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Arty Farty Friday: Exit Through the Gift Shop

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I think I’ve already mentioned my love for Banksy, the notorious graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.

He’s also published a few books which featured photos of his graffiti work as well as a hilarious commentary on art, life and politics.

He also shares anecdotes about how the works were created.

Nothing is known of his identity, however he has become the symbol of street art, his art works are a political and social commentary and have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.

He is one prolific artist, and a cheeky bugger to boot!

One of his most daring stunts was to graffiti Israel’s 425-mile-long West Bank barrier, separating Israel from the Palestinian territories.

The images are thought-provoking and I urge you to google them.

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Banksy has made some interesting statements regarding museum, galleries and the art work in general.

Although they are meant to be places for the common folk, the decision about what gets to hang on the walls, therefore what is deemed high art, is made by a chosen few.

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Apart from that, only a percentage of the public actually go to museums, therefore the access to art is limited.

That’s one of the reasons I’m so fond of street art.

It enriches the cities, with walls serving as a platform, a canvas to express ideas to the passers-by and Banksy is the loudest and most recognisable voice among graffiti artists.

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Banksy backed up his statements regarding museums  when he pulled his infamous museum prank.

He would go disguised to places like The Tate or The British Museum and hang up his own work among the exhibits.

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He pulled the same prank in New York museums—the Metropolitan Museum, MoMA, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Brooklyn Museum.

Less said about museum security, the better…

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Some of Banksy’s pieces were removed a few hours later, other lingered for weeks, other still were added to the museum collection as a valuable piece.

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I could go on about how important and revolutionary Banksy’s approach to art is, but this post is really about his 2010 documentary Exit Though The Gift Shop.

The project started out as a bunch of footage of street artists taken by an amateur filmmaker Thierry Guetta who managed to document this elusive and short-lived art form.

What the film ended up being is a head scratching account of how the art world will embrace, and spend a fortune on, anything that is deemed the next best thing.

The documentary is hilarious and you will fall for the array of mad characters.

I can’t help thinking that perhaps this documentary is one of the greatest pranks the elusive Banksy has even played.

You’ll see what I mean when you give it a try 🙂

Even if neither graffiti or art is your thing, this is perhaps one of the most interesting and entertaining documentaries you’ll ever see.

And here’s a funny little thing I made as homage to Mister Brainwash, Magzy really liked it, so this ones for her 😉

Richard Armitage mickey studded pop art small

Arty Farty Friday: Grey Gardens

I have something special for Arty Farty Friday today as the topic I’ve chosen isn’t really about art in the exact meaning, but concerns a 1975 documentary that moved me to bits.

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Grey Gardens depicts the everyday lives of two reclusive socialites living in a decrepit mansion in East Hampton in increasing squalor and isolation.

Although Edith Beale, known as Big Edie, and her daughter Edith Beale- Little Edie, are quite well known in the US as they were related to Jackie Kennedy Onassis, I had never heard of them before this documentary ran up and punched me in the face 🙂

Let me tell you, both Big Edie and Little Edie are a piece of work, but you can’t help but fall in love with them.

These women redefined the stereotype of the crazy cat lady everyone in the neighbourhood avoids!

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The Bouvier and Beale families were a sort of American aristocrats, and both mother and daughter were socialites who lived in a beautiful house called Grey Gardens, named so after the colour of the dunes, the cement garden walls, and the sea mist, in the affluent East Hampton.

After Big Edie divorced from her rich husband in 1946, the women continued to live in the mansion, although didn’t have enough money to sustain it.

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By 1975 when the documentary was shot, the house had already become so decrepit and an eyesore in the posh neighbourhood that an intervention was staged.

The Beale women faced eviction and Grey Gardens underwent a thorough clean-up.

In 1972 Jacqueline Onassis and her sister Lee Radziwill, Big Edie’s nieces,  provided the necessary funds to stabilize and repair the dilapidated house so that it would meet village codes.

What they found was terrifying.

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The house was infested by fleas, inhabited by numerous cats and raccoons, deprived of running water, and filled with rubbish and decay, deeming it unfit to be lived in.

By 1975 the house was slowly creeping back to the squalor it was three years before.

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This isn’t a story of how the high-flyers of society can fall, but rather a portrayal of two women living in seclusion, a story told in their own words.

I struggle to summarise what this documentary is about.

On the one hand it shows two women with huge personalities who defied social norms and chose to live their life on their own terms.

