The Power of Texture at Paris Haute Couture Week

Share Button
Courtesy of Valentino

 

Paris Haute Couture Week has come and gone, leaving a trail of puffy sleeves and dramatic leg slits in its wake. This season saw the world’s greatest fashion designers exploring texture – via textile choice, fabric distorting and ruching, and intended effect – creating altogether otherworldly ensembles that beg their viewers to touch them.

We explore this season’s textural transformations through the eyes of three top trendsetters: Valentino, Xuan, and Schiaparelli. The first, and perhaps most high-profile of the three, gave a positive jungle gym of different surfaces to their runway: there are giant feathery gowns, poofy satins, floral headpieces, and, of course, beehive hair for the gods (as seen here on Kaia Gerber).

 

 

Don’t you just want to dig your fingers in?

 

Xuan, a smaller-scale designer with a more concise collection, still gave us much to fawn over texture-wise. Here, we see lumpy florals on shirts, cascading tulle, and bunchy pants: a more corporate approach to Haute Couture.

 

With Schiaparelli, we see the boldest approach to texture of the season. Here, textile choice and implementation is used to transform models into literal animals. Scream!

Runway Rundown: All The Best From Spring ’19 Ready-to-Wear, Resort and Fall ’18 Couture

Share Button

Valentino Fall ’18 Couture

 

A lot has happened on the runway over the last few weeks. There was Paris Couture Week; before that, some designers showed their Spring ’19 collections; and in between all of those, there was Resort (which we don’t usually care for, but this season had one great moment). So, we don’t blame you if you’ve missed some things. And because we love you, we’re going to be your fashion fairy godmothers, and round up everything you need to see if you haven’t already (and if you have, all of the amazing things you should look at again). Below, our favorite runway moments — or, as we like to call them, the only ones worth mentioning.

 

Spring ’19 Ready-to-Wear:

Spring can be really boring. I mean, florals, for Spring? Groundbreaking. No, but seriously, it can really hard to re-invent the wheel when that wheel is a limited range of flowing skirts, mini dresses and caftans. That’s why our favorite brands threw out seasonal rules altogether and did things like patent leather and hoodies.

 

Alyx

 

For Matthew Williamson’s first ever runway show for his four-year-old brand Alyx (or, as its named now, 1017 Alyx 9SM for Williamson’s birthday and the location of his first studio at 9 Saint Marks), the designer went all out. Instead of debuting a ton of cliche Spring pieces, like bathing suits and floral dresses, the collection looked almost as if it could’ve been for Fall. With a post-apocalyptic vibe perfect for our current political climate, Willliamson’s pieces looked like a uniform for, albeit incredibly fashionable, anti-fascist soldiers. Sign me up.

 

Vetements

 

VETEMENTS SPRING-SUMMER 2019

A post shared by VETEMENTS (@vetements_official) on

VETEMENTS SPRING-SUMMER 2019 – WATCH THE OFFICIAL VIDEO – LINK IN THE PROFILE

A post shared by VETEMENTS (@vetements_official) on

VETEMENTS SPRING-SUMMER 2019

A post shared by VETEMENTS (@vetements_official) on

For fashion world darling Demna Gvasalia’s turn on the runway, the designer paid homage to his home country, Georgia. Gvasalia casted the show with all Georgian teenagers, and took the opportunity to teach fashion insiders about the current political turmoil happening in the region. In fact, each piece from the collection comes with a giant bar code, that once scanned with your iPhone, will open an app that features facts about the country. And as much as I want to hate Vetements, I wish I could afford to pay $1,000 for a sweatshirt.

 

Kenzo

 

Prints, prints, prints. #KENZOSS19

A post shared by KENZO (@kenzo) on

Kenzo S/S ’19 was all about prints. Gingham, checks, polka-dots, snakeskin — you name it, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon designed it, and styled it together. The whole maximalist, should-be-clashing-but-instead-looks amazing thing has always been Kenzo’s vibe, but each season Lim and Leon seem to do it better and better. After last year’s Spring collection, I really thought the brand had reached their peak, but this season even makes me want to wear color.

