Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

Feel free to leave any suggestions or comments regarding music, books, films, TV, theatre or culture related news...

My ratings:
❤️ = Loved it
😐 = It's okay
😝 = Hated it

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Virxilio Vieitez (1930-2008)

The works of photographer Virxilio Vieitez (Soutelo de Montes, Pontevedra, Spain) have acquired unquestionable artistic and social value due to the confluence of various genres and factors that place him today among the great names in the world of photography.
His work contains all the characteristics of a photographer who worked by commission to record the vital events and moments of the people and families in his environment. However, his style was unmistakable. He had extraordinary intuition and capacity for the staging of the photograph, in which he included objects and suggestive poses that were almost surreal, but which, in spite of themselves, became fragments of reality bound to the environment.
This exhibition takes into consideration almost all the negatives dated between 1953 and 1980. Many unpublished photographs have also been recovered to reveal the originality of Vieitez when interpreting the genre of the photographic portrait.

Exhibition: Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo (MARCO), Vigo, Spain

Feedback: It is really interesting to see a culture in another point of view, the looks, the staging of the people, the elements used. A lot of it reminded me of the villages in the North and Central Portugal, it brought me back to pictures I had seen of my grandparents and great-grandparents. At some point you are also given the opportunity to take a closer look at the type of camera he used back in the 60´s, not to mention the whole evolution from black and white to colour photography. Totally amazing!

Monday, November 29, 2010

R.I.P.

Actor Leslie Nielsen died today, at the age of 84, due to complications from pneumonia. He was in a hospital near his Florida home, surrounded by friends and family. The Canadian funnyman is best known for his role as cop Frank Drebin in "The Naked Gun" series, although he also starred in "Airplane!", "Scary Movie", "Spy Hard" and "Wrongfully Accused", among others.
An actor who will surely be missed, may he Rest in Peace!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Les Misérables (Cameron Mackintosh, based on the book by Victor Hugo)

Jean Valjean was arrested in France for stealing a loaf of bread and the play starts at the time when he is released, 19 years later. Only the saintly Bishop of Digne treats him kindly and Valjean, embittered by years of hardship, repays him by stealing some silver. Valjean is caught and brought back by police, and is astonished when the Bishop lies to the police to save him, also giving him two precious candlesticks. Valjean decides to start his life anew.
Eight years have passed and Valjean, having broken his parole and changed his name to Monsieur Madeleine, has risen to become both a factory owner and Mayor. He finds out that one of his workers, Fantine, has a secret illegitimate child. Later on, in her deathbed, he promises her that he will find and look after her daughter Cosette. The latter has been lodged for five years with the Thénardiers who run an inn, horribly abusing the little girl whom they use as a servant while indulging their own daughter, Eponine.
Nine years later, at a political meeting in a small café, a group of idealistic students prepare for the revolution they are sure will erupt on the death of General Lamarque. When Gavroche brings the news of the General's death, the students, led by Enjolras, stream out into the streets to whip up popular support. Only Marius is distracted by the thoughts of the mysterious Cosette, with whom he has fallen in love. In spite of her own feelings for Marius, Eponine sadly brings him to Cosette.
Throughout the entire play, Valjean also has to escape Javert, the Policeman who has learnt of his true identity.

Where you can see it: Queen's Theatre, London, England

Why I chose this musical: It tells of how you can turn your life into something useful when nothing seems possible and how friendship, love and courage are powerful and worth so much more than money. This play teaches you facts about French History, with very memorable songs, but it also makes you realise the important values in life, those that come straight from the heart.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Carrie Diaries (Candace Bushnell)

Before "Sex and the City", Carrie Bradshaw was a small-town girl who knew she wanted more. She is ready for real life to start, but first she must navigate her senior year of high school. Up until now, Carrie and her friends have been inseparable. Then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture and a friend's betrayal makes her question everything.
This is the story of how a regular girl learns to think for herself, and evolves into a sharp, insightful writer. In "The Carrie Diaries" we learn about her family background, how she found her writing voice, the impression her early friendships and relationships left on her, and what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where her new life begins.

