Wednesday, 15 April 2015

On the Edge: Film || Vol. 5

This month is filled with a ton of cinematic gems that I hope I do get to see at least one of them whilst they are in cinema. For those of you who don't know, this series is one where I share the things that have me on the edge of my seat in anticipation. This time we shall be talking about films. Let's hop to it. 

*  *  *  *
A LITTLE CHAOS
You know me, nothing like a good ol' period drama to get a whopping big smile on my face. And one with Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci (?!?!), Helen McCrory and Alan Rickman? Count me in. I have a feeling that the landscape in this film is going to be as much a characters as those portrayed by the cast for this film. It is to be released in the UK on the 17th of April so, if you feel this too is right up your street check out the trailer here and mark the date in your diaries.

*  *  *  *
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
I don't even think I have to explain why this is on my list. All I will tell you is that it is out in cinemas on the 23rd of April and you can check out the trailer here. And for those of you who haven't seen Avengers and may be put off because its a MARVEL film with superheroes gallivanting around don't be; the dialogue between the characters has a strong chance of tickling you silly.  At least consider giving it a go.

*  *  *  *
 FAST & FURIOUS 7
For the long time WML readers it will come as no surprise that this film has made this list. My post on Fast & Furious 6 is still one of my most read posts of all time. I was supposed to watch this when it came out in cinemas on the 2nd of April but couldn't quite bring myself to. Brian O'Conner is one of my favourite characters from this franchise and knowing what we know about Paul Walker well... I know I am going to need a whole stack of tissues so I'd rather watch it when the cinema isn't too packed. If you would like to see the trailer, you can do so by clicking here.

*  *  *  *
LOST RIVER
Now, Ryan Gosling kind of disappeared for a while but it looks like he is back and wearing a different hat. He has taken on the role as the director for this film and I am intrigued to see how this film turns out. With the cast that it has I am sure it will be an interesting watch. Christina Hendricks is just plain awesome in my books. And Saoirse Ronan? Have you seen Hanna?Talk about an actress on the 'One to Watch' list. This has been out in cinemas since the 10th of April so if you too are curious about what this film entails feel free to check out the trailer or just bite the bullet like I will and go in blind.

*  *  *  *
THE DUFF
Romantic comedies will always have a special place in my heart and I have a feeling I am going to enjoy this one. Mae Whitman (ParenthoodThe Perks of Being A WallflowerArrested Development) is actress whom I trust to give a give a great performance whatever the temperament of her character so I cannot wait to see this. This film was released on the 6th of April so if you want to know more, feel free to check out the trailer here

*  *  *  *
There are quite a number of films out this month that have caught my eye so I thought I'd give some honourary mentions - The Last Five Years,  The Good Lie, Glassland and Child 44. These have also been added to my never ending watch list. Last month I did not quite make as many trips to the cinema as I would have liked but I did see quite a few that I will be sharing my thoughts on in the coming weeks. Let me know what your thoughts are on the movies you have watched this month be it old ones or new ones.

Mo x


                

Monday, 13 April 2015

Movie Mondays: Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

It was the poster and title of this film that caught my attention one day when I was at the Cornerhouse. Its simplicity and Kumiko's poncho had me thinking this is indeed a film to see.  I have noticed that I do not see nearly enough independent films as I would like and I am looking into changing that. Let me take this chance to bring Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter to your attention.

*  *  *  *
Source: Official website for Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter 
Even several days after having watched Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, I still had no idea what to make of the film. I discussed it with other people who had seen it and I found out I was not the only one who was a bit stunned by what they'd seen. It is a weird one that's oddly sweet but also quite sad. Directed by David Zellner (Kid-Thing; Ain't Them Bodies SaintsGoliath), this beautifully story of determination, blind faith and belief in oneself is one I'd really like to watch again.

