Friday, 24 February 2017


Thailand, Africa and the extreme elegance of an Italian shirt, revisited and rendered unisex.
Like a boat floating on the contemporary ocean of post-modernism, a fragmented individualism recomposed by positive action, good will, determination and research of new beauty and elegance.

It was in the days before Christmas 2016 in Paris, walking in these new institutions full of raw talent and creativity called Pop-Up Stores and growing like mushrooms in the French Metropolis (as all over elsewhere too) where I first saw the creations of Marian Eeckhout.

Among other talented creators I felt especially pulled by the work of this young French designer, his bold compositions made by combining very different national fabrics in one coherent item, a series of unique shirts and bags (made by recovering and recycling what was left from the making of the shirts).
I immediately liked and felt attracted to the extreme contrast between the intense colours and shapes of the Asian and African fabrics, combined among themselves to create something unexpected but appealing, a series of classic shirts, all with their own colourful twist.

I later met with the creator (designer and tailor combined), young French designer 
Marian Eeckhout for a chat in preparation of this critical presentation of his work 
and I found out more about his background and influences and how his life becomes a basis for his creations.

The young Marian Eeckhout has already -despite his age- a long and varied past, from Belgian parents of French origin, grew up in Brussels, did different studies and odd jobs before finding his way in designing and hand-making his trade-mark shirts and bags, a perfect example of how a creative spirit can find balance and beauty in putting together boldly and unapologetically, free from traditional conservative good taste, very different culturally and aesthetically fabric fragments into one very personal and coherent whole. 

Like his own eclectic and adventurous life, enriched by living and working in several European countries before establishing himself in Paris from where he regularly travels 
to Thailand and Bali several times a year to find inspiration and buy the fabrics and first materials that he will then revisit, interpret and integrate in his own creations.

I first loved and I am always inspired by his innocent coherence in creation by feeling, 
his indifference to snobby and old school conventional “good taste”, his full-hearted openness and acceptance of difference.

The explosion of colour and anarchy of shapes the Asian and African fabrics bring to the elegant Italian shirts and bags -all unique and hand-made at this point- is a breath of fresh air of intense, chaotic, energised feeling in a Western world and fashion a bit dried-up in terms of real honest emotion, generosity and acceptance of diversity and alterity.

Marian Eeckhout naturally, by instinct and with no theatrics, is simply crossed and 
penetrated by this colourful and chaotic alterity, the perfect postmodern creature, open in his flesh and heart, almost happily fragmented and floating in the unique global ocean 
that contains us all in what remains of our shared humanity.

In coherence with how he finds his inspiration, he is concerned about recovering and recycling fabrics used and tossed aside as well as practicing what a friend of his called “chirurgie textile” (Fabric Surgery), taking old items of clothing that carry a special emotional value for their owners and revisit them by cutting away old and adding new elements, always colourful and rich in patterns.

I like these open-hearted, inclusive, colourful and chaotic elements, disciplined as it were in the sober, elegant and decisive lines of the minimalistic designed shirts and bags.

I also like this postmodern aesthetic fragmentation of the basic components becoming a harmony out of difference and a contrast that we can actually wear.

I recommend a visit, the discovery of young, fresh, honest talent with an optimistic message of acceptance, fraternity and elegance we can wear and feel better and more hopeful and colourful about ourselves and the future of our world, so grey nowadays in the Trump era...

Fashion with a real message, for a change...

(c) Haris Metaxa, February 2017


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

WOM, Wear A Masterpiece and then gradually become it!

Monday, 2 January 2017

BARASH, An Israeli Film of Truthful Girl to Girl Love, Sorrow, Hope and Talent. For the country too!

(SIVAN NOAM SHIMON and HADAS JADE SAKORI during promotional shooting)

How can you pack and unpack emotions outside, 
how can you trasmit what goes on in your heart, your body, your memories?
How can you represent the complex, compact feelings, 
the speleological experiences that make you who you are?
How to tell Life in Art?
How to make Your Life an Universal Tale
while conserving its individual personal and cultural color and taste?

Well, with great difficulty, commitment and exercise, if ever.

With a hermetical, life-long dedication and social convention's abnegation, 
with the acceptance of social exile and relative poverty 
in exchange for inner freedom and truthful expression.

