25 februari 2014

Joost Vandebrug

Watching something shot by Joost Vandebrug does not take you away to an alternative and fantastical reality, its gritty realism provokes a kind of nostalgia, or recognition of something you once shared with the subject; a connection muchmore meaningful and powerful than the all too prolific theme of aspiration in most fashion films. But, as the director points out in a candid interview with Glass, nostalgia does not by definition engender sadness or regret; it is a matter of interpretation and can be a hugely positive source of inspiration.
Based on a quote by Paolo Crepet, BORED Joost's short featured in this month's Cut Glass, is an arresting and disturbingly beautiful portrait of adolescent apathy. Standing or sitting motionless in a series of increasingly outrageous outfits against unremarkable and grubby urban backdrops, Kingi recites the script cleverly adapted to the first person, without displaying any corresponding emotions the words and their meanings would ordinarily elicit. Whilst the words perfectly encapsulate the strange disjunction between fantasy and reality in adolescence, his passivity and lack of action belie how their deeper meaning is lost on the developing mind that has no advantage of hindsight.
'This meaninglessness in the way he speaks the words stresses their content even more but also shows the relativity of them and the unbreakable bubble of adolescence. Then in the end, the only thing that is left is beauty...'
Not since Larry Clark’s KIDS has there been a director with enough audacity to portray the often grim reality of adolescence without losing sight of its tragic beauty. Joost's powerful visual narrative illustrates and reinforces the disconnect, thus tipping the audience into that space which demands verfremdung. It is simultaneously engaging and distancing, eliciting deep empathy: 'Yes! I was there, I am there, this is true.'

A lot of people ask you about your internship spent with Erwin Olaf, but I see a deeper connection in your work to directors like Ridley Scott - was Ado les Scents (Rain) a subtle reference to Blade Runner and the Replicant's 'tears in the rain'?
That particular scene of Blade runner is about looking back: tears in rain refer to moments (his 'life') that will be lost in time. RAIN, however, is about looking ahead - maybe stopping in time and letting some moments wash away - but merely to get stronger from it. There is a nostalgic feel to it as well. Nostalgia generally tends to be interpreted as sad; I feel it can be very positive. It's a hard balance though, I must admit.
Having said that, I do see and like your reference as it is an amazing, powerful and poetic scene with unbeatable photography. Generally though I like to draw inspiration and ideas from within, but as a photographer I guess it's hard not to get inspired by a scene as this one.

Who would you cite as your influences? Is Larry Clark's 'Tulsa' amongst them?
Tulsa is an amazing piece of work. Really is. And I can truly say I am amazed by it and inspired by Larry Clark as a person. If you look at his work there are no compromises, he truly does what lies deep in his spirit and has found a way to directly output this in his work. That is something I am very much inspired by. I hope one day that I can be as strong. Because I believe that once you have found that inner peace, the work that you make will be purer and purer without compromises.

Your 'New Faces' exhibition at FOAM was like a documentary of the last days before the loss of innocence, and you were very fastidious in finding the right faces that were still fresh in front of the camera, are you trying to capture something lost in your own youth?
The project for FOAM was a very natural process. The boys I shot for it were between 13 and 17 years old. I looked for them - and shot them in Germany, Paris, London, and of course Amsterdam. It was a hassle to find the right faces as I had a very specific look in mind. When I found them I travelled to wherever they lived to shoot them as close to/in their own environment as possible. I wanted to hear their stories, where they walked to school every day, or what other memories they had about the places I shot them in. When it was finished one of the first comments I got from a friend was that I shot myself 30 times. First I thought that was weird, as I obviously shot away from my own 'safe-zone', but looking back it probably was the case. Every boy I shot grew up in a totally different environment with different backgrounds, but all of them seem to have a link, and that link was me. Unintentionally I have been looking for myself, and shooting them, however different they may seem to me or my youth, in a way that reflects just that. So to be fair, I have not been as open minded and respectful as I thought I was at the time. I have just been looking and looking until I found some resemblance to myself and shot them right there and then. It was that look, that movement that intrigued me.
To say I captured something I lost... maybe. But also, in this case, it is the nostalgia that inspired me to do this. And although you can refer to this as capturing something I lost, I feel it is more positive than that, as I am not sorry for growing up, and I am looking back with much positivity. So yet again, I guess it's a hard balance and it's whatever side of the nostalgia you (the viewer) are on; it's how you interpret it.