Quote: "So far, the biggest problem with the boys I've dated is that they weren't too smart. And eventually I ended up hating myself for being with them. It scared me, trying to pretend I was something I wasn't."

Why this book speaks to me: While I was reading this story, I was having a flashback of my own life, not just the high school part, but the relationships, especially that, I went through exactly the same thing Carrie went through with Sebastian Kydd, the fears and, eventually, the terrible truth.
I have to say I really loved the ending as well, although I will not spoil it for you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Big Bang Theory (Sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady)

This show focuses on five characters: two roommate Caltech geniuses, experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter, who is in love with Penny, and theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, who always says what comes to mind and does not understand personal emotions; their neighbour across the hall Penny, an attractive blonde waitress and aspiring actress; and Leonard's and Sheldon's equally geeky and socially awkward co-workers and friends Howard Wolowitz, a Jewish Aerospace engineer and a non-PhD from JPL, and Rajesh Koothrappali, a particle astrophysicist postdoc also working at Caltech, who hails from India and is too shy to speak in front of women. The geekiness and intellect of the four guys are contrasted with Penny's social skills and common sense.

Starring: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar

Why the love for this American sitcom: For starters, I am completely addicted to the theme song. Besides, I love the fact that you have four really intelligent guys, with no social skills whatsoever, and a normal girl who never understands what they are talking about, and how they interact.
This sitcom really explores relationships and brings them into a whole new level, as you have never seen on TV.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Beatles Go Digital!

It was announced last week that the surviving Beatles and Apple have finally ended a dispute to allow iTunes to get their hands on the band's catalogue. The announcement was met with many headlines and much excitement.
For a band so used to leading the way and being number one, this is a meagre return. Sir Paul McCartney welcomed the news, commenting: "It's fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around."
It is obvious that the Beatle songs never get old!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin, Ben Mezrich)

This film, directed by David Fincher, is about the founding of the Internet Social Networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits. It was adapted
from Ben Mezrich's 2009 book called "The Accidental Billionaires".
In 2003, Harvard University student Mark Zuckerberg had the idea to create a website to rate the attractiveness of female Harvard undergraduates after his girlfriend Erica Albright had dumped him. Mark hacked into the databases of various residence halls, downloaded pictures and names of female students and, in a few hours, using an algorithm for ranking chess players supplied by his best friend Eduardo Saverin, he created a website called "FaceMash", where male students were given the opportunity to choose which of two girls presented at a time was more attractive.
Mark was punished with six months of academic probation after the traffic to the site brought down parts of Harvard's network, and became a villain according to most of Harvard's female community. However, the popularity of "FaceMash" and the fact that he created it in one night, while drunk, brought him to the attention of Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss, identical twins and members of Harvard's rowing team, and their business partner Divya Narendra. As a result, he was offered a job working for the Winklevoss twins as the programmer of their website, Harvard Connection.
Soon afterwards, Mark approached his friend Eduardo and told him of his idea for "Thefacebook", an online social networking website exclusive to Harvard University students.

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara, Joseph Mazzello, Andrew Garfield, Rashida Jones, Justin Timberlake

Why I loved this film: The story is really interesting, there are quite a few facts I did not know about the whole structure behind Facebook. The actors did a really good job and I feel like I learnt something, never mind if some facts were exaggerated, as the founder of Facebook has said in interviews relating to the book, and as the lead character says in the movie.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

John Malkovich in Portugal

Not may people know this but, besides being a great actor, John Malkovich is also a fashion designer, a hobby he brought today to Estoril Film Festival (in Portugal), where he introduced his own "Technobohemian" style.
The actor told the Portuguese News Agency, Lusa, that fashion totally relates to his personality, but it only started because someone asked him to do it and he seems good too, since he has been at it for approximately eight years.
The actor really loves Portugal and, along with entrepeneur Manuel Reis, is the co-owner of the Portuguese Club Lux, in Lisbon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mamma Mia! (Catherine Johnson, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus)

Based on the successful musical, Mamma Mia! is a good-spirited, hilarious, musical comedy filled with stars, that develops around the famous ABBA songs.
Meet bride-to-be Sophie in her attempt to find her real father before the Big Day. Her only problem? Not knowing exactly who he is. In her mother Donna's secret diary, she finds out that he may be one of three former boyfriends...
Therefore, she invites them all. Sophie desperately tries to hide their presence from her mother, but shortly after they arrive her secret is out and the fun begins...

Starring: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski

Why I loved this film: I have been an Abba fan from a very young age, due to listening to my parents' records, I was even called Super Trouper sometimes, I saw the musical of the same name and now the movie.
To start with, I was amazed at how they managed to write a story around music that has existed for many decades, and write it so well!
Besides focusing on Abba songs, the film shows us the important things in life, what you do not have does not matter, you should only care about those that care about you too, and do not give up on your dreams because sometimes... A fairytale does come true!

Monday, November 08, 2010

My Family (British sitcom created by Fred Barron)

This sitcom takes a look at the lives of Susan and Ben Harper and their three children: Nick, Janey and Michael.
Ben Harper is a grumpy and sarcastic dentist. When he is not at work sacking another assistant, he is at home trying to relax (which never works). Ben is not all bad though, behind his moody exterior he does really love his family and has to put up with being bossed about and manipulated by his wife Susan, a control freak and very good at getting her way. She is constantly worried about her three children and often forces Ben to go out of his way to monitor or look after them. Susan is a tour guide but seems to spend most of her time at home. She is a terrible cook, and the rest of the family often have to sneak the food she has prepared into the bin without her noticing.
Michael is the youngest of the children, a smart, clever, geeky teenager; Janey Harper is a fashion conscious, money loving, boy mad girl who spends all her time on the telephone, switching boyfriends or pestering dad for money so she can go shopping; Nick Harper is the oldest of the three siblings. He is constantly changing jobs, one minute he is a self-made stunt man, the next he is a mime artist. Nick is extremely laid-back and certainly cannot be trusted to carry out an important task or look after money.
Throughout the various seasons there have been several character changes, Nick moved out and Janey went to college for a while, in the meantime cousin Abi Harper and Nick's Welsh friend, Alfie Butts, moved in with the family.

Starring: Robert Lindsay, Zoë Wanamaker, Gabriel Thomson, Daniela Denby-Ashe, Kris Marshall, Siobhan Hayes, Rhodri Meilir

Why the love for this sitcom: It tells the hilarious stories of a typical British family, except for the fact that they are never afraid of being too straight forward with each other, making comments that ordinary people like us do not have the courage to make torwards others. Although I must say that after Kris Marshall's character, Nick Harper, left the show, it ruined the plot for me, but they remain funny!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Operação Triunfo (Portugal)

This show is yet to start next Saturday, November 6th, but I already have my favourite singer: Bruno Gomes, from Barcelos, Portugal.
Força, Bruno!

Monday, November 01, 2010

He's Just Not That Into You (Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein)

If you have ever been sitting by the telephone wondering why he told you that he would call and never did, or if you do not understand why she will not sleep with you again, or why the hell your relationship will not move on to the next level... Then maybe he (or she) is just not that into you...
Based on the popular book by "Sex and the City" writers, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, it tells the stories of a group of 20 and 30-year-olds from Baltimore, while they roam around several relationships, starting with the single flirt scene up to the deep and slippery grounds of marital life, but always trying to read as best as possible the signals sent by the opposite sex.

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long

Why I loved this film: I put off watching this film for a long time because, like a lot of women, I wanted to believe that the object of my affections had a very good reason for not calling me when he said he would, or not speaking to me, or not even showing up, somehow I always believed that it was something I had done... Until I decided to grow up and realise that some people are just not worth wasting your life on!
This film shows, in a funny manner, what you go through in the fickle dating world and how you can read the signs, although you must keep in mind that every situation is different, but in the end it made me realise that sometimes what you need might be right in front of you... Just have to keep an open mind and look for it.