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Natural eco-friendly fabrics enhance your life in many ways,  irritant-free, naturally breathable, and hypoallergenic better and lasting quality. Comfort and knowing that we are helping preserve the environment are good motivations to go organic. Learn about sustainable fabrics  to make the right choices when shopping.

To produce organic cotton the crops are grown using eco-conscious methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, the cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilisers. The ultimate goal is to build biologically diverse agriculture.

Different certification organisations verify organic productions. In addition, organic growth regulations prohibit the use of genetically engineered seed for organic farming. Organic farming practices cultivate and enrich the land.

Regular cotton uses a vast amount of chemical pesticides and fertiliser: a third of a pound for just one nonorganic cotton t-shirt.

As the textile Industry adapts and manufacturers and retailers commit to research and  produce environmentally sound and healthy garments, the consumer is left with task of finding and deciding which natural fabrics are right their families.

Regular cotton is one of the most popular and comfortable fabrics yet it’s also one of the least eco-friendly when grown using non-organic methods.

Some cotton is genetically engineered to produce its own pesticide inside of the plant. Scientists tinker with the plant’s genetic makeup in a way that could never occur in nature to create mini pesticide factories inside of the plants. Other genetically engineered varieties are designed to withstand high doses of weed-killing chemicals, ones that would normally kill the plants. Since the glyphosate—the pesticide of choice for cotton growers—is systemic, the chemicals drawn up inside of the plant.

The pesticides used on cotton harm people, wildlife, and the environment. Many of the most hazardous pesticides in the market, including broad-spectrum organophosphates and carbamate pesticides, are sprayed on cotton fields. These chemicals have been linked to certain cancers, childhood brain tumors, ADHD, autism, and poor motor skills in children, making it harder for them to use scissors, tie shoes, or even hold a pencil.

A 2002 study investigating pesticide illnesses in California ranked cotton as the third-worst offender for sickening workers (just behind grapes and oranges). In the U.S. and around the world, cotton grown with chemicals has been responsible for hundreds of thousands of fish deaths, Australian beef contamination, and bird deaths.

Switching to organic cotton helps protect rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds from toxic chemical runoff. Organic cotton ensures your soft, caressing fabrics are grown without the use of GMO (genetically modified organisms) seeds and chemical fertilisers that create dead zones that rob fish of oxygen, too.

The development of non-toxic dyes has resulted in brighter healthier colours, organic cotton is now a fashionable choice.

The GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification tag assures the purchaser that from seed to field, from processing to manufacturing, sustainable practices are used.

The World Health Organisation estimates 20,000 deaths annually due to pesticide poisoning in developing countries.

A field must remain pesticide-free for three years and the cotton harvested by international organic standards in order for cotton to be certified organic. Organic cotton farming has a lower carbon footprint than traditional cotton farming, as organic farming uses less energy and fuel, emits fewer greenhouse gases into the air and reduces water consumption and toxic run-off. Organic farmers forgo the use of pesticides to control harmful insects, and instead use beneficial predator insects and old-fashioned techniques such as trap cropping to lure insects away from the cotton. Planting several crops together (intercropping) helps control pests, and, if necessary, organic farmers use approved organic pesticides like Bt and neem oil to protecttheir cotton crops. Covering crops with leguminous matter and implementing crop rotations sustain fertility and keep the soil healthy and nutrient rich. Organic cotton farmers use traditional mechanical devices such as hoes and flame weeders. Organic cotton is typically hand-harvested and often hand-spun. This fabrics production is on the rise and, according to the Organic Trade Association, comprises 0.76 percent of global cotton production.

The eco-friendly status of cotton can easily be displaced once the finishing process begins, as certain companies inevitably end up bleaching or dying the fabric, creating a product that is toxic and anything but eco-friendly. Be sure to purchase organic cotton in its natural shades of cream, tan, light brown or pale green, or organic fabric that has been dyed using vegetable or natural based dyes.  Art’s Magic & LoveSpellV New Clothing Line

Method by Sylvia Love Johnson

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METHOD

Anatomy of the Creation Process

Darkness v Light

METHOD by Sylvia Love Johnson

The main theme symbolised with the white lily explores the duality of opposites and the need of the existence of the parallels as one; darkness and light, death and rebirth, purity and sensuality.  Susie’s Poem at the end of the film exposes the paradox and the moral of the story we have followed, in which each individual struggles with the darkest side in them and each longs for a way to reconcile and integrate the darkness within their personality through their roles in METHOD. The poem concludes that the equal acceptance of both “sides of a coin” results in freedom.

The interrogation setting was designed to produce a sense of mystery and expectation.The atmosphere wanting to recreate a womb, where creation is taking place.

METHOD by Sylvia Love Johnson

Actors and director go through a series of Method exercises in the journey towards building a character, the process is possible by allowing the death of self or ego, constructing from a natural state of being.

The lighting design to create the desired atmosphere provides the suggestion of an intimidating space where one or more people are being put to the test. We made different choices as to how simulate the interrogation space to evoke feelings of uneasiness. We used coloured dimmed lights, orange, three point lighting combined with LED soft front light to highlight the hair of the unseen interrogator, soft front light to illuminate the subject together with hard side lighting on an angle, to create a sharp and definite spotlight on the subject. We then tried intense focused lighting point coming from directly above the subject’s head, this proved ideal if we wanted to give our character the sinister look, which the main character, Danny, would grow into as the film reached its peak. We added cold soft light in the foreground so as to intensify the presence of the interrogator and audience.