*  *  *  *
Kumiko and Bunzo // Source: Zellner Bros.
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter is about a Japanese woman who is adamant as heck to find the answers to all her problems - which seem to lie in the script of a popular Coen brothers movie - and is also one of the most resourceful treasure hunters I've seen. The naive and loveable Kumiko was brought to life by the talented actress Rinko Kikuchi (Last Summer47 RoninPacific Rim). She is just awesome in this! And the hopeful and uniquely captivating script from which this film was made was written by David Zellner and his brother Nathan Zellner (Plastic Utopia) a.k.a Zellner Bros. who it appears work together on most if not all their film projects and take on multiple roles as well. There is something about this film that makes it somewhat unforgettable despite how simple the story is. This could be because of how utterly relatable I found some of the themes of this movie to be but I think it is more than that. Maybe its originality? Who knows. All I know is I have finally come to the conclusion that I really like Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter.

*  *  *  *
If you do come across this film I implore you to check it out (here's a more detailed trailer). It is one that will readily and unashamedly take gasps and chuckles from you with no apologies. Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter is filled with passion, kindness, hope & resilience and its a film I hope you get to see. If you have seen this movie let me know your thoughts on it as I would really love to hear what you took away from it.

Mo x

                

Friday, 10 April 2015

And That's My Story: Gemma Parker, Artist

I have been intrigued to find out more about the creators behind projects that I have been fortunate enough to see and/ or hear for a long time now so I've decided to something about it. And That's My Story is series on this blog that shares with you a bit about the creators I've met along the way and their journey towards fulfilling their dreams; it will run for as long as I can find people who are willing to share their story. Today, let me introduce you to the lovely Gemma Parker.

*  *  *  *
And that's My Story - Gemma Parker || Within My Locket
I met Gemma at the Cornerhouse Full Stop exhibition that I told you about a while ago. As one of my goals this year is to strengthen and believe in my voice, I mustered up the courage to ask her if she would mind sharing a bit about herself on this ol' blog of mine. It turns out I didn't need to get so worked up because she is such a friendly, warm and funny lady and I am very glad I got the opportunity to hear her story- thanks Gemma! Ok, I'll stop rambling now....

*  *  *  *
And that's My Story - Gemma Parker || Within My Locket
HI GEMMA! LET'S START OFF WITH AN EASY-ISH QUESTION - COULD YOU PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF?
Hi Mo. Well, let’s see… I’m Gemma, I’m an artist based in Manchester and my work investigates theatrics, artifice and showmanship whilst pointing a celebratory (well manicured) finger to the allure of femininity.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER?
I remember being asked in infant school what I wanted to be when I grew up and answering, ‘an artist’ which no one was surprised at because I was always drawing whenever I could get away with it. I even hid little pictures of cats and beautiful ladies in my maths book. The teacher cottoned on in the end, but I kept on drawing them then rubbing them out lightly so you could still just about see them. I was such a rebel!

I CAN SEE FROM YOUR LOVELY SITE THAT YOU STUDIED INTERACTIVE ARTS AT UNI. CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US A BIT ABOUT IT AND WHY IT PIQUED YOUR INTEREST?
When I finished a Foundation Art course at college I still hadn't figured out what my strengths were and I felt like I needed to experience new ideas and challenge myself. Interactive Arts had no solid ground rules, it was very open ended and that appealed to me. It took me out of my comfort zone and made me do things I hadn’t done before; it was a huge learning curve. More than anything Interactive Arts made me realise I should make work for me, not other people.

WHEN WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU KNEW FOR SURE YOU WERE GOING TO PURSUE A CAREER IN THE FINE ARTS?
There was never a light bulb moment; there’s never been any other option in my mind.
And that's My Story - Gemma Parker || Within My Locket
Source: Courtesy of Gemma Parker
OK, YOUR PROJECTS ARE NOT CONVENTIONAL AT ALL. THEY ARE SO VIBRANT, INTRIGUING AND FUN! ONE OF MY FAVOURITES HAS TO BE THE 'MRS BROWN'S DIARY' PROJECT. HOW DID THAT IDEA COME TO YOU AND HAS CREATIVE WRITING ALWAYS BEEN SOMETHING YOU'VE DABBLED IN?
Thanks! It was the first time I’d ever written something as part of my work, but I've always used narrative in some way be it slogans, thought bubbles or suggestive imagery so this was a natural extension of that.

