Archive for November, 2010

IF I WANT TO WHISTLE, I WHISTLE

November 29, 2010

Yesterday was the last day of the Stockholm International Film Festival and I made it to four films. Waste Land, The Samba Within Me, Preludio and Eu când vreau să fluier, fluier which is Romanian for If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle, which I saw last night.

I got the opportunity to see four films that I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise, two of which were documentaries, The Samba Within Me and Waste Land, see below.

Preludio, a story about an encounter of what could be the beginning of something grand was filmed in one single shot. From being a bit boring it got better and better and when it ended, I wanted more, but that is what a preludio can be.

If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle was the perfect end to my first ever film festival experience. That George Pistereanu, who played the main character, won the festival prize for best actor made it all more exciting to watch. And that he was really cute too was just the cherry on top of the ice-cream.

But his acting was really good, outstanding, very credible. Silviu, who is a few days from freedom jeopardizes his release to save his brother from being taken away by their mother.

It’s crazy but when one acts in desperation one will do anything in their power. Being a prisoner, your choices are limited.

It ends in violence and a hostage scenario.

Advertisements

Once an it-girl, now an artist

November 22, 2010

Carolina Gynning. From it-girl, Big Brother-winner and glamour model to respected artist and TV-presenter. She surely knew how to use her ’15-minutes-of-fame’ right.

2004 was the year I moved from Sweden and the same year Carolina Gynning was on Swedish Big Brother with her platinum blonde hair and fake boobs. Six years later I move back. I turn on the television and the only thing I recognise  is her voice but I wouldn’t have known it was her if it wasn’t for the caption.

Gone was the long blonde locks and the silicon implants. And she was skinnier too.

On Friday, I was in central Stockholm with a dear friend, who also happens to be a Carolina fan who instantly recognised her work. For me it was, ‘oh, so this it-girl is painting now, don’t these celebrities try to do everything’.

But there was something interesting about those paintings, very colourful and they looked like self-portraits expressing different emotions. Even I could understand that.

Walking around the exhibition I got a good update and background information about Carolina so my attitude changed. I was a bit more positive toward this celebrity’s credibility.

As we were getting to the end my friend told me Carolina was sitting there. No, I didn’t recognise her. Next to her was her mother, also a famous artist, whose sculpture were displayed at the exhibition.

We walked around again so I could have another look at her. There was especially one painting that we paid extra attention to. One of a naked women with her legs spread out and a pig’s head covering her crotch. Carolina was happy to stand up and talk to us about her inspiration. Swine flu.

She was also having a hard time with men, male pigs, and as it was at the same time the swine flu broke hence the pig’s head.

She talked to us for about ten minutes, walking from one painting to another. I was very impressed and I could get through with my misconceptions of the bimbo image that had stuck to my mind. People change. I guess celebrities do too.

Waste Land

November 21, 2010

Meaningless art. Art is meaningless. It’s very easy to say that because we may not know better.

But really, it can be argued that art is all around us in different forms. Watching Waste Land has given me a better understanding of the arts I didn’t care much about due to being ignorant and disregarding of the fact that pieces of art has a person, a story behind it.

Not wanting to put much thought to it. Not wanting to explore it further feeling like it’s a waste of time.

Now, Waste Land is a documentary, a form of art that is more accessible to  me.

Vik Muniz, New York based Brazilian artist, went to Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill located in Rio de Janeiro, to see what he could create with the purpose of being able to give something back to the community.

I always get a bit skeptic when I see stories like this because of exploitation. The rich and famous using the poor to their benefit, giving away an image of being caring but are they really?

Vik, himself, came from a poor background that by chance got the possibility of better living standards so for me that gave more credibility to his purpose.

Vik got to know the workers and as he was spending time with them, photographing them his idea developed to use the garbage to create portraits of them with help from the workers. By getting the workers involved, Vik hoped he could make them see another side to life, at least for a moment.

 

It was amazing to hear the stories of the workers, how they had ended up working there, why they had chosen to do it and the pride they took in doing it.

“I rather pick garbage than get involved in the drug traffic or walk the streets of Copacabana.”

It was very touching and emotional. I got to see Brazil from a different angle, which was one of my expectations. See hard-working people aiming to live with dignity is not what always get portrayed in the media.

The portraits were exhibited and sold for a lot of money and Jardim Gramacho is due to close in 2012. And to believe the captions at the end of the film, the workers’ lives have changed and will continue to change for the better.

Unfortunately, it will still take me some time to understand the great financial value some people put on art, even though I consider my understanding to be a bit better.

In this case the money was to help the workers and the community of Jardim Gramacho, but when it’s not for charity?

 

Aaliyah, Adele, Alicia, Amy, Angie, Aretha…

November 3, 2010

The top of my iPod artist list – great singers, great divas and their names all begin with the letter ‘A’. Hmm…

Aaliyah, Adele, Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse, Angie Stone and Aretha Franklin.

I really enjoy listening to all of them. Such great voices. Great talents. A lot of greats. Great A:s.

Here’s a single from each one of them. It wasn’t easy to pick. And, yes, they’re on my iPod.

Aaliyah ft. Missy Elliott and Timbaland – Hot Like Fire
(One In A Million)

Adele – Cold Shoulder
(19)

Alicia Keys -Superwoman
(As I Am)

Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good
(Back To Black)

Angie Stone – Wish I Didn’t Miss You
(Life Goes On)

Aretha Franklin – Respect
(I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You)