It’s a tale of an incredibly close relationship between mother and daughter, of the freedom to express your artistic impulses even if it means being shunned by society.

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On the other hand, it’s a story of co-dependency, emotional blackmail and living with regret over what could have been, resentment of decisions made in the past.

Like in any true American gothic tale, disturbing things happen in remote locations unregulated by the scrutiny of the outside world.

Perhaps Grey Gardens is ultimately about women suffering from a hereditary mental illness which, if left undiagnosed and unchecked, poses a threat and excludes the sufferers from society.

The story of the Beale women was expanded on in the consequent 2006 documentary The Beales of Grey Gardens, which consisted of footage not used in the first film.

Here’s a clip from it, I could have sworn I watched the whole thing on YT, but I can’t find it now.

It focuses more on Little Edie, who has since become something of a fashion icon.

Suffering from alopecia which resulted in hair loss, she created a specific style of dressing which would consist of make-shift turbans and scarves, accompanied by her beloved brooch.

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Edie was a master in fashion recycling, a good 20 years before it became a popular movement, and the documentaries are worth watching if only for her quirky sartorial choices.

Although a devoted catholic, she spends her time reading horoscopes and flirting shamelessly with the filming crew.

Both women love to sing and perform in front of their friends, displaying a need to be the centre of attention and admired.

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The story of the Beale women is so incredibly touching, and they have both become cult figures.

The notoriety they dreamed about didn’t come during their lifetimes, but this documentaries carries on their legacy.

Watching them, it seems like time has stood still for Big Edie and Little Edie, just as it had when they were living together in Grey Gardens.

In 2009 the story was turned into a movie Grey Gardens, with Jessica Lange playing Mrs Beale and Drew Barrymore as Little Edie.

Although the film catches the nuances of the Beale spirit, it doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing.

After all, those are some mighty big shoes to fill…

If you’re wondering whatever happened to Grey Gardens, here’s a slideshow illustrating its extraordinary history:

A film by any other name is still not on my screen…

A film by any other name is still not on my screen…

Foreword:

In the wee small hours of the morning, I had a mini blogging panic attack with regards to this post which had been scheduled to come out a few hours later.

My main assumption was that tornadoes are accompanied by rain, but this is no Kansas and the closest I’ve ever come to a tornado is that little whirl you get when you pull out the drain plug.

If there’s no rain, I was royally screwed!

I can now confirm that there are “rain-wrapped” tornadoes.

Gary Morris Armitage

Oh, and Richard is actually wet in this pic and that’s all the confirmation I need 🙂

So without further ado…

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There are clearly some issues with Richard’s project that he filmed last year in the US and that we’re still waiting on.

The movie has gone through a list of titles:

Category Six

Black Sky

Now we think (but who really knows…) that it’ll be called:

Into the Storm

My favourite by far is Bccmee’s Tornado of Love, but the film producers seem to be ignoring this far superior option.

So what if it would require minimising the main drizzly and windy plotline in favour of Richard getting hot and heavy with his leading lady?

(Release the weather puns…)

Now that’s a story that would sweep me away!

I actually encourage any shifts that will focus on the love part rather than the tornado one, do you catch my drift?

And if things get breezy and actors get disrobed in the process, I say go with the flow…

But seriously though, I really can’t wait for the tornado movie to come out, they say there’s a twist at the end.

 I though that maybe we should give a helping hand and offer some other title alternatives to speed the process up and get Richard onto out screens asap, because waiting is quite a blow!

So make sure your mind is not clouded or in a fog because we may have mist some great film title ideas.

How about:

 The Storm Chaser of Dibley

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There’s something about yellow rain gear that makes me giggle.

You can even protect the essentials from the rain… don’t want things getting damp…

Moving swiftly along… how about:

Gary Hood

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Guy sure looks miserable enough to know a thing or two about dire conditions.

I can just imagine him standing there, sword in hand, ready to fight the tornado, at the same time blaming the sheriff for it.

Put on your willies, grab the torchlight, put your thinking waterproof cap on and tell me:

What are your tornado movie title ideas?

PS. Impromptu image for Perry

RA Dragon

And another quick one…

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Happy Silly Sunday

FanstRA4 Richard Armitage March 11th

FanstRA4 is breathing down my neck and it’s time to start setting things in motion (no pressure…), and all of ideas for posts for the events involve more than sitting and writing (which I can’t actually do all that well, hence the smoke and mirrors).

On the plus side my mind is starting to work in overdrive and I actually had a post idea at 5am and was so afraid it’d go away, so I actually got up to grab a pen and paper.

