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Duke and Duchess Cambridge launch public art exhibition showing portraits of a nation in lockdown

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with PhD student and volunteer Sami Massalami Ayad

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with PhD student and volunteer Sami Massalami Ayad

London's Waterloo station enjoyed a royal sighting this morning as Prince William and Kate Middleton—the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—pounded the pavements to inspect a series of billboards that mark the nationwide launch of Hold Still,a public exhibition of portraits taken across the UK during lockdown. This ambitious community project, which invited people of all ages to submit a photographic portrait taken during a six-week-long period during May and June this year, was spearheaded by the Duchess in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), of which she is a patron.

“She got in touch with the idea about a week after lockdown and we began discussing it—it all happened very quickly,” says the NPG's director Nicholas Cullinan. “We were curious about what the response would be, and we got more than 31,000 entries, which was incredible.”

A judging panel which included Cullinan, the Duchess—who has a degree in art history and wrote her BA thesis on Victorian photography—and the poet Lemn Sissay then whittled down the entries from 31,598 to 100. This final selection of what Cullinan describes as “extraordinary images from all across the country” has been viewable since September as an online exhibition on the NPG’s website, where it has already received nearly five million viewings. Now this collective portrait of a quarantined nation will be emblazoned on billboards across more than 100 sites in 80 towns, cities and rural locations throughout the UK until 6 December.

Sami Massalami Ayad in front of his Hold Still portrait Sami (2020) by Grey Hutton
Photo: David Parry

For this morning’s launch, the Duke and Duchess insisted on visiting all four poster sites around Waterloo station in a prolonged walkabout, which caused consternation for their security officers but much excitement for the customers at a nearby KFC when the royal couple stopped for a chat. They were accompanied by Cullinan and Steve Murrells, chief executive of the Co-op Group, which have arranged, booked and paid for all the outdoor poRead More – Source

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Michael Apted: TV documentary pioneer and film-maker dies aged 79

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Film director Michael Apted, best known for the Up series of TV documentaries following the lives of 14 people every seven years, has died aged 79.

He also directed Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas In The Mist and the 1999 Bond movie The World Is Not Enough.

The original 7 Up in 1964 set out to document the life prospects of a range of children from all walks of life.

The show was inspired by the Aristotle quote “give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man”.

The first 7 Up show was followed by 14 Up at the start of the next decade, which interviewed the same children as teenagers – and the pattern was set right up until 63 Up in 2019.

Throughout all those intervening years ITV viewers became engrossed with the stories of private school trio Andrew, Charles and John, of Jackie who went through two divorces, of Nick who went from jobless and homeless to Liberal Democrat councillor, and of working class chatterbox Tony, whose life ambition was to become a jockey.

Apted’s shows – which won three Bafta awards – have often been described as the forerunner of modern-day reality TV series, giving its participants the time to tell their own stories on screen.

But unlike their modern counterparts, the original Up children tended to fade away from the limelight in the seven years between each chapter.

In 2008, Apted was made a companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the British film and television industries.

‘Remarkable’ career

Thomas Schlamme, president of the Directors Guild of America, said Apted was a “fearless visionary” whose legacy would live on.

He said Apted, who was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, “saw the trajectory of things when others didn’t and we were all beneficiaries of his wisdom and lifelong dedication”.

ITV’s managing director Kevin Lygo said the director’s six-decade career was “in itself truly remarkable”.

He said the Up series “demonstrated the possibilities of television at its finest in its ambition and its capacity to hold up a mirror to society and engage with and entertain people while enriching our perspective on the human condition”.

“The influence of Michael’s contribution to film and programme-making continues to be felt and he will be sadly missed,” Lygo added.

Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond film franchise, said Apted “was a director of enormous talent” and “beloved by all those who worked with him”.

“We loved working with him on The World Is Not Enough and send our love and support to his family, friends and colleagues,” they said.

