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Farewell article

June 21, 2015

Contrary to the USA, high school only lasts three years in France. Still, those years are a turning point for most of us. We keep on discovering who we truly are, we try to find out what to do in the future and live unforgettable experiences. I do not want to make a cheesy discourse about growing up, but being so close to finishing high school makes me think of how far we have come. Obviously, this is just a new beginning, but we leave many things behind us. Most of us are 17 or 18, and ending high school happens at the same time as obtaining our driver’s licence, going to college and becoming -officially- an adult. We are likely to obtain our baccalauréat in a few weeks, and that means we are ending a long chapter of our lives, as well as beginning a new one.

Only eight of us got to take part in the creation of this blog, but I think that this “Year of reviews” was representative of our teenage years: punctuated by many events, ecclectic, yet fun. This year was very important for all of us, and by writing our articles we often reflected on many things we chose not to tackle here. For instance, we were shocked by the terrorist attacks that took place in January and wanted to dedicate an article to them but ultimately we chose not to, because finding the words was, for one of the first times in our existences, out of our reach. We left our footprints on this blog for one year, and in a few months, a whole new team of Terminale L will take over. They probably won’t realize it straight away, but this last year of high school is going to be over in no time; and perhaps they are looking forward to going on a new adventure, but still I would like them to enjoy every minute. Only now that we are reaching the very end of our school years, I understand that I am going to miss them, even the simplest moments.

Mrs D., along with some other teachers, has been a great guide to help us progress in English obviously, but also as persons. Many of us succedeed and were accepted in the universities they dreamed of, but some others did not. To those who couldn’t fulfill their dreams yet, I want to remind that “Failure is the key to success”. I truly believe that with our strengths and hardwork, nothing will be impossible for the Class of 2015.

Last but not least, I want to thank Mrs.D and the other teachers who taught us so many valuable lessons. We will carry our newly acquired knowledge and our memories every step of the way.

TL spé 2015

Nina.

MTV’s Finding Carter

June 2, 2015

MTV has a long history in creating amazing TV shows, such as Teen mom, Pimp my ride,  Awkward, and more recently Teen Wolf.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnovyFPSMKc

A few weeks ago, I discovered their newest TV show, Finding Carter, thanks to a good friend of mine. Finding Carter is about a young woman, living a happy life with her cheerful mother Lori. Once, she spends the night with her friends on an old roundabout and ends up at the police station. Her friends are released but she is not, and when she is allowed to see an officer, she is told she was kidnapped by Lori when she was three and spent her whole life thinking she was her mother. This revelation means Carter has a real family: she meets them and has to live in their house. Obviously, she will bond easily with some members of the family and argue for a long time with others…. Surrounded by people looking at her like an extra terrestrial, boys chasing her, an introvert twin sister who discovers friends and parties thanks to her, Lori appearing at some random times and interactions with police, Carter has a busy new life.

finding carter 1

I could totally sum up the first season and a few things about the second (which is airing since March 31st) but I don’t want to spoil you, because you should really watch this TV show. The main actress, Kathryn Prescott, may look familiar: indeed, she played Emily Finch, a shy twin struggling to accept her homosexuality in the famous series Skins (in Skins UK, season 3 and 4). I was astonished by the way she speaks: she comes from England yet her American accent seems natural.

The series is based on a simple question: What does a family consist in?  Carter has two families and at the beginning she wants to flee so as to go back with Lori. Meanwhile she discovers Grant and Taylor, her siblings, and David, her father who wrote a book about her. Elizabeth is very strict, she never seems to laugh but she loves Carter unconditionally: she devoted 13 years of her life to her daughter’s kidnapping by becoming herself a police officer. However, the family has some issues: Taylor and Grant were raised very strictly whereas Carter was allowed to do everything she wanted by Lori, which means she will not conform to her true parents’ rules. Grant is often ignored, he believes he is “the replacement child” because he was born after Carter’s kidnapping and no one really pays attention to him. David (the father) became a successful writer thanks to his book about Carter’s disparition, and he wants to write another one telling how she came back home and tries to fit in. Elisabeth, Carter’s mother, cheats on her husband and never seems to smile or laugh (at the beginning) : her child being taken away from her made her bleak. Carter is a rebel, who skips class and spends her time partying : she is poles apart from her serious siblings and parents but they will all benefit from these differences in the end. Taylor is introvert, focuses on school and is very jealous of her popular sister at first. However, spending time with her twin helps her make friends and she meets Max. Soon, she becomes poles apart from the cheerful and serious teenager she used to be.