 


 

Resort:

Honestly, I shouldn’t have even included Resort on this list, since it’s really not a list – it’s just Miu Miu.

 

Miu Miu

 

If Miu Miu’s Resort ’19 collection was bad, it truly wouldn’t have even mattered. With a casting like the one they had at The Regina Hotel in Paris last week, including Rowan Blanchard, Kaia Gerber, Uma Thurman, Chloe Sevigny and Naomi Campbell, no one would have even noticed the clothes. But we did, because the collection was perfect. Kind of preppy, but with a race car driver-meets-Valley of the Dolls-meets-Maui sort of look, the Miu Miu collection was what Miuccia Prada still does best, even after all these years: it was fun, it was free, and somehow, between all the clashing prints and furry heels, it was still subtle.

 


 

Fall ’18 Couture:

Couture is all about fantasy; it’s about staring at beautiful clothes you desperately want but have absolutely nowhere to wear them to. When it came to this year’s Couture Week, our favorite designers didn’t let us down, delivering some of the dreamiest collections we’ve ever seen grace the runway. I mean, Kaia Gerber at Valentino. Enough said. But don’t worry, we’ll say more anyway.

 

Chanel

 

For his Fall ’18 Chanel couture show, Karl Lagerfeld paid homage to Paris. Honestly, everything the guy does is good, and the fact that he’s still able to send tweed two-pieces down the runway, and make them look good — well, that alone, proves he’s a genius. In addition to his love of Paris, the designer built this collection around what he calls the “high profile” — long skirts that unzip to show thigh-bearing minis underneath. “You can wear it zipped down when you visit your banker, no?” he told Vogue. “And zipped up when you see your lover after!”

 

Valentino

 

At this point, there’s no way you haven’t seen at least one photo from the Valentino couture show. Images of Kaia Gerber in her amazing beehive have literally been flooding the internet. But for once, the talk is true and all the hype is worth it. The Valentino collection was the MVP of Couture Week — and maybe all of 2018. Obviously, Pat McGrath and Guido Palau killed it with the beauty; but the collection itself was completely breathtaking. I mean, the models looked like actual angels floating down the runway in their billowy gowns and floral headdresses.

 

Fendi

 

 

Fendi always knows what they’re doing. For their couture collection, the brand took a step back from the logomania that’s taken over their last few seasons, and created a ’60s-inspired ode to fur. While a lot of the industry has vowed to go fur free, Lagerfeld has doubled down with Fendi. Though the collection included bits of actual fur, it was more about the ways in which he treated other fabrics that created a sort of gaudy (but in a good way), glam feel that I totally could’ve imaged Liz Taylor or Anne Welles in.

 

Margiela

 

Discover highlights from our Autumn-Winter 2018 ‘Artisanal’ Collection designed by @jgalliano: The nomadic idea of taking life on the road is conveyed in abundant layering where garments interweave and mutate. #maisonmargiela #artisanal #artisanalartistry – Music: “Unchained Melody” Written By: Alex North & Hy Zaret Courtesy Unchained Melody Publishing LLC – Black Saturn, Nicholas Hill, Luciano Ugo Rossi, Glenn Herweijer; Ben Sumner. KPM Music When The Clock Stops, Nikky French. KPM Music Breakacuda,Benjamin Medcalf. Anger Music Circus Caravan MYMA. Justement Music Flight Remembered, Nicholas Hill, Glen Herweijer, Ben Sumner. KPM Music The Arrival, David James Caton, Harry Valentine. Anger Music Etude in e major, Frederic Chopin, Tolga Kashif, KPM Music Warhammer, Darren Mudge. Anger Music Arrangement : Jeremy Healy

A post shared by Maison Margiela (@maisonmargiela) on


Galliano went all Fifth Element for his latest Margiela Artisanal collection (he’s too cool for couture, natch). Using VR headsets and iPhones as accessories, the designer sent a retro-futuristic, technology-obsessed collection down the runway. And hey, since people are already attached to their phones, physically adhering them to our outfits seems like a natural next step. That, or we’re going to war with aliens and Galliano is designing the outfits.

