Saturday, April 30, 2011

Film: A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints

My choice this week was a film created by first time writer/director Dito Montiel, A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints. The film was a coming of age drama based on Dito's life growing up in Astoria in the 1980's. While the characters became a blend of many of Dito's real life friends in his neighborhood the story of what happens here was a real piece of teen angst and frustration that occurs from generation gaps between parents and kids. This production had many key componets that coaleced and made for a riveting movie. The movie was co produced by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler and stars Robert Downey Jr., Diane West, Chaz Palminteri, Shia LaBeouf and Channing Tatum. It was shot on location in Astoria by director of photography Eric Gautier (Motorcycle Diaries, Into The Wild) who did an amazing job keeping the picture gritty and full of emotion. Dito Montiel did what the best writers and directors tell aspiring talent to do, "write what you know". He battled pieces of his own life through the mediums of screenplay and film with emotional poetry and grace that left festival audiences choked up around the globe. Dito won the directors award and Jury prize at Sundance in 2006. I suggest you rent this film to see why I have added it to the great selections of "art imitating life".

Film: Thinking of Writing a Screenplay?

Do you have a good story that you need to tell or think it would make a great movie? If the answer is yes then why not write a screenplay? Sure, there's a standard Hollywood format to follow if you wanted to submit it to industry contacts, but it's not very difficult to follow. The HARD PART is sitting down to do it on regular basis and telling your STORY cinematically.

Note: Generally a short film is considered anything under 60 minutes. A feature film is anything 60 minutes and longer. The old Hollywood rule of thumb is one scripted page equals about one minute screen time. Therefore, if you have a 60 page script it'll probably turn into a 60 minute film, give or take a few minutes.

Click to enlarge the below example of a scripted page, which should be typed in 12 point courier.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Interview: Laz Alonso: Stirring Things Up in Hollywood

I met Laz Alonso about 10 years ago while he was hosting a morning show on BET. Fast forward to present day, Laz has built an impressive resume in both TV and film. If you look up 'Laz Alonso' on IMDB (independent movie database), you will read through the 40 plus projects Laz has been featured in.

Among the long list of characters he has played, Laz can currently be seen starring as US Marshall Charlie Duchamp, on the hit A&E TV drama Breakout Kings. Laz will also be featured as the lead role in the new movie Jumping the Broom in theaters May 6, 2011. He has shared the screen with some of the most talented producers, directors and fellow actors and actresses in the business. Yet, Laz remains quite humble as his star continues to get brighter.

I spoke with Laz on the phone and we discussed his background in film, how his college education and history as a wall street exec helped prep him for Hollywood, dating in the business and both his current and future projects.

Check out the audio from our interview!

To keep up with what is going on in the world of Laz Alonso, follow him on Twitter @lazofficial

... check your local listings for air times of Break Out Kings on A&E and make sure you take a trip to the movies on May 6th when Jumping the Broom comes out in theaters!

To view the trailer of Jumping The Broom and more photos of Laz, log on to

Music: Chris Brown F.A.M.E.

Chris Brown is today's Purse & Pulse music topic. First of all, I will not be discussing anything in his past that has to do with his Ex-girlfriend Rihanna, because I don't want any chairs flying through my window. So let's talk about his new album F.A.M.E. All I can say is WOW!!! This is a true comeback by Chris Breezy - hit, after hit, after hit. He's an all-around entertainer, which I like to call the triple threat, Singing, Dancing and Acting. I don't agree with his choice to change his hair color, it seems like he's going through a little bit of an identity crisis. Hey whatever works Chris, just keep bringing us those hits! I love the album, NO BS. Check out F.A.M.E and let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Design: Third and The Seventh by Alex Roman

The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

Architecture to me has always been a very hard language to speak in. As you know if you follow my site Culturalblahblah, I love anything architecture and design but if the conversation about architecture isn't around function then I have always found it very hard to discuss. The easiest way for me to discuss architecture is through photography and sometimes film.

There are number of films that showcase great architecture in interesting ways, one being My Architect on the works of Louis Khan. That said, rarely do you find someone who is able to speak so clearly through film and illustrate the beauty of architecture as well as Alex Roman and his film The Third and The Seventh.

