♦ 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.
⊕ 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.
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.
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”,…
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
Léa and Céleste
“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.”
This is how Aladdin’s story begins. Now, it is time for me to tell you about my “Aladdin story”.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jeff Koons at Pompidou.
First let’s come back on the controvertial artist’s career ! Jeffrey “Jeff” Koons was born on January 21st 1955 in York, Pennsylvania. His father was an interior decorator and his mother worked as a seamstress. He has always been interested in art, mostly by Salvador Dali that he admired so much he went to visit him at his hotel in New York.
Koons studied art and painting at The school of Art Institute of Chicago, soon after college he established himself in New York in the district of SoHo.
His first piece of art was the Equilibrium series, mainly focused on basketball with the use of a few Nike publicities and of basket balls floatting in salted water solution.
He started what we can call kitch art. He created sculptures representing inflatable toys that are extremely realistic. He manufactured the sculpures with stainless steel and was able to make them look straight like balloons.
Along the years he is mostly known for his kitch art that became scandalous when he created the “Made in Heaven” series with his ex-wife and porn-star Ilona Staller also known as La Cicciolina. The painting and sculpture reprensent the couple in more than subjective positions and set the couple in their intimacy.
Koons is famous for his taste of color, details, transformation. His most famous piece of art must be the balloon dog he made in 1994 and that is also one of the most expensive piece of art ever.
The exhibition at the Centre Pompidou is great; it exposes many different pictures and sculpures that represent different periods in Jeff Koons’s art such as the Inflatables, the Banality, the Gazing Ball and even the Celebration.
I recommend it to art lovers, curious people even kids !!
The pieces of art I preferred were the Split Rocker , and the Balloon Dog.
The exhibition takes place until April 27th 2015.
The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola. The film is based on a crime novel written by Mario Puzo en 1969.
It relates the story of a fictious mafia family based in New York City which is headed by Don Vito Corleon, who became synonymous with the Italian Mafia as he is an immigrant from Sicily. The story spans the years 1945-55 and focuses on the transformation of Michael Corleone who thereafter becomes a ruthless Mafia boss.
The film starts on the wedding day of Vito’s Corlene daughter. Vito is the Don or in others words the “boss” of the Corleone family. He is a native Sicilian married to Carmela with whom he has four children : Sonny, Fredo, Michael and Connie. Vito is in his office and hears a request from one of his godson : Jonny Fontane, a popular singer, who pleads for help in getting the main role in a movie because he is refused by the director Jack Woltz. The Don reassures Johnny by saying that he will “make an offer he couldn’t refuse”.
During the wedding, Michael explains to his girlfriend Kay the violent way his father settles business with his adversary as she ignores all the practices and rules proper to the mafia argot. He also adds that those methods are not his.
Later, Tom Hagen (adopted by Vito Coreleone) is sent to Hollywood in order to persuade the film director to appoint John in the film. Tom is welcomed in the director’s property. The latter learns that in fact Tom is working for Don Vito Coreleone. The guest is then shown the racehorse that Jack Woltz just purchased and which prize raises to 600 000$. But during the dinner, he declares that he will not hire Jonny Fontanein his film. The morning after, he wakes up with the bloody head of his horse in the bed ; he is horrified.
Virgil, the “Turk” Sollozzo, who controls heroine’s traffic in New York asks Don Corleone a legal and political protection and one milion dollars in order to develop his business. But the latter declines the offer. Then, Luca Brasi, a loyal man of the Corleone is sent to get some information about the Tattaglia family but he is murdered at the venue.
While buying some oranges, Vito is injured by a revolver, but he survives. Soon after, a packet containing a dead fish is delivered to the Corleone ; it is a message used to say that Luca Brasi “sleeps with fishes”. Michael decides to start being part of the family business and so kills Sollozzo and MacCluskey, the police captain, in order to save his father’s life who is at stake. For the first time Michael gets involved in the criminal environment.
Micheal is then sent to Sicily where he meets Apollonia, who will become his wife. But, the latter is killed by a car bomb intended for Michael.
Instead of perpetuating this cycle of vengeance, Vito Corleone is in search of peace with the other families so that his son can return home. Once, Michael comes back home he marries with Kay and tells her that the family business will become completely legal.
From now on, Michael is the head of the ‘family’ and his father becomes his most faithful adviser. Vito dies in his garden of a heart attack while he is playing with his grandson. Soon after, Michael murders the other head of families because they want to take revenge.
