All posts filed under: SPOTLIGHT

A Young Director and his only film

I came across a brief write up by one of my acquaintances on Facebook   a few days back. “…Asia is the place where cinema is still breathing a fresh whiff of significant cinema – something which current European cinema is visibly lacking!”, it concluded. He listed a bunch of directors from different parts of Asia who are shining with their works today. But what caught my eyes was this line: “Sadly, I couldn’t add Bo Hu’s name.” I asked him if it’s because of the fact Hu Bo is no more. His answer was ‘yes’. ‘An elephant sitting still” is the first and the last feature film by Chinese director Hu Bo. He killed himself during the final editing procedure of the film, in 2017, at the age of 29. The film came out in 2018 and immediately gained attention from world audience. Hu Bo was a student of Bela Tarr, the Hungarian auteur. The film opens up in a morning with a story about an elephant, narrated in a voice of one of the …

The Readymade that Influenced the Nihilistic Dada, the Pop and Conceptual Art

The theory behind the “Readymade” was explained in an anonymous editorial published in the May 1917 issue of avant-garde magazine The Blind Man. An art and Dada journal organized briefly by Henri-Pierre Roché, Marcel Duchamp and Beatrice Wood in New York City. It read: “Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, and placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.” In April, 1917, Marcel Duchamp made his most notorious Readymade, Fountain, a porcelain urinal signed “R.Mutt”. The work is regarded by art historians and theorists of the avant-garde as a major landmark in 20th-century art. Accompanied by artist Joseph Stella and art collector Walter Arensberg, Duchamp purchased a standard Bedfordshire model urinal from the J. L. Mott Iron Works, 118 Fifth Avenue. The artist brought the urinal to his studio at 33 West 67th Street, reoriented it 90 degrees from its …

An Insistence of Change: The Energy And Intent Behind the Outset of Italian Futurism

When Étienne-Jules Marey developed a way of recording several phases of movement in one photograph in 1882, it became one of the key ideas behind the onset of Futurism in the early 20th century. Focusing on progress and modernity, the Futurists sought to sweep away traditional artistic notions and replace them with an energetic celebration of the machine age. They emphasized on creating a unique and dynamic vision of the future with speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city. The birth of Futurism was declared with an incendiary manifesto appeared in La gazzetta dell’Emilia on 5th February, 1909 by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. The article was then republished in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro on Saturday 20 February 1909. According to the manifesto, Italy was to be delivered from its smelly gangrene of professors, archeologists, ciceroni and antiquarians and the Futurists would “sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness”. Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing for everything old, especially political …

The Legacy of Cubism

The most radical movement in avant-garde art in Europe, the beginning of Cubism dated back to 1907 when Picasso completed his groundbreaking Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, originally titled The Brothel of Avignon), a crowded canvas that portrays five nude female prostitutes in a brothel on Carrer d’Avinyó (Avignon Street) in Barcelona. Cubist painters portrayed the world as it was known, rather than as it was seen, challenging the idea of revolutionaries like Giotto and Brunelleschi who used one-point perspective to idealistically project and imitate the seen world onto canvas. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque worked together in the beginning of 20th century to challenge this idea which had dominated the Western art since the Renaissance. The early phase of Cubism, which is often refereed to as Analytic Cubism, lasted until 1912. It entailed detailed analysis and dissection of objects and the space they occupied. As the poet and critic Guillaume Appollinaire observed, “Picasso studies an object the way a surgeon dissects a corpse”. Between 1913 and 1920 the development of Analytic …

Galveston

What would happen if a superhero movie had to deal with the uncompromising ethos of life? You would probably watch your favorite superhero being shot and killed from behind while dauntlessly fighting the other antagonists in the movie. It’s an indomitable bravery that would not necessarily have to be paid off. And there would be one simple answer to that: the evil has its fair share. That reminds me of movies where your favorite characters encounter the ferine denouement, where the evil isn’t necessarily punished in the end and most importantly, where audiences’ feels remain unjust… Are there many? I guess not. If movies were to deal with such harsh and keen reality then all hope towards equity and good would vanquish. But for those, who seek pessimism and realism to be the key element of art; Galveston is definitely the movie. Just a little slow, like a Monday noon in the sickbed that can’t be outrun.

