and solutions to the environment, people and community. At the same time, I would really like to develop new materials and implement the circular economy principles with them.” Erika said she would never stop travelling and bringing adventure to her life and added, “Always be positive, surround yourself with colour and think with a child mind. You will discover another world!”


Stickyline Installation

A little bit crazy


Stickyline - Coast Modules (paper reconstructing, polygon landfilling) A massive crowdsourced paper installation combining colourful individual paper in DETOUR2012 to encourage reflection on environmental problems aroused from reclamation.


The starting point of this artist group is pretty similar: lines, polygons and paper. Using the simplest elements, Stickyline has been bringing skyscrapers, animals and plants to life by sticking, folding and transforming two-dimensional patterns into three-dimensional installations. The journey begins… “Stickyline means ‘a little bit crazy’ when translated into Cantonese, just a little bit crazy but not madness,” said the group.

much more comparing to just selling things!’ Then we headed onto our project: Masked Creature.” Masked Creature received a lot of positive feedback in DesignMart, an art event in Hong Kong. People started talking about it and sharing the up-and-coming artist group. From this, Soilworm and Mic were positively inspired and realised they could do much more in the future. “Paper should not be our only medium”

Formed by Soilworm Lai and Mic Leong, the artist group only aimed at selling small paper souvenirs at first. With an idea of doing massive work provoked by their friend, they began to transform their work into something bigger and better.

If one takes careful observation into Stickyline’s projects, it is extremely easy to discover that paper is their main medium of installation. Even the group agrees that “it really appears very often, in almost every project”.

“A friend asked us ‘how much would you get when selling these paper products? Why don’t you two create something amazing to impress others and make noise? That would value

“We like paper’s texture and flexibility, which allows us to create polygon objects in either small or big scale. We didn’t even expect that at the beginning,” said Stickyline.


Stickyline - Urghhhh..... The Joy of Consuming Golden Waste A Collaboration of Stickyline and C shop (the independent fashion brand of MO-DESIGN) debuted in 2013. Stickyline created a giant ‘skull sculpture‘ installation and displayed it at C. The masterpiece did not only polish the entire atmosphere with bold style, but also effectively increased the visiting flow and growth in sales. Also, it had opened up an unbeatable marketing strategies for innovative creativity and sales which achieved a win-win goal. This collaboration aims to deliver the sense of space by giving strong visual impact with the environment. The location itself is a prefect exhibition area with vertical spatiality, the giant “skull sculpture” match nicely with the “golden waste” pretending falling downwards. Cooperation: MO-DESIGN


In a project the group is involved in, it doesn’t only take the role of design and production but also actual installation. The group does different kinds of installation, but things are not always easy. “There was once we needed to setup a giant skull inside a shop with a high ceiling. Although technical support built truss for us, which was 4 to 5 metres above ground, we had to give up on doing it on our own since we had no training for this. In the end, we got a professional who helped do up the installation.� Rewards from projects Stickyline has a similar routine for each project: site visit if a project happens in a particular venue. Then sketch a rough idea followed by 3D modeling once the idea is confirmed. A lot of technical work has to be done in 3D software and then is transformed into 2D patterns in real life, on paper. The final step is assembling paper parts into a piece of work. The group has done both commercial collaborations and also design-oriented collaborations, which had heavy debate between artistic and commercial value. Soil-


worm and Mic saw the uniqueness in both. “Sometimes they are quite similar as some of our commercial collaborations give us opportunities to play with crazy ideas. It is inescapable that commercial projects have to promote clients’ brands or products. Design-oriented collaborations may show more variety on creativity.” However, when the most unforgettable project is asked about, the group said it was the Coast Modules project for Detour 2012, an annual flagship programme to promote young and creative talents. “It was the first project that involved the help of a factory for mass production of paper modules. The installation was finally completed with visitors and participants in three weeks time. It was a very happy time for us to see people love the modules wall and participate together with us.” Come, go and further For an installation

project, sometimes it would be a dilemma to keep or giveaway. Sometimes works will belong to clients after delivery; while other times, the group will try their best to keep them if storage space allows. For Stickyline, they are happy to keep and even reuse their signature projects since it fits into their environmentally friendly idea for their installations. Pretty similar to a lot of artists, Stickyline has their own dream project. “If there is a great location for an installation project which we can create with no limitation with sufficient technical support and manpower, it would be great.” The upcoming project of the group is to create a huge modular installation play with lighting and different kinds of paper in order to interact with lighting effect. They are excited to explore polygons, new media and interaction with people and hope to share the beauty of their art style with various possibilities.


Stickyline - The Snow Shop For Lane Crawford AW / 2013 Winter Store campaign Defy winter with the gift of warmth. Paper duo Stickyline transform two-dimensional planes into fortress of ice, snow and frost for a perfectly pure white Christmas. Each flat and white paper, folded into polygon ice ball, and then combined to become big ice cube, finally it came to a frozen world. This installation is made of different size of ice ball modules, repeated and joined them with irregular arrangement, so as to create the shape of polar ice, which also correspond with the theme of new season fashion.


Creative Happening

The City Works by Sylvia Moritz


The chemical reaction of two coursemates of Graphic Design in Camberwell College of Arts and city lovers are the birth of a souvenir brand with detailed design and sceneries of cities on products.


Sylvia Moritz and Rowan Ottesen from The City Works

Aiming at capturing every city’s unique skyline, The City Works uses the most delicate way to keep memories of travellers and natives of cities. Formed by the design duo, Sylvia Moritz and Rowen Ottesen, who met each other in the Graphic Design course of Camberwell College of Arts, The City Works is a channel to reflect the uniqueness of each city by etching hand drawn city views. The brand produces a range of stationery, gifts and accessories such as fine art prints, stationery gift sets and bandanas.

We think there’s a street for everyone in The City Works. Whether it’s a souvenir for the travellers or a memento for the natives, a collectible for the curious or a gift from the generous; we’re dedicated to providing unique design that you can get lost in for hours, without getting bored. - The City Works


The City Works - Big Ben Postcard


Th eC ity

W ork s

-W ax

sea l


“With the popularity of Sylvia’s meticulous city-themed etchings, we learned how people really admire the intertwining network of buildings and stories that cities have. Sylvia wanted to create a further-reaching brand with a larger scope that was more accessible to more people around the globe. We wanted to give it a distinct identity of its own, while also having a name that reflected our designer-maker inhouse philosophy,” said Rowen. The design duo and the brand are now based in London with their products stocked in independent shops, as well as Barbican Centre and Design Museum. The City Works - Mini Notebook

“The project has incredible potential and we look forward to visiting new places around the world and ‘city working’ all of their great landmarks and architectural features,” Rowen expressed. The brand is now exploring and producing a few new collections for their favourite cities, Bath and Vienna, and also a secret city which details will later on be revealed. In the long term, The City Works “are taking it day by day, night by night, city by city” according to Rowen. Hoping to celebrate as many cities as possible in their unique illustrative style and down the line, they aim to invite the public to participate in the creation of new collections by voting for their city. The City Works will be exhibiting at the ‘Top Drawer trade fair’ between September 13th-15th on stand SP11.


Creative Happening

hm221

by TimothĂŠe Mion

Created by TimothĂŠe Mion, hm221 is a seat that encourages casual working behaviours, by giving space for collaboration & privacy.


This project was started with approach to Hitch Mylius, an award-winning British manufacturer by Paul Sayers, the Produce Design course leader of Central Saint Martins. For final year students, this was a precious chance and they had been working closely with Magnus Long, a lectur-

er in the school who is also the designer of hm106 Quiet Collection - a collection of benches and sofas which are well designed. TimothĂŠe Mion started with the most frequently occurred behaviour in office: seating, developing a new style with itinerancy.


“There is a desire for a balance between the demands for productivity with something that is stimulating that encourages and inspires creativity in the workspace,” said Timothée.

Hm221 doesn’t only

care about creativity and flow of workers, but also collaborative working, social interaction, private and use of technology in the working environment. With hm221, you can sit at different levels, lean while standing and plug in and use your laptop. The design has taken different kinds of situations and psychology under consideration: a worker should not stay in one sedentary position for too long looking at computer screens for the whole day. It also encourages people to work in more creative space


than in an orderly environment since one could easily conform. According to Timothée and to our own surprise, “there were not any main obstacles in the process.” “The collaboration with Hitch Mylius was extremely fluid and

a positive improvement on level. I think Hitch Mulius really understands designers and respects the original design and its intention.”


Taking five months to develop from the brief to the final prototype, hm221 has remained the concept with evolution on its shape. The manufacturability, for example framework, foam layers and upholstery, is improved. “The concept has gained new modules as well to make it even more flexible and to answer even better to the market needs. For example, we have added a new corner piece to allow the modules to go around

curves and we have developed a one sided version to allow the user to put it against the wall,” said Timothée. With the hopes of being used in all kinds of locations, Timothée said he imagined hm221 would be used in schools, libraries, public spaces and creative/innovative workspaces.


