Friday, 24 February 2017

Silent movie nights in March 2017

After the February retrospective of silent westerns starring William S. Hart, something completely different coming up. For the first time at the Odie Cinema we'll be looking into the silent movies of Japan; more specifically, those directed by Yasujiro Ozu (1903-1963) who is nowadays considered one of the most important film directors.


Yasujiro Ozu

His earliest films are sadly lost, but several of his later silents - mostly from the 1930s - have been preserved, and in quite good condition. His style is recognizable by the use of ellipses, the omission of important events from the story, thus disrupting the narrative and completely avoiding melodrama - the exact opposite to Hollywood - although not all of his films are like that. In the first one we'll be watching, there are even traces of Harold Lloyd and the approach to comedy typical for the American cinema of that time. In his later works, he develops his own style.


3rd March 2017
Days of Youth (1929)

This is Ozu's earliest surviving movie, very much under the influence of the 1920s Hollywood comedies. Set in the northwestern part of Tokyo, it is a comedy about two students on a skiing trip, attracted to the same girl. Starring Yuji Ichiro, Saito Tatsuo, and Matsui Junko.




10th March 2017
I Was Born, But... (1932)

A family comedy/drama centering on two brothers. Once the boys realize their father is not a great man, but rather someone who acts like a silly servant in front of his boss, things change in their relationship. Ozu remade it in the 1950s, but the 1932 version is still considered one of the finest works of Japanese silent cinema. Starring Tatsuo Saito, Tomio Aoki, Mitsuko Yoshikawa.



17th March 2017
Woman of Tokyo (1933)

A young student is financially supported by his sister. What he doesn't know is that she's earning her living by working as a dancer in a club with very bad reputation. Once he finds out, everything changes between them, leading up to a tragic ending. Starring Yoshiko Okada, and Ureo Egawa.


24th March 2017
Dragnet Girl (1933)

Dragnet Girl is a gangster movie showing traces of influence from directors such as Joseph von Sternberg and Ernst Lubitsch. It has been described as a "moody, expressionist, pre-noir potboiler"; ultimately, it is a story about redemption. Starring Kinuyo Tanaka, Joji Oka, Sumiko Mizukubo.



31st March 2017
A Story of Floating Weeds (1934)

Another movie that Ozu remade in the 1950s. It is about a web of intrigues, deceits and jealousy inside a kabuki troupe. The title refers to floating weeds as a Japanese literary motif, representing aimlessness and lack of meaning. This is a modernist work, showing the fully developed aesthetics of Yasujiro Ozu. Starring Takeshi Sakamoto, Chouko Iida, Koji Mitsui, Yoshiko Tsubouchi.



Finally, a reminder that all screenings take place on Fridays, starting at 1 pm SLT, at this inworld location.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

With the Living

Arts lovers, here's an exhibition you should go see: "With the Living", the latest collaborative project of Pearl Grey and Klaus Bereznyak, has just opened.

Klaus Bereznyak

Pearl Grey

When you teleport to the gallery, there are just simple walls. However, once you walk through the gate, you will find yourself inside a narrative space created by Pearl's photographs in combination with Klaus' text.



I won't include any spoilers, except for sharing the opening image which introduces the key elements: memory, remembrance, and the importance of storytelling. The story itself feels personal, intimate even, yet told in an evocative way that everyone can relate to. You can tell that the project was done with a lot of love and reflection.



Once you reach the end, there's a wall with gifts - several images from the exhibition (with and without text) selected by the artists.


"With the Living" stays open till March 11, 2017 at this Second Life location.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Hell's Hinges at Odie Cinema

Last night at the Odie Cinema we had a full house - not one seat was left empty. We were watching Hell's Hinges, a silent western starring William S. Hart. I wish to thank once again to everyone who joined us for the screening and left donations.

Here are a few snapshots from the event...

People queuing for the tickets

Jack Standing as Rev. Robert Henley

Odie Cinema audience

William S. Hart, the biggest star of silent westerns


Customary drinks after the movie

For those who haven't visited Odie Cinema, a reminder that our silent movie nights take place Fridays starting at 1 pm SLT at this inworld location

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Heterocera Travelogue #18: Poecila

After a visit to Catalpa back in December, I travel further south to Poecila. Already from the distance I could see what is the only feature of this area - Dazai Voom's celebrated D-LAB store. The entire region is owned by Voom, so D-LAB is pretty much the only game in town.


