Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Pilobolus: A performance merging dance and biology

Pilobolus is an internationally-renowned dance company, whose origins are traced to a 1971 Dartmouth College dance class taught by Alison Chase; the founding members were Robby Barnett, Lee Harris, Moses Pendleton, Nicholas Bochte and Jonathan Wolken. The group first began performing in October 1971, and has been touring worldwide since that date, primarily with artistic directors Barnett, Chase, Wolken, and Michael Tracy, though Chase left in 2006, after having collaborated with Pendleton in 1980 to form the offshoot group Momix. Their performances have long been characterized by a strong element of physical interaction between the bodies of the performers, and exaggerations or contortions of the human form (or other anthropomorphic forms), often verging on gymnastics. I like it very much:)

Sunday, 29 March 2009

"Echo" by Soul B ballet!

In the vanity of each day you forget about beauty, you forget about me and you forget about dreams...Contemplating this flower - I am smiling:) And you???.... Don't forget your dreams, because one day only the echo could remain from your dream...So hurry up to make it true!!!

Paris, Je T'aime - Faubourg Saint-Denis (pour tout le monde et, spécialement, pour Natacha:)

Paris, je t'aime (French for "Paris, I love you") is a 2006 film starring an ensemble cast of actors of various nationalities including American, British and French. The two-hour film consists of eighteen short films set in different arrondissements. The 21 directors include Gurinder Chadha, Sylvain Chomet, Joel and Ethan Coen, Gerard Depardieu, Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuarón, Nobuhiro Suwa, Alexander Payne, Tom Tykwer, Walter Salles and Gus Van Sant.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on 18 May, opening the Un Certain Regard selection. It had its Canadian premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on 10 September and its U.S. premiere in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 9 April 2007.[1] First Look Pictures acquired the North American rights, and the film opened in the United States on 4 May 2007.

Faubourg Saint-Denis — by German writer-director Tom Tykwer. After mistakenly believing that his girlfriend, a struggling actress (Natalie Portman), has broken up with him, a young blind man (Melchior Beslon) reflects on the growth and seeming decline of their relationship. Actually, my favourite one:) Enjoy!

Monday, 23 March 2009

The Art of Marbling (Ebru)!

The word marbling is in Turkish EBRU (cloud, cloudy) or abru (Water face). En Français. It is derived from the word ebre which belongs to one of the older Central Asian languages and it means the "moiré, veined fabric, paper etc..." used for covering some manuscripts and other holy books. Its origin might ultimately hark back to China, where a document from the T'ang dynasty (618-907) mentions a process of coloring paper on water with five hues. Through the Silk Road this art came first to Iran and picked up the name Ebru. Subsequently this art moved towards Anatolia. Specimens of marbled paper in the Turkish museum and private collections date back as far as the 15th century but unfortunately there is no evidence to show at what date the art of marbling paper first appeared in Anatolia. Around the end of 16th century tradesmen, diplomats and travelers coming to Anatolia brought this art to Europe and after the 1550s, booklovers in Europe prized Ebru which came to be known as "Turkish Paper Turkish marbled paper making". After then it was broadly used in Italy, Germany, France and England.

There is agreement amongst scholars that the so-called Turkish Papers has a colourful influence on the book arts of Europe. In the early examples from the 16th century in the Ottoman-Turkish era, Ebru appears in the battal (large) form, namely without any manipulation. Ebru technique consists of sprinkling colors containing a few drops of ox-gall on to the surface of the bath of water mixed with with kitre (gum tragacanth) in a trough. By carefully laying the paper over the bath, the floating picture on top of it is readily transferred to the paper thus, each Ebru is a unique print. To obtain beautiful Ebru results, one needs to have a light hand, refined taste and an open mind to the unexpected patterns forming on the water. Patience and a good knowledge of traditional culture are characteristic of Ebru masters. Since the art of marbling had a significant importance in Islamic art, it is essential to recall the basic principles of Islamic art in order to have a better and closer look at marbling and thereby reach a deeper understanding. Ottomans tried to express the beauty of the divine in all branches of art. We see them seeking to illustrate mystical beauties in architecture, music and ornamental art. During the 14th to 19th centuries many religious schools, especially Sufi sects, became a kind of "Art Workshop" educating students by a master to apprentice method. Due to the modesty encouraged by dervish precepts many works of art even had no signature on them.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

To continue cat's topic: Louis Wein and his Cats!

Louis William Wain was born in the London district of Clerkenwell in London on 5th. August 1860. In his early years he was a sickly child and often skipped school. He attended his early schooling at The Orchard Street Foundation school in Hackney and at The Saint Joseph's Academy, Kennington.

With reference to his family he had 5 younger sisters and his father worked as a textile salesman and his mother designed Church fabrics and carpets. Louis Wain studied and trained at The West London School of Art ( 1877-1882 ) and remained as an assistant teacher until he left in 1882.

