What is the strangest thing that ticked your mind over?
I want to dive into some of the strangest inspirations and left-field concepts that have been stuck in my mind since I’ve developed critical thinking.
So without further ado, I present:
– The End of the Neon Club.
Ever since I first watched Tron Legacy (2010) I became obsessed with the idea of electronic music, neon lights and bodysuits all mixed together in a special club. It became such a focal point in my imagination, that I actually designed one for my economics assignment in high school.
The idea of owning a club, even to this day, still entices me.
It’s strange that a guy, as introverted as I was back then, would consider owning a club. But I always liked the idea, which was only further impressed upon me, when I played The Ballad of Gay Tony (2009) and found how much fun it was run errands for the business and be embroiled in the tumultuous lifestyle of a nightclub owner.
It didn’t help that years later, during my quest to become a one-percenter in GTA Online you had an option to run a nightclub as a front for your illicit gains. In came GALAXY, the hottest club on Vespucci Beach and something I still regularly maintain in game, before I do any other missions. It’s fun entering the club via the back entrance, and walking into the VIP room where you can inspect cameras and take shots on the bar whilst listening to pulsating club music.
I also loved the fact that one of my favourite shows, Lucifer features the devil himself owning a nightclub and I immediately went out of my way to ensure Galaxy had a special black convertible to apt the devil’s smooth style.
Other notable influences on the club life, has been my recent involvement with an events company called Untitled, the famous sequence in The Red Circle of John Wick (2014) fame, the equally cool sequence in Michael Mann’s Collateral (2004), and the ridiculously bloody introduction to Blade in Blade (1998).
If we are talking games, how can I forget the scenes in numerous Yakuza games, the Club Bam Bam in Sleeping Dogs (2012), Afterlife on Mass Effect’s Omega and the other big neon influence, The Hive in Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011). The Hive especially, was a notable example of club design right, with all its honeycomb aesthetic and incredible atmosphere.
– The Rhythm behind Desperados in Boots
There’s no real reason why I love mariachi style music so much. But when you’ve seen as many of Robert Rodriguez’s filmography as I have, you grow to love it. It’s so energetic and jolly, with just a hint of sadness underneath. The rhythm is infectious and makes you dance and it perfectly off-sets a wild action scene with Antonio Banderas blazing away with dual pistols.
It is hard to argue with the magnetism of Banderas, when he is singing Cancion Del Mariachi and knocking out some dirtbag with his guitar.
But my first real taste of addicting Mexican music was actually found through Puss in Boots (2011) with the score mostly comprised of Rodrigo Y Gabriela shredding every string on their guitar. I’ve been in love with their style ever since and was delighted when they scored Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), even though I was less enamoured with the film itself.
Other notable films that have made me create a Latino playlist has been the unforgettable Machete (2010), the hilariously over-the-top telenovela Casa De Mi Padre (2012) in which Will Ferrell only speaks Spanish throughout the entire film and I fell in love with Genesis Rodriguez and my first real introduction to Latino music in the form of The Mask of Zorro (1998) which I still dance to regularly.
That and the 1986 classic, The Three Amigos.
So as you can see, I have a plethora of inspiration for Latin music.
– Architectural Studies as seen through Heavy Rain.
Heavy Rain (2010) was one of the first proper experimental games that made me question the medium in which stories can be told. I viewed it as the first real Choose Your Own Adventure video game and have had a love for it ever since my brother and I did our first play through.
But what really got me was the main character, Ethan Mars’ profession: an architect. In our first introduction to him, you get to see him work on a large sketch-board in his contemporary office, and it opened my eyes to building design. Ever since then, my interest in buildings have been a a quiet appreciation in what I like and a silent judgement on what I hate.
This quiet observation habit only became much more pronounced when I went on my first overseas trip to Japan, with a very anthropological viewpoint to the trip. Urban planning and aesthetic suddenly became a big deal for me, and on my latest holiday, where I hit every capital (except Canberra) on the East coast of Australia and was critiquing every city along the way.
Much like any art critic, I see building designs the same way and will judge my emotional and critical reaction to them. If I had to judge all 3 cities, against each other, Brisbane was probably the most boring, Sydney the most eccentric with some of the ugliest and prettiest buildings and Melbourne is far too contemporary.
Which is to say, Sydney is the worst of the lot.
I will say, that I am largely a fan of contemporary styles, but only if it’s done in the style of Zaha Hadid (RIP) with plenty of strange curves and evocative lines. I just like a lot of glass, ceramics and steel mixed together.
I know, I’m such a prescient person, but I can’t help but think that now is the best time to live. I don’t really glamourise the past, except of course for when the Romans ruled and the age of Napoleon.
And yes, I do like their building styles back then too, not just the military.
– The Skyfall behind my Fashion Study
Skyfall (2012) was the first film where I made a proper study of men’s fashion. The film both horrified me and inspired me.
First the horror: poor Daniel Craig’s suits. I’m not sure how you can fuck up Tom Ford suits, but the designer for the film, somehow gave Craig the slimmest cut for all of his suits. The material stretches far too much over his muscular frame and I remember being aghast at how tiny his legs looked, and how the blazer looked like it was about to rip apart under the strain.