While I’m busy with that, and many other things, let me leave you with a video that had me in tears and suffocating with laughter yesterday.

Some say it’s fake.

I say: Who cares?

As someone commented, she literally has side burns now LOL!

This kills me!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Sir PJ, I have a bone to pick with you about The Hobbit…

I think it’s time that I write down my thoughts on The Hobbit as most of my readers have probably seen it.

Before I move on I’d just like to add that I’ve seen the film twice, so I really don’t feel like I can go into detail on the story as I still find the multum of plots overwhelming.

I think I’ll need to see the film a handful of times before I’m anywhere close to being able to

Anyway, this post will be about something that really bugged me the first time I saw the film and not a full-blown review.

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As you know, I ended up seeing The Hobbit in Odeon in Leicester Square in London as the big man (meaning Sir PJ) intended, meaning HFR 3D.

All 3 Hobbit movies were shot by capturing 48 frames per second rather than the film industry standard 24.

This means that a HFR movie has less motion blur and has crystal clarity.

What happens is the end product stops resembling a movie and looks like a HD TV program.

And it drove me absolutely nuts.

 At times I felt like instead of the ‘cinema’ look, I got a Discovery Channel HD documentary.

I felt like the new technology had actually stripped the movie from its big screen magic.

Don’t get me wrong, the less blurs on Thorin and Kili, the better, but the end product distracted me from the story.

I respect Sir PJ’s drive for technological advancement in the motion picture experience, but it’s a shame no one stood up and pointed out that he has a wonderful story, a great cast, the success of the LOTR trilogy egging him on and sometimes less in truly more.

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I share a similar thought on the 3D aspect.

Was it really vital for the story?

I haven’t seen The Hobbit in 2D so I can’t pass judgment, but I’m venturing a guess that the beautiful images and enthralling acting will stand alone and capture the viewer’s attention.

After all, the dwarvish tale is no Avatar.

I really wish Sir PJ had gotten rid of all the bells and whistles and trusted in the movie he could have made.

What do you think?

Have you had a chance to see The Hobbit in HFR 3D?

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My Hobbity London Trip Part 1. A not altogether Unexpected Journey

I seriously have so many things I’d like to share with you, I’m overwhelmed where to begin.

I decided to start in the best possible place meaning right at the start.

As some of you may know I got the absolute perfect birthday present this year from my family and friend.

My BFF Max and I started out on our adventure on a frosty Thursday.

The plan was simple: get to London in a timely fashion, unpack at the hotel, freshen up and rush to Leicester Square to meet two of my fellow Armitage Admirers Judit and Linda60 to catch The Hobbit together at the Odeon.

Our two lucky Richardettes had attended the official movie première the day before and I really couldn’t wait to meet them and get the dirt.

The flight was uneventful (and I really don’t want to go into detail on how inappropriate I found the 10 minute patting down at the airport and how I’ve had foreplay with less physical interaction… Oh well, a sign of our times I guess…).

On landing at Heathrow I encountered my first Armitage sighting.

Armitage Shanks that is… spelt across the loo and basin I was using.

As many other Armitage Admirers like Guylty, I was shocked to find myself using a product in some bizarre way connected to our Precious.

I can honestly say though that this was the first, but certainly not the last time I got excited about Richard Armitage in a bathroom.

On our way to the hotel, which is close to Waterloo Station, we passed another reminder of my favorite actor.

I really did scream when we passed The Old Vic, where Richard Armitage appeared in a fund-raising gala on 21st November 2010.

I’ll just say what we’re all thinking: you’ve seriously crossed a line when you actually get excited at a strip of pavement that your beloved actor had walked on a good 2 years before.

There was little time to dwell on the madness though as I had a 3pm appointment with my online friends and fellow Armitage nuts.

I had arranged to meet Judit and Linda60 an hour before the movie, pick up our tickets and pop in for a quick coffee  before catching the film at 4pm.

I was clad in my Thorin-inspired fur collar and Erebor key brooch, looking like a hairy savage American football player 🙂

 A lovely surprise awaited me, as it turned out Guylty, also known as the Ooof Girl, a periodic collaborator at me+richard, joined our merry gathering, and I presume that we ended up looking like four slightly mad and overly enthusiastic hobbits leaving the Shire 🙂

My fellow admirers were exactly what I had expected meaning witty, funny, articulate and energetic and Linda60 knew her audience very well as she came bearing a gift of yummy chocolates.

