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Don’t throw away. Swap it

How swap parties have proven to be an effective way to swap out boring items

Reading time 5 minutes

Swap parties (from the English word «swap» – to swap) have been around for a while now, and have proven to be an excellent, and most importantly eco-friendly, way to update your wardrobe. However, they are only beginning to gain popularity in Russia. Usually, «swaps» are arranged in cafes, in open spaces, at someone’s home or online. It depends on the number of participants. There is a «thing-for-thing» rule, where everyone brings clean and intact but unwanted items and takes something they like in return. But the most important requirement is that the things participants bring are in good condition. Party organisers advise bringing something they would not be ashamed to wear themselves

Singapore Swap Shop (Source: bangkokpost.com)
Singapore Swap Shop (Source: bangkokpost.com)

Swap parties have several key advantages:

  • It’s a direct route to conscious consumption. By participating in swap parties, people are speaking out against the thoughtless disposal of clothes.
  • It’s not second-hand: all items will be available for free.
  • It’s an opportunity not just to get rid of unwanted items at home, but also to make sure that they still last a long time for other people.
  • It’s a way of getting to know people and their personal styles.
Swap party at a cafe (Source: sustainyourstyle.org)
Swap party at a cafe (Source: sustainyourstyle.org)

In today’s age, the issue of sensible consumption is as important as ever. Mikhail Antonov, head of the Moseco movement notes: «The phenomenon of ‘fast fashion’ is now prevalent, where up to 50 cycles of clothing can change in one year. Half of all clothes sold in the capital become rubbish within a year or after a couple of wearings! Meanwhile, clothes are difficult to recycle, tossed in the rubbish dump, they clog up sorting equipment.» For people, swap parties become an opportunity to swap their old and good stuff for other people’s already new and good stuff. If something has lost its value to its owner, it does not mean that its fate must necessarily end up in a landfill. Sometimes the option of selling clothes can be difficult, given how quickly trends appear and disappear, in which case the «swap» option proves to be more effective.

The fast-fashion alternative (Source: biome.com)
The fast-fashion alternative (Source: biome.com)

«Swaps» can of course not only be conducted with clothes and jewelry, but also with a variety of items, from books to crockery. Also, unwanted items will not go unclaimed anyway. If there is anything left after the event, it will be sent to charity organizations or recycled.

In Russia it is possible to take part in such a swap party not only in the capital but also in Krasnodar, in Kazan and many other cities. And in Moscow, apart from the one-off actions, a real shop has also appeared, but the rules of the “swap” apply to it too – no sale, only exchange.

Sharing clothes (Source: theecologist.org)
Sharing clothes (Source: theecologist.org)

You can organize such a swap party yourself, together with a few friends and acquaintances. You can have a fun and enjoyable time watching a film, listening to music and sharing food and drinks.

 

Films are therapeutic

What is film therapy and can it replace psychotherapy?

Reading time 7 minutes

With the onset of autumn often comes a slight sadness and apathy. According to statistics, in the autumn season, one in two people may be in a  depression, or otherwise moping. In this period of grey workaday life and distancing can lift your spirits with the help of films. But is it possible to cure yourself with them?

A movie will brighten up a dull autumn evening (source: Istockphoto.com)
A movie will brighten up a dull autumn evening (source: Istockphoto.com)

HOW CAN CINEMA BE A THERAPEUTIC TOOL

When watching a film, the viewer often associates him- or herself with the main character and notices the similarities between the situations in his or her life and the character’s difficulties. Because of this, there is empathy for the characters. Thus, the behavioral tactics pursued by the film’s protagonist can inspire the viewer and encourage them to solve their own problems. This is called film therapy.

Film therapy is a branch of psychotherapy in which films are used as medicine. Movies reduce anxiety levels and help people find answers to their worries.

HISTORY OF FILM THERAPY

Throughout history, filmmakers have searched for ways to hold an audience’s attention. Hence the interest in the study of the human psyche and methods of influencing it through color correction, sound, editing, and other creative mechanisms of cinema.

The audience’s reaction to the movies they watched was actively studied from the early 50s. Both individual and group perceptions of films have been studied, in conjunction with the psychological processes that can arise during viewing.

The first publication on film therapy came out in 1951. It was an article by M. Prados’ article «The use of films in psychotherapy».

So how does our mind react to films? (Source: Vuzopedia.ru)
So how does our mind react to films? (Source: Vuzopedia.ru)

BASIC METHODS OF FILM THERAPY

«Cinematology» by Antonio Meneghetti: films can be used to analyze people

The first book on film therapy was written by Antonio Meneghetti. One day during a collective discussion of a film, the psychologist noticed a consistent link between the complexes of the participants and the opinions they held. This was the starting point for the discovery of a therapeutic method, which the author called cinematology.

The author believes that from the patient’s reaction to the film he watched, one can draw significant conclusions not only about the person himself but also about his psychological traits.

«The purpose of cinematology is not to teach or critique the director’s work, but to use the film to analyze the people experiencing these images: the viewer is emotionally complicit in exactly that which identifies him,» Meneghetti wrote in his book «Cinema. Theatre. The Unconscious».