 

Viktor and Rolf

 

To celebrate their 25 years together, Viktor & Rolf decided to take 25 of the brand’s most iconic looks, and update them for their Fall ’18 couture collection. That update meant turning everything white and covering them in Swarovski crystals. Though I’ve always been a fan of Viktor & Rolf, there’s literally nothing more perfect than the bed dresses they originally created for their Fall ’05 collection — or, at least, I thought, until I saw this season’s iteration, complete with white bedazzled pillows and a down evening dress. Sigh. This is what dreams are made of.

 

Photos & Video: Instagram

Eagles of Death Metal Gives First Interview Since Paris Attacks

Share Button

Photo via VICE

Eagles of Death Metal gave their first official interview today since ISIS attackers opened fire on their Paris concert two weeks ago, shooting 89 attendees—one a crew member—in the Bataclan theatre. In a newly released half-hour interview with VICEthe California rock band sat down with Shane Smith to detail all the horror that ensued Nov. 13.

“At first I thought it was the PA cracking up,” guitarist Eden Galindo said. “I realized real quick that it wasn’t, then I recognized what it was. At that time, [vocalist] Jesse [Hughes] ran towards me and we went in the corner of the stage. We weren’t sure if they were targeting us or what was going on.”

Though most of band was able to quickly escape through a side door, bassist Matt McJunkins fled to a room at the side of the stage, despite knowing there would be no exit available to him once inside. Alongside a group of fans, some wounded by gunshots, McJunkins barricaded the door using chairs and armed himself with a bottle of champagne left in the room’s mini-fridge.

“The gunfire got closer. It went on for maybe 10, 15 minutes. It just didn’t stop,” McJunkins said. “And then it would stop and there was a sense of relief and then it would start up again.”

Shawn London, the band’s sound engineer, described the concert’s energy before the terrorist attacks: “These kids were having a blast, they were having a great time, the smiles, the dancing, the singing along with each song.” London, who was standing at the back of the venue, then watched the bloody scene unfold, as one gunman aimed directly at him, shot and missed.

“He stayed there and continued to shoot and shoot and slaughter and just scream at the top of his lungs ‘Allahu akbar,’” London said. “And that’s when I instantly knew what was going on.”

Watch the full VICE interview, below:

New Chanel Spa at the Ritz + 3 Luxury Hotel Spas to Visit Now

Share Button

Chanel spring 2015 beauty collection, courtesy of Chanel

When the new Chanel spa opens its doors at the end of the year at the Ritz in Paris, it’ll join three other of the world’s best in-hotel luxury spas.

It’s been three years since renovation began on the Ritz Paris in 2012, and three years that we’ve lived without entering the hallowed, decorated halls and rooms. Now when its doors reopen at the end of 2015, there’ll be a few extraordinary things in addition: a Coco Chanel-inspired suite (the designer herself had lived there for 34 years, and the décor will reflect her taste,) and Chanel au Ritz Paris, a Chanel spa committed to the house’s line up of skincare and beauty.

This venture is Chanel’s first foray into spa territory, and who can think of anywhere better to start than the Ritz? By taking a coveted, luxurious skincare product and spinning it into what we can only imagine to be a divine experience, Chanel is only going to make us want its creams, serums, scrubs and treatments even more than we already do. It’s elevating the elevated, and with products available at any Chanel counter or store, replicating the spa experience at home won’t be too difficult. It’ll just take a quick trip to Chanel au Ritz Paris for a “tutorial”. Traveling to Paris for spa day reconnaissance in the name of self-preservation? Count us in. No word on whether Creative Makeup and Color designer Lucia Pica will be designing any Ritz-exclusive beauty looks for after-facial application, but with or without it, let’s hope Chanel brings its spas stateside (we have a Ritz right here in New York, you know.)

While we wait for the Chanel spa to open at the Ritz later this year, here are three other sumptuous hotel spas that partnered with luxury brands and houses, making for the most indulgent spa experiences around.

__

Dior Institut au Plaza Athénée
25 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris
Book a reservation here
Get a dazzling complexion from your face down to your feet courtesy of Dior beauty’s extensive product list, in use at the opulent Dior Institut at the Plaza Athénée in Paris.

