Category: Renaissance period


Da Vinci & Di Caprio: The Two LEO’s
Q.1° Given the chance to be a famous ‘Leonardo’ in your life, which Leo would You prefer to be? And Why?

a) Leonardo Da Vinci

b) Leonardo Di Caprio

c) A combination of both

d) Another Leo, altogether (Please specify, who & why)

Q.2° If, to the previous question, your answer was (c); which of these combined traits would you like to own? [You may answer, if you wish to, even if your answer for the previous question wasn’t (c)]

a) Da Vinci’s Brain (intellect) & Di Caprio’s Heart (seemingly kind personality/down to earth persona)

b) Da Vinci’s Artistic Talent & Di Caprio’s Looks

c) Da Vinci’s Looks & Di Caprio’s Acting Talent

Q.3° Which of these would like to possess?

a) Da Vinci’s (approximately) 550 years of fame, as one of the most celebrated artists in the world

b) Di Caprio’s 25 years of fame, as a talented actor and modern day humanist

Q.4° What is your favourite :-

a) Da Vinci Scientific/futuristic artwork?

b) Di Caprio Film?

c) Da Vinci Painting?

d) Di Caprio Film Character?

Q.5° If you could, which of these would you like to do?

a) Travel back in time, and meet Da Vinci

b) Do Di Caprio, in the present (or by going back in time)

c) Both

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Sometimes I end up watching such great movies, but I never get to blog about them. A good example is the three excellent films I watched in March 2015; Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013), Haider (2014) and Her (2013). I never got a chance to write even a mini-critique on them. Thus this month I though, I should do a post, of all the films I watched in May, including the best, the bad and the not so bad.

My May Movies 2015

So here is a round up of the all the films (feature length, short film, television movie & television mini-series) I watched this month, May 2015.
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Le Vice et La Vertu (1963)

Le Vice et La Vertu (1963)Director Roger Vadim’s Le Vice et La Vertu, is mostly a chic sexploitation of his then life partner, Catherine Deneuve. Roger Vadim was a very aesthetically stylish director of his time, yet somewhat lacking in great story telling; who was notorious for the way he directed his two bewitchingly beautiful wives, Brigitte Bardot (in the 50’s) and Jane Fonda (mid-60’s to early 70’s), as well as his equally beautiful life partner, Catherine Deneuve (the early 60’s). All superb acting talent, but Vadim, preferred to turn them into sex-symbols of the 50’s & 60’s. Not that he was necessarily pervert, but he admired their beauty, femininity, elegance and grace; and he liked to flaunt their sexuality on screen. Yet, post-Vadim, all three femmes, went on to become some of the greatest acting talent, that existed/is still existing, in the international platform of cinematic geniuses. Especially when it comes to Deneuve and Fonda.

Le Vice et La Vertu, is a modern adaptation, inspired by, the notorious, Marquis de Sade’s, sadistic, 18th century text, Justine, ou Les Malheurs de La Vertu (Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue). Set during the second World War, the movie is about a group of elitist Nazi officers, residing in a remote Austrian chalet, who abduct pretty young French goddesses, and use and abuse them (sexually & otherwise) for their sexist/perverted/machismo pleasure.

Le Vice et La Vertu is beautifully filmed in black and white, yet unfortunately it’s not the best of movie viewing. This was Catherine Deneuve’s first notable role, and she plays the character of, the virtues, Justine, whose life is ruined by these monstrous Nazi officers.

It’s still a watchable movie, average fare. So do give it try for Vadim and Deneuve’s sake. It’s worth checking out, at least once. I watched Le Vice et La Vertu, on TV5MONDE. The first film, I watched this month.

My Rating: 6/10!!!
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American Hustle (2013)
Set in the 70’s, American Hustle, is based on real life events. As the movie starts it states that, “Some of this actually happened”.

The story is about the FBI (ABSCAM) operation, that took place in the 1970’s and early 80’s. An FBI agent (Bradley Cooper), ropes in two con-artists (Amy Adams & Christian Bale), to help him with a massive sting operation on catching corrupt American politicians red-handed.

Amy Adams

Love the movie, Love the 70’s setting, Love the cast. The acting talent involved is impeccable with Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis CK, Jack Huston, Alessandro Nivola and Elisabeth Röhm. David O. Russell’s American Hustle, was nominated for 10 Oscars, but didn’t win any.

I watched this near perfect, Hollywood, vintage, crime drama, American Hustle, on HBO Hits.

My Rating: Near Excellence!!!! 9/10!!!!!
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Warm Bodies (2013)
A Zombie Rom-Com!!! Warm Bodies was surprisingly pretty good.

Nicholas Hoult plays a zombie, residing among other living dead, within the confines of an airport. Those first few minutes of the film, was hilariously excellent. It was like a short film, within the feature film. Then came the humans. And the zombie finds a pulse, and a heart beat.

This is where the film, directed by Jonathan Levine, starts to descend, and I felt it would end up being one of those tasteless, blood and gore, flicks, with a romantic input. But luckily it wasn’t that kind of a movie, and the romance didn’t really ruin the movie experience for me. I know the story sounds pretty silly, and certain parts of it are, but I actually enjoyed it, and ‘twas way better than what I expected it to be. In fact, it was altogether a fun ride.

Warm Bodies is told from the zombie’s perspective, which itself makes it pretty unique. I’d Love to read the novel by Isaac Marion, this comical take on this zombie apocalypse, is based on.

Watched Warm Bodies on HBO On Demand.

My Rating: 7/10!!!!
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Summer in February (2013)

Summer in february WeddingSummer in February is one of the most disappointing Heritage Films, I’ve seen till date. Based on a true story, this British film revolves around four famous Impressionist Artists (the Lamorna group), from the Edwardian era; especially the real life tragic love triangle involving two artists (Alfred Munnings, and his unhappy wife, Florence Carter-Wood) and a young military officer, Major Gilbert Evans.

Beautifully set, in the countryside, on the Cornwall seascape; with great potential, and capability, of being a really great film, Summer in February stars Dominic Cooper, Dan Stevens, Emily Browning, Shaun Dingwall, Hattie Morahan, Tom Ward-Thomas and Max Deacon. Directed by Christopher Menaul, the film is so poorly made, that it’s not really worth watching. Sadly a pretty bad movie, and a total waste of time.

Watched Summer in February on HBO On Demand

My Rating: 4/10!!
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Transcendence (2014)
I was pleasantly surprised. It’s actually a very good movie. Not one of those films, where special effects take over, and rule and ruin a movie. I already did a post, two weeks ago, soon after I watched it. Check it out – Transcendence of an already Superior Brain.

I saw, this really good, directorial debut by, Cinematographer, Wally Pfister, i.e. Transcendence, on HBO On Demand.

My Rating: 8/10!!!!
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This Property is Condemned (1966)
One of DVD’s I bought during my Aussie trip in November 2014. Money well spent, for Sydney Pollack’s This Property is Condemned; starring Natalie Wood and Robert Redford, which happens to be a brilliant piece of cinema; is definitely a keeper. Am glad it’s part of my movie collection. Sultry Wood is just breathtaking, in her flirty, yet naïve, role, in this cinematic wonder, set in the sizzling heat of the 30’s American deep south. I already did a post on this one-of-a-kind tragic love story, an elongated version of a one-act play by Tennessee Williams, soon after I watched it. The script was co-written by Francis Ford Coppola. To read my review on This Property is Condemned, see my post Condemnation of a woman during the Depression era of the American south, from less than two weeks ago.

This Property is Condemned Wood and Redford

This Property is Condemned is just the second DVD, I watched this year. Haider, I mentioned atop, was the first (and that was back in March 2015). I still have some of films I brought from Australia, late last year. And added to which, I got down a few Hindi films, from New Delhi, India, back in February 2015. Haider happens to be one of them. This Property is Condemned, is the best, and my favourite, movie, from among all these movies, I watched this month.

My Rating: Excellent!!!!! 10/10 !!!!!
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Good People (2014)
Starring James Franco (one of my favourite actors today), Kate Hudson, Tom Wilkinson, Omar Sy and Anna Friel; Danish director, Henrik Ruben Genz’s, Good People, shows how even a little greed can make the nicest people take a wrong turn in life.

Once a couple accidentally come across some stolen money, they decide to keep it for themselves, than turn it over to police. Soon the couple find themselves in trouble with, the deadly culprits responsible for the stolen cash, their adversary, and the cops. Quite generic, extremely uninventive, and very  predictable. Yet pretty good viewing. James Franco is brilliant, as is the rest of the cast. It’s thanks to these really good actors, that the movie is this good.