A contrasting combination of light and darkness on the face of the main character to represent the unknown, possible fear, mystery and conflict, all these suggested a wide range of possibilities as to where the scene was heading; rising the expectations of our audience.  The unseen interrogator remains slightly exposed yet strongly represented with low key/high contrast bathed in shadow.

 Casting: While casting METHOD I was aware that I would need actors who are experienced with method acting and conventional acting training technics.

Due to the complexity of the theme; a film within a film and Characters creating a character, a real love triangle reflected on a make belief, fake or movie love triangle, a history of past hurts and traumas, regarding  parental relationships. Love carrying emotional baggage with the unwillingness to let go and the struggle with the loss of a loved one.

What started of as a “boy meets girl and it all goes wrong” film, became a very different and much more complicated story.

We start with the conflict between brothers for the love a woman and we then discover that this conflict originated during their childhood, as it seems that the siblings have always been rivals over the love of their mother.  They have always been jealous of each other. Be it because their mother treated them unfairly or because one or both brothers draw towards the edge of a relationship that leads to jealousy and insecurity instead of love. The love triangle serves to bring to the surface the character traits to be dealt with, faced up to and embraced.

Danny is the modern hero; the protagonist who we draw to love and like to then discover he is actually the bad one. Danny’s exhilarating energy, confidence and charm is in fact hiding a whole different self, a man full of anger, who is egocentric and insecure. His entire life, his flat, clean and lineal, shows the way he handles himself, many clothes, through smart up sessions, his job; a charismatic actor, all this helps him and aids him in hiding who he really is and what he feels, which is total indifference towards the rest of people, an obsessive need to protect himself and most of all anger. He is not to find reconciliation, although he goes through the path in his attempt to be liked, and of conquering love yet his dark nature does not allow reconciliation.

Susie struggles with the loss of a loved one, her feelings and emotions serve to achieve her goals, yet this prevents her from letting her go of grieve, alienating her and putting her aside from the rest of people, to wonder indefinitely in the her own world of pain, for better or for worst.

The pair makes perfect opposites yet totally incompatible because they both cling to their dark sides and are unable to allow room for light, joy or love. They base their living upon this thick darkness that has become as essential as air. On the other hand, Simon and Monica try to constantly renew their beings, even if with difficulty they are bound to find reconciliation with their dark side through their love. 

The Cast Method

The outsider theories…

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Danny’s Ego versus Susie Ghost/Angel

Biutiful v METHOD

“BIUTIFUL” 2010 Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu. Spain.

Biutiful  = A man who is trying his best.

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In the past when I wrote a story I usually felt I had decent characters but only until I watched “Biutiful” a feature film by the Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu.

An entire life story shown within the first minutes; the depth of an invented personality expressed thoroughly within a few words out of his mouth. Sheer darkness enveloping, screaming:  “secrets are about to be revealed!” Thick anguish so palpable, a thrilling mixture of bittersweet innocence and cruelty. This is what Alejandro’s character, Uxbal (Javier Bardem), a man living in this world but able to see death, played by Javier Bardem, did for me. Within the first two minutes of meeting him I really wanted to know him better. Regardless of the type of story Uxbal was about to tell, I so desperately wanted to hear it.

My favourite lesson from “Biutiful” after characterisation  was on location: how Alejandro boldly takes over the main streets of the amazing city of Barcelona and he shots a scene of calm and pleasant order rapidly turning into massive chaos, within seconds, with catastrophic consequences. It was so ugly it was amazing to watch. It made me feel that you really need some guts to be an impacting filmmaker.

Do I have that sort of guts?  would I dare to do what Alejandro  did with the city of Gaudi? I don’t know, but to dare considering it is a step forward.

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Regarding script and cinematography Certify Copy” 2010, Abbas Kiarostami, Italy: Certify Copy’s the subtext presents an intriguing world of possibilities. Giving value to all that is not said or shown in the film truly allowing the imagination of the audience to do as it pleases. The creative shots and incredible use of mirrors and reflections combined with natural light inspired some of Susie’s most intimate moments in METHOD, yet to be shot.

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For the editing I chose to learn from “Red Lights” 2012, Rodrigo Cortes, USA. Rodrigo Cortes’s camera movement and editing goes beyond the conventional.

Also the contradiction between the protagonist and the antagonist makes an interesting setting; the supposed antagonist played by Robert Deniro puts us in conflict with our own believes, we have been educated to believe in the paranormal, yet the protagonist is telling as that is it all lies, it seems like the filmmaker wants to convince us of the opposite to our believes.  In our society we are educated through the media, especially film, to put faith above science. It is indeed a moral dilemma that Cortes solves by giving us the answer we want, he in the end allows us to continue to have faith in the impossible with an extraordinary resolution.

Here the fact that it is our beliefs as viewers that determine what moral dilemma we are dealing with is conclusive. It is up to us how important the dilemma is and how it should be resolved. The writer will give peace to some of us yet will disappoint others. Targeting culture and society is critical. To be successful we need to know what our audience desires what they believe in and what beliefs they would let go of easily or not. Cortes does this brilliantly.

Danny v Uxbal

The outsider making peace, Uxbal,

Character: he has a gift= evil? Yes he has made bad choices?=on the wrong side, =trying to do his best, =society is to blame=he has a great affliction= life is hard on him= on everyone! But he has a terrible affliction= does his affliction save him, do we forgive him because of it. Only if he lets go, he does, he has not choice in the end. His tragic ending makes him likable.

