Who is Banksy??

October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Thierry Guetta's LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL piece on Highland in Hollywood

Cruising through Hollywood late Tuesday night, running errands, this mural pictured here catches my eye. What a great idea. Life is beautiful, really it is. The message rings true in more ways than one, and the symbol of it painted on the wall is expansive and beautiful in its own right.

Like all art, it’s subjective and meaningful to you, to me and to all of those who see it. So, who painted this? I did some investigating and found that this mural is by Thierry Guetta, a French filmmaker who is known for incorporating irony into his pop style graffiti.

Hm, interesting, his work sounds familiar no? Any connection to Banksy, the anonymous graffiti artist that has been underground for years? There is. The documentary film about Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop hints at Guetta being Banksy’s “biggest work of art” and Guetta’s street name is Mr. Brainwash – hint, hint!

In my humble opinion, their work is too similar for it not to come from the same artist.

Guetta is currently in Los Angeles, creating his murals throughout the greater Hollywood area and yes I’m looking-out for the next piece. If you are an art lover too, now is a great time to see the work of the most mysterious and creative artist of our time.

Halloween Movie Picks

October 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

The Entity screen shot

The Entity

I picked these three movies for a few different reasons: to scare the crap out of you, to entertain you and to broaden your cinematic horizons. Here they go.

1. If you really want something haunting, something that rivals the scare of Paranormal Activity, watch The Entity. It’s a 1982 horror film about a woman from Culver City that is haunted by a terrifying invisible entity. It’s based on a true story and you should not watch it alone.  It’s an old low budget film but still very effective with an unexpectedly freaky soundtrack and its invisible paranormal villain. Read more about the real life haunting at GhostTheory.com.

2. If you’re into sci-fi thrillers, watch The Frankenstein Syndrome. I was channel surfing this weekend when I stumbled upon it on The Movie Channel, and it creeped me the eff out. It’s about modern day scientists experimenting with illegal human stem cell trials. The story is narrated by one of the mutilated researchers who recounts the terrifying and gory details of their underground operation. It didn’t make it big at the box office when it was released in 2010, but it will give you the willies – perfect for Halloween!

El Espinazo Del Diablo

3.If you like foreign film, Spanish language cinema or the work of the talented Guillermo del Toro, watch The Devil’s Backbone (El Espinazo del Diablo). The film takes place in 1930’s Spain while the country is amidst a civil war and its plot is centered on a boys’ orphanage that is caught in the middle of war’s wrath. It’s about loss, living in the horror of uncertainties and the haunting of a dead orphan. Beautifully shot and scored, it’s a must see. But really, anything by del Toro is a must see. He tells a horror story like no one else in Hollywood can.

Optimize Instagram Posts

October 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Instagram

As you might know, Instagram is a fairly new photo sharing application on the iPhone. It launched only one year ago and has already accumulated 5 million users and has a photo database of over 200 million which is growing by the million each month according to reports.

If you’re on Instagram, you might have noticed that you can use a variety of tricks like the hashtag, #beach for example, in your comment section and your photo caption to access the entire Instagram audience that searches for that precise keyword. The hashtag that was invented by Twitter has been integrated into this application which makes it very easy to network with other like-minded users. For example, I posted a crisp photo of San Francisco’s Embarcadero something like 13 weeks ago and it hadn’t gotten any likes, maybe my followers didn’t find it interesting. For whatever reason – why not hashtag and share your photography with all of those who will like it? I hashtagged it today, using keywords: #embarcadero, #sf, #sanfrancisco, #financialdistrict, etc. and have already received 10 likes.

You can use the @ replies tool, @ginichavez for example, to address a user directly in any comment section or caption as well. Let’s say you see a photo that, @user2 might like – mention @user2 in the comment section of the photo and that user will be alerted of the mention, creating a little dialogue triangle. It’s just an easy way to share content.

The best way to add more followers, besides adding amazing photos, is to like others’ photos. The more likes you click on, the more users will see your uploads. It’s like social media karma: the more you give, the more you get back. You can also follow more users – sure not all of them will follow back but it will increase your follow numbers versus not doing so. Again the more you give, the more you get in return.

Instagram is exclusive to iPhone users, but there is a web based interface, you can find here hosted by Followgram. According to reports their office is busy developing an Android app and when that goes live, expect their user numbers to surge.

BRUCE LEE, THE LEGEND

October 15, 2011 § 6 Comments

Bruce Lee

I’ve been a fight fan for as long as I can remember. It stems from connecting with the men in my family who get together to watch boxing, so I’ve naturally made a ritual of watching Showtime’s Friday fight series and last night was MMA night. Magalhaes vs. Zayats was the headliner and I’m so glad to have caught this clean all-strategy, no-nonsense title fight. The defending champ out of Brazil, Vinny Magalhaes struck Zayats with a classic martial arts head kick and the match was as good as over.