I watched Good People on HBO Hits

My Rating: 7/10!!!!
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Les Apaches (2013)
A totally senseless movie, dealing with teenagers, theft, and a senseless killing. It’s not even worth writing about. Really Bad! A waste of time.

I watched Les Apaches on TV5MONDE.

My Rating: 3/10!!
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Bessie (2015)
This television movie, is a really good Bio-Pic, on the life of legendary African-American blues singer, famously known as The Empress of the Blues, Bessie Smith.

Queen Latifah, as Bessie, does a superb job, paying tribute to an American icon. Directed by Dee Rees, the film also stars, Mo’nique, Charles S. Dutton, Mike Epps, Khandi Alexander, Oliver Platt, Bryan Greenberg and Michael Kenneth Williams.

Bessie, is the only television movie I watched this month, not counting the mini-series Olive Kitteridge, which I watched later.

Watched Bessie on HBO On Demand.

My Rating: 8/10!!!!
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Amour (2012)
A promise to love one another, till death do them apart. Sad, tragic and beautiful.

Austrian film director, Michael Haneke’s, Amour, is about a retired old couple, both music teachers, residing in Paris, enjoying life. They are seen leading a highly cultured, posh, tasteful, happy and relaxed life, going out to concerts, reading intellectual books and spending their free time well. And they are always together. Yet, one day the wife has stroke, and she’s bedridden. Her husband stays by her side, taking care of her, till her time is up.

Great acting, great direction, and a brilliant art-house film. A nouveau, new-wave, if you may. This French Film stars veterans, Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Isabelle Huppert.

Amour was nominated for 5 Oscars, including for ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Director’, and a ‘Best Actress’ nomination for Emmanuelle Riva. Making her the oldest actress to be nominated for an Oscar that year. The 85th Academy Awards, was being held, on her 86th Birthday, itself. Pity she lost out to Jennifer Lawrence, for Silver Linings Playbook (2012). It’s also interesting to note, while Riva was the oldest nominee, the youngest ‘Best Actress’ nominee, was 9 year old, Quvenzhané Wallis, for Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), that year.

Winner of the Palme d’Or, at the Cannes Film Festival, in 2012; and Oscar winner for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’, at the 85th Academy Awards, the following year; Amour is the best French Film, I watched, on TV5MONDE, this month. Plus, it’s the last Palme d’Or winner I watched (See my list Palme d’Or Winners – from the past, that I’ve watched so far, on IMDB, seen only 18 winners so far).

My Rating: Excellent!!!!! 10/10 !!!!!   
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Noah (2014)

Noah - Douglas BoothOne the least impressive Biblical adaptations on screen.

Logan Lerman (a young favourite of mine) as Ham, is nothing but a juicy piece of tasty looking ham, a total disappointment. Lerman, generally a really good actor, just hams it up, in this movie. Pun(s) intended.

With an impressive cast; including Anthony Hopkins, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Douglas Booth and Emma Watson; Darren Aronofsky’s Noah is one of the most boring, and time consuming, films, I watched this month. Pretty Bad!

Watched Noah on HBO On Demand.

My Rating: 4/10!!
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Eight Below (2006)
Very good movie, set in Antarctica, and inspired by true events.

A story about how an abandoned group of dogs, survive the harshest of winters in the south pole. A very sad movie, beautifully made by Frank Marshall, and starring Paul Walker, Jason Biggs and Bruce Greenwood.

Eight Below

My puppy, Gingerella, sat through the whole movie with me, watching it from here and there, and being confused as to what those dogs were doing inside a flat wide screen.

Saw Eight Below on HBO On Demand.

My Rating: 8/10!!!!
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Bombay Velvet (2015)
Beautiful costumes. Era of the late 40’s, 50’s & 60’s captured well. Stylish. Nice music. Story pretty good. Acting pretty good (especially Karan Johar, who is spot on, in his cool, effeminate, villainous persona). Ranbir Kapoor’s hair do, and body language remind one of classic Bollywood hero’s like Kishore Kumar and Joy Mukherjee. Anushka Sharma captures the vintage styles to perfection. Yet, Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet, is a very poorly executed movie. It’s not a bad movie as such, it’s just not a good film either. And definitely not worth sitting through on the Big Screen. And I watched it on the Big Screen. The travel, the time, the traffic, the heat, the sweat, and icily freezing film hall (which made you feel you were watching the film up in the Alps, open air), were not worth the trouble I had to go through to watch this movie. Bombay Velvet is just the third film I watched on the Big Screen this year. The first two being; P.K. (2014) & The Theory of Everything (2014), in January and February 2015, respectively.

Average fare! Nothing to miss! OK venture!

My Rating: 5/10!!!
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Les Invasions Barbares (2003)
A hilariously excellent comedy, with a touch of sadness. Les Invasions Barbares, a.k.a. (English title) The Barbarian Invasions, is about a dying man, spending his last days, in the company of his old friends, flames, his ex-wife and his estranged son. It’s witty, crazy, sad, and a lot of fun. Simply Hilarious!!!!!

Directed by Denys Arcand, the movie comprises of actors, Rémy Girard, Stéphane Rousseau, Dorothée Berryman, Marie-Josée Croze, Louise Portal, Toni Cecchinato, Marina Hands and Yves Jacques.

One of the Best Canadian films I’ve seen. Watched, this Oscar winning, Les Invasions Barbares on TV5MONDE.

My Rating: Excellent!!!!! 10/10 !!!!!  
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Papa Oom Mow Mow (2014)
The only short film I watched this month.

This short film is about a young punk, a rebel, who doesn’t find happiness in his way of life. Set in Rouen, France, Papa Oom Mow Mow, does a superb depiction of the 1980’s. Especially with the punk hairdo’s and very 80’s fashionable attire. But, it is just an average film, not a great movie to sit through.

Watched Papa Oom Mow Mow on TV5MONDE, just after Les Invasions Barbares.

My Rating: 5/10!!!
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Olive Kitteridge (2014)
True this is not a movie, but a mini-series. Yet a mini-series, is almost like a four hour long television movie. Thus, Olive Kitteridge, the only mini-series I watched this month, has every right to be on this list.

Olive Kitteridge

The show revolves, around a depressed, miserable woman, Mrs. Olive Kitteridge, living in a fictional, sleepy, New England town, in Maine, USA. It specifically explores Mrs. Kitteridge’s relationship; with her husband, Henry Kitteridge; son, Christopher Kitteridge; family acquaintances; and other townsfolk. Olive is very good at keeping her emotions to herself, not letting anyone in. Beneath her harsh exterior, lies a soft heart, and thus she suffers for it, all on her own. Whilst others dismiss her as an unfeeling, crude and sarcastic, woman, with no feelings what so ever. Yet, Olive Kitteridge, too is woman, who’s very adamant, highly negative, stuck in her old ways, and never willing to change. At the same time, we see her open minded attitude, as well, especially when she tells off a narrow minded man, for rejecting his daughter, because of her sexual orientation. Olive Kitteridge, is a good housewife, but not a great wife. Her maternal instincts pop up, in concern for a miserable son of depressive woman, but Olive Kitteridge, herself , is far from being a perfect mother, to her own son. She is a complex character, who’s living, ’cause she is alive, leading an unhappy existence. Her routine life goes on and on, and she has no desire to continue living; yet she saves unhappy people from giving up on life, and who plot to end their own lives. At the same time, her complicated son resents her, for ruining his life, and making him feel like a failure, besides the fact he’s a well to do podiatrist.

Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins are superb in the lead, as are the supporting cast, including John Gallagher Jr., Zoe Kazan, Brady Corbet, Cory Michael Smith, John T. Mullen, Peter Mullan, Jesse Plemons and Bill Murray

This excellent mini-series, is set, within a span of 25 years; from around 1980 (when the Kitteridge’s are in their middle-ages, with a teenage son), till about the mid-noughties (when the widowed Olive Kitteridge leads a lonely life into her old age). Beautifully filmed, with a bleak outlook throughout the show, the second episode has some really interesting sequences of magical realism. Yet, this is shown through the eyes of a depressed young medical student, thus not meant to seem realistic. It’s only in his mind. Yet it’s a surreal experience. The show, through various episodes deals with crime, drama, romance, desire, psychology, loneliness and tragedy. A must see!!!!!

Watched, this four part, mini-series, Olive Kitteridge, on HBO On Demand, within two days (two episodes each day).

