20 dic. 2011

Os Gêmeos

Os Gêmeos (Portuguese for The Twins) are graffiti artist identical twin brothers (born 1974) from São Paulo, Brazil, whose real names are Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo. They started painting graffiti in 1987 and gradually became a main influence in the local scene, helping to define Brazil's own style. 
Their work often features yellow-skinned characters - taken from the yellow tinge both of the twins have in their dreams - but is otherwise diverse and ranges from tags to complicated murals. 
Subjects range from family portraits to commentary on São Paulo's social and political circumstances, as well as Brazilian folklore. Their graffiti style was influenced by both traditional hip hop style and the Brazilian pixaçãomovement.
Hip hop cultura reached Brazil in the late eighties and appealed to a lot of the country's teenagers at the time. The twins started out as breakdancers, and got involved with the graffiti aspect later on. Of course, their first steps into the graffiti world were attempts to emulate American hip hop pieces, in early New York style. It was not until some years later that they started to consciously put Brazilian cultural elements and influences into their graffiti.
Their first significant artistic influence outside their immediate environment, and their limited access to American hip hop (Style Wars, Subway Art, Beat Street), stemmed from a chance encounter with Barry McGee (also known as Twist), who happened to be in Brazil for several months on a study program through the San Francisco Art Institute in 1993. Technique and experience were shared, and McGee provided them with a lot of photographic examples from the American graffiti scene. 
Through Barry McGee, Os Gemeos met Allen Benedikt (founder of 12oz Prophet Magazine and also part Brazilian), who together with Caleb Neelon (also known as Sonik) became the first to interview them after a trip to Brazil in 1997 ( 12oz Prophet Magazine Issue 6; 1998), which became Os Gemeos' introduction to audiences outside of South America.
Their latest work is a wall in Miami, Florida painted for Art Basel Miami Beach. Before that was a painting of 16 at 10 meters in the centre of Heerlen, the Netherlands. This painting determines part of cultural festival Cultura Nova. It was the inspiration source of the large opening act where the head character came to life in association with the French group La Plasticiens Volant. 
The show “L’Etranger” went in premiere on 29 August and was one-off seen on Cultura Nova. The wall painting continues to be preserved and is shown on the Schelmerhofje in Heerlen, the Netherlands. 

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The value of words

11 dic. 2011

Amelie

Amélie ( Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain ; The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain) is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Written by Jeunet with Guillaume Laurant, the film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre. It tells the story of a shy waitress who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better, while struggling with her own isolation. The film was an International co-production between companies in France and Germany.
Amélie won Best Film at the European Film Awards; it won four César Awards (including Best Film and Best Director), two BAFTA Awards (including Best Original Screenplay), and was nominated for five Academy Awards.
Amélie Poulain is a young woman who had grown up isolated from other children. After the death of her mother and her father's subsequent withdrawal, she developed an unusually active imagination to ward away the feelings of loneliness. Now at the age of twenty-three, Amélie is a waitress at Café des 2 Moulins, a small café in Montmartre that is staffed and frequented by a collection of eccentrics. Having spurned romantic relationships following a few disappointing efforts, she finds contentment in simple pleasures and letting her imagination roam free.
On 31 August 1997, Amélie, shocked upon hearing the news of Princess Diana's death on television, drops a bottle cap that knocks into a bathroom wall tile and loosens it. Behind the tile, she finds an old metal box of childhood memorabilia hidden by a boy who lived in her apartment decades earlier. Fascinated by this find, she resolves to track down the now adult man who placed it there and return it to him, making a promise to herself in the process: if she finds him and it makes him happy, she will devote her life to help bring happiness to others.
Amélie meets her reclusive neighbour, Raymond Dufayel (Serge Merlin), a painter who continually repaints Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. He is known as 'the Glass Man' because of his brittle bone condition. With the help of him and others, she tracks down the former occupant and places the box in a phone booth, ringing the number as he passes to lure him there. Upon opening the box, the man, moved to tears, has an epiphany as long-forgotten childhood memories come flooding back. He then finds his way into the same bar as Amelie and vows to reconcile with his estranged family. On seeing the positive effect she had on him, she resolves from that moment on to do good in the lives of others.
Amélie becomes a secret matchmaker and guardian angel, executing complex but hidden schemes that impact the lives of those around her with subtle, arm's-length manipulation, leading to several sub-plots and episodes. She escorts a blind man to the Metro station, giving him a rich description of the street scenes he passes. She persuades her father to follow his dream of touring the world by stealing his garden gnome and having a stewardess friend send pictures of it posing with landmarks from all over the world. She kindles a romance between a middle-aged co-worker and one of the customers in the bar. She convinces the unhappy concierge of her building that the husband who abandoned her had in fact sent her a final reconciliatory love letter just before his accidental death years before. She supports Lucien, a child-like young man who works for Mr. Collignon, the bullying neighbourhood greengrocer; by playing practical jokes on Collignon, whose confidence she undermines until he questions his own sanity.
However, while she is looking after others, Mr. Dufayel is observing her, and begins a conversation with her about his painting when she comes to visit him one day. Although he has copied the same famous painting dozens of times, he has never quite captured the excluded look of the girl drinking a glass of water. They often discuss the meaning of this character, and although it is never explicitly stated, for Dufayel, she comes to represent Amélie and her lonely life. 
Through their discussions, Amélie is forced to examine her own life and her attraction to a quirky young man who strangely collects the discarded photographs from passport photo booths. When she accidentally bumps into him a second time and realizes she is smitten, she is fortunate to be on the scene to pick up his photo album when he drops it in the street. She discovers his name is Nino Quincampoix, and she plays a cat and mouse game with him around Paris before eventually anonymously returning his treasured album. However, after finally attempting to orchestrate a proper meeting, she is too shy to approach him, and almost loses hope when she misinterprets a conversation with one of the cafe's patrons. It takes Raymond Dufayel's insightful friendship to give her the courage to overcome her shyness and finally meet with Nino, resulting in a night spent together and the beginnings of a relationship.