A Brief History of Christmas Markets

It’s the time of the year in all across the Northern Europe, especially in Germany. The loveliness of choir singers engulfing the night with Christmas carols, the sound of children laughter and the good old aroma of thuringian sausages, gingerbread, gebrannte mandeln and many more. It’s the Christmas Market, also known as Christkindlmarkt, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, Christkindlimarkt, and Weihnachtsmarkt, indicating the beginning of Advent. For centuries, Christmas Markets have been a part of many people’s lives from all across the Northern Europe and brought a touch of happiness, joy, light and color to the winter nights. But where did it all start? The forerunner of Christmas Market went back to Vienna’s December Market in the middle ages in 1298 where the citizens were granted permission by Duke Albrecht I to hold a market for 14 days. Even though it was not associated with Christmas, it is believed to be the first market during Advent to impel the idea of Christmas Market in later years. However, Germany holds the first evidence of markets that were associated more …

Saudade: The Love That Remains

When it comes to the word Saudade, there are plenty of things that come in mind. The 1974’s Moacir Santos album, the 2011’s Japanese movie, the 1994’s song by Chris Rea, or the 2014’s Thievery Corporation album and many more. But what about this word or expression that led these artists, musicians, and director to make so many projects named after it? Being nostalgic for a time that you didn’t experience can be defined by cascading reminiscence bump, a phenomena when people not only resonate to the events from their own youth but the events from their grandparents and parents youth as well but as a form of musical memory. But Saudade is somewhat quite opposite of cascading reminiscence bump or reminiscence bump in general. It is the longing for a time that someone once experienced and loved fondly but know that they might never experience it again. It’s a repressed belief that the object of longing might never come back. Saudade is a word in Portuguese and Galician that is almost untranslatable in English. …

Female Artists of the Victorian Era: Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale

Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale was an English artist in the reign of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and George V who was identified as the last survivor of the late Pre-Raphaelite painters. Born in the reign of Queen Victoria, her popularity mostly prospered in Edwardian era and she became one of the most popular Edwardian artist. Eleanor was born in Upper Norwood, Surrey as Mary Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale. She was the youngest daughter of a Lincoln’s Inn barrister, Matthew Inglett Fortescue-Brickdale and Sarah Anna. At the age of 17 she was enrolled at the Crystal Palace School of Art under Herbert Bone after initially started studying under the art critic John Ruskin. While at the Royal Academy, she came under the influence of John Byam Liston Shaw, who in turn was influenced by John Everett Millais and John William Waterhouse. By the time she was accepted to Royal Academy Pre-Raphaelite painting was led by a second generation of artists including Edward Coley Burne-Jones. The Pale Complexion of True Love (1899) by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale Using the different media such …

Female Artists of the Victorian Era: Helen Allingham

Helen Allingham (Helen Mary Elizabeth Paterson) was an English illustrator and watercolourist in the reign of Queen Victoria who was profoundly inspired by her maternal grandmother Sarah Smith Herford or Mrs. John Herford and aunt Laura Herford. Helen Allingham  was born on 26th September in 1848 in the small village of Swadlincote, Derbyshire. She was the eldest daughter of Alexander Henry Paterson, a physician, and Mary Herford Paterson. The family moved to Altrincham in Cheshire within the first year of Helen’s life where her father and her three-year-old sister Isabel died of a severe diphtheria epidemic in 1862 when she was only thirteen. The family thereafter moved to Birmingham where Helen initially studied art at the Birmingham School of Design at the age of seventeen. A year later in 1867 she was accepted to the prestigious Royal Academy where young Helen was deeply influenced by Foster and Fred Walker, and the Pre- Raphaelite painters Sir John Everett Millais and Sir Frederick Leighton. Her initial career was as a black and white illustrator. In 1869 she was commissioned by the …