Switching gears to looking for movies to watch on the projector, I scored – finding Bruce Lee, The Legend. It’s a 1977 documentary about Bruce Lee’s life on the screen, “The Official Golden Harvest tribute to the Master of the Martial Arts Film.” Did you know that he was a child star? He started acting alongside his father who was an opera singer and comedy actor in the 40s. It’s no wonder he is such a significant screen star, he was raised to be one.

The film could use some edits to speed along certain longer-than-necessary clips, but it’s rich in classic footage from Lee’s long list of epic 1970’s classic fight scenes, even from his first screen fights as a wee little one.

If you’re an MMA fight fan, you owe it to yourself to learn more about the history of this sport. This documentary immortalizes Lee’s contributions to mixed martial arts and classic film, watch it.

 

Kat DeLuna at The Globe Theatre

October 13, 2011 § 2 Comments

Kat DeLuna

I had the chance to listen-in on and party along with Kat DeLuna, an up and coming female vocalist from the East Coast. She was the headline performer at Latina Magazine’s 15th Anniversary event in Los Angeles, an event that was headlined by Pitbull in New York, and I see why she fit the bill.

She sang some serious dance beats and completely stole everyone’s heart with her renditions of Selena’s Como la Flor and Las Mañanitas. Not just any vocalist can do Selena’s classics justice, right? She’s really that good.

Find her in Latina’s upcoming issues. She’s definitely one to watch.

My Red Carpet Night with COVERGIRL & Latina Magazine

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Latina Magazine Red Carpet

It was Tuesday night and I was making spaghetti for dinner, when I answered a phone call from Fleishman-Hillard’s Jose Resendez from Miami. He asked if I would be interested in getting a make-over from COVERGIRL. “It will be filmed,” he told me and I immediately said no. He mentioned I would meet the ladies behind the 15 year old Latina Magazine, a publication I’ve been reading since its first year. So then I said, yes.

I arrived at the Sheraton Universal at Universal Studios and was immediately greeted by Patty, the director of marketing at Latina and Eva Antoniadou, COVERGIRL’s makeup artist. I was briefed on the day’s activities that would not only include a filmed make-over, but a debut on the red carpet. I was blown away and a little excited thinking, “Yay me! I get the royal treatment and I didn’t even have to ask for it. YES!”

The film crew came to my room along with the director, Micah Walsh and production began. I was taped entering the hotel lobby, hanging out in the lounge and then entering my room – all while trying to act totally natural of course. I mean, I was being filmed, so I put my best foot forward. Little do we really know about this process until actually being thrown-in, right? Eva then began applying my makeup, this was the easy part. I just sat there and enjoyed the process. I asked typical makeup questions, maybe not so typical because I’m something of a connoisseur but I was schooled in NatureLuxe, Shadow Blast, Lash Blast and Perfect Point Plus by COVERGIRL.

virginia chavez covergirl

Me (Virginia Chavez), Micah Walsh, & Eva Antoniadou (Right to left.)

We wrapped the makeup application portion of the shoot and took a break for a bit. I first checked my Twitter feed (of course) to catch up on the day’s happenings, when I learned of Steve Jobs’ passing. A devoted Apple fangirl, it hit me – we have to let his life be a reminder of what we can do with our ideas. That epiphany will always stay with me. It was just that kind of day.

I then went on to curl my hair, got dressed and awaited the crew to continue shooting. Not quite feeling butterflies, but I definitely had a little bit of an awe-inducing moment to myself.

The paps

The film crew showed up, shot my final look and followed me into the Towne Car which took us to Universal Studios’ Globe Theatre where the official Latina Magazine 15th Anniversary event took place. I tried my best to glide onto the red carpet to face the cameras and paparazzi. While I was at it,  I snapped some photos of the paps with my iPhone.

After this HUGE bucket-list moment, the night proceeded to amaze me. I re-united with some of my favorite bloggers: Monique of Click Latina, Cid of Cid’s Style File and Ana Flores of Latina Bloggers Connect. I went on to click glasses with Evelyn Lozada of VH1’s Basketball Wives, Tatanya Marisol Ali who played Ashley on Fresh Prince and Maria Canals-Barrera who has an amazing filmography under her belt. I drank. I mingled. I partied. The night was a total success and I couldn’t have walked away happier.

Snow White & the Huntsman

October 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hey computer animation techs who engineered this movie, I cannot wait to see this total orgasm for the eyes on the silver screen. Just look carefully at the 3D computer graphics used to manipulate the birds to swarm furiously, the soldier to shatter with the strike of a sword and the infamous mirror on the wall that morphs into a draped figure. I’m sure it will make one hell of a big-screen-show.

UPDATE: It did horribly at the box office, and according to one critic, it didn’t live up to its awesome preview.

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