Kinfolk’s short documentary of John Moore and Hannah Henderson’s beautiful life in Venice Beach will fill you with envy

By Sam Bathe on 25 Sep 2014

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Stepping into the lives of Venice Beach couple John Moore – who helped found the Hollister brand and also runs The Pop Studio and designs menswear line M.Nii – his partner Hannah Henderson – who runs General Store, a home goods shop in Abbott Kinney – and their children, Kinfolk might just fill you with envy. Meandering through their hippy home and idyllic Venice streets, the charming interiors and backyard space give a good look of life on the West Coast. Directed by Chris and Sarah Rhoads.

Haim host a celeb-studded chat show in the video for new single ‘My Song 5′

Posted in Music, Music Videos
By Sam Bathe on 24 Sep 2014

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Cleverly shot in front of and behind the camera, Haim’s latest music video is a hilarious pastiche of classic daytime chat shows. Featuring a host of star-studded talent, A$AP Ferg (who also raps on the track), Grimes, Saturday Night Live’s Vanessa Bayer, Ke$ha, Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend and even Haim’s actual parents all have some pretty unusual problems to solve. Grading on the chat show footage rounds of a really funny music video, directed by Dugan O’Neal.

The London List Abroad: Local legend Roy Choi explores the Los Angeles culinary scene in new CNN webseries ‘Street Food with Roi Choi’The London List

By Sam Bathe on 23 Sep 2014

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Credited with kick-starting the food truck explosion across North America, owner of the famous Kogi BBQ, local legend Roy Choi’s new CNN webseries explores the Los Angeles culinary scene. Featuring influencers including Anthony Bourdain, Michelle Phan and filmmaker Jon Favreau, Street Food with Roy Choi visits their favourite joints around town and examines the culinary trends of the LA food scene. The eight-part series debuts October 13th on CNN.com.

Sponsored: Technology trends in 2014

Posted in Technology
By Sponsored on 23 Sep 2014

There are only a few months left of 2014, but throughout the year we’ve already seen some impressive advances in the tech world, as well as the increased popularity of existing items and devices. Show the rest of this post…

2015 is sure to welcome a whole host of new and exciting technologies that we just won’t be able to resist getting our hands on. But for now, let’s review what we’ve seen so far in 2014 and discover the year’s technology trends.

Rise of the phablet

‘Phablet’ is starting to become part of the standard vernacular. Smartphones have begun to evolve into something bigger, with the phablet stealing a march on the mobile industry.

The smartphone presented a way for us to keep up with things on the go, using a number of apps to help us shop, play and connect with others. Then the tablet came along, offering a number of these benefits but on a bigger screen – without the benefit of a phone, of course.

Now the phablet is taking centre stage. The device offers the best of both worlds and is becoming the model of choice for many looking for a new phone. So popular has the phablet become, top smartphone manufacturer Apple is taking the lead of other phablet trailblazers like Samsung and creating its own version.

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The tablet steps out

That isn’t to say the tablet has diminished in popularity – quite the contrary. Tablet technology continues to evolve and now more and more households can boast ownership of the powerful mini-computer.

Instead of being viewed as a luxury purchase, consumers are starting to see the potential of the tablet. Instead of carrying bulky laptops around, the tablet offers a neat, light and extremely stylish way to do work and catch up with the world on the go. Furthermore, parents are seeing the benefits tablets provide for kids, with educational apps and fun games keeping the little ones occupied for hours.

More and more manufacturers have branched out into creating these devices, with Toshiba one of the latest to expand on their selection of models. Be sure to check out Toshiba’s latest tablet, the Encore 2, available with the latest Windows 8.1 operating system. Also don’t miss the Excite Write, offering a 10.1-inch screen and running on an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system.

4K TVs

Just when you think television technology has hit its peak, something new hits the market. It seemed there was nowhere to go when 3D television came crashing into our living rooms, but now Ultra-HD (or 4K) TVs have started to appear on the market.

These incredible televisions offer unprecedented picture quality. While HD was once the ultimate for watching TVs and movies in the most impressive clarity, the 4K TV now offers up to four times the picture quality of standard HD models. That’s pretty unbelievable when you think about it.

Now, other technology is following suit, with 4K Blu-ray players hitting the market to offer the closest thing to cinematic entertainment in the comfort of your own home. Once you see the incredible power of Ultra-HD TV, it’s unlikely you’ll ever want to watch TV and films any other way.

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Social media continues to flourish

Social media has continued its status as one of the leading web services. Two key events in 2014 has emphasised the power that websites like Twitter and Facebook hold in the online world.

The first was the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The global football tournament exploded online, becoming the biggest sporting event on social media ever recorded. According to Twitter, some 35.6 million tweets were sent during Germany’s 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the tournament semi-final, breaking the previous record of 16.4 million tweets sent during the earlier Brazil vs. Chile match.

Another social media phenomenon is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The task of pouring a bucket of cold water on your head, donating to charity and passing a nomination on has enjoyed unprecedented popularity on Facebook. It has stretched to all corners of the world and has even seen some top celebrities taking the challenge.

According to the BBC, charity ALS received $98.2 million in donations from July 29th to August 28th this year, with $2.7 million achieved during the same period last year. The event has helped to prove the power that social media holds.