My Rating: Excellent!!!!! 10/10 !!!!!   
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Michael Kohlhaas (2013)
The French Film, Michael Kohlhaas, is based on a novel, which is loosely based on the life of the merchant, Hans Kohlhase (1500-1540), a 16th century historical figure, from Germany.

The movie, is about an ordinary man, who seeks justice, for the insensitive treatment of his horses, his man servant, and later the murder of his wife. When turned down, he ends up plotting revenge against the whole elitist system.

Quite dull, but due to a pretty good storyline, the movie was watchable. Definitely not a great historical drama. Yet a must see for any history buff.

The movie; directed by Arnaud des Pallières; stars Mads Mikkelsen, in the lead (as Michael Kohlhaas), alongside Denis Lavant, Sergi López, David Kross, Swann Arlaud, Bruno Ganz, Amira Casar, Roxane Duran (in a cameo, as the Princess) and little Mélusine Mayance (as Michael Kohlhaas’ daughter).

Watched Michael Kohlhaas on TV5MONDE

My Rating: 6/10!!!
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Dolly ki Doli (2015)

Sonam kapoor as DollyHeaded by Sonam Kapoor in the lead, this is a comedy about a little group of swindlers, who rob the rich and vulgar, through Dolly (Kapoor), their star con-woman. She marries into these, Mama’s and Papa’s, boy’s, who haven’t much of backbone, and robs them blind on her wedding night. Meanwhile a cop, who seems to have a personal vendetta, against Dolly, is on the lookout for her.

Bollywood film, Dolly ki Doli, has the capability of being a really good, authentic, comedy, but it fails to deliver. A bit of drag, unmemorable songs, and the predictable love angle, kind of ruin it. But I do like the fact, the movie didn’t dive back into her past romance, of being ditched, and reason for her being a con woman. That’s all showcased within one flashback song sequence. And I did love the way the movie ended. The special appearances by, Saif Ali Khan, real life royalty playing a fictional Prince, and the breathtaking, Malaika Arora Khan, in a seductive musical number, were an added bonus.

Dolly’s character, was very well handled by fashionista Sonam Kapoor. Among her ditched line of grooms, we see, actors Rajkummar Rao and Varun Sharma, who don’t easily give up on her, nor the loot. The cop was played by Pulkit Samrat. This was the directorial debut of Abhishek Dogra.

Watched, the Hindi film, Dolly ki Doli, today (Sunday) afternoon, on Star Plus.

My Rating: 5/10!!
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May Mai yo Banner Below

Kolkata Traffic Police use a Poster depicting The Beatles famed Abbey Road Picture, to get pedestrians to stop jaywalking, in India.

Kolkata Traffic Police use a Poster depicting The Beatles famed Abbey Road Picture, to get pedestrians to stop jaywalking, in India.

The fab four known as  were the most influential British band of the last century. Though they lasted just one decade (as a group), from 1962 to 1970, their iconic status, shall never diminish. Here’s a look at various Beatle loving artists’ creations, using techniques derived from various art movements, that existed pre, during & post, . (Also see my  #01 to #33 from March 2013 to February 2014). For this Blog-Post, I’ve incorporated my aesthetic knowledge with my love for this iconic 60’s Boy Band!!!!

RENAISSANCE ART
(Beginning in Italy, renaissance artistic styles date back to the 1200’s, a style that lasted till about mid-17th century)
Beatles RenaissanceFamous artists of this movement include, Paolo Uccello, Piero Della Francesca, Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi (the first woman to dare to become an artist, in that era, and thus condemned for it), Giovanni Bellini, Jan Van Eyck, Joos van Cleve, and many many others.

REALISM (a.k.a. NATURALISM)
(famous in the 1850’s, lasted a very short period of time)

The Beatles by Eduard Kazaryan - Kok Tobe Mountain in Almaty, Kazakhstan

The Beatles by Eduard Kazaryan – Kok Tobe Mountain in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Though Realism was a trend that was famous, during the 1850’s, the seeds of Realism, are present way back in the late 1700’s. If you see works like Francisco Goya’s Retrato de Martín Zapater from the 1790’s & The Family of Charles IV, from Year 1800, or Eugène Delacroix’s Portrait of Dr. François-Marie Desmaisons, from 1832-33, those are very realistic and somewhat dull, portraiture works of art.

Tom Murphy's The Beatles in The Liverpool Art Cafe

Tom Murphy’s The Beatles in The Liverpool Art Cafe

Some famous artists that existed during this period, included, Gustave Courbet, Théodore Géricault, Honoré Daumier, Karl Bryullov, Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin and Rosa Bonheur, to name a few. Being a successful artist of the 19th century, Rosa Bonheur represented the New Woman (a feminist ideal that emerged in the 19th century, which in turn influenced feminism of the 20th Century).

MODERN ART (a.k.a. MODERNISM)
(Late 19th & early 20th Century)
Modern Art styles that existed within the last two centuries, happen to be my favourite, after the Renaissance period. Although, I do love the Romantics and the Realist, of the 18th Century too, yet not to the same extent as the Renaissance or the Modern. There’ve been various art movements within Modern Art, from Impressionists to Surrealist. Surrealism happens to be my favourite art movement, and Salvador Dalí, my all time favourite artist, ever since I discovered him (and his work), as a teenager in the 1990’s.

Impressionism/Post-Impressionism (two avant-garde art movement)  
(Prominent during 1870’s & 1880’s)

The Beatles (Abbey Road) watercolor by Fabrizio Cassetta

The Beatles (Abbey Road) watercolour by Fabrizio Cassetta

LeRoy Neiman The Beatles Painting

LeRoy Neiman The Beatles Painting

The Beatles watercolor by Fabrizio Cassetta

The Beatles watercolour by Fabrizio Cassetta

The Beatles by Paul Meijering

The Beatles by Paul Meijering

My favourite Impressionist artists include Paul Cézanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Camille Pissarro, Gustav Klimt, Édouard Manet, Amrita Sher-Gil, Cristóbal Rojas, Dragan Mihailovic, Alfred Munnings, Harold & Laura Knight, Florence Carter Wood, Isaak Brodsky, Eugène Delacroix, Albert Tucker, Arthur Boyd, Paul Cadmus, etc etc…. When it comes to Impressionist/Post-Impressionist artists, majority of my favourite artists, as a collective, exist from this particular period.

The Beatles watercolour (Artist Unknown)

The Beatles watercolour (Artist Unknown)

The Beatles watercolour (Artist Unknown)

The Beatles watercolour (Artist Unknown)

Art Nouveau (an avant-garde art movement)  
(1890’s to 1910’s)

John Lennon of The Beatles (Artist Unknown)

John Lennon of The Beatles (Artist Unknown)

Alphonse Mucha, Antoni Gaudí, Gustav Klimt, Jules Chéret and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, to name a few, were a part of the Art Nouveau movement.

The Beatles - Art Nouveau (Artist Unknown)

The Beatles – Art Nouveau (Artist Unknown)

Expressionism (an avant-garde art movement)  
(Early 20th Century)

Curt McDowell's nude Beatles

Curt McDowell’s nude Beatles

Gustave Moreau, Egon Schiele, Lucian Freud, Antoni Gaudí and Edvard Munch, were some of the famous Expressionist artists.

Ken White's nude Beatles

Ken White’s nude Beatles

Cubism (an avant-garde art movement)   
(Starting from the early 20th century, from 1910’s onwards)

Beatles Cubist (Artist Unknown)

Beatles Cubist (Artist Unknown)

Beatles Cubist (Artist Unknown)

Beatles Cubist (Artist Unknown)

The Beatles (Unknown Artist)

The Beatles (Unknown Artist)

David Adickes The Beatles

David Adickes’ The Beatles

The Beatles Monument (aprx 7000 pounds & 36 ft) in Houston, USA

The Beatles Monument (aprx 7000 pounds & 36 ft) in Houston, USA

The Beatles Monument (aprx 7000 pounds & 36 ft) LargeThe great Cubists include, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Jean Metzinger, Marcel Duchamp, Juan Gris and Albert Gleizes, to name some. Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, Jackson Pollack, Amedeo Modigliani, Piet Mondrian, Sidney Nolan and M.F. Hussain, happen to be some other famous artists known for artworks involving distortion & abstract.

The Beatles (Artist Unknown)

The Beatles (Artist Unknown)

Tom Whalen's The Beatles

Tom Whalen’s The Beatles

The Four Musicians (Beatles) - This is a direct copy of The Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso

The Four Musicians (Beatles) – This is a direct copy of The Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso

Surrealism (an avant-garde art movement)   
(From the 1920’s onwards)

The Beatles (Artist Unknown)

The Beatles (Artist Unknown)

Insects Beatles - beetles artwork (Artist Unknown)

Insects (Beatles) – beetles artwork (Artist Unknown)

Beatles Surreal (Artist Unknown)

Beatles Surreal (Artist Unknown)

The Beatles painting by Daniel Janda

The Beatles painting by Daniel Janda

The Yellow Submarine by Belius

The Yellow Submarine by Belius

Surrealism – with Dreamy, Psychological, Freudian (Sigmund Freud, not Lucian Freud) & Fantastical elements – happens to be my favourite art movement ever, especially from the modernist era. Not just in art, but also in literature & cinema. As is Magical realism. Salvador Dalí, happens to be my all time favourite artist ever. Georgia O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, René Magritte, Terry Gilliam and Giorgio de Chirico are some other influential surrealists.

The Beatles & Elvis Presley (Artist Unknown)

The Beatles & Elvis Presley (Artist Unknown)

The Beatles by A.Pedicelli

The Beatles by A.Pedicelli

Sam Van Olffen's Beatles

Sam Van Olffen’s Beatles

The Beatles by David Ballinger

The Beatles by David Ballinger

POST-MODERNISM
(The 1950’s, 60’,70’s & early 80’s)
The most popular art form during Post-modernist era, no doubt was Pop Art styles of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Martin Sharp, Richard Avedon, George Segal, Tom Wesselmann, Wayne Thiebaud et al. Other post modernists artists include Harold Stevenson, Duane Hanson, David Salle, Claes Oldenburg, Susan Rothenberg, Robert Moskowitz, Wes Wilson, Pablo Amaringo, Yoko Ono, David Vaughan, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jörn Pfab and Brett Whiteley, to name some greats.

The Beatles sculpture by Jörn Pfab (1970) in Hamburg, Germany

The Beatles sculpture by Jörn Pfab (1970) in Hamburg, Germany

David Wynne in 1964 with his sculpture of The Beatles

David Wynne in 1964 with his sculpture of The Beatles

Terry McGunigle and Joe Forrest  created the 8x16ft  Mount Fab Four

Terry McGunigle and Joe Forrest created the 8x16ft Mount Fab Four

Spirit of The Beatles by Kris Atkinson

Spirit of The Beatles by Kris Atkinson

The Beatles (Artist Unknown)

The Beatles (Artist Unknown)

The Beatles by Hector Monroy

The Beatles by Hector Monroy

Pop Art (an avant-garde art movement)  
(from the mid-1950’s to the early 80’s)

Richard Avedon's The Beatles

Richard Avedon’s The Beatles
from 1967

Los Beatles (Artist Unknown)

Los Beatles (Artist Unknown)

With it’s psychedelic hues and acid painting techniques, Pop Art happens to be my favourite Post-Modernist medium.

Beatles - Beetles on Abbey-Road (Artist Unknown)

Beatles – Beetles on Abbey-Road (Artist Unknown)

ART AFTER POST-MODERNISM (a.k.a. POST-POST-MODERNISM)
(Emerging towards the end of 1980’s decade, and into the 21st century)

The latest trends of art (from the late 80’s onwards), includes the deconstructive styles of Blobism (or Bloberism), an architectural movement, inspired by the 50’s, Sci-fi, B-movie, The Blob (1958), starring Steve McQueen, in his first leading role. Architect Frank Gehry happens to one of the most well known faces behind, the amoeba shaped building designs, known as, Bloberism.

The Beatles - Poultry chicken wire by Ivan Lovatt

The Beatles – Poultry chicken wire by Ivan Lovatt

Yet, one of the latest trends in art today, is the Re-use of Refuse, using all kinds of waste material, letting nothing go to waste, including bodily fluids.

The Beatles rubber soul by Darin Shock

The Beatles rubber soul by Darin Shock

The Beatles by Jeff Zuck

The Beatles by Jeff Zuck

Artists involved with this Post-Post-Modernism movement include Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Bill Viola, Shilpa Gupta, Mathew Barney, Chris Ofili, Wang Guangyi, Yukinori Yanagi, Andres Serrano, The Chapman Brothers, Félix González-Torres, Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, Renée Cox, David Osagie, Alexander Kosolapov, Koya Abe, Maurice Heerdink, Ruben Ortiz-Torres, Elizabeth Peyton, David LaChapelle, Sebastian Horsley, Chris Dyer and Jenny Saville.

Nuwan Sen’s Art Sense
Nuwan Sen n’ The Beatles
Nuwan Sen’s Music Sense  

Correct Answers to the Quiz (my previous post) Question Time # 009: Beautiful Eyes °°

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A.1 1. RekhaThis pair of stunning eyes belong to Bollywood superstar of the late 70’s & 80,

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A.2 2. Audrey HepburnThese eyes belong to, one of the most loved, and the classiest Hollywood star, of European decent, that ever existed, whose 86th Birth Anniversary was yesterday, .

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A.3 3. Elizabeth Taylord beauty, Cleopatra incarnate, this is none other than the bewitching .

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A.4 4. Théo FriletFrench Actor, .

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A.5 5. Whoopi Goldberg comedienne of the 80’s, Whoopi Goldberg.

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A.6 6. Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci The famed, Mona Lisa, by the 15th & 16th century, renowned Italian ist,  .

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A.7 7. Staue of David by Michelangelo The 15th & 16th century, Italian Renaissance artist, ’s, The Statue of David, which happens to be one of the most renowned artworks of the .

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A.8 Matt Bomer Current, Television, superstar & gay heartthrob, .

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A.9 9. Empress MichikoEmpress Michiko of . Born of the 20th of October, 1934, She was the first commoner to marry into the Japanese Imperial Family. She is 80 years old now.

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A.10 10. A Clockwork OrangeMalcolm McDowell in character, as ‘Alex DeLarge’, from ’s masterpiece, A Clockwork Orange (1971), which was based on the 1962 controversial dystopian () by .

°°

Thank you fellow Bloggers for taking part.

Nuwan Sen

Who am I?? Guess who these 10 stunning pairs of eyes belong to!!

°°
Q.1
1. Eyes°°
Q.2
2. Eyes°°
Q.3
3. Eyes°°
Q.4
4. Eyes°°
Q.5
5. Eyes°°
Q.6
6. Eyes°°
Q.7
7. Eyes°°
Q.8
8. Eyes°°
Q.9
9. Eyes°°
Q.10
10. Eyes°°
CLUES: Take a look at the Tags below.

Answers: I shall post the Answers as another Blog Post soon, after some of you give this a try.
Enjoy

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
Nuwan Sen’s ART Sense
Nuwan Sen’s Television Sense
Nuwan Sen’s Historical Sense
Nuwan Sen n’ The Royals/Royalty

From the setting of the 1300’s Verona, performed at the Curtain Theatre in Shoreditch, and the Globe theatre, London, to the setting of the 1950’s New York, on the Broadway stage, NY, and West End, London, and onto Hollywood’s celluloid. Romeo and Juliet to West Side Story.

West Side Story Main

Rachel’s Theatre Reviews and The Rosebud Cinema are co-hosting ‘The Stage to Screen Blogathon’; for which I chose to write about the musical, West Side Story (1961).

From the Stage to the Big Screen
In 1957 Broadway staged a musical, West Side Story. A modern, mid-1950’s, adaptation of the much loved tragic play about pre-teen innocent love by Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was conceived between 1591 and 1595, and set in Verona, Italy, in the 14th century). Then in the beginning of the 60’s decade, the movie version, set in the mid-50’s itself, was released, West Side Story (1961). Of course I haven’t seen the stage version, only the movie. The original Broadway and West End runs were before I came into existence, from 1957 to 1960, but I haven’t seen any latter versions either. But would love to if I get a chance. Not many Hollywood versions of stage shows tend to be that great, but West Side Story (1961) is an excellent Hollywood adaptation.

