Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer inspires New H.Stern jewelry collection

Oscar Niemeyer, 103, is Brazil’s most famous architect. Considered one of the most influential names in international modern architecture, he is responsible for the project of Brasilia, the country’s capital constructed in the late 50’s, and many other iconic buildings including UN’s headquarters in New York, a collaboration with French master Le Corbusier.

Curves have been his passion over the course of a lifetime. They define the architect’s own style: the lightness of the curved forms that create spaces full of harmony, grace and elegance.

The H.Stern by Oscar Niemeyer Collection is the initiative of Roberto Stern, president and creative director of H.Stern, who has always given special emphasis to organic and sinuous forms in jewelry.

“We do not find straight lines in nature, therefore I like asymmetry and irregular contours, which are more human and natural,” said Stern. It was this shared passion with the architect that led Stern to launch   the collection.

For the first time, Niemeyer personally approved a collection of jewelry created in his honor, and based on his own sketches, his curved lines. Several of the designs include pieces inspired by the female form.

“The jewels are extremely pretty and very light. It’s incredible how they have managed to exactly replicate my designs,” the architect said. “The people who made these jewels are very talented!”

The jewelry designers sought inspiration not in the final form of Niemeyer’s revered creations, already widespread, but in their primary element: the apparently unpretentious outlines and contours which are transformed into architectural works like those in Brasília; Pampulha, an architectural project in Minas Gerais state; the Copan building, in São Paulo; and the surprising Museum of Contemporary Art in Niterói, considered one of his finest works.

Niemeyer appears to bend straight lines in his concrete structures, transforming curves into a natural solution for his creations. H.Stern does the same with gold and diamonds. Besides the curving contours, empty spaces—so prized by the architect in his concrete sculptures—are also reflected in the jewelry. Rings, bracelets and earrings emphasize simple lines, interspersed with empty spaces.

The H.Stern Collection by Oscar Niemeyer includes jewelry in gold and diamonds, composed of six different lines and named for some of his works and famous projects. They convey the simplicity of the outlines, which are captured in a few, essential lines: loose, free and flowing.

Below are the six lines that make up the collection:

Copan bracelet, in yellow gold

Copan building, in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil

Copan—One of the icons of the famous concrete poetry of the capital São Paulo, the Copan building has hovered like a wave on the horizon of the metropolis since the 1950s, contrasting with the straight angles that predominate in the local architecture. It was the wavy, striking design that was the inspiration behind the Copan jewelry collection, with rings in wavy forms and a voluminous yellow gold bracelet.

Brasília—The architecture of the city of Brasilia, glimpsed in the sketches submitted by Lucio Costa for the international design contest for the new capital of Brazil, was the result of Oscar Niemeyer’s definitive influence. The concave and convex domes of the National Congress and the columns of the Alvorada and Planalto Palaces and the Supreme Court are highly original features. Combining these with the spectacular forms of the columns of the Cathedral and the palaces of Itamaraty and Justica, Niemeyer succeeded in closing the rectangular and symmetrical perspective formed by the repetition of the Esplanada and Ministry buildings.

The concave and convex domes that epitomize the building of the National Congress gave form to an yellow gold bracelet, in which continuous lines and empty spaces encircle the female wrist in a light, sensual way. The jewel reconstructs Niemeyer’s proposal when he planned, in 1958, what was to become one of the most beautiful scenes of the federal capital and one of his 35 works to be listed by the Historical Heritage of the country. Besides the bracelet, there are also earrings in which opposite curves join at the tips, with singular lightness.

Pampulha—The inspiration for this line comes from the sinuous design of the roof of the São Francisco de Assis church in Pampulha, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The project was created by Niemeyer in the 1940s, at the request of Juscelino Kubitschek, then mayor of the city who would later become President of Brazil. The structure was highly controversial due to its bold forms. Niemeyer said, “I covered it with curves, all kinds of curves, as a statement against the architecture characterized by straight lines that predominated up until then.”

The wavy design of this emblematic work was reproduced by H.Stern in rings, earrings and bracelets in white gold and diamonds.

