FULL DECK OF AWESOME JAPANESE MONSTER PLAYING CARDS
This pack of Japanese playing cards features a selection of pachimon kaiju or “imitation monsters” lifted from various hit TV shows and movies. These monsters range from fire-breathing gorillas to flying creatures from outer space and giant electrocuting humanoids. The set was apparently manufactured as a promotional pack for kids by a Japanese brand of mayonnaise called Kewpie.
I’d have surely eaten my egg-mayo sandwiches without complaint if I’d been dealt a hand of these fun little beauties.
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Inside the Improvised World of Christopher Guest
Four of the faux-documentary master’s leading players dish out their favorite memories of working on Guest’s movies as his latest, Mascots, hits Netflix
It’s been 20 years since Waiting for Guffman—a story set in a small, Midwestern town about small-time community theater—became an instant cult classic. The film, Christopher Guest’s directorial debut, was also his first to feature a stable of actors who would become regulars in Guest projects for decades to come—including Parker Posey, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, and Fred Willard. Four years later, Guest added John Michael Higgins, Jane Lynch, Ed Begley Jr., Jennifer Coolidge, and Michael McKean to his caravan of characters via Best in Show. Though two more faux documentaries followed—they’re not “mockumentaries,” a term Guest is known to loathe—it’s now been a decade since Guest last re-united his reparatory company. But that will change with this month’s release of Mascots, a fictional inside look at the very real world of professional mascots—directed by Guest, and starring his signature corps of actors. The film began streaming on Netflix Thursday.
Watching a Christopher Guest movie is like “being a fly on the wall,” as Lynch described it to Vanity Fair. Or maybe, as fellow regular Bob Balaban says, it’s more like “spending time with a bunch of really funny and totally harmless mental patients.” We sat down with four members of this merry band of players to talk about their favorite memories over the last two decades of working with Guest.
“My weirdest moment with the Guestian players was actually a compendium of many moments that happened over and over when we went on our five-city A Mighty Wind tour,” says Balaban, who often finds himself playing figures of authority who don’t really have any actual authority. (Think dog-show head honcho Dr. Theodore Millbank in Best in Show, or Wind concert organizer Jonathan Steinbloom.) “Shortly after the movie opened, our characters put on a folk concert in some medium-sized and some really big halls. We’d pull up in our tour bus and schlep into our dressing rooms wearing our street clothes. And mostly nobody had any idea who we were. Half an hour later, we’d walk out onstage in costume and the crowd would act like we were Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, and the Beatles all rolled into one, screaming, jumping around, throwing stuff, insanely happy.
(1895 - 1967) Josep Baqué
"Josep Baqué was born in Barcelona in the late19th century. He was a municipal police officer and during his lifetime never declared himself as an artist. Since early 1930s and for the following decades he produced more than 1500 drawings of "monsters, wonders and rare events" made in ink and gouache on paper, some embellished with gold and silver. He created army of imaginary creatures, strange and unusual, mixing human and animal traits or characteristics of different types (cats, primitive men, bats and insects, giant spiders, snakes, snails, octopus, cuttlefish, seafood, fowl, fish...) Baqué died in 1967 and left his niece, his sole heir, his fantastic bestiary isolated away from light for nearly 40 years. In 2007, the famous College of Pataphysics organized an exhibition of 160 monsters and published a lengthy article in the journal of pataphysicians Viridis Candela." - quote source unknown
Inside Nadia Lee Cohen’s New Book of Chameleonic Self-Portraits
The British photographer’s latest publication Hello My Name Is … sees her transform herself into 33 different characters, inspired by name badges belonging to unknown individuals
DECEMBER 14, 2021
Photography by Nadia Lee Cohen. Courtesy of Idea
Nadia Lee Cohen is surely one of the most exciting image-makers working today. Born in London but based now in Los Angeles, she released her first book Women last year – a staggering study of contemporary womanhood created over a period of six years. Published by Idea, bound in gold cloth and featuring 100 cinematic portraits, it was a groundbreaking debut. And now she’s back.
Today Cohen releases her second book, Hello My Name Is … , which, also published by Idea, sees the photographer transform into 33 different characters. Each one is inspired by name badges belonging to unknown individuals that she’s collected over the years. It’s a masterpiece not only of photography but of the process of transformation; of styling, hair, make-up and prosthetics. She even collected objects for each persona, making them into fully realised characters. There’s Jackie, the shaggy-haired Barbara Streisand fan; Mrs Fisher, the floral-festooned British royalist; and Jeff, the plush, portly and Nixon-supporting cowboy. Martin Parr and Paul Reubens AKA Pee-wee Herman have provided texts for the book, which is published in a limited edition of 1,000, just in time for Christmas.
Here, Cohen delves into the process of creating this publication and explains why she dedicated it to “the 99¢ store manager”.
Ted Stansfield: I’d love to start by talking about Los Angeles, where you live. What is your relationship to the city? And how did your fantasy of it compare to the reality when you first arrived?
Nadia Lee Cohen: I still feel like a spectator even though I’ve been in Los Angeles for over five years. I hope I always view it like that. Before I came here I had that British naivety towards Hollywood and assumed it was a very glamorous place filled with palm trees, movie execs and Lindsey Lohans. I drove to Hollywood Boulevard on one of my first nights, in a car I had bought for $800 (which turned out to be the body of a BMW with the engine of a Nissan – very apt for what I am about to describe) and was so excited to see the Walk of Fame in the flesh. I remember asking someone if I was actually in Hollywood and they told me to fuck off. I had arrived to discover bad lookalikes, filthy streets and gawping tourists. On the sad side there was also homelessness, chronic mental illness and prostitution, all lit up and sparkling with the neon lights of Hollywood; the fairground of American decay on parade and no sign of Lindsey Lohan. The discovery of this underbelly might not sound all that appealing; and even though it wasn’t what I expected, it turned out to be the reason I love Los Angeles and why it became a sort of dysfunctional muse.