Monday, 29 April 2013

Hey everyone,

here's my contribution: my presentation about "Women and Tattoos in the 20's".

You can download the powerpoint here --->

by Rodolfo Vieira

Friday, 26 April 2013

1920's Jazz Presentation

Hello everyone.

Here is the "Jazz in the 1920's" Powerpoint. If someone needs help in any aspect regarding the ppt feel free to ask.

Francisco Ribeiro

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Surrealist Games

Dear coleagues, 
As promised, here are the photos of the surrealist games presentation!

"then distinguishing psychiatry sciences damage psycopathy
with psycopathy based institute of blackwood college
blackwood said evidence clear interview programmes useless

even weighty psychopaths treating non-offenders programmes provided treatments"

Ana Tomaz

I hate Mondrian! Sort of...

So, maybe I don’t really hate him that much. I guess I just don't like his “squares” paintings.
Seriously, the man painted a bunch of red, blue and yellow squares, and was hailed as a ground-breaking artist for it.
If I don’t like his paintings, then why am I writing about him? Because squares!
Although I dislike Mondrian, he was truly innovative for his time and one of the greatest names of Modernist Art.
So, here is a short description of who Piet Mondrian was and what he did. I warn you right away: he was a very “square” painter. If you google Mondrian (DO IT!), you will find A LOT paintings with red, blue and yellow squares. Oh, and also cars, shoes, dresses and apples with those patterns.

Piet Mondrian (born Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan in 1872) was a Dutch painter. His work marked the transition from the Hague School and Symbolism to Neo-Impressionism and Cubism (more like “squarism” – See? I just invented a word! Give me credit for it!). He is most famous for his contributions to the De Stijl movement, also known as Neoplasticism.
This movement was founded in the Netherlands in 1917 by painter, designer, writer and critic Theo Van Doesburg. The neoplastic artists’ tried to express a utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order, by painting squares! I’m kidding! Seriously, though…
In fact, they advocated pure abstraction and universality, reducing their visual compositions to the essentials of shape (horizontal and vertical directions) and colour (primary colours, black and white).

Mondrian’s first works were mostly landscapes and pastoral images, borrowing from the Hague School of artists, with either naturalistic or impressionistic features. These first paintings marked his initial search for a personal style and were what can be called “representational”, drawing inspiration from Pointilism and Fauvism (The Red Mill and Trees in Moonrise).
For a few years (1911-14), Mondrian lived in Paris, where he contacted with Picasso and Georges Braque, whose cubist style influenced the painter’s work. His depictions of trees show experimentations with Cubism (The Grey Tree, 1912).
His turn towards Abstraction, which would become his defining feature (along with squares!) in the Modernist movement after 1920, began during WWI, when he stayed at the Laren artists’ colony with Bart van der Leck and van Doesburg, which led to the creation of the De Stijl/Neoplasticism movement. From here on out, he only painted squares! Squares, squares, squares!
His works from the late 1930s-early 1940s showed Mondrian’s turn from his signature “black and white canvas with blue, red and yellow squares”-paintings. In my snoopy and yet humble opinion, these paintings are better than his “usual stuff” and some of them are actually incredible. His Composition with Four Yellow Lines (1933) presented yellow lines instead of black ones (he was such a rebel). Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1943) represents the city grid of Manhattan and the boogie-woogie music, which Mondrian loved.

Mondrian died of pneumonia in 1944 and was buried in the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn. In his time, Mondrian was considered the founder of the most modern art.

I still do not see the appeal of Composition with Yellow, Blue, and Red. However, to be fair, he does have some very interesting and visually striking works after 1933.

I think you can find, if not all, most of his works in this link:
Here are some other useful links, if you want to know more about Mondrian and “Squarism”:
·         Yves Saint Laurent’s dress based on Mondrian’s painting:

Monday, 22 April 2013

Lawless - Great movie about the Prohibition

I don't think many people are actually checking out the blog, so I wonder why continue to post stuff...

