“Everyone is like a butterfly, they start out ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful graceful butterflies that everyone loves.”
“To be, or not to be” is the famous opening phrase of a soliloquy in William Shakespeare‘s play Hamlet. Debate surrounds its meaning, and that of the speech, but most agree that it asks the fundamental question “why live?” and gives the desolate answer that death might be worse.
Hamlet speaks this on his entry to Act 3 scene 1 (known as the ‘nunnery scene’ because of the Hamlet/Ophelia dialogue after the speech) which is when Polonius and Claudius put into effect their plan, hatched in Act 2 scene 2, to watch Hamlet with Ophelia to determine whether, as Polonius thinks, his ‘madness’ springs from “neglected love”. They have planted her where it is his habit to walk and think and concealed themselves to observe the encounter. Until he notices Ophelia at the end of the speech Hamlet thinks he is alone.
John Barrymore in the greatest success of his theatrical career with Hamlet in 1922, which he played on for 101 performances as the Melancholy Dane, breaking Booth’s record. In February, 1925 he successfully presented his production in London despite the so-called apathy extended toward American Shakespearean actors in Britain.
Laurence Olivier’s 1948 moody black-and-white Hamlet won best picture and best actor Oscars, and is still, as of 2013, the only Shakespeare film to have done so. His interpretation stressed the Oedipal overtones of the play, and cast 28-year-old Eileen Herlie as Hamlet’s mother, opposite himself, at 41, as Hamlet.
Natalie Wood, 1964
Ali MacGraw (for a Vogue cover photo shoot wearing a bright printed silk dress with gold paillete trim by Oscar de La Renta), 1970
“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but … life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
Gabriel García Márquez
Drew Barrymore as scout by Mark Seliger
French kids imitate Dizzy Gillespie’s cheeks in Nice (France) by Milt Hinton, 1981
For this Life magazine session, Art Kane wanted to portray the musical group as a family and took the idea of mothers — and their babies — as a theme. He gathered some of the musicians’ infants, then booked about thirty more from a modeling agency. As soon as they began to shoot, one of the babies urinated, which inspired the others to do so as well, creating in Kane’s words, “the fountains of Rome.”
According to Arthur Paul, the designer of the playboy logo, he chose the rabbit because of its “humorous sexual connotation” and also because the representation was “frisky and playful”. The playboy logo is undoubtedly mischievous in its nature.
John Updike may have chosen the name Rabbit for his character for its echo of Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt (1922). Previously to Rabbit, Run (1961),Updike had written a short story entitled Ace In The Hole, and to a lesser extent a poem, Ex-Basketball Player, with similar themes to this series.
“It had a bed, a table, and a chair. The table had a lamp on it, a lamp that had never stopped burning in anticipation of her return, and on the lamp perched a butterfly with two large eyes painted on its widespread wings. Tereza knew she was at her goal. She lay down on the bed and pressed the rabbit to her face.”
The animation of Cool World (Ralph Bakshi, 1992) was strongly influenced by the house styles of Fleischer Studios and Terrytoons. Bakshi had originally intended to cast Drew Barrymore instead Kim Bassinger in the film’s leading role.
“When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended for self-flagellation solely.”
Pedro Almodóvar quoted Capote on a scene of his awarded movie All About My Mother (1999). Photo: Bruce Weber for Vogue Paris, December 2010
Marcello Mastroianni in 8½ (Federico Fellini, 1963)
Madonna in a Steve Klein’s photo-shoot for a W Magazine issue. June 2006
Model Gail Cook and Andy Warhol. Photo: Francesco Scavullo.
Woody Allen’s portrait by Steve Shapiro
Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page, who was the leading actress of Whip It (2009), directed by Barrymore
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