Abby and Emily Go To Palm Springs, A New Film


 

Four months ago to the day I was in Palm Springs directing a new film I wrote in December of 2018. After months of editing and post production, the film is finally finished and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you! As of yesteday the final touches on color correction and sound mix are done, thanks to Elodie Ichter at Harbor Pictures in LA (you guys, she just worked as a colorist on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood  and The Irishman!) and Kevin Wilson at Gigantic Studios in NYC, who along with sound designer Girban Yusuf added so many beautiful touches to our soundtrack. Ralph Centra created these amazing posters for us and it was a hard decision to pick just one for the film. And it would be nothing without our incredible cinematographer Ludovica Isidori and the phenomenal cast: Jessie Cohen (who you’ve seen on Good Trouble), Victoria Vico Ortiz (Vida, American Horror Story), Bob Clendenin (Cougartown, Scrubs) and Jessalyn Wanlim (Workin Moms), who brought SO MUCH talent to every word and movement. I am in awe of all of you!

Sometime this year Abby and Emily will hopefully be at a film festival near you (follow them on Instagram for updates!) but in the meantime, please feel free to message me and I am happy to send you a private link with a password so you can see what we created. There is incredible music (Lucy Arnell, Freedom Fry, Shaunt.wav and a surprise track at the end from back in the day!) and an amazingly talented team behind this little film. I will forever be deeply grateful to every single person who took time, talent and money to support us. You have all my love and loyalty forever! Thank you!!!

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Making Sense of CBD Products

For the past year I have been trying a lot of CBD products to find what works best for me. There has been an influx of CBD the last few years, especially in the beauty section. What I have found after trying a myriad of brands, in a variety of formations, is there are only a few that work magic and do what they say they will. My favorite way to ingest CBD is oil and gummies, and my go to brands are Lab To Beauty and Lord Jones, the original Aston Martin of CBD (not kidding, they are the best). Although I preferred the Lord Jones Gumdrops , which are better in flavor and texture they only come 9 pieces to a box for $55, which for me was on the expensive side and didn’t last long (about one week) but if you can afford to stock up I highly recommend it! The Lab To Beauty products are really great as well and come 60 gummies in a jar for $75. The Lab To Beauty CBD Drops were one of my favorites although I found Lord Jones by far the best oil to take orally; not only was it effective in alleviating anxiety very quickly (and quietly, the best thing about great CBD is that it in NO way affects your mind or your reaction time, or any overt feeling other than an overall EASE…) Lord Jones’ CBD oil ($100, 1oz, 1000 mg of CBD) not only eased anxiety but also helped with the occasional insomnia (when making a film, sleep and Continue reading

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Books To Read ASAP

I took a hiatus this past year from the blog to focus on my personal life and some career changes (more on that later!) I also needed a break from some things but now I realize I miss having a place to share all the little gems I stumble on in life; the books, films (television!), food and of course, beauty products and fashion, that inspire me on a daily basis. I’ve read some incredible books over the course of the past year, most recently Ruth Reichl‘s memoir, Save Me The Plums about her years as the Editor in Chief of Gourmet magazine.  She has a magical way of blending a melancholy joyful nostalgia with food and recipes, which makes her one of my favorite writers, and if you were a magazine editor at Conde Nast in the days of “Si and the bottomless expense account” like I was you will laugh and cry in equal parts at an era long gone in the publishing world. Ada Calhoun’s latest book, Why We Can’t Sleep, explores Gen X women’s midlife crisis and is a thoughtful and relatable book. She makes a point of saying the book is focused on middle class women, leaving out race and sexuality, which for me are very relevant markers but I understand the need to narrow the focus and as they say, we all write what we know. As a woman born in 1972 I found much of it familiar though as a Jewish, immigrant, queer woman who decided not to have children there are a lot of things I can’t relate to as well. That said, I love this book for making me feel less alone in the process of life changes, as the writer herself concludes after talking to countless women ‘our age’. It’s reassuring that we are not the only ones crying and not sleeping and feeling an overwhelming anxiety about everything on a daily basis. Below are more favorites from the past year. The music and film list is coming soon too but since the Oscars nominations came out this morning, let me say loud and clear that there were countless women left off the nominees list, namely Melina Matsoukas and Lena Waithe for their phenomenal first feature, Queen & Slim, which even my 82 year old Russian immigrant mother loved (click on the highlights in my Instagram stories for her full review!), Alma Harel for Honey Boy, Lulu Wang for The Farewell , Marielle Heller for A beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Great Gerwig for Little Women. We love you ladies! And “Congratulations to all the men!” -Issa Rae.