Anyway, we mentioned movies and some of us seemed to place a lot of importance on the cast of a movie...I wonder what really defines an actor as a star...Anyway I leave you a suggestion for a must see movie about the Prohibition era. Watch it not for the "stars" but for the incredible story, and all the tiny elements that make a movie a piece of art. (wanna watch it for free? google: Lawless putlocker)

"Lawless is a 2012 American crime drama film directed by John Hillcoat. The screenplay by Nick Cave is based on the historical novel The Wettest County in the World (2008) by Matt Bondurant. The film stars Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, and Guy Pearce. Lawless centers on the brothers Jack, Forrest and Howard Bondurant, who sold moonshine in Franklin County, Virginia, during Prohibition in the United States. The film was in development for about three years before it was produced. It screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and was theatrically released on August 29, 2012."


Sunday, 14 April 2013

It’s the Great Machine, Charlie Brown!

Alright, so perhaps it was more like a giant pumpkin.

However, I think the same level of astonishment and wonder felt by Charlie in the 1966 TV Special applies to our period from a technological point of view. In fact, the 1920s were very prolific years in the machine-inventing area.

Here is a list of some of the machines invented in this period:
  • Traffic lights (1920): the first 4-way three colour traffic light was invented by police officer William L. Potts In Detroit, Michigan
  • Hair dryer (1920): the first handheld household hair dryer was not very efficient and overheated easily, but it beat the alternative: prior to this invention, women used to blow-dry their hair by attaching a pipe to a vacuum cleaner
  • Lie detector/Polygraph (1921): invented by John A. Larson, a medical student, and Leonarde Keeler, a detective, it measured the heartbeat and breathing rate to check whether the person was lying or not
  • Convertible (1922): the credit for envisioning and building the first practical retractable manual hardtop system belongs to Ben P. Ellerbeck; however, the first power-operated convertible was made by Georges Paulin in 1934 (a Peugeot 402BL Éclipse Décapotable) – side note: Paulin was a dentist.
  • Bulldozer (1923): invented by a farmer, James Cummings, and a draftsman, J. Earl McLeod.
  • Instant Camera (1923): although Edwin Land is credited with creating the first commercial instant camera in 1948, the first actual instant camera was invented in 1923 by Samuel Shlafrock.
  •   Pop-Up Toaster (1926): Charles Perkins Strite invented it in 1919 and Waters-Genter Company developed the first consumer pop-up toaster in 1926, which could simultaneously toast both sides of the bread and turn itself off automatically after making the toast. It was called the TOASTMASTER! – Thank you, Charles P. Strite for making my breakfast come true in an easy, non-life threatening way!
  • Drive-through (1928): City Center Bank, today known as UMB Financial Corporation, opened the first drive-up window. A few years later, the Grand National Bank in St. Louis opened a drive-through with a slot for night deposits. Today, drive-through rules the world!
Honourable mentions go to objects which were invented in this period as well, but cannot be considered machines because, well, they don’t have, like, engines or anything. Here they are:
  • Jungle Gym (1920), by Sebastian Hinton
  • The Band-Aid (1920), by Earle Dickson
  • Cotton Swabs, a.k.a. Q-Tips (1923), by Polish-born American Leo Gerstenzang – side note: he originally named them “Baby Gays”. Seriously.
  • Cheeseburger (1924 or 1926, the dates are a little fuzzy), by Lionel Sternberger.
  •   Bubble Gum (1928)! Invented by an accountant, Walter Diemer, marketed under the name “Dubble Bubble”. Its sales exceeded 1.5 million dollars in its first year.
  • The Tampon (1929) was made by Dr. Haas and sold under the name Tampax.
So, now you can all sleep better at night, knowing where your breakfast and your bubble gum come from.
Also, J. Earl McLeod, the man who invented the bulldozer, is NOT the Highlander, so don’t go trying to cut his head off!