A post on the Twitter account of the band Garbage, who performed the theme for The World Is Not Enough, labelled Apted a “delightful, charming soul”.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Composer David G Arnold, who composed the Bond theme and worked with Apted on three other non-Bond movies, said he felt “lucky” to work with him.

“A more trusting, funny, friendly and, most importantly, kind, person you’d never meet. So pleased to have known him and so sad that he’s gone,” Arnold wrote on Twitter.

 

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55597263

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Liverpool FC anthem singer Gerry Marsden dies aged 78

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Gerry and the Pacemakers singer Gerry Marsden, whose version of You’ll Never Walk Alone became a football terrace anthem for his hometown club of Liverpool, has died at the age of 78.

His family said on Sunday he died after a short illness not linked to Covid-19.

Marsden’s band was one of the biggest success stories of the Merseybeat era, and in 1963 became the first to have their first three songs top the chart.

But the band’s other best known hit was Ferry Cross The Mersey came in 1964.

It was written by Marsden himself as a tribute to his city, and reached number eight.

Marsden was made an MBE in 2003 for services to charity after supporting victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

At the time, he said he was “over the moon” to have received the honour, following his support for numerous charities across Merseyside and beyond.

Liverpool FC posted on social media that Marsden’s words would “live on forever with us”.

While Marsden was a songwriter as well as a singer, his most enduring hit was actually a cover of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical number from 1945, that he had to convince his bandmates to record as their third single.

In many interviews over the years, he explained how fate played a part in his band ever recording the song. He was watching a Laurel and Hardy movie at Liverpool’s Odeon cinema in the early 1960s and, only because it was raining, he decided to stay for the second part of a double feature.

That turned out to be the film Carousel – which featured that song on its soundtrack – and Marsden was so moved by the lyrics that he became determined that it should become part of his band’s repertoire.

In a 2013 interview, Marsden told the Liverpool FC website how You’ll Never Walk Alone was adopted by the club’s fans as soon as it topped the chart in 1963: “I remember being at Anfield and before every kick off they used to play the top 10 from number 10 to number one, and so You’ll Never Walk Alone was played before the match. I was at the game and the fans started singing it.

“When it went out of the top 10 they took the song off the playlist and then for the next match the Kop were shouting ‘Where’s our song?’ So they had to put it back on.

“Now, every time I go to the game I still get goose pimples when the song comes on and I sing my head off.”

Sir Kenny Dalglish, who managed Liverpool at the time of the Hillsborough tragedy, tweeted that he was “saddened” by the news of Marsden’s death, and that You’ll Never Walk Alone was an “integral part of Liverpool Football Club, and never more so than now”.

Analysis

By BBC Radio Merseyside’s Spencer Leigh

Gerry was an entertainer. He loved being an entertainer; he loved people seeing him in the street and asking him for his autograph and the like.

He had a very distinctive voice, and that is terribly important. You knew instantly it was him on those records. He was best on those ballads.

I think he really did them very well indeed. You’ll Never Walk Alone was a big show song that had been around for years and years, and lots of people had done it.

Just before Gerry brought his version out, Johnny Mathis brought his out. If that version had been played on the Kop, I don’t think the Kop would have taken to it because you couldn’t sing along with Johnny Mathis – he had too big a range and too perfect a voice.

But Gerry sounded like everyman and it was absolutely perfect for the Kop. I think it’s the greatest football anthem of the lot.

As well as being a Liverpool anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone has also been adopted by fans at both Celtic in Scotland and Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram posted a tribute on Twitter, saying he was “devastated” by the news.

Marsden’s career began at legendary live music venue, The Cavern Club, where The Pacemakers played nearly 200 times.

The club said on Twitter that Marsden was “not only a legend, but also a very good friend of The Cavern”.

Gerry and The Pacemakers were spotted by Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who gave them the song How Do You Do It, which had been turned down by the Fab Four and Adam Faith, for their debut single.

The band achieved nine hit singles and two hit albums between 1963 and 1965, before splitting up.

Marsden pursued a solo career before the band reformed in 1974 for a world tour.