Image credits:
Curved TV: Kārlis Dambrāns
Tablet: slgckgc
ALS Challenge: Anthony Quintano

Brian Edward Miller blends futuristic and retros styles with his adventurous illustrations

Posted in Art, Illustration
By Sam Bathe on 22 Sep 2014

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Working under the name, Orlin Culture Shop, Colorado-based illustrator Brian Edward Miller creates a vintage aesthetic with his beautiful landscape illustrations. Fulfilling a family legacy of artists and craftsmen, Brian hopes to tell a story in each of his works. Show the rest of this post…

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Check out more of Brian’s work at: www.orlincultureshop.com

A woman learns to love herself amid her changing body in the sweet and powerful animated short ‘Sidewalk’

Posted in Film, Short Films
By Sam Bathe on 19 Sep 2014

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Growing up as she walks down the sidewalk, director and animator Celia Bullwinkel‘s Sidewalk is a sweet and sentimental short that has a powerful and life-affirming message. Confronting her changing body, the woman learns to love herself in the face of leery men and damaging storefront advertising.

Watch the ‘making of’ video and find out more about the film’s production on the Sidewalk site: sidewalk.virb.com

Film Review: 20,000 Days on EarthFan The Fire Recommends

Posted in Film, Recommended, Reviews
By Martin Roberts on 19 Sep 2014

Here is an interesting piece: 20,000 Days on Earth presents itself as a day in the life of the musician Nick Cave, only it’s a fictionalised version of such, part-scripted and part biographical account. It’s also part autobiography, since Cave himself shares the writing credit. Show the rest of this post…

What, then, can we understand to be ‘real’, and what is ‘created’? Given the considerations of the film itself, it doesn’t really matter.

Cave talks in the film about how everyone wants to be somebody else (“on some level”) and how his own artistic person is in one sense an attempt to create a new persona. We can view the film in the same light, because it works as an individual piece of art – something very knowingly crafted – and also, partially, as a study of Cave and his work.

In the opening scenes I felt the semi-documentary style to be a little too mannered – a little disingenuous. It’s shot (very well) in a precise, arty sort of way, and immediately breaks what we might think of as documentary conventions. As a result it catches you off guard slightly, but it doesn’t take long to settle into its idiosyncratic approach to its central figure.

What the film is about is Cave, yes, but more so his artistic process – what it means to him, and how he expresses it. There is a drawn out interview between Cave and a counsellor-type figure, the content of which we take to be sincere, though it may not entirely be so. There are a few celebrity cameos (for want of a better phrase) in which Cave chats to old colleagues while driving around his fictionalised 20,000th day. If the viewer decides not to accept the filmmaking style for what it is, I can see how some of this might rankle slightly, but the film has its style and it sticks to it. It’s also very determinedly about Cave and his thoughts on himself and his work – if you’re looking for a ‘warts and all’ documentary, this isn’t it. I don’t think it’s hagiographical, and it didn’t come across as a vanity project to me, because the film is never deceptive about what it is. Cave is part of this portrayal of himself, and that’s fine. He’s been reinventing his memories, he tells us, since he was young; this is just a new medium.

We get to see some footage of Cave and his band recording their most recent album, Push the Sky Away, and bits and pieces of archive footage and photography, some of which is Cave’s own. There’s a lovely sequence near the end in which footage of today’s Cave is intercut with archive performance footage – a bit obvious, one might say, but touching and oddly encouraging to see.

Is the primary audience for this film comprised of Nick Cave fans? I would like to think not, given the insights it provides into one man’s thought process. There’s certainly food for thought in here regardless of whether or not you’re receptive to Cave’s music. Co-directors Iain Forsyth and Jan e Pollard have put together an enigmatic piece. It perhaps won’t be to everyone’s tastes because it doesn’t play like a ‘normal’ documentary, but it’s a compelling watch.

4/5

Having a bodybuilding sister proves emasculating for a young boy in Edward Housden’s short ‘Muscles’

Posted in Film, Short Films
By Sam Bathe on 18 Sep 2014

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After his sister takes up bodybuilding, younger brother Richard feels the pressure of his sister being a better boy than he is. Feeling emasculated, Richard starts getting into mischief as Millie goes from strength to strength in the gym. Written and directed by Edward Housden, Muscles is an engaging short film which makes the bold decision to focus on the brother in the background, it’s no wonder it was selected for the Cannes 2010, London 2010 and SXSW 2011 film festivals.

Spanish architecture firm CaSA create the perfect holiday apartment in Barcelona

Posted in Architecture, Travel
By Sam Bathe on 17 Sep 2014

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Briefed to transform a neglected and poorly distributed apartment into an attractive holiday home, with the Rocha Apartment in Barcelona, CaSA have created the perfect light and airy city retreat. Located in the centre of the city between between Plaza Catalunya y Plaza Universitat, the apartment is on the sixth floor of a beautiful art nouveau building. Show the rest of this post…

Pastel tones and warm wood paneling accent the white walls of the living space, while folding windows and French doors connect the inviting outdoor balcony. The other side of a striking turquoise corridor lie three bedrooms and their brightly tiled bathrooms. The balance of tone and colour and the new distribution of space is a real success.

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View more of CaSA’s projects on their site: www.cargocollective.com/CaSA

Maison Carnot’s charming short explores the sights and sounds of Paris through a viewfinder

By Sam Bathe on 16 Sep 2014

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A novel way to explore the city, in Maison Carnot‘s clever film, Paris Through Pentax, we’re invited to enjoy the sights and sounds of the French capital through the viewfinder of an iconic Pentax 67. With the camera looking down on the Pentax 67′s big viewfinder, we see the city so beautifully shot through the vintage lens, capturing the romance of experiencing a city for the first time.

FAN THE FIRE is a digital magazine about lifestyle and creative culture. Launching back in 2005 as a digital publication about Sony’s PSP handheld games console, we’ve grown and evolved now covering the arts and lifestyle, architecture, design and travel.

We’ve been featured on the front page of Reddit and produced off-shoot club night Friday Night Fist Fight, launched a Creative Agency and events column The London List.

FAN THE FIRE is edited by founder, Creative Director and Editor-in-Chief, Sam Bathe. Site by FAN THE FIRE Creative.

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