PAMPULHA bracelet in white and diamonds

Pampulha Church, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Sketch—Amid the iconic designs of the Pampulha and the National Congress of Brasília, the wall of Niemeyer’s office displays an intriguing design. Two curved, perpendicular lines appear to form the sketch for one of the consistently bold columns of his buildings. Who has seen the arched columns of the Cathedral of Brasília or the Palácio do Planalto? Or, perhaps, the profile of one of the dish-like domes which he transforms into functional buildings. Or it may be an unpretentious drawing that has not been transformed into works of concrete.

Sketch earrings in yellow gold

 National Congress buildings, in Brasília, the capital city of Brazil

This sketch of extreme simplicity was interpreted by H.Stern in a pair of earrings—in white gold and diamonds—in which the metal line folds between the frontal part and behind the earlobe.

Curves—“If the straight line is the shortest route between two points, the curve is what makes concrete search for the infinite,” said Niemeyer, explaining his preference for fluid, sinuous lines. Curves baptize this line of jewelry with rings and earrings. In the earrings, the strands form wavy layers, one on top of the other. The design explores one of the principle elements of architecture: perspective. The visual impression given differs depending from which the jewelry is viewed.

CURVES Ring in white gold and diamonds

Flower—Niemeyer’s work also includes sketches of singular beauty, like one of a hand holding a flower with four leaves. A single line of form and image, reminiscent of a child’s drawings in its simplicity. This drawing provided the inspiration for pendants and bracelet in yellow gold which represent the flower, closely following the spontaneous vision of the architect and designer.

The gold flowers are hollow, in reference to Niemeyer’s appreciation for unfilled areas. “Architecture is about overcoming spaces… I cannot understand those who are afraid of open spaces. Space is part of architecture.” It is also part of the jewelry.

Brazilian musicians Carlinhos Brown and George Israel have also composed a song to honor the launch of the H.Stern by Oscar Niemeyer Collection. “Linhameyer” (a blending of Niemeyer’s name with the word Linha—“line” in Portuguese)  speaks of the sinuous lines in the architect’s drawings.

H. STERN
645 Fifth Avenue at 52nd Street
New York, New York 10022
212-688-0300
800-747-8376
www.hstern.net

The Giant Is No Longer Asleep

In new spot, giant arises from scenic Sugar Loaf Mountain

After years of hearing Brazil referred to as a sleeping giant, Diageo’s Johnnie Walker is appealing to the fast-growing market with a blockbuster spot recognizing Brazil as a colossus that has finally awakened. In “Rock Giant,” the colossus emerges from Rio de Janeiro’s scenic Sugar Loaf mountain landmark.

“We lived with the image of having a lot of potential but not really taking advantage of all the wonderful resources we had,” said Alexandre Gama, president and chief creative officer of Neogama/BBH, the Sao Paulo office of Johnnie Walker’s global agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty. “[People used to say] Brazil is the country of the future, and always will be. We don’t accept that any more.”

In the spot, which broke Friday evening on Facebookand on Brazilian TV on Sunday, the earth cracks and boulders fly as Rio residents watch a giant arise from the famous rock formation. He carefully sets down the cable car that runs along Sugar Loaf Mountain and stands tall. As he takes his first steps, the words “The giant is no longer asleep” appear in Portuguese, before the campaign’s familiar “Keep Walking” global tagline, tweaked to read “Keep Walking, Brazil.”

Mr. Gama said the campaign came about after David Gates, global category director for Diageo’s whiskey brands, visited Brazil early last year and wanted to meet Mr. Gama. During their meeting in the hotel lobby, Mr. Gates, who was previously Diageo Asia’s marketing director, said he felt the kind of momentum was happening in Brazil that he had witnessed earlier in China. He said that opened the possibility to create a campaign that would tap into this change in a very Brazilian way. Diageo is also experiencing Brazil’s momentum first hand, as Johnnie Walker’s fastest-growing market with a 30% annual increase in sales volume.

On his way to Rio’s downtown airport one day to catch the shuttle back to Sao Paulo after a client meeting, Mr. Gama glimpsed Sugar Loaf Mountain, and the idea was born. He said it was important that the message about the sleeping giant awakening was delivered by a non-Brazilian entity like an international brand, so the tagline “Keep Walking, Brazil” spelled the country’s name with a ‘z’ rather than using the Portuguese spelling, Brasil.