__

La Prairie at the Ritz-Carlton Spa
50 Central Park South, New York
Book a reservation here
Proven and renowned skincare brand La Prairie might as well be on tap here. From energetic body treatments to facials, this is one of the most luxurious ways to revive your skin in Manhattan.

__

Caudalie Vinothérapie at the Plaza
Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, New York
Book a reservation here
From body wraps to facials to manicures and pedicures, get the best of natural skincare brand Caudalie at the Plaza.

 

Insta-Critic: Jacquemus Gets Two-Faced

Share Button

In case you didn’t already know that young Parisian sensation Simon Porte Jacquemus likes to make a statement, today’s show made it clear. Jacquemus ventured into #NSFW territory with off-kilter, not-really-there shirts formed out of scraps fabric or pairs of hands (a Margiela throwback, for sure). Despite what might otherwise read as being sexed-up, the effect remained playful, and a little bit surrealist, thanks in part to the child-like appeal of face paint, over-sized trousers, and one very memorable pair of overalls, and a lack of shoes altogether.

A photo posted by Susie Lau (@susiebubble) on

Make-up gets cheeky

 

#PFW #Jacquemus — Remastered #overalls w/ the perfect @Jacquemus touch A photo posted by openingceremony (@openingceremony) on

 

The overalls of the season

Getting handsy @jacquemus #PFW

A photo posted by V Magazine (@vmagazine) on

Shadowy hands

 

 

Geometric cuts at Jacquemus

7 Couture Moments from Instagram for Your Daily Dose of Fabulous

Share Button

Catherine Baba on the street at Paris Couture. Photo: Julien Boudet/BFAnyc.com

_______

Kris Jenner decides real pants are a no-go. But so much do we love the strategically placed clutch. Also: Ruthie Friedlander’s apt description of Jenner as a “lovely cockatoo” on the below Instagram she posted.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 1.03.07 PM

@ruthiefrieds on Instagram

_______

The bride wore a space blanket — backstage at Chanel, anyway.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 1.09.22 PM

@michelgaubert on Instagram

_______

More metallic for the bride, this time deliberately and on the runway. Schiaparelli couture is shaking up bridal with gold lamé and — we like this — an afro.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 1.16.29 PM

@malinajoseph on Instagram

_______

Only in our fantasies and on Karl Lagerfeld‘s Chanel couture runway is Baptiste Giabaconi the gardener.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 1.19.32 PM

@jshi809 on Instagram

_______

This triple super model moment — Karlie Kloss, Amber Valletta, and Eva Herzigova backstage at Versace haute couture with Pat McGrath. Stunners.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 1.35.56 PM

@karliekloss on Instagram

_______

Christian Dior‘s image director for makeup Peter Philips grabs this ‘gram of a ‘gram featuring Kinga Rajzak backstage before the show.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 1.45.16 PM

@peterphilipsmakeup on Instagram

_______

More than mildly obsessed with the hair at Dior by Guido Palau.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 1.52.30 PM

@guidopalau on Instagram

_______

Disappearing Into Longing With Wim Wenders’ ‘Paris, Texas’

Share Button

Before Paris, Texas plays tonight at The Film Society of Lincoln Center, take a look back on the wonder of Wenders’ film with an article originally published in 2013.

There are some films that speak to your heart in ways that words fail to describe. You cannot always articulate just what speaks to you so deeply but when it hits, you know it’s there, and the film seeps into your soul and lingers. It satisfies those tender parts of yourself that you keep under lock and key for fear of vulnerability. But perhaps this inability to describe our undeniable love for these films says something about the greater sense that there are so many things we love and yearn for that don’t even have a face or a name in which to call them—a desperate hunger for something you’ve never tasted, the endless desire for a place you’ve never been, mourning the absence of something never to be regained. The Portuguese have name for it: “saudade,” or the deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something.

