"Aussies have grown up in Bonds since 1915. From the moment we’re born, we wear Bonds – grannies to grandkids, hipsters to hippies, from the famous to the farmer and everyone in between. We are all Bonds," says the website explains. mUmBRELLA predicts the interactive campaign will be the advertising hit of 2012. The Wall Street Journal's Gillian Tan notes that Pacific Brands may be bought out by a private equity group after the company announced a net loss of $362.4 million in the six months to December 31, 2011. We can't be sure how much Bonds contributed to the bottom line. Ha!
|Iranian actor Leila Hatami, star of A Separation|
Last year, Marzieh Vafamehr, star of the Australian/Iranian produced film My Tehran For Sale, was sentenced to 90 lashes for shaving her head and leaving it uncovered in the film though later released under international pressure. "The interesting point with Iranian cinema within world cinema now is the level of reality in Iranian film," says Farhadi. "It's important for the global audience to see that level of reality."
Indeed, beyond a narrative insight into middle-class Iranian life, the film serves as a talking point for the wider issue of human rights within the Islamic republic, though Farhadi pleaded with the Oscars audience to look beyond politics and to the Iranian contribution to culture and "a people who respect all cultures and civilisations and despise hostility and resentment". Farhadi's latest film, About Elly, tells the story of middle-class Iranians whose beachside holiday turns into tragedy as they try to uphold their social customs.
Of course, the big winner at the Academy Awards was The Artist, which garnered the best picture, actor, director, original score and costume design awards. The charming black-and-white film by Michel Hazanavicius and backed by Harvey Weinstein harks back to the "golden age" of film before the advent of 3D and CGI when a live orchestra would accompany the cinema screening. "[These films] are part of my culture," Hazanavicius told Filmmaker Magazine. "My childhood was full of such movies." With Hugo, a film that also looks at the pioneering days of cinema, winning five technical awards, it seems Hollywood is well and truly taken with yesteryear.
Still in black and white, The New York Times debuts The Lively Morgue on Tumblr today, a "vast treasure trove of imagery" from the paper's archives. While a little morbid in title, the blog draws on the paper's photo store of five to six million prints and contact sheets and 300,000 sacks of negatives — at least 10 million frames in all. The library also includes 13,500 DVDs, each storing about 4.7 gigabytes worth of imagery. "If we posted 10 new archival pictures every weekday on Tumblr, just from our print collection, we wouldn’t have the whole thing online until the year 3935," say the site's editors. "Instead, we’ll be dipping in and publishing several photographs each week, some of which will be available for purchase and some of which will be accompanied by a more extensive back story posted on the Lens blog."
|The Barber of Seville performed by the English National Opera (Opera Today)|
The Paris Review celebrates its 200th issue with its Spring 2012 issue which contains an interview with Bret Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho. "American Psycho came out of a place of severe alienation and loneliness and self-loathing," he says. "I was pursuing a life—you could call it the Gentleman’s Quarterly way of living—that I knew was bullshit, and yet I couldn’t seem to help it. American Psycho is a book about becoming the man you feel you have to be, the man who is cool, slick, handsome, effortlessly moving through the world, modeling suits in Esquire, having babes on his arm … On the surface, like Patrick Bateman, I had everything a young man could possibly want to be ‘happy’ and yet I wasn’t." Interesting!
Reporting from the Culture Desk, David Penby reflects on his obsessive watching and analysing of the six-hour original 1979 BBC version of John le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and its six-hour sequel from 1982, Smiley’s People for The New York Times. He notes that he and his wife, Susan, would "watch one episode each evening after dinner" and then, "Late at night, I would often creep back into the study and watch the episode again, just to be sure I had understood all of it, savored all of its intricacies, noted its omissions and implications." Mr and Mrs Satchel may have once had a similar experience taking in back-to-back episodes of the decidedly less intellectual but nonetheless intoxicating Prison Break.
|From left to right: Woodrow Wilson, Kate Vandermeer, Connel Chiang and Micah Gianneli|
Girl With a Satchel