Kay witnesses a confrontation of Connie and requests explanations from Michael, but he answers : ” Do not question me about my business”. But due to her insistence, he accepts a question but saying “only this time” to finally deny any implication in Carlo’s death. She seems relieved by Michael’s denial. However, she starts being suspicious when she observes people showing their respects to Michael, kissing his hand and addressing him as they used to address Vito Corleone.
Awards and Nominations
The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest film in world cinema and as one of the most influential gangster film. The film remains the box office leader for 1972.
The same year, it won three Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor (referring to Marlon Brando) and Best Adapted Screenplay for Puzo and Coppola. Among those three Oscars, the film got several nominations such as the Best Actor in a Supporting Role (James Caan, Al Pacino..) or the Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium.
The success spawned two sequels: The Godfather Part II in 1974, and The Godfather Part III in 1990.
Why I liked it
First of all, I liked the film because of its genre. Then, what really struck me in this film is that even though it is a mafia “family”, Don Corleone refuses being part of the drug traffiking because he is worried about his image. So, even if he is part of the prostitution and underground gambling. Indeed, he remains on businesses which are considered “less dirty”.
Lilly Singh, known as “IISuperwomanII” is a Youtube sensation. I’ve already tackled YouTube through some famous video-makers but I feel like Lilly deserves an entire article. There are several reasons why I absolutely like her.
First and foremost, she sheds light on “minorities”. Obviously, Lilly is a woman, but she does not talk about makeup or clothes or anything too “girly’. Her parents come from Punjab, in India, and her family is still quite traditional. In her videos, she often confronts her point of view, as an Indian woman, to what most people may experience. For instance, even though she does it through laughter, she makes many videos about forced marriages. She lives in Canada and has an Occidental way of life; however she manages to keep a link with her other country, India. It is a recurring theme because of the “lack of a female presence especially within the South Asian community” on the internet. She wants to raise awareness so as to reduce people’s misconceptions “There’s ignorance in every single community and I’m well aware of that; but I think because I’ve been more exposed to ignorance in the South Asian community – especially in relation to divorced or single mothers, abuse, racism and homophobia – it irritates me.”
Another reason why she should be admired: she has a degree in psychology. It is very rare for Internet sensations to have attended university: another famous graduate, Tyler Oakley, is one of the most famous representatives of the LGBT community and obtained a degree from Michigan State University. Lilly’s videos are not didactic but sometimes she uses psychology. For example, one of the videos I prefer is called “5 minutes of EPIC motivation” and, trust me, you’ll probably stop procrastinating right after watching it. You can really see she has knowledge, not because she brags about it, but because she uses it wisely through every single video she makes. She acts like a “girl next door”, she dresses very casually and doesn’t really watch her language but she is undoubtedly funny and clever. I really feel like she is an ideal role model for Asian girls -or whoever watches her- because she proves that life is not about what you have, but rather about what you do with what you have. To put it in a nutshell, she is truly inspiring.
Still not convinced? Here’s a list of factual reasons why it’s almost impossible not to like her:
1. She calls her community “Team Super”. I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a team I’d like to be part of !
2. This community belongs to an imaginary place called “Unicorn Island”. What did I just say? It’s absolutely not imaginary. Unicorns exist.
3. Two of the things she prefers in life are food and sleep. I might have finally found someone who has the same opinion as me.
4. Lilly always portrays her parents as very strict yet they are the funniest characters she has ever played. She plays both of them, and is as great wearing a sari and glasses as she is with fake chest hair.
5. She knows many celebrities: Jay Sean, Connor Franta, Jenna Marbles, Grace Helbig, Colleen Ballinger,…
6. She sheds light on communities who are under represented in the public eye.
7. Lilly took part in the 2014 Youtube Rewind, alongside with the people who made 2014.
8. She manages to stay close to her fans: each month, the 14th ,she does an “Ask Superwoman Live”, which often lasts a few hours (!!!)
9. She has made a few music videos. She has a nice voice, but that’s not the most important thing about these videos: the lyrics of her songs are hilarious, such as: ” gonna clean my room, gonna take a broom, and a vacuum”. She made an entire song out of these sentences, and despite the appearances her freestyle makes it sound really good.
I could probably go on for a long time, but I’m not the best at showing you why watching her is worth it: she is. She once said “Many people can hurt others. There is no talent in that. True talent is being able to smile and take someone’s hurt away.” : this definition applies perfectly to Lilly.
Here is the link to her videos: