Barry Lyndon

I just arrived home after seeing Kubrick’s period masterpiece, Barry Lyndon. It was my second time viewing the film and I enjoyed it even more re-watching it on the silver screen. The presentation of the film, the audience (there were Barry Lyndon cosplayers), and the interesting discussion after the film are the reasons why the Midtown Art Cinema is my favorite theater.

Barry Lyndon is the story of the misadventures of Redmond Barry. It is a tale of adventure, fortune, fate, and tragedy based on the novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray 1) . The film was praised technically upon release, receiving an Academy Award for Cinematography, Costume Design, and Art Direction 2), but was a commercial failure and dismissed by many critics.

Time has been very kind to Barry Lyndon, with many people considering it to be Kubrick’s best film. While it is not my personal favorite, I really appreciate and enjoy the film. The visuals are awe inspiring, the story is darkly enchanting, and it has everything you would want in an historical epic.

This was the first Kubrick film I have seen in a theater and it was absolutely magnificent! If you can see this film on the big screen, do not hesitate to buy a ticket! They played a digitally remastered version of the film and it looked wonderful. An audience member who had been to the film’s original release in 1975 remarked that, “Barry Lyndon has never looked better!”

I would recommend this film to anyone that wants to learn about shot composition. Visually this film is perfect. Kubrick’s vision for the film was heavily inspired by the paintings of William Hogarth 3), a contemporary of Thackeray. Not only is the cinematography in Barry Lyndon beautiful, but it tells the story well. Each frame tells its own story.

Go see Barry Lyndon!

barry lyndon

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Ethan’s Motivational Mix

I awoke this morning feeling anxious and generally restless. This happens somewhat regularly, so I decided to put together a care package of sorts for when these moods rear their ugly head. Rather than hoarding it to myself, I have decided to share the playlist with you.

My anxiety is usually centered my work so the playlist is compiled of 5 videos, mostly centered around art. It is best to watch them in order.

I hope this reinvigorates you as much as it has reinvigorated me!


Joel Sartore: My Favorite Photographer

Joel Sartore, is an award-winning photographer, author, and contributor to National Geographic. His images have a certain charming quality to them that I feel captures the essence of his subjects. This is best represented in his on-going project the Photo Ark.

The Photo Ark project is magical. Here is how Joel describes it on the website:

he Photo Ark started back in 2005, when my wife, Kathy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. My career as a National Geographic photographer came to an abrupt halt as I stayed home to tend to her and our three children.

It’s been more than 10 years, and Kathy is fine now, but that year at home gave me a new perspective on the shortness and fragility of life. I was 42 at the time, and as Kathy recovered, one question continued to haunt me: How can I get people to care that we could lose half of all species by the turn of the next century?

Perhaps a series of portraits, made as simply and cleanly as possible, would give us all a chance to look animals directly in the eye and see that there’s beauty, grace, and intelligence in the other creatures we share the planet with. Black and white backgrounds level the playing field, making a mouse every bit as grand as an elephant. In these portraits, they are equals.

All species are vitally important to our very survival; we need bees and even flies to pollinate the fruits and vegetables we eat. We need intact rain forest to regulate the amount of rainfall we get in areas where we grow crops. But beyond what’s in it for us, I believe that each species has a basic right to exist.

There are about 12,000 animal species in human care around the world. So far, I’ve made portraits of more than 6,500, and we’ll keep going until we get them all. It’ll take another 15 years or so. The goal is to show the world what biodiversity actually looks like and get everyone to care about saving species while there’s still time.

I hope you agree that the future of life on Earth is something that deserves our full attention. If so, please tell your friends that you care about all creatures, great and small. Share the photos. Help us celebrate. Join others devoted to saving species and habitats. We all can make a difference.





Every frame gives us a glimpse into the beauty of the world we live in. The only way to inspire people to care about nature is to show it to them. The world is such a wonderful mess of creatures big and small.

Everyone should check out Joel’s website and support the work he is doing. Work like this does not get enough support or praise.

<p><a href=”″>An endnangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) at the Miller Park Zoo.</a> from <a href=””>Joel Sartore</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a>.</p>

GO WATCH: Xavier: Renegade Angel

Describing, Xavier: Renegade Angel, is a little difficult. The Adult Swim show had two seasons from 2007-2009 before it was canceled, but honestly it amazing that this was a series at all.

The series follows, Xavier, the “wise”, “mystic” that drifts from place to place “helping” people.

