Worth a look: Book trailer for Gus Powell’s “The Lonely Ones”

Book trailers are a trend that’s here to stay, but I haven’t seen many for photobooks. Ying Ang had a beautiful Lynchian trailer for her book Gold Coast. And Stanley Greene’s Black Passport had an incredibly intense trailer that’s well worth a watch. The trailer for Gus Powell‘s “The Lonely Ones,” embedded above, is something altogether different.

The trailer is playful, irreverent, and wistful. It uses the audio (and some visuals) from the well-known trailer for Jean-Luc Goddard’s film Contempt, though the translations in Powell’s don’t exactly match what is being said.

The book, by the way, looks great. Images are hidden behind fold-outs that have short phrases, a nod to William Steig‘s book “The Lonely Ones,” which matched his drawings with short sentences. You can order the book at J&L Books’s website and see some of the work at Powell’s website.

And on the the subject of book trailers, check out the trailer produced for Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. The reclusive writer apparently narrated it himself, and it captures the feel of the book perfectly.

Worth a look: Roger Ballen’s new video “Outland”

In conjunction with the re-release of Roger Ballen‘s 2001 book Outland, he’s produced a short film with director Ben Jay Crossman.

You can watch it embedded above or at Ballen’s website. As with his previous films (Asylum of the Birds, Die Antwoord’s I Fink U Freeky, and Memento Mori) the visuals are frenetic and disturbing. Like Asylum of the Birds, the film closely adheres to the subjects and locations of Ballen’s still photography work.

You might also be interested to see two early films on Ballen’s site, one from 1995 and the other from 1986, which are much more about Ballen’s process than the recent films.

And for me to make these photographs, I have to look deep within myself and ask, ‘Can I live with myself?’ I can.” Roger Ballen, speaking to the Guardian

Amazon has a few different options for purchasing Outland, by the way. There’s the new edition out on April 20 and the 2001 edition available in different conditions and at different prices. Those last two links are at $247.88 and $461.69 as of this writing, but at this link, there appear to be some of the first edition available at much lower prices new and used.

The Guardian published an interview with Ballen a couple weeks ago, by the way, and it’s worth a read. His work has been met with criticism over the years with accusations of exploitation of his subjects, but speaking to the Guardian, he says he “can live with himself” after making this sort of work for so long.

We’ve written about Ballen a few times over the years, by the way: about I Fink U Freeky, speaking about his work, and an early Die Antwoord video possibly involving Ballen.


By the way, if you click through our links to buy anything here, we get a small cut of the sale. It’s a way for us to keep the lights on here at dvafoto. Thanks to those of you who have clicked through us in the past! Consider bookmarking these links to Amazon, Adorama, Think Tank Photo, PhotoShelter, and iTunes. The prices stay the same for you, but dvafoto gets a small percentage of the purchase price.

If You Liked Humans of New York

Someone was clever and cheeky at Strand Books in New York City. I saw this sign yesterday tucked inside Antoine D’Agata’s book Antibodies.

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If you’re not familiar with Antoine D’Agata’s photographs, have a look. His work is a nice antidote to the clean-cut banality of “Humans of New York”. And it would be a lovely surprise for someone genuinely interested in HONY to open up this book of harsh, intimate and graphic images. I hope that it does shock some folks browsing the photo book section at Strand.

We’ve been trying to write something about “Humans of New York” and our aversion to the work on dvafoto for months, but this photo will suffice for now.

But as a teaser, start with this brilliant critique on Warscapes of Brandon Stanton’s project. And for some discussion of the discomfort some of us in the photo community have for the work see this article in the New York Times from last summer.

Scott and I keep coming back to this phrase, from the NYT article: “Mr. Stanton professes to be apolitical. “I purposely and pointedly try to avoid infusing any meaning in the work,” he said.” This is a huge problem for this project, and we’ll discuss it later.

“Antibodies” looks like a terrific book, by the way, and I’ll grab a copy for myself soon.