But then we get to the Scottish third act and the same designer gives me the most beautiful blue jumper and Barbour jacket combination I have ever seen on screen and I forgot all about the poor fits, that dominated so much of the film thus far.
Skyfall was the first real whiplash I felt about Bond’s fashion, especially since I really started noticing better male fashion in Casino Royale (2006).
I mean, the scene in the Bahamas where Bond is just casually wearing a black Sunspel polo and light chinos was so accessible for a guy like me, that for once in my life, I felt like I could look like Bond, despite lacking Craig’s piercing blue eyes and granite masculinity.
Really diving into the fashion world, has made me more conscious of what I wear, my style and even colour palette. I borrow from all sorts of men around the world, but my staple has always been the Peaky Blinders style haircut and wearing my watches on the inside of my wrist.
Being aware of fashion, has made me glad that John Wick is always so impeccably dressed in all of his films, including bringing back tie bars. Other great examples of male fashion done right, is the timeless style of Jason Statham, who always looks perfect no matter the occasion or film or the original inspiration for Craig’s style, Steve McQueen whose eye for clothing is still influencing men to this day, long after his passing.
– The in-game radio behind my DJ’s House sets
That damn nightclub expansion in GTA: Online. Not only did it scratch the itch I had over owning a nightclub, it also introduced me to the intoxicating world of European DJs. Solomun, Dixon, Tale of Us & Black Madonna. These talented desk jockeys became the source for my current obsession with house music.
I began to listen to the new in-game radio more and more, until it spilled over into reality and I was soon researching left, right and centre for new DJs. Currently, I’m loving the sets by Monki, Sam Divine, Archie Hamilton and Idris Elba, all of whom are incredible English DJs working for the Defected Records company.
House music is a true anomaly for me. It simultaneously makes me want to dance and move, whilst also giving me enough of a tempo to study and work to. It’s very bizarre. Something about the repetitive lyrics, thumping bass and smooth transitions into the next song, just relaxes me and soothes my mind to the point that I can write and work better than I have ever done in my life, to other genres of music.
It is definitely one of the most interesting facets about me and a big factor into why I am currently working casually for an Australian events company called Untitled Group, whose sole goal is to bring as many house-heads into one venue and get them vibing for 9-10 hours straight.
It’s a very recent phenomenon, and honestly, it’s been a great journey exploring a whole new genre of music that I previously, never experienced live or otherwise.
– Cowboy Up.
Yellowstone. What can I say about this show, other than, I started watching it because I inherently trust Tyler Sheridan with any of his American frontier projects.
I wasn’t proven wrong. Yellowstone is one of the best epics on television right now. It’s bloody, clever and endearing. It tackles how the modern cowboy tries to make a living in today’s modern world and is an incredible spin on the age old 3-Way conflict between Native Americans, Land Owners and Corporations. Kevin Dutton shines as the Patriarch of the Dutton family, whilst Kelly Reilly stuns as the cold, complex daughter who will do anything to keep her family’s legacy alive.
I was particularly inspired by Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser), whose character embodies everything I aspire to be: tough, sentimental and stoically silent. Upon seeing him, I immediately went out to a Levi store and bought a similar denim jacket, a light shade of blue jeans, and my own cowboy hat.
Watching that show, I am now inspired to take up some horse-riding lessons and I want to learn how to lasso something. The impact of that show, isn’t lost on me. It has made me long for the frontier, where nature and people are equally savage to one another, but the fleeting moments of beauty make it all worthwhile.
Thanks again, Yellowstone for being a brilliant drama and getting me in touch with my inner cowboy.
My interest in cowboys was first really piqued by the incredible Korean action film, The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008) and my desperation to cosplay as the Good character. The cavalry charge the bounty hunter made against the Japanese Army, whilst slinging bullets with his lever-action rifle on horseback is easily one of the best action scenes I’ve seen in a Western setting.
Also Red Dead Redemption 2. Enough said.
– The Yakuza behind my first cosplay and tattoo wish fulfilment.
Having never really watched a lot of world cinema, to say that I was astonished and enraptured by a Japanese drama, showcased by my nerdy friend, is an understatement. I fell in love with how Japanese cinema tends to weaponise nostalgia and their strange sense of humour.
One of the big takeaways I got from My Boss My Hero (2006), was how cool the Yakuza style was and a fixation on Japanese styled tattoos. For my final day at high school, I came equipped with a wooden sword slung over one shoulder, a dragon tattoo drawn on my arm by my Dad, a black suit and fedora I picked up somewhere. I loved it even though no-one else got it.
I’m not sure if I would ever get a tattoo, as everyone seems to ink their bodies nowadays, but I know that if I did ever pull the trigger, it will most likely be related to the military.
What type of design you ask? Well of course it has to be related to Starship Troopers (1997).
That movie not only scarred me as a eleven year old kid, but it has now become a formative part of how I view satire and comedy.
I’m from Buenos Aires … and I say, kill them all!
That’s all for now, but expect another part soon!
What has inspired you randomly in your life?