And how to do all those things when you are a young Queer Lady in Israel today,
in your early forties with a passion and a deep-felt commitment, an actual existential urgency, 
like a bite on your soul, an itch on your nose that won't go away, 
to tell the tale of gay girls falling in love for the first time in Israel 
at a historical period of extreme personal, familiar, social and political fragmentation?

Well, again, you shall need the genious, the refreshingly uncompromising attitude, 
the single-minded dedication and matter-of-fact unapologetic obsession 
of young Irsaeli filmmaker and scriptwriter MICHAL VINIK 
and her rare talent to tell the story of a 
"girl to girl" coming of age 
and the pleasures and pains of queer love and identity quest, 
set deep inside and told against the background of a disintegrating Israeli society 
that protects no one and even less the queer lost in space girls. 

pic (c) Haris Metaxa

This is all brilliantly done in Ms Vinik's  first feature film "BARASH", 
released last year (2016) and presented last November 
during the rich and challenging Cheries-Cheris Lgbtqi Film Festival (CCFF) in Paris 
where I had the pleasure of seeing it 
and immediately run to interview MICHAL VINIK first 
and later her two main actresses, 
in order to tell you my story of discovering this new Queer Verismo 
in  Contemporary Lgbtqi Cinematography.

pic (c) San FEDE
pic (c) San FEDE

Presentation of the filmmaker during the CCF Festival 
with a very good interpretation into French, rare event..

pic (c) Haris Metaxa
The Interview in a cafè by the MK2 Beaubourg where BARASH was shown the day before.

The filmmaker at the centre with the two main characters, protagonists of the love story.

pic (c) Haris Metaxa
(Writing the article at night at a Parisian cafè, CCFF catalogue.)

So, now you have seen the pictures and taken a breathe from this intense eulogy, 
let's go back to our analysis. 
As I was saying, Israel is shown in punk hyper-realistic, quite naked and cruel colors 
(that do justice to the feeling depicted) to be totally fragmented and humanly alienated, 
the social tissue irrimediably broken and all individuals let loose to their own devices 
like crazy atoms with no unifing centre, 
like lone apples falling from a tree in a no-gravity enviroment, suspended, never quite touching ground. 
Lost in space, floating in a liquid universe that has lost all fixed and solid reference points.

Nobody has its place during historical ages and in places 
when and where Reality explodes 
and we cannot quite catch up, 
as is our case in the film narrative with Contemporary Israel, 
Reality escapes comprehension 
and our ideas do not correspond any longer to the world around us.

All the characters in BARASH are lost and we feel for them. 
Every single one of them.
But, still, we have seen similar characters before, we can decode their despair, 
feeling of loss, the pull of a social escape.

But what we shall see for the very first time in this deeply touching and elegantly constructed, directed, 
and interpreted film is how it feels to be a young girl falling in love with another girl.

The Social Void is actually helpful in Queer Love Dynamics, 
socially you do not exist as a Queer Individual 
so at a personal level you are totally free to define and position yourself inside this deep intensity of feeling, this carnal desire you are not supposed to feel and from which you cannot quite escape, 
this uncharted emotion of making love fom the first time 
(like a Golden Gender Austronaut walking for the first time on a Virgin Velvet Rainbow New  Planet)
to a body specular to, yet not quite like, yours.

And still, lost as you are, it feels so queer and so natural at the same time 
to be where you are 
and to do exactly what you are doing. 
The Cultural Taboo, your Natural Enviroment. 
You are an Alien stranded in a Foreign Planet,
the one of Global Normative Heterosexuality.
Divorce from Society. 
Home in your Desire.
Desire is your Home. 
You have found Home. 
You have found your Identity, 
you know you shall Exist from now on in this Double Female Body, 
in this New Hidden Continent on the border of Social Reality and Acceptabilty.

You are on the Border but you are Not Alone anymore.
You can scream with pleasure and delight 
as one of the young girls, Naama, does in the movie 
after she has made love to the girl she desires for the first time.
So just, so truthful, so simple.

Here, exactly at this Banal Point of Codification and Symbolic Representation, 
Reality becomes Art, 
Life becomes Film Narrative 
and you do not feel in Exile anymore.

