Monthly Archives: August 2012

We Are… Taking It Back To Basics


With today’s technology, it is easily forgotten that animation simply began with a lead pencil and a bit of paper.

This little guy’s story began back in 1928, and was originally given the name “Mortimer”. Lucky for us, the name was considered too stuffy and was quickly changed to “Mickey”… Could you just imagine ha!

It took Walt Disney 3 short cartoons for him to gain any attention from the studios, but when he added his vocal talents to “Steamboat Willie”… This is when the dream came to life.

I pity the fool who has never feasted their eyes on this 1928 classic:

In today’s cultural environment, artists have an endless list of mediums at their disposal. But sometimes beauty can be found in its simplicity.

Curator Dion Zancanaro has proposed this challenged to a mix-bag of local and international artists at this weekend’s Black & White All In Between. Hosted at Ambush Gallery in Sydney’s Waterloo, these artists – illustrators/fine artists/graffiti/street – have been stripped of their colourful safety nets and must showcase pieces “driven by composition, form and tone”.

And for you cool cats interested in expanding your art collections – all pieces are up for sale. Winning.

So if tonight’s plans involve nothing but your trackies and the remote, throw on your loafers and head down to the festivities. Booze and background beats included.

Tonight’s launch will be from 6pm – 9pm, with the exhibition closing this sunday @ 4pm.

For all the specs, click on through to Ambush Gallery’s website.

Ness

WE Are… Seeing The Dark Side Of An Enchanted Life

In reality, not everyone has their fairytale ending.

Not even Disney Princesses… At least according to Paris-based photographer Thomas Czarnecki.

His series From Enchantment to Down shows a more darker take on our favourite Disney Princesses, and their happy endings.

Alice – Just A Trap

These images have been circulating on the internet for some time. While some say his work is a twisted take on the “romantic ending” version of classic Disney stories, I say it’s a more realistic take on how life might actually unfurl if these “princesses” were living in this reality and with no handsome prince to save them from themselves.

Alice – Did she really fall down the rabbit hole, or was this innocent – perhaps stupidly so – girl lured into a trap?
Pocahontas – A Native American woman, who instead of falling in love with the handsome “explorer”, is instead taken as a trophy.
Sleeping Beauty – She didn’t fall victim to an evil witch; she’s just a junkie passed out in a cruddy room, the “enchanted forest” a mass of Pine Fresh air-fresherners hanging from the ceiling.
Ariel – She’s no beautiful mermaid saved from her life of no legs – looks more like she’s been taken advantage of then wrapped in plastic, drowned and has then washed up on the beach.
Cinderella – Looks like your mum was right when she said no running on the stairs!

Snow White – My Sweet Prince

Cinderella – Too Fast

Pocahontas – One More Trophy

Sleeping Beauty – Naughty Girl

The Little Mermaid

Take what you will from the images – do you see the dark reality that I do? Or something else? Either way, the works are beautiful. Follow the links through to Thomas’s website to see his other series.

Jess

We Are… Wanting More!!!

So in my standard late-night internetz trawling around 2 months ago, I stumbled onto the world’s most amazing thing I have ever seen on YouTube. So amazing that I watched it five times in a row.

Then called my sister.

Then made her watch it.

Then put it on Facebook.

I wanted more. I needed more. I needed a whole feature-length version of more. Feature length version of what you say???

Only the best re-vamp of the Disney classic ‘Beauty and the Beast’ I have EVER SEEN!

Our tale starts with this incredibly talented young fella who became a household name in the States on a little show you might have heard of – American Idol. He didn’t win, however Todrick Hall is getting noticed for his skills – he is a Broadway performer, singer and dancer… AND an amazing writer/producer/director who has been creating video’s for his YouTube channel and his 20,000+ subscribers. Quite frankly, thank the dear baby cheesus that he didn’t win, because then he wouldn’t have the time to create the following amazingness.

Get your mind-balls into this. You’re welcome.