Moral Dilemma: Uxbal does all the evil to care for the ones he needs to save. In a parallel Danny is the way he is because he also is trying his best. Do we forgive him? No, Danny does not let go. Cleverly Alejandro gives us the right conclusion for Uxbal in one sentence, one of the lines spoken by the friend and councillor, brings peace to Uxbal or at least to me, the viewer.

Abbas Kiarostami Magic reflections versus Susie’s location. The Cinematography/Art direction in Abbas’s “Certified Copy” What a feast of artistic beautifully arranged frames. At the art gallery/shop, stonewalls, tasteful sculptures surround, light point strategically put in disguise of elegant lamps adding atmosphere. Also the reflection of the city of Tuscany,  on the car’s windshield, while they are driving away whilst having a flirtatious chat: we can now see antique large buildings, people walking in the street, the blue sky, all without loosing sight of the loving couple’s close up.

METHOD drives the detailed exploration of character, thought, line of action, history and background, afflictions, dream and desires, fears and secrets.

Art’s Eyes an Experimental Idea 

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Children create constantly. Art is the way they play and the way they explore life, the way they test their abilities their findings. They way the discover what they are capable of making. But most of all my children, are story tellers and they use everything they find through the day to tell a story. It could be a funny thought, and image, a toilet roll.

Story telling is the way they play, inventing is part of their daily routine it is the natural process of growing up and most creative way to learn, from emotions to skills, art is the vehicle they use to advance and develop as amazing human beings.

Background and Research

“So strong is the belief in life, in what is most fragile in life – real life, I mean – that in the end this belief is lost. Man, that inveterate dreamer, daily more discontent with his destiny, has…  At this point he feels extremely modest: he knows what women he has had, what silly affairs he has been involved in; he is unimpressed by his wealth or his poverty, in this respect he is still a new born babe and, as for the approval of his conscience, I confess that he does very nicely without it. If he still retains a certain lucidity, all he can do is turn back toward his childhood which, however his guides and mentors may have botched it, still strikes him as somehow charming. There, the absence of any known restrictions allows him the perspective of several lives lived at once; this illusion becomes firmly rooted within him; now he is only interested in the fleeting, the extreme facility of everything. Children set off each day without a worry in the world. Everything is near… the worst material conditions are fine…. Beloved imagination, what I most like in you is your unsparing quality….”

Manifesto of Surrealism by Andre Breton 1924

The most fragile thing in life, the belief in life or rather the concept of belief, which can so easily be lost, thus we can shift this fragility to the mind and its play in our cautiousness. Can then vulnerability find its end in the reality of dreams? I the

Surrealism aimed at capturing life through dreams as an attempt to escaping restricting boundaries, notions, ideas and concepts that detach the soul from its fundamental freedom. In the exercise of experimental art, realism has been masked with surrealism in the search for the purest for of creativity, that emerging from the subconscious of the artist.

Andre Breton recalls that children are without a care in the world.  Children don’t require the help of dreams because they constantly use their inbuilt genius force to create, it is the way they grow and learn, it is a natural state at childhood.

The creation of Art’s Eyes, step-by-step is a common play day for the children, the invent stories, they act them out they create other beings and scenarios, they illustrate their dreams, yet their dreams are not separate from their reality, they are a vital part of the play and development.  Children walk hand in hand with their imagination, what adults call dreams and illusions children see as their best friend while playing.

The Idea

The experiment served to find the purest expression of freedom, determining what motivates creation, invention, and concluding that creation is a fundamental part of growth and enlightenment; it is natural not just to a few with talent, but creation is an inbuilt quality of all people.

We have all been children and we have all experimented this.

In order to follow that creative drive in its purest form during production it was important to resist the temptation of planning or arranging by script or structuring anything. The children were to simply share their art while playing to be film makers.

They immediately came up with ideas that would form elements of their creation. It was critical the we (the adults) did not stand on the way, with our preconceived ideas of what film making is, so we could follow the children’s drive in the search for the absolute freedom children experience naturally.

From impressionism to cubism and from constructivism to surrealism, all forms of art; literature, music, film, demonstrates the tendencies adopted through time and utilise to express individual ideas and emotions as well as collective states of being.

Through a study of several works of literature, theatre and film I can attempt to call “Experimental” by definition, a essence of collective feeling expressed via consistent or inconstant elements which are found clearly or not in the subcontions, through dreams and illusions or visions, to be let out freely in the form they might choose to be expressed by the artist conscious creative method.

During 1914-1918 the WWI most artist where associated with freedom of expression, the Pre-War Avant- Grades were killed or displaced. A new art emerged as a direct reaction to this.

One can say that, from the birth of surrealism we sought to discover, thanks to cinema, the means of expressing the immense power of dream and employ this force to serve our fundamental need for creating by detaching from that limits, from the boundaries we find with the conventional.

“ It should be noted that when an image or idea appeared the collaborators discarded immediately if it was derived from remembrance, or from their cultural pattern, or if, simply it had a conscious association with another earlier idea. They accepted only those representations as valid which, though they moved them profoundly, had no possible explanation. Naturally, they dispensed with the restrains of customary morality and reason. The motivation was, or meant to be, purely irrational! They are as mysterious and inexplicable to the two collaborators as to the spectator. …. The only method of investigation of the symbols would be, perhaps, psychoanalysis”

VISIONARY FILM. P. Adams Sitney,  1974, Oxford University Press, pg 4

Abstract film, cine poems and lyrical abstraction, dada and surrealist Film, underground film, structural film and video art present a clear experimentation with camera, camera lenses, sound and narrative. In most cases a conscious alienation of cultural patterns, conventions and mainstream practice, challenges or questions the common practice of our art.

