Category: The Arts

A Homeless Man’s Coloring Book Pages Show Us Another Side of Creativity

A lesson for children and adults alike.

Healing, like creativity, is a process; there is no on/off switch. It flows like a river, sporadically obstructed by nature and chance. Shit happens—emotionally, spiritually, physically, we get hurt and we turn to various outlets to heal. People exercise, meditate, cleanse, float in some sort of sensory reduction tank (because apparently, that’s a thing), and others create. Regarding books, I do not mean to exclude the reader from this act of creation. There’s a well-known quote by Samuel Johnson circling our illustrious world wide web that says: “A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”

 

Look at that face, that’s a solid blue steel.
Image Via Wikipedia

 

The reader fills in all the blanks—I know this because of all the literary theory classes those college people made me take…Reading allows the human mind to escape the limitations our so-called realities place upon it. Creating is the same. In the moment, your creation feels like all that matters. But it’s still about more than just you.

A local news station in Cleveland recently did a piece on a homeless man who enjoys drawing as a means to cope with his own limitations. Eugene Sopher draws pages for a coloring book that, due to Sopher’s precarious financial situation, may never be published. To Sopher, that doesn’t matter.

 

 

“I do this drawing, and it’s medicine, baby,” said Sopher. “I’m in the zone. Not trying to mix it with drugs, but it’s the best high I’ve ever had.”

 

His lack of finances and exposure have led to some unconventional PR methods: he relies on strangers to make copies for him so that he may share is art with the world. The wide variety of pages he has created contain lessons for young and old alike. Some of his pictures warn about the dangers of gang violence or meeting strangers online, and others aim to simply put a smile on your face. Sopher, who suffers from depression and bipolar disorder, has not had an easy life. He has felt the weight of the world and the resulting discombobulation. At forty-four years young, he spends a good amount of time drawing uncolored pages so that he can escape any personal grimness and help his readers.

 

 

 

“I can do something because if they’re reading that, they can say, ‘You know what? That happened to me. Oh, you what know, I went through that,” said Sopher. “A lot of the reason I keep my cartoons in black and white is it gives you a chance to put color to them.”

 

Sopher’s story and art remind us that creativity is not some sort of commodity purchased in the restricted section of society. It’s not exclusively available to those deemed ‘intellectual.’ It’s part of all of us, a silver lining that bridges the gap between reality and perception, body and soul. Regardless of one’s age, race, or gender—whether it be the lawyer who journals in her free time or the homeless man who lives to doodle—we are all connected by imagination and our ability to create.

 

 

 

Images Via News5cleveland.com

‘The Fault in Our Stars’ Director to Bring Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ to TV

Following the huge success of the movie IT and the excitement for the upcoming Pet Semetary, Stephen King’s The Stand is being adapted as a TV mini-series. The Stand will include approximately ten episodes and will be available on CBS all access. 

 

tv poster for the stand

Image Via Highlight Hollywood 

The Stand will be directed by Josh Boone, who is huge fan of King.. When asked about the work in progress he stated:

“I wrote King a cameo as himself in my first film and have been working to bring The Stand to the screen for five years. I’ve found incredible partners in CBS All Access and Ben Cavell.” 

Ben Cavell who is working with Boone will be executive producing and writing the script.  Boone goes onto describe a touching moment from his childhood, after his parents had burned his copy of the The Stand.

“I read The Stand under my bed when I was twelve, and my Baptist parents burned it in our fireplace upon discovery. Incensed, I stole my Dad’s FedEx account number and mailed King a letter professing my love for his work. Several weeks later, I came home to find a box had arrived from Maine, and inside were several books, each inscribed with a beautiful note from God Himself, who encouraged me in my writing and thanked me for being a fan. My parents, genuinely moved by King’s kindness and generosity, lifted the ban on his books that very day.” 

The Stand is set during the apocalypse, when a super-virus that leaked from a lab wipes out most of the population, leaving the survivors to decide between what is good and what is evil, plunging them into not only a battle for survival, but also a battle of morals.

 

Stephen king at press conference

Image Via La Boucle

King expressed his own excitement for the new series:

“I’m excited and so very pleased that The Stand is going to have a new life on this exciting new platform. The people involved are men and women who know exactly what they’re doing; the scripts are dynamite. The result bids to be something memorable and thrilling. I believe it will take viewers away to a world they hope will never happen.”

King’s spine-chilling work always delivers and we will be looking out for this one!

 

Featured Image Via ew.com

Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man And The Sea’ Adapted For Stage By Lifelong Friend

THE OLD MAN’S LEGACY LIVES ON…

Ernest Hemingway coined the termed “the iceberg theory” which refers to an understated style of writing that concerns itself with surface elements in a story rather than the more preachy approach. In other words, Hemingway respected the intellect of his readers—we can see what’s beneath on our own. This is perhaps one of the reasons the man became so popular, this and his larger than life persona. One could argue that it was his relationship with the world that catered to his relatability and universal appeal. His most notable works are The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell To Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. The latter, for which Hemingway won the Pulitzer and Noble prize in the 1950s has just been adapted into a play by someone who used to fish with Master Hem himself.