In 2014 Hitch Mylius were approached by Paul Sayers, course leader at Central St Martins, to write a brief for final year product design students. Working closely with them was Magnus Long, lecturer at CSM and designer of the hm106 Quiet Collection. One of the outcomes from this project is the hm221 designed by TimothÊe Mion; a modular system that alters the perception of how one should sit. As most sitting occurs in the workplace, the brief for CSM asked the students to consider the changing nature of these spaces, itinerant working, collaborative working and social interaction, the need for priva- cy, and the use of technology in the working environment. There is a desire for a balance between the demands for productivity with something that is stimulating – that encourages and inspires creativity in the workspace.


What is it...

filmwatching 101 by david madsen

One of my goals as a critic for Garde Magazine is to present people with films that will challenge them by taking them outside of their comfort zone. Limiting ourselves to one or two types of films most certainly isn’t healthy, but many people do, as we do not want to waste time on something that might not be worth our time. This article isn’t an attempt to get you to dislike or like certain types of films, but is a beginner’s guide to how you can get more invested in the film medium instead of treating it like comfort food.


Source: wallpapername.com

DON’T USE IMDB’s TOP 250 MOVIE LIST AS A REFERENCE POINT I cannot stress this enough, because almost everyone I know and their mothers use this list when they want to decide whether a film is worth watching or not. Look, the top 250 movie list is fine, there are plenty of great films on there, but like so many parts of the internet, it is a very reactionary list, reacting to what is popular right now and if not that, what is considered dead pan classics.

So yeah, Seven Samurais is on there, but so is Interstellar, because it’s new, it’s exciting and like all of Christopher Nolan’s films, it’s everyone’s favourite movie until his next film. My point is, these films are all well known by the general public, which is why they’re on the list in the first place. So while expanding your film catalogue, by having this list as a reference point, you’ll just be going down the path everyone else has already trotted because it’s the safest one, instead of finding your own. And that’s no fun.


Source: youtube.com

ENJOY FILMS BECAUSE OF THEIR ARTISTIC MERITS, NOT THEIR TECHNICAL QUALITIES One of the great pleasures of cinema is that there’s more than a century worth of cinema readily available to the general public. However, few people take advantage of this because they feel that older films, naturally, feel dated and become unwatchable with age. This sort of arbitrary restriction on what you want to watch and more importantly what you don’t want to watch isn’t really constructive as it often comes from a place of focusing on a film’s technical qualities rather than its artistic merits. A film’s characters, themes, dialogue and plot doesn’t become dated just because the film is in black and white, isn’t in IMAX or doesn’t have the story arc of a modern Hollywood film. DON’T HATE A FILM BECAUSE OF ITS INHERENT GENRE

Plenty of people don’t like certain films inherently be-


Source: hiwallpaperson.com

cause they’re part of a directors’ back catalogue who they don’t like or a genre they haven’t enjoyed in the past. This is in concept a great way to avoid films you know you won’t enjoy at the outset, but in reality it just narrows your film taste down to a ridiculously small point of reference. I’m guilty of this myself. In the past, I saw modern chick flicks as exploitative trash, objectifying women, playing up terrible stereotypes and following the same cookie cutter formula time and time again.

The irony of this is that the reason I saw the entire genre this way is that I didn’t pay any attention to it, so the only films I would watch was the occasional late night, cheaply-made, trashy representation of it. Once I actually gave the genre a chance, I discovered fantastic, warm and funny films such as Mean Girls and Easy A, films I would have completely missed out on if I hadn’t opened up to the genre.


DEEP DIVE ON SPECIFIC GENRES, ACTORS AND DIRECTORS Watching films in genres you don’t initially enjoy is probably the best way at expanding your film repertoire. However the by far most entertaining way to expand your knowledge of films is deep diving on a specific director, genre or actor. You can choose any, but having an initial interest in the given subject is key. Another important factor is that the subject at hand has a somewhat long filmography. Both Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan and the superhero genre are interesting and very popular at the moment, but none of them really have any history to uncover. If you like Nolan or Snyder, there’s a good chance you’ve seen all of their films and while there are certainly examples of superhero films before the

