January232013
Mr Blake is a retired British tailor in our story. There are different types of tailoring; the most traditional form, bespoke tailoring, implies that the tailor works in his atelier and the garment is produced according to the client’s personal taste & requirements. There are also different cuts which vary according to the style of the tailoring firm. Here’ s a quick guide to them (click to enlarge):

Mr Blake is a retired British tailor in our story. There are different types of tailoring; the most traditional form, bespoke tailoring, implies that the tailor works in his atelier and the garment is produced according to the client’s personal taste & requirements. There are also different cuts which vary according to the style of the tailoring firm. Here’ s a quick guide to them (click to enlarge):

January182013

Drawings and Sketches - Part I

(just some creative outbursts from the director)

January72013

Arthur Rackham

            

Here’s another illustrator that we really like. Arthur Rackham was an English illustrator born September 19, 1867, in London. He studied at the Lambeth School of Art, was elected to membership in The Royal Watercolour Society and the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts, and became Master of the Art Workers’ Guild. Books he illustrated include “Rip Van Winkle” (1905), “Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens” (1906), “Alice in Wonderland” (1907), and many other children’s books and classics throughout the years until his death in 1939. His last work, “The Wind in the Willows”, was published posthumously. He won gold medals at Milan (1906) and Barcelona (1911), and his books and original art are now collected worldwide (from the Arthur Rackham Society: http://arthur-rackham-society.org/about_the_artist.html).

Among other publications he also illustrated the “Tales from Shakespeare” by Charles and Mary Lamb. Here you can browse through his illustrations: http://www.fairyworx.net/Arthur_Rackham_Tales_of_Shakespeare.html

January52013

The Twelfth Night

                   

                        Dame Judi Dench as Viola, Twelfth Night, 1969. Photo by Reg Wilson. 

The Twelfth Night is on the twelfth day from Christmas. According to some it falls on the 5th of January but it is often associated with the Epiphany (6th of January). In medieval and Tudor England, the Twelfth Night marked the end of a winter festival which started on All Hallows Eve — now known as Halloween. The Lord of Misrule symbolized the world turning upside down. On this day the King and all those who were high would become the peasants and vice versa. At the beginning of the Twelfth Night festival, a cake that contained a bean was eaten. The person who found the bean would rule the feast. Midnight signaled the end of his rule and the world would return to normal. The common theme was that the normal order of things was reversed. This Lord of Misrule tradition dates back to pre-Christian European festivals such as the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia.

Shakespeare’s comedy play “Twelfth Night, or What You Will” was written to be performed as a Twelfth Night entertainment. The story tells of Viola, a young aristocratic woman who is shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria. She disguises herself as a man named Cesario and enters the service of Duke Orsino. Orsino thinks he loves Olivia, a countess of Illyria, but Olivia falls in love with Cesario (in truth Viola) who she herself has fallen in love with the Duke…

You can read the full text here: http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/shakespeare/william/twelfth/

January22013

The Bard of Avon

Jonathan, the main character in my film, is a great admirer of Shakespeare’s works. What do you know about the “Bard of Avon”? What is your favourite play? Or sonnet?

                           

William Shakespeare was born around 23 April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. His father John Shakespeare was a prosperous merchant so William attended the local grammar school where he studied Latin language, literature and history and some Greek in upper school. It is certain that Shakespeare did not go to university, but he must have paid attention in his years at grammar school for his plays regularly contain references to classical myths and history. By the time Shakespeare was fourteen his father was in financial difficulty and he had to leave school. At the age of 18 he married and older woman, Anne Hathaway, and the couple had three children.

Very little is know about what Shakespeare did in the next few years but we know that by 1592 he was known in London as an actor and a playwright. In the early years he lived in the cheap suburb of Bishopsgate. By 1595 he was a member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later the King’s Men, one of the two leading theatre companies. His works are chiefly associated with the Globe Theatre, built on the south bank of the Thames in London in 1599, but they would also have been performed at court, at other public theatres, on tour and at the indoor Blackfriars Playhouse. 

Shakespeare may have written or collaborated on 40 or more plays. The First Folio includes 36. Unusually for the time, Shakespeare wrote most of his plays alone. He also composed at least 154 sonnets and several longer poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. These he dedicated to his patron, the Earl of Southampton. Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616. 

Under Queen Elizabeth’s reign the English drama flourished and became a universal entertainment for both the poor and the rich. During the previous years of the Middle Ages, drama had religious purposes. Mystery or morality plays were performed in front of big audiences and dealt with Christian themes. During the Renaissance, under the influence of the humanists, people looked back to the classical models of Plautus (for comedy) and Seneca (for tragedy). The Elizabethan drama often combined comedy, tragedy and romance. Shakespeare also introduced a new kind of historical play based on recent English history. 

