Archives: February 2018

Andreas Gursky Photography Show at Hayward Requires a Crane

Many artists create pictures that deserve sufficient space on gallery walls, but photographer Andreas Gursky takes space to a new extreme. The German photographer, born in 1955 and working in the arts since his college years, captures life on a large scale. His current show at the Hayward Gallery in London required a construction crane and the removal of ceiling tiles just to fit some of his photos.

Although some of his photos were moved by hand, the largest required a crane and careful handling. The most cumbersome photo measured approximately five meters long by two meters tall. The show coincides with the reopening of the Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre. The gallery’s director Ralph Rugoff said Gursky was chosen for the innovation and new dialogue he brings to the artistic expression shared by photographers.

Gursky’s scope is grand, his subject matter frequently architectural, and his focus on elevated perspectives of sweeping landscapes of modern life. Some of the famous photos include Sixty Minute Spectrum, a unique view of the Hayward Gallery itself, 99 Cents, showing the interior stocked shelves of a huge Los Angeles dollar store, and Les Mées, a seemingly idyllic view of a French solar farm laid across rolling hills. Other subject matter includes an Amazon warehouse interior, a race car track in Bahrain, and world stock markets.

Also included is Rhine II, an image of grassy banks beside the rushing river. It holds the world record as the highest price photo ever sold at a price of $4.3 million. Part of the exhibit features art that strays from the only-photos work of earlier years. Andreas Gursky has adopted more high-tech methods of creation. Pictures like Review, which shows four decades of German Chancellors in a row, consist of digitally altered images instead of personally taken photos.

Tom Hanks Will Play Mister Rogers in Upcoming Biopic

TriStar Pictures has announced that it will be making a biopic, “You Are My Friend,” about Mister Rogers, the beloved host of the children’s show “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood,” which ran from 1968 to 2001. Tom Hanks will be playing Mister Rogers, and many people have already commented that they find the casting very appropriate.

Marielle Heller, who had directed 2015’s “Diary of a Teenage Girl,” will be helming the project. She will be using a script penned by Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue. The film will be inspired by the friendship between Rogers and Tom Junod, an award-winning journalist. In it, the Junod character is portrayed as a cynic who is initially reluctant to write an article profiling Rogers.

Fred Rogers (1928 – 2003) was a native of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Early on, he believed television could be used to educate children. At first, he worked on musical programs for NBC until he concluded that commercial television’s dependence on advertising reduced its ability to truly educate children. He thus went to work for public television as a puppeteer on a children’s show called “The Children’s Corner.” Some of his characters, like King Friday XIII, debuted on this program. Rogers also began wearing his famous tennis shoes simply because they made less noise on the set.

Rogers spent a few years living and working in Toronto during the mid-60s, but he soon returned to Pennsylvania. He began working for the Eastern Educational Television Network, which eventually became American Public Television. In 1968, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” premiered. It incorporated characters and sets from some of his earlier works, and it became known for its gentle and slow pace. Rogers disliked the fast pace and animation of other children’s programs and called them “bombardment. He also refused to adopt a persona radically different from his true personality, saying that children could easily spot a phony. “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” won four Emmys, and Rogers himself received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

Rogers died from cancer in 2003, and he was survived by his wife and two children.

Production on the movie will start this fall.

Bruno Mars Wins Big at Grammys

Bruno Mars continued his dominance in the music industry by wining seven Grammy awards. His song, “That’s What I Like, won both Best R&B Song and Song Of The Year. His record, 24K Magic, won Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year, and Best R&B Album. He won an award for the Best R&B Performance for his rendition of the hit during the Premiere Ceremony, and he also won the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

For the Album Of The Year, he beat out Lay-Z, Lorde, Kendrick Lamar, and Childish Gambino. This was his first win in the this category as a solo artist.

By winning the all three of the big categories – the Record, Album, and Song Of The Year – he entered a very exclusive club. No other male artist has won all three in the same year for the last 25 years. Eric Clapton was the last male performer to have swept those big awards.