21st century, they are few and far between. On the other hand, most people are probably familiar with Martin Scorscesse’s more modern work such as The Aviator and The Wolf of Wallstreet, though going back and discovering his earlier work puts these films in a great perspective that makes it easier and more fun to appreciate them. This sort of deep diving can also


be a spring board for discovering new genres and films. For instance, Quentin Tarantino is at least by my generation wildly regarded as one of the best directors around, but I doubt many people have seen the films that his movies give homage to. Did you know that both Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds are named after Italian action films from the 1960 and 1970’s? If you like Tarantino’s specific style of genre fare, there’s a good chance you’ll like spaghetti western, grindhouse films and horror films of the 1970’s and 1980’s. And just like that, just from one director, all of a sudden you have a whole new world of cinema Source: circlecinema.com


right at your fingertips. One of the great things about films is how accessible they are as a medium. With streaming, DVDs, Blurays, the internet and cinemas, there are plenty of ways and formats to experience films and unlike videogames, the medium isn’t an expensive hobby, especially after the advent of DVDs and the internet. It also doesn’t take any inherent skill or patience to

watch a film either and finishing a satisfying story arc rarely takes a film more than three hours, unlike books, television series and, again, videogames. Because of this however, it also seems like most people treat films as comfort food. When people watch a film they rarely want to be challenged, they just want to be entertained or to make time pass. We don’t want to feel like


we just wasted our precious time by taking a change on a film we didn’t know anything about or even worse, is part of a genre of franchise that has burned us in the past. But exactly because film is such a long and storied medium and because it is so easy to access, we owe it to ourselves to take it more seriously. That doesn’t mean you have to take a course in filmmaking to

understand the inner workings of films, know who Werner Herzog, Lars Von Trier and Sergei Eisenstein are or that you have to think that Citizen Kane is the greatest film of all time. No, this is what it means: Take what you know about films, what you enjoy, what you love and what you hate. Use that. Not as a restriction, but as a jumping off point to something new. Source: geekoutpost.com


Story teller

KURO KURO EX EX MACHINA MACHINA Young writer ODSKT started the serialization of his first English story in Garde Magazine.

by ODKST


TEIL 1 Europe

There is a city. In this city, the buildings are tall and black, with few lights on. On a balcony in this city, a young man was standing on his own. He blinked incessantly against the dark, waiting, breathing calmly. White streaks of breath left his lips, rising into the darkness. A bird of prey suddenly appeared, diving in a spiral to land on the ledge of the marble balcony. The young man started. He looked at the bird of prey, a large, brown creature, with a bent, hook-like beak and a tail the color of dark rust. It appeared as if the bird and the young man knew each other, in fact, it almost seemed as if they were communicating somehow, although neither animal made a sound. The bird of prey – a hawk – cocked its small head and scanned the hapless young man with its perfectly round, amber eyes. Its gaze seemed to reduce its subject to nothing, or at least scorch its illusory forest of self perception until nothing remained, not even the ashes of who or what the subject had believed itself to be.


This did not faze the young man, who stoically met the hawk’s unrelenting stare. Eventually, whatever communication had been going on between the man and the bird ended, and the hawk with the rusty tail jumped off the ledge of the marble balcony, spreading its wings in the night. It dived carefully, adjusting its broad wingspan and balancing itself as it soared downwards. Far below, there was a motorway with almost no cars, whose headlights resembled airplanes in the night sky; apart from these minuscule lights there was only darkness beneath the hawk, which flapped forward through total blackness, there were skyscrapers on each side of the animal, pitch black and monstrously large, but these buildings lacked any illumination, just as the sky above. Still, the starless sky could not render the red-tailed hawk invisible, its shape was always there as it continued straight ahead, never straying from its path right between the rows of massive skyscrapers: lightless and towering, reaching even higher into the night than the already quite stratospheric creature. The lonesome bird winged on, its destination as unclear as its relation to the young man at the balcony. Above, the starless sky appeared almost solid; there was not a ripple in the nigrescence, not the slightest discernible pattern. ***


David I looked out the bus window. A flock of birds flew by. It was overcast, the sky grey as a quicksilver tipi. No one could be seen working on the fields, not even a scarecrow. It was deserted.

Behind me, somebody said:

”My suicide attempts are fairly low intensive.”

