Archive for April, 2013


Beatle News  # 10

  • 1969 – John Lennon changes his middle name from Winston to Ono, taking his second wife, Yoko Ono’s, surname.

Lennon was a modernist and a true feminist and great peace activist. Yes, men can be feminist too. Proper feminism is about equal rights, not overpowering men. I believe neither sex, race or sexuality has the right to overpower another. I am believer of equal rights as well. Am a gentleman to a lady, and bitch to a bitch. Thus a great believer in feminism myself.

Beatle News # 9 : Stuart Sutcliffe & The Beatles’ disintegration (press on the link)

April 10, 2013
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This Day –

Nuwan Sen’s Music Sense. Nuwan Sen n’ Peace. Nuwan Sen & The Beatles ().

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152 & 52 years ago

Yuri Gagarin - First Man on Space

 

  • 1861 – The American Civil war officially begins with the Confederate army (southerners) firing on Fort Sumter (in the harbour of Charleston), a key fort held by Union troops (northerners) in South Carolina.

Exactly a 100 years later –

  • 1961 – The Russians send a man to space. Aboard Vostok 3KA-3, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (pictured above) becomes the first man to enter outer space orbiting the earth within 108 minutes. Ironically he died while on a routine training flight, on 27 March 1968, aged 34.

American Civil War on Celluloid

The American Civil War on Film

 

Gone with the Wind (1939), happens to be my favourite movie set during the civil war and the aftermath. It’s in fact my second favourite movie of all time. See my list titled Why I love …. (press on the link) on IMDB. My Top-10 all time favourite movies.

From the silent era, am yet to see D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915), which is supposedly among the best movies about the American civil war. Therefore, The General (1926) one of my favourite silent flicks, happens to be my favourite silent venture set during the 1860’s War torn America. From the 1990’s, I love Amistad (1997), which was set way before the war, and Sommerby (1993), which is set just after the war. The only civil war movie I did not enjoy that much was Glory (1989).  

In the 21st century, the best movie on the civil war, was no doubt Anthony Minghella’s epic Cold Mountain (2003). See my list titled My favourite J-Law Movies (press on the link) on IMDB. A list of my Top-10 favourite Jude Law movies from the 1990’s & 2000’s.

Am yet to see some great epics set during the infamous civil war, that lasted more than four years, between 1861 and 1865; such as The Battle of Gettysburg (1913), The Birth of a Nation (1915), The Red Badge of Courage (1951), Raintree Country (1957), Dances with the Wolves (1990), Gods and Generals (2003) and of course Lincoln (2012); to name a few.

 

Civil War Flicks

 

Nuwan Sen’s Historical Sense. Nuwan Sen n’ General Knowledge

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

SSBeatle News  #9

The 5th Beatle

The 5th Beatle

  • 1962 – Stuart Sutcliffe dies of an aneurysm (brain haemorrhage) aged 21; whilst in studying in Hamburg, West Germany. He collapsed in the middle of an art class after complaining of head pains.

Not many are aware of Stuart Sutcliffe, who was one of the original Beatles (a.k.a. the 5th Beatle), ’cause this was before the Beatles became one of the greatest bands ever. Sutcliffe met John Lennon back in the 50’s, as students, at the Liverpool College of Art,  and they ended up being best friends. Paul McCartney (Lennon’s other best friend and co-songwriter) later supposedly had stated that he was jealous of Sutcliffe’s friendship with Lennon back then. Sutcliffe being a great bass player, joined the group, back then known as The Quarrymen (a.k.a. Johnny & The Moondogs), with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, in January 1960. In May, the same year, they renamed the group as The Silver Beats, The Silver Beetles and finally The Silver Beatles. On 12th August, 1960, Pete Best, joined the group as a drummer. On August 17th, same year, they dropped ‘Silver‘, and call themselves The Beatles, and they went to Hamburg, for gigs and ended up playing 48 nights at the ‘Indra Club’. In July 1961, Sutcliffe left the group to continue painting, and was awarded a postgraduate scholarship and enrolled at the Hamburg College of Art. On August 16th, 1962, Pete Best, was laid off, and on August 18th, same year, Ringo Starr joined The  Beatles. And the rest is, as they say, History

Stuart Sutcliffe, was the first to don the famous Beatle-cut, way back in the 50’s. A hairstyle later adapted by all the other members of The Beatles. 

Picture Above (Top Right), shows The Beatles when Sutcliffe was a member. He is in the extreme right (Boxed in), and Pete Best in the extreme left. George Harrison, John Lennon & Pau McCartney are in the middle (L-R). (Bottom Right) Sutcliffe with Best Friend John Lennon.

  • 1967 – While in Los Angeles, Paul McCartney visits Brian Wilson, of The Beach Boys, while Wilson was working on his famed SMiLE project.