finding carter 2

Max is the only link Carter has with her old life: he is her ex-boyfriend and best friend. His family does not really care about him so he moves in with Carter and her new family. He gets along with everyone, but mostly Grant who is like a brother for him. Little by little he gets close to Taylor and they end up dating. Nevertheless, he faces many hardships which challenge his links with his new friends.

I am not going to spoil the plot by revealing it, but a thing I really enjoy about this TV show is that the writers manage to create new situations without being repetitive. It is very entertaining and you should definitely watch it next time you want to begin watching something original.

Nina

 

 

Kaytranada

May 12, 2015

kaytranada-2

I would like to present you my favorite artist, he is not a singer but a dj. He remixes many styles of songs : electronic, R&B, dance and hip hop. He also creates his own music. Kaytranada is the best for me because he has a personal style that we can recognize in his music. He has a proper signature; in all his music pieces we can notice the presence of a rythmic beat hidden behind the lyrics and the other original sounds.

His style of music is called “deep house”.

Kaytranada was born Louis Kevin Celestin on August 15, 1992 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Shortly after he was born, he moved to Montreal, Quebec where he was raised. Kaytranada began as a DJ at the age of 14. The following year, at the age of 15, Kaytranada began to produce after his brother introduced him to FL Studio.

Louis began his career under the alias Kaytradamus in 2010. He released 8 projects as Kaytradamus before changing his name to “Kaytranada” in 2012. Kaytranada has released a total of thirteen projects and sixteen remixes. 

He doesn’t make many concerts but he frequently jazzes up many parties in all the clubs of the world. For instance, he was present in Paris on Thursday 19th March at the YOYO club in the 16th arrondissement. He also contributed recently to the Coachella festival in April 2015 in California.

perform onstage during day 3 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 12, 2015 in Indio, California.

perform onstage during day 3 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 12, 2015 in Indio, California.

I will give you my favorite piece of Kaytranada music : The song is called If, remixed by Kaytranada and sang by Janet Jackson, this song was released in 2012. For three years I have listened to this music practically everyday and I never get tired of it. The voice of Janet Jackson is perfectly associated with a relaxing sound with a dynamic beat. For me this song is a master piece, you can listen to in the morning as well as at night with friends or even alone.

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This song motivates me in my daily life; Kaytranada was a revelation for me. I will give you other different styles of his music that he remixed or produced :

At All exclusively created by Kaytranada

ATM Jam by Azelia Banks and remixed by Kaytranada

Crucial by K-os and remixed by Kaytranada

Drive Me Crazy created by Kaytranada feat Vic Mensa

Friday Night produced by Kaytranada and sang by Reva DeVito

Holy Hole Inna Donut by Kaytranada

What Its Gonna Be created by Busta Rhymes and Janet Jackson and remixed by Kaytranada

He was nominated in the category “Revelation of the year” in the GAMIQ; Kaytranada was proud that his album “Kaytra Nada” is final in the  hip-hop category. His new album, “Kaytra Thomas”, will be released this winter on the label of Los Angeles Huh What and Where.

Kaytranada-Thomas

Elmaé

Word Collapses under “Fury”

April 15, 2015

♦  FURY  ♦

The movie was directed by David Ayers, an American film director, producer, and screenwriter.

David Ayer was born in Illinois and grew up in Maryland, where he was kicked out of his house by his parents as a teenager. Ayer then lived with his cousin in California, where his experiences in South Central Los Angeles became the inspiration for many of his films.

Ayer then enlisted in the United States Navy as a submariner.

This movie takes place in April 1945.

During the last months of  World War II, an experienced and determined army veteran nicknamed War Daddy takes command over a five-man team. They pilot together a Sherman tank called Fury. They are forced to achieve a deadly mission behind enemy lines.
At a disavantage and poorly armed, they have to defeat all odds in an attempt to strike down the German forces.

 fury 1

⊕ To our mind ⊕

We were not really excited at first about seeing a war movie, but we completely changed our minds once the movie ended.