I didn’t have the energy to turn my head, and see who had spoken. It was a girl’s voice. She sounded highly indifferent. The voice said nothing more. I continued looking out the window. Was she on the phone? Nothing more could be heard. The silence in this bus was inhuman. Like a grave. None of the senior citizens spoke, they sat in silence, I could see the backs of their heads in the corner of my eye. Somebody laughed, in the very back of the bus. It was a somewhat desperate laugh, like someone seeking attention. Outside, the matted, green fields swept past. In the overcast light they could hardly be called green, it was as if my mind translated the color as green, but my eyes wouldn’t be fooled. It was a tired, languid color, like dusty old emeralds with


no life left. I sighed. The fields eventually blossomed into industrial areas and construction sites; signs that we were nearing Amsterdam. I looked at the concrete landscapes, trying not to think about anything in particular. Soon, there were large buildings. Canals. A bridge. People, everywhere; tourists, normal men and women, teenagers like myself. Beggars, shaking their little paper cups, leaning on wooden canes, holding filthy cardboard signs. Things were the same. From the second floor of the bus, I could safely observe them all, without risking eye contact. I suddenly felt a buzz in the back of my head, like something intuitive. I didn’t know what it meant. None of the people on the sidewalk seemed to have caused it. I blinked hard. Tired. Just tired. I’d forgotten to eat lunch again. Or rather, I hadn’t felt the urge to eat before I left. Hunger was weird now. I knew I should probably eat more, but … it just didn’t happen. We reached my stop. I got up, blinked a few times again as I balanced myself, and walked for the exit. It was eerie how


quiet this bus was. Since the girl in the seat behind me had spoken, it had been virtually soundless. I got to the staircase, then stopped, placing one hand on the seat next to me. I thought that maybe I should see what that girl had looked like. Nah. I went downstairs, then got off the bus. The air hit my face, soft and welcoming. It was a cool spring afternoon. I took a look around. The sidewalk was full of people, walking with determination towards their destinations. I avoided eye contact with a beggar, sitting very close on my right, and started walking. My bus took off in the same direction, making a roaring noise. I watched it leave. It was a huge, purple, two-storey bus, with matted, stained windows. I noticed that one window was missing. That is, it had no glass in it; just an open hole in the side of the bus. None of the passengers could be seen from outside, not even through the hole. I walked calmly along the sidewalk, watching the bus – bus 743 – advance down the road, crossing the nearby canal. The purple machine soon disappeared from my view. I, too, crossed the canal, watching the steely grey water. I reached the other end of the bridge and continued up the sidewalk. The crowds seemed to be thinning out now, I felt


a drop of water hit my forehead and wished that I’d brought an umbrella. But I managed to get back to my building before it started. I entered the apartment building. The lobby was empty. I walked over to the elevator. The reception on my right was closed, the steel barrier in place behind the glass window. No people in the couches or armchairs. The TV on the wall was black. I had to wait for the elevator to come down. Behind me, I heard the entrance doors close. It was very quiet. The elevator arrived with a Ping. The doors swept open and I walked inside. The elevator’s familiar smell greeted me. Fluorescent lights shone white above me. I pressed the button marked “40”. The doors closed. It was a short ride up, with no stops. With another encouraging Ping, the elevator doors separated and I stepped outside. The corridor on the 40th floor was empty, too. I looked around. Where was everyone? Maybe some event downtown? But no, I would’ve known. Weird.


I walked to the right as the elevator doors slid shut behind me. At the door marked “17� in golden numbers, I stopped and searched for my keys. I unlocked the red door and went inside. The hallways was dark. No one home. I shut the door behind me and locked it, took off my boots and threw my jacket on the coat hanger. Straight ahead, the living room waited, black as if in the middle of the night. I went in there and turned on the electric chandelier. A soft, gold light erupted, high above me. I scratched my chin and vaguely observed the entertainment system, thinking of maybe putting on a movie. A faint rattle; rain had begun to fall outside the panoramic windows of the living room. I yawned, turned around and went back through the hallway. On my left, the kitchen lay as dark as the rest of the apartment. I went inside without bothering to flick the light on. There was ice cream in the freezer, I stole it and a spoon and returned to the living room. I plopped down on the couch, turned the TV on and pryed open the box of ice cream. It was cookie dough flavored; I turned off the sound of the news reporter and dug up a spoonful. I ate and watched the pretty news woman as the rain


fell gently on the windowsill. The TV was the only light in the apartment, aside from the warm, golden glimmer of the crystal chandelier. I yawned again. After a few spoonfuls, I put the ice cream box down onto the small couch table. The spoon was carefully balanced on the rim. I put my feet up, crossing them on the glass surface of the table. Sinking back into the couch, watching the newslady and listening to the rain, I blinked hard a few times. Why this sudden sleepiness? I hadn’t had a very long day.

Then I remembered.

