Little White Lies Presents: Project Fifty

Gravity, illustrated by Gabz

Our favourite indie film magazine is celebrating it’s fiftieth issue in style…

Our favourite bi-monthly indie film mag, Little White Lies (LWLies), are celebrating the release of their 50th edition in style, and we couldn’t be more excited. With a series of one-off events in London for all film, art and design lovers, fans can expect a special edition of the journal, a film festival at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), a pop up shop in Old Street, and an exhibition at the 71a Gallery.

LWLies, founded in 2005, flies in the face of received opinion when it comes to talking about the “death” of print journalism. It has made a name thanks to a carefully considered aesthetic and quality, varied critique; each issue is devoted to one, selected film, ensuring a deep conversation on the themes, references, creators, production values and execution of said movie. Frankly, it’s a beautiful publication that puts many consumer magazines to shame. They’re also very good at getting artists and writers to collaborate, thus celebrating their landmark issue with the combined elements of art, design and critique that have made their name.

“All were asked choose a film, and a specific frame from that film, for each year of the past five decades”

The fiftieth issue is essentially a celebration of 50 writers, 50 artists, 50 years, and 50 films, featuring contributions from directors, actors, critics, cinematographers, and screenwriters. This includes Looper (2012) director Rian Johnson, Mammoth (2009) director Lukas Moodysson, critic Catherine Bray and IMDB founder Col Needam. All were asked choose a film, and a specific frame from that film, for each year of the past five decades, 1964-2013; the result is a collection of personal reflections on cinema that is significant in some way, for instance, defining a childhood or inspiring creativity.

Articles that really impressed us include LA-based critic Jordan Cronk’s analysis of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film, Blow Up, with the shot that’s more famous than the film; and the excellent review of Die Hard by Glenn Heath Jr., with the frame that reveals Bruce Willis’ action hero as the tired family man he really is (the illustration by James Wilson is also perfect).

A few pieces entertain in a slightly pompous way, saying more about ego than the chosen film: Andrew Kotting’s piece about Sans Soleil opens with the fruity line:  ”I love this film. I’m always citing it when contextualising my own work.”

And Anton Bitel’s review of Pan’s Labyrinth drips with pretentiousness to the point of unreadability (“and so this appetitive entity transcends space and time, stretching from the theogenic myths of the classical era…” E.t.c.). But this is film criticism, and some films call for a certain kind of frothiness.

So onto the events. The artists displaying their work in the recent Project Fifty print exhibition, as might be expected, were the creators behind the issue’s 50 original artworks, including Gabz (main picture), Grace Helmer, Charlotte Mei, Dan Mumford and Karolin Schnoor (don’t worry, you can still view all the prints here).

“This weekend’s film festival covers everything from David Lynch to Japanese drama”

This weekend’s climatic film festival, The Little White Lies Weekender, covers everything from David Lynch to Japanese drama, and each screening is apparently ‘supercharged by team LWLies’. We’re looking forward to grabbing some overpriced popcorn and guzzling our way through Mulholland Drive, The Life Aquatic (red beanie hats are provided) and Punch Drunk Love, as well as an opening gala (previewing a film that will remain secret until the night).

Editor David Jenkins, who guided the whole project, says: “Like watching a movie on 35mm or listening to an album on vinyl, the amazing content collected together for this special issue of LWLies can only be properly experienced in print form.

“For me the most important aspect of this issue is the surprise you get from turning each page.

“I hope this magazine doesn’t just serve as a reminder of the wonderful movies of the past 50 years, but also of the wonderful writers, illustrators and designers working right now.”

What we’re basically saying is get down to the festival on Friday, and definitely get the new issue, making sure you take the time to savour it over a cuppa (or, if you’re a critic, go for some freshly ground Ethiopian Rich Roast Monmouth coffee). It’s slow journalism, not Empire magazine.

Oli Rahman

More on Project Fifty here

Tickets are still available for the LWLies Weekender, ICA London, 6-8 December 2013

Posted on 04/12/2013 by thedoublenegative