Jess

We Are… Living Happily Ever After

Earlier this year, Barack Obama showed his support. Tomorrow, New Zealand MP’s will be casting their votes. But it seems a certain Disney character has had his mouse ears set to the right frequency for a while now…

In line with our week of Disney fun times, I thought it would be interesting to share that as of May 15th 2012, all couples – regardless of sexual orientation – can experience their fairytale wedding at Tokyo Disney. That is of course, if you’ve got the spare 7.5 million yen (AU$92,239.50) lying around.

The story developed months ago when 27-year-old Koyuki Higashi enquired to host her same-sex marriage at the resort. After some confusion, the couple was informed that they could hold their ceremony but only if they dressed “like a man and a woman“.

Cue shock and horror. Naturally, the only logical course of action for Koyuki was to vent about it on her blog – God bless the Internet.

A few days later, Koyuki was contacted by hotel staff advising that there was some confusion and that same-sex couple are in fact free to choose their attire. However, due to gay marriage being illegal in Japan, their celebrations would not be recognised. That calls for a big ol’ Lame, with a capital L.

Fear not my lovelies, this would not be a Disney tale without a happy ending… according to her blog, Koyuki and her lady friend did make it to the magical world of Tokyo Disney to celebrate with their bud Mickey Mouse. YAY! And they lived happily ever after…

Now that the topic has crossed over into Walt’s backyard, who knows, we might be seeing other characters coming out of the closet. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the hula!

Ness

We Are… Feeling Nostalgic

Apologies to our beloved readers, (our mums and sisters) for the lack of posts this week! Life got in the way of our extremely dishevelled selves, however we have an awesome week lined up for you.

DISNEY WEEK! That’s right, you read correctly. A whole week of posts dedicated to all things nostalgic, wonderment-filled, cartooned, and musical!!! Because really – what good is a Disney movie without an epic sing-along??

Here is just a snippet of a classic Disney film, re-worked by a brilliant Australian producer and videographer, Nick Bertke who goes by Pogo. This tune hit the airwaves in 2007 and I could not get enough of it – the cruisy, almost hypnotic beats combine with the nostalgia of Alice to create a brilliant tune and video that is almost addictive.

Visit his You Tube channel and you’re sure to find a remix of your favourite childhood film, Disney or otherwise, remixed into an electronic feast for your ears and eyes.

Jess

We Are… No Longer Curious

So unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, you are well aware of “Curiosity”, the NASA discovery rover who landed on Mars last week, on a mission to document and collect evidence of “life on Mars”.

What you might not be aware of, is the stunning images being collected and sent back to Earth, and the amazing panoramas and pictures that are going viral on the internet. While these are beautiful, I cannot wait for the inevitable pieces that these scenes will inspire artists to create in the very near future.

Screenshots taken from this amazing panorama.

Jess

We Are… Controversial?

Okay, so everyone on the internetz is aware of that hilarious “no stars ever” review that one Chloe Papas wrote about Chris Brown? The ‘review’ that went viral, that had everyone who is aware of Chris Brown and is NOT of Team Breezy giving Chloe the highest of internet high 5’s?

NO STARS EVER

Well, everyone except Caitlin Welsh – a music journalist who writes for The Brag and Faster Louder, she recently published a piece via Faster Louder, basically reviewing the “no stars ever” review. She concludes that while Chris Brown the person certainly deserves no stars ever, and while many opine that his music also deserves no stars ever, that it is Chloe Papas herself who deserves no stars ever for writing a self serving piece that would certainly attract a high five or two (million), yet who instead managed to take away an opportunity for an actual review of a local band/artist/singer/songwriter. In addition to that fact that as a music journalist writing a music review, you actually need to review the music, and not the person. If music journalists used the excuse that musicians’ personal lives were a part of the music then there is a whole plethora of well-respected, talented musicians out there who we should also be given “no stars ever”. Read her review of a review and decide for yourself.

Update – Chloe Papas defends herself, her writing and talks about the repercussions from the viral “no stars ever” piece.
Jess

We Are… Eagerly Awaiting The Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom that is. Wes Anderson’s latest is getting the most amazing reviews internationally, but it’s not released here in Australia until the 30th. That’s nearly two weeks away!!!

As such, I will be repeatedly playing the trailer until I can go sate my Wes Anderson twee/quirky/nostalgic cravings.

