Culture

Showing 4 posts tagged Culture

In conversation with James Franco

In case you didn’t know, James Franco’s been in and out of Vancouver over the past few weeks filming the latest Seth Rogen picture, The Interview. He’s an actor, author, scholar, director, producer, screenwriter, art curator, musician, teacher, artist – have I forgotten anything? If you happen to find yourself on a bar stool next to the guy, who can pretty much do anything, here are some conversation points:

1. The book on his bedside. The man reads. And is often snapped with a book firmly clasped in his hand. Franco recently adapted William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and also portrayed Allen Ginsberg in Howl.

2. Cats. He’s into them. So much so, that during a recent interview with Ellen Degeneres, she presented Franco with a calendar featuring his head on various bodies posing with cats.

3. Writing techniques. Franco recently published his first novel, Actors Anonymous. He’s also penned a book of short stories, Palo Alto, and frequently scrawls for such publications as Huffington Post and VICE.

4. Rapping. For his epic role as Alien in Spring Breakers, Franco studied rapper Dangeruss. They performed together on stage for the film and Franco later produced a music video for the local rapper.

5. Diverting paparazzi. He staged a series of “scandalous” scenes to bait the gossip sites into thinking they were real. Hook. Line. Sinker.

6. The evolution of the selfie and its recent declaration of Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionary. Franco’s Instagram is littered with these camera close-ups.

7. Sleep. Does he have time to do it?

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

And the beat goes on

The Beat Generation began in the late 1940s as a group of friends who refused to conform. They were a table of writers - Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and William S. Burroughs - who had grand ideas about sexuality, drugs, materialism, individualism, and life in general.

It was about being a free spirit, living a life rich with experience, seeking adventure, and embracing the different. And they wrote as though their words sang jazz.

Try some beat slang in OPUS Bar this month:

Dixie fried = drunk

Claws sharp = all knowing about everything

Quail hunting = picking up ladies

Jungled up = your living arrangements

A shape in a drape = a well-dressed person

Making the scene = in the right place at the right time

Back seat bingo = car makeouts

Last week, Kill Your Darlings, a film about Allen Ginsberg’s role in the generation as a beat poet, was released into theatres. Starring Daniel Radcliffe as Ginsberg, Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr, Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac, and Ben Foster as William Burroughs, the film articulates how a young man turns into a literary figure.

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” ~ Allen Ginsberg

WATCH THE TRAILER

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Spellbound by sentence

She is one of Canada’s most treasured gems. Literary empress, Margaret Atwood has been wooing the world with words since The Handmaid’s Tale was awarded several times over and recognized globally as a notable science fiction novel in 1985.

Her storytelling is daring. It provokes lumps to form in throats and tongues to lick lips. She caresses words, cajoling them into bold statements and poetic sentences.

Here are a few quotes that seem to make time stop in its tracks…

“I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.”

“Romance takes place in the middle distance. Romance is looking in at yourself through a window clouded with dew. Romance means leaving things out: where life grunts and shuffles, romance only sighs.”

“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.”

“The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn’t one.”

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

“You can think clearly only with your clothes on.”

Atwood’s latest book, MaddAddam, was released this year.

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Ziggy Lives

Have you caught it yet? The fever. It’s infectious. With one note, one glimpse, one listen.

David Bowie fever first broke four decades ago and it’s still spreading and affecting people around the world. His music has stayed relevant throughout the disco, rock, pop, and electronic eras, and this year he released his first new album in 10 years proving his music can still go viral.

But it’s not just the music that draws people in, it’s him. His energy, sexuality, fashion, intelligence, eccentricities arouse and magnetize. Nobody is safe. All are susceptible.

This is why we love David Bowie…

1. His painted face in Labyrinth was more desired than Jennifer Connelly’s makeup amongst women of the 80s everywhere. And despite his creepy character, the sex appeal oozes out of him.

WATCH

2. Bowie’s Space Oddity number made it outside earth when Chris Hatfield covered it from the International Space Station. Ziggy Stardust would be proud.

WATCH

3. He reads. Volumes and volumes of books. Start checking off page turners from his top 100 list.

READ

4. Bowie’s the subject of an exhibit that originated in London’s Victoria and Albert museum and has now made its way to Toronto’s AGO. His costumes, art work, instruments, and music are all on display for hungry fans. 

GO

5. He’s a trained mime and he turned down a knighthood from the Queen. Need we say more?

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider