Monthly Archives: February 2015
Charlotte OC: TFIF and we stumbled across this awesome new track and video from Charlotte OC entitled If My House Was Burning. Charlotte O’Connor, better known by her stage name Charlotte OC, is a British singer-songwriter that the BBC classed as “tipped for success in 2014” and named as “one to watch” by Digital Spy. Charlotte OC was signed and dropped by record label Columbia in her late teens but worked her way back with her debut EP “Colour My Heart” which was released by Stranger Records, an early home of Lana Del Rey. In July 2014, she played on the BBC Introducing stage at T In The Park Festival, supporting her latest EP “Strange”, released by Harvest Records in the US and Polydor in the UK. Musically, Charlotte OC is influenced by electronic sounds (such as that heard in legendary Berlin clubs like Berghain) and as her parents surrounded her with folk and soul music, she lists Alicia Keys, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday and Marvin Gaye among her major influences. Charlotte OC’s new track is an intoxicating mix of emotional lyrics and heady, thick vocals. The 22 year old, Blackburn born singer has spread her wings and recorded and produced a supernatural meets broken down Hollywood track and video. There is a spooky and bewitching sound to the song that is powered along by underlying beats and earthy melodies pulsating throughout. Charlotte OC draws on an influence that through darkness there is beauty; an idea that dawned upon her and is perfectly woven throughout her work and this video perfectly compliments the track in light of this. With a definite overtone of mystical beauty, her music feels contemporary, spiritual and almost, on occasion, neon disco occultist. Love it! So check Charlotte OC’s new video out – I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Mary Poppins: Andy Rehfeldt has created a fantastic mashup featuring English super nanny Mary Poppins belting out a death metal version of the her trademark song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious“. Singers Sera Hatchett of Mercy Brown and Thomas Hinds performed the vocals, Andy Rehfeldt played all the instruments, and music producer Grant Cornish did all the arrangements. Mary Poppins is a 1964 musical fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Walt Disney, with songs written and composed by the Sherman Brothers. The screenplay is by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, loosely based on P. L. Travers’ book series of the same name. The film, which combines live-action and animation, stars Julie Andrews in the role of a magical nanny who visits a dysfunctional family in London and employs her unique brand of lifestyle to improve the family’s dynamic. Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, and Glynis Johns are featured in supporting roles. The film was shot entirely at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Mary Poppins was released to universal acclaim, receiving a total of thirteen Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture—an unsurpassed record for any other film released by the Walt Disney Studios—and won five; Best Actress for Andrews, Best Film Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”. In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Now check this out, it’s so great!
Superheroes exposed: Hrjoe Photography’s playful and expertly-executed photos prove that superhero action figures are not just for kids. Filled with hilarious set-ups of action figures, including many iconic Marvel and DC superheroes, these images capture the world’s most adored superheroes in both humorous and often human-like scenarios. Edy Hardjo, the photographer behind the project, uses detailed, high-quality action figures to put some of our favourite superheroes into hilarious and sometimes compromising positions. After putting the Superheroes into their picture-perfect poses, he removes the stands he uses to prop them and some of the more obvious joints with Photoshop to make them seem more life-like. Hardjo was was born in Medan, Indonesia in 1973 and graduated college with a Chemical Engineering degree. He was married in 2004 and has two sons and a daughter. He currently lives with his family in Jakarta, Indonesia. All of which is a long way from the world of superheroes but that hasn’t stopped Hardjo from capturing his out-of-this-world images. For someone who picked up photography as a hobby, he certainly does an exceptional job! In an interview, Hardjo explained ‘Photography is a hobby for me. It all started when I wanted to take better pictures for items that I sell in my online store. I bought an entry-level camera and started to shoot with confidence, but the results were no better than the images shot with my mobile phone’s camera. This made me curious and feeling challenged so later I bought a better camera and took a course in the Canon School of Photography. After that I also took several photo tours—for practice—and learned from the expert in the group. Today, I have a small personal photo studio at home and I sometimes take commission photo shoots as a side job…I use my daily experience as source of ideas… All I do is replace the ‘usual’ thing with the ‘unusual’.’
