Archive for the ‘Film Review’ Category

Free Screening: Brooklyn Castle at Brooklyn Industries 1 Boerum Place

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Working in such a vibrant community, we often get sent music, movies, artwork, among other things in hopes that we can help share it with the world. When this disk landed on our desks, we weren’t sure what to make of it, so we popped it in the player. After a couple of hours and a few teardrops later, we had immediately made up our minds.

We had to do something to help.

Brooklyn Castle documents the after school chess club at I.S. 318 in Williamsburg through the personal stories of a handful of players and their committed instructors. I.S. 318 is a humble middle school in every sense of the word – including financial, yet their inner city chess program has developed into a national powerhouse, routinely capturing national titles – 26 to be exact. But more crucial than the awards, the documentary highlights the empowering effects the game has on the students’ lives, from academics, to their home lives, to the emotional maturation of the adolescents – in a sometimes ridiculously heartwarming fashion. With severe cuts to school budgets in the city, the chess club, among other after school programs, is facing extinction. We called up the Director, Katie Dellamaggiore shortly after, and decided to collaborate on a T-shirt design, with portions of proceeds from the shirt going to help fund the program. The design plays off the name of the county the school resides in – Kings County, and is fashioned after a varsity athletic feel because at I.S. 318, the chess players are the star athletes.

The film initially debuted at SXSW last March, and is scheduled to screen at Sundance in October, but a week before on Saturday, October 13th, Brooklyn Industries will put on a free Brooklyn screening at our 1 Boerum Place location. Come see this amazing film for the first time, help support the movie and chess club, and try your hand at defeating some of these young chess athletes for special prizes (warning – you probably won’t win). RSVP at

Shop the BK Castle Eco Tee. Portions of the proceeds to the I.S.318 chess program.

Lemmy, The Movie

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Our Senior Designer, Dale, reminisces about her life changing moment with Lemmy from Mötorhead, and the documentary about the rock icon.

I can’t help myself, I am a Mötorhead fan. I saw them in concert when I was 16 and I’ll never forget it!  I was one of approximately ten girls in an audience of bikers, metal dudes and skinheads. Lemmy yelled out “Denver show us your tits!” Yikes – I nearly fainted. I was 16, weighed 100 pounds and I wasn’t showing anyone anything!  After recovering, the rest of the show was nothin’ but rockin’. Upon reflection that comment came about due to the obvious lack of  ladies in the audience, which he loves so much, and after watching this documentary I realized that he is truly a lover of women.

I’ve revered Lemmy ever since then, so I had to see the new documentary about him. The best thing about the movie is… well Lemmy really. Everyone interviewed just gushes over the guy. He’s an obvious charmer that has lived the rock n’ roll dream for real but on the gritty side.

It’s entertaining to see him hang out with Dave Grohl and the guys from Metallica. He just makes all those dudes look like posers. They all try so hard to be what simply oozes out of Lemmy.  It’s hilarious. Obviously everyone has stolen from the guy but it’s great to see them admit it. Of course you get to learn a little about Lemmy’s complicated emotional side. You also get to hear about swapping girlfriends with his son, see his collection of WWI & WWII swords, and listen to stories about his days as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix. On top of that, it’s amazing to watch a man live on Jack Daniels and speed and see him get in an armored tank and fire it!

I recommend this documentary to anyone that loves to ROCK . Lemmy takes you down the essential history of music and helps you understand what makes someone an original. Lemmy doesn’t rock because he wants to – it’s in his blood and it’s his whole life. – Dale

How To Grow a Band – The Story of Punch Brothers

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Last Friday, we made it out to the premiere of How To Grow A Band, an intimate music documentary about the band, Punch Brothers, and the challenges of forming a new band playing a genre that few, if any demanded – experimental chamber bluegrass. Having been turned away from Lena Dunham’s much hyped Girls premiere earlier in the week at the Ace Hotel, we were feeling much more eager to take in a story about a band undertaking the daunting task of winning over new listeners with their challenging, uncompromising craft.