That project came about after I got obsessed with dressing tables. I’d started a piece on my blog called The Dressing Table Gallery where people could send in photos of their dressing tables. I have a consistent love of objects and belongings and I am fascinated by other people’s stuff especially things to do with beauty and dressing up. Stoke Potteries Museum and Art Gallery had seen what I was doing and got in touch to ask if I’d like to work with their Decorative Arts collection and I said yes please!

I spent the next few months immersed in their decorative arts store picking out items that inspired me. I was in heaven, surrounded by vintage pieces dating back to the Victorian era and even earlier; feather fans, opera gloves, rubber girdles, you name it! In the end I was most intrigued by ladies items from the late 1940’s early 1950’s and in my head a character began to emerge. As I learned more about the local area and its history more details fell into place and eventually Mrs Brown, a bored young housewife from 1952 with dreams of glamorous adventures was born.
I set up her boudoir in the museum complete with dressing table, clothes, and cosmetics even her stockings draped on the back of a chair. There were playbills and film magazines left lying about and photos and cinema tickets tucked into handbags. It looked like she had just left the room and visitors were invited to asses her character and story from the things she’d left behind.

During the run of the display I published entries from her diary in a blog which let us into the hidden secrets behind many of her belongings; every entry being inspired by a different item from the decorative arts store shaping her story. I really enjoyed writing for her because she was pretty insensitive, materialistic and childish and she made some stupid decisions but I liked her all the more for it and in the end I wanted her to have her cake and eat it. I didn't want my female character to have to pay the price for making a mistake like so many films from her era would have done.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT BURLESQUE AND THE PIN-UP STYLE THAT HAS CAPTURED YOUR ATTENTION SO?
Picture a little girl who had been allowed to stay up on a Saturday night to watch the run of Fred and Ginger films on TV. That was a huge excitement to me; I was entranced by the glamour and style of those movies! My mum would tell me little snippets of information about Ginger Rogers’ famous feather dress or how she and Fred Astaire rehearsed their dance routines until her feet bled! That kind of dedication to something so beautiful spoke to me.

I have always been drawn to glamour and spectacle. I was into burlesque before I even knew what it was; I loved music and performance make up and glamour. When neo burlesque began many things started to fall into place, I found a platform for my early work and something to build my ideas upon. For me, women taking centre stage and enjoying their femininity is a hugely powerful thing.
And that's My Story - Gemma Parker || Within My Locket
'The Wedding Supper' - Kerry Katona as a ragged Cinderella || Source: Courtesy of Gemma Parker
YOUR 'THE WEDDING SUPPER' PROJECT WHICH WAS PART OF THE CORNERHOUSE'S 'THE PEOPLE YOU'RE NOT' EXHIBITION BACK IN 2011 HAD ME GIGGLING FOR AGES. CAN YOU PLEASE WALK US THROUGH YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS AND HOW IT FELT WHEN YOU FINISHED THIS PROJECT?
That was a really fun project to work on and one of those instances where I was working to a brief. The idea had been put forward to create some Victorian style toy theatres upon which to stage tableaus inspired by George Cruicshank's The Worship Of Bachus using modern day celebrities known for their love of drink. My tableau was The Wedding Supper and I chose the celebs I felt best fit the panto theme I’d chosen.

I did most of the drawing and painting at home working from a scaled plan for the stage and proscenium arch. I then got down to creating the characters in their panto form. It was highly enjoyable turning Elton John into a Dame and Kerry Katona into a ragged Cinderella. I had no idea what everything would look like when it was put together as I had only seen it flat. It got constructed elsewhere when the paintings got scanned and printed onto plastic. 

It wasn’t until opening night that I saw my theatre in full and I was pleasantly surprised at how colourful and complete it looked. 

YOU HAVE HAD A LONG-STANDING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CORNERHOUSE - AT LEAST FOUR YEARS WHICH IS IMPRESSIVE. HOW DOES YOUR PROJECT FOR THE FINAL CORNERHOUSE PROJECTS EXHIBITION 'FULL STOP' ILLUSTRATE YOUR FEELINGS TOWARDS THE ICONIC BUILDING?
I wanted to say goodbye to the building that has meant so much to me over the years but also leave a lasting mark. Cornerhouse holds a special place for so many people so I decided to open up this opportunity to others and did a call out on social media asking if anyone would like their name writing onto the exposed bricks inside the building as a final gesture of farewell.