Needless to say that I was floored by this short film. Very rarely do you come across something you see that makes you sit back and breath easier and just feel inspired.

For more on this story and others in contemporary art, design and architecture visit Culturalblahblah at

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Music: My Life II: The Journey Continues

Mary J Blige burst on the music scene over twenty years ago. It’s sort of hard to believe that it’s been so long. Whats the 411 put MJB on the map but it was her My Life CD that we remember the most. Why?

Mary poured her heart and soul into this particular album. Not to say she doesn’t do the same with every record she comes out with. However, at the time you may remember that Mary was going through a tumultuous and abusive relationship with K-Ci from the group Jodeci. When Mary cried, her tears transcended into her songs. When she said “All I want is to be happy”, that’s how she was really feeling.

Recently, Blige has announced that she will be releasing My Life II: The Journey Continues. So what can we expect from the sequel to a musical masterpiece that still manages to pull on the heart strings of fans around the world. If the rumors of Mary’s failing marriage to husband Kendu Issacs have any truth to them, we may be once again taken along on a rollercoaster of emotions via melody and lyric. Hold on for the ride kiddies. MJB is back!

-Rob Sauthoff

Music: Pharoahe Monch W.A.R.

Ok, all you original Hip-Hop Heads, Pharoahe Monch is back with his new album, W.A.R.! It's time for a little lesson in Hip-Hop. Pharoahe is definitely not new to this, he is one of the most inspirational Hip-Hop artist in the game, with a style that is very unique. For those who don't know, he was part of the group Organized Konfusion in the early 90's. He teamed up with Styles P for one my all time favorite joints My Life, but is most notably known for his hit, GET THE F@%K UP, which played in the clubs for decades. Today his album W.A.R. is a must have! Covering all aspects of life and being conscious of the world today, with songs like Clap, Still Standing (Featuring Jill Scott) and Evolve, all I can say is Get The F@*K up and go get the album.!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Film: Conviction

My weekend choice was a film by writer Pamela Gray and Director Tony Goldwyn. While the two haven't gain the success and notoriety as the many actors that embellished this picture, their combination succeeded for me. The film is based on the true story of Betty Anne Waters who puts herself through law school and with the help of attorney Barry Scheck from the Innocence project exonerated her wrongfully convicted brother. The film rights went into a bidding war after 60 minutes aired in a piece on the story back in 2002. The picture may not have received the press and attention deserved but it delivers outstanding performances from an eclectic cast. It stars two time academy award winner Hillary Swank, acclaimed actor Sam Rockwell, academy award winner Melissa Leo, Minnie Driver, and a small but amazing performance from Academy award nominee Juliette Lewis. The film has very powerful scenes that the actors did an amazing job taking me into the hearts and minds of these real characters through obstacles that most Americans wouldn't find plausible. It was another great film added to the collection of winners in the category of "art imitating life".

Film: Sidney Lumet (1924-2011)

I think most people want to see films that showcase their favorite actors and/or movie stars. Others see films based on the story or genre. I can fall into the above categories at times, but I tend to see films based on who directed the picture.

In film school, I was told (by a professor) that it was a good idea, when studying films, to pick a director I liked and backtrack: see their first film, then 2nd film and so on... and watch their work unfold in chronological order. It's an interesting exercise (which I have done for several directors and authors and musicians) and someone great to start out with is Sideny Lumet, who just passed away last week at 86 years of age. He directed his last (and one of his best) film titled, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, in 2007 at 82 years of age. SIDE NOTE: In earlier posts I mentioned studying John Cassavettes and Akira Kurosawa, who are also good, less obvious, choices.

You will learn a lot about filmmaking from Sideny Lumet. Sure, he made some bad films, but the majority of his work is great. In 1978 he even directed Michael Jackson, Diana Ross AND Nipsey Russell in The Wiz (title character played by Richard Pryor)! A box-office flop, but an interesting piece of film history.

Although he never won a Best Director Oscar, Sidney Lumet was still a master of cinema and considered an actor's director. Seventeen actors were nominated for Oscars under his direction; Pacino was nominated twice.

If you want to be a filmmaker see Lumet's work, but first read his book MAKING MOVIES. Also a technical master, he details his psychological approaches to selecting the right lens--priceless.