The Beatles and The Beach Boys, are credited to have had a friendly rivalry between them. Thus, though officially supposed rivals, they shared a good friendship. I got a chance to see an aged Brian Wilson up close, at his concert; when he came during the Sydney Summer Festival in January 2008; at The Domain, in Sydney, Australia.

  • 1970 – Paul McCartney announces that he has left The Beatles. This makes front page news world wide.
The Beatles last Photo-Shoot

The Beatles last Photo-Shoot

This Day –

Nuwan Sen’s Music Sense. Nuwan Sen & The Beatles ().

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Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday to….

Happy Birthday to... (10th April 2013)

 

… veteran actors, Omar Sharif and Max von Sydow, who turn 81 and 84, respectively.

Birthday wishes to novelists, the late Lew Wallace and Paul Theroux; to other film personalities – film director Christophe Honoré; documentary director Alastair Fothergill; screenplay writer Peter Morgan; film stars late Harry Morgan, late Tim McCoy, late Delphine Seyrig, late Lyndon Brook, late Chuck Connors, late Jan Arvan, Chelo Alonso (a.k.a. Isabella Garcia), Claudette Nevins, Guillaume Canet, Michael Pitt, Charlie Hunnam,  Orlando Jones, Frank Lammers, Haley Joel Osment, Peter MacNicol, Alicia Sanz, Haig Sutherland, Caroline Chan and  Alex Pettyfer; and to singers Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Mandy Moore and Babyface.  

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

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This Day –

  • 1925 – The novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was first published.

A novel I did for my Bachelors, in Delhi University (back in 96′).

Nuwan Sen n’ News

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News Flash: Baroness Thatcher (Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher), died yesterday afternoon in London, after suffering a stroke. In accordance with her wishes, Thatcher will not receive a state funeral, but will be honoured with a church service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, where she will be accorded military honours.

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher

 

Baroness Thatcher, was the first (and only) lady Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the third in the world. She was a very bold tough lady who was scared of no man, a feminist in her own right. India had Indira Gandhi, a bold feminist Prime Minister in the 70’s & early 80’s, and UK had Thatcher throughout the 80’s. She was the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the previous century. A Soviet journalist once referred to her as the Iron Lady, and instead of letting it affect her negatively she took it as a compliment instead. I do not have a deep insight into politics, especially of another country; but from her personality wise, I think she was great leader, and had what it takes to head a country.

Meryl Streep, portrayed Thatcher in the film appropriately titled The Iron Lady (2011). I was lucky enough to view this great bio-pic, last year in New Delhi. Besides being an American, Streep manages to do justice to the role of the very British Thatcher; for which she ended up deservedly bagging the Best Actress Oscar last year. I wrote a critique on this classy and sophisticatedly well executed moving picture, under the list titled, Oscar Winners … and then some 2012 (press on the link), on IMDB.   

  Nuwan Sen n’ News

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Beatle News  # 8

  • 1963 – John Lennon’s first wife Cynthia (Powell) gives birth to a son; John Charles Julian Lennon. Julian Lennon turns 50 today.

John and Julian

Nuwan Sen’s Music Sense. Nuwan Sen & The Beatles ().

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Brett Whiteley (1939-1992)

Brett Whiteley self portrait 

 Yesterday, the 7th of April 2013, was Australian artist Brett Whiteley’s 74th Birth Anniversary.

 I actually wanted to write about him yesterday, but it was such a busy and tiring day, that I couldn’t get around to doing so.

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Brett Whiteley's Balcony (Feb 2008)

 

Brett Whiteley, was one of the first Australian artists of the latter part of the 20th century, I got to hear about when I first went to live in Sydney, Australia in 2006. Almost instantaneously I fell in love with his unique curviest figurines; but it was his landscape painting of the Circular Quay’s (Sydney Cove), that ended up being my favourite piece (pictured above in Feb 2008). In January 2008, Wendy Whiteley (his ex-wife) had a talk, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, in Sydney, and I was part of her eager audience, where this fashionista, with her trademark African inspired headscarf, spoke about their life in London during the swinging 60’s et all. Quite an interesting insight into her husbands life, the 60’s & 70’s, and London back then.  The Whiteley’s only child, late actress, Arkie Whiteley, was born in London in 1964. Brett and Wendy divorced in 1989. Brett Whiteley died of a drug overdose in 1992, Janice Spencer (his last girlfriend) died of a heroin overdose in 2000, and his daughter Arkie died of cancer in 2001.  

Wendy Whiteley, one time muse to Brett, who had posed many a times for him (pictured below), is today known as the grande dame of the Sydney art scene, where she resides. An cultural icon in her own right.

Wendy by Brett

Wendy by Brett

Nuwan Sen’s Art Sense

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French Symbolist artist, Gustave Moreau, was born on 6th of April, 1826. Symbolism, was a 19th century art movement of by the French, Russians and the Belgians; more prominent in the latter half of the century.