Walt Disney: We have seen different techniques imagined by Walt Disney to help his animators create masterpieces, like the rotoscoping technique or the use of simple mirrors. But to invent the future of animation, Walt Disney was often at the forefront, as shown in this video filmed in 1957 explaining the principle of the MultiPlane Camera which allowed animators to create depth effects never seen before at the time. Walt Disney (1901-1966) was an American business magnate, cartoonist, animator, voice actor, and film producer. As a prominent figure within the American animation industry and throughout the world, he is regarded as a cultural icon, known for his influence and contributions to entertainment during the twentieth century. As a Hollywood business mogul, he and his brother Roy O. Disney co-founded The Walt Disney Company. As an animator and entrepreneur, Walt Disney was particularly noted as a filmmaker and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme park design. He and his staff created numerous fictional characters including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Walt Disney himself was the original voice for Mickey. During his lifetime, he received four honorary Academy Awards and won 22 Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, including a record of four in one year, giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual in history. Walt Disney also won seven Emmy Awards and gave his name to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in the U.S., as well as the international resorts, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966, from lung cancer in Burbank, California. He left behind a vast legacy, including numerous animated shorts and feature films produced during his lifetime; the company, parks, an animation studio that bear his name; and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). You can jump directly to 3:23 for the MultiPlane Camera demonstration. Enjoy!
Danil Golovkin: The amazing Addicted To Glamour series created by photographer Danil Golovkin for the magazine Fashion Gone Rogue, offers us a twisted and yet unique look at fashion photography. Danil Golovkin shows a different side of glamour for FGR’s most recent exclusive featuring Anastasiya Kolbasko. Rather than wearing the jewellery designs, the blonde model “eats” the adornments of gold styled by Liliya Simonyan. Daniel Golovkin’s images certainly bring a whole new meaning to the term “golden touch”. Hair and makeup artist Elena Zubareva worked on the beauty for the shoot.
Ghostbusters: In a new episode of Art of the Scene by CineFix, they go behind the scenes of the original Ghostbusters film and find out how the gooey movie monster ‘Stay Puft’ Marshmallow Man was created. Ghostbusters is a 1984 Supernatural-Comedy film directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. It stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as three eccentric parapsychologists in New York City who start a ghost-catching business. Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis co-star as a client and her neighbour. The Ghostbusters business booms after initial skepticism, eventually requiring a fourth Ghostbuster, played by Ernie Hudson; but, when an uptown high-rise apartment building becomes the focal point of spirit activity linked to the ancient god Gozer, it threatens to overwhelm the team and the entire world. Ghostbusters was released in the United States on June 8, 1984. It was a critical and commercial success, receiving a positive response from critics and audiences and grossing US$242 million in the United States and more than $295 million worldwide. The ‘Stay Puft’ Marshmallow Man stomping through New York is one of the most memorable scenes in Ghostbusters and movie history. When the destructor (Gozer) arrives in the form of a giant ‘Stay Puft’ Marshmallow Man and begins attacking New York City, to defeat it, the Ghostbusters decide to cross the energy streams of their proton packs (which they never do) and fire them against Gozer’s portal. The resulting explosion defeats Gozer/The ‘Stay Puft’ Marshmallow Man, and frees Dana (Weaver) and Louis (Moranis) from their possessor demons. As hundreds of New Yorkers wipe themselves of marshmallow goo, the Ghostbusters are welcomed on the street as heroes. It is simply one of the best endings to a film ever! Go behind the scenes of Ghostbusters, and see how the gooiest movie got on the road to its rampage.
Coffee crazies: “Some people use coffee as a drug, and some people use it as a joy,” says filmmaker and Swallow Magazine founder James Casey. “I went from being the former – needing it when I was tired or as a digestif – to learning that, more than just a beverage, it’s a culture.” Casey’s rousing film captures the frenetic pace of caffeinated New York, featuring a cast of obsessives like Jesse Kahn of roasters and educators Counter Culture, and Oliver Strand, the pre-eminent New York Times coffee writer, as well as more casual sippers such as Nancy Whang, formerly of LCD Soundsystem, and Mission Chinese Food’s Angela Dimayuga. Coffee cultivation first took place in Southern Arabia; the earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen. In the Horn of Africa and Yemen, coffee was used in local religious ceremonies. Coffee plants are cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in the equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia, India and Africa. The two most commonly grown are the highly regarded arabica, and the less sophisticated but stronger and more hardy robusta. “Coffee culture was far more prevalent in places like San Francisco, and there’s no defining aspect to coffee in New York because it is so broad,” explains Casey. “There’s everything from Scandinavian-style coffee in parts of Brooklyn to a prevalence for blue collar, dark roasted Italian coffee. I also learned that it is not just about taste, but that there’s a qualitative aspect with regards to the ethical question of coffee, fair trade, and what you are willing to support.” While I love great coffee, I have been known to settle for rubbish just to get a hIt of the black magic – I can not even contemplate my day until I’ve had a cup of coffee and I wouldn’t be giving it up for anything or anyone. Life is just way too short.