3 dic. 2011

John Lennon

John Winston Lennon (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Along with fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, he formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century.
Born and raised in Liverpool, Lennon became involved as a teenager in the skiffle craze; his first band, The Quarrymen, evolved into The Beatles in 1960. As the group disintegrated towards the end of the decade, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine". After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to devote time to his infant son Sean, but re-emerged in 1980 with a new album, Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release.
At around 10:50 pm on 8 December 1980, as Lennon and Ono returned to their New York apartment in The Dakota, Mark David Chapman shot Lennon in the back four times at the entrance to the building. Lennon was taken to the emergency room of nearby Roosevelt Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:07 pm. Earlier that evening, Lennon had autographed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman.
Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, his writing, his drawings, on film, and in interviews, becoming controversial through his political and peace activism. He moved to New York City in 1971, where his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a lengthy attempt by Richard Nixon's administration to deport him, while his songs were adopted as anthems by the anti-war movement.
According to FBI surveillance reports (and confirmed by Tariq Ali in 2006) Lennon was sympathetic to the International Marxist Group, a Trotskyist group formed in Britain in 1968. However, the FBI considered Lennon to have limited effectiveness as a revolutionary since he was "constantly under the influence of narcotics".
Lennon's biographer Bill Harry writes that Lennon began drawing and writing creatively at an early age with the encouragement of his uncle. He collected his stories, poetry, cartoons, and caricatures in a Quarry Bank High School exercise book that he called the Daily Howl. The drawings were often of crippled people, and the writings satirical, and throughout the book was an abundance of wordplay. According to classmate Bill Turner, Lennon created the Daily Howl to amuse his best friend and later Quarrymen band mate, Pete Shotton, to whom he would show his work before he let anyone else see it. Turner said that Lennon "had an obsession for Wigan Pier. It kept cropping up", and in Lennon's story A Carrot In A Potato Mine, "the mine was at the end of Wigan Pier." Turner described how one of Lennon's cartoons depicted a bus stop sign annotated with the question, "Why?". Above was a flying pancake, and below, "a blind man wearing glasses leading along a blind dog—also wearing glasses".
As of 2010, Lennon's solo album sales in the United States exceed 14 million units, and as writer, co-writer or performer, he is responsible for 25 number-one singles on the US Hot 100 chart. In 2002, a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted him eighth, and in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all-time. He was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.