Starting off it’s so beautifully filmed. After the colourful overture, with a screen littered with vertical black lines, of varied sizes, that almost looks like musical notes, which transforms into the skyscrapers of Manhattan, the film zooms from an aerial shot of the city into the darken alleys in the day time, where the Jets are watching boys playing with a ball. Soon we see the rivalry between the two clans of the ‘Jets’ (Caucasians/Americans) and the ‘Sharks’ (Dusky/Latin-Americans/Puerto Rican immigrants), a bunch of out-of-work/school teenage/young adult rowdy boys, who have nothing better to do other than fight each other, for no specific reason, other than racial hatred. Then, as most people know the plot of Romeo and Juliet, Boy-Tony Wyzek (Richard Beymer), of the Jets, meets Girl-Maria Nuñez (Natalie Wood), of the Sharks, by chance at a dance, fall instantly in love, which worsens the rivalry between the two groups, who fight, in which, Tony’s best friend, Riff Lorton (Russ Tamblyn) accidentally gets knifed by Maria’s brother, Bernardo Nuñez (George Chakiris), and in turn, the angered Tony kills Bernardo, in the spur of the moment, and has to hide as the Sharks wow to avenge the death of their leader, Bernardo. More misunderstandings occur when Bernardo’s girlfriend, Anita del Carmen (Rita Moreno) visits the Jets. At the end, the tragedy differs, from the Shakespearean tale, as only one of the lovers’ dies, by getting shot, leaving the other to a lonely life of misery. With this innocent death, the two sides resolve their differences, and start to get along, but at what cost.

West Side Story Pix

It’s a great modern adaptation, with excelled direction and choreography by the famed classical and contemporary ballet dancer, Jerome Robbins (co-directed by Robert Wise), with the rhythmic background music composed by Leonard Bernstein. Love the songs, the dances, the music, the cast, the great sets, the art décor, the cinematography. It all blends in beautifully bringing out a masterpiece of Cinematic history. So far as exceptional dancing sessions are concerned, the two people to watch out for are the two supporting characters, George Chakiris and Rita Moreno. Love the dance off at the neighbourhood dance function. The matching and fitting purple/black outfits worn by Chakiris and Moreno add to the seductive movements. Love the song and dance, ‘America’ on the roof, the same night. The movie has some other great songs like the romantic ‘Maria’, the very comical ‘Gee, Officer Krupke’ and the deep and rowdily calming ‘Cool’, to name a few.

Unfortunately the DVD I have (another movie brought down from the States), isn’t in the original widescreen format, the film was released in, but a television edit with the two sides cut off. I don’t see why they should have cinemascope films (film released since 1953) in academy ratio anymore. After all most people who own a television set, and a DVD player, would have a widescreen television in their homes. Of course most people with a lot of money and no common sense have widescreen televisions and no idea how to use them. Thus they distort an academy ratio picture to fit the widescreen with disastrous results. And worse they wonder why vehicles looks unnaturally elongated and people disproportionately fat, stretched and short. I prefer to watch a widescreen movie as a widescreen movie, but if the picture format shown is a television edit (in Academy Ratio), I wouldn’t stretch it to fit the screen, nor zoom it, cutting off the top and bottom of the picture. After all, the cut off sides aren’t going to magically appear. So as I said, I had to watch West Side Story, in academy ratio, a television edit. I would love to watch the widescreen version someday.

Original vs. Modern Adaptation
The best modern adaptation of a Shakespearean play, for me, happens to be Kenneth Branagh’s very stylish flick, Hamlet (1996), which was brought forward from 16th/early 17th century Denmark to 19th century Denmark. A glamorous upscale adaptation, spoken in the original text, of Shakespearean English, yet believably transformed 200 odd years into the future. The greatest modern adaptation I’ve seen till date. Kenneth Branagh is a superb director, more so when it comes to modern adaptations of Shakespeare. For example, films like Much Ado About Nothing (1993) and As You Like It (2006). I also enjoyed Michael Hoffman’s modern adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999). When in comes to the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet, no doubt West Side Story happens to be best modern adaptation I’ve seen so far, and there have been quite a few. Like Romeo + Juliet (1996), set in the 1990’s in Shakespearean English, it’s the worst adaptation I’ve seen so far, but not among the worst movies ever. Yet it was pretty bad film. It didn’t work for me at all. Then there was the Bollywood adaptation, Josh (2000), for which the basis was more West Side Story, and less the original Romeo and Juliet. Josh was a moderately OK take on the Shakespearean classic. More recently there was Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela (2013) (see my post Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela: A Pleasant Surprise) a near excellence venture set in a fictional Indian village. Which I watched earlier this year and blogged about it, as well, back then (Press on the link above). And there might be so many more versions of this tragic romance. Of course this is when it comes to modern adaptations about the doomed lovers. When it comes to an original adaptation, i.e. set in the 14th Century Verona, out the ka-zillion big screen ventures that exist, the best, and my favourite, happens to be, Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet (1968), starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey.

West Side Story Pix - on the sets

Awards
West Side Story won 10 Academy Awards, out of the 11 nominated. It won Oscars for ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Director’ to Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, ‘Best Supporting Actor’ to George Chakiris, ‘Best Supporting Actress’ to Rita Moreno, ‘Best Cinematography’, ‘Best Art Direction’, ‘Best Costume Design’, ‘Best Film Editing’, ‘Best Original Score’ and ‘Best Sound’. West Side Story was also nominated for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’, but lost out to Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). Added to this, Jerome Robbins received a special award for ‘Brilliant Achievements in the Art of Choreography on Film’.

West Side Story (1961) is one of the best musicals ever made. It’s aged well and among the greatest classics ever made. Excellent!!! 10/10.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

stage to screen blog

Thank you Rachael, of Rachel’s Theatre Reviews, and Rosie, of The Rosebud Cinema, for starting this Blogathon and letting me work on West Side Story (1961). I really enjoyed being part of the Stage to Screen Blogathon.

Cheers
Nuwan Sen

William Wordsworth, Abraham Lincoln and the Titanic

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth

The 14th Century

  • 1367 – Future King of England, Henry IV, is born.

The 15th Century

  • 1452 – The birth of Leonardo da Vinci. One of greatest Italian Renaissance artists ever, who was a genius painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer.
With Leonardo da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa' at the Louvre, Paris, France (July 2008)

With Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ at the Louvre, Paris, France (July 2008)

The 19th Century

  • 1802 – William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, come across a long belt of daffodils, whilst on a walk around Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater, in the English Lake District, United Kingdom; which inspires Wordsworth to pen the poem I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud (a.k.a. Daffodils).

 

  • 1843 – The Birth of American Author, Henry James.

 

  • 1865 – After being in a coma for nine hours; having been shot on the head the night before, by actor John Wilkes Booth; President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, succumbs to his injuries and dies at 7:22 a.m.

 

  • 1889 – Artist, Thomas Hart Benton, is born.

 

  • 1896 – Closing Ceremony of the very first modern day Olympic Games, Summer Olympics 1896, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, takes place in Athens, Greece. The multi-sport event was held between 6th and 15th of April 1896.
Abe Lincoln & The Titanic

Abe Lincoln & The Titanic

The 20th Century

  • 1912 – Two hours and forty minutes after hitting an iceberg, the British passenger liner, RMS Titanic, sinks in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m. Only around 700 people out of the 2,227 passengers and crew on board survive the tragedy.
  • 1922 –  Hindi & Urdu poet and Hindi film lyricist, Filmfare Award winner, Hasrat Jaipuri, is born.

 

  • 1938 – Birth of future Italian film actress, Claudia Cardinale.

 

  • 1959 – Birth of future British actress, Emma Thompson.

 

  • 1989 –  96 people died, and 766 people were injured, when they got crushed, during an FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, UK. The most of any stadium-related disaster in British history.