v4

Andre Breton once said, “All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name.” And when I think of the films of beloved German auteur, Wim Wenders, that quote seems to resonate through all of his work. But for all his work—from the black and white existential road movie Alice in the Cities to last year’s 3D ode to his dear friend Pina Bausch, Pina—it’s his 1984 Palme d’Or winning exploration of the love-worn American psyche Paris, Texas that has remained my favorite. In the way that David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive opened up a part of my brain to an absurd world of psychological obsession and perversion that’s become a part of me, Paris, Texas immediately penetrated my heart and managed to capture something that I had always felt but never known.

v14

 

It also happened that around the time I initially saw the film: I was also traveling out west alone for the first time. Flying over the midwest, amidst my own battle with unrequited love, I sat and stared out the window with the Ry Cooder-scored soundtrack twanging away in my ears and couldn’t help understand what made this German man, who grew up amongst the wreckage of World War II, so fascinated with the myth of the American West. Speaking to his fascination with that part of the country, Wenders said, in an interview we did last year, “It was as sort of a utopian place compared to where I lived. All I ever wanted was getting there…there was rhythm and fun—the notion of fun was completely strange to me. Everything I really liked was from this mythical place called America.”

v23

It only makes sense that the story of Paris, Texas came from the greatest Pultizer Prize-winning tortured American playwright, Sam Shepard. And what makes the film so emotionally and cinematically rich is the juxtaposition between he and Wenders—the German with a fantastical pastiche obsession with Americana and the rough-tongued “rock and roll Jesus with a cowboy mouth” himself, whose words are engrained in the sprawling western landscape. The two have collaborated many times since, but this holds as by far their best work—creating something that speaks to the human condition so effortlessly in a way that few films have been able to. No one does melancholic American isolation like a misanthropic German.    Paris, Texas is a heartbreaking character study of longing and lacerations of the heart.

v69

 

The film follows Travis (Harry Dean Stanton in the most profound performance of his career), a silent and weathered drifter who reemerges after a four year absence to reunite with his son Hunter (Hunter Carson), who has been in the care of his brother Walt (played by Dean Stockwell) in Los Angeles. Upon reconnecting with Hunter, Travis sets out to find his estranged wife, Jane (played with soft perfection by Nastassja Kinski). When it comes to Shepard’s writing, his world has always a bit hyper-realistic and things just happen—like Travis leaving for years without a trace and with no one chasing after him. But because of his command of narrative and language, the story unfolds in a way that feels extremely real and the emotion so raw and genuine that it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to question it because you can feel it, and that’s so much more powerful.The plot is simple, stripped to bare elements of narrative, but in its sparseness lies a tale about the myth of the American family and opens questions about love’s ability to fix the void within us all.

v90

The most stirring moments of the film come when Travis and Jane finally reunite at the peepshow parlour that Janes has been working, where customers sit on the opposite side of a one-way mirror, observing the woman on the other side, instructing them via a telephone-intercom. Separated by glass, Travis can see Jane, while she remains unaware of who is watching her. Picking up the phone to speak with her, he begins to tell their story. “I knew these people,” he begins, and continues to deliver one of the most beautifully written monologues ever delivered on film. In this 8:41s monologue you gain more emotional insight into the characters and their relationship than you could possibly have gained from actually seeing these moments played out.

v98

Perhaps a lesser director would have taken these words and morphed them into montage or flashbacks, but Wenders’s brilliance lies in the way he’s directed the delivery of these speeches, intercut with shots of Jane’s face as she begins to realize who is speaking to her and the implications of that. When Travis returns the next day, it’s Jane’s turn to speak as she sits with her back to the wall and explains how she “used to make long speeches to you after [he] left.” “I used to talk to you all the time, even though I was alone,” she says. “I walked around for months talking to you.” This physical separation between the two speaks to the notion of feeling alone even in the presence of someone else, even in the presence of someone you love. Jane and Travis both feel an incredible sense of isolation yet long for connection and in finding one another that longing turned into a painful attachment. This reunion begins to rip them apart from the inside out. When Jane finally turns to Travis as they touch from opposing ends of the glass, his is relfected in hers—reminscent of the Ted Hughes line from “Lovesong”:

In their dreams their brains took each other hostage In the morning they wore each other’s face.