Musée Gustave Moreau (Sept 2009) Moreau's House, now a museum

 

Moreau, was lucky enough to be born into a very highly cultured couple with a great taste and respect for the arts. His father was an architect, who encouraged his son’s artistic talent, and his mother took care of her son’s delicate health for the rest of her life. Moreau never married and remained with his mother, until her death. In 1895, Moreau extended his home to create sufficient space for a massive studio to house all his works, so that it could end up being a museum after his death. Moreau died in 1898, after contracting stomach cancer an year earlier.

I wasn’t that familiar with Gustave Moreau’s work, until I went to live in Paris in 2008, but it was more than an year later that I finally got to know what his works were like up close and personal, when I visited the Gustave Moreau Museum in Sept 2009, just days before leaving Paris. Most of his works are biblical references and mythological images. Being a student with a background of Art, Literature (including the classics – Greek & Roman literature) and cinema; I fell in love with Moreau’s unique works. I spent practically an entire day studying his numerous works. The museum closes for lunch and re-opens, so I went in the morning, saw some of his works, went out had my lunch, and was standing outside his house before they re-opened. Moreau had done more than 8,000 paintings and over 13,000 drawings and watercolours in his lifetime, and most of his works are housed at the Musée Gustave Moreau. Not all his works are up on the wall, some are in cupboard forms that you open and each work is inside a glass that you have to keep opening till you reach the end. His works reminded me of another era, influences of the renaissance, neoclassicism, also some works had a feel for the impressionist; and as the 20th century French writer and poet, André Breton, famed for his Surrealist Manifesto’s, had thought of ‘Moreau as a precursor of Surrealism‘. Surrealism, happens to be my favourite modern art style, that began in the 1920’s, and Salvador Dalí, happens to be my favourite surrealist artist ever. 

In 1891, Gustave Moreau became a professor at Paris’ École des Beaux-Arts, an institute I wish I could have been a part of. Most of his students were to be famed artists of the future. The likes of Henri Matisse, Georges Rouault, Jules Flandrin, Theodor Pallady and Léon Printemps; were all his students.

Gustave Moreau was a true artist, in the sense his works weren’t for sale. That’s one of the main reasons he wasn’t as famous as his peers. But Moreau was a genius, and since he wasn’t for sale, most of his works are all available for viewing, in one location, his house, i.e. Musée Gustave Moreau (Gustave Moreau Museum), in Paris. How many artist works are available to view within one location, not that many, and definitely not a collection like this.

Musée GM (NS)

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Couple of my Artworks derived from Moreau.

Aprés Moreau

 

Nuwan Sen’s Art Sense, Nuwan Sen’s Artworks.

Beatle News  #7 CD

  • 1963 – The Beatles are awarded their very first Silver Disc, for the single ‘Please Please Me‘.

Nuwan Sen’s Music Sense. Nuwan Sen & The Beatles ().

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News Flash

Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

Yesterday, on the 4th of April 2013, famed Film Critic, Roger Ebert, died aged 70, after an eleven year battle with cancer. In 1975, he became the very first film critic to ever win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, for his film criticism during 1974, for the Chicago Sun-Times; where he worked from 1967 until his death. Ebert has also written many books and screenplays. His all time favourite actress was Ingrid Bergman; and his favourite movies range from The General (1926), to Citizen Kane (1941), to Tokyo Story (1953), to La Dolce Vita (1960), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Godfather (1972), Scener ur ett äktenskapScenes from a Marriage (1973), Sophie’s Choice (1982), Schindler’s List (1993), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), The Social Network (2010), Argo (2012) etc etc etc… and many more out of the zillions of films made world wide within last 118 years of cinema. 

Yesterday was also the birth anniversaries of these great stars that are no more….

Born on the 4th of April

Born on the 4th of April

….. Hollywood actress Agnes Ayres (1898–1940), American Disney animator and writer Nick George (1910–1977), French film director Eric Rohmer (1920–2010), British actor Peter Burton (1921–1989), Hollywood actress Dorothy Hart (1922–2004), Hollywood actor Anthony Perkins (1932–1992), Bollywood actress Parveen Babi (1949–2005), and Hollywood actor from down-under Heath Ledger (1979–2008).

Today, the 5th of April, 2013, happens to be the Birth Anniversaries of these luminaries …..

Born on the 5th of April

Born on the 5th of April

…. Hollywood actress Bette Davis (1908-1989), Hollywood actor Melvyn Douglas (1901–1981), Hollywood actor Spencer Tracy (1900–1967), and Hollywood actor Gregory Peck (1916–2003).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()

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Beatle News  #6  TV Appearance

Thank Your Lucky Stars !!!

Thank Your Lucky Stars !!!

 

  • 1965 – The Beatles appear on Thank Your Lucky Stars, a popular British pop-music television programme back in the day (recorded on March 28th). It’s their first television appearance that year. 

Nuwan Sen’s Music Sense. Nuwan Sen & The Beatles ().