Image Via Theguardian.com

AE Hotchner, a friend and longtime biographer of Hemingway’s during the time in which The Old Man and the Sea was written, promised Ernest he would adapt the novella before he died. The story goes, Hemingway went to see the 1958 John Sturges film version of his book with Hotchner and was dissatisfied (this is a nice word). In a recent interview, Hotchner described Hemingway’s reaction to the film:

“He said, ‘You know, you write a book that you really like and then they do something like that to it, and it’s like pissing in your father’s beer’,” Hotchner said. (Hemingway reserved this particular turn of phrase for a handful of hated adaptations of his work, he said.)

The film was miscast and lacked the novella’s vision. Hemingway asked his friend to take a “crack at it” and now, at 101 years old, Hotchner finally has. The subtext of The Old Man and the Sea more or less has to do with success; while writing The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway was under a lot of pressure to reclaim his former glory. In the same way that the fisherman Santiago is after his marlin, Master Hem was after the reaffirmation of his own creativity and self-worth. This part of the story was not conveyed as well in the film adaption, it is the part that AE Hotchner wishes to accentuate on stage. He promised his friend he would.

Image Via cdapress.com

Some people define legacy as the things we leave behind; our relationships, work, and the impression we make on people. It’s easy to get distracted by our careers as we become obsessed with superficial things like money, fame and the fruitless pursuit of immortality. What we can all can take away from Hotchner’s life-long devotion to his friend is a blissful sense of pride in the only immortal thing that has ever existed; beneath it all—the sanctity of human connection. And now, after making a version of Master Hem’s tale for a new audience (not the annoyed teenagers in Mrs. Gross’s high school English class), Hotchner feels he’s honored the connection he once formed with a friend.

 

chandler bing hug GIF

Image Via Giphy.com

The play opens at Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse on February 1st.

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon

Exhibition Shows 80% of All Surviving Old English Verse Together for First Time in History

The Daily Times reports that “something like 80 percent of all surviving Old English verse survives in four physical books, and for the first time in recorded history they are all together.”

An exhibition in British Library in London, displays an “array of documents, books and archaeological evidence to form a dense picture of the Anglo-Saxon period, including a burial urn with runic inscriptions in early English from Loveden Hill, Lincolnshire, England.”

Medieval historian Mary Wellesley told BBC Culture that “the period that is represented by Old English is about 600 years, which is like between us and back to Chaucer. Imagine if there were only four physical books that survived from that period, what would that say about our literature?”

 

Image Via BBC (Credit: The Trustees of the British Museum)

 

Modern English has its roots in 5th-Century Germany, “from where the Anglian, Saxon and Jute tribes came.” When the Roman legions withdrew around 410AD, the Saxon war bands landed and an era of migration from the Continent and the formation of Anglo-Saxon England began.” The word ‘English’ derives from “the homeland of the Angles, the Anglian peninsula in Germany.”

Early English used the runic alphabet, and was closely related Germanic languages “such as Old Norse, Old Saxon and Old High German.”

 

Image Via BBC (Credit: British Library Board)

 

If you want to know more information about this, I suggest you check out the article written by BBC.

 

Featured Image Via BBC.com (Credit: Reproduced courtesy of the Chapter, Canterbury Cathedral)

These Five Hit Films Are in the Running for Best Adapted Screenplay!

The Writers Guild of America released its nominations for the WGA Awards last Monday, and here are the five films that have been nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay:

 

1.) BlacKkKlansman

Image Via NPR

 

Spike Lee’s latest “joint” is based on the memoir by Ron Stallworth and tells the story of how he successfully infiltrated the KKK by posing as a white man and fooling its members into believing he is one of them. The film is produced by Jordan Peele and stars John David Washington and Adam Driver

 

2.) Black Panther

Image Via The Verge

Little needs to be said about this smash-hit MCU film that hasn’t already been said. Adapted from the Marvel comics, the superhero film has been lauded by critics and fans alike for combining superhero spectacle with poignant observations on family and race as the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) tries to save his home from the vengeful Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and take his rightful place as king of Wakanda.

 

3.) Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Image Via Variety

This biopic stars Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel, and chronicles the author’s life and career as she becomes infamous for forging letters from famous authors and playwrights. The film is based on Israel’s own memoir of the same name and details how she evaded the FBI for years without being caught.

 

4.) If Beale Street Could Talk

Image Via Hollywood Reporter

From the writer and director of Moonlight, this drama stars Kiki Layne and Stephan James as a couple who have their plans to get married derailed when the man is falsely accused of a crime and his family sets out to clear his name. The novel is written by James Baldwin, whose unfinished manuscript Remember This House served as the basis for the documentary I Am Not Your Negro.

 

5.) A Star Is Born

Image Via Variety

The only film nominated that isn’t based on a book. The fourth remake of the original 1937 film stars Bradley Cooper as a country singer who takes a young woman, played by Lady Gaga, under his wing and trains her to become a professional singer. Cooper directed this latest version, with both he and Gaga performing all of their own songs.

 

Which film do you hope wins the award?

 

 

Featured Image Via WGA Awards