This video interview with colourful knitting designer, Stephen Be, is just too much fun not to watch. (As it says at the start, the wonderful interviewer, Kristy Glass, apologizes that the first half of the interview was in poor focus – but such good content she had to keep it – so she funkified it up with a variety of visual effects until the good focus kicked in at 13 minutes in.)
Just watched a gripping documentary on BBC about Gene Cernan, astronaut. If you’re in the UK, and pay a TV licence you can view it at:
“Don’t ever count yourself out. You’ll never know how good you are, unless you try. Dream the impossible and then go out and make it happen.
I walked on the moon, what can’t you do?”
W H Auden reads his poem about the death of W B Yeats (anniversary today) – not only the passing of the man, but the way poetry lives on in the world after the death of its writer.
Interesting to bear in mind that we are listening to the spoken words of a poet who has been dead for over 40 years (died September 1973). Powerful to hear them read by the writer.
This poem is in fact one of 3 parts. In the 2nd, he memorably sums up W B Yeats as “Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry” and in the 3rd it winds up the set by a simple four line verse:
“In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.”
The full poem is found in Auden’s writings 1939-1947.
Youtube channel Every Frame a Painting (Tony Zhou) has featured on this blog before, illustrating action gags on film by Buster Keaton. Today, I got caught up in another of his masterful short 10 minute videos “How does an Editor think and feel” – about finding rhythm in film/video editing. However, as I listen, I hear it as more than that, it’s about finding rhythm in poetry, in speaking, in life – and the importance of time for thought process, belief and experience.
People aren’t machines – we need time to feel the emotion – and if the movie doesn’t give it to us, we don’t believe it – Every Frame a Picture
Read this and share it with anyone who thinks they’ve left it too late to be a published writer. It’s not! Never! Write what is in you to write.
Click on link below to read an entire article by Josephine Corcoran, bursting with stories of writers who began a serious career later, mostly in their 50s – and who are still writing and developing further as writers, today. There’s a sense of beginning, not ending.
Chuck Close, in conversation, describes his working process. His interviewer is a particularly excellent interviewer and art commentator (and Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Arts) – the knowledgeable and always watchable Tim Marlow.
Chuck is known for his immense scale portraits, his work has sold internationally for decades. Mid-career, he suffered a sudden catastrophic paralyzing physical event – but continues to work from his wheelchair, very successfully, in his seventies.
“Virtually everything I’ve done has been driven by my learning disabilities.”
This is a quote from a note to his younger self, in a 5 minute CBS special video.
- “Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work”
- “Every great idea I’ve ever had, grew out of work itself”
- “Sign on to a process and see where it takes you”
- “No one gets anywhere without help. Mentors – including your parents – can make you feel special even when you are failing in other areas. Everyone needs to feel special”
- “The absolute worst thing in life can happen and you will get over it, you will be happy again….”
- “Losing my father at a tender age was extremely important in being able to accept what happened to me later, when I became a quadriplegic”
- “If you’re overwhelmed by the size of a problem, break it down into bite-sized pieces.”
- “There is always someone worse off than you”
“Weather the Storm” by Trunk & Radish Pictures is just exquisite animation short set to a song, examining a difficult time – in this case, bereavement, in under 5 minutes. Unsurprisingly, it won an award in the 2016 British Animation Awards.
I heard the most wonderful quote recently from a TV presenter, Sandi Toksvig, almost a throwaway line as she chatted with a contestant on the Great British Bake Off: “Marriage is everything and nothing” meaning it’s made up of the seemingly insignificant daily stuff and yet it’s an important relationship which colours our life. This video contemplates loss through a tiny part of daily life (toothpaste and toothbrushes) – gently observed and ultimately positive.
The song on the soundtrack is “Weather the Storm” by Benjamin Scheuer, from the album “The Lion”. More about his work on his website here.
Director: Peter Baynton for Radish Pictures.
Producer: Daniel Negret
Exec producer: Richard Barnett
both at Trunk.
I love the gentle watercolour like textures and way it conveys the central figure as struggling to go forward despite a strong headwind against him, while other characters nonchalently and speedily bounce by, often in the opposite direction, through simple landscapes. In this one still, shown below, you can see the contrast: the main character holding onto a bench arm for grim life, just to stay still in the storm of emotions, while another person sits nonchalently on the bench, reading a newspaper, chomping on a sandwich and drinking a cuppa.