#CULTUREspam Advent calendar

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Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 epic historical drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected for preservation in the United States Library of Congress National Film Registry. In 2007, the American Film Institute placed it 7th on their 100 Years…100 Movies list. The British Film Institute named the film the 3rd greatest British film of all time. Film director Steven Spielberg considers this his favourite film of all time and the one that inspired him to become a filmmaker.
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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish writer of the XVI century. His masterpiece Don Quixote has been translated into more languages than any other book except the Bible. Google attributes the quote to Man of La Mancha, a 1964 musical adapted from Wasserman’s non-musical 1959 teleplay I, Don Quixote. It tells the story of the “mad” knight Don Quixote as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition.
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Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series and an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels. The Axis of Awesome have done a music video to explain how the books are better than the series (https://youtu.be/1CLCOvZOh1o) and Screen Junkies have done awesome Honest Trailers about the series vol.1 https://youtu.be/SVaD8rouJn0 and vol.2 https://youtu.be/3LHmkVqYgKo PS. Spoiler alert!
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The Little Prince, first published in 1943, is a novella, the most famous work of French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The original 140-page autograph manuscript of The Little Prince, along with various drafts and trial drawings, were acquired from the author’s close friend Silvia Hamilton in 1968 by curator Herbert Cahoon of the Pierpont Morgan Library (now The Morgan Library & Museum) in Manhattan, New York City. It is the only known surviving handwritten draft of the complete work.
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(Own translation: Your small hand locked into mine, uselessly large, locked into a lock closing us inside and everyone else outside) Erri De Luca is an Italian novelist, translator and poet. He is also known for his political engagement, such as calling the sabotage of the Lyon-Turin high speed train line. He is self-taught in several languages including Ancient Hebrew, Swahili, Russian and Yiddish. He has translated books of the Old Testament from Old Hebrew and written commentaries on the Sacred Texts, as a “non-believer”. He has published more than 70 books, numerous collections of short stories and poems, translated in more than 30 languages. His writing is simple and touching with a talent for original metaphors and images.
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Limonov is a biographical novel by the French writer and journalist Emmanuel Carrère. The book is based on the life of Eduard Limonov, a Russian politician and opposition figure, as well as a poet and novelist. Emmanuel Carrère writes both fiction and nonfiction, centered around the primary themes of the interrogation of identity, the development of illusion and the direction of reality.
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Thomas Alan Waits is an American singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding as though “it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car”. Waits has steadfastly refused to allow the use of his songs in commercials. He has filed several lawsuits against advertisers who used his material without permission, and said, “Apparently, the highest compliment our culture grants artists nowadays is to be in an ad—ideally, naked and purring on the hood of a new car…I have adamantly and repeatedly refused this dubious honor.”
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman politician and lawyer, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. Though he was an accomplished orator and successful lawyer, Cicero believed his political career was his most important achievement. Cicero championed the traditional republican government. After Julius Caesar’s death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle, attacking him in a series of speeches. He was proscribed as an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate and consequently executed by soldiers operating on their behalf in 43 BC after having been intercepted during attempted flight from the Italian peninsula. His severed hands and head were then, as a final revenge of Mark Antony, displayed in the Roman Forum.
Rupi Kaur is a Canadian poet, writer, illustrator and performer of Punjabi descent. Milk and Honey deals with themes of violence, abuse, love, loss. All of her work is written exclusively in lowercase, and the only punctuation used is the period. In the Gurmukhi script, there is only one case and only periods are used. She decided to write this way to honour her culture. She also says that she enjoys the equality of letters and that the style reflects her worldview.
In March 2015, as part of a photo project for a university class, Kaur posted a photo of herself lying in bed with menstrual blood stains on her sweatpants and her sheets on Instagram. The picture was part of a menstruation themed photo series to destigmatize taboos around menstruation. Instagram removed it because the picture didn’t “follow (their) Community Guidelines”. Kaur took to Facebook to critique the removal of the post: “Thank you Instagram for providing me with the exact response my work was created to critique. You deleted my photo twice stating that it goes against community guidelines. I will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in an underwear but not be ok with a small leak when your pages are filled with countless photos/accounts where women (so many who are underage) are objectified, pornified, and treated less than human.” The picture on Facebook went viral and was shared by thousands; later, Instagram restored her picture and apologized, saying it had removed it by mistake.
