Results tagged “Documentary film”

02:32 PM

The documentary film "TATTOOS: Perceptions & Perspectives" by Maximillian Jacobson-Gonzalez has been making the internet rounds, but in case you haven't seen it (and its accompanying video interviews), I highly recommend you spend some time, as it offers thoughtful discussion on common tattoo issues: stigma, tattooing as an artistic practice, the impact of fashion and celebrity, and also identity, individuation and belonging, among others. These are not new discussions, but what makes the film really compelling is the diversity of the perspectives and the experience and expertise of those interviewed.

For me, I could listen to our friend Dr. Matt Lodder talk about tattoos for days, particularly sharing his expertise looking at tattooing from the art historian perspective. Find more thoughts from Matt in this separate 29-minute interview with him. The film starts off with a great quote from Matt: "The story is a persistent one: some people get it, some people don't." [And there are fun follow-up person-on-the-street interviews with people saying they don't get it.] I also appreciated his discussion on how tattooing is viewed as a "phenomenon," and gets written as, "Why would you do that to yourself?" but he notes that someone handpoking a Wham logo (as his old bus driver did) and someone traveling to Switzerland to get tattooed by Filip Leu are not the same thing.

Maximilian then talks to Filip and Loretta Leu -- one of the most renowned and respected tattoo families in the world. There's also a 23-minute interview with Filip for more. Loretta talks about society's acceptance -- or lack thereof -- of tattooing, while Filip shares his own experience getting tattooed very young, the desire to be separate from a group and then that desire to be a part of something.

Further to that discussion on belonging, Dr. Margo Demello, cultural anthropologist and author of Bodies of Inscription: A Cultural History of the Modern Tattoo Community (2000), talks about tattoos as symbol and affiliation, noting that it's why  gangs still get tattoos and police still track it. She also compares cultural acceptance of tattoos to other movements and acceptance like the women's and gay rights movements. Check the additional 15-minute interview footage with Margo.

Other highlights include interviews with Paul Sayce, VP of Tattoo Club of Great Britain; tattoo veteran Lal Hardy; Perry Rule of Total Tattoo magazine; and heavily tattooed actor Robert Lasardo. Find extra footage of Lal here and Paul here.

Feel free to share your own perspective and thoughts on the film in our Needles & Sins Facebook group or Tweet at me.
08:37 PM
Lars Krutak_low_res.jpg
All Images Copyright Lars Krutak

Tattoo anthropologist Dr. Lars Krutak is no stranger to Needles & Sins. In February, we profiled the tattoo hunter, discussing his research into indigenous body modification practices worldwide. We also love his Kalinga Tattoo book on the vanishing tattoo practices of the Kalinga people in the Philippines.

This Saturday, July 30th, Lars will be giving a lecture at Sacred Gallery on his research and displaying photos and video from his journeys. Here's what Sacred says of the event:

Unimax is proud to present Dr. Krutak, on July 30th at 3PM, at Sacred Tattoo, 424 Broadway, N.Y.C., who will spend an hour revealing tattoo as a statement of worldviews, where humans, nature, and the supernatural are united. He will show where and how tattoo still represents the reenactment of ancient myths, ancestral traditions, and the actions of deities and cultural heroes. Video clips from his documentary series "Tattoo Hunter," seen on the Discovery Channel supplement the presentation as well as some large format on-location photos by Krutak, from the collection of Wes Wood.
It promises to be a fascinating talk. Highly recommend it.

For those of you in and around D.C., this Wednesday, July 27th, from 6:45 to 8:45 PM, Lars will also share his work in "Skin Deep: The History and Art of Indigenous Tattooing." His books will be available for signing as well.

If you can't make it, check out some of his writings and images online at and The Vanishing Tattoo.

05:10 PM

Last year, we wrote about the release of the Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World documentary, which looks at one of tattoo's most influential artists before the association with trucker hats, energy drinks and bowling alleys(!).

Director Emiko Omori takes a look at the artist, not the brand. [Omori is also co-director of the 2003 documentary Skin Stories on Polynesian tattooing.] The film chronicles Hardy's life since childhood, where as early as 10 years old, he began to "tattoo" his friends with eyeliner and colored pencils.

You can see a number of great clips from film online here in addition to the one above.

If you're in Los Angeles tonight, you can check it on the big screen at UCLA's Hammer Museum at 7pm. Tickets are available at the Billy Wilder Theater Box Office one hour prior to start time.
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