d

These scenes have no tricks, no cheap ploys for emotion. The shots are simple and the weight lies in the heaviness of their words and devastation that resides on their faces. The subtly of the acting creates such a natural essence to the scenes that make them even that much more painful to watch. Harry Dean Stanton once said, “The painful part, with Sam’s writing, was to understand how to do it. Because you don’t have to act his writing. Finally, Wim said, ‘Don’t act these lines. You just say them, like poetry, say it with a meter,’ and that’s what Natassja and I tried to do at the end, just say the lines. That’s the problem, I think, with people who do Sam’s plays. They try to act it, and his writing you don’t act. You don’t even have to motivate it if you can just be simple, because all that needs to be said is in the writing.”

v1081-1
What makes Paris, Texas and all of Wim’s work so special is that it is filled with so much yearning and so much restlessness; people aching so badly to find what it is they’re looking for. They’re all so hungry for love and connection and something to make them feel alive. Some of them find it in others and then some of them realize even if they did—would it even make them feel better? Or are they destined to eternally feel that hole inside?

Travis leaves Jane and Hunter in the end because he knows putting together the pieces of the past won’t put him back together. He’s ripped apart we’ll never know why. None of us do. Wenders’s also expressed that, “hotels room have a real magic because you feel yourself, who you are in a different way and in an anonymous hotel room than you would ever be able to at home.” His films all live in transient places like motels where everyone’s face changes from moment to moment—and in a way that’s more comforting than feeling sorrow in the comfort of stability. In the end, Travis isn’t escaping (as he and Jane once dreamed of doing), he’s relieving—finally freeing himself.

Frank Gehry-Designed Foundation Louis Vuitton Sets Opening Date

Share Button

On October 27, 2014, the Foundation Louis Vuitton will open its doors in Paris to the public, offering on view the works of contemporary artists, the architectural designs of Frank Gehry, and the verdant surroundings of the Jardin d’Acclimatation.

1-Fondation Louis Vuitton @ Iwan Baan, 2014

LVMH’s Bernard Arnault commissioned the Gehry-designed structure and foundation, and its first exhibition will feature a project designed specifically for the foundation by its architect. The exhibition will run concurrently with Gehry’s first European retrospective, held at the Centre Pompidou.

Images courtesy of the Foundation Louis Vuitton

Two-Lane Kings: The 15 Best Movies on the Road

Share Button

“A lot of my films start off with road maps instead of scripts. Sometimes it feels like flying blind without instruments,” says iconic German director Wim Wenders. “You fly all night, and in the morning you arrive somewhere. That is: you have to try to make a landing somewhere so the film can end.” And as one of the most beloved and acclaimed masters of cinema, the majority of his early films fell into the grand and expansive category of the Road Movie. Whether it’s a drama about the fruitless search for the intangible American dream, the journey to sacrifice yourself and reunite the ones you love, or the act of running away from that which you’ve committed on the other side, throughout cinematic history, the road movie has served a vast array of narrative genres—spanning from violent pop-art thrillers to tranquil languid dramas.

As a place where the chaos of the world is forced to tame itself and adhere to the graceful restrictions of a parallel world, the road allows one’s mind to detach from the constant anxieties outside the blacktop. Wenders would describe it as a place of discovery, with travel as a “circular form” where there’s always “something of a waltz at the end of the road.” And throughout cinema, some of the most cherished works of art and some of the most influential films of the last hundred years have taken the form of the classic road picture. So as we wind into summer, the greatest time for long and winding endless trips across new borders and exploring into the abyss of the soul, let’s take a look back on some of the greatest  road movies to ever make their way onto the screen. From Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider to Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detour, here’s looking into the vast stretch beyond.

EASY RIDER, Dennis Hopper

After Easy Rider’s cross-country journey—with its radical, New Wave–style editing, outsider-rock soundtrack, revelatory performance by a young Jack Nicholson, and explosive ending—the American road trip would never be the same.