You are known for your stop-frame shorts - Wonderland and the Cold Method Collection are genius in their simplicity - how did you develop your technique?
The Wonderland video was shot on my normal photographic camera. At the time my technical resources were limited. So within what I had, I had to come up with a strong concept. Wonderland was shot in one day with stylist Way Perry. And although we were well prepared for the shoot we both didn't exactly know what to expect. It just grew on us as we joked around and tried all different things.

Your work is disturbingly honest and very pertinent - there is a departure from the fantasy of make believe - are you wanting to unmask the mass image makers?
My approach from idea to concept to storyboard to actual film is generally a very fast process. This way I will not let time or third factors have any influence on the basic idea. And although my technical resources are expanding rapidly lately, I am very aware that the way I am working, team-wise and technique-wise, really affects my work. I will, however big the team is, try to keep that intimacy of a photographic project. This is crucial to keep the honesty and pureness from script to film.

There is a stillness in your shorts - like you occupy a space between moving and static images where there is pause for thought - which comes first for you the image or the narrative?
I try to make the viewer 'sink in'. This is the hardest thing as most of my films are shorts with a maximum of 5 minutes. To achieve this all comes down to timing and editing. Most of the time the narrative comes first, but right after the image and technique will come to me almost straight away.

Where did the script for BORED come from?
BORED came from a quote by Paolo Crepet. I read it out to Scott Robert Clark (the stylist) and the script was born notlong after that. This quote is about the danger of boredom in the adolescent life. It is something you can only write or think of in the way Paolo did when you are older than the 'endangered' age. But by making it read by a 16 year old, and changing some words to make it seem like he is talking about himself, makes that content funny enough seem out of place. In other words; as this might be about a sixteen year old, making it read by a sixteen year old feels totally out of context. Because very likely Kingi did understand what he was saying but I don't think it got to him as much as it got to me or anyone past a certain age. This gave the words a certain meaningless to them while they are very strong and obviously intended otherwise. This meaninglessness in the way he speaks the words stresses their content even more but also shows the relativity of them and the unbreakable bubble of adolescence. Then in the end, the only thing that is left is beauty...

How did you find Kingi?
I am working on an on-going project where I shot him for. This project is very intimate; just me and the model. This project is important to me for portraying the context. There is no better way to get to know someone's vibe and fire when shooting someone one to one. Sometimes I take the models I get to know from this to a video concept (in Kingi's case) and sometimes merely the experience.

You're style is very much capturing the moment, how long did it take to shoot?
Not long at all. As I met Kingi before I knew what to expect. He is very easy and has this vibe around him that is honest. And he is not so much aware of himself which is great. If I asked him to stand somewhere he just did so, and stood there perfectly. Not thinking of how he looked or what his better side is or what he might have practised in the mirror. No, he just stood there. So because I knew he was like that things went quickly. I didn't have to ask him muchbecause I felt that if I did, I might make him too aware, whilst the lack of that makes it pure and honest.

by Nico Earle




joost vandebrug

joost vandebrug

joost vandebrug

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Chapman Brothers by Joost Vandebrug for L'uomo Vogue

joost vandebrug
Chapman Brothers by Joost Vandebrug for L'uomo Vogue

joost vandebrug

joost vandebrug
Christopher Owens  by Joost Vandebrug


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King Krule  by Joost Vandebrug


joost vandebrug
King Krule  by Joost Vandebrug


joost vandebrug
 King Krule by Joost Vandebrug

joost vandebrug
King Krule  by Joost Vandebrug

joost vandebrug
Lost Boys by Joost Vandebrug


joost vandebrug
Lost Boys  by Joost Vandebrug

joost vandebrug
Asa Butterfield by Joost Vandebrug for L'uomo Vogue


The work of photographer Joost Vandebrug

26 november 2012

I Dont Need You by Russel Dean Stone

I Dont Need You
This is the first song Russel wrote with Dimitri Tikovoi (Placebo, Horrors, Charli XCX). They wrote it over a year ago at Assault & Battery studio. It's called I DONT NEED YOU.
Enjoy x

16 juli 2012