(Freedom is daughter to the forests. There she was born and there she returns to hide when things go sideways.)
Romain Gary, born Roman Kacew and also known by pen names such as Émile Ajar, was a French diplomat, novelist, film director and World War II aviator of Lithuanian Jewish origin. Gary became one of France’s most popular and prolific writers, authoring more than thirty novels, essays and memoirs, some of which he wrote under a pseudonym.
He is the only person to win the Prix Goncourt twice. This prize for French language literature is awarded only once to an author. Gary, who had already received the prize in 1956 for “Les racines du ciel”, published “La vie devant soi” under the pseudonym Émile Ajar in 1975. The Académie Goncourt awarded the prize to the author of that book without knowing his identity. Gary’s cousin’s son Paul Pavlowitch posed as the author for a time. Gary later revealed the truth in his posthumous book “Vie et mort d’Émile Ajar”.
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Jacques Prévert was a French poet and screenwriter. At first when Prévert was attending primary school, he hated writing. His poems are often about life in Paris and life after the Second World War. He died in 1977 while working on the last scene of the animated movie ‘Le Roi et l’oiseau’ with his friend and collaborator Paul Grimault. When the film was released in 1980, it was dedicated to Prévert’s memory, and on opening night, Grimault kept the seat next to him empty.
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Oren Harari is a business professor and writer. In 1989, Harari travelled to Africa for 6 months to live and work. It was this experience that fueled his first book titled Lessons from South Africa, which provided instructions for companies and governments to drive growth in developing countries. In 1996, Harari launched an independent career of writing and speaking with Leading Authorities, Inc.
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RuPaul’s Drag Race is an American reality competition television series. The show documents RuPaul in the search for “America’s next drag superstar.” RuPaul plays the role of host, mentor, and head judge for this series, as contestants are given different challenges each week. The title of the show is a play on drag queen and drag racing, and the title sequence and song “Drag Race” both have a drag-racing theme. The show earned RuPaul a 2016 Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program, and the show itself was awarded as an Outstanding Reality Program at the 21st GLAAD Media Awards. It has been nominated for 4 Critics’ Choice Television Award including Best Reality Series – Competition and Best Reality Show Host for RuPaul, and was nominated for a Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Make-up for a Multi-Camera Series or Special (Non-Prosthetic).
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(God sees everything Maria, I tell her. Yes, he sees everything, but if I don’t take care of things, he just enjoys the show.) i) A short novel about two working class teenagers in Naples. Poetic and simple, Montedidio is a little jewel. The Erri De Luce foundation regularly blogs about interesting issues relevant for contemporary society, check it out: http://fondazionerrideluca.com/web/blog/
(You see, this is the world. You know why it’s nice, this world? Because it’s a model… the original is a disaster.)
i) Mafalda is an Argentine comic strip written and drawn by cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado, better known by his pen name Quino. The strip features a 6-year-old girl named Mafalda, who reflects the Argentinian middle class and progressive youth, is concerned about humanity and world peace, and has serious attitude problems but in an innocent manner. Quino has opposed adapting Mafalda for cinema or theater; however, two series of animated shorts featuring Mafalda have been produced. The first, a series of 260 90-second films, was produced by Daniel Mallo for Argentine television starting in 1972. These were adapted into a full-length movie by Carlos Márquez in 1979 and released in 1981. It remains relatively unknown. In 1993 Cuban filmmaker Juan Padrón, a close friend of Quino, directed 104 short animated Mafalda films.
How I Met Your Mother (often abbreviated to HIMYM) is an American sitcom. The series follows the main character, Ted Mosby, and his group of friends in New York City’s Manhattan. The Bro Code, cited by Barney many times throughout the series, is a set of written rules for bros to follow, and has been published as a tie-in novel, an audiobook, an iPhone Application and an Android Application. Barney alleges it was written by Barnabus Stinson, a contemporary of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.
Magda Szabó was a Hungarian novelist. She also wrote dramas, essays, studies, memoirs, and poetry. She is the most translated Hungarian author, with publications in 42 countries and over 30 languages. Szabó began her writing career as a poet. In 1949 she was awarded the Baumgarten Prize, which was immediately withdrawn when Szabó was labeled an enemy to the Communist Party.
