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The edge of creativity

The Edge of creativity-Whiplash & Dior and I

"The Edge...there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." Hunter S Thomson

Having had the benefit of watching two very different but successful films this weekend, I came to the conclusion that art will be groundbreaking, when and if, the limits are pushed beyond the edge and humanity is explored.  Our senses must be challenged to the point that an alternative to the static perceptions and views of the world, is provided for.  When this happens we are left astounded and wowed with the potential of differentiated thinking, as it applies to humanity.   Whiplash's writer/director,  Damien Chazelle, and Dior and I's artistic director, Raf Simons, create artistically edgy work in their very disparate mediums, of film and Haute Couture. 

It is no wonder that Whiplash has taken out so many awards, predominantly for Best Actor in a supporting role, which has been awarded to J. K. Simmons.  The Story revolves around a first year music student, Miles Teller, who aspires to become the greatest, meeting his mentor, J. K. Simmons, who is willing to push him to achieve that.

The question that gets asked and is 
portrayed in the film, is how far does one push a student to become the
greatest, and in a landscape where the push to greatness is unethical, violent, or aggressive, what does or can it look like?

Chazelle's mother recounts that Damien wrote the film "to explore this issue of how far it's appropriate to push students in the name of greatness and at what point do you cross the line between something that's an obsession and something that's a healthy passion." More so than that, what happens when the student is just as pathological in his quest to achieve that 'greatness'? This is the aspect that deals with the humanity of the film; the bit that makes us as viewers identify with the issues whilst quite possible cringing in the process.

Dior and I is a completely different film, a documentary that follows Belgian designer Raf Simons on the creation of his first Haute Couture collection for Dior.  Raf Simons was considered a minimalist before joining Dior and in this documentary he seeks out to show the flamboyancy, colour, elegance of high fashion.  

Image result for sterling ruby
His humanity is prevalent in desiring to connect fashion with comfort so that women are not constricted and are always made to feel free when they are dressed.  He pushes his designs to the edge with the particular prints that he orders.  Looking at artists such as Sterling Ruby whose works are reminiscent of Rothko.

This in itself is edgy.  Also, ordering millions of flowers to decorate the walls of the space for the parade, priceless, different and magical.

It stands to reason then, the greatest art, in whatever medium it is in, film or Haute Couture, is one that has pushed boundaries, gone to the edge and consulted with the humanity in all of us. From that point onwards it will be timeless and forever viewed in awe.

Stella Dimadis
April 2015


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