Tag: Art

Building Turned Into Jaw-Dropping Bookcase Illusion

Stand by for a warm and fuzzy feeling.

It has often been said, by those who enjoy a good book, that we live inside of our soft and hardcover friends. Such a notion has never held more validity than it does for the lucky residents of an anonymous building in Utrecht, Netherlands. The aesthetically pleasing surprise comes courtesy of illustrious street artist Jan Is De Man and tattoo artist Deef Freed‘s handy-work.

 

Trompe L'oeil Art by Jan Is De Man
Image Via Mymodernmet.com

 

The owners of this building, who love a good read, asked their delineating friend, Jan Is De Man to deface—or rather reface their previously boring structure. De Man took it upon himself to ask local residents to suggest book titles he could include in his creation; his goal was to create something that reflected a culturally-diverse community in unison (without offending of course: no trigger-happy literature). The result is a mural displaying a wide variety of books which includes literature spanning eight different languages. Unfortunately, I will not provide a list of those books in this article—feel free to pinch and zoom at your leisure.

 

Literature Themed Mural in Utrecht
Image Via Mymodernmet.com

 

“We’ve noticed that this project brought people together without pushing it,” said De Man, “they met each other through books. Regardless of the differences in cultures, regardless of the differences in political point of views. Regardless of being extreme right or extreme left. Books are magical. They tickle your brain. And everyone can read the same book, but feel something different.”

De Man’s friend, who also lives in the building, had wanted the artist to paint a mural on his home for some time; however, De Man’s original plan was not of the literary variety. Being a huge fan of Forest Gump (I can only assume), De Man wanted to paint a huge smiley face on the building. Typically, when people see a smile, their moods are naturally lifted. After studying the shape of the building, it dawned on De Man that smiles are provoked by all sorts of things—therein lies the idea of a bookcase. A structure that’s functionality most closely resembles that of a community, a family, a hug, a home.

 

Featured Image Via Mymodernmet.com

Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle

We Have a New Letter From Hopeful, Unpublished Arthur Conan Doyle

“Dear Sir. I venture to submit to your notice the accompanying tale ‘The actor’s duel’. I once before trespassed upon your valuable time by sending up a sketch which did not come up to your standard – I trust that this may meet with a better fate. However defective the working out maybe I am conscious that the denouement is both original and powerful, worthy, I hope, of the traditions of your magazine.”

The above excerpt is taken from a letter written by Sherlock Holmes creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The British writer would have turned 160 years old this past week (May 22). On Wednesday, The National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh shared a picture of the letter on their Twitter account while appropriately hashtagging #SherlockHolmesday. Doyles’ words are indicative of a crucial period in the life of all creatives—a time when one is starving for success.

 

 

137 years ago, before knighthood, Arthur Conan Doyle found himself at the ripe age of twenty-two, (tactfully) pleading for publication. Like all young writers, Doyle was equipped only with a vague understanding of what he wanted to say to the world—it was just a matter of finding the right words. Regardless, his letter conveys obvious confidence in his ability to wow.

 

Image Via Pinterest.com

 

The “original” and “powerful” denouement Doyle refers to is the climax of his short story—after having stopped the abduction of his sister, a young actor (who had just won the role of Laertes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet) finds out that one of the kidnappers is a colleague of his, a fellow actor playing Hamlet in the same play. In their next performance, the two use real swords in a duel, which grants the production a realness that the audience uproariously applauds. The crowd is unaware the two are actually fighting to the death. The duel plays out in a very art-imitating-life/Aronofsky-Black-Swan-esque way that makes the reader question the integrity of artistic perception.

According to an article on edinburghlive‘s website, Doyle asked Blackwood’s Magazine to consider his short story, then entitled “The Actor’s Duel.” At the beginning of the letter, Doyle reveals the publication had previously rejected another one of his short stories, “The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe.” Despite his best efforts, Blackwood’s turned Doyle down again (idiots); however, “The Actor’s Duel” was eventually published two years later as “The Tragedians” in Bow Bells Magazine.

In 1887, A Study in Scarlett was published—the first of many stories concerning the adventures of detective Holmes and Dr. Watson. In addition to tales surrounding the famous detective, Doyle also wrote many science fiction and historical and novels, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, yadda, and yadda. The writer was prolific and will go down in history as the man who made Benedict Cumberbatch what he is today… whatever that is, exactly.

 

Image Via Writeraccess.com 

 

Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t start writing until she was forty-three, and she wasn’t published until sixty-five—two  full decades later. Harry Bernstein didn’t get published until he was ninety-six. Susan Boyle didn’t “dream the dream” until she was forty-seven, and Colonel Harland Sanders didn’t franchise his fried chicken business until well past forty. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s successes may not have come as late in life as those of the other icons mentioned, but this letter is an important reminder: (Yoda voice) the greatest teacher, failure is.

 

Image Via Snopes.com

 

 

Featured Image Via Sherlock-Sherlockian.com

 

Hip-Hop Adaptation of Romeo and Juliet to Be Produced by Queen Latifah and Will Smith

Imagine a crowded arena filled with fans of hip-hop music. They await the arrival of some illustrious artist such as the Fresh Prince, DJ Jazzy Jeff, or Queen Latifah; but then, a scrawny emo kid takes the stage—it’s Romeo of house Montague. The beat drops…

In Northeastern Italy born and raised

Pining over love interests is how I spend most of my days

Stressin’ out cryin’ (eventually) dyin’ all cool

Reading some poetry outside of the school

When a couple of families that were up to no good

Started making trouble in my neighborhood

I stirred up one little feud and my mom got scared

She said ‘You’re gonna end up dying with that Capulet girl by the end of this play’

 

Image Via Rebloggy.com

 

No? Yeah, that was bad. What won’t be is the recently announced a hip hop musical adaptation of the William Shakespeare tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Not taking place in West Philadelphia or  Northeastern Italy in the 14th century, this new take will feature a different and more contemporary setting. It is being described as “a contemporary, musical take on Romeo and Juliet set against the urban rhythms of New York. The love story follows a young waitress from the streets of Brooklyn and an aspiring musician from a wealthy family whose unconventional romance forces them to confront their life choices.”

 

This news comes via Variety which also reports that the project will be directed and written by Solvan “Slick” Naim—a much better rapper than I will ever be. The Algerian-American writer, director, and rapper hails from Bushwick, Brooklyn; Naim already has a comedy series on Netflix entitled “It’s Bruno” which premiered today. He will pen the script for the untitled R&J project with Dave Broome for everyone’s favorite streaming powerhouse.

 

Image Via Hollywoodreporter.com

 

Producing the film will be the Fresh Prince himself, William Smith along with Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere (Flavor Unit Entertainment), James Lassiter, and Caleeb Pinkett (Overbrook Entertainment).

 

Featured Image Via Billboard.com

'GoT' Showrunners, looking completely unperturbed

‘Game of Thrones’ Showrunners Nervous About Ending

And they should be.

Endings suck—especially when it comes to the conclusion of stories we love/loved. Sometimes stories are ruined by their less-than-spectacular final act. We read them for days and watch them for years as their inevitable finales approach, hoping our favorite characters go out in an appropriately cliché blaze of glory or meet a romantically tragic end. In a weird way, our favorite books, movies, and shows become a huge part of our lives—our own personal (REAL) narratives framing that of popular protagonists and their worlds. So, naturally, we fall in love with all of the underdogs, chosen ones, and antiheroes we spend time with. Maybe we even project unrealistic expectations onto the endings of their stories because we are afraid our own stories may not end so perfectly—however, let’s not think ourselves into an existential crisis.

 

Image result for ron swanson gif point

Image Via Gifer.com

 

But yeah, often, our expectations are not met. The epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was… a tonal shift? The Giver tapers off into ambiguity. Pennywise is a demon spider? WTF. Let’s not even discuss the endings to The Hunger Games Trilogy or the plethora of television shows that broke our hearts; yeah, I’m talking to you, How I Met Your Mother (Ted and Robin? Still?), The Sopranos, Dexter, and Lost. I suppose not every series can bow out as brilliantly as Breaking Bad. Well done W.W.

 

Image result for Walter White ending

Image Via Independent.co.uk

 

As we prepare for the Game of Thrones finale, based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (duh), the healthy thing to do is lower our expectations. If we do not, we risk the kind of dejection that will threaten every aspect of our lives as we re-watch/re-read the story wondering where it all went wrong. Making peace with inevitable disappointment will be beneficial for our hearts, souls, and more importantly—the well-being of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The showrunners of GoT will be frantically chain-smoking and stress eating upon finale night as they continuously check the interweb for words of praise or admonishment.

 

Image Via Deviantart.com by 1oshuart

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss talked with Entertainment Weekly regarding the final season of their show and any concerns they may have for its ending (among other things):

 

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So here you are. The final season. How is it? Are you happy?

DAVID BENIOFF: It’s still too early to say.

DAN WEISS: It could end up being a complete mess.

 

David Benioff went on to further discuss the subject of endings… perhaps to avoid discussing the ending that looms?

“A good story isn’t a good story if you have a bad ending,” he said, a sentiment which we hope not to dismally remember later as a sign of foreshadowing. “Of course, we worry.”

He also didn’t think The Sopranos ending was that bad…

I’ve gotten into a lot of arguments with people about why that was a great ending, but people felt legitimately cheated and that’s their right to feel that way, just as it’s my right to feel like they’re idiots. I’m hoping we get the ‘Breaking Bad’ [finale] argument where it’s like, ‘Is that an A or an A+?’ I want that to be the argument. I just wish we found better directors for it.

The final season will air its last premiere episode this Sunday. Will Jon Snow defeat the Night King? Will Dany sit on the Iron Throne? Will their baby? Will Gendry? Buckle up… but don’t drive too fast (metaphorically?) We don’t know where this road ends up, and we don’t know if we’ll like it.

Closing musing: if the final season sucks, George R.R. Martin can (and most likely will) build a better conclusion in his forthcoming novels The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. Perhaps this was the big guy’s plan all along—take his ending (which he has divulged to David and Dan) for a test run. All hail our Westerosi world builder.

 

Image Via Digitaltrends.com

 

Enjoy the lobster, my friend, you deserve it.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Starwarsunderworld.com

 

Why Joel Coen Will Give Us the ‘Macbeth’ We’ve Been Waiting For

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player…”

My Shakespeare professor in college was a loud guy; he was also extraordinarily controversial. They’ve probably fired him from his third university by now, but that’s beside the point. On my first day of class with him, he warned us all that we would probably be offended at some point—he would run around the room quoting plays like Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, and Macbeth verbatim whilst taking scenes from those plays and applying them to recent news or daily experiences. Before him, Shakespeare was annoying and difficult—just early modern English nonsense.

Other teachers just focused on the plot points of William’s plays and brushed over the lyrical nuances of his words. Great art transcends time with eternal themes that strike deep through the heart of existential struggle. With subtly that is sometimes hilarious, over the top romance and gore, Shakespeare created plays that are still relevant to this day. I can only think of one pair of contemporary artists (not really) that so subtly tackle existential shit with ease: the Coen Brothers. This brings me to the news of how Joel Coen is set to direct Macbeth—courtesy of Variety.

 

Image result for macbeth

Image Via Everymantheatre.co.uk

 

Whenever I think of either of the Coen brothers, my mind wanders to their adaption of Cormac McCarthy’s novel No Country for Old Men. I feel it is appropriate to mention that film here because of its thematic ties to Macbeth. Greed is bad and it will ultimately lead to a destructive end unto itself. Macbeth chases power while the characters in No Country chase drug money—albeit for different reasons. In both tales, violence is the result of the chase. Now, I could easily draw some parallels between the character of Macbeth and Llewelyn or Lady Macbeth and Carla Jean, but instead I’m going to focus on some more OMINOUS scenes.

Early on in Macbeth, the titular character runs into three witches who throw a bunch of prophetic—mind-effing—jargon his way; unfortunate for him, ominous for us. It sets the character of Macbeth on his arc. Similarly, there’s an ominous scene early on in No Country where Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is cautioned by his wife Loretta (Tess Harper):

 

Loretta Bell: Be careful.

Ed Tom Bell: Always am.

Loretta Bell: Don’t get hurt.

Ed Tom Bell: Never do.

Loretta Bell: Don’t hurt no one.

Ed Tom Bell: [smiles] Well. If you say so.

 

Image result for no country for old men loretta bell

Image Via Mymeaningfulmovies.blogspot.com

 

I love that scene. Not just because it contains loads of macho nonsense (kind of) that makes me want to crush beer cans on my face, but also because of the subtle characterization that happens within it. The foreshadowing cements this character as someone who is about be involved with the plot but not ‘deathly’ involved. A narrator. A voice. A shadow.

The protagonist of McCarthy’s novel (more so than the film), Ed Tom Bell is the aging sheriff of Terrell County, Texas; he’s a bit of a jaded, yet hard-nosed character. Being an old-fashioned, ethical man, he finds it difficult adapting to all the violence, greed and corruption of society. He is the character the reader most identifies with… basically, he’s Shakespeare. If Shakespeare wrote himself into Macbeth, it would be as a jaded captain in Macduff’s army—as a character who sees the world as it is and is simply exhausted by it.

 

Image Via Ny Times

I’m exhausted by all the Macbeth adaptions we’ve had in the past. I’ve read the play numerous times and watched it at least a couple: the Mel Gibson version blew (or was that Hamlet?) and the Michael Fassbender one was eh. I didn’t expect to see or be excited about another adaptation anytime soon. Then I heard Joel Coen is going to try his hand at Shakespeare with the help of top tier talents like production company A24, Denzel Washington, and Francis McDormand. The long list of complex films that are (if this article is any indication) easily equatable with Shakespeare plays under his belt prove him more than capable of adapting the said source material. He must have something fresh, quirky, maybe even offensive up his sleeve—able to demolish prior stabs at Macbeth. Hopefully, he reinvigorates a new wave of WS enthusiasm. I will full-on seek it out upon its inevitable limited release. Maybe I’ll run into my unemployed professor in a darkened theater. I’ll throw popcorn at him.

 

Featured Image Via Empire Online.