Films often make viewers feel strong emotions (source: Bigstockphoto.com)
Films often make viewers feel strong emotions (source: Bigstockphoto.com)

Harry Solomon’s film therapy: films make our problems obvious

American neurologist Harry Solomon tested the effectiveness of film therapy through his own experience. As an adult he became bankrupt, addicted to alcohol and drugs, but he got himself out of this state thanks to films.

But he started to use films as therapy after a particular situation that happened to him at work. A patient’s life story reminded Solomon of a film, so he recommended her to see a film. The practice made a lasting impression on the woman and helped her to cope with the problem.

Solomon found that film therapy was more effective if films were chosen in which patients could recognize themselves. This helps people to recognize problems that they did not want to hear about.

You empathise more with someone who is similar (source: Kinorium.com)
You empathise more with someone who is similar (source: Kinorium.com)

Tav Sparks’ Movie Therapy: Movies as a GPS navigator for self-discovery

Psychologist Tav Sparks also believes in the healing power of film. In his book «Cinema Yoga», the author explained how cinema therapy works. Each person has an inner power, which is expressed in their reactions to the world around them. The task of the patient, therefore, is to learn to control his or her emotions and to stop being a victim of what is going on around him or her.

The author sees watching films as a process of self-knowledge, in which, as in a psychotherapist’s appointment, one works on oneself. However, the advantage of film therapy as a method of healing is that film allows you to learn about yourself in an entertaining and playful way. Interesting fact: In his book, Sparks describes in detail how film therapy takes place using an example of how a navigation system works.

Sergey Krasin’s Directed Film Therapy: The Importance of Film Therapists

Sergey Krasin, PhD and psychologist, has long developed film therapy training programmes for teachers, parents and school students. In the course of his work, the author became convinced that treatment with films can be more effective if patients are psychologically prepared beforehand to watch a film and discuss it afterwards. Thus began the story of Sergei Krasin’s method. The author divided film therapy into three equally important stages: work with the film therapist before, during and after watching the film. The task of the therapist is to help the patient mentally adjust to consciously watching the film in order to gain new information about themselves and their difficulties.

Film therapy can help people cope with their difficulties on their own, without the intervention of psychologists or psychotherapists. It is worth remembering, however, that in serious cases this method is best used strictly under the supervision of a specialist.

 

Turnips instead of heads

How did vegetables become the main attribute of Halloween?

Reading time 5 minutes

Saints’ Day Eve, better known as Halloween, is celebrated on the night of October 31 to November 1 in many countries around the world. Originally a pagan Celtic end-of-summer holiday, it became part of popular culture in the late 19th century when it spread across America. In Russia Halloween came in the 90’s, and although according to surveys only 3% of Russians celebrate it, many people have heard of Halloween in one form or another and are familiar with the traditions that accompany the holiday. In October, specialized decorations appear in shops and themed movies are in theaters.

A mask made for Halloween (Source: museum.ie)
A mask made for Halloween (Source: museum.ie)

One of the symbols of Halloween is the so-called «Jack lanterns» – lanterns carved from a pumpkin that resemble heads with scary faces. According to Irish legend, where the tradition originated, Miserly Jack was able to trick the devil twice by taking his word not to claim his soul after his death. But when Jack died, Heaven refused to accept him, and the Devil, because of his grudge and the promise he made, kept him from Hell, sending Jack wandering the earth with a smoldering fire that he had put into a carved gourd.

Turnip lantern (Source: fatherly.com)
Turnip lantern (Source: fatherly.com)

The legend served not only as an educational tale, but also helped explain the «wandering lights», a rare natural phenomenon observed on marshes and cemeteries at night. The flickering light, produced by the inflammation of gases from decomposing organic matter, often led travelers astray – if they started to follow it, they might fall into the mire and drown. The inhabitants of the time believed it to be the work of Stingy Jack, a lost soul trapped between two worlds.

Wandering lights (Source: lensculture)
Wandering lights (Source: lensculture)

To ward off Jack and other evil spirits entering the land on Halloween night, people began carving their own lanterns, and more often used large turnips, potatoes, radishes and beetroot instead of pumpkins. «Metal lanterns were quite expensive, so people carved root vegetables, – explains Nathan Mannion, senior curator at the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin. – Over time, people began to carve faces and drawings so that light could pass through the holes without extinguishing the charcoal».

Although the tradition became widely known thanks to Halloween, Celts from northern Europe have been using round vegetables and fruit to represent human faces since pre-Christian times. There is speculation that this symbolized the severed heads of enemies appearing as spoils of war.

An exhibition of Halloween memorabilia at the National Museum of Ireland (Source: catholicphilly.com)
An exhibition of Halloween memorabilia at the National Museum of Ireland (Source: catholicphilly.com)

The carving of lanterns from root crops is only one aspect of the All Saints’ Eve celebrations which date back to ancient times, but many customs have been lost. Celtic priests built huge bonfires, practiced divination rituals and performed rites to keep evil spirits at bay – but because they kept no written records, little is known about these practices.

