Ola: Sir John Hurt – who hadn’t seen him? Unforgettable Elephant Man, Ollivander from Harry Potter franchise, the dictator Adam Sutler from V for Vendetta and Winston Smith from 1984, Kane from Alien – and from Spaceballs – Trevor ‘Broom’ Bruttenholm from Hellboy, Controller from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Gilliam from Snowpiercer and, for one-hour special episode (and a little bit more, to be precise), War Doctor from Doctor Who. And many more, of course. He was the rare actor who with equal dedication and equanimity accepted roles in contemporary dramas, costume movies, horrors and science fiction flicks. And his presence was always felt.
Zygmunt Bauman, Polish-born sociologist and philosopher of a globalized world, the author of renowned books on modernity and Holocaust, on liquid modernity, rootless life, immigrants and terrorists and inequities of the contemporary world, a Pole, a Jew, a whole-hearted European, a communist, a soldier, a patriot, an erudite, one of the most influential and thoughtful contemporary thinkers and (ironically, as he was never an anti-globalist himself) an anti-globalist icon, died today.
Tadam! Or something like that 😉 Our favorite space opera about big-eyed, hairy arthropods and even bigger-eyed, hairless anthropoids just won this years Arthur C. Clarke Award, the most prestigious of British SF awards. Details can be found here.
Well deserved! :).
And another cute Portia picture – I couldn’t resist ;).
Or will get one, in October, but it’s already decided.
Not a very important one, a Lifetime Achievement award, a bit like similar Oscar – a way to appreciate someone accomplished, who never got one, and is old enough he might never get a chance for regular one. Still.
Yes, another Scandinavian writer of children literature – but what can you do? I was enchanted by the Moomins a long, long time ago, and the enchantment still holds, even when I read them now aloud, to kids. We’re talking about books here, mind you – not that dreadful Japanese-European animated series, nor the gloomy Polish puppet animated show (although I still remember the Groke from this show – with a memory of lingering terrified fascination).
Actually, Tove Jansson wanted to be a painter; she studied art in Sweden, Finland and France, and she painted intermittently throughout her life, both commissioned and private works. The images of the Moomins’ world were also created by her – apparently the prototype for Moomin was Jansson’s caricature of Immanuel Kant. She drew “the ugliest creature imaginable” on the toilet wall and named it Kant after she lost a discussion about the philosopher with her brother. Fortunately, the final image of the Moomin is much more friendly and blobby, with a big, round nose, a big, round belly, short, fat arms and legs, and a thin, slightly incongruous tail. Tove Jansson’s illustrations form the world of Moomins as much as the text – and they are in perfect harmony with each other.
Umberto Eco died on the 19th February 2016.
Ola: One of the world’s best semiologists, a medievalist, philosopher, literary critic, a keen, very observant analyst of modern media and communication processes. And, maybe most of all, a writer. One endowed with a wonderfully wicked mind. A person who understood bibliophiles like no one else. A person for whom a complex, demanding, intertextual play with symbols, patterns and cultural tropes was the epitome of fun.
© Michael Birt
Alan Rickman passed away today. The unforgettable Sheriff of Nottingham, charismatic Severus Snape from Harry Potter series, Hans Gruber from Die Hard, Metatron from Dogma, even Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… We’ll miss him.