Saturday, 2 February 2013

Japanese pop star shaves head in apology – for night with boyfriend

As pop star misdemeanours go, Minami Minegishi's was tame in the extreme – breaking her group's strict dating ban to spend a night with her boyfriend.
Yet hours after a magazine published photographs of her leaving his home last month, Minegishi, a member of the wildly popular girl band AKB48, went on to YouTube to issue a tearful apology.
"As a senior member of the group, it is my responsibility to be a role model for younger members," she said, before ending the four-minute mea culpa with a deep, lingering bow.
The most striking thing about her apology, however, was her appearance. She had shaved her head, a traditional act of contrition inJapan, but perhaps a step too far for a 20-year-old woman whose "crime" was to have found herself a boyfriend – 19-year-old Alan Shirahama, a dancer in a boyband.
Minegishi explained she had decided to cut off her long hair immediately after seeing her photograph, her face hidden behind a surgical mask and a baseball cap, in the weekly tabloid Shukan Bunshun on Thursday.
Her dramatic gesture underlined the strict rules to which Japan's young pop stars must adhere to project an image of unimpeachable morals.
In the YouTube video, which has been viewed more than 3m times, Minegishi said the assignation has been "thoughtless and immature".
"If it is possible, I wish from the bottom of my heart to stay in the band," she said. "Everything I did is entirely my fault. I am so sorry.
"I don't believe just doing this means I can be forgiven for what I did, but the first thing I thought was that I don't want to quit AKB48."
AKB48's management agency demoted her to "trainee level" starting on Friday, according to the band's official blog.

Full story here

Thursday, 8 November 2012

'Dark Knight Rises' - Graffiti Mural

The video was shot and edited by the London Vandal. The art work, by Graffiti Life artists, took four hours to complete and was on a 20ft X 9ft wall located in East London.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Ken Loach to visit King Edward VI College on 16/11/12

A once in lifetime opportunity to engage with Ken Loach, the high profile and socially aware filmmaker, has arisen and should be regarded as unique. I would, therefore, expect and urge you to research his filmmaking career in preparation for his arrival on 16th November and make sure he receives the respect that he undoubtedly deserves.

Ken Loach is a former student of King Edward VI Grammar School, a world renowned social realist filmmaker and he will be coming to Nuneaton on 16th November 2012 to revisit the college he attended in the 1950's. This is one of the first times he has returned to his hometown in recent years and it will be an excellent opportunity for current Film and Media students to gain inspiration from one of the most influential filmmakers that the UK has ever produced.

Loach's filmmaking career initially began in theatre and television, but he gained international fame in 1969 when he made Kes, the story of a troubled boy and his kestrel, based on the novel A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines. 

His most recent film The Angel's Share centres around a young Scottish troublemaker who is given one final opportunity to stay out of jail. The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival where Loach won the Jury Prize.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Generation of children could lose vital cultural skills, says Nicholas Serota

An entire generation of children could lose the cultural skills both they and the UK need if the government goes ahead with its English Baccalaureate plans without the arts as a core subject, the Tate director,Nicholas Serota, said on Thursday.
Serota used the launch of his organisation's annual report to urge ministers to rethink their plans for the EBacc certificates, which will replace GCSEs.
He said the arts should be a fourth "R" alongside reading, writing and arithmetic. "The proposals do not provide for the arts as being one of the core subjects and the way in which the proposals have been formulated makes it very clear that art, design, music, drama and dance will be pushed to the margin with very little time in the curriculum for those subjects.
"We regard cultural learning as being more important than ever and we think that the arts have a primary role to play in a world that is dependent on literacy of all kinds, including visual."
Serota said it was a more important matter than even the debate about public cuts to arts spending because it affected every child in the country and "it is about the kind of society that we want to have in 20 years' time".
He added: "There is a real risk that fewer and fewer schools will provide learning opportunities in the arts. The UK's leading edge in creativity may be lost. We cannot deprive an entire generation of children of the cultural skills that they will need."
Earlier this year Darren Henley published a well received report into cultural learning after which the government said it would publish a national plan by early autumn.
That plan is still awaited. Serota said: "Everyone recognises there have been many things on the plate of the DCMS [Department for Culture, Media and Sport] over the summer of the Olympics, but we earnestly hope that the national plan will be published before Christmas."
Tate's annual report highlighted some of its 516 acquisitions to the collection over the past year. They include works gifted by artists, such as Martin Creed giving a neon work with the words "DON'T WORRY", and works purchased, such as nearly 10 cubic metres of Ai Weiwei's sunflower seeds and 58 photographs by Lewis Baltz, which make up a series called San Quentin Point 1982.
The chairman of trustees, Lord Browne, said Tate now got the majority of its funding, 61%, from private and not public sources. "Over the past five years Tate has increased its self-generated income by 15%, compared to the 5% increase in grant-in-aid."
It was also announced that it has raised three-quarters of the capital costs for its ongoing £215m extension while all the money was raised for the £45m Tate Britain redevelopment that will, among other things, allow the first floor to be opened to the public for the first time since 1928.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

'Blade Runner' in Watercolours

Aquarelle is a French term for watercolor that refers specifically to paintings made with a transparent wash—meaning you can't fix an aquarelle by retouching or painting over a mistake. You have to get it right the first time. That's why aquarelles feel quick and spontaneous—even when they're recreating a classic movie that you've seen many times over.

That's the case with Anders Ramsell's remarkable Blade Runner: Aquarelle Edition, a project that consists of 3,285 paintings so far. Thousands more will be required to make the entire film—but Ramsell's dedication seems less crazy after watching the finished product to this point. The result has an ethereal, dreamy quality. 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Britain in a Day

On Saturday 12 November 2011, all across Britain, people filmed the everyday events of their lives. The resulting 750 hours of footage have been edited into a 90 minute film by director Morgan Matthews. It will be shown on BBC2 at 9.00pm on Monday 11th June. For more information go to the BBC website, where you can see clips of the film.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

An 18th Century Transvestite

The National Portrait Gallery has bought, what is believed to be, it's first portrait of a man in woman's clothing; an 18th century transvestite called Charles Geneviève Louis Auguste André Timothée d'Éon de Beaumont. He was well known across all sections of society as a diplomat, soldier and spy. Read more about the portrait and it's subject on The Guardian website.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

RETROMANIA: Pop Culture's Addiction To Its Own Past By Simon Reynolds

Dummy magazine's "The 10 Best Modern Music Books": #1. Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction To Its Own Past "There’s no doubting technology’s ability to reproduce and discover art and artists of the past has had an impact on the retrogressive eye of contemporary culture and music. Whether you agree with his polemical tract, Simon Reynolds’s era-defining book is as essential as it gets."
"The best book I read recently is Retromania by Simon Reynolds. It's fantastic. Reading Simon Reynolds is like getting in a warm bath"--Jason Schwartzman, GQ Style
Visit Simon Reynolds Blog

Monday, 28 May 2012

In the Best Possible Taste

Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry hosts a new series on Channel 4 called 'In the Best Possible Taste' which starts on June 5th at 10pm. He looks at how our family background and class shape the way we define ourselves through what we wear and buy and how we live. Each episode sees Grayson create a piece of artwork inspired by his experience. See more about the series here.

To read an interview with Grayson about his views on taste and class go to the Guardian website.