 

«Stick it»: it’s all our own fault

The new «W-M» crew begins their flight and looks into why sport is simply absurd

Reading time 11 minutes

With autumn moping sweeping the country, it’s high time we turned to energizing and driving films. On this occasion, today we decided to delve into the world of artistic gymnastics and review «Stick it», starring the feisty Missy Peregrym!

Мисси Перегрим с коллегами по фильму (источник: Кинориум)
Missy Peregrym with her film colleagues (source: Kinorium)
Storyline

A woman’s eye

«Stick it» is based on the story of a strong girl with «sports in her blood». But her parents’ divorce and the disgrace of a previous competition discourage her from aspiring to anything, much less a gymnastics career. The new Haley Graham chooses individuality and freedom to be in control of herself and her life rather than «six hours of daily exercise that kills you». Fun friends, BMX freestyle and a fresh breeze in her head. Soon, however, Haley has to face up to the gritty world of gymnastics and her carefully forgotten past again, because otherwise, she’ll face jail time. It’s up to the heroine to rein in her rebellious spirit and learn some important life lessons. What’s really wrong with the world of artistic gymnastics? What does winning depend on, and what is its true value?

Burt Vickerman and Hayley Graham in the gymnasium, still from the film (source: MoviePlay)
Burt Vickerman and Hayley Graham in the gymnasium, still from the film (source: MoviePlay)

But «Stick it» isn’t really about sport. It’s a film about life, about growing up, about finding your values. The main characters of the film are, first of all, ordinary people, with their personal problems, and only then – strong-willed athletes. Haley tries to cope with the resentment of her mother leaving the family, Joanne dreams of going to the prom, and Burt Vickerman struggles with his greed for victories.

A man’s perspective

The plot is interesting in that, if reversed, you get another stand-alone statement. In the exposition, we see a girl (Haley) completely disillusioned with the sport and finding her place in the skateboarding subculture. She sees sport – in this case, gymnastics – through. And it is extremely difficult to argue with her views: sport is indeed traumatic, both physically and mentally. A bizarre set of circumstances, or rather a choice without a choice (in which she is willing to choose prison and the military academy over returning to gymnastics, but her opinion is ignored) forces her to return to sport and take revenge (on herself or on life?). Throughout the film, her beliefs don’t really change. Rather, Hayley acts as a messiah and opens the eyes of other girl athletes, and therein lies her rebelliousness.
Turning the plot around in reverse order, we get a character who is disillusioned with the sport and has found herself in a different occupation and a different society. I don’t claim to know which is better, the original or the reverse, but the second is at least closer to the truth.

What's behind the cheeky shell? (source: Irecommend)
What’s behind the cheeky shell? (source: Irecommend)

Directing

A woman’s eye

«Stick it» is directed by Jessica Bendinger, who is known for writing scripts for films such as, «Bring it on» and «Aquamarine». Jessica is also the scriptwriter of some episodes of the popular TV series «Sex and the City».

Jessica Bendinger with the cast (source: kinomania)
Jessica Bendinger with the cast (source: kinomania)

Bendinger spent several years researching and selecting material on the sport of gymnastics before starting work on the film. She subsequently created a documentary presentation based on them, after which several studios were interested in the project. However, Disney got the rights for the project and so Bendinger made her directorial debut. Jessica thus completed her project for Touchstone Pictures in association with Spyglass Entertainment.
Despite the fact that «Stick it» pretends to be a sports story genre, many critics gave the film low marks precisely because of its poor conveyance of the atmosphere of sports. However, if you look at the film as a whole, you can’t help but enjoy it in terms of music, styling and color correction.

Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)
Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)

The costumes of the gymnasts reflect the inner world and character of each heroine. Haley Graham’s fiery leotard, in which the rebel gymnast performed freestyle exercises at the US championships to driving music, deserves special attention.

Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)
Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)

The musical component of the film is also admirable. The lead song was sung by six-time «Grammy» winner (Missy Elliott), and Mike Simpson, who has written music for such critically acclaimed hits as «Fight Club», «Road Trip» and «Freaky Friday», worked on most of the soundtrack.
It is also worth noting the presence of interesting technical tricks in the film, thanks to which «Stick it» looks with interest and does not lose its dynamism. The school championship scene which is mounted in kaleidoscope style stands out in this regard. All the gymnasts in brightly colored leotards and fast music perform their routines at the same time.

School championships, still from film (source: l2db)
School championships, still from film (source: l2db)

Also very evocative was the introduction scene of the two significant characters in the film, Burt Wickerman and Joanne. The figures of both characters scrolled 360 degrees while information about them appeared on the screen nearby.

A man’s perspective

The film offers aggressive editing in the comedy and action scenes, and conversely, long, even slow-motion shots in the drama scenes, further enhancing the emotional edge of the action. The overall aesthetic, coupled with soundtracks and sound effects, is reminiscent of MTV music videos. Flip phones, BMX bikes, snapbacks all evoke a sense of nostalgia for the early to mid-2000s, the time when the film was released.

