The “Collapse” of the Sydney Opera House Sails

Multi-award winning German design collective URBANSCREEN specializes in large-scale projection on urban surfaces. Their first great international success was "555 KUBIK - How it would be if a house was dreaming," a brilliant media installation using the façade of the Kunsthalle Hamburg. This project quickly found its way to all major blogs and sites on the Internet and gained so much fame that it surpassed the popularity of lolcat videos for almost an hour.

This year, URBANSCREEN was commissioned to transform the sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House as part of Vivid Sydney, a festival of light, music and ideas. The truly amazing projections explore the sculptural form of the Opera House and its place as a home for music, dance and drama. The conclusion is not to be missed.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

The Anatomical Drawings of Renaissance Man, Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci, the archetype of the Renaissance Man, received some formal training in the anatomy of the human body. He regularly dissected human corpses and made very detailed drawings of muscles, tendons, the heart and vascular system, internal organs and the human skeleton. A great number of these drawings can now be seen in the largest exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s studies of the human body, "Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist," at The Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace, London. In this video, Senior Curator Martin Clayton explores three of these drawings and shows that Leonardo's medical discoveries could have transformed the study of anatomy in Europe, had they not languished unpublished for centuries. Clayton has also published his findings in "Nature". And the BBC has looked into the question of just how accurate Leonardo's anatomical drawings really were.

Bonus links:

  • The Guardian has a fascinating story about Leonardo da Vinci's notebook, including his 'to-do' list.
  • Here's a wonderful 360° panoramic view of Santa Maria delle Grazia in Milan with Leonardo's "Last Supper".

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

Name That Painting!

In February 2010, the Paris-based band Hold Your Horses! released a music video to go with their song "70 Million," which became an immediate success. In the video, the band members recreated famous paintings, taking the viewer on an entertaining tour through art history. Try to identify as many paintings as possible, then compare your results with the list of the actual paintings below the jump. Enjoy - and let us know your scores! And, of course, Happy Bastille Day.

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Passages from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake: The Film

Due to its stylistic and linguistic complexity, James Joyce's Finnegans Wake ranks among the most difficult works of fiction. And that is why virtually no filmmaker has ever tried to adapt Joyce's final work for the screen. But after Mary Manning Howe adapted passages from the book for the stage (listen to her reading from Finnegans Wake here), American animator Mary Ellen Bute accepted the challenge and turned Manning's play into a film.

Sadly, Mary Ellen Bute's short films are almost forgotten today, but from the 1930s to 1950s her abstract musical shorts were known to a wide audience. Don't miss her first color film from 1938.

Between 1965 and 1967, Bute created her last film, and only feature film, Passages from Finnegans Wake. The movie was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and named Best Debut of the Year (1965). The video above shows only the opening sequence, but the whole film can be enjoyed online courtesy of UbuWeb.

Bonus: You can read Roger Ebert's 1968 review of Bute's film here. He admits that he didn't enjoy it too much, but concedes this may have been because he hadn't actually read the book.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

Teens Ponder Meaning of Contemporary Art

In 2009, Tate Liverpool displayed four works of contemporary art in different locations around the city. Acclaimed film director Mike Figgis was asked to turn the reactions of Liverpoodlians to these sculptures into short films. The video above shows teenagers discussing Jeff Koons's "Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank." Another short film captures the views of students when one of Dan Flavin's installations called "Untitled" was displayed at their school for one day.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

DalíLinguistics

In this hilarious conversation, originally published in the short-lived ECHO Magazine in 1960, Salvador Dalí tries to teach Irish-born actor Edward Mulhare how to articulate English words in a more Dalían way. When this clip was recorded, Mulhare had already spent three years playing the role of Professor Higgins in the Broadway version of My Fair Lady. And as you'll recall, it was Higgins' job to teach Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl, to speak as a proper English lady. How successfully does Dali manage to put some surrealist cool into this rather conservative Englishman? You can listen here to find out. And don't forget to catch Salvador Dalí's classic appearance on What's my line?

MP3 via UbuWeb Sound.

By profession, Matthias Rascher teaches English and History at a High School in northern Bavaria, Germany. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twitter.

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