 

  • 1990 – Future British actress, Emma Watson, was born
Claudia Cardinale

Claudia Cardinale

Today – That Year
Historical Timeline with Nuwan Sen
Nuwan Sen’s Historical Sense

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Rouge Brésil (2012), a French television mini-series, was telecast on TV5MONDE, back in December 2013. The first episode was shown on Tuesday, 17th December 2013; and I was between hospitals at the time, at home and under the false impression I was recovering. I watched the first episode, and was looking forward to checking out the next one, next Tuesday, of this two part mini-series. But alas my illness worsened. The second episode, the finalé, was shown on Christmas eve, Tuesday, 24th December, 2013; the day I was discharged from the second hospital, and re-rushed to the emergency a third time. Although was back by night, I was too ill and tired at the time to watch how Rouge Brésil would end. But then later I found out there was a to be a re-run of the second episode on Sunday, 5th January 2014, in the afternoon, at 15:28 hrs, thus I marked it on my calendar 3:20pm, hoping to check it out this time. But, still recovering, I must have been pretty tired, for I went to bed for a catnap, but instead fell into a deep sleep, and awoke at around 4:20pm, thus missed about an hour of the show, but watching the rest, last 35 to 40 minutes, of the show (I could somewhat guess what had happened), and watching the last bit, was totally worth it.
Rouge Brésil poster
Rouge Brésil: The Review  

Rouge Brésil (2012), is an interesting historical television movie that runs three hours altogether (i.e. a two part television mini-series, with an episode that runs 90 minutes each). The plot centres around an interesting part of European colonial history, set within the mid-16th Century (the 1550’s).
In 1555, under the orders of the King of France, Henry II, two vessels are sent to found a new colony. A group of Frenchman; comprising of sailors, craftsmen, priests, ex-convicts and Knights, whose leader is a Knight with belief of Quixotism (derived from the term ‘quixotic’, Quixotism was a form of impractical pursuit of idealism), Admiral Villegagnon (Stellan Skarsgård); travel from France to Brazil. Admiral Villegagnon, dreams this new land they venture towards would be a heavenly place where Catholics and Protestants can live together in peace and harmony. Two innocent teenagers are conned into this trip, by their Aunt. Brother and sister, Just (Théo Frilet) and Colombe (Juliette Lamboley), join the crew, (Colombe has to disguise herself as a boy, as no women are allowed to travel on board the vessel with Knights, sailors and ex-convicts), in hope to find their father (also a Knight) who, they are made to believe, to be residing in Brazil. On the way, the two befriend Martin (Olivier Chantreau), a thief, who’s travelling in secrecy unaware to the rest of the crew. When caught by a Knight, Montague (Sagamore Stévenin), Colombe manages to saves him by pleading to Admiral Villegagnon and Villegagnon’s quixotic beliefs in peace and forgiveness.
Soon the Ship reaches Rio de Janeiro, and the Frenchmen find themselves in a hostile environment with a Red Skinned (Rouge painted), nearly naked, cannibalistic, tribal community. Since it’s not safe to dock there, they head towards one of the islands of Guanabara Bay (today known as ‘Villegagnon Island’ named after Admiral Villegagnon) outside the mainland of Rio itself.
Meanwhile, Just and Colombe find out, they’ve been conned, and that their father was never in Brazil, and happens to have died sometime ago. The two teens now have learn to cope and survive on their own, amongst these strangers, to whom these two kids seem nothing but a nuisance.
During a struggle between Just and Martin (as Martin tried to rob from a dead man, and Just was trying to be just), the two boys are imprisoned and Colombe is taken by Admiral Villegagnon and a group of knights as an interpreter, to talk to the tribal community witnessed earlier in the mainland.
Colombe gets kidnapped by a another tribal community (which turns out be a better, non cannibalistic, community), while Admiral Villegagnon and his group venture forth to meet the cannibalistic tribe. To their surprise it’s headed by a fully clothed Portuguese man of war (pun intended), Joao da Silva (Joaquim de Almeida), who outwardly seems like an ally than a foe.
After spending a little time with the good tribe, Colombe goes back to her fellow Frenchman. Meanwhile Just, when about to be killed by Knight Montague, is revealed to be a son of a Knight, and Admiral Villegagnon pardons him as he knew Just’s father. But at the same time Admiral Villegagnon mentions that the Knights are sworn into chastity when joining the Knighthood.
A lot ensues, through this first episode, and ultimately, when the good tribe, are imprisoned by the Portuguese man, Joao da Silva, and presented as slaves to Admiral Villegagnon, Colombe tries to free them in secret, and she’s found out by two guards, and when they realise she’s a girl, they try to rape her. But she’s saved and tries to run away, along with the friendly tribal people. But while she tries to escape, she gets shot. That’s where the first episode ended.

Théo Frilet & Stellan Skarsgård in a scene from 'Rouge Brésil' (2012)

Théo Frilet & Stellan Skarsgård in a scene from ‘Rouge Brésil’ (2012)

The second episode, as I mentioned earlier, I missed about an hour. But I could gather what might have happened up till then.
When I switched on the telly, I saw a tribal dance taking place, with Just (Théo Frilet) and Admiral Villegagnon (Stellan Skarsgård), seated along with fellow Knights and watching the dance around the fire. Then I realised one of the near naked, red painted, dancing tribal women, was none other than Colombe (Juliette Lamboley). So I could guess, she’s obliviously been saved and joined the tribal community, and the brother and sister have been reunited after a certain period of time. During the dance, she drags her brother into the forest and tries to seduce him. He rejects her, reminding her, incest is a sin. She rebuffs his religious beliefs, telling him tribal people don’t have such prudish notions about love. But he lets her know, and he’s in love with another woman.
Next morning, when Just and the Knights, head back to the island, they witness a theological argument between the Catholics and Calvinists (Calvinism is a major branch of Protestantism). As two people from two faiths wished to marry. Now I guessed, after seeing all these women, in huge black gowns and Priest (who didn‘t exist in the first episode), that next vessel most probably had arrived while I was asleep (earlier on in the second episode). Only thing that wasn’t clear enough for me, was which party were the Catholics, and who were the Calvinists, or rather I don’t remember it.
Soon news travels that the island would be under attack by the Portuguese.
The good tribe is warned, and Colombe comes back to her fellow Frenchmen, but doesn’t discard her tribal appearance nor her new found sensibilities. Meanwhile Just is given the Knighthood for his courage and humanity, by Admiral Villegagnon. Yet Just, who since childhood had wanted to serve his king as a Knight all his life, refuses, because he thinks he’s in love with a woman from a different faith and wishes to marry, thus he won’t be able to fulfil the pledge of chastity.
Here comes and interesting twist, Admiral Villegagnon calls Just and Colombe, into his tent and tells them, how Just’s father had actually adopted Colombe, and that they are not in actuality brother and sister, and thus they are free to marry. Here for the first time we realise that Just too has been in love with Colombe, but due to social taboo’s he had restrained himself from showing any emotion other than a platonic one.

Juliette Lamboley  Top Left: In the guise of a boy. Top Right: Dressed as a tribal woman Bottom Row (middle): With Théo Frilet

Juliette Lamboley
Top Left: In the guise of a boy.
Top Right: Dressed as a tribal woman
Bottom Row (middle): With Théo Frilet

Soon the Portuguese ships attack, and Admiral Villegagnon and his people take refuge among the good tribe and start moving further inland into Rio. The year is 1560.
The show has a very impressive ending, and we see how the green jungle starts to turn into a modern beautiful concrete jungle of the 21st century.

Brilliant Cinematography. The tale told beautifully. And some perfectly fitting actors, with superb acting skills, for their said roles.
Swedish actor, Stellan Skarsgård, is superb as Admiral Villegagnon. French actor, Théo Frilet, who most probably was in his mid-20’s at the time this was made, is very believable as a teenage Just, almost a decade younger than him. Juliette Lamboley too is quite convincing as a young boy in the first episode, and a tribal woman is the next.
Joaquim de Almeida, Sagamore Stévenin and Olivier Chantreau are all perfect in their consecutive roles.

I actually wanted to write this review last month, but never got around to doing so. Thus my today’s review, is based entirely on my memory of what I can recall from a month and more ago.

Nuwan Sen’s TV Sense
Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Is it my 100th post already? Wow! I guess it should have come much earlier, considering the fact I started this blog on the 20th of March 2012. But I did procrastinate a bit more last year, so far as my blog was concerned that is. I took a blog sabbatical from May to September 2012. Instead I made quite a few lists and wrote critiques on IMDB last year. Read a lot of books too last year, and blogged about a few; and this year I read very few books, comparatively, and blogged about none.

Paris Sydney through the balcony (Nuwan Sen)

Paris Sydney through the balcony (Nuwan Sen)

So my musings. I do have a very vivid imagination. I have soooooo much in my mind I’d love to put to words, but don’t seem to be able to. When did I start writing? Definitely at a very young age. I loved writing short stories, poems, even wrote a film review once in school, when I was about 10 or 11. But I loathed writing essays for some reason. I still do actually. I even remember writing this looooooog interesting short story, inserting many a fairy tale characters and aliens, again when I was about 10 or 11. Became a journalist too, for a short while, just over a decade ago. But being a journalist and a creative writer are not necessarily the same thing. I tried my hand at writing novels. First aged 12½/13, I started a book called Exciting Eight, Ha!! An adventure story about seven cousins aged between 8 and 13, and their lovable dog/common mongrel, who track down a villain in the guise of a milk man who stole Princess Diana’s crown jewels. Sounds silly and somewhat familiar to Enid Blyton books. Well!!! When I was 19 I found the book so childish I threw it away, something I kind of regret today. My next was in my mid-20’s. That was an epic titled English Spring Indian Winter. Which too I couldn’t complete. And now, thanks to my blog, I actually do get to write on a regular basis. Still, I might get back to English Spring Indian Winter someday, who knows. I just need the peace of mind, pure silence, my own personal space, and nothing to distract my thought process.