A focus is made on the five men’s feelings, in order that the viewer can sympathize with what the soldiers, during the Second World War, had to undergo. On top of that, it is well-acted by the famous Brad Pitt. It examines the psychological experience of warfare. It is more about relationships built in war and not the war itself.

In line with Saving Private Ryan, all the characters are believable and convincing.

Even though the movie isn’t really realistic on some points, this film is a really stricken testimony of what happened in these tanks.

As a conclusion, from our point of view: a must-see.

 

AUBERT  Mélanie

VISNJIC  Sofija

Die Antwoord

April 14, 2015

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THE BAND:

Watkin Tudor Jones is not higher than a meter 60, but her crazy voice, her eccentric and wild style are fascinating. Anri Du Toit, her boyfriend, is impressive thanks to his grimaces, sometimes funny, sometimes scary. These are the main singers of the band but they are also the emblematic spokesmen of the ZEF (anti African culture). For South Africans “Zef'” evokes  the Zephyr Ford, a luxurious car in the 50s but now out of trend. Associated with misery but also extravaganza this car gave its name to the parallel culture “white trash” opposed to the traditional white culture they knew during Apartheid.

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One of their particularities is the aim to shock, vulgarity, fake jewels, dirty animals, drugs,… everything is done to realize the most strange and extravagant video clips! Here is a list of some of them that need to be seen:  « I FINK U FREEKY », “Ugly boy”, “Pitbull Terrier”,…

Ugly Boy

Ugly Boy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Uee_mcxvrw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMK0prafzw0

THEIR STYLE:

Die Antwoord is known for its musical originality. Their style could be defined as ” alternative hip-hop”, rave and zef. But the real springboard in their career is the hit “zef side” , which was such a success that the website which hosted the song was saturated in a few days. The “zef style” is composed of modern music, trash one and old-fashioned passages. Their lyrics are in Afrikaans, Xhosa and English. “Whites, mixed-race, English, Afrikaans, Xhosas, Zulus, Watookal, I am all these people at the same time”, that is what Ninja says in the introduction of their song “Enter the Ninja”. Indeed, Die Antwoord is above all a group which pushes people to open their minds.

style-icon-yolandi-visser-die--large-msg-13406395608936full-yolandi-visser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE RIVALRY BETWEEN THE GROUP AND LADY GAGA 

Lately, Lady Gaga asked Die Antwoord to open for her on her last tour in South Africa, an offer they declined. The star got disappointed, and did not understand someone could refuse “such an honor”. After a Lady Gaga despising tweet against the group: ”   “I fink u freaky but you don’t have a hit. Hundred thousand tickets sold in SA. #thatmyshit“, they started feuding back and forth on Twitter. The band replied: ” lady… even tho u r ‘larger’ than us… we still cooler than u… plus we don’t have prawns in our private parts.”

DIELADYGAGA

The South African band published a wild spread video clip (Fatty boom boom; cf link beneath), staging Lady Gaga on a bus, in a urban safari in a South African town. Dressed with her famous meat dress, the mega star is eaten by a lion at the end. The clip, like most of the group’s work, “is outré (at least for American sensibilities), featuring colorful crotch-grabbing, naughty hyenas, prawn-birthing, and some demented LaChappellian krumpiness”. This publication emphasizes the rivalry between the two stars and especially between Yo Landi and her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIXUgtNC4Kc

After these burning exchanges, it came out that The Queen of Pop would be afraid to be put in their shadow. She is still angry at the band and afraid of their ascension.

Will the Queen of Pop be outdated by a brand new team in her domain?

