Category: Featured

A Bob Dylan Birthday Celebration in 5 Songs

On May 24, 1941, American legend of song and 2016 Nobel Literature Prize winner Bob Dylan was born. With music of gold and his lyrics of pure poetry, Dylan has been an influence on artists of all walks of life and will continue to shine for a long, long time. Take Bringing It All Back …

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George Nakashima: Master of Organic Furniture Design

George Katsutoshi Nakashima created wood furniture with reverence and patience, sometimes keeping boards of wood around his workshop until their true essence was revealed to him. The furniture designer was born in Spokane, Washington on May 24, 1905 and passed away on June 15, 1990.  Even though he started designing furniture opposed to the popular concept of modern …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: The Little Mermaid

This wonderfully illustrated 1968 Russian animation is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. It begins with a Copenhagen tour guide’s introduction to Andersen’s story, which is not quite the same as the Disney version. As is usually the case, the older tale is much darker. Much of the imagery in this animation is also dark, yet …

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One to Watch: Satyajit Ray

Born into a talented Indian family, Satyajit Ray is not only regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, but he was also a screenwriter, author, music composer, illustrator, and calligrapher. His most well known films include his debut self-financed film Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956), Apur Sansar, (The World of Apu) (1959), The Music Room (1958), The Big …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Walking the Streets of Moscow

Walking the Streets of Moscow (Я шагаю по Москве, Ya shagayu po Moskve) is a lighthearted look at everyday city life in Moscow for youth in the ’60s. We see an opening scene in the airport, city sidewalks in the rain, taxi rides through the streets, evening traffic flows, and a concert in Gorky park. …

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Peter Zumthor’s Zinc Mine Museum in Norway’s Allmannajuvet Gorge

Happy birthday to minimalist architect Peter Zumthor, born on this day April 26, 1943 in Basel, Switzerland. Peter Zumthor designed a graceful, stilted building to tell the story of Norway’s Allmannajuvet Gorge Zinc Mine, which operated from 1881 to 1899. He also designed the nearby café for the museum with the same elegant grace. Zumthor commented …

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Selected Classics: Gambit (1966)

Happy birthday to the illustrious Shirley MacLaine, born on this day April 24, 1934 in Richmond, Virginia. In celebration, I’m sharing one of my favorite Shirley MacLaine classics, Gambit, starring the exceptional duo of MacLaine and Michael Caine. Between the superb acting and the wonderful 1960’s design, I can’t help but be drawn to it. And …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Ivan’s Childhood

Ivan’s Childhood (aka My Name is Ivan) was made in 1962, and is widely regarded as one of the most skillfully crafted films of all time. It is directed by Andrei Tarkovsky and stars a young Nikolay Burlyaev. The film delves into the impact of war on young Ivan, a twelve year old orphan who befriends …

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Hayley Mills: Angelic Icon of the 60s and Beyond

Actress Hayley Mills was born on this day, April 18, 1946, in London, England.  Her child acting career began with her debut performance in the 1959 crime drama Tiger Bay, for which she won the “BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer.” A year later she starred in the Disney classic Pollyanna (1960), and quickly became one of …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Hedgehog in the Fog

Today we have another wonderful Yuri Norstein film, Hedgehog in the Fog.  Norstein is best known for this animation, as well as his Tale of Tales.  Hedgehog in the Fog was directed by Norstein, written by Sergei Kozlov, with music by Mikhail Meyerovich.  It was produced by Soyuzmultfilm in 1975. It is the story of a hedgehog and a bear cub who …

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