During the 60th Grammy Awards, which was held in New York City on Sunday, Mars took the stage with Cardi B. The duo performed his song “Finesse,” wowing the crowd with not only their vocal power but their dance moves.

The singer-songwriter has had great success throughout his career. Born and raised in Honolulu, he’s been performing for practically his entire life. He has been part of several groups, including The Smeezingtons and The Hooligans, and he’s worked with numerous artists like Brody Brown, Mark Ronson, and Andrew Wyatt. He first Grammy was given to him for the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Just the Way You Are” in 2011, and he now has a total of 11 Grammys under his belt.

Kendrick Lamar Lends His Credibility to Black Panther

The entertainment industry is need of a hero. Homogeny has infected everything. Music has become the very definition of cookie cutter from synth-heavy pop songs about shallow romantic interludes to rap songs about cars and female anatomy. Every film in the theater is a regurgitation of the one before it, be it a CGI-laden cartoon, a remake nobody asked for, or yet another installment of a franchise reaching double digits. Corporate control of entertainment has strangled diversity and meaning. Yet, from within that very system, a voice calls out from within the gears of the machine. A movement has started, one that is both in the world but not of the world.

Within the music industry has come Kendrick Lamar, a Molotov cocktail of spiritual introspection and layered meaning to a genre that has stagnated into recreating spastically repetitive odes to materialism for the last decade or so. Kendrick’s artistry never disappoints, marrying both the radical and respectable together. His songs have been favorites of both the Black Lives Matter and Presidents. Like Dylan or Springsteen before him, Kendrick has become a voice of a generation that will resonate for generations.

As such, it makes all the sense in the world that he would be a major component of the Black Panther soundtrack. The latest addition of the monstrous Marvel movie machine is proving to be a phenomenon as buzz continues to build. The titular character is T’Challa, the king/superpowered protector of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. The film boasts a who’s who of the most prominent black filmmakers of today and is representative of black artistry and strength as well as a manifesto towards progress and quality in entertainment. It is no wonder Kendrick wants in.

Stephen Lang Muses About a Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos Film

Stephen Lang recently confirmed he will be returning to the screen in the upcoming sequel to the horror hit “Don’t Breathe.” Lang seems to also be angling to be cast in a Marvel Cinematic Universe motion picture. Lang has let it publicly be known he wants to play the original Nick Fury in a movie version of “Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos.”

No, Lang wouldn’t be replacing Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson plays the modern day S.H.I.E.L.D. version of Nick Fury. The Howling Commandos version of Nick Fury deals with adventures during World War II. In the comic books, the background of Nick Fury is a bit convoluted thanks to the existence of different Nick Fury characters existing in different universes. Universes meld together at times to address time and continuity issues. In the movies, however, none of this matters. They could simply explain both men have the same code name. Casting Lang as the Nick Fury of 1943 doesn’t require some lengthy or convoluted explanation.

Why is Lang pushing for a Sgt. Nick Fury WWII movie? “Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos” was one of Lang’s favorite books when he was a youngster. His personal affinity for the old comic acts as the root of his wish to play the character on screen.

Lang’s public commentary makes for interesting reading, but the odds of a WWII Nick Fury movie ever being produced seems a little slim. Marvel Studios does not have any plans for such a film even though the Howling Commandos do exist in the current MCU.

Keep in mind, the original Nick Fury comic was certainly not a superhero title. It was a “war comic.” DC, EC, Marvel and other publishers put out war titles during the 1940’s through the 1960’s. War book ceased to be popular in the 1970’s although a few titles were published from the 1970’s to the present. Marvel Studios probably prefers to stick with hero movies and books and leave combat tales to others.