The production of Art’s Eyes, raised a big question in the performance of this conscious alienation. Since children perceive and express without restricting patterns and through the natural stream of their imagination. An effort to discard culture or remembrance could have become a barrier for the natural creative flow of the project.

The Production Process

The children chose the pieces of art they wanted to talk about, there was not a particular reason of why they choose the ones the did, only that they were their favourite pictures, they also endeavoured to produce new digital art with an smart phone app.

The children were very conscious of the fact that movie was about them, their play and their experiences everything was a reason to tell one of their endless stories in their infinite game.

The creation of the piece brought many memories from their past games this created even greater fuller stories.

There was tenderness within the imagination findings, and how they were expressed. Also a clear difference between the expression forms each child adopted. While one would speak about the most emotional side of the story and it inward world, the other will focus on the physical side and its relation to the outside world. This is extremely complementary within the piece, yet unplanned and natural. It shows how there is a part of the child’s soul given in within each piece he creates.

When talking about the “Chiquiguays” an invention of a type of very tender humans with long cheeks, a game my children have been playing for years and for which the have huge plans for the future, such a creating a film and a cartoon series etc, my youngest son who is 7, has been extremely protective, not wanted me to share any detail information about the “chiquiguys” so it would not get “copied”.  Children are protective of their creations and they see it as they are,  original  and individual, a part of their identity.

This particular drawing the Gabriel made at school when he was 6, stood out in his class so much that his teacher took aside to give it in to reception so that it would be hanged up in the school’s corridors or halls. Gabriel strongly objected to this, he wanted his picture to come home him. He is proud of and wanted to keep it, not to show it off, since having it hanging around the school would mean that he had to part with creation.

The creation of digital art was such an inspiring and intricate part of the process, the children were creating specifically for the movie, yet their imagination was limitless and with no boundaries, no structures and nothing but a desire to do more.

Post Production

Editing was purely joyous. I do not remember having enjoyed something recently, as much I did editing this film. Listening to the stories behind each piece, admiring the works, getting more and more inspired with to constant art production and finding ways of putting in all in the movie in the most bright and powerful way.

I discovered so many tricks, I didn’t know and amazing effects.

Sound designing was an adventures call. I imagine all different effects to go with their stories the face expressions, their drawings and even their mood during the production process.

Final Notes…

The creative process of making the movie, driven by the boys’ constant desire to produce art, as a part of learning and playing, not to show it off but simply to enjoy, while they express their inwards worlds, marks one of many  positions and influence of cinema that exists beyond the fringes of the Hollywood mainstream such as underground, avant-garde, experimental film and emergent cinematic forms which challenge dominant industry conventions of style and technique.

In this particular exercise we explore motivation for creation and the purest source of the creative drive in human beings.

This experiment demonstrates that artistic creation is a part of being human, and t

DVDSaleshere is motivation other than the one mainstream film production employs.

Considering the historical development of various factions of experimental film, from the early Absolute films of Eggeling and Richter, to the cinema of Warhol, Snow and Brakhage, culminating in contemporary video work of Viola, Wearing and Fiona Tan. Still life, tableaux and the artist in film as well as experimental currents in Eastern European cinema, it is vital to grasp the motivation for creation to understand the expression to the fullest so that it fulfill its purpose.

http://www.artseyeskidsdvd.com

Fifty Shades of Grey: Phenomenon Explained.

“I fall apart in his hands, my body convulsing and shattering into a thousand pieces.”“I unravel at his words, exploding around him as I climax and splinter into a million pieces underneath him”““You. Are. Mine. Come for me, baby” He growls. His words are my undoing, tipping me over the precipice.  My body convulses around him and I …. loudly calling out a garbled version of his name into the mattress”“His voice is hard, hash, raw at my ear and I explode around him as he pounds rapidly into me”Sylvia JohnsonIt is amusing the way the author of Fifty Shades of Grey describes the same thing over and over again in seemly different ways. Men and women, alike, can’t help but feel irresistibly attracted to the word “orgasm” and even more so to the feelings and sensations this phenomenon evokes.The book (I have read up to pg. 145 of the first book) is full of repeated thoughts,   repeated feelings, repeated physical descriptions and mostly repeated sensations.  It encourages not elaborated thinking and offers no space for intelligence. It lends no room to discovery of any unknown passions.  It is definitely not a literary master piece; however, it does not fail to awaken basic human instincts.Mr Grey is rich, handsome, smart, seductive, powerful, talented, sweet, kind, in control, he is ever so polite, but most of all he is horny.I’m one of those people who could not resist the curiosity of knowing what was this all fuss about after witnessing such a huge media frenzy.When I heard comments like: “It has been the best seller in Britain for the past year”and “It’s doing better than Harry Potter did when it first came out!”Well! To be compared with a Harry Potter, a book series that has sold over 450 million copies since first published in 1997;   making it the best selling book series in history.  Harry Potter has been made into a film series which is now the highest grossing film series of all time. The books  have been translated into 67 languages.  What could possible be compared to this?I immediately bought the 3 Grey books.After reading little more than a quarter of the first book, I feel compelled to write about how it feels and about my understanding of the…“Mr Grey phenomenon”:

  • You get 113.000.000 results in 0’22 seconds when you Google it.
  • 40 million copies sold since May 2011, selling at a rate of a book per second.
  • 6370 YouTube related videos, including numerous teaser trailers made by fans.
  • The story has been sold to Hollywood for $5 million.
  • There are numerous celebrities that have been suggested to play the main roles by the Grey fans, and some have actually showed an interest themselves.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey has been spread worldwide by women and by word-of-mouth. No much of the fancy marketing, I suspected, but a video of true Grey Fanatics, which has travel across the globe.