Amateurs were replaced by professional companies of actors which usually relied on powerful patrons. The Elizabethan playhouse was circular or octagonal shape. The stage extended into the ‘pit’ – the open space where the commoners stood to watch the play for one penny. Nobility and gentry seated in the covered galleries. Women were not allowed to perform and all female roles were played by boys. Despite the popularity, playwrights, actors and theatre in general was regarded as a dishonourable affair which often led the innocents into corruption.

 

(More information can be found on the RSC Education section: http://www.rsc.org.uk/education/)

December312012

Happy New Year!

Do you recognise this bearded gentleman? While you’re all busy preparing for the New Year’s Eve celebrations we wish you a very Happy New Year with his poem…

                                      

"The Death of the Old Year"

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December242012
December232012

The Gingerbread Man Story

Christmas is approaching so here’s a festive fairy tale about another peculiar character. The story was first published in 1875 on the St. Nicholas Magazine.

There was once a little old man and a little old woman who lived in a little old house in the edge of a wood. They would have been a very happy old couple but for one thing — they had no little child, and they wished for one very much. One day, when the little old woman was baking gingerbread, she cut a cake in the shape of a little boy, and put it into the oven.

Presently she went to the oven to see if it was baked. As soon as the oven door was opened, the little gingerbread boy jumped out, and began to run away as fast as he could go. 

The little old woman called her husband, and they both ran after him. But they could not catch him. And soon the gingerbread boy came to a barn full of threshers. He called out to them as he went by, saying:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the barn full of threshers set out to run after him. But, though they ran fast, they could not catch him. And he ran on till he came to a field full of mowers. He called out to them:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

A barn full of threshers,

And I can run away from you, I can! 

Then the mowers began to run after him, but they couldn’t catch him. And he ran on till he came to a cow. He called out to her:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

A barn full of threshers,

A field full of mowers,

And I can run away from you, I can!

But, though the cow started at once, she couldn’t catch him. And soon he came to a pig. He called out to the pig:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

A barn full of threshers,

A field full of mowers,

A cow,

And I can run away from you, I can! 

But the pig ran, and couldn’t catch him. And he ran till he came across a fox, and to him he called out: 

I’ve run away from a little old woman,

A little old man,

A barn full of threshers,

A field full of mowers,

A cow and a pig,

And I can run away from you, I can! 

Then the fox set out to run. Now foxes can run very fast, and so the fox soon caught the gingerbread boy and began to eat him up. Presently the gingerbread boy said, “Oh dear! I’m quarter gone!” And then, “Oh, I’m half gone!” And soon, “I’m three-quarters gone!” And at last, “I’m all gone!” and never spoke again.

©Heidi Anne Heiner, SurLaLune Fairy Tales

Click here to read the annotated version! http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/gingerbread/index.html

December192012

Short presentation

Want to know more about the film? Read the short presentation here:

Open publication - Free publishing - More film

December172012

Inspirations for the ‘Rag Man’

image

"The Adventures of Pinocchio" is a children’s book written at the end of the 19th century by the Italian author Carlo Collodi. The story is about an animated marionette  carved by the woodcutter Geppetto. Pinocchio is a rather mischievous character and he often gets into trouble. After traveling to a place called Toyland he is transformed in a donkey and only thanks to the Blue-haired Fairy he, at last, become a real boy.

"The Elephant Man" is a 1980 film directed by David Lynch and based on the true story of Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man that lived in London in the 19th century. Mr Merrick acquired his nickname in a freak show where he was exhibited as a living monster. Noticed by a surgeon he was moved to the London Hospital to be examined. The deformity affected his head and half of his body and it was so frightening that he had to wear a cap and hood in public. His condition remained incurable but the surgeon that found him gradually introduced him to a normal life and soon discovered that Joseph Merrick was an incredibly intelligent and sophisticated young man. He died at 27 from asphyxia. 

"Frankenstein" is a novel written by Mary Shelley and published in 1818. It mixes elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic tradition, as well as being a precursor of the science fiction genre. The story was inspired by a dream Mary had while sojourning in Switzerland with her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and  Lord Byron. The novel tells the tale of the incredible scientific experiment by doctor Victor Frankenstein who gave life to a Monster, a creature that he assembled in a laboratory with limbs and pieces of dead bodies. The creature is horrid and frightening to behold but we soon discover that despite the appereance he shares human feelings and emotions.

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