The Expanse. Do you miss Earth?

I am one of those people who often say: “That’s not how it was in the book” or “The book was better”. Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire), Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit, Cloud Atlas, Ender’s Game etc. Sometimes you watch something because you liked a book, sometimes an interesting movie/series/game inspires you to read something. I even read Larry Niven’s Ringworld because it somehow influenced Halo… Nerd.

I am also one of those people who like love adore science fiction and all sorts of space adventures. Star Wars? Yes, please. Stargate? Gimme more. And when will they finally bring Azimov’s Foundation to the big screen?

That’s why when these things come together I get all excited (and suspicious at the same time, because, you know… sometimes they create things like John Carter).

Couple days ago I ran into new SyFy series The Expanse, based on the best-selling books by James S. A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck).

“Yay!”, I said to myself. I haven’t read any of those books, but since it’s based on the novels, it must have a good story line… I mean, I know, Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray were based on best-sellers too, but… uhm… if you try to film crap, you won’t get anything good of it.

Still… The Expanse.

Hundreds of years in the future, humans have colonized the solar system. The U.N. controls Earth. Mars is an independent military power. The planets rely on the resources of the Asteroid Belt, where air and water are more precious than gold. For decades, tensions have been rising between these three places. Earth, Mars and the Belt are now on the brink of war. And all it will take is a single spark.

Ok, that’s pretty banal and doesn’t say much.

Two hundred years from now, detective Joe Miller, born on the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt, is given the assignment to find a missing heiress, Julie Andromeda Mao. Meanwhile, the first officer of the ice freighter Canterbury, James Holden, is involved in a tragic incident that threatens to destabilize Earth, Mars and the Belt. At the same time a high-ranking United Nations politician Chrisjen Avasarala works to prevent war between Earth and Mars. Soon, the three find out that the missing young woman and the ice trawler’s tragedy are part of a vast conspiracy that threatens all humanity.

The Expanse blends sci-fi elements and detective noir. It also has gorgeous cinematography, mystery, sombre and dramatic plot. It’s as good as Firefly and Battlestar Galactica (2004). Some even say it’s almost like Game of Thrones in space!

I can say, The Expanse is one of the best sci-fi tv shows we’ve had in years. And The Expanse novels are definitely in my to read list now.

P. S.: Greorge R. R. Martin urged y’all to check it out!

Video

Gregory Crewdson’s Photography

Gregory Crewdson is an american photographer known for his cinematic and surreal scenes of American homes and neighborhoods.

This interesting video by Reserve Channel shows the process of constructing his extremely detailed photographs, that look like Stephen Spielberg or David Lynch movies put into single frame.

 

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

Hi, my name is Kate and I love vampires…

Well, who doesn’t? They may be outrageously sexy and seductive, or terrifying as your worst nightmare, but you can’t deny they are extremely cool (well, if only they don’t sparkle, you know).

Vampires are in trend for a couple of last decades. Actually, vampires are the trend themselves. There are so many movies, series, books and games about them, you can literally get lost if you start digging. Some of them are really great. But mostly it’s a trash like Dracula Untold and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which both were a total fail, in my opinion.

There are even great musical shows such as Dracula, l’Amour Plus Fort Que La Mort (based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola), and Dance of the Vampires (the musical revival of the classic movie by Roman Polanski).

But in all this diversity it can be very difficult to find something really worthwhile. Stamps and clichés grin and show their ugly teeth from each frame, causing only one desire: to un-see those aimlessly spent few hours.

But sometimes…

What-We-Do-in-the-Shadows

(more…)

Video

LIGHT AND SHADOW

Light is a form of expression, form of storytelling. Light is pretty much life.

– Janusz Kaminski

Have you ever thought about what Light is? Apart from physics and other sciences I think that basically light is the life itself. It’s that energy, the ultimate force, that gives life to the Universe. Light and Darkness, their balance and harmony, are the basics of every creative process. The play of highlights and shadows is pretty much the art itself. In photography and cinimatography light is a vital, defining element, that creates a picture we can see.

A photographer is a visual storyteller; we speak through light & shadow. – Janusz Kaminski

Cinematographer is an enterpreter who uses light and composition to affect an audience as perception of what’s going on in that story. – Michael Negrin

Cinematography is about defining light and space. – Francis Kenny

I want to share with you my latest discovery, a brilliant and inspiring documentary “Light and shadow” by Steve Weiss, where legendary cinematographers talk about their personal perspectives on creativity, vision and life.

Stanley Kubrick Photography

stanley-kubrick-foto-3

I have not met any educated person who does not know, or haven’t heard at least once about legendary and enigmatic Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999).

You probably know him as the director of 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut. And maybe you’ve even heard about Dr. Strangelove and Path of Glory. His unique vision, attention to details, innovative approach made Kubrick one of the most known, disputed, influential and inspirational filmmakers of all time.

But before getting to Hollywood, Stanley Kubrick became an apprentice photographer at Look magazine in 1946. He began taking photographs when in high school in New York City. At 16, Stanley Kubrick sent a photograph he took of a news-stand after President Roosevelt’s death to Look Magazine, and soon started to work for them as staff photographer, youngest on their record.

He worked there for 5 years, and took about 12000 photographs. Those negatives have remained in the archives of Look Magazine ever since.

Famous german art historian Rainer Crone made the first book to document the early photographs of this famous film director: Stanley Kubrick: Drama & Shadows: Photographs 1945-1950.

Kubrick’s photos are full of drama and beauty, and every frame represents the burgeons of his cinematic language, which later blossomed in his films.

Here’s a short look at best shots, which fully reveal the talent and skill of Stanley Kubrick.

(more…)

Le Printemps des idées, or French Spring in Kiev

Printemps des idees

It’s been a decade since L’ambassade de France en Ukraine, Institut francais d’Ukraine and Les Alliances françaises d’Ukraine started building a cultural bridge between France and Ukraine by creating a franco-ukrainian festival “French Spring”. Now, welcoming French art, exciting meetings, exhibitions, and warm feelings every spring has already become a good tradition.

Today, the French Spring in Ukraine appears as an embodiment of the desire to create and build together, to find new ideas, share experiences of recent initiatives.

This year, French Spring is the Spring of ideas in Ukraine. Its main objective is to bring new cultural formats in Ukrainian culture, as well as open unknown creative implementations. Festival’s entertaining and artistic events will travel to 9 Ukrainian cities: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv, Lugansk, Odessa, Rivne, Kharkiv.

The event has become an integral part of the cultural program in April, and offers a host of modern French projects, a rich program of various genres and eras, common Franco-Ukrainian projects of visual and performing arts, and a music tour in many cities. It also joins the forces with international festival “Book Arsenal” to bring closer Ukraine and France, guest of honor at Book Arsenal.

Atm, the 11th spring festival Printemps françaisis already in the air. There were no traditional opening street performance this year, but organizers presented a highly intensive program instead.

If you are in Ukraine, find a little time to inspire yourself and visit some of these great events:

(more…)