End of the Sexual and Social Exile for the Girls in the Movie 
but also for the Queer Ladies in the audience, 
"partout dans le monde"
everywhere in the world.
Now you can inhabit HER. 
"HER" in general, 
not as in This Specific Lover, 
This Specific Double Body, 
This Shared Carnal & Erotic and Sensual Queerness.

But the narrative in BARASH goes on, Joy, Loss, 
Discovery of personal Strength and depth of personal Freedom.
"Even if Love doesn't flow, Life still can", as the poet in me has said.
MICHAL VINIK brilliantly tells us in words and images, in bodies and faces, in smiles and tears,
with the help of the incredible performance of both the two young real-life Queer Israeli actresses, 
she tells us and offers us as a gift 
this touching tale of girl to girl first love 
and we feel the emotion of their eyes, 
voices and bodies 
almost on own skin.

Well, I did.
But, then again, I am quite partial.
Be as it may, it doesn't really matter what your Gender Identity and what your Sexuality is,
this is a Wonderful Film for Everybody who believes in Emotion and Truth and Beauty and Cruelty 
told and shared through ART, 
through FILM.

I am writing this a lot more than a month after I've seen the film at the fantastic CCF Festival in Paris 
in the second week of November last, back in 2016.
My emotion still flows, fresh like when I first saw BARASH.

pic (c) Haris Metaxa

The film went on to win the Jury's award at the CCFF.
As I had already chosen the film to write about and had already interviewed the filmmaker,
 I felt proud of Jury's good taste 
and went on to cheer and to immediately tell the film crew on Social Media, 
happy and proud myeself as if I had helped in its making!

Bravo to Economical, Punk, Cruel and Optimistic 
(that's Dialectics for you, Folks, it moves by Embracing Contraddiction!) 
Directing (and solid Script Writing) of MICHAL VINIK 
and bravo to SIVAN NOAM SHIMON (Naama Barash) 
and HADAS JADE SAKORI (Dana Hershko) 
brilliantly and convincingly playing the girls discovering love and life.
They gave everything they've got, tried to find the truth of the characters in themselves 
and they managed to make the characters complex, touching, convincing, 
similar and separate at the same time.
We escaped with volatile life-pirate Dana and we felt lost and found and lost again with Naama.
They both felt like two girls we have met or we could meet in our real lives. 
Complex, deep, uncompromising 
and fighting to keep their heads above troubled waters and learn how to swim too.

I was very impressed when I found out that both were, at the time when the film was in the making, 
non-professional actresses.
Well, now they showed they can become professional indeed or, better still, they really are already professional.
I wish them all the best and I hope they continue their creative careers, in  movies and else. 

Actresses and filmmaker make an incredibly talented and quite courageous triad 
we have to keep in mind and follow.

BARASH, one of the best movies I have seen, 
in all categories and not only as a Lgbtqi potrayal of love and loss.

(and CRY too sometimes...).

Can't wait to see what the trio will come up to creatively,
together in any combination and quality 
or separately. 

Young Queer Female Israeli Talent.

Brave Ragazze et Merci, 

GENERAL LINKS and Photo Credits

CCFF site program link, Barash:

CCFF Photographer, San FEDE, FB page:

(c) Haris Metaxa, Paris, 1/1/2017!

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Aube/Sudaine Aubaine

La lumiere 
sur tes yeux souriantes
en arrivant,
s'ouvre sur ton dos
en partant.
La persistance du sourire
est le reve.
Le Notre.

Sunday, 4 December 2016


Dead souls go to Purgatory and there they stay until they are released. Release them, whoever is their God, whoever is holding them, let them go, do it in person, go to the captive souls, look them in the eyes, hold their burning hand and condemn or save them.
Anything goes. Your decision, your call. They put you there. So do what they ask you to.
Do anything you want with them but do it in person, tell them where they will go next, release them from the infinite loop of eternal repeatition, do not hold them captive in that motionless vertigo, release them to Heaven or Hell, release them to movement, and to time and change.
And to another God,
with time,
and change
and movement.
And Life.
Release them back to Life.
Their God, God of the Dead Souls.
Whoever you are.
Whoever you might be.
Whoever you might become.
You owe them that much.

Their only fault,
they believed in you.
Believe back in them,
in the power of Lazarus inside every dead soul
once it had been released from Purgatory.
Complete the circle
of hope and despair,
life and death,
love and indifference.
Open Purgatory wide open,
let the Dead Souls OUT.