Blessed  be  the Internet!

Why is it so popular?

That is an easy question to answer really, and I don’t see why so many people are still surprised with this phenomenon. It is simply explained thus: The author offers the reader an experience of total sexual debauchery;

Put your hands up whoever does not like sex….

Put your hands up whoever has an amazing and very

fulfilling sex live with no complaints at all whatsoever…

I don’t see many hands up for the first statement, and for the second statemen, I see a few more male hands perhaps ,but not so many female hands.

American studies indicate that 4-10% of adult women have never experienced orgasm.  Women have been found to be orgasmic only 40-80% of the sexual practice.  Physical sexual satisfaction is influenced by several social factors;

Social background: Age, religion, childhood, education and timing of the first sexual experience.

Emotional ties: Happiness in the steady relationship.

Sexual techniques: The use or none use of sexual material.

Returning to the subject, Mr Grey; there is another important element within the story: Unlimited luxury, wealth and power.

Sex and money do it for us, humans. This is the way we are made. Of course, spiritual fulfilment, love and joy shall follow or ideally shall come first.

I do believe it is a trend that has actually tackled about unresolved issues on the topic it lavishes on.  Like any other trend it will pass, but not before people has squeezed out all the potential for discovery and liberation it carries, be it freedom of thought and speech, or freedom in any other form of expression such as freedom in sexual exploration.  This phenomenon can mark the emancipation of a modern woman who is perhaps beginning to admit that she would actually like to get more out of her sex life

Imagine being at an art Gallery; you walk about watching the pictures and sculptures. You know it really isn’t your thing; you don’t quite share the artist’s point of view at all. But suddenly you find yourself looking upon a vivid illustration of two things in life you really like. Those things are things you desire, openly or secretly.  In spite of the colours and texture and even the method of expression, which you actually dislike, you recognise those two elements which are missing in your life, yet brightly expressed before you at the Gallery, in the form of a painting.

Without the need of a luxurious canvas nor a perfect mix in colours, your senses are tickled and lead to the sensations that having those two elements can evoke in you.   You love the feeling,   not the painting itself but what it makes you feel, it awakens something that is within you.

This is how I found myself reading Fifty Shades of Grey with a strange, yet almost involuntary, enthusiasm it was a contradiction:  In regards to the literary work, I did not find I took to the author; her style, I found too simple to the point of patronizing and at times boring.  Her interactions with her subconscious, at first I thought  they were funny, then, soon, annoying, but later, even irritating.  The repeated and, in my opinion, wrongful use and mention of an “Inner Goddess” I found very disturbing.

But then, there is this gorgeous male specimen, rich, dominant, smart, beautiful, horny, and an “intoxicating” irresistible and constant promise of a sensational sex life experience.

Given this, who needs literature?

Unless of course you stop and realise that you are actually reading a book.

The mysteries of dreams and imagination play an important role here.

I am happy to confess that to this day I have not yet ever lead a sexual life which I could call “Memorable”

I dare say I am not the only woman in this planet that has not had a sex life to boast about and recall from it remarkable and unforgettable sex experiences.

There is also the love element in the book.

Twenty pages into the book, I knew what was going to happen:

Love Story. But it is not any odd love story. It is an intense love story.

Seen it, done it, lived it, felt it, watched it, heard about it, cried about it, laughed about it,  a million times before over and over, everywhere you look….

Predictable!  So what?

It is a love Story, and we, humans, cannot get enough of them. This is all we want, in life.  All we think about it, all we wish, all we sigh for…

What is your favourite story? For most people it will be a love story.

I confess I found myself wanting to read on, none stop. Even though I knew what was going to happen I wanted to be there, I wanted to witness it. I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to participate in that first date, and in the first kiss, and the first night, the first time again!

How would that feel to make love for the first time again?

Surely I could do that, I could even be Ana, and I could be with Mr Grey; from the comfort of my own bed or couch I could take part in the Fifty Shades of Grey love story.

That’s actually what fiction books do, and I guess that’s what they are supposed to do.

Now, the main question arises:

Is a book good because of the exquisite use of literacy, imaginary, sentence formulation, thought provoking reflections, complexity of the storyline, themes, ideology and ability to challenge our intelligence and influence our environment?

Or

Is a book good when it manages to engage the readers in a way that they feel invited to, by their own imagination, be instantly transported into the world the author has created for them,  and they do not wish to depart from it until the invitation no longer exists, when the book is finished?

It is the concept of reading that we are judging. Not the book.

In my opinion the book is by no means “Good” in what I understand a good book should be.

But it is useful and entertaining for other things that do not necessarily need literacy.

When it comes to sex, fantasising is very useful.  How much easier can it get when someone else has done all the fantasying for you?

The author might not have severed you delicacy, exquisite taste and eloquence, she has done better than that, as far as sexual fantasying is concerned, she is giving you raw material for you to chew on at will.