With a jolt, I slid my feet off the table and stood up. Heart suddenly racing, I darted past the entertainment system. The gloomy living room was empty and quiet. Any stranger would’ve deduced that the apartment was temporarily deserted. I raced past the large dinner table, bumping my toe into the chair on its end. I swore and limped on down the corridor. It was dark grey, I could see water trailing down the window at the other end. I turned right and burst through the nearest door. Dawn was sitting in front of her wardrobe door. Her legs were spread, her head hung limply to the side, a striped


tie around her throat. The necktie, pink and black in diagonal stripes, was tied around the handle of the wardrobe. The room was bright, my sister’s pale skin completely exposed. Her blond hair was sticky with sweat, the tomboyish hair stuck to her temples. Her face was bluish, especially her lips, soft and thick. Her eyes were shut. I said nothing; I didn’t breathe. As suddenly as always, the strong pressure manifested itself over my chest. If my heart was beating, I couldn’t tell.

Dawn. My sister.

She wasn’t moving. I just stood there, in the doorway, paralyzed. I had that feeling of somehow having known, even way back on the bus, even back on bus 743, I had known. I’d known that I would find her here, like this, pink-and-black tie around her neck, lips blue, eyes tightly shut, head hanging like a ragdoll’s to the side. I’d known that – I managed to lift one foot. That was all it took. I kneeled in front of her, tugging desperately, clumsily at the necktie, still not breathing, still not thinking straight, the pressure in my chest growing, growing –


Finally managed to loosen the knot. The tie slid off her scrawny neck. I put one hand under her cheek, supporting her head so it didn’t fall. She was so limp! She wasn’t – wasn’t … Breathe, I told myself. I breathed, once, the way you breathe with someone sitting on top of you. My lips trembling, I carefully, hand behind her head, moved my sister down to a horizontal position. Her nude body, pale and skinny, didn’t move, didn’t shiver. It was too late! Too late! I’d been foolish. Selfish. Too late! She just lay there, blue-faced, lips slightly open. Not a single movement. She was a porcelain doll. Randomly, a song started playing in my head as I tried to breathe, one hand across my tightening, oppressive chest. There were vocals: … and remember, life holds for you one guarantee: you will always have me.

I managed a deep breath. Wait. Wait.


The room was in complete silence. Even the rain seemed to have stopped. I heard nothing. I saw nothing. There was no detail. There was only white, my sister’s lifeless body spreading its limp arms in front of me. White and Dawn. I closed my eyes and tried to think. What should you do when someone has been choked? I swear I’d read about this less than a week ago. But nothing! Nothing! My mind a total blank. I could only see the shape of my sister, burned into my retinas. Beyond her, it was darkness. I opened my eyes. She was still there. Her face remained tinged with blue. Her eyes were shut. But she was moving. She was moving! Her chest had clearly risen. I snapped awake. “Dawn!” I shouted. “Dawn!” Nothing. Had I dreamed it? Wishful thinking. Had to be. She was clearly –

Her head moved, ever so slightly, to the right.


Alive. “Dawn!” She suddenly coughed, still with her eyes shut. It was a horrible cough, like she’d swallowed broken glass. “Dawn!” I just kept shouting her name, over and over. “Dawn!” Somehow I managed to reach out and shove a hand in beneath her head. I held her cold, damp hair, lifting her into a sitting position, holding her close, as she coughed and coughed and threw up over my shoulder. She coughed some more, then pressed her damp face against me, breathing and sobbing and breathing. Breathing. I think I cried too, I’m not sure. I just wanted to hold her, close to me, hold her close and never let go. She was shaking now, her skinny body rattling. I looked around for something to wrap around her, a blanket, but found nothing. We sat there for a long time as she shook and sobbed and pressed her face


against my chest. I leaned down and sort-of kissed her damp head. She was a smelly, shivering mess. Goddamn you, Dawn, I kept thinking. Goddamn you. But I said nothing. She said nothing. Slowly, slowly, I became aware of our surroundings again. The rain was still falling in the distance. The small, bright room – my sister’s bedroom – was white and clean. There were posters on the walls that I had never seen before. Boy bands. Some old man, maybe a scientist, that I didn’t recognize. I numbly took in the details of the room as I felt her body shiver. She was breathing. She felt cool to the touch, but neither of us had ever been very warm-blooded. The pressure in my chest remained, like an elephant pressing down with its big toe. It would remain for a long time, maybe several weeks. But I was breathing, too. And she was still here. She was still here.


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Garde Magazine #13  

Returning with new features and creators. More surprises up and coming.

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