Don’t forget to be awesome,
Sara Santos.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Jiddu Krishnamurti (May 12, 1895 – February 17, 1986) was a speaker and writer on philosophical and spiritual subjects, and was widely considered as a World Teacher. His subject matter included: psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, inquiry, human relationships, and bringing about radical change in society. He constantly stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasized that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social."

"Krishnamurti was born into a Telugu Brahmin family in British India. In early adolescence, he had a chance encounter with prominent occultist and theosophist Charles Webster Leadbeater in the grounds of the Theosophical Society headquarters at Adyar in Madras. He was subsequently raised under the tutelage of Annie Besant and Leadbeater, leaders of the Society at the time, who believed him to be a "vehicle" for an expected World Teacher. As a young man, he disavowed this idea and dissolved the Order of the Star, an organization that had been established to support it."

"He claimed allegiance to no nationality, caste, religion, or philosophy, and spent the rest of his life traveling the world, speaking to large and small groups and individuals. He authored many books, among them The First and Last Freedom, The Only Revolution, and Krishnamurti's Notebook. Many of his talks and discussions have been published. His last public talk was in Madras, India, in January 1986, a month before his death at his home in Ojai, California. His supporters, working through non-profit foundations in India, Great Britain and the United States, oversee several independent schools based on his views on education. They continue to transcribe and distribute his thousands of talks, group and individual discussions, and writings by use of a variety of media formats and languages."

                                                                                                                                                   ~ César ~

Saturday, 13 April 2013

The MGM's Lion

I saw this picture and I just had to post it here.
It shows how one of the most iconic image from cinema was made.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Helen Keller

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, her 100th birthday. A prolific author, Keller was well-travelled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women's suffrage, labor rights, socialism, and other radical left causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1971.

                                                                                                                                                   ~ César ~

Dame Rebecca West

Dame Cicely Isabel Fairfield (21 December 1892 – 15 March 1983), DBE, better known as Rebecca West, or Dame Rebecca West, was an English author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer. A prolific, protean author who wrote in many genres, West was committed to feminist and liberal principles and was one of the foremost public intellectuals of the twentieth century. She reviewed books for The Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Sunday Telegraph, and the New Republic, and she was a correspondent for The Bookman[disambiguation needed]. Her major works include Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), on the history and culture of Yugoslavia; A Train of Powder (1955), her coverage of the Nuremberg trials, published originally in The New Yorker; The Meaning of Treason, later The New Meaning of Treason, a study of World War II and Communist traitors; The Return of the Soldier, a modernist World War I novel; and the "Aubrey trilogy" of autobiographical novels, The Fountain Overflows, This Real Night, and Cousin Rosamund. Time called her "indisputably the world's number one woman writer" in 1947. She was made CBE in 1949, and DBE in 1959, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to British letters.

                                                                                                                                                   ~ César ~

Sunday, 7 April 2013

"I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it."

All hail our Ford!