OPENING OF MINDS

7c56fed2Die-Antwoord-at-Lollapalooza-2012-_DSC4089

They grew up in South Africa where the memory of apartheid is still very present and remains a traumatism. That is why they convey a message of peace and tolerance. Even is the “zef style” concerns more white people from the poor suburb of South Africa, and even if they apply themselves to transgress the code, it is poles apart from a racist extreme right. For instance, a native of Soweto, one of the most important townships in South Africa, named Lebo organized a youth hotel in which he often played Die Antwoord. In “Evil Boy”, the band sings with Wanga, a black rapper who denounces the ancestral ritual of circumcision. The question of language and identity is very present in Die Antwoord’s songs. Indeed, South Africa has been torn between different ethnic groups and different cultures. For example, today in the country, a quarter of the newspapers is published in Afrikaan, dialect of the old Dutch colonists. In Afrikaan, the band’s name, Die Antwoord means : The Answer. But the answer to what? Maybe to the malaise felt by this generation of young South Afrikaaners, who evolve in a country where there is still a lot of violence, racism, political corruption and poverty.

style-icon-yolandi-visser-die--large-msg-134063960964

Léa and Céleste

Aladdin on Broadway : “Exactly what you wished for!”

April 1, 2015

article aladdin 1

“Do not be fooled by its commonplace appearance. Like so many things, it is not what is outside, but what is inside that counts. This is no ordinary lamp! It once changed the course of a young man’s life; a young man who, like this lamp, was more than what he seemed: a diamond in the rough. Perhaps you would like to hear the tale? It begins on a dark night, where a dark man waits… with a dark purpose.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhAik2rU4ms

This is how Aladdin’s story begins. Now, it is time for me to tell you about my “Aladdin story”.

aligenie

A few weeks ago, one of my dreams came true: I had the opportunity to go to New York City and see a Broadway show.  I had already been to New York a few times, and it still amazed me, but I wanted to try something new. I’ve always enjoyed musicals and Disney movies but I never really considered seeing a Broadway show. To me, it evoked a room, crowded by tourists taking pictures of every thing surrounding them. However, when I saw there was an Aladdin Musical, I decided to go and see it: I knew and liked the plot, the characters and a few songs.

The magic began even before arriving at the New Amsterdam Theatre: Times Square at night is one of the most mesmerizing places I’ve ever been to. The theatre in itself is breathtaking: it was built in 1903 and its first production was A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare. The New Amsterdam Theatre hosted the renowned Ziegfield Follies from 1913 to 1936. Unfortunately, it had to close because of the Great Depression; it reopened one year later as a movie theatre. The first movie which premiered was none other than A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Mickey Rooney. In 1942, the Walt Disney Company purchased the theatre and renovated it. It opened once more in 1997 and the world premiere of Hercules took place there. Its vintage style and comfortable seating arrangment made it the perfect place to host the Aladdin musical.

new amsterdam 2

theatre new amsterdam1

Some changes had to be made in the plot because a few original elements were not suitable for a live representation. For instance, Aladdin and Jasmine’s best friends – respectively Abu the monkey and Rajah (Jasmine’s pet tiger) – were not easy to reproduce so they were replaced by human characters. That means Aladdin had three fellow funny thieves as best friends while Jasmine confessed to three of the palace’s maids. One of the best characters of this adaptation was Iago, although he was in a human form rather than a parrot. The actor playing Jafar’s sidekick is hilarious, and was probably the funniest character of the story along with the Genie. The magic carpet’s role was not as important as it is in the movie, but it was still there for A Whole New World.

a whole new world1

Some of the songs performed during the show were deleted from the movie, although I think they are wonderful: Proud of Your Boy is really moving and well-written; I had no clue Aladdin was such a fragile and thoughtful character.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_CKQq7Y1H8

The musical numbers were incredible: stunts, sword fights, dance moves and special effects were overwhelming but in a good way. A Friend like me by the Genie was both funny and outstanding: the props used really contributed to the scenery, and most of the audience knew the song by heart even though no one sang lest they would not hear the performance. The moment all of us were waiting for was A Whole New World.  Unfortunately, I could not find this performance online but here’s the audio:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39KCdPu0qkY 

And trust me, I was literally gaping during the whole performance. It was stunning, and even though I knew the lyrics by heart (please don’t judge me) I did feel like a little girl discovering this fairytale. Obviously, ten minutes later this feeling had faded but it was so great that a few minutes of such astonishment would justify seeing the whole show according to me. I may sound too enthusiastic about this show, but I really enjoyed it and I hadn’t felt this way for a very long time.

iago

Something struck me: Jonathan Freeman, who plays Jafar in the show, is actually the man who voiced this character in the original cartoon. I did some research and found out that this was unique in Broadway history, so if you make the wise decision to go and see this show, you’ll be able to boast about it. What is more, James Monroe Ingleheart (the genie) has won a Tony Award for his performance in Aladdin. I don’t know if you have an idea of what it is, but it is a big deal in Broadway: it is the theatrical equivalent for an Oscar.