TWO-LANE BLACKTOP, Monte Hellman

But no summary can do justice to the existential punch of Two-Lane Blacktop. With its gorgeous widescreen compositions and sophisticated look at American male obsession, this stripped-down narrative from maverick director Monte Hellman is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema, and possibly the greatest road movie ever made.

MY OWN PRIVTE IDAHO, Gus van Sant

Visually dazzling and groundbreaking, My Own Private Idaho is a deeply moving look at unrequited love and life at society’s margins.

STRANGER THAN PARADISE, Jim Jarmusch

With its delicate humor and dramatic nonchalance, Jim Jarmusch’s one-of-a-kind minimalist masterpiece, Stranger Than Paradise, forever transformed the landscape of American independent cinema.

DETOUR, Edgar J. Ulmer

Detour is an example of material finding the appropriate form. Two bottom-feeders from the swamps of pulp swim through the murk of low-budget noir and are caught gasping in Ulmer’s net. They deserve one another. At the end, Al is still complaining: “Fate, for some mysterious force, can put the finger on you or me, for no good reason at all.” Oh, it has a reason.

ALICE IN THE CITIES, Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders’s 1974 black-and-white road movie that marked the first installment of his Road Movie Trilogy and mirrors similar themes as his 1984 masterpiece Paris, Texas. The film tells the story of a German journalist traveling in the United States who becomes responsible for a nine-year-old girl as they travel through back through Europe to her grandmother. Filled with existential yearning and melancholic beauty this is a truly beautiful watch.    

PIERROT LE FOU, Jean Luc-Godard

This is no normal road trip: genius auteur Jean-Luc Godard’s tenth feature in six years is a stylish mash-up of consumerist satire, politics, and comic-book aesthetics, as well as a violent, zigzag tale of, as Godard called them, “the last romantic couple.” With blissful color imagery by cinematographer Raoul Coutard and Belmondo and Karina at their most animated, Pierrot le fou is one of the high points of the French New Wave, and was Godard’s last frolic before he moved ever further into radical cinema.

FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, Terry Gilliam

Director Terry Gilliam and an all-star cast headlined by Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro show no mercy in bringing Hunter S. Thompson’s excoriating dissection of the American way of life to the screen, creating a film both hilarious and savage.    

PARIS, TEXAS, Wim Wenders

What makes Paris, Texas and all of Wim’s work so special is that it is filled with so much yearning and so much restlessness; people aching so badly to find what it is they’re looking for. They’re all so hungry for love and connection and something to make them feel alive. Some of them find it in others and then some of them realize even if they did—would it even make them feel better? Or are they destined to eternally feel that hole inside? 

BADLANDS, Terrence Malick

The film introduced many of the elements that would earn Malick his passionate following: the enigmatic approach to narrative and character, the unusual use of voice-over, the juxtaposition of human violence with natural beauty, the poetic investigation of American dreams and nightmares. This debut has spawned countless imitations, but none have equaled its strange sublimity.

NATURAL BORN KILLERS, Oliver Stone

Stone is not making a geek show, with closeups of blood and guts. Like all good satirists, he knows that too much realism will weaken his effect. He lets you know he’s making a comedy…Stylistically, the film is a cinematic bazaar, combining color and black and white, film and video, 35mm and Super 8, sitcom style and animated cartoons, fiction and newsreels. They’re throwing stuff at the screen by the gleeful handfuls.    

DOWN BY LAW, Jim Jarmusch

Described by Jarmusch as a “neo-Beat noir comedy,” Down by Law is part nightmare and part fairy tale, featuring sterling performances and crisp black-and-white cinematography by the esteemed Robby Müller.

TASTE OF CHERRY, Abbas Kiarostami

Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry is an emotionally complex meditation on life and death. Middle-aged Mr. Badii (Homayoun Ershadi) drives through the hilly outskirts of Tehran—searching for someone to rescue or bury him. 

BOTTLE ROCKET, Wes Anderson

Bottle Rocket is a charming, hilarious, affectionate look at the folly of dreamers, shot against radiant southwestern backdrops, and the film that put Anderson and the Wilson brothers on the map.

WILD AT HEART, David Lynch

This is my road picture, except there isn’t a role for Bob Hope.