Overall impression

A woman’s perspective.

The story may be sagging in terms of sports atmospherics, but «Stick it» is definitely a colorful, stylistic film that’s a pleasure to watch. At the same time, the film is not devoid of meaning; each protagonist has his own drama and questions about himself and his life.

Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)
Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)

The film is really not about sport but about people. Haley Graham tries to understand who is guilty of her failures throughout the whole film. Eventually, the girl realizes that there is no point in looking for those responsible – she has to act because everything depends only on herself. This allows the protagonist to curb her rebellious spirit and gain the courage to take complete control of her life.

Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)
Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)

The film leaves a pleasant aftertaste, brimming with inspiration and hope. The story brings out the universal rule of life: it’s never too late to take matters into your own hands. And it doesn’t matter at all whether the issue is sports, decency or winning. In this respect, it’s a good thing that the subject matter is not limited to sports because this makes «Stick it» more interesting to a wider audience.

Burt Vickerman and Hayley Graham at the US Championships, still from the film (source: MoviePlay)
Burt Vickerman and Hayley Graham at the US Championships, still from the film (source: MoviePlay)

The male perspective

The film, which is announced as a sports drama, maintains a relaxed atmosphere. And though the humor is sometimes based on toilet jokes and stereotypical behavior of the stereotypical characters, you don’t have a desire to switch it off – all the same it is a light film for an evening viewing, preferably in the company of your friends. As for the overall message, it’s clear: if the sport is brutal and meaningless and – since you happen to be there – stay in solidarity with your partners and rivals, and be prepared to take responsibility for your actions. A similar philosophy should be transferred to life. For Haley, it does, as the sport becomes just the backdrop to a central message voiced by the heroine herself: «We are the only ones responsible for everything. That’s the real reality».

 

 

 

Lobster’s adventures

On the merger of the real and virtual worlds in the works of Philip Colbert

Reading time 3 minutes

Actual art is often perceived as the antithesis of the traditional, when the artist breaks with its old forms and patterns and creates something fundamentally new, and — most importantly — consistent with the interests of the modern public. The most unusual means of expression are used now. The more extravagant these methods are, the better: it’s more likely to surprise the viewer. Many art objects in galleries today are perceived by visitors as “divorced” from aesthetic samples of past years. Philip Colbert’s work (by the way, some find similarities between him and Andy Warhol) is another example. This British artist manages to saturate classic painting subjects (such as a hunting scene) with elements of modern reality, recreating their original meanings.

Like a bolt from the blue
Like a bolt from the blue

«I became an artist when I became Lobster», — said Philip Colbert in an interview. Exactly this fictional character in bright pajamas, placed in the center of most Colbert’s paintings, reflects the author’s alter ego. For him, Lobster became a kind of mediator between the real and virtual worlds, which, according to Colbert, today are often mixed and become difficult to distinguish. The influence of the consumer society and, as a consequence, mass culture (one of the main topics for this very artist), which for Lobster turned into a struggle for survival, is ironically played out in many works, which at first sight amaze in their own way with aesthetic randomness and wide color spectrum.

Find your alter ego!
Find your alter ego!

«I believe the duality in my work is expressed primarily in the use of very bright colors — festive, positive and cheerful, which convey positive energy, but with dark, gloomy subtext, scenes of violence, as well as a reflection of the modern cult of consumption and the negative effect that it is having on our planet», — explains the author.

The charming Lobster is at the center of events
The charming Lobster is at the center of events

Colbert boldly mixes time periods and styles, collecting his own cultural code from disparate fragments. It contains dozens of logos of popular brands, faces of recognizable artists of past eras, landscape elements, pop-ups of social networks, and even references to surrealism (for example, Salvador Dali’s elephants in the background of an artwork).

Everything we can imagine is real
Everything we can imagine is real

Lobster Land is a semi-fiictional/semi-real world. An alternative reality, overwhelmed by the possibilities of choosing a wide variety of goods and entertainment for any taste (though first you have to «obtain» it). However, perhaps the most difficult thing for someone who once appeared there, is not to lose his or her head and return to the earth in time!

Марвел покоряет мир телесериалов

Кинокомпания взяла курс на многосерийные проекты

Reading time 4 minutes

Марвел покоряет мир телесериалов
Кинокомпания взяла курс на многосерийные проекты

Marvel Studios известна по экранизации супергеройских комиксов и по таким блокбастерам, как «Железный человек», «Мстители» и «Тор». В 2021 году кинокомпания выпустила три многосерийных проекта на Disney+ с уже знакомыми зрителям героями: «ВандаВижн», «Сокол и Зимний солдат», «Локи». Эти сериалы положили начало Четвертой фазе кинематографической вселенной Марвел.
ВандаВижн
Минисериал рассказывает о событиях после «Мстители: Финал» – фильма, который заканчивает повествование о первой команде супергероев. В центре сюжета два бывших мстителя – Алая Ведьма, девушка со способностями к колдовству, и Вижн, робот-андроид в теле человека. В отличие от фильмов Marvel, сериал снят в жанрах ситкома и драмы: Ванда, не смирившись со смертью любимого, создает отдельный мир, где они оба счастливы. Со временем герои начинают подозревать, что их реальность ненастоящая.
Роль Ванды Максимофф исполнила Элизабет Олсен, а роль Вижна – Том Беттани. Режиссером выступил Мэтт Шекманн, известный по работе над «Игрой престолов» и «Доктором Хаусом». Ситком оценили критики: на IMDB рейтинг составил 8,1. Прямым продолжением сериала станет фильм «Доктор Стрэндж: В мультивселенной безумия», который выйдет в 2022 году.

Сокол и Зимний солдат
Сериал о Соколе и Зимнем солдате хронологически располагается после заключительного фильма «Мстители: Финал». Сэм по настоянию Капитана Америки должен стать следующим символом надежды и принять щит. На фоне личной драмы героя разворачиваются другие события: появляется анархистская международная организация, Зимний солдат учится жить в современном мире, а государство создает нового Капитана Америку.
Съемки начались еще в 2019 в Америке и Чехии, но были приостановлены из-за пандемии коронавируса. Премьера минисериала состоялась 23 марта, эпизоды выходили в течение месяца. К ролям Баки Барнса и Сэма Уилсона вернулись Себастиан Стэн и Энтони Маки. Продолжением телешоу станет четвертый фильм из цикла картин про Капитана Америку.

Локи
«Локи» – американский сериал, созданный Майклом Уилдроном на основе комиксов Марвел. Несмотря на то, что вышло только три серии, проект получил высокую оценку на рейтинговом сервисе Rotten Tomatoes: критики дали шоу 93%, а аудитория – 88%. Кинокомпания также анонсировала выход второго сезона.

Локи не только бог обмана и лжи, но и знакомый зрителю персонаж в исполнении Тома Хиддлстона из «Тора». В первой части «Мстителей» (2012) он был главным антагонистом, который пытался разрушить Нью-Йорк. Действия шоу развиваются после сразу после нью-йоркского нападения: Локи сбегает от команды мстителей при помощи Камня бесконечности. Бог попадает в бюрократическую организацию «Управление временными изменениями», где ему предстоит ответить за совершенные преступления.

5 reasons to watch Patrick Melrose

Not recommended for the faint of heart, but still...

Reading time 6 minutes

In 2018, German filmmaker Edward Berger premiered the mini-series «Patrick Melrose», which tells the story of the eponymous hero’s attempts to deal with the traumas of his past and live a life of dignity. The project did not receive an unequivocally enthusiastic response from the audience but was nevertheless extraordinary. This article explains why it’s worth watching.

  1. An atypical role for Benedict Cumberbatch

One of the most in-demand actors, not only in the UK but worldwide, admitted in an interview:

«I think my strength is in my brain, not my muscles. But that doesn’t embarrass me. It is very easy to look clever. It is much harder to play smart. But, because I grew up in high society and went to one of the oldest schools in the world, I have to play asexual sociopathic intellectuals for the rest of my life…»

Benedict Cumberbatch as Melrose Jr.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Melrose Jr.

So Patrick’s eccentric role is an entirely different one. The protagonist claims to be a self-destructive leader in every possible way: alcohol, drugs, promiscuity – the list does not end there. Not every film gives you the opportunity to watch an almost completely demoralized Benedict dancing in a drunken stupor.

  1. Visuals.

«Patrick Melrose» is full of its own aesthetic: in places bright and juicy, like the fruit on the trees that grows outside the luxurious Melrose villa, in places depressing and gloomy, highlighting the spiritual poverty of the individual characters (no spoilers).

Benedict Cumberbatch as Melrose Jr.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Melrose Jr.

The detailed interiors complement the style of the recreated time. The same applies to the choice of locations (the French countryside alone) and the costumes of the characters: together, they create a harmonious picture that is particularly pleasant to look at in natural, warm light.

sun was shining. What else was it supposed to do? - Patrick Melrose
The sun was shining. What else was it supposed to do? – Patrick Melrose
  1. The sound of music

The musical accompaniment to this story also leaves no one indifferent. The retro atmosphere here is not just in the picture, but also in the soundtracks. The pilot episode, for example, is accompanied by the Cat Stevens song «Wild world», as if preparing the viewer for a mental transport to a couple of decades ago. Except that as one gradually delves into Patrick’s childhood and learns details of his interactions with his parents, it becomes difficult to call the nostalgic mood evoked by the music a restful one.

A person can lose their mind because they are experiencing an emotion that they have to suppress. - Patrick Melrose
A person can lose their mind because they are experiencing an emotion that they have to suppress. – Patrick Melrose

The series also has a place for original soundtracks, with emotional responses ranging from anxious and disturbing to melancholy and alienating.

  1. A witty tragicomedy

Patrick’s story is a coherent narrative not only and not so much about the ways in which he destroys his ‘normal’ life, but about the reasons that have made the latter unbearable (primarily mentally). Melrose was born into a well-to-do aristocratic family, but his background and wealth did not make him happy. His mother’s indifference and his father’s unreasonable, perverted cruelty turned little Patrick’s life upside down for many years to come. The relationship within the family is a central theme of Berger’s mini-series, and one which all of us can feel particularly strongly about.