The story of how Punch Brothers came to be is as unusual as their music. Unlike most up and coming bands, the group sprung from the hugely successful bluegrass band, Nickel Creek, who rode the momentum of the success of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack to go on and sell millions of records themselves. The band was formed when Chris Thile, the mandolin player for Nickel Creek was eight years old – that’s right, eight years old, and there is some pretty hilarious footage of the kids in adorable cowboy wear playing shows with their smiling, supportive dad in the background on bass. Thile could have easily continued to put out similar bluegrass albums with the same traditional chord progressions and live a comfortable life, but instead pivoted to life in a van touring their first record, Punch, that included The Blind Leaving The Blind, a 40 minute song in four movements. After playing the piece live on their first tour of Europe in Glasgow, there’s a great, awkward scene of the crowd staring at the band in complete silence, unsure of whether to clap, dance, boo, or cry. Eventually, fans, critics, and press learn to appreciate the band’s demanding, yet cathartic music, leading the band to Lincoln Center, a Brooklyn studio, and a monthly New York City residency at The Living Room.

Unlike most music documentaries that lean on wild anecdotes and the chaos and drama of band member infighting to keep interest, Punch Brothers is more deliberate and suggestive – more Jim Jarmusch than Detroit Rock City. Riding along on the journey with the band, director Mark Meatto gracefully shoots the subtle dramas in warm, personal shots. Viewers of the movie are more likely to sense tension from close up shots of an anguished expression, or ten minute jams than from arguments or interviews. For most new bands that pass day after unglamourous day in a van, or years and years unsure about whether their music will be accepted, there’s not a better music documentary that captures that long, arduous, and uncertain journey of forming a new band.

Movies. Spy Movies.

Monday, November 28th, 2011

When we see a woman shrouded in our white Zermatt coats, we immediately think about the girls from James Bond movies, conjuring up images of the mysterious and exotic women passing microfilm, sipping martinis, or firing Kalashnikovs at 007 from a pair of skis. In honor of these classy, yet brazen Bond ladies, our design team brings you our favorite spy movies.

A View to a Kill- John Glen, 1985

Growing up in the 80’s this classic Bond film was my introduction to the sleek action espionage series. My favorite spy/Bond girl in this film was May Day, a kick-ass villainess assassin played by Grace Jones. This Amazonian femme fatale was trained in the martial arts and genetically bred with super strength to become a ferocious and beautiful killer. Her outfits were what appealed to me the most – over the top glamour, yet still riding the edge between femininity and toughness. I can picture her in our Zurmatt Coat, freefalling off the Eiffel Tower with Duran Duran playing in the background. -Aaron

North by Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock, 1959

There would be no 007 in my opinion without Hitchcock’s stylish masterpiece, North by Northwest. Leading man Cary Grant is sharp-dressed, and seems physically unable to complete a sentence without a wisecrack, a trait often associated with James Bond. While all of Hitchcock’s movies are a delight to look at, his visual imprint over the look and feel of NXNW shows a director at the peak of his career. Most people recognize the movie for its iconic airplane chase scene over a spacious cornfield, but my favorite shot is of Cary Grant running away from a murder outside of the United Nations building from a bird’s eye view (pictured above). The film also features great kinetic typography from one of my graphic design heroes, Saul Bass. -Teddy

Hopscotch, Ronald Neame, 1980

Hopscotch is a surprisingly underrated movie. Walter Matthau plays an ex-CIA agent who threatens to write a tell-all book. Although the fashion is generic, late 70’s corporate wear (short ties and wide lapels) the clever dialogue and ever changing plot line holds your attention all the way to the end. –Meagan

From Russia with Love – Terrance Young, 1963

This is my favorite James Bond movie because it take place in the early 60’s and has the best costumes and locations! The music is iconic, the plots are still fresh and SPECTRE plays a great nemesis, seeking to avenge the killing of Dr. No. from an earlier film.  Action, adventure and glamorous ladies set the standard for later movies of this genre. Sean Connery is also my favorite Bond! -Dale

Sean Connery is simply a badass in this film. This is one of my favorite 007 movies! -Koh