The Grand Budapest Hotel

By Tom Ran

Published: October 17, 2013 under Film

Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Wes Anderson’s eighth full-length feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel arrives next year but we get a glimpse of what’s to come today with the release of a new trailer. Like the house in The Royal Tenenbaums, the hotel in Grand Budapest plays an integral part to the storyline. The film is set between the two World Wars and involves a friendship between a concierge, Gustave H played by Ralph Fiennes and a young boy who becomes his trusted friend. The Grand Budapest Hotel opens March 7th.

Read More

Herb & Dorothy 50x50

By Tom Ran

Published: September 17, 2013 under Film

Herb & Dorothy 50X50

Photo: Herb & Dorothy 50X50

The story of Herb & Dorothy was a charming account of an unlikely couple that amassed one of the largest and most important art collection in the world. They were able to acquire over 5000 works of art through five decades while living in their humble one bedroom apartment in New York City. This was made possible due to the fact that in 1992 the Vogels began donating their collection to the National Gallery of Art. But even the collection was too large for one museum to contain. So The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States was established and the follow up to the 2008 documentary was born. Herb & Dorothy 50×50 follow the couple through 11 museums as they distribute the collection to museums across the country. The documentary opened last Friday at the IFC Center and will be opening in 40 theaters nationwide throughout the fall.

Read More

New York Film Festival

By Tom Ran

Published: August 29, 2013 under Film

Spike Jonze's "Her" makes it world premiere at the New York Film Festival

Photo: Her

This year’s New York Film Festival includes two of the most anticipated films of the fall and a stellar lineup of award-winning hopefuls. Spike Jonze’s “Her,” and Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” will be making their world premiere along with Paul Greengrass’s “Captain Phillips.” These three films will anchor the program; opening, centering, and closing out the two week festival. The outstanding selection won’t stop there, the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” Jim Jaramusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive,” Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises,” agnes b’s “My Name is Hmmm…” and others from around the world will make their U.S. debut.

Fall is usually the time when studios premier Oscar contenders so the NYFF is the perfect place to launch these films before it opens nationwide. It’s also a place to see many Cannes films on the big screen before they make limited releases or direct to video and stream. The New York Film Festival begins September 27th with tickets going on sale to the general public on the 8th.

Read More

Project Drive-In

By Tom Ran

Published: August 15, 2013 under Film

Are we seeing a trend emerging? Similar to Benjamin Moore’s campaign to save Main Streets throughout North America by repainting old storefronts, Honda has launched Project Drive-In to save some of America’s most beloved theaters. Digital projectors have gradually taken over the industry, replacing the antiquated film projectors. By next year, all theaters will need to make the conversion in order to stay in business. But with the new projectors costing as much as $85,000 it may be the end to a sweeping number of drive-ins that can’t afford the upgrade. That’s where the campaign comes in. Honda is raising awareness about the plight that all drive-in theaters are facing and will donate five digital projects to the theaters with the most votes rallying for their support. They have also started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the project. Visit Project Drive-In to find more information on the initiative and see how you can help to continue this iconic American heritage.

Read More

Herman Miller - Why Design

By Tom Ran

Published: September 12, 2012 under Film

Paper sculptures by Irving Harper

Photo: Herman Miller

In the past year, Herman Miller has been doing a decent job with their blog, publishing stories that surround the history and lifestyle of the furniture company. But they were just scratching the surface. Now with the appointment of Sam Grawe, the former Editor-in-Chief of Dwell, as the Editorial Director, Herman Miller is poised to dive deeper into their rich heritage and the people at the heart of the company, the designers. On Monday they launched a new series called Why Design, where they profile current and past designers that have worked with Herman Miller. First in the series is with Yves Behar, the man behind the SAYL Chair and Leaf lamp. What makes this and hopefully future episodes successful is the way the story is told. The approach is more to do with the design process rather than a product. Behar likens his experience to surfing and improvisation.

A new episode will premier every Monday until October 29th with eight episodes in all. The list is a stellar one but we’re particularly excited about the October 1st episode with Irving Harper. Other episodes include Don Chadwick, Ayse Birsel, Gianfranco Zaccai, Studio 7.5, Steve Frykholm, and Sam Hecht + Kim Colin.

Read More

What I Have To Offer

By Tom Ran

Published: July 6, 2012 under Film

What I have to Offer from Eliot Rausch + Phos Pictures on Vimeo.

“What I have to offer is me, what you have to offer is you,” says Charlie Kaufman, the award winning screen writer at a lecture for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Kaufman’s inspiring 70 minute talk was distilled into a five minute short film produced by Elliot Rausch, in which he discusses the values of being honest about yourself and your work. It’s a theme that has been visited and revisited, but with Kaufam’s self inspection coupled with his deft word play it becomes a rousing and inspiring speech for anyone struggling to find worth in their creative work.

Read More


Alya Kazakevich

By Raven Keller
Alya Kazakevich in her shop in the Lower East Side

Photo: Rose Callahan

On a damp and muggy summer morning on the Lower East Side, Alya Kazakevich slowly stitched up the edges of a leather coin purse and recalled her childhood in Eastern…

 Read More


By Tom Ran
Partners Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler

Photo: Samuel Bristow

Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith, are the partners behind Workstead. The two met at Rhode Island School of Design while studying architecture and opened their studio in 2009,…

 Read More

M.Nii John Moore

By Tom Ran
M.Nii Tailor, Waianae, Hawaii 1959

Photo: Tom McBride

The photo is one of the few relics that remain of M.Nii’s history. An image that recalls the golden age of American surf culture. Three friends in front…

 Read More