The show is delightfully bizarre. The animation is half-assed, but in a oddly charming way. It has the  highest PPM (Puns Per Minute) ratio of any type of media I have ever seen.

It is kinda hard to explain, but it is a wonderful show. Trust me!

First episode:

Ethan’s Favorite Music Videos

Music videos have a bad reputation. I will agree that the majority of them are bad, but there are some that rise above.

Here are my favorite music videos in no particular order:

Kendrick Lamar- ELEMENT

I really love the vision of this video. It is so clear and well executed. The cinematography is beautiful and conveys a wide breadth of emotion.

Modest Mouse- King Rat

The animation in this video is so quirky and weird. It fits the tone of the song perfectly.

Transit- I’m So Indie

The video (and the song) is really funny especially if you’re a closeted hipster.

The Verve- Bittersweet Symphony

A simple idea executed perfectly!

Nirvana- Smells Like Teen Spirit

A little time capsule of 90’s grunge.

J. Cole- False Prophets

I think this video encapsulates Cole and his music perfectly.

Tool- Sober

This stop motion video conveys the tone of the song with very interesting and creative visuals.

The Shins- Simple Song

Tells an engaging story.

The Talking Heads- Once in a Lifetime

Abstract weirdness.

Devo- Beautiful World

Dark humor!

Wall Of Voodoo- Mexican Radio

I don’t even know.

Beastie Boys- Intergalactic

Giant. Robots.

Eminem- Stan

It hits you like a freight train. No sugar coating.

Johnny Cash- Hurt

A little package of despair and regret.


The feeling of an existential crisis.

Imagine Dragons- Radioactive

The video is infinitely better than the song, also puppets.

Gorrilaz- Clint Eastwood

Wacky Gorillazness.

Weezer- Island In The Sun


Peter Bjorn and John- Young Folks

It’s all about conveying tone people.

Rhythms del Mundo ft. Arctic Monkeys- Dancing Shoes

Yo balio mucho.

Katy Perry- Last Friday Night (TGIF)

A guilty pleasure.

Taylor Swift- Shake It Off

A self aware time capsule of 2014.

Gwen Stefani- Hollaback Girl

“Super kawaii.”

Weird Al- Amish Paradise

Pretty self explanatory.

The Lonely Island- Jack Sparrow

I like movies.

Bo Burnham- Repeat Stuff

Brilliant satire.

Soundgarden- Black Hole Sun

Bloodhound Gang- Fire Water Burn

Funny premise executed well.

Wheatus- Teenage Dirtbag

Warms my withered heart.


What are your favorite music videos?




Go watch Synecdoche, New York!

This is a public service announcement.

Everyone that is  reading this, go see Synecdoche, New York, as soon as you possibly can. It is my new favorite film and touched me greatly.

The film was the directorial debut of Charlie Kaufman. I love every Kaufman written film I have seen, but this one is definitely the best. I put off seeing this film because it cost $2.99 on Amazon to rent, which keeps in line with the themes of the film. I would have given much more to see this film had I known just how great it was.

I would not call this film abstract, I would call it subtle. I can’t tell you what the film is about, but I can tell you what I interpreted from it.

Synecdoche, is in large part about death, how death affects things, and how people deal with it.

“Everything is more complicated than you think. You only see a tenth of what is true. There are a million little strings attached to every choice you make; you can destroy your life every time you choose. But maybe you won’t know for twenty years. And you may never ever trace it to its source. And you only get one chance to play it out. Just try and figure out your own divorce. And they say there is no fate, but there is: it’s what you create. And even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are only here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right. And it never comes or it seems to but it doesn’t really. And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope that something good will come along. Something to make you feel connected, something to make you feel whole, something to make you feel loved. And the truth is I feel so angry, and the truth is I feel so fucking sad, and the truth is I’ve felt so fucking hurt for so fucking long and for just as long I’ve been pretending I’m OK, just to get along, just for, I don’t know why, maybe because no one wants to hear about my misery, because they have their own. Well, fuck everybody. Amen.”

The main point is that we spend our lives waiting, hoping for something to make it better when we could have made it better ourselves all along. It is tragic, but has an underlying feeling of hope. You can change right now. Nothing can stop you.

That is what I got out of it, but no interpretation is wrong. This is definitely a must-watch.

Focal Lengths Used by Famous Directors

I found this great video about the favorite lenses of famous directors. I find this subject very fascinating because by knowing a director’s lens choice, you can a peek into how they view the world.

This video is on Wolfcrow’s awesome YouTube channel, he has other great videos as well, so SUBSCRIBE to him if you like the video.