Mad Men isn’t sharing any details yet, but check out these exclusive pics by Frank Ockenfels and try to spot all the clues embedded in the new set of promotional pictures released this week. Little Sally is growing up and her hemlines are rising, Betty‘s taking it to the max(i), Megan‘s ruffled mid-drift is back and Don can always rock a jacket and slacks, whatever the decade. The pictures aren’t taken from actual episodes, so they don’t directly foreshadow any of the final season’s storylines but there are insights to be gleamed. From the looks of things, Don (Jon Hamm) and Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) seem to be in good spirits after working out the kinks in their mentor-mentee relationship at Sterling Cooper & Partners, Sally (Kiernan Shipka) and Betty (January Jones) are physically close to each other in each photograph without looking particularly touchy-feely, so don’t expect their mother-daughter relationship to get wrapped up with a bow. And Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) and Roger (John Slattery) seem to have found a shared taste in plaid blazers, so maybe the bitter and entitled Pete has finally found some common ground with his coworkers after all. Mad Men is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner and premiered on 19th July 2007. The seventh and final season consists of 14 episodes that have been split into two seven-episode instalments, airing in 2014 and 2015. Mad Men is set in the 1960s, initially at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York City, and later at the newly created firm, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (later Sterling Cooper & Partners), located nearby in the Time-Life Building, at 1271 Sixth Avenue. According to the show’s pilot, the phrase “Mad men” was a slang term coined in the 1950s by advertisers working on Madison Avenue to refer to themselves, a claim that has since been disputed. The focal point of the series is Don Draper (Jon Hamm), initially the talented creative director at Sterling Cooper and later a founding partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and the people in his personal and professional lives. The plot focuses on the business of the agencies as well as the personal lives of the characters, regularly depicting the changing moods and social mores of the United States across the 1960s, starting Season 1 in March 1960 and moving through to 1969 by Season 7. Since its premiere, Mad Men has received widespread critical acclaim for its historical authenticity, visual style, costume design, acting, writing, and directing, and has won many awards. Mad Men will air its final episodes starting 5th April. Here’s a tip – If you have never seen a single episode, we suggest you start binge watching now!
Björk’s Retrospective: The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) have released the first trailer for Björk’s Retrospective which highlights a museum commissioned sound and video installation, featuring Björk’s song Black Lake from her new album Vulnicura. The exciting exhibit will reference from more than twenty years of the artist’s projects and eight albums with Björk’s career chronicled through sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, and costumes. Björk is an Icelandic singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and occasional actress. She initially became known as the lead singer of the alternative rock band The Sugarcubes, whose 1987 single “Birthday” was a hit on US and UK indie stations and a favourite among music critics. Björk began her career as a solo artist in 1993. Her first album, Debut, was rooted in electronic dance music, house, jazz and trip-hop, and is widely credited as one of the first albums to introduce electronic dance music into mainstream pop. Now in the third decade of her solo career, Björk has developed an eclectic musical style that incorporates aspects of dance, rock, trip hop, jazz, electronic, classical, experimental and avant-garde music. Björk has had 30 singles reach the Top 40 on pop charts around the world, with 22 Top 40 hits in the UK including the Top 10 hits It’s Oh So Quiet, Army of Me and Hyperballad, 11 in Ireland, eight in Italy, four in France, and two in Australia. Additionally, Big Time Sensuality, Hyperballad, and I Miss You were number one dance hits in the US. Music critics have consistently championed Björk’s body of work, praising her innovative approach to singing and composition, her pioneering use of electronic beats, her groundbreaking music videos, and, above all, her singular voice, describing her as “the most important and forward-looking musician of her generation”. The Björk Retrospective will be on display at MoMA from 8th March until 7th June 2015. For more info, click here.