Eric Lefkofksy And His Company Tempus Made Dr. Eric Topol’s Yearly List For Innovative Technology

Tempus Labs was co-founded by Eric Lefkofsky, and shortly after its founding, it has already become one of the top ten startups in the healthcare tech industry. The company works with many of the National Cancer Institute’s cancer centers in the United States and focuses on genomic sequencing of cancer patients’ tumors, testing for cancer, characterizing the immune system and tumors of cancer patients, and more. Eric Topol featured Tempus on his well-known yearly list, and the company has been recognized as breaking new ground in healthcare tech sector. One of the areas that Tempus is leading the way in is in the gene editings and gene therapy, which are showing promise in treating diseases that have not been treated, as of yet.

Some other notable mentions were pointed out by Eric Topol, and one of them is the way that Stanford University scientists are putting together technology that can diagnose skin cancer. Another one was KardiaBand, which uses an ECG-apple watch that can help to diagnose atrial fibrillation. A technology that sequences pathogens also made the Topol list as well as a pair of glucose sensors that can get insulin into a person, directly. Last, but not least, an artificial intelligence tech that might be able to diagnose eye diseases better than a clinician can made the list, and it could be much more affordable than going to a clinician, as well.

Eric Lefkofsky is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Tempus, which is a company that focuses its efforts on the battle against cancer. To do so, the company uses the latest cutting edge technology to gather data on cancer patients and share it with physicians and other medical professionals who can use it to treat cancer in their patients. Lefkofsky is also a philanthropist who supports charitable organizations all over the world as well as those in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. To make a bigger impact, his wife, Liz, and himself started up the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, which is a private charity that helps to support the arts and culture, medicine, basic human rights, and educational initiatives and organizations.

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Soderbergh Uses iPhone to Make New Film

Filmmaking has continually evolved since Thomas Edison’s first attempt, with innovations having become a relatively common approach within the movie industry. In one of the latest examples of this philosophy, director Steven Soderbergh has taken a new approach when it comes to filming his new movie, Unsane.

That concept involved filming the entire movie, which opens on March 23, on an iPhone. That fact has actually been known for the past year and was decided before Soderbergh had come up with an actual title for his film that’s being described as a thriller with a psychological bent.

Unsane has a diverse cast, including Claire Foy, best known for playing Queen Elizabeth in Netflix’s The Crown. In addition, former Saturday Night Live cast member Jay Pharoah takes on a role that’s anything but comedic in nature. In addition, actress Amy Irving could be the most prominent name among the remaining cast.

Foy’s character is being victimized by the villainous stalking of a man played by Joshua Leonard, best known for The Blair Witch Project. After being sent to an institution after her mental faculties are deemed to be in question, she discovers that the stalker is apparently employed at the facility.

Rather than simply stick to that component, Soderbergh also puts the woman’s own mindset into question by making it uncertain whether or not what she appears to see is the actual truth.

Soderbergh had announced that he would no longer make movies, a pledge that ended last year when he delivered Logan Lucky. That film was one that reflected his habit of going in a different direction with each of his films. In that case, the film centered on a heist that was being plotted and had comedic overtones attached. Never knowing what to expect next is a Soderbergh trademark.

Does a Definitive Zack Snyder Cut of Justice League Exist?

Spinning the disastrous box office of Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s Justice League film cannot be done with any credibility. The film failed to connect with audiences and critics. The departure of director Zack Snyder due to a personal crisis has been blamed for some of the film’s failure. Replacing a director doesn’t usually lead to the creation of a well-crafted finished film. Rumors recently emerged that Snyder did shoot enough footage that his version of the film could be edited and released on home video. Warner Bros., however, has zero interest in releasing the Zack Snyder cut of a film ultimately completed by Joss Whedon.

Warner Bros. noted that significant special effects work, editing, and sound mixing would be required to release the Zack Snyder cut in an acceptable version. Since the theatrical version of the film failed to break even, Warner Bros. doubtfully wishes to spend millions upon millions of dollars on a DVD/Blu-ray that won’t make its extra costs back.