The August Male and The August Female (Izanagi and Izanami)

Before the universe came into existence, everything was a chaos. It was sunk into a shapeless and unimaginably infinite and vast matter filled with darkness and emptiness. Later there were sounds that indicated the movement of particles. And with this, the lightest and the transparent rose up and formed the Takamagahara (the Plain of High Heaven) and the heavy and opaque gradually subsided and became the earth. In Takamagahara the first Kami ( the spirits that are worshiped in the religion of Shinto ) Amenominakanushi ( Ame-no-minakanushi-no-mikoto (the Deity-of-the-August-Center-of-Heaven)) came into existence. And next the Heaven gave birth to Takami-Musubi-no-Mikoto (the High-August-Producing-Wondrous-Deity) and Kammi-Musubi-no-Mikoto (the Divine-Producing-Wondrous-Deity). These were the three primal Kami and Creating Deities of Japanese mythology. After the formation of Heaven and Earth and Kotoamatsukami (the first gods) seven generations of kami (Kamiyonanayo) came into existence. They were: Kuni-no-tokotachi-no-kami Toyo-kumo-no-no-kami U-hiji-ni and Su-hiji-ni Tsunu-guhi and Iku-guhi Ō-to-no-ji and Ō-to-no-be Omo-daru and Aya-kashiko-ne and Izanagi and Izanami Izanami’s Death and The Creation of the Islands and Deities: Izanagi (He who invites) and Izanami (She who …

Painted Memories

The other day I was having a conversation about dreams and nightmares with some of my friends. I got to hear a lot of crazy stories and some of them were eerie experiences of sleeping paralysis. As some of you might know and agree it could be a worse experience of them all. Thankfully I didn’t ever have a perception that could be called sleeping paralysis in direct terms. However, I noticed that some of them believes that sleeping paralysis is a spiritual phenomenon and that, spirits truly come and take over the control of their body. I could not agree less. However, as the time went on those stories of dreams and nightmares changed into the experiences of familiarity. Meaning, events that seem like they have already happened in the past; also known as déjà vu. A common intuitive experience that happens or has happened to many of us. A couple of months ago I was on a trip to a beach. It’s a place I visit twice or thrice a year. And every time …

3:34. A thought on Minds.

I have always been curious as to how we would develop our idiosyncrasies in terms of isolation from the world in general. Would it resuscitate the primordial quintessence inside us or beget an entirely new instinct? I believe human mind is incapable of  forming nothing. It’s unable to think of zero. Namely, if we are ever to say “what if nothing would exist. Universe, stars, planets, time, us and so on?” we would not be able to perceive and picture it entirely. Therefore if we are ever to be isolated from everything we would have ascertained the utmost balderdash but there would have always been something to ponder over. To be even more precise, think of someone left alone in void who is free from materialistic illusions and organism and is unfamiliar with anything previously thought and perceived. What would this person come up to? However, while this is not what I am going to conclude, which I will probably be incapable of, it has always been a subject of curiosity for me. What has partial isolation …

Montage

Originally posted on Memory, Fiction…:
1 The cigarette was hanging between his lips, the smoke was curling up in the air. The moon was astonishingly bright that night and the halo, too clear to remain unnoticed. He took out his phone, wrote “Lunar halo. Have a look at the moon.”. “Aren’t you sleepy?”, a reply came before the next puff of the cigarette. He took the last puff, smiled while exhaling. He looked at the distant hills, those small lights, the other side of the river. It was the beginning of the fall, his most dear days of the year. He went back to his room. Chopin’s Nocturnes was still playing on the music player. Everything was too good to be real. 2 He took out his phone, looked at the screen. It was 10:30 pm. The roads were empty, the shops were closed. He was waiting for the cab to arrive. It was the same place where he usually waits for her for rare meetings, those glamorous afternoons. He wrote her before getting into…