Fifty Shades of Grey has its fans but it also has its haters. I’ve read many comments, a large number were negative comments. One stood out particularly:

“Over rated crap, I wish I hadn’t finish it”

This made me laugh out loud.

Whoever finishes a book or a series of books if they are not enjoying them?

Unless, the book is compulsory course work.

Who knows? What if the collective subconscious mind has made it a must read, compulsory book?

Do the haters hate he books, or do they hate the fact that they enjoy the books?

The author is not just brave, she is actually facing the facts: This is what we fancy now and then, preferable discretely and at times from a distance.

Let’s face it: We are sex-taboo-society.

Maybe its time we came to terms with this.

This is my point of view in the phenomenon.  It has made me particularly interested in sexuality studies in our society; I will be doing some more research on the topic.

I can’t wait to read your comments!

Sylvia Johnson

Chevaliers de Sangreal

Hans Zimmer

His music so profound,  charged with sensitivity, it depicts emotion and overrides feelings, it makes the listener fully involved with what we wants to transmit. Great stories made out of great music scores.

Hans Zimmer ,1957,  the ex-member of the 80’s pop group The Bunggles, is knows as one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed composers.  The German born, music artist, has  won 55 awards wins and  has 70 award nominations, his work is behind 144 titles.

Amongst some of his very best :

Gladiator, 2000, (Now we are free) a song by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard, a melodic representation of joy, freedom and strength.  A magic harmony that transcends the heart and dives deep down into the soul, surfing for memories of equal feelings, subconsciously yearning to capture the moment  and keep it alive for all eternity.

The Lion King, 1994,  (King of Pride Rock), a promised fulfilled, a dream come true, a sigh in the wind turned into hope. Justice prevails, joy and excitement are restored. The middle to end of this  music score is a true musical representation of hope.

The Rock, 1996, (theme) an ordinary man sometimes can be called to become a hero. A solemn demand to save the day, a mission that is far beyond his reach.  The confrontation of fear. This music score reveals the end result of the story with a certain “We will be victorious”.

The Dark Knight, 2008, (music soundtrack)  a dark  hero. This is the modern representation of an ancient character. When the supernatural shows its dark side to the mortals, there is an overwhelming sense of insanity.  Hans Zimmer’s music soundtrack does not fail to provoke underlying feelings of fear anxiety and chaos.

Inception,  2011,(Time)  this song suggests the opposite of its meaning; no time, no space, dreams and reality  are fused  and made subject to a state of mind.  The song Time has the quality to drag us into the dream and to make us want to be a part of it.

The Da Vinci Code 2006

Chevaliers de Sangreal

Chevaliers de Sang real is however a superior music score.  A magnificent  piece filled with emotion which engages the listener. Its compelling gaze into holiness, and the spiritual mysteries it conceals; the secrets that whispers.  The song highlights a doubt that challenges common truth. The cunning lies in history. It suggests the eternal search, the searcher and that which is searched for, all within the music score.  Cheveliers de Sangreal tells us of that which makes humanity obscure and complicated.

This piece, by acknowledging of history that it carries within, allows the flow of images instantly created by the subconscious with every beat. Images of treachery, the power of envy, the supremacy of evil,  sacred tears of love,  the muted sound of screaming justice, the survival of the Sang real.

Allers, R., Minkoff, R.,  The Lion King, 1994, USA: Walt Disney Pictures.

Bay, M., The Rock, 1996, USA: Hollywood Pictures.

Scott, R., Gladiator, 2000, USA & UK: Dream Works SKG.

Zwick, E.,  The Last Samurai, 2003, USA:  Wanner Bros.

Howard, R.  The Da Vinci Code, 2006, USA:  Columbia Pictures.

Nolan, C., The Dark Knight, 2008, USA: Wanner Bros.

Sylvia Johnson

“The America” 2011. SoundTrack Analisys 

The film’s soundtrack struck me as sound perfect. It makes an amazing use of sound to determine moods, feelings and thoughts. Some scenes are exclusively portrayed mostly  with the sound mixing, images become a complement to the sound.

The film is primarily very quiet. It portrays melancholy, the loneliness of the outcasts.

The them music score unmistakably guides us in a world of fear, uncertainty and ill fate.   The hopelessness of the main characters “the American” is efficiently portrayed in different ways with the soundtrack throughout, making the images an aesthetic and poetic complement to the story line, expressed mainly through sound.

The pre- opening music score melody, perfectly fits the beautiful photography, which deceitfully portrays a sense of peace and harmony; a loving couple watching the fire place, a cozy hut in the mountains, a landscape covered with snow. All this adds to the sudden contrast of total silence when danger is announced with the cautiousness of the main character.  The truth about the film’s tragic story line is immediately revealed, with the first gun shot sound effects.  The American, played by George Clooney, shots his innocent girlfriend in the head when she has turned her back on him.  After this no harmonious melody will deceive us again.

The opening dramatic score reveals the end the movie at the very beginning.  It is certainly a sad movie with a sad ending.  This music score suggest an unattractive and uncertain future for the American. Some parts of this tune resemble those with trumpets for marching on to war soldiers, in a no return journey.

With silence, solitude prevails as the main factor in the character’s line of action, throughout the film.

The use of particular popular songs, in a very low volume in background, during different scenes brings the audience closer the life of the characters; The song “Bambola” in the prostitute’s scene, the popular opera song in the priest’s dinner scene, and the song “Napolitano” also knows as “Americano” in the bar’s scene.  