Forgiveness is an important thing, especially when you are forgiven. - Patrick Melrose
Forgiveness is an important thing, especially when you are forgiven. – Patrick Melrose

With each series, the life of the protagonist grows more and more hopelessly detailed.  Nevertheless, his story is presented in an interesting, even amusing and satirical way so that we want to watch it through to the end (even if it is psychologically difficult).

  1. A chance to compare the series’ experience with the books

The plot of the series is based on the series of novels by Edward St. Aubyn, whose work is highly regarded by the performer of the title role. The series of books is called a modern classic, noting the author’s distinctive style with its inherent sincerity, impartiality and irony. It is important to note that the works about Patrick Melrose are largely autobiographical: their idea was inspired by real events in the life of St. Aubyn.

 

How Estella became Cruella

Disney has filmed the story of the antagonist from «101 Dalmatians»

Reading time 5 minutes

«Cruella» premiered in Los Angeles on 18 May. At the same time, on 28 May, the film became available for viewing in cinemas and on the Disney+ platform. The screening in Russian cinemas started on 3 June. The director was Craig Gillespie, known for his work on the drama «I, Tonya».

«Cruella» is a prequel to the Disney animated films «101 Dalmatians» and «102 Dalmatians». Work on the adaptation began back in 2011, when the studio saw the first script for the project, and after another five years the cast was joined by the lead actors. In 2019, Disney unveiled the «Cruella» announcement at D23Expo.

Half a century after the release of the cartoon series, Disney presents the personal story of the villain. In the film adaptation, the action takes place in ’70s London – a time of punk rock and flashy clothes. The plot tells the story of the antagonist’s childhood and her traumas, which turned young Estella into the villainous Cruella. The heroine is not just an evil and bloodthirsty millionaire who tortures dogs. She dreams of becoming a famous designer. To achieve this, Estella takes a job with Baroness von Hellman, the owner of a fashion house. A rivalry between the young fashion designer and her boss leads to unexpected consequences.

Still from the film, 2021 (source: YouTube)
Still from the film, 2021 (source: YouTube)

An important part of the film is the world of fashion. In the original, Cruella prefers a voluminous, red-lined coat and a black tailored dress. The color palette is retained in the film adaptation, but the outfits themselves have changed. «Cruella» follows the current trends of veganism and eco-consumerism: fur is replaced by artificial leather. Estella’s images are inspired by the punk aesthetic: rough boots, bright prints and army jackets. Cruella’s wardrobe is more feminine and extravagant. Costume designer and Oscar winner Jenny Bevan created the clothes for the film. A total of 47 full-length looks, inspired by the style of Vivienne Westwood, the punk grandmother, were made for the main character.

A still from the film, 2021 (source: Vogue)
A still from the film, 2021 (source: Vogue)

An Oscar-winning cast has been recruited to work on the film. Emma Stone, known for her roles in  «La La Land», «Spider-Man: No way home» and «The Favourite», plays the title role. The cast also includes Emma Thompson («Harry Potter» film series) and Mark Strong («Kingsman»). Little Estella was played by Tipper Seifert-Cleveland.

The audience met the fresh take on the children’s cartoon approvingly. The worldwide box office reached $84 million and «Cruella» was rated 7.4 on IMDB. Rotten Tomatoes editor-in-chief Joel Mears shared the positive sentiment on his Twitter: «If you’re wondering what a mix of «The Devil Wears Prada», «The Witcher» and «Death Becomes Her» would look like, then watch the film.».

Emma Stone with the makers of «Cruella» at the premiere, 2021 (source: Disney)
Emma Stone with the makers of «Cruella» at the premiere, 2021 (source: Disney)

 

Нищий работяга по имени Луи Виттон

История бренда Louis Vuitton

Reading time 10 minutes

Кто же такой Луи Виттон?

Один из самых знаменитых на сегодняшний день человек – Луи Виттон – родился в 4 августа 1821 года в маленьком городе Лон-ле-Сонье. Уже в детстве он преодолевал немало трудностей: каждый день он проводил, помогая своему отцу на ферме, работал с раннего утра до позднего вечера.  Его семья не отличалась большим достатком – им едва хватало на жизнь.

Луи Виттон рано осиротел – когда ему было 10 лет, его отец умер, и мальчику пришлось взять ответственность за свою жизнь. Так, в 13-летнем возрасте Виттон покинул родной город и пешком отправился  в Париж. Дорога, которую ему необходимо было преодолеть составляла 470 км, она вела в полную неизвестность. Это путешествие у него заняло несколько лет. И только в возрасте 16 лет Луи наконец достиг Парижа.