Another outstanding element of the show: the costumes and props. I would not even have noticed such things usually but these sparkly and colored outfits were a true delight for the eye. The booklet I was given at the theatre says “Our costume and scenic design team has imported fabric from 9 countries for ALADDIN including Morocco, Turkey, India, Uzbekistan, Guatemala, France, Italy, Germany and China. Thankfully, our magic carpets are equipped for Trans-Atlantic flights”. To put it in a nutshell, these clothes have probably travelled more than you and I have. Should we be jealous?

Here are a few figures I found at the end of my booklet:

17: “The number of collective Tony Award our creative team has won”

337: It is the number of costumes created for the show. Once again, this is more than what I will ever have in my closet; I am truly jealous now.

180: The number of people working for the production of Aladdin. This includes the cast, the staff and the crew.

1428: “The number of Swarovski crystals sewn into one pair of chorus members’ pants in the finale of ‘Friend Like Me’ . That’s a lot of bling!”

I can’t write a proper conclusion telling you to go and see it if you can, as I have done that throughout the whole article so I leave you with some wise words…

“Today’s special moments are tomorrow’s best memories” – Genie.

aladdinNina

Another point on view on Jeff Koons’s exhibition in Paris

March 31, 2015

Saturday I went to the center “Georges Pompidou” in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. I saw the original and colorful work of Jeff Koons a contemporary illustrator, painter and sculptor. Born in York, Pennsylvania, on January 21, 1955, artist Jeff Koons made a name for himself by using everyday objects in special installations that touched on consumerism and the human experience. Some of his art has consisted of overtly sexual themes while others have been seen as a form of neo-kitsch, such as his balloon dogs. 

During the exhibition, we can see different pieces using several materials : first his well-known chrome stainless steel sculptures but Jeff Koons used also porcelain, polychrome wood, polychrome aluminium, etc…

I have chosen to analyse one well-known piece of his collection : the Balloon Dog.

ballon dog

The Balloon Dog is one of the most famous pieces of Jeff Koons. Since 12 November 2013, Jeff Koons has held the sale price record of work for a living artist. Sold at auction in New York, his orange version of the Balloon Dog reached 58.4 million of dollars. An absolute record for this 60-year-old American. This Balloon Dog exists in five copies of different colors, it is a giant replica in chrome steel of these little animals made in balloons that you can find for some euros in the street. The creations of the artist are linked to childhood due to many aspects:

First, with the representation of animals which are quite particularly liked during this period. It is common that the child asks for a pet such as a dog and it is why the artist creates numerous Balloon Dog which arouse nostalgia in the grown-up spectators. These sculptures echo their childhood, a time when they did not know the worries of adult life.

Then, the material and the color of the works; they also contribuate to this will of finding its memories and feelings back. The bright and plain colors are indeed the characteristics of his drawings: the children will tend not to shade them. A child will not bother himself with representing a dog with such color. These hues also refer to balloons which are also colorful.

Thirdly, if animal-balloons are represented in this way and not in a realistic way it is because we can find them during the carnivals or funfairs. Once again, it is the place which the children appreciate and it is completely the kind of memories that they can bring back home. These animal-balloons are important for them who perceive them as objects difficult to realize. It is likely that the adults, contemplating these works, had them between their hands during their childhood and Koons tries to make them feel the same feelings as they did then.

Finally, the last element is the brilliant surface of statues. At first, it can, by far, give the illusion of transparency as  real balloons in the shape of animals. The reflections can actually persuade that we see what is beyond the statue, but it is opaque in fact. Closely, it is once again a reference to the childhood with the activity of the distorting mirrors in the carnivals.

These elements that we meet in this Balloon Dog,  also remind us of the definition given of the kitsch. The public is pulled in a crowd of memories and past feelings by looking at the sculpture.

 Elmaé

 

 

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