Mr. Gama said the spot had more than 187,000 views on YouTube by Sunday night. He helped the spot go viral by sending it to his friend Luciano Huck, a popular Brazilian TV host who has more than three million Twitter followers and tweeted about the spot. The agency also bought a full-page ad in the form of a false cover run by one of Sao Paulo’s leading daily newspapers, Folha de Sao Paulo, with “Sugar Loaf Mountain was part of a giant” as the lead story.

The complex production employed 420 people.

“The challenge was how to make someone covered by birds, trees and rocks look powerful,” he said. “That was the biggest problem.”

The spot, directed by Gorgeous with post-production and composition of the giant by The Mill, required special software to be written enabling the trees to react to the movements of a giant more than a mile high. [ Source : AdAge ]

Jose Padilha on the ‘Robocop’ Remake and ‘Elite Squad 2

The hot “new” director talks about his take on Robocop, its social commentary and the future of the Brazilian film industry

Brazilian director Jose Padilha’s smash sequel Elite Squad: The Enemy Within played at Fantastic Fest. The cop drama expands on Padilha’s themes of corruption in Rio. Padilha’s coming to Hollywood to direct another cop movie, the remake of RobocopElite Squad: The Enemy Within opens November 11 in New York and November 18 in Los Angeles for a platform release, and Padilha is already prepping Robocop.

 

CraveOnline | By Fred Topel : As an American action movie fan, I’ve obviously seen a lot of movies about corruption. Is this the first time you’ve been able to explore that in your country?

Jose Padilha: I’ve done three movies about violence in Rio. I’ve done a documentary called Bus 174 which is about a street kid that hijacks a bus in Rio. I don’t know if you’ve seen that. Then I’ve done the first Elite Squad and now this is the third movie I do about sort of the same subject matter, that’s related to corruption. So I guess I am an old timer filmmaker that deals with corruption.

But I mean is it relatively new for the Brazilian film industry to address it?

Brazil has a peculiar kind of history in filmmaking because we were a dictatorship. That means we were run by generals until the ‘80s. It was a right wing dictatorship so most filmmakers, if not all, were Marxists in the same way where people who were controlled by the left wing dictatorship in Czechoslovakia were capitalists. You always oppose the regime. So filmmaking in Brazil was made from a Marxist perspective. It was full of metaphors to avoid censorship. We had censorship. We had to send our movies to generals, they would look at it and they would cut stuff out of the film. So everything was very difficult for regular people to grasp. It was all sort of like an inside joke between filmmakers that understood some sort of metaphor that would get through the censorship. But Brazilian movies are changing now. Because there’s no more censorship, we don’t have a dictatorship, we can vote so we’ve been able to say things directly. I think this started in a big way with City of God, which is a social commentary on violence by drug dealers and it’s not metaphorical at all. It’s a film that you go, it has action and so on. Myself and other filmmakers now are doing movies like this so I would say it started like 10 years ago. So you’re right, there’s a difference in Brazilian filmmaking now.

What is your philosophy on shooting action?

Well, most people don’t realize a lot of the way you shoot action is defined by the schedule. You can’t miss a day because it’s very expensive. There are a lot of things that have to do with the budget and my movies don’t have an American budget. They have a small budget so I have to do things fast. My philosophy is to go for it, to try to get the risky shots, to try to get the shot that you may not get in one day because it’s worth it. So I like my connecting shots, which is let’s say I’m shooting a scene of a helicopter with the protagonist overseeing the invasion of his land. I want to have the same shots, the face of the guy inside the helicopter, he’s looking down at something, and the camera goes and sees just the moment where a bomb explodes in his lap. In order to get that shot, you have to time the camera, the helicopter, the camera has to go to the right place, the explosion has to set off. It’s hard. It’s much easier to shoot in separation. You have the face, you’ve got the helicopter. I try to go for the connecting shot because I think it brings action to life. It also gives you a better sense of geography which I think is important in action scenes. So that’s my philosophy. Go for the connecting shot and run the risk of not making it through the day. Read more

 

 

Brazilian Waves in Global Music

When Carmen Miranda first set foot in New York City for her Broadway debut in 1939, Americans experienced love-at-first-sight with Brazilian culture. The profound fascination of Americans with Samba, Bossa Nova, Brazilian-Jazz and Brazilectro has been the subject of many compilations, but now for the first time, the story is being told in detail by its main players in the documentary “Beyond Ipanema – America’s Love Affair with Brazilian Music”.