Claire Messud writes in the New York Times that reading “The Door,” has completely changed her outlook on life while Cynthia Zarin, contributor to The New Yorker, calls it “a bone-shaking book.”
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A Bronx Tale is a 1993 American crime drama film set in the Bronx during the turbulent era of the 1960s. It was the directorial debut of Robert De Niro that follows a young Italian-American teenager in The Bronx, New York as his path in life is guided by two father figures, played by De Niro as his biological father and Chazz Palminteri as a local mafia boss. It was written by Palminteri, based partially upon his childhood.
In 2008, the American Film Institute nominated this film for its Top 10 Gangster Films list. The DVD is out of print, but in January 2010, Focus Features released an Amazon.com exclusive DVD copy of the film.
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The Office is an American television comedy series. It is an adaptation of the original BBC series of the same name. The Office was adapted for American audiences by Greg Daniels, a veteran writer for Saturday Night Live, King of the Hill, and The Simpsons. The show has some superficial similarities to the comic strip Dilbert, which also features employees coping with an inept superior. John Spector, CEO of The Conference Board, says that both show the impact a leader can have, for good or bad. Dilbert creator Scott Adams also touts the similarities: “The lesson from The Office and from Dilbert is that people are often dysfunctional, and no amount of training can fix it.”
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Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright. The quote if from ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Play About a Good Woman’, a four-act comedy, first produced on Saturday, 20 February 1892, at the St James’s Theatre in London.
The premiere was followed by a notorious speech given by Wilde. When Wilde answered the calls of “Author!” and appeared before the curtains after the third act, critics were more offended by the cigarette in his hand than his egotistic speech: “Ladies and Gentlemen. I have enjoyed this evening immensely. The actors have given us a charming rendition of a delightful play, and your appreciation has been most intelligent. I congratulate you on the great success of your performance, which persuades me that you think almost as highly of the play as I do myself.”
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Christopher Poindexter is a contemporary traveling American poet whose home base is Atlanta, Georgia. He specialises in typewriter poetry. He also creates poets based on his fans requests. He has published two books: Naked human and Lavender.
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Fauve collective, sometimes stylized as FAUVE, is a French arts collective of music and videography established in 2010 in Paris. The band also uses the not equal to sign ≠. The act depends mostly on story telling through acting, through spoken word and musical accompaniment. The collective has its own record label called FAUVE CORP. FAUVE presents itself as an open collective, containing at times more than twenty members (musicians, but also comedians, theatre technicians, visual artists… ). On stage, the collective is represented by five musicians and a video artist. During their media appearances, they aim to remain anonymous and of mysterious origins. The name of the band is inspired by Les Nuits fauves, a 1992 French drama film directed and written by Cyril Collard.

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The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with vocalist, guitarist, and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member. Their debut was important in the development of the post-punk and new wave movements that developed in the wake of the punk rock scene in the United Kingdom. During the early 1980s, the band’s increasingly dark and tormented music (as well as Smith’s unique stage look) was a staple of the emerging style of music known as gothic rock. In later years the band has added some pop sounds to its repertoire. The Cure refuse though to be linked to any specific genre.
Spin has said “the Cure have always been an either/or sort of band: either […] Robert Smith is wallowing in gothic sadness or he’s licking sticky-sweet cotton-candy pop off his lipstick-stained fingers.”
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The Grinch first appeared in the May 1955 issue of Redbook in a 32-line poem called “The Hoobub and the Grinch,”[4] but made his book debut in the 1957 story How the Grinch Stole Christmas, written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss. Nine years later in 1966, the story was adapted into an animated television featurette of the same name, which was directed by Charles M. Jones (who was known at this time as Chuck Jones) and which included the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”. In 1982, Marvel green-lit The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat a TV film starring The Cat in the Hat, also produced by Dr. Seuss. Several episodes of the 1996 Nick Jr. television show The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss featured the Grinch, this time in puppet form. A 2000 live-action feature comedy film based on the story, directed by Ron Howard[6] and starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch, was a major financial success. A video game based on the film, simply entitled The Grinch, was released on several consoles and PC in the same year. The Grinch was portrayed on the stage when the story was turned into a musical by the Children’s Theater Company out of Minneapolis. The Grinch’s story will be adapted in animated form in 2018 by Illumination Entertainment, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character.