The one thing I did learn that surprised me was when obsessing about Richard time passes just as fast in RL as it does online.

Green is the new red…

Before I knew it, it was time to take our seats and embark on our rather expected Hobbit adventure.

I regret we didn’t spend more time just chatting away, especially that all of us had other plans for our stay and RL friends we shared our London time with.

I honestly could have spent 5 more hours after the movie just chatting, so hopefully next year we’ll get the chance, and I am looking forward to meeting up with more fans next year for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

In my next post I’ll be writing about my Hobbit thoughts as I think most of you have seen it at least once and I won’t be spoiling anything.

A post with NO THORIN!!!

I won’t even utter in a low voice: Elves!

No mention of Richard Armitage, not even my new favorite James Dean-esque picture, nor the airport candid-ish snapshot.

I need some LOL’s today, so here are some cheap thrills and laughs, courtesy of CDAN, my ultimate guilty pleasure website!

Just one of those days, so I’m adding an almost 60 minute compilation.

You have been warned 😉

I just need to watch people be idiots and do stupid things.

News bloopers.

I love these! (especially today…)

More news bloopers 😉

If you Love British Actors, get in line because you’re not the only one…

There really hasn’t been any Black Sky in the fandom for a while now, as far as news is concerned.

It’s been RAining Armitage, however the following picture has reminded me how neglectful I have been of my other crushes.

The image comes from The Hobbit Book Tie-In.

Check out other Hobbit pictures at TORn.

I’ve spent the morning analyzing whether fancying both the uncle and his nephews wasn’t too weird.

I can conclude it’s morally OK in my book!

Dear Aidan!
You, me, and Richard in a dark cinema 😉

As the summer is coming to an end, and so are the days of freedom to do whatever I want, I decided to continue on my quest to immerse myself in the best British actors have to offer.

It actually turned into a triple bill, but about that a little later.

The first film I decided to watch was Third Star,  a 2010 British comedy-drama film directed by Hattie Dalton, staring Benedict Cumberbatch.

It tells the story of James, a young man terminally ill with cancer, who sets out on a last hiking trip with his three best friends, Davy, Bill and Miles.

Third Star

I won’t go into details as to the plot, as I found it quite predictable.

This is a touching comedy drama which focuses on friendship and love against the backdrop of suffering and loss.

In many ways, it follows the path of other road trip adventure movies.

What is interesting to see is the different ways people deal with the inevitability of death.

Some are repulsed by the illness, others sacrifice their own plans and ambitions to a point where they almost become a martyr to it.

By the end my eyes were puffy from crying, but this definitely isn’t so much about cancer as it is about friendship, and the sacrifices we make for those we love.

There’s a quote from James that particularly resonated with me:

So I raise a morphine toast to you all.

And if you should happen to remember it’s the anniversary of my birth, remember that you were loved by me and that you made my life a happy one.

And there is no tragedy in that.”

Here’s the trailer:

I also found it on YT in parts with subtitulada en español 🙂

Please do yourself a favour and watch this movie.

It won’t disappoint!

To balance things out, I decided to watch Penelope, a 2006 fantasy/romantic comedy directed by Mark Palansky  next.

Call me jaded I’m not a big fan of the fairytale genre.

If it wasn’t for James McAvoy, I wouldn’t even give it a try.

The film tells a story of a young girl from a wealthy family, who, because of a curse, has a pig nose and ears (no info regarding the tail…).

It is said that the curse can only be lifted if ‘one of her own’ learns to love her, which her parents interpret as meaning that Penelope must marry a man of noble birth.

The thing that aggravated me the most is that Christina Ricci’s character is supposed to look like a monster, hideous enough to scare away any prospective husband.

I think she resembles a young Victoria Beckham (and I mean that in the nicest way possible).

I’d (semi) recommend this film for three reasons.

Firstly, as always, James McAvoy gives a powerful performance amidst all the bubbles.

Although he’s Scottish, and very often uses a British accent when he plays parts, here has an American one.

It’s not my favorite as one of the main attractions of loving a British actor is that they sound like they’ve just had tea with the Queen.

But there’s an intensity about McAvoy I find irresistible.

He’s not remotely my type (in oppose to you Mr Armitage, you check ALL my boxes), but the passion he installs into his characters make them sexy as all hell.

The second aspect I found adorable is Penelope’s wardrobe.

I know, I’m shallow, but the costume designer really did a great job putting together adorable retro outfits for the female protagonist.

I’m jealous and I want it all!