Interestingly, rumors recently emerged that a far more complete version of the Snyder cut does exist. If this version didn’t require editing or mixing, then releasing it wouldn’t come with added cost. Don’t look for Warner Bros. to release such a DVD even if Snyder’s cut truly is a complete version. Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment want to put the disastrous release of Justice League back into the past. Releasing a better version of the official one simply draws more attention to the current cinematic woes facing heroes of DC Comics. DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. need Aquaman, Shazam!, and Wonder Woman 2 to perform quite well at the box office. Anything that reminds fans that Warner and DC Entertainment delivers duds doesn’t help the cause.

That said, the Zack Snyder cut may eventually be released in the future. However, that time could be many years away.

Lime Crime’s New Debut

Big News for the cosmetic brand, Lime Crime, was featured in a recent article on the ever popular site we know and love: PopSugar. The article divulged a surprise new lip product called “plushies”, along with a mysterious Pinterest post revealing an image of the appropriately cutesy product packaging.

With speculation as to what the lip product actually was (a balm? a lipstick? ect.), Popsugar tried reaching out to Lime Crime for any kind of clue, and speculated it would be a light weight lip stain. On their website, Lime Crime announced that this would be their cutest release ever. And now since revealed on January 11, Lime Crime describes the new product as a soft and smooth “Lip Veil”.

Focusing on the appeal of natural lip color with a soft tint look, Lime Crime’s highly anticipated new product is described as the “next generation of nudes”. Plushies combines the wonders of a none opaque lip veil with the classic softness of a lip stain, giving you the natural yet plush effect.

Running through the spectrum of nude pigments, from the blushing “Turkish delight” pink, to the vixen-esque dark “Smokey”, its not hard to find a color for the professional at work look, or the chic night out. Beauty bloggers far and wide swear by Lime Crime’s easy to use products for a good reason: they are affordable, they are high quality, innovative, and best of all, they’re fun.

Lime Crime’s hugely popular full coverage, Unicorn hair dye displays the meaning of fun with a spectacular range of colors for the bold beautiful, and a range of beautiful pastels for the soft, and chic. The brand also has a line of Unicorn Hair Dyes specifically formulated for brunettes, that’s right no bleaching necessary ladies! For the dark haired beauties of the world Lime Crime offers a range from bold Turquoise tones, to soft pastel purples — ALL are vibrant enough to cover the darker tresses. The playful aesthetic of Unicorn hair has never been more possible for brunettes, truly this is the most magical period in hair dye history.

Portion of Shymalan’s New Film Gets Thumbs Up From Distributors

The career of film director M. Night Shymalan has taken a steep drop since his groundbreaking movie, The Sixth Sense, helped establish him in the movie business. While he’s been able to make some critically-acclaimed features since then, including Split and The Visit, his ability to have more major studios offer him the opportunity to make high-budget features remains in question.

Shymalan attempted to mine some additional goodwill from The Sixth Sense by making a film entitled, Unbreakable, which again starred Bruce Willis. This was expected to set the stage for additional sequels down the road. Instead, a lukewarm box office for this project resulted in the prospect of follow-up movies disappearing.

Quality has never been Shymalan’s problem when it comes to connecting with certain audiences or critics. The problem has stemmed from gaining attention from wider audiences, which he hopes to do with his new film, Glass. The movie attempts to merge characters from Unbreakable with those from Split, with some of the early buzz seen as a definite positive.

Shymalan himself took to social media to point out the fact that he showed 12 minutes of the still-unreleased film to distributors for both Universal and Walt Disney. In the latter case, Disney’s knowledge of the international marketplace is expected to provide major benefits when it comes to being able to bring in audiences.

The comic book aspects of Glass figure to garner attention from one of the industry’s most integral demographics: young people. While a quality film and that particular market seem to be a match made in heaven, some studio executives may be reluctant to work with Shymalan until the results come through. Yet a mere 12 minutes of the film was enough to impress people that are just as important to the future of his career.