So, I know that we are studying the 1920-1940 periods. But, since we were talking about film critics the other day, I thought it was only fitting to acknowledge the death of one very important (and funny) American film critic: Roger Ebert.
Roger Ebert, who passed away on April 4th at the age of 70, was a journalist, film critic and screenwriter. He wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times for over 40 decades and won the Pulitzer Prize Criticism in 1975. He published more than 20 books and a lot of collections of reviews. He was also an advocate for disability rights, a recovering alcoholic, a memoirist and a regular contributor to the New Yorker’s cartoon caption contest. Man, this guy was busy!
Along with Gene Siskel, Ebert helped popularize film reviewing with the shows Sneak Previews and At the Movies. They also coined the expression “Two Thumbs Up”, for when both critics gave the same film a positive review (which, as I gather, was not often). In 2005, Ebert was the first film critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2002, Ebert was diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands. Later he became unable to speak and ear due to complications in surgery. However, he continued to write in print and online, since he could no longer host shows.
His final published reviews were for The Hostand From Up on Poppy Hill, which got a 2.5 out of 4. He reviewed Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder, but it wasn’t published.
Ebert also compiled "best of the year" movie lists beginning in the 1960s, which helped provide an overview of his critical preferences. Last year’s choice was (unsurprisingly) Argo.
He is considered by many one of the best and most important film critics in America. Here is what George R.R. Martin (of course I had to mention him at some point in this blog!) said about Roger Ebert:
“Roger (somehow I think of him as 'Roger,' not 'Ebert,' though I never met him in the flesh, and spoke to him only once, by telephone, in the early 1970s when both of us were young and dinosaurs roamed the earth) has been my favorite film critic since forever. I did not always agree with him, but I always found him insightful and fun to read. He was not just a terrific critic, he was a terrific WRITER.
He was One of Us too. A fan, and an SF fan at that. In his youth, he wrote for fanzines, and he even published a few short SF stories in Ted White's AMAZING and FANTASTIC along about the same time I was publishing in those selfsame magazines. If he had not gone on to be the world's best film critic, he might well have been a successful SF writer.
A brilliant man, a good life. I give him two thumbs up.”

He was also an extremely funny man. Some of his comments on the films he HATED are delightful. I leave you here with a few of them:
Armageddon, one star. OK, say you do succeed in blowing up an asteroid the size of Texas. What if a piece the size of Dallas is left? Wouldn't that be big enough to destroy life on Earth? What about a piece the size of Austin? Let's face it: Even an object the size of that big Wal-Mart outside Abilene would pretty much clean us out, if you count the parking lot.
The Brown Bunny, zero stars. I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than The Brown Bunny. (When the movie’s director responded by mocking Ebert’s weight, Ebert said, “It is true that I am fat, but one day I will be thin, and he will still be the director of The Brown Bunny.")
Jason X, half star. "This sucks on so many levels." Dialogue from "Jason X"; rare for a movie to so frankly describe itself. "Jason X" sucks on the levels of storytelling, character development, suspense, special effects, originality, punctuation, neatness and aptness of thought.

Mad Dog Time, zero stars. "Mad Dog Time" is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time. Oh, I've seen bad movies before. But they usually made me care about how bad they were. Watching "Mad Dog Time" is like waiting for the bus in a city where you're not sure they have a bus line.... "Mad Dog Time" should be cut into free ukulele picks for the poor.
Spice World, half star. Spice World is obviously intended as a ripoff of A Hard Day's Night which gave The Beatles to the movies...the huge difference, of course, is that the Beatles were talented--while, let's face it, the Spice Girls could be duplicated by any five women under the age of 30 standing in line at Dunkin' Donuts.

Good Luck Chuck, one star. There is a word for this movie, and that word is: Ick.
Freddy Got Fingered, zero stars. This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.

 His tweets are also something different (through Buzzfeed):
·         After 3D re-re-re-release, George Lucas plans to bring "Star Wars" to radio, vaudeville, puppet shows and medieval pageant.
·         One man, one wife, says Romney--whose great-grandfather had five wives, and great-great-grandfather had 12.
·         Trump: How did Obama get into Harvard? Me: How did Bush get into Yale? Why didn't Trump get into the Hair Club for Men?
·         Sarah Palin rummages online frantically erasing her rabble-rousing Tweets like a Stalinist trimming non-persons out of photos.
·         Self-help books are bullshit. Read a good book. That'll help you.
Don't forget to be awesome,
Sara Santos

PS: There is this really good website called mental_floss. It has all sorts of fun fact stuff about all areas of culture: HISTORY, LITERATURE, FILMS, TV SERIE, PRESIDENTS, LANGUAGE, BRAINY GAMES, and SCIENCE!
Like, did you know the expression OMG was first used in a letter to Winston Churchill in 1917?
Or if you are really interested in theories on Parallel Universes...(Spoiler: there are no scientific experiments to support any of the current theories!)