In 1985, Marsden was back in the pop spotlight when he was invited to be one of the vocalists of a charity version of You’ll Never Walk Alone, which was released to raise funds for victims of a fire at a Bradford City match.

In doing so, Marsden set another chart record by becoming the first person to sing on two different chart-topping versions of the same song.

So when, after the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989, the other Pacemakers classic of Ferry Cross The Mersey was chosen to raise funds for its victims and a group of famous Liverpudlian singers was gathered, Marsden was again included and was back at number one once more for a cause he held dear for the rest of his life.

Marsden was awarded the Freedom of Liverpool in April 2009, an occasion he marked by boarding a ferry across the Mersey and getting out his guitar to sing his famous hit which described the scene.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55524795

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Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ dies of Covid-19 complications at 82 Lisa France byline

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Dawn Wells, who played the lovable castaway Mary Ann Summers on “Gilligan’s Island,” died in Los Angeles on Wednesday from Covid-19 complications, her publicist Harlan Boll confirmed to CNN.

She was 82.
Tina Louise portrayed movie star Ginger Grant on “Gilligan’s Island” and said in a statement to CNN, “I was sad to learn of Dawn’s passing, I will always remember her kindness to me.
“We shared in creating a cultural landmark that has continued to bring comfort and smiles to people during this difficult time,” the statement read. “I hope that people will remember her the way that I do — always with a smile on her face.”
Born in Reno, Nevada, Wells represented her home state in the Miss America pageant in 1959.
That opened the door for her to start a career in Hollywood where she appeared in a multitude of television shows, including “77 Sunset Strip,” “Maverick,” “Bonanza,” “The Joey Bishop Show” and “Hawaiian Eye.”
She beat out 350 other actresses to nab the role of girl-next-door Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island,” which aired on CBS from 1964 to 1967 and later in syndication.
In a 2016 interview with Forbes magazine, Wells revealed that the job was not as lucrative as many people believed.
“A misconception is that we must be wealthy, rolling in the dough, because we got residuals. We didn’t really get a dime,” she said. “I think my salary — of course, I was low on the totem pole, Ginger (Tina Louise) and Thurston (Jim Backus) got more — was $750 a week. Sherwood Schwartz, our producer, reportedly made $90 million on the reruns alone!”
She starred in more than 150 TV shows, seven motion pictures including “Winterhawk” (which she also narrated) and more than 60 productions on and off Broadway.
Beyond acting, Wells also served as a producer, author, journalist, motivational speaker, teacher, humanitarian, spokesperson and chairwoman of the Terry Lee Wells Foundation, an organization for women and children in northern Nevada, as well as running her Film Actors Boot Camp for seven years in Idaho.
She received the Elephant Sanctuary Trumpeting Award for her activism in supporting The Elephant Sanctuary. The sanctuary, founded in 1995, is the nation’s largest natural habitat refuge developed specifically for African and Asian elephants.
But it was her pigtail-wearing character on “Gilligan’s Island” which made her a beloved star — and she had fun with it.
Wells acted as the “castaway correspondent” for Channel 9 in Sydney, Australia, where she interviewed actors and directors including Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Julia Roberts, Rene Russo, Mel Gibson, Ron Howard, and Richard Donner.
At the premiere of the film “Gravity,” she presented star Sandra Bullock with a coconut cream pie, in honor of their shared experience with being “stranded.”
“Gilligan’s Island” was an unexpected hit and in honor of the 50th anniversary of the series, Wells released “A Guide To Life: What Would Mary Ann Do?” in which she wrote about the meaning of the Mary Ann character and observed the cultural shifts that have happened since she was on the island.
Her gingham dress and famous short shorts from “Gilligan’s Island” are currently on display in the lobby of The Hollywood Museum.
She is survived by her stepsister, Weslee Wells.
No services have been scheduled at this time and in lieu of flowers, donations are requested to either The Elephant Sanctuary, Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum or The Shambala Preserve.

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