Poecila train station next to SLRR tracks

Easy to spot, D-LAB dominates the area

D-LAB is well known for it recognizable artistic designs and a large number of really interesting gadgets, pets, pieces of decor etc. I'm sure it doesn't need advertising, so I'll just share a few snapshots from the store. It is located up in the sky, which I don't usually cover in my travelogues, but I will make an exception this time. You can pick up the landmark on the ground.


The Sky Garden covers a wide area and you can spend a lot of time looking at all the details.

D-LAB Sky Garden landing point area
View over the main store shopping area
If you're on a tight budget, D-LAB regularly features at Fifty Linden Fridays event and is one of the stores that doesn't remove the Friday item immediately after the 24-hour period.


Apart from the store, the Sky Garden is also the location of a really interesting village. With its narrow streets and many small venues, it reminded me of the small towns of the Mediterranean.




Even if you don't care about shopping, you should definitely visit this place. One can spend a lot of time there, and to see what I mean, here's the aerial shot of the Sky Garden. Again, a lot of it (perhaps greater part) is not really a store, so it's not all about shopping there.


When I wrote that D-LAB is the only thing to see in Poecila, that wasn't entirely true... Back on the ground, I spotted waterfalls and a river flowing into the ocean in the neighbouring Gibbosa. At first, I thought this was part of D-LAB too. Partly, it is - Dazai Voom made the upper waterfalls, which then nicely connect to the ones created by Ryan Linden of Linden Department of Public Works on the other side of the bridge. So, there's a little piece of nature, thanks to the Lindens...

The waterfall is another example of how Voom used the existing features to blend into the wider area. I thought this was a very nice touch, since typically most mainland parcel owners show very little regard for the surrounding area.



On the other side of the railway tracks is already Amella, which I will visit next time...




Monday, 6 February 2017

Bunker

After latest changes I made on my island in East Fjord Grieg, the place is mostly a quiet nature spot. As before, there's a small chapel where we have daily meditation sessions, and on the other side of the island, my house. A small lake now fills the centre of the island. There is, though, one feature that is not so visible and which so far only very few people have visited: the Bunker.


The reason why it's not so visible is that it's located 4.000 metres up in the air! And to reach it, all you have to do is find the entrance, open the door and step inside, and you will automatically get teleported. I've placed the sign next to the entrance, so it shouldn't be so difficult to find it.


Originally a fallout shelter, I've turned it into a small gay club where I like to spend time with close friends, have a beer and play some music.

 

The back room serves as gym.


There's another room, with very little furniture - there's only a dance pole and a few seats for the select audience...


The Bunker is not supposed to be a sex club, so there's no(t much) furniture with adult animations, although there are naughty details here and there, for fun.


Since I made a promise in one of my earlier posts to inform the readers about accessibility to public toilets in the places I write about - yes, there is that, too.


So, if you happen to stop by the island, you're welcome to a beer at the Bunker, or anything else you can find there. It's on the house!

To reach my place in Second Norway, please follow this SLurl.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Silent movie nights in February 2017

Last month we did a quick exploration of the American South in silent movies, and now we go west! This February we'll be showing silent westerns, for the first time at Odie Cinema in Second Life.

Since there are so many preserved, and in quite good condition, I've decided to narrow down this vastly popular theme to westerns starring William S. Hart who was the western movie star of the 1910s and '20s.

3rd February 2017
The Return of Draw Egan (1916)

Directed by William S. Hart, who also plays the leading role, the movie follows a familiar storyline: an outlaw experiences personal transformation through the love of a woman, and becomes an upstanding, law abiding citizen. With this and other early westerns, Hart established many of the patterns that will remain key elements of western as a genre. The main female role is played by Margery Wilson.


10th February 2017
Hell's Hinges (1916)

Alcoholism, gunfights, seduction... And again, a fine woman (played by Clara Williams) who brings the local thug back on the straight and narrow. This movie is nowadays considered one of the best silent westerns.



17th February 2017
Wagon Tracks (1919)

At the time of the release, it was described as the Hollywood's greatest desert epic and the press praised it for beautiful photography and excellent production. Starring Hart and Jane Novak, the movie is about a mountain man guiding a group of travelers across the West. Sure enough, there are also murders to be solved and conflicts with the Indians...


24th February 2017
Tumbleweeds (1925)

Tumbleweeds was William S. Hart's last movie. At the time, reviewers thought of it as just good entertainment, but the movie seems to have aged well: contