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Feb 2013 19

by Zach Roberts

Eros Hoagland is a photojournalist. His portfolio includes Afghanistan, Iraq, El Salvador, Haiti, Rio and Juarez. He’s seen the shit that you don’t want to – but need to and his memories are tagged NSFW.

Basically if it’s dangerous and there’s things to photograph, he’ll be there sooner or later. He’ll tell you he’s not an action photographer. It’s more about the aftermath for him. He’s been shot at however, well, he’ll say something to the extent that guns have been fired around him.

When I caught up with him via cell phone he was walking the streets of Tijuana, about 10 minutes into the conversation he starts laughing saying he just spotted a tattooed and pierced ‘SuicideGirl.’

I’ve seen his work in magazines and on news sites but as with most photographers, the photos don’t ever get attached to a name and a face – just a listing of the agency, maybe a last name. So when I heard that HBO was doing a series on photojournalists called Witness, in part on a guy named Eros Hoagland, I did a quick image search and re-discovered his work.

It’s not what you’d think; colors are drained, sometimes down to black and white. He shoots a lot with an iPhone. “I could give a shit about what other people think about what cameras I use.” He tells me cell phone shots allow him to get more real moments. “People don’t even know… their body language is completely different. The iPhone erases all of that.”

I’m not sure if Apple would want to use this as an endorsement. Hipstamatic might want too though. He says there’s “something very interesting about the way it compresses layers.” Indeed, he’s convinced me to go back to the app and drop Instagram.

Eros is not your traditional combat photographer, he’s more of a combat photo-essayist. He lays out a scene…there’s abstract shots, people’s faces are often obscured. He tells a story…”I’m not there to tell you what’s happening, I’m there to show you what I saw, what’s happening to me…you can come upon your own conclusion.”

One of the big dangers photographing in a place like Juarez – outside of direct violence – is the effect that you might have on the people after their photo is taken. Someone’s photograph showing up in a paper might endanger that person’s life, so Eros works abound that, shooting them in shadows, or with a slight blur. He’ll also do this for stylistic reasons, “[It] helps me convey a sense of mystery,” he explains. “I like people to look at pictures and say hmmm what’s going on here.” And they do. His photos convey the feel of the moment better than even video might (which he does as well).

His work from the Mexican border is coming together as a book called Reckoning at the Frontier. Some of the photos you see here will be in it. Reckoning at the Frontier will be more than just a portfolio book, he’s brought on a writer, Myle Estey (CNN, Global Post, VICE), who’s worked extensively in the borderlands to add essays and context to the photos.

Before we lost connection on our cells (me in Alaska, Eros in Tijuana) he said that he’d love to photograph SuicideGirls in his journalistic style, so if you’re in the San Diego area hit him up!

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Feb 2013 04

by Nicole Powers

“I’m not cynical about clicktivism.”
– Cory Doctorow

I was recently fortunate enough to spend some quality time with Cory Doctorow discussing topics related to the plot of Homeland, the thrilling follow up to his contemporary classic novel Little Brother (which serves as a primer on civil rights in the digital age). Our conversation spanned 90 minutes and ran into excess of 17,000 words, so the need for brevity dictated that I had to edit our interview heavily. However, Doctorow has an avid following, and rightly so. Hence I figured those of you that enjoyed the first installment of our interview might appreciate this second bite at the apple.

In the first part, we discussed Burning Man, which is where the action in Homeland kicks off, and the student debt bubble, which serves as a backdrop to the book. In part two, our conversation delves further into the post-Occupy politics of Homeland. In Doctorow’s book, our hacktivist hero Marcus Yallow, having been forced out of the education system due to financial pressures, gains a position as a tech guru for an independent political candidate. Our discussion therefore naturally turns to the limitations of two party systems, the potential social media has to transform the political landscape, the pros and cons of clicktivism, and the perils of online activism, which is especially poignant given that Aaron Swartz contributed an afterward to the book.

Read part two of my interview with Cory Doctorow on SuicideGirls.com/.

Cory will be embarking on a multi-city US book tour starting on Tuesday, February 5th, which also happens to be the release date for Homeland. See below for a full list of dates:

Cory Doctorow – 2013 Homeland Book Tour
Tuesday, February 05 – Seattle Public Library Central Branch, Seattle, WA
Wednesday, February 06 – Powell’s Books, Beaverton, OR
Thursday, February 07 – Booksmith, San Francisco, CA
Friday, February 08 – Borderlands Books, San Francisco, CA
Saturday, February 09 – The Leonardo, Salt Lake City, UT
Sunday, February 10 – Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
Tuesday, February 12 – Times Square Marriott Marquis, New York, NY
Thursday, February 14 – Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH
Friday, February 15 – Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
Saturday, February 16 – Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
Sunday, February 17 – Dekalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Monday, February 18 – Square Books, Oxford, MS
Tuesday, February 19 – Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN
Wednesday, February 20 – Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA
Thursday, February 21 – Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX
Friday, February 22 – Book People, Austin, TX
Saturday, February 23 – Crowne Plaza Hotel, Nashua, NH
Saturday, February 23 – RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, NH
Sunday, February 24 – Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NH
Monday, February 25 – Busboys and Poets, Washington DC
Tuesday, February 26 – Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
Wednesday, February 27 – South Broadway Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM

Full details can be found here.

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Jan 2013 22

by Alex Dueben

“John Tallow is, basically, anyone who’s lost enthusiasm for their work. Anyone who was doing great right up until they realised it didn’t matter. Anyone who let themselves get disengaged from the world and then discovered they liked it better that way.”
– Warren Ellis

Warren Ellis is a name familiar to comics readers because of the many great series he’s written over the past two decades including Transmetropolitan, Planetary, The Authority, Nextwave, Global Frequency, Fell and FreakAngels. The graphic novel Red, which he wrote, was adapted into a 2010 movie starring Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren. The film’s sequel, Red 2, will be released this August.

He’s also written multiple videogames including Dead Space. Ellis’ first novel, Crooked Little Vein, was released in 2007. He’s also written extensively about futurism, design and other topics for Reuters, here at SuicideGirls and currently for Vice.

Ellis’ new novel is Gun Machine, thriller set in New York City about a policeman who has to hunt a serial killer. Using that armature, Ellis uses the novel to comment on the nature of police work, explore the history of New York City, the meaning of wampum and more. We spoke with Ellis over e-mail about the book, the future of the webseries Wastelanders, which he’s writing with Joss Whedon, and whether he’s abandoned comics.

Read our interview with Warren Ellis on SuicideGirls.com.

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Jan 2013 10

by Nicole Powers

“Scholarship is inherently not a market activity.”
– Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow has made me wait almost a year to read Homeland, the much-anticipated sequel to Little Brother, his opus on civil rights and protest in the digital age. With not one but two Doctorow novels, Pirate Cinema and Rapture of the Nerds (which was co-authored with Charles Stross), already on the release schedule for 2012, Homeland has had to loiter in the wings for a 2013 publication date. But the wait has been well worth it. Homeland is a beyond worthy successor to Little Brother.

The highly prophetic novel, which was first published in 2007, is now regarded as a contemporary classic. As such, Little Brother is required reading in many of our more progressive schools, and has even been turned into a “must see” stage play –– hence Homeland has quite a legacy to live up to.

When I last sat down with Doctorow –– for an interview specifically about Little Brother –– on January 4th, 2012, Obama had just signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012 into law. With the stroke of our President’s pen, yet another of the central themes of Little Brother –– unlimited military detention without trial –– had become fact rather than fiction.

In Homeland (which Doctorow had finished writing a few days prior to our first meeting), we return to the Little Brother universe a year and a half after the last novel left off. In the intervening months, austerity has choked the life and soul out of America, and our hacktivist hero Marcus Yallow has quit his studies, having been forced out of university by financial pressures and burgeoning student debt.

The action kicks off at Burning Man, where Marcus has an unexpected encounter with his sometime ally Masha, and their nemesis Carrie Johnstone. Masha, who is on the run from just about every law enforcement agency you can name (and a few that you can’t), hands Marcus an insurance policy in the form of a key to an encrypted torrent file which contains a treasure drove of highly sensitive data. Her subsequent disappearance prompts Marcus to set up a WikiLeaks-like site, an endeavor which is made all the more complicated by conflicts of interests that arise from his new job as a tech guru for an independent political candidate.

Meanwhile Johnstone has given up her position in the military for a lucrative job in the private sector with a Halliburton type entity that has tentacles embedded in the government, military, and the increasingly lucrative (and corrupt) student loan market. It’s therefore no surprise that Johnstone and her corporation, Zyz, are the subject of much of Masha’s leaked data, and a cat & mouse game ensues involving lawful interception, rootkits, and drones. It’s not all doom and gloom though, and at one point during the breakneck-paced plot, Marcus (and Doctorow vicariously through him) gets to sit down and have a Mini Dungeon adventure with Electronic Frontier Foundation founders John Perry Barlow, John Gilmore and Mitch Kapor, with uber geek Wil Wheaton acting as Dungeon Master.

Having read an advance copy of Homeland, I met up with Doctorow at his North London workspace to question him about it. As I make myself comfortable on his couch and set up my digital recorder on the coffee table next to his well-thumbed copy of the RAND Corporation’s 1955 book A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates, the Canadian-born writer and Boing Boing editor does something quintessentially English by offering me a cup of tea. Normally this would be more than acceptable, but having been tempted by the delights of cold-brew coffee –– Marcus’ hi-octane beverage of choice which fuels much of Homeland –– I can’t help feeling a little disappointed that Doctorow didn’t have a batch on the go…

Read our interview with Cory Doctorow on SuicideGirls.com.

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Dec 2012 13

by Nicole Powers

“I believe that we are at the brink of a 1,000 year Dark Age and unless we stand up viscerally and powerfully and with civil disobedience and everything we’ve got, if we don’t start fighting for a different kind of future, then we’re not going to have a future.”

~ Kalle Lasn, Adbusters

Adbusters co-founder and Occupy Wall Street protagonist Kalle Lasn is hoping his new book, Meme Wars, will ultimately facilitate the occupation of the world’s financial institutions, corporations, and governments from within. It’s a lofty goal and a long game, but as Lasn so eloquently puts it: “If we don’t start fighting for a different kind of future then we’re not going to have a future.”

Over the course of Meme War’s 400+ pages, Lasn challenges students in the economics departments of learning institutions around the globe to rise up, reeducate their professors, and demand they cast aside the failed tenets of orthodox economics. He also sets forth a more holistic curriculum which takes into account the psychological and environmental costs of doing business and redefines the concept of wealth to include mental and ecological health.

We spoke with Lasn, who was born in Estonia but is Vancouver based, by phone.

Read our interview with Kalle Lasn on SuicideGirls.com.

Meme Wars: The Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economics is published by Seven Stories.

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Nov 2012 27

by Nicole Powers

“I like dangerous stuff.”
– Noah Hathaway

Noah Hathaway is one of the nicest people you’ll ever have the pleasure of seeing tortured – but a least he’s only suffering for his art. In Sushi Girl, a bloody stylish homage to ‘70s Grindhouse, he plays Fish, a participant in a diamond heist gone bad. For his trouble he gets six years inside, while his partners in crime remain free thanks to his silence. On the night of his release, they lay on a special dinner, which involves more pain than pleasure for Hathaway’s intriguing character.

Hathaway is perhaps best known for his role as Atreyu in the 1984 fantasy film Neverending Story. He spent his formative years within the Hollywood system – most notably playing Boxey at the tender ages of 6 in the original Battlestar Galactica TV series – however he’s refreshingly unaffected by it. This might be because, unlike other child stars of his generation, he quit while he was ahead and got out of dodge, at least for a while. Sushi Girl marks Hathaway’s return to Hollywood. Aside from an appearance in To Die, To Sleep, which filmed in 1992, it’s his first major film roll since Troll in 1986.

I meet Hathaway in an elaborate looking, but musty smelling defunct Chinese restaurant near Universal CityWalk, which serves as the location for much of the Sushi Girl action. The film was co-written and produced by longtime friend of SG Destin Pfaff, which is why this special all-access set visit is on the menu. Despite its shoestring budget, the project has an incredibly high caliber of cast, which includes Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Tony Todd (Candyman), James Duval (Donnie Darko), and martial arts legend Sonny Chiba (Street Fighter). It also features smokin’ hot newcomer Cortney Palm in the title role.

Having already chatted with Pfaff, Chiba and Palm, I sit down for my final interview of the day with Hathaway as he’s munching on a craft service chicken dinner between scenes. Our conversation quickly takes us to places one might not expect to go with the wide-eyed kid from Neverending Story. We chat about his own street fighting skills, his love of chopper bikes, his apprenticeship in the art of tattooing, and his passion for women with ink.

Read our interview with Noah Hathaway on SuicideGirls.com.

***

Sushi Girl premieres at Mann’s Chinese Theater on Tuesday, November 27th, and is available on VOD. For more info visit: sushigirlmovie.com.

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Nov 2012 26

by Blogbot

“Our movie is very serious, and it’s juicy and pulpy and wonderful.”
– Destin Pfaff

“I like horror movies, that’s all I really wanted to do,” said filmmaker turned Millionaire Matchmaker Destin Pfaff when SuicideGirls first spoke to him just over a year ago. “I was so against getting sidetracked. And she sidetracked me – magically,” he said of his reality TV star boss, Patti Stanger. “I love matchmaking, and will always do it,” Pfaff adds, however, 2011 is the year he gets his film career seriously back on track.

His first full-length feature film, Sushi Girl, has just gone into production. Co-written and produced by Pfaff, the title of the film refers to the female (played by newcomer Cortney Palm) that serves as the centerpiece of a reunion dinner for members of a gang who we’re involved in an ill-fated diamond heist.

The cast features an eclectic and surprising mix of names, which includes Mark Hamill, a.k.a. Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, Noah Hathaway, who played Atreyu in Neverending Story, and Sonny Chiba, whose breakout role was that of Takuma Tsurugi in the martial arts classic, The Street Fighter.

Pfaff was kind enough to invite SuicideGirls onto the Universal Studios set to meet the cast and get a behind-the-scenes perspective on the action. But first we stopped by his trailer for a quick chat about how Sushi Girl came to be on Pfaff’s menu.

Read our interview with Destin Pfaff on SuicideGirls.com.

**Update**

Sushi Girl premieres at Mann’s Chinese Theater on Tuesday, November 27th, and is available on VOD. For more info visit: sushigirlmovie.com.

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