After his Father's death in 1880 he had to support his mother and five younger sisters and soon after, his sick wife Emily Richardson ( His youngest sister's governess ) whom he had married in 1881. Shortly after he married her she contracted Breast cancer. He brought Emily a Kitten which they called Peter and to entertain her he started drawing Peter in humourous situations and poses. To help to support his family he became a freelance illustrator ( initially influenced by Caldecott and May ) and in 1882 he joined the staff of The illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. He began to make his name with Dog drawings at various Dog Shows including the early British National Dog show at Crystal Palance in 1882 ( which later became kown as Crufts ). During this time his wife encouraged him to send some of the humourous cat pictures of Peter to various Magazines and Newspapers which started to make his reputation here in Britain and in America and where his humourous cat pictures were seen in Comics, newspapers and magazines.

In 1884 he was commisioned to produce his funny cat pictures in the Christmas edition of the illustrated London news. These pictures were so successful that his life would never be the same again. Alas, this was tinged with sadness as his wife died shortly afterwards, but knowing that Louis Wain had become a great success and his illness - schizophrenia begun to progress.

Wain allows us a unique insight into the delusions and course of illness in a late onset schizophrenic. Wain’s early work, while strange to some, is dominated by fanciful imagery of cats dressed in human clothes or engaged in human activity. Considering that much of his work was political cartooning and illustrating for children’s books, the early work seems an adequate representation of his pre-schizophrenic period. During the onset of his disease at 57, Wain continued to paint, draw and sketch cats, but the focus changed from fanciful situations, to focus on the cats themselves. Characteristic changes in the art began to occur, changes common to schizophrenic artists. Jagged lines of bright color began emanating from his feline subjects. Soon the cats became abstracted, seeming now to be made up of hundreds of small repetitive shapes, coming together in a clashing jangles of color. The abstraction continued, the cats now being seen as made up by small repeating patterns, almost fractal in nature. Until finally they ceased to resemble cats at all, and became the ultimate abstraction, an indistinct form made up by near symmetrical repeating patterns.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

She and Her Cat by Makoto Shinkai

She and Her Cat (彼女と彼女の猫, Kanojou to Kanojou No Neko), subtitled Their standing points, is an independent five minute anime OVA about the relationship between a male cat and his female owner told from the cat's perspective. It was created mostly by Makoto Shinkai, except the soundtrack, which was done by his friend Tenmon. She and Her Cat is also the first project Makoto Shinkai directed.

The season was the beginning of spring, and that day, it was raining.

Sec. 1 [Introduction]

That's why Her hair, and my body too, were heavy with humidity. The air surrounding us was saturated with the immensely pleasant fragrance of the rain. Phone rings.

The Earth on its axis turned quietly without a sound, and in this world, Her and my body continued to lose heat peacefully.

I am currently not at home. Your business, please.

That day, I was picked up by Her. That's why, I am her cat.

Sec. 2 [Her Days]

She was kind like a mother, and beautiful like a lover. That's why I quickly became enamored of her.

She lives alone and leaves for work every morning. I don't know the details of Her work nor am I interested, but I very much like the way She looks leaving the room in the morning. Her long hair, properly tied up, the faint smell of cosmetics and perfume. She places Her hand upon my head. "I'll go and come back, OK?" she says aloud. She straightens her back, and with a pleasant sound echoing from Her shoes, She opens the heavy iron door.

A smell like grassy places wet with rain in the morning remains for a while.

Sec. 3 [His Days]

Summer has come and I have a girlfriend too. It's the young cat, Mimi. Mimi is small and cute, and really good at being spoiled, but after all, I like a woman who is more adult.

"Mimi, like Her."

"Ne, Chobi."

"What is it, Mimi?"
"Please marry me""

"Ne, Mimi. I've said this numerous times, but I have an adult lover.ot true."

"It's not, 'not true'.

"Let me meet her."
"You can't."


"Ne, Mimi. I've said it numerous times, but we'll have this kind of talk after you've become more of an adult. Or something."

This kind of conversation goes on forever.

"Please come over to play again, OK? Definitely, OK? Really come over, OK? Really, really come over, OK?"

In this way my first summer passes, and gradually, cooler breezes begin to blow.

Sec. 4 [Her Loneliness]

One day like that, after a long, long telephone conversation, She cried. The other line is cut, then a busy tone remains. She hangs up. I didn't understand the reason, but She cried for a long time by my side.

I think She is not the one at fault. Only, I am always watching. She is always kinder than anyone else. She is more beautiful than anyone else. She lives more earnestly than anyone else.

I can hear her voice, "Someone... someone... someone someone... someone, please save me."

Sec. 5 [She and Her Cat]

In the darkness that has no end, this world that we are aboard continues to revolve. The season has changed, and it is now winter. The scenery of snow that, to me, should be the first I've seen, I have a feeling I've known it from long ago.

The winter mornings are late, so even when it becomes time for Her to leave the house, it is still dark outside. The sight of Her engulfed in a very heavy jacket makes her seem practically like a big cat.

She, who wore the scent of snow, and her slender, cold fingertips, the sound of the black clouds streaming by far in the upper sky, her soul, and my feelings, and our room... the snow inhales the sounds of all, but only the sound of the electric train that She boarded reached my upright ears.