I was quickly inundated with requests and had to put a cap on it when the names reached over 225! It took five hours to write them all out and it was a cathartic process. Not only did I get a chance to say my own goodbye, I recognised so many of the names I was recording and that triggered off many memories. It’s been like that for other people who have come to see the work too. I'm glad that so many of the visitors and staff have got involved to be part of Cornerhouse history.
And that's My Story - Gemma Parker || Within My Locket
'The Tattooed Lady' - tattoo transfer || Source: Courtesy of Gemma Parker
AND HOW IS YOUR MORE RECENT PROJECT, THE TATTOOED LADY, WHICH WILL BE PART OF AN EXHIBITION HOSTED BY HOME THIS SPRING, COMING ALONG?
This work is a chance for me to really branch out in terms of medium and it is going to be my first sculptural piece. I'm creating a vintage style penny arcade machine that dispenses tattoo transfers. It’s an interactive piece which covers the themes of heartbreak break ups and funfairs. Each tattoo transfer design is inspired by a love tattoo regret story that I have collected from people through my website and social media. 

I was inspired by the tattooed ladies from sideshows of the past because they were storytellers as well as living exhibits; they would have tales attached to their tattoos which they would tell to the paying crowds. I love that idea and decided to create my own tattoo designs with stories behind them.
I've been doing a lot of the designing and painting at home so far but I'm back in the studio now to paint the tattooed lady who will appear on the machine. It’s an exciting project!

WHICH ONE OF YOUR PROJECTS HAS BEEN YOUR MOST CHALLENGING YET?
I think every project has different challenges; no one in particular stands out. But I do think it’s good to challenge yourself and try out new things from time to time.

HOW DO YOU STAY INSPIRED? AND DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS TO SHARE ON HOW TO KEEP THE CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING?
If you are passionate about something then you will always get inspiration from it. I think collaborating with other artists or organisations is a good way to keep things fresh. Keep your boundaries open and try new things.
And that's My Story - Gemma Parker || Within My Locket
Source: Courtesy of Gemma Parker
HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR NEXT PROJECT? AND IF SO, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN SHARE WITH US REGARDING IT?
To be honest I never know what my next project will be. I’ve never planned any of my work. I just have an overriding drive to explore and celebrate femininity and that can take me into all kinds of directions.

AND LASTLY, SEEING AS I DO LIKE TO TALK ABOUT MOVIES, WHAT ARE 3 FILMS THAT LEFT YOU INSPIRED?
My favourite film is Gone With The Wind; this was another classic film I first watched when I was small. It’s so long that I had to watch it in instalments. I fell for Scarlett O'Hara in a big way. Vivien Leigh plays her so perfectly and completely that she really is Scarlett; she’s totally flawed but you can’t help but love her. I found her hugely inspiring because she is so determined and ruthless (never mind Rhett not giving a damn, Scarlett is a trail blazer!).

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: Again this is an old film but one of my favourites. It has everything I like; loads of costumes, musical numbers, a clever script and Marilyn Monroe. To me it is the epitome of vintage glamour. I have spent hours watching it and studying every little detail. A couple of years ago I went to see the Hollywood Costumes exhibition at the V&A and Marilyn’s red sequin number from the film’s opening credits was there. It was like a religious experience for me to witness it in the flesh!

The Life Of Brian: I would watch this on video almost every other day when I got home from school. It’s hilarious and very clever. My dad is a minister (who introduced me to the film) so to me the humour is spot on. I like the silliness and the way it shows human behaviour with all its flaws and peculiarity. Humour is very important. I like to use humour in my art and not take myself too seriously.

GEMMA'S LINKS : website || shop || facebook || blog || twitter

*  *  *  *
I hope you all enjoyed reading this entry and leave this space a little inspired to pursue your dreams. I'd like to thank Gemma again for agreeing to be a part of this series (thanks Gemma!) and cannot wait to share the other stories I currently have in the bank. If you would like to be featured in this series or know of anyone who would, then please get in touch! Until then, have a fantastic weekend!

Mo x

                

Note: All images are courtesy of Gemma Parker. Please contact her if you would like to use them
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogger & Blogspot Templates from pipdig