Портрет создателя бренда Louis Vuitton (Источник: rfl.rf)
Портрет создателя бренда Louis Vuitton (Источник: rfl.rf)

Первые недели в Париже он скитался по улицам в поиске работы, спал, где придется. Жизнь была к нему сурова до того дня, пока однажды в витрине одной мастерской он не увидел красивую коробку с качественно упакованными вещами. Ее форма, цвет и изгибы заинтересовали Луи. Тогда он предложил свою помощь в работе владельцу мастерской. Качества характера, которыми обладал юный Луи – упорство, целеустремленность и желание работать – не оставили никого из работников равнодушными. Так, уже на следующий день он стал полноправным работником мастерской Месси Марешаль. Благодаря своему труду уже через несколько лет Луи заслужил репутацию среди богатых парижан и стал одним из лучших практиков.

Первый бутик Louis Vuitton (Источник: intebagl.com)
Первый бутик Louis Vuitton (Источник: intebagl.com)

Первая мастерская и революция в мире путешественников

1854 году Виттон открыл собственную мастерскую на улице Капуцинов, рядом с Вандомской площадью. Большую часть заказов в то время были индивидуальными. Так, например, в 1956 году ему необходимо было изготовить несколько сундуков для одного из известных французских цирков.

Несмотря на свою известность, Луи мечтал стать уникальным в своем деле. Тогда ему пришла идея создания революционных водонепроницаемых сундуков прямоугольной формы с закругленными крышками. В своей практике он использовал холст, а не кожу, как было распространенно в то время. Именно эти сундуки стали насколько успешными, что определили форму дорожных сумок на последующие 70 лет. Успех был обусловлен еще и тем, что люди стали активно изучать мир, путешествовать по железной дороге. Удобство нового аксессуара привлекло самую состоятельную публику. Это был успех – об этом «чудо-чемодане» узнали далеко за пределами Франции.

Уже в то время изделия Луи Виттона стали активно подделывать, но создатель решил ввести опознавательный знак на его работах. Он разработал оригинальную расцветку, которая выделялась на фоне тусклых и привычных оттенков чемоданов и сумок других мастерских. Также, чтобы отличаться от конкурентов, Луи создал сперва коричнево-бежевую полоску, а после – шахматный принт, который даже сейчас не потерял своей актуальности.

С первых дней клиентами магазина были обеспеченные люди, хорошо знающие толк в качестве и красоте изделий. Одной из них была жена Наполеона III – Евгения. Благодаря ей магазин Луи Виттона привлек внимание большого количества богатых людей, тем самым обеспечив успех дальнейшей карьеры Луи.

Чемоданы Louis Vuitton 1956 год (Источник: Casual.info.ru)
Чемоданы Louis Vuitton 1956 год (Источник: Casual.info.ru)

Война и Louis Vuitton

В 1871 году в результате Франко-Прусской войны мастерская Луи Виттона была разграблена и разрушена. Однако Луи быстро сумел восстановить производство.

Во время Второй мировой войны бренд Louis Vuitton поддерживал связь с фашистами. Известно, что на входе в фирменный бутик висела табличка с текстом фашистской направленности: «Вход евреям запрещен». Но даже не смотря на все эти события, бренд по-прежнему оставался признаком статуса и хорошего вкуса.

Уникальность
Спрос на его продукцию был настолько высок, что в 1885 году Виттон открыл свой первый магазин за пределами Франции. С этого же года на каждой единице продукции стала появляться марка «L. Vuitton de pouce», которая гарантировала подлинность товара. В 1886 году Виттон с сыном Джорджем разработали и запатентовали пружинный замок, конструкция которого используется по сей день. Все модели замков хранились в мастерских на случай, если владельцу понадобится еще один ключ.

Луи Виттон. 1960 год (Источник: avmh.ru)
Луи Виттон. 1960 год (Источник: avmh.ru)

Продолжатели семейного дела
После смерти отца Джордж Виттон поставил перед собой глобальную цель – вывести бренд на международный уровень. С этого момента появилась легендарная монограмма с цветами и буквами «LV» в память об его отце. Благодаря Ждорджу бутики стали открываться по всемы миру. В те года стали активно выпускаться разновидности сумок Louis Vuitton: Steamer bag, Squire bag и Keepall, которая изначально задумывались как сумки для перевозки грязного белья.

Дорожная сумка Louis Vuitton Keepall (Источник: Poshmark)
Дорожная сумка Louis Vuitton Keepall (Источник: Poshmark)

На смену Джорджа пришел его сын, который преобразил бренд и внес корректировки в его оформление: при Джордже легендарный принт стал более мелким, что позволило разместить его на всей продукции. В то время компания выросла от двух эксклюзивных магазинов и 11 млн. евро дохода от продаж до 125 магазинов, приносивших 600 млн. евро в 1989 году.

Показ Louis Vuitton 2014 год (Источник: Lofficiel)
Показ Louis Vuitton 2014 год (Источник: Lofficiel)

Louis Vuitton в наши дни
Процесс изготовления чемоданов не изменился со времен первой мастерской. До сих пор корпус чемодана изготавливается из тополя, сохранились элементы защиты углов и те самые надежные замки. Более того, на все изделия компания дает пожизненную гарантию, а в случае, если продукция износилась со временем, владельцы имеют возможность обратиться в специальные службы ремонта. То есть, фактически, покупатели Louis Vuitton покупают продукцию, которая прослужит им всю жизнь.