I, and probably Her too, this world, I think we like it.

"Dolls" by Takeshi Kitano

Takeshi Kitano proudly presented "Dolls" in the Venice festival, where it received bad critics and reviews from the so-called cinema intellectuals and movie critics. A few months later it was premiered in the Sitges Cinema Fest.
"Dolls" is a great movie about true love and the meaning of life. It's perfectly directed, it's perfectly acted. The point to criticize the movie for most of the critics, is the point that I praise: the use of the symbols is 100% aesthetic, I even believe that the real love is not the subject of the movie, but aesthetics; and the greatest of everything is that using this strange way of filming he really emphasizes the story. The traditional filming would use symbol's as a way to directly emphasize the action, but this movie uses the symbols independently from the action and that gives strength to the overall story.The aestheticism is very dangerous, because it can turn your movie into a sum of meaningless scenes attached with a very poor story, making it very boring. However Kitano-sensei manages to exploit aesthetics without loosing the plot.
The visuals of this film tell the story, not the words. Its a first film of a kind where you can completely shut the sound off and get the story nonetheless. With an amazing craft, Kitano explores silence, by that focusing your attention into whats on the canvas. At times, you can freeze frame and just look at the picture as if its a painting. Kitano goes into an exploration of human psyche on such deep levels that sometimes I felt like I was finding out new things about myself. Choosing themes carefully, he delivers a story about human beings and their emotions and what these emotions do to the human beings. At times, looking at us as if we are microbes under Kitano's camera-easque eye of a microscope, he adds elements into life as if on Petri's dish and sees what grows out of it, knowing that some "microbes" won't stand the chance of surviving the newly added obstacles.
Just like Japanese poetry, the movie doesn't make sense at times, and yet remains purely a joy of a visual sight. Also, I was truly touched and amazed by the connection with the color red. He connects to the meaning of the rope, which is limitation and humiliation, and by coloring other objects in red he suggests that those elements are "a rope" to some of the characters just the same. The lady who waits for her boyfriend to come back wears a red hat, and she is bound to waiting for him forever. Also, the red takes over the character of the mute girlfriend of the main character, and eventually she all dresses in red, by that becoming even more of a DOLL than she was before. She surrenders herself to the "slavery" of the rope and it grows into her.
In conclusion, it's a masterpiece you shouldn't forget. Kitano is one of the greatest directors nowadays and this movie proves it. Whether you are a hardcore Kitano fan or just enjoy films, watch it, you won't get disappointed. "Dolls" is an intellectual paradigm, a true cinema, a MUST to watch.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

So you think you can dance? Season 3 - Jaime and Hok

So You Think You Can Dance is an American television reality program and dance competition airing on the FOX network. Season three premiered May 24, 2007.

Jamie & Hok performed this competing number on the 27th of June, 2007. The concept and costume design was by Wade Robson and his wife Amanda Robson. The choreography and direction was by Wade Robson.
In my oppinion this choregraphy was touching at so many levels. The mood created by the music, the lighting, the costumes and make-up was drawing us into what seemed an "intimate moment" in a "secret world". The movements and the interpretations were unique. Thanks, Wade and Amanda, for this soothing moment for the soul!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

My favourite Yann Tiersen - in Madrid 2006

Guillaume Yann Tiersen (born 23 June 1970) is a French musician and composer known internationally for composing the score to the Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie Amélie. His music is recognized by its use of a large variety of instruments in relatively minimalist compositions, often with a touch of either European classical music or French folk music, using primarily the piano, accordion or violin together with instruments like the melodica, xylophone, toy piano, ondes martenot, harpsichord and typewriter.

Here it is a part of the best violin performance by Yann Tiersen live in Madrid.

"More" - Stop Motion Short Film by Mark Osborne

"More" was written and directed by Mark Osborne, and created by a team that included, among others, Keith and Shannon Lowry, Rick Orner, Nick Peterson, and David Candelaria. Although it was only a 6-minute short, it was, as Osborne put it, an "absolutely massive undertaking"—as it was the first short to be shot using the IMAX format. In addition, it was filmed using stop motion, a much more time-consuming method than live-action filming techniques.


Sundance Film Festival - Special Jury Prize for Short Films

South by SouthWest - Best Animated Short

Academy Award (1998) - Nominee - Best Animated Short

ResFest – Audience Award for Best Film, Grand Audience Prize for Best Film

Aspen Shorts Fest - Special Jury prize

World Fest Houston - Gold / Special Jury Prize for Shorts

USA Film Festival - Dallas - Grand Jury Prize for Shorts

Toronto International Short Film Fest - Best Animated Short, Best Short Overall

Stony Brook Film Fest - Best Short Film

‘Message to Man’ - Russia – Best International Debut Film

PhilaFilm - Philadelphia – Best Animated Short

Annie Awards – Nominee for Best Animated Short Subject

St. Louis International Film Festival - Best Short Film

Upsalla International Short Film Festival/Sweden - Audience Award for Best Film

San Francisco Indie Fest – Audience Award