My oldest nicest memories. The oldest, is that of my 5th B’day. I remember, my cake of a wall with Humpty Dumpty nicely perched on a it. And running out to the flat balcony with my friends to see a beautiful rainbow.
My memory of the most beautiful place I visited as a kid, was just after my 11 birthday, visiting Kashmir, staying in a boat house and the first time I saw snow. Still aged 11, when we went to Singapore, the realisation hit me that I have actually been residing in a another country for the last 11 years of my life. A fact I always knew, that I was born in another country, but when we went, for a holiday, to yet another country, that’s when I actually felt that I was born, and have been living, in a foreign country. Then 1994, as a teenager, revisiting New Delhi, after a six year break, and visiting my old school, The British School in New Delhi, and walking past the corridor of lockers, bending down to see my name still scratched on my old locker, that year was a uniquely memorable, though somewhat unsettled, year. Ah!! The age of innocence.
And Then I grew up and happy memories seem to start to cease.

My favourites in art : Salvador Dalí, no one can beat this surreal master, as far I’m concerned. Most of my own artworks are inspired by his work.

My favourites in literature : My favourite novel happens to be City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre. I bought it when I was 19, read it when I 20. And hundreds and hundreds of books later, City of Joy, till date, happens to be my favourite. My favourite childhood books: The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton, I read and re-read a number of times between the ages of 8 and 12. And Roald Dahl’s The BFG, a book we did in school, in S-I (Senior I), when I was 11 years old. My first adult/mature book, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, aged 12½/13. And that remained my favourite book, till I read City of Joy, seven years later.
My favourite author : Christopher Isherwood, since I discovered him a couple years ago, when I read Isherwood’s Mr. Norris Changes Trains (prior to Isherwood, Agatha Christie and D.H. Lawrence were my two favourite authors). And then last year, I read a few more of Isherwood’s beautifully stylized works of inventive literature. (and I still have one more to read, which too I bought last year). Speaking of inventive literature, I have to mention my two favourite novellas. Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (a book that found me, in 2009) and Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange (a book I had been looking for sometime, and finally located in 2011). My favourite two short stories, Anton Chekhov’s The Lady with the Dog, which I read when I was about 14/15 years old and fell madly in love with it; and Daphne du Maurier’s The Apple Tree, which I read two years ago as well.

My favourites in Cinema : My all time favourite film director, Alfred Hitchcock.
My all time favourite movie, Roman Holiday (1953); my all time favourite film star, Audrey Hepburn.
My two favourite stars of the 21st Century, Jude Law & Kate Winslet.
My favourite British movie : Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971)
My favourite European movie (non-British) : The new-wave French classic, Jules et Jim (1962) directed by François Truffaut.
My favourite European movie (non-British) from the first decade of 21st century : The Spanish film, La Mala Educación (2004) directed by Pedro Almodóvar.
My favourite film from the last decade : Mike Nichols’ Closer (2004).
My all time favourite Indian movie (non-Bollywood) : The art house (Parallel Cinema) Bengali/English bilingual film from the state of West Bengal, Aparna Sen’s The Japanese Wife (2010)
My favourite Bollywood flick (Indian commercial cinema, Hindi language film, from the state of Maharashtra) : Arth (1982)
My favourite Asian film (non-Indian) : Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002)
My favourite film from down under : Gallipoli (1981)
My favourite film from down under (from this century) : Ten Canoes (2006)

My favourites in music : Being a child of the 80’s, I grew up loving pop stars, Madonna and Michael Jackson. They are definitely the last two pop stars to make such a strong impact in the music industry. Nobody since, has come up to their level of fame. But as a teenager I started loving the Beatles more, and more specifically John Lennon. Not just for his music, but also his peace activism. Especially, Lennon’s post Beatles activism, alongside his second wife Yoko Ono. My favourite English song happens to Lennon’s Imagine. My favourite Hindi song : Kabhi Kabhie by Mukesh. The tunes I tend to hum on a more regular basis though, since I can remember are : English songs, Gene Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain and The Beatles Hey Jude ; Hindi songs, Nazia Hassan’s 70’s disco number Aap Jaisa Koi, Asha Bhosle’s Hippie number from the 70’s – Dum Maro Dum, and again Bhosle’s 70’s romantic seduction that is Churaliya.

Places Places :  The most beautiful country I’ve seen : Switzerland
My favourite city : Paris (As a country Switzerland is definitely the most beautiful, but when it comes to concrete jungles, Paris is the most beautiful, with it’s old architecture, Art galleries, Artists houses, and other museums. The Champs-Elysées, the cinema’s, the Cinémathèque Française, and just losing yourself walking along the River Seine, on those brick laden roads.
Most beautiful, scenic, warm climate, location : Definitely the South of France, the French Riviera, Côte d’Azur; including Monaco.

My own artworks :-
I’ve never got a chance to blog about my works of art, except for a couple of posts, where I attached some of my works in relation to that particular post, but besides that I haven’t posted anything about my art. Makes sense, cause the last time I held a paint brush was just over two years ago. And so far as my sketches/drawings go, I haven’t touched a pencil for some months now. So, this my opportunity to showcase some of my artworks in my blog. Thus, since I should limit the amount of works I can post here, here are some of my works done within the last five years, starting from the latter half of 2008.

Right on top, you can see Paris Sydney through the balcony. The last painting I’ve done so far. A painting I did between June-Oct 2010, and completed it, giving it, it’s final finishing touches, in a day, in Oct 2011. I haven’t touched a brush since.
Paris Sydney through the balcony, is a painting where I’ve incorporated the six countries I’ve lived in, till date, since childhood. And named it after two cities I loved living in for two different reasons. Sydney, I had a great group of friends and was the most happiest, and Paris, I fell in love with the city of love itself, for it beauty, artistic vibe and historical significance.

The concepts behind majority of art, happens to be based on Cinema.
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So, my works on Cinema

Sex & Literature - The Reader ( Feb 09')
Sex & Literature [The Reader] (February 2009) : I waited for Kate Winslet to win the Oscar, before I worked on this drawing. Finally my favourite actress of today won the Oscar she deserved to win. Of course this drawing does not depict Kate Winslet, but the character of Hanna Schmitz, Winslet played in the movie The Reader (2008). I hadn’t read Bernhard Schlink German novel, translated into English by Carol Brown Janeway, that the movie is adapted from, at the time. I read it, and loved reading it, only the following year, June 2010.

My favourite movies by decade ----
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(Checkout my list of favourite movies by decade on IMDB. Link:-My Favourite movie by decade)

My Favourite movie by decade - 1he 1960's (Janvier 2011)
My Favourite movie by decade – The 1960’s (January 2011)

My Favourite movie by decade - The 1940's (Février 2011)
My Favourite movie by decade – The 1940’s (February 2011)

My Favourite movie by decade - The 1990's (Février 2011)
My Favourite movie by decade – The 1990’s (February 2011)

My favourite Film on Film Buffs (Février 2011)
My Favourite Film on Film Buffs (February 2011)

Drawings - Hepburn at Cats (Jan 2010)
Hepburn @ cats (Jan 2010)

April 2012
Marilyn and the 50’s (April 2012)

My Works Priyanka (Nov 2008)
Priyanka Chopra (November 2008)

My Sketches -The Roaring 20's, Talking Pictures & Singin' in the Rain  (April 2009)
The Roaring 20’s, Talking Pictures & Singin’ in the Rain (April 2009)

Equus [The Love Scene] Version A (Feb 2009)
Equus [The Love Scene] Version A (February 2009): Surreal version

Equus [The Love Scene] Version B (Feb 2009)
Equus [The Love Scene] Version B (February 2009): Distorted & Abstract version

BUtterfield 8 (Jan 2013)
BUtterfield 8 – Book & Movie (January 2013): Showcasing the difference between the lead character in the book and the movie. John O’Hara’s novel, BUtterfield 8, was written and set in the early 1930’s, and was based on a true story. While Daniel Mann’s movie BUtterfield 8 (1960), starring Elizabeth Taylor in the lead role, for which she won an Oscar, was made and set in the late 50’s.

My works on Paris

Horny Gargoyl watching over Paris (Feb 2010)
Horny Gargoyle watching over Paris (February 2010)

Paris Je t'aime (Drawings on Paris) Feb 2010
Four artworks of mine paying tribute to my favourite city (February 2010)
–  Horny Gargoyle watching over Paris (same as above)
– A rough sketch of Paris Sydney through the balcony (before I did the oil painting)
– The Girl who stole the Eiffel Tower
– Champs-Elysées & Cinema

Still Life/Miscellaneous

Still Life - Vase and Lipstick (Feb 2010)
Still Life with Vase & Lipstick (February 2010)

The Hanger and the French Beret (Apr 2010)
The Hanger & the French Beret (February 2010) : Depicting two of my favourite cities. The French beret, symbolising Paris; and the hanger, Sydney’s Harbour Bridge.

My Sketches - Going French Cuisine (May 2009)
Going French Cuisine (May 2009)

Mental Liberation (Feb 10')
Mental Liberation (February 2010)

Tintin at Mad Hatter's Tea Party (April 2010)
Tintin @ Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (April 2010)

Tension Unmasked (Feb 2010)
Tension Unmasked (February 2010)

Mercury Cloning (Feb 2010)
Mercury Cloning (February 2010)

My Sketches - Fruity intimacy (May 2009)
Fruity Intimacy (May 2009)

My Sketches - The Third Eye [Man & Machine]  (May 2009)
The Third Eye [Man & Machine] (May 2009) : Tribute to Sci-fi works, nothing specific.
My Sketches - Beautiful Legs resting on a footstool (June 2009)
Beautiful Legs resting on a footstool (June 2009)

Tribute to (inspired from) past artists/artworks

Après Moreau (Jan - Feb 2010)
Après Moreau (January – February 2010) : Two distorted and abstract works based on Gustave Moreau’s famous works. Above – from Fairy with the Griffins. Below – from Galatea and Polyphemus the Cyclops. A lot of Moreau’s works were inspired by Greek mythology and I was a student of the classics (Greek & Roman Civilization).

My Works Van Gogh in Paris [Sept 2008]
Van Gogh in Paris (September 2008) : Depicting the Artist, and Rue Lepic, the area of Paris he resided in.

Year 1503 (May 11') My Art
Year 1503AD (May 2011) : Inspired by 16th Century attire; and by photographs taken by photographer Christian Tagliavini.
Fashion 1500's (May 11') My Art
Fashion 1500’s (May 2011) : Inspired by 16th Century head dresses & ruffled collars; and by works of photographer Christian Tagliavini, titled 1503. Tagliavini, himself was inspired by various artists of the past.

Royal Indian Elephant - 18th century (April 2011)
18th Century Royal Indian Elephant (April 2011) : Inspired by a cut-out of a late 18th century Indian miniature art, from central India, depicting Raja Vikramjit riding on a Royal Elephant.

My Sketches - Vanity Venus (May 2009)
Vanity Venus (May 2009) : At that time (Spring 2009) there was a new discovery of an ancient ruin, which was know as the oldest Venus unearthed at the time. Inspired by that statue, I incorporated the oldest Venus with modern day feminine accessories.

Karl B on my My Art Wall Complete (31st March 2010)
Après Karl Bryullov (February 2010) : Seen on my Art Wall (see My Art Wall section below) Distorted and Abstract Sketch based on Karl Bryullov’s Girls gathering grapes in the environs of Naples.

My Art Wall

My Art Wall Complete - Right side (31st March 2010)
My Art Wall (March 2010), in my room (right side)

My Art Wall Complete - Left side (31st March 2010)
My Art Wall (March 2010), in my room (left side)

Me in My Room Left side of my Art wall (April 2010)
Me in my room (mirror image), opposite the left side of my Art Wall (April 2010).

My Art Wall Left side renewed (Février 2011)
My Art Wall, in my room, renewed (February 2011) : left side

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Check out some of my older works (2006-2007) at the COFA Annual 07 website. Link :-
http://annual.cofa.unsw.edu.au/2007/profiles/nuwansenadhira/4/?discipline=painting (Link available on my Gravatar page as well)
Also check out my various lists/critiques on IMDB. Link :-
nuwansdel_02 & See all lists by nuwansdel_02 (Links available on my Gravatar page as well)
And my Top-10 all time favourite movies. Link :-
Why I love …. (Link available on my Gravatar page as well)

Nuwan Sen

Today is the 204th Birth Anniversary of 19th century French artist, Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin.

With Flandrin’s masterpiece ‘Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer’ (Seated Young Male Nude by the Sea) from 1836 (Above me - not behind) at the Louvre (May 2009)

With Flandrin’s masterpiece ‘Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer’ (Seated Young Male Nude by the Sea) from 1836 (Above me – not behind) at the Louvre (May 2009)

Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin (1809-1864)

Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin, born on 23rd of March, 1809, had an interest for the arts since his childhood. Yet he was forced into being a businessman by his parents. Still determined, in 1929, he went to Paris, and trained under the famed French Neoclassical painter, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867); who eventually ended up not just being his teacher but his friend as well. Although Flandrin’s works were nowhere as great as  Ingres’, and even though Flandrin is not famed for leaving behind a great bulk of masterpieces, he did manage to make a mark with his one great painting ‘Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer’ (Seated Young Male Nude  by the Sea) from 1836. Which I was lucky enough to come across, when I visited the Louvre for the 4th time (which was the last time I visited the Louvre) in May 2009.  

Unlike the renaissance era previously, when it comes to the neo-classical era of the 18th & 19th centuries, though they embody many a traits borrowed from the renaissance; there is a more photographic element to these newer paintings. Especially when it comes to human portraits and nudes.

That’s what’s most probably the best thing about ‘Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer’, it’s almost photographic, it could almost feel as if it’s an actual photograph of a male nude with a seaside backdrop and not a painting. It’s also famous, for the body’s somewhat 3D effect with the roundedness of flesh on the flawless’ skinned human form. The nude in the forefront is almost cut-off, and protruding outwards towards us, while contrasting to this, the backdrop is flat and blends in. It has also been compared to the renaissance master, Leonardo da Vinci’s study of the human form from four centuries before, da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, from 1490.

In 1857, first President of the French Republic, Napoleon III, nephew of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, bought ‘Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer’, which is now housed at the Louvre, in Paris.

In 1853, Flandrin was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. A decade later, he started to get ill, and just two days before his 55th Birthday, he died of smallpox, on the 21st, of March 1864.  

The Flandrin Pose

Flandrin’s ‘Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer’,  due to it’s famous pose, is now more commonly known as The Flandrin Pose. And since the paintings advent to the public, The Flandrin Pose, has been re-created a zillion times till date. The most notable photography versions happen to be; Fred Holland Day’s (1864-1943), the first person in the U.S.A. to advocate that photography should be considered a fine art, version called Ebony & Ivory (from the late 19th Century, most probably 1897), which showcased a black male with a white statuette, taken inside a studio, Wilhelm von Gloeden’s (1856-1931) Caino (1902), who brought back the nude outside to a very rocky natural surrounding, and Karel Egermeier’s work for Paysage Olympique from 1924; to name a few. As time went by the image became more and more homoerotic, even though nothing sexual is implied in the original paining. The most controversial version most probably is photographer Robert Mapplethorpe’s (1946-1989); some of whose work I came across at an exhibition in London, back in Jan-Feb 2005, I do not remember the name of the small gallery that housed the exhibition; Ajitto (1981). Ajitto, was, like most of Mapplethorpe’s works, almost bordering on pornography. The still is of a black male inside a studio, on top of a stool, with his huge genitals shown hanging loose below. It’s the only re-creation of The Flandrin Pose that showcase male genitalia, that I have come across. In the 21st century, there was Richard Taddei’s painting, Meditation (2003), an interestingly slightly abstract and distorted image, with slight pop art feel, this work feels like a postmodernist work from the 1960’s. More recently I came across a work titled Flandrin’s Skateboarder, a picture taken somewhere between 2009 and 2012, by an unnamed photographer. Which was an interesting take on the classic. Here the nude is seated atop a skateboard, kept on a bench on a terrace/roof top with a chilly industrial background with leafless trees afar. And the nude is wearing a woolly beanie on his head. A stark contrast to the sunny summer appearance of Flandrin’s original, ‘Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer’.

Nuwan Sen’s Art Sense

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