Back to the books. Lindsay Mead edited a fantastic book of essays, On Being 40ish, packed with writing from some of my favorite women: Meghan Daum, Jill Kargman, Kate Bolick, and so many more! A must read regardless of age or gender. She Wants It by Jill Soloway is another powerful read from a powerful female writer and creative. I loved reading her honest voice recount her personal and professional struggles. Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, Casey Legler‘s memoir Godspeed, and Mother Winter from Sophia Shalmiyev were all high on the list of women’s stories that need to be told and heard. Sophia’s book reminded me of the years I spent going back to Russia to search for the father I lost after my mom and I emigrated, which was a painful read. Although I found my father easily in the physical sense, I never really got him back emotionally and he passed away from cancer just a few years after we reconnected from our 15 year separation. Time passes quickly, you can’t live in the past and when it’s gone, it’s gone, so stay present. Except when reading great books!

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Eat, Listen & Watch List 2018

The Blaze has been blowing my mind the past year. The track ‘Territory’ (above) is one of the best songs and videos I have seen, ditto their recently released video for the track ‘Queens’ (below). French cousins Guillaume and Jonathan Alric are both music producers and film directors, which might explain how brilliant it all it is both musically and visually. Their debut album ‘Dancehall’ was released Friday September 7th. Can’t wait to see them play live. More music, books and food below. Continue reading

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We.Ar Parrot Campaign

Last month I shot the new ad campaign for We.Ar A Parrot company’s new digital fashion brand. Simon Kotyk and Stevie Defelice are the gorgeous faces above. And below, more photos from the campaign and the video I shot, directed and edited. Continue reading

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Marcus Marr, Familiar Five

New track for the week. Obsession worthy. Music and lyrics written by Marcus Marr, who also produced and mixed the track, with additional synth by Ken Chic. Enjoy.

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Something Left to Want, Short Story, 1998

I’ve been writing again a lot the past few years; scripts, treatments, essays and stories for a book about everything, overexposing the raw bits. The short story below is separate from all that, I’d forgotten I even wrote it twenty years ago and stumbled on it by accident in one of my old journals while doing ‘research’ (remembering stuff) for my book. I wrote it in NYC the fall of 1998, at the tail end of my Bard MFA years while going back and forth between New York and Moscow shooting photos and short films, agonizing over the past. That fall I also started my first job at Conde Nast, assisting Polly Mellen at Allure, though this story has nothing to with her or the job, it reflects that moment in time. It was that period and place in life in your Twenties when we learn on the go. Mom and I emigrated to the US from the Soviet Union in 1979 and my learning curve from age seven when we landed in Baltimore ‘fresh off the boat,’ to twenty-two, when I graduated Bard film school and started working at Conde Nast, was steep. There was so much I didn’t know, about “society” and money and sushi (don’t ask). I was a fast learner but I didn’t even know how to “fake it till you make it,” I just went and did what felt right to me and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. It took years to unscramble all the things I was supposed to know in the circles I found myself surrounded by. My life’s motto: In moments when there is nothing left to lose there is always something left to want. Continue reading

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Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Remember how Cher Horowitz in Clueless gets a sense of peace and control in a chaotic world from shopping at The Galleria? That’s how I feel sometimes when putting together a good gift guide. So many dreams and wishes about to be fulfilled. Or at least fantasized about, which is still a great escape, and who doesn’t need that pretty much all day every day these days… Above, Chloe Gosselin spring 2018 shoes, pre-order now and get them in January. More goodies below… Happy Holidays! Here’s praying for impeachment any day now… wouldn’t that be the best gift of all? Continue reading

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Anatomy

I directed, shot and co-wrote (with the lead actress, Taylor Foster) a new short film earlier this year. Since Sundance is around the corner, I thought now was as good a time as any to share it. They announced the feature films selected today, which this year included a few very talented friends, who I am thrilled for. The official synopsis and the film itself (running time 10 minutes) are below. Continue reading

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Best Blow Out in the East Village

Great news NYC: there’s a hidden gem at 208 East 7th Street between Avenues B & C that has $25 blow outs which will (sorry in advance for the blatant beauty pun) blow you away. Owner Rose, who opened the much needed beauty salvation spot, Perfection Beauty Salon (646-454-9827) five years ago, not only does a badass hair do but also takes appointments and is open Sundays (*ladies of the LES know this is not always the case and we are grateful when it is). I’m torn on spreading the word because, you know, I’m a selfish beauty addict who always wants an appointment when I want it but I also want to spread the love and good beauty vibes. Enjoy xx Photo Credits: hair above is by Kelli Christine, my favorite West Coast hair daze babe, makeup Elie Maalouf, photography & styling me.

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