Last, but definitely not least, Peter Dinklage plays Lemon, the demonic paparazzi who’s on a mission to hunt down Penelope.

There’s a scene in prison with him that desperately needs to be turned into a gif 🙂

Is this the best movie I’ve ever seen?

Not by a long shot!

It wasn’t even the best movie on the day.

But if light and fluffy is what you’re after, it’ll fit the bill.

Here’s the trailer:

After the sickly sweetness of the previous film, I really needed to cleanse my pallet, and I think I made the perfect choice.

The Last Station is a 2009 biographical drama about the final months of Leo Tolstoy’s life,  directed by Michael Hoffman.

The film follows the battle between Sophia, Tolstoy’s wife (Hellen Mirren) and his disciple Vladimir Chertkov for his legacy and the copyright of Tolstoy’s works.

 James McAvoy plays Tolstoy’s new secretary Valentin Bulgakov, who finds himself mediating between the two sides.

It’s an interesting commentary on love, marriage, ideology and passion.

This film displays two of my favorite features.

Firstly, it’s based on fact.

I found the authentic footage of Tolstoy featured at the end to be haunting.

I also felt quite sentimental every time they drank tea.

It was served in glasses placed in little metal ‘baskets’, just like I remember from when I was a child.

They’d also sweeten it with jam instead of sugar.

Secondly, it takes place in Russia at the start of the twentieth century.

Trouble is brewing, the time for change is near, yet it’s filtered through the rural existence of Tolstoy and his disciples.

This movie is a must!

You can watch in movie in parts on YT:

A Good Morning for Armitage Admirers + Chicks Dig Glossy Armitage Lips!

It’s another great day for the Armitage admirers!

I’ll start with some yummy news.

It’s seems that Frenz has bagged an interview with Todd Garner.

He in the producer of the film Richard is shooting now called Black Sky.

You can also follow him of Twitter @Todd_Garner.

Garner has proven to be very friendly towards Armitage admirers, and has even tweeted the pic we’ve all been drooling cooing over.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to do a little cooing over Frenz.

As I tweeted earlier, out of all the American b*lls of Richard Armitage admirers, I think Frenz owns my favorite pair!

I can’t wait to read the interview 🙂

By the way, whenever the movie, and its lead Richard Armitage is mentioned, the following picture is used.

It’s interesting, as it shows our favorite desert trooper John Porter.

It makes sense you’d want Porter by your side with a natural disaster looming.

I would, however, go with the following image of Porter to promote Armitage’s involvement in the film.

His clothes just happen to have been blown away by the tornado 😉

A post written by Servetus reminded me of something I had been meaning to mention a while back.

I’ve seen North & South hundreds of times.

Each time I do, there are new things I observe, then there are those that always catch my eye.

One of the things that sticks out is just how glossy Thornton’s lips are in the scene where Nicholas Higgins comes to ask for a job at the mill.

Yum!

I’m a bit fan of Smackers Grape Fanta  flavour lip balm, but in Thornton’s case, I’m guessing cherry 🙂

I can just imagine a make-up lady running up to Richard in-between takes, making sure that pucker if glossy, soft and kissable!

Some gals have all the luck…

Tom Hardy is Stuart: A Life Backwards

I’m continuing to act on my fascination with British actors.

I’d like to recommend “Stuart: A Life Backwards”.

The movie is based on a bestselling book by the same title, by Alexander Masters.

Masters elaborates on the process of turning his book into a screenplay in an article for the Guardian, which I recommend you read.

This true story follows the friendship between a writer Alexander (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Stuart, a chaotic homeless
(Tom Hardy), whom he gets to know during a campaign to release two charity workers from prison.

As Alexander learns more about Stuart’s complicated life and traumatic childhood, he asks if he can write his story.

Stuart advises him to write the story backwards, so that it’s more exciting like a Tom
Clancy murder-mystery.

The writer attempts to pinpoint the moment when Stuart’s life spiralled out of control.

Alexander is given a glimpse into the life of Stuart, as he gradually recounts his life story in reverse, his resilient personality and dry sense of  humour gives the story an almost tragi-comic edge.

Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Stuart is heart-breaking and outstanding.

He portrays a character that is violent, addicted to alcohol and drugs, a repeat offender, and yet he is lovable.

This movie is also an interesting experience of seeing Cumberbatch play the ‘straight’ character, allowing Hardy to shine.

If you get a chance, I recommend watching it with subtitles.

Here is the trailer:

You can also watch the movie online if you do a bit of digging.

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