RIP, Sidney Lumet (1924-2011).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lauren Von Der Pool caters the 2011 Oscars with Wolfgang

I had so much fun this year catering the award season with Wolfie. the past 2 years was great but this year I rocked the Red Carpet for the first time at the Oscars which was so much fun! This year was also the first time I went to the Vanity Fair party as well as Elton John's party @ the Pacific Design Center, simply stellar darling!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Design: X-Ray Fashion

British photographer Nick Veasey uses X-Rays to “strip back the layers and show what it is like under the surface” of fashion. His beautiful images show us a different side of fashion, looking at the construction of the object as opposed to what it looks like on the outside. His exhibition “Fashion X-Rayed” is on view until September at La Vallée Village in Paris. For more on his work visit his site and blog. Also look at some of his other work using trucks, planes, accessories and even flowers.

For more on this story and others in contemporary art, design and architecture visit Culturalblahblah at

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The Air Jordan 7 “Bordeaux” will undoubtedly be one of the biggest releases of the year. In case you didn’t know, this shoe, which releases this upcoming Saturday, has not hit stores since its original debut in 1992.

1st person i seen with these Exclusive kicks is DRAKE!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Music: Olivia Opens Her Heart On Love & Hip Hop

Greetings world! My name is Rob Sauthoff and I am thrilled to be joining the team at Purse and Pulse.

For my first post I would like to share with you an interview I did not too long ago with R&B singer Olivia.

Olivia is one of the lead characters on the hit reality show Love & Hip Hop on VH1. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Olivia (Longott) possesses a natural talent that shines through on record and in live performance.

Olivia is best known for the time she spent as the only female artist signed to G Unit Records and is working hard to build a reputation on her own, as a chart topping singer .

I spoke with Olivia just before Love & Hip Hop premiered and she opened up to me about her struggles in the music industry, her love life and we talked about what fans will expect to see on the reality show.


To check out Olivia's new music video for the single "December" and for more entertainment news log on to Also follow me on twitter @robsauthoff (

Monday, April 11, 2011

All That Glitters, Can Be Gold.

Flirtatious Spring has arrived and as the weather changes for the best, so should your look. Allow a little bit of glitter to enter your beauty box as a blossoming hot trend to warm up your winter blues. You can try Make Up Forever’s Glitter Pots which run around $13 from Sephora to add a glimpse of Sparkle to your eyes or lips. In eye catching colors like Blues and Pinks or even try a color you wouldn’t normally use like Orange or Purple. For eyes just dab a little Vaseline or a neutral colored base on a angled liner brush to allow the pigments to stick to the brush and just line from you’re top inner eye lid to the end just as you would with a eye liner pencil. For a more dramatic look you can also line the bottom lid. Also for the girls who love a good deal try out cosmetic brand NYX’s new product Glitter On The Go which comes in a cute little pot for nearly $6 retailed at beauty stores like Harmon, Ulta or you can just order directly from the website Also for those that don’t like the messiness of a loose glitter beauty Superstore and website, Ulta also offers a variety of great alternatives in different price ranges such as Urban Decay’s Stardust Eyeshadow (Retail price $20), L’Oreal’s HIP - High Intensity Pigments Metallic Duo Eyeshadows (Retail price $7.99), or LA Splash Crystallized Glitter Bliss (Retail price $6.99). And last but definitely not least Lancome has a great eyeshadow for all of you fashion foxes and vicious vixen’s called OMBRE MAGNÉTIQUE by Lancome, running a little more pricey than the rest (Retail Price $25.00) but the colors were inspired by the disco lights of Chez Régine nightclub in Paris.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Film: The first feature length film

According to most sources, the first continuous, full-length narrative feature film (defined as a commercially-made film at least an hour in length) was writer/director Charles Tait's five-reel biopic of a notorious outback folk hero and bushranger, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906, Australia), with a running time of between 60-70 minutes. Only fragments of the film survive to this day. Australia was the only country set up to regularly produce feature-length films prior to 1911.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Film: WOODKID - Iron

Directed by Yoann Lemoine, who also happens to be the artist singing the song. Check out the EP "IRON" on itunes.