Making things worse is the “making of” featurette I found; this seriously has to be the most epic ensemble cast – Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel, newcomers Kara Hayward and Jared Giman (who are said to be both brilliant!), and of course the inimitable Bill Murray. Urgh, someone get me a time machine ASAP!!!!!

Jess

We Are… Hankering For Summer

Summer in Sydney is an interesting animal. Yes, we have our hurricane-speed winds, driving rain that feels like death itself is attempting to come up under your umbrella and work itself down your back and occasional sub-zero nights where you feel as if you’re going to wake up with frostbite on your nose. Really though, we have such mild winters – last week as I was driving to my local shops to get a coffee I nearly ran up the back of the car in front of me as I desperately peeled off my layers. IT WAS 27 DEGREES!!! In August. Then today, I was rudely awakened by the sun streaming in through the blinds with nary a cloud to hinder it. Skip to lunch time however and it was overcast and dreary – but the baby cheesus be damned, this morning had me hankering for some summer action. I was CRAVING summer but in food form. For me, summer is all about fresh meals, organic produce, beautiful herbs, and meals you can throw together without having to turn on an appliance!

This is my pinnacle of summer eating – a lactose-free version of Insalata Caprese. Don’t fret though – I haven’t lost my mind. I am not attempting to teach you how to make the worlds easiest salad. I just thought I’d share a few pointers on how to achieve optimal deliciousness.

Summer on a Plate

STEP 1 – INGREDIENTS

A typical Insalata Caprese is basically fresh sliced tomato, basil leaves, and sliced buffalo mozzarella – but you already knew that!

All you need

Due to a slightly inconvenient lactose intolerance (only mild), I try to steer clear of cow’s milk as much as possible. Here I used Willowbrae Chevre in place of the mozzarella – its just a soft goats curd, but is deliciously creamy with a tangy finish. I always use fresh vine or truss tomatoes. Use whatever is in season, and organic where possible – you really notice the flavour difference! For optimum flavour, always keep your tomatoes at room temperature. And of course fresh basil leaves. Again, organic is best, but when I hit the local farmers markets I always support local growers. Use the leaves depending on how strong you like your basil – the smaller “baby” leaves will be sweeter and more mild compared to the more bitter and stronger outer leaves. Traditionally an Insalata Caprese is finished with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, and depending on personal tastes perhaps some balsamic vinegar or cracked pepper. I like to use a small drizzle of olive oil, a good helping of fresh cracked pepper, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze – its just a reduction of balsamic vinegar with some sugar to caramelise and thicken the glaze. I generally try to avoid adding extra salt to meals – here I find the cheese adds that element to the salad, but again, its all down to personal taste.

STEP 2 – ASSEMBLE

EASIEST PREPARATION EVER – Slice tomatoes, assemble on plate. Grab basil leaves – TEAR (not cut/slice/snip with scissors) over tomatoes. Scoop cheese onto tomatoes and bail – i got all fancy and made little quenelles, but little dollops of cheese look just as good. Drizzle with desired amount of olive oil/balsamic vinegar/balsamic glaze/cracked pepper/salt. Spend 20 minutes attempting to take a good shot with your iphone camera. ENJOY!

Slice! Tear! Dollop! Season and Enjoy!

Jess

We Are… Ponying Like A Boss

Ok, just to bring the class factor down to my level after Ness’s first post I had to share this! I discovered this video on YouTube about 3 weeks ago and for those of you who don’t spend the copious amounts of hours/days/weeks of time that I do on the internet and haven’t seen this yet – You’re Welcome.

It’s possibly the best thing I have seen in a long time, and it has become my instant pick-me-up mood-lifter. It is impossible to be in a bad mood after seeing this.

Had a bad day? GANGNAM STYLE!

Burnt dinner? GANGNAM STYLE!

Stuck in a creative rut and need inspiration? GANGNAM STYLE!

It is all so amazing it’s hard to pick a fav moment – but the elevator dude at 1.54? I want to wrap him up in ribbon and put him on the mantle and bring him out for special occasions…

FRIENDS – just so you know, i’ll be busting out the pony every time we go dancing now. You have been warned.

Jess