Featuring interviews, new performances and classic archival footage, the film will revisit milestones such as Carmen Miranda’s Hollywood heyday, the obsession with the Girl from Ipanema, the timeless Bossa Nova recordings by Frank Sinatra, the commercial success of Sergio Mendes, Caetano Veloso’s acclaimed American performances, the rediscovery of Tropicália and Os Mutantes by college kids, the current seduction of Bebel Gilberto, and much more. The history of America’s love affair with Brazilian music, in the words of musicians, producers, and journalists. From Bossa Nova to Favela Funk, from Carmen Miranda to Bebel Gilberto, Gilberto, the story of music that changed the world is about to be told by the ones that lived it. ‘Beyond Ipanema: Brazilian Waves in Global Music’ is a Guto Barra and Becó Dranoff film, Written and produced by Guto Barra and Becó Dranoff. Directed by Guto Barra.


The New Brazil in New York

Made Creatively in Brazil™

Lucas Compan, a Brazilian creative entrepreneur, tells us about the new Brazil, and about Nin9 Branding, the first Brazilian-American branding agency on Earth, headquartered in New York City – with an office in São Paulo. He was interviewed by LatinVision Media Inc, a New York-based company that operates business portals targeting U.S. Hispanic and Latin American entrepreneurs, business owners, executives and professionals in small and medium-sized companies. LatinVision works closely to NYC’s Latin Media and Entertainment Commission, that advises the Mayor on business development and retention strategies for the Latin media and entertainment industry.

There is a new Brazil down there, an emerging global power with a huge cultural content to share. Brazil, with a population of 192m and growing fast, could be one of the world’s five biggest economies by 2025, along with China, America, India and Japan.

Lucas is willing to bring to New York City – and to the USA – this new Brazil. A Brazil that is much more than just samba, caipirinha, and toucans — although these are strong Brazilian icons. Stereotyped attractions, like Carnaval and soccer, are no longer the only source of inspiration – more and more people and places that represent the authentic Brazilian culture are writing their histories in different places in New York City — integrated to music halls, bars, cultural centers, companies, and brands. That is the new Brazil Lucas Compan and Nin9 Branding are willing to represent. That is why he is one of the new emerging Brazilian leaderships in New York City.

Enjoy his interview in English or in Spanish

Nin9 Branding™

Rio Brakes

Presented by Factory 25

Set against the volatile and dangerous world of the favelas, Rio Breaks tells the story of two surf-obsessed friends, 13-year-old Fabio and 12-year-old Naamã. The pair live in Rio de Janeiro’s Favela do Pavão, which is controlled by one of the city’s most dangerous drug gangs. However, their attention is focused on the waves of Arpoador Beach and on a coming surfing event that may help them become professionals and escape the world of gangs. Nominated for Best Documentary at the Hawaii International Film Festival and winner of the Special Jury Mention at the San Sebastian Surfilm Festibal, this Sundance Channel co-production by Director Justin Mitchell (Death Cab for Cutie: Drive Well, Sleep Carefully,Jenny Lewis: Welcome to Van Nuys, Ted Leo: Dirty Old TownSongs for Cassavetes) and Writer Vince Medeiros (Surfing Huck Magazine) is an inspired and hugely original documentary that takes the surf film genre into never-before-seen territory. Festivals: Festival do Rio, Hawaii International Film Festval, WaveRiders Film Festival, The London International Documentary Festival

Date & Time : Aug 6, 2010 @ 7:30pm   |   Location: 92Y|Tribeca, 200 Hudson St  Directions   |   Venue : 92Y|Tribeca Screening Room   |   Code : T-MM5FA33-01   |   Price : $12.00   |   Catalog # FTF-014   |   Release date : August 31, 2010   |   Director : Justin Mitchell   |   Length : 85 min   |   2009


Rio – The Movie

From the creators of Ice Age, Rio is an upcoming 3-D animated film from 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios. It is directed by Carlos Saldanha – the Brazilian director of animated films, and written by Don Rhymer. The characters are voiced by Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Rodrigo Santoro, Kate del Castillo and Bernardo de Paula. The film is expected for release on April 8, 2011. Click here to go to the official Rio – The Movie website