В 1997 году креативным директором бренда становится Марк Джейкобс. Благодаря ему компания вышла на новый уровень: он создал коллекцию, где впервые использовал грубые мужские ботинки и легкие шелковые платья на моделях. При нем каждый показ напоминал шоу, где модели катаются на каруселях, выходят на подиум из лифта или же спускаются по эскалатору.

С 2016 в продаже появилась коллекция ароматов для дам, а в 2018 году была выпущена мужская линейка туалетной воды. Уже с лета 2019 года фирма начинает производить парфюм в стиле унисекс, который сразу покорил сердца всех любителей этого бренда.

Балерина Диана Вишнева (Источник: buro247)
Балерина Диана Вишнева (Источник: buro247)

Интересные факты
Существуют даже контрацептивы Louis Vuitton. Стоимость одной штуки составляет 65 долларов (4800 рублей).
Louis Vuitton стали первой компанией, которая стала использовать в своей рекламе известных певцов и актеров. В одной из реклам снимался сам Милаил Горбачев.

Самый известный скандал Louis Vuitton, повлекший за собой судебное дело, был против Бритни Спирс. Тогда певицу признали виновной за нарушение закона о фальсификации товарного знака в клипе, где фигурировала приборная доска с розовым материалом и фирменной символикой Louis Vuitton. Певицу обязали выплатить бренду 80 тысяч долларов за трансляцию данного логотипа.

В 2014 году был специальный индивидуальный заказ для прима-балерины Мариинского театра Дианы Вишневой. В чемодан помещалось 6 балетных пачек и 18 пар пуантов, а также аксессуары балерины. А в 2019 году лучшими мастерами бренда был изготовлен сундук для перевозки кубка мира по футболу. Шести-килограммовый трофей из золота и малахита путешествовал по миру в безопасной коробке с логотипом бренда Louis Vuitton.

Контрацептивы Louis Vuitton (Источник: LVMH)
Контрацептивы Louis Vuitton (Источник: LVMH)

На сегодняшний день дом моды Louis Vuitton имеет свои фирменные магазины в 53 странах мира. Известно, что по традиции все непроданные сумки возвращают в Париж, где их сжигают. Это делается для того, чтобы избежать подделок и оставаться единственным брендом в мире, который отвечает за свое качество и оригинальность.

Сумки, одежда и аксессуары, которые Louis Vuitton никогда не продает оптом или со скидками, представляют собой идеальное сочетание классики и современности.

The Mars Chronicle: NASA explores the planet

Space agency will be looking for signs of life on Mars

Reading time 5 minutes

NASA launched the «Mars 2020» mission last July. The rover, named «Perseverance», took off from the US military base at Cape Canaveral and flew for nearly seven months. A successful landing occurred on February 24. Four video cameras filmed the descent of the rover: two were installed on the device, one more – on the landing module and next to the parachute. «Perseverance» landed in the Ezero crater. There are also recorded alien sounds – for the first time ever.

In addition, the rover drove a few meters across the surface, took photographs, and has already transmitted them to Earth.

The photo taken by the Martian satellite shows bright dots - traces of scorched soil from the landing (source: NASA)
The photo taken by the Martian satellite shows bright dots – traces of scorched soil from the landing (source: NASA)

NASA’s main goal of the mission is to understand whether Mars was habitable in the past. To do this, Perseverance will look for traces of water and life organisms, study the climate and collect surface samples. For the latter task, the rover has special tubes with which it will be able to take rocks and soil.

The rover will also test new technologies. In the future, they will be used for other missions – delivering samples to Earth in 2031 and a manned mission to Mars.

A picture of the surface of Mars (source: NASA)
A picture of the surface of Mars (source: NASA)

The Perseverance mission is far from the first attempt to learn the secrets of the red planet: Mars has long been the object of research by scientists. Space programs look for alien life or at least traces of it. For example, scientists have discovered subterranean lakes of saltwater in the planet’s south pole, methane particles in the atmosphere, and the chemical elements necessary for life. These discoveries were made possible by the Mars rover «Curiosity».

«Curiosity» reveals that Mars has red skies during the day and blue sunsets (source: NASA)
«Curiosity» reveals that Mars has red skies during the day and blue sunsets (source: NASA)

Although there is no direct evidence of living organisms on the red planet yet, this has not stopped researchers from trying to send humans there. American engineer and billionaire Elon Musk is a case in point. One of his companies, SpaceX, has been involved in a manned mission to Mars for nearly twenty years. Musk wants to create a space vehicle so people can travel between planets and colonize Mars.

«I think becoming an interplanetary civilization and traveling through space is very important for all humanity. It would take a lot of resources to build a colony on Mars. And I want to contribute as much as I can»,- claimed Elon Musk for Business Insider. The billionaire is prepared to devote his $140 billion fortune to sponsoring the project.

What planetary colonisation will look like (source: SpaceX press materials)
What planetary colonisation will look like (source: SpaceX press materials)