The main character is always looking behind his back to see if he is being followed by an assassin. Throughout the film I was impressed with the heavy use of Foley in the sound design. Foley is the main element during most of the scenes, it sounds louder than usual, louder than the dialogue.  It is heavily rely upon in the story line, it usage does not fail to portray, desperation, loneliness and monotony and it adds a  complementary slow rhythm to the film.

The striking photography matches the soundtrack beautifully, like when a landscape shot of the villages is shown while we hear the cathedral bell sound.

Foley is used to tell much of the story; when the American is building a weapon and does not want to be heard, he uses the going off of the cathedral bell to mask the sound of his hammer. Again, when in the middle of the night,  he is follwed by an assassin, he takes his shoes off so that his enemy won’t hear his footsteps.  The outcome of this thrilling scene is the result of more sound; when a motorbike appears, its noise throws into confusion both hunter and prey.

 Corbijn, A., The American, 2011, USA: Universal Studios.

Sylvia Johnson

Montana Mischief versus  Luc Besson’s Joan of Arch

Studying the films of Luc Besson  we see that excess and stylization are the two major hallmarks.  We are aware of this in characterization, decor and genre. The characters are usually larger than life, physically strong and they seem to lack psychological or historical depth, rather like comic-strip characters.  They are spectacular images cut loose from any clear historical context. The decor sometimes overrides narrative.

 What makes Besson’s heroes inspiring is that we all have something in common with them, that is their weaknesses.

When asked about strong female characterizations,  Besson replied that he found women much more interesting to make films about,  because they are not as strong as men, physically. The strategies that women adopt to be strong is what makes them so interesting in movies’ leading roles, said Besson.

 

Montana Mischief wants to be created  from building a leader of spectacular pictures with an underlying story. Focusing on decor, genre, impacting images, we attempt to create psychological depth to the characters and a meaningful story from a clear historical background. The main character evolving and developing from visual images. Her character traits are revealed in the ways she chooses to deal with her circumstances. The story line is illustrated in pictures, the dialogue and soundtrack aid in complementing the deceptive story line which purposefully misleads the audience to make different suggestions as to what the “Truth” is.

 

The main character Janelle Montana owes partly inspiration for her existence to the epic character Joan of Arc, an adolescent who dreams and obeys a higher call.  

The life of Joan of Arc reflects the rising of a messiah. The question that has entertained historians is the “How did she happen?”  How did a young girl of sixteen or seventeen convince the Dauphine of France the future Charles VII to give her an army, to lead a battle against the English.  She drove the English out of Orleans and Charles was crowned King.  Subsequently Joan was captured by the Burgundians  sold to the English  tried by the church and executed at Rouen.

She appeared in a time of unrest when a nation needed a savior. Joan was sent from God. Her virginity was a powerful sign of integrity in her society. She has considered to have a pure and devoted heart.  Most importantly Joan of Arc represented a challenge that had to be met.

I chose to build a character that held some sort of similarities with Saint Joan of Arc,  not in the magnitude of her influence but in the reflection of her emotions, her character traits and how she is viewed by others in her society.

I wanted to create a character who was special no so much for her dreams, vision and God sent messages but for her strong personality which was  a direct inheritance from a very respected, feared and exceptional predecessor.  A character who would be free from the stereotypical format for a modern hero.  A character passionate and strong induced by the command of a greater source of power.  Janelle Montana is character that can stand alone as a savior/hero, for she is been given permission to do so by a higher authority. She is trusted because of her inherited character the loved shown to her and the loyalty of all those around her give her strength, yet she is especially vulnerable to ill fate. The how she deals with the overwhelming conflict that arises is a powerful message.

 Sylvia Johnson
Ancient Hollywood Film Industry
The price of a cinema ticket can’t be justified. Most cinema goers don’t look at movies as something that can be bought, they look at movies as something that enhances other experiences, and it is that which has monetary value. Prices have to be set with this in mind. The whole exhibition industry is still based on the old “selling popcorn” idea.

The film industry has not made any real attempt to build a sustainable investor class. Other industries have a stable funding sector, developed around a focus on investors concerns and standardized structures.

The film industry business remains exclusive for the privileged. Although there are great alternative new paths for film making, from production to exhibition, it is still a very expensive art form and a more so competitive field. The industry is monopolised as ever by the same middle class or with better socioeconomic backgrounds people.  When going to the cinema we get mainly more of the same. The poor economy limits diversity.
There is no structure or mechanism to increase liquidity of film investments, either through clear exit strategies, or secondary capital markets. The true reality of film investment is that it is a long recoupment cycle with little planning for an exit strategy. Without a way to get out, fewer people choose to get in.
American independent filmmakers build business plans based on models from before 2008, when Lehman Brothers, former major investment bank in USA, collapsed. Expectations have changed considerably. Products are valued differently. Funding strategies must change.
The film industry is a “single product” industry. The product is available on different formats, yet it remains a single product. Being such a capital intensive enterprise, selling only one thing is economically unproductive in regards to time and money. Films could become a platform to launch many different products and enterprises; this would enhance the movie experience and build up the community. Making events out of our movies is something to think about.
Films strongest attribute is its ability to work as a community organizing tool. Film forces us to feel, to think and to engage. People’s online time watching content is only 30%, what people really  want is connectivity and community. There used to be film societies, we need to recreate a community aspect to film making/going.
Independent film financing is still based around an antiquated foreign sales model, despite the fact that all acquisition markets are collapsing and fee levels shrink market to market. This old model is centred on stars´ perceived value. The ones who suffer from this are the investors who take the advice of the “experts” who know about how things ‘used to’ be done.
Creators, Distributors and Marketers have accepted a dividing line between art and commerce, between content and marketing. By not engaging the filmmaker in how to use marketing tools within their narrative and how to bring narrative techniques to marketing, we diminish the discovery and promotional potential of each film. We limit the scope of our art by restricting it to the 90 minutes product. Movies should lead us to new worlds, bridge us to  a subsequent experience, connect us to new passions and love, help us embrace a more expansive definition of cinema, life and self.

 Sylvia Johnson

The Digital Era in Europe

The arrival of the digital era presents us with new challenges but also with great opportunities.  The film maker of the digital era experiences artistic freedom provided by  technology, those who can meet the challenges,  fast learning and adapting, will be the first to benefit.  Our viewers’ expectations are growing in demand and the digitisation of cinemas in Europe comes in response to the growth and innovation, introducing cinema-goers to a whole new viewing experience.

Digital technology affects the distribution of films via linear and non-linear platforms such as the internet or VOD, which makes European cinema more available to all. For the many art-house and low-budget films that are not widely distributed or don’t make it to the film festivals, digitisation offers the possibility of reaching wider audiences than ever. Another breakthrough for the popularisation of films is how easy it is to add multiple foreign language subtitles to a digital copy; this makes it much easier for the cross-border dissemination of films in the European Union.

EU Member states’ that introduction of film education at all levels of schooling is of vital importance. This is a long term investment in young viewers essential to developing their ability to critically respond to the images and language of film, and to foster an appreciation for film as an art form.

The digital age covers of production, distribution and exhibition.

Europe Cinema commissions’ financial models are now included in plans for the transition, such changes as equipping cinemas with digital projectors, especially small and independent cinemas in rural or under-developed regions.

A night out to go to the cinema is frequently the most important social meeting for the residents of towns or villages. Local governmental bodies are responsible for making the transition into the digital era feasible for the cinemagoer.

Flexible financial models for the digitisation of cinemas, such as European structural funds,  loans provided by the European Investment Bank, funds from the MEDIA programme or mechanisms integrating distributors and exhibitors can contribute to the transition.

Digitisation takes into account continual technological innovation, and the future necessity to adapt to newer screening formats.

As with every living organism, the health of European cinema depends on the functioning of each of its organs in unison. The effective co-operation of the film industry and the support of member states and the European institutions are essential – the report European Cinema in the Digital Era therefore sends a clear political signal to the film industry and compels us to take concrete action to support European cinema.

Sources
Cineeuropa.org
European Union Cinema Commission.
Piotr Borys: Polish MEP elected by the Civic Platform Party, which belongs to the European People’s Party. A member of the Committee on Culture and Education, he will present the report entitled “European Cinema in the Digital Era” in Brussels today
Sylvia Johnson

The British Film Industry

The core UK film industry has become a substantial industry employing 33.500 workers.

While around three quarters of the jobs are based in London and the South East, there are significant numbers of employees throughout the UK. The film industry provides jobs for some the UK’s most highly qualified workers. For example, 59% of the production workforce are university educated, 23% of the production workforce have a graduate level qualification specifically relevant to the film industry.

The skills of this workforce are reflected in their average earnings; the average gross income for the workers in the UK production sector is approximately £31.700 per annum, a third higher than the UK average income.

The  occupations which earn the highest wages are in editing/post-production/visual effects, production/script and development, and sound/electrical, although it should be acknowledged that low- paid and low- skilled workers are also common, particularly in the exhibition sector.

On a turnover of £3.3 billion, the core UK film industry contributed around £1.5 billion to UK Gross Domestic Product. This means that the core UK film industry contributed more than twice as much to GDP as, for example, the machine tools manufacturing industry.

The core UK film industry has undertaken a total of £635 million on fixed capital investment in infrastructure and new technology.

The film industry has a symbiotic relationship with other creative industries, for every job supported by the film industry a further job is supported through indirect and induced multiplier impacts. Therefore the industry helps to support 67.000 FTE jobs in total.

The core UK film industry contributes greatly to the cultural life of the nation. Successful UK film productions are a means of expression of British identity. UK films also address the social  challenges that the country faces in the 21rst century, such as drug addiction, prejudice and race relations.  The support provided by the film industry has also ensured that several film makers maintained a British setting into stories, rather than translating them into the context of another country.  For example there was a speculation that the Harry Porter’s characters were to be depicted as Americans with the school named as Hogwarts High. Also the UK benefits from stories originally set overseas being translated to the UK when they are made into films, for example, “Run Fat Boy Run” was originally written as being set in New York but London has been chosen as the backdrop for the film.

The impact of film on tourism is well documented through a number of case studies and is recognised in the marketing campaigns of tourist boards around the world, for example, Movie Maps are available to direct tourist to key locations depicted in films such as Match Point, Closer, Bridget Jones, Thunderbird, Pride and Prejudice, Love Actually, Miss Potter.

The available evidence suggests that 1 in 10 visits to the country maybe attributed to the impact of British films. This means £1.8 billion a year of visitor spend a year.

The Film Tax Relief is vital to sustaining competitiveness of film production in the UK. With that tax incentive in place we attract £800 million a year of inward production investments productions. Without the Film Tax Relief we estimate that film production would be 75% smaller, yet the cost would be much greater, reducing UK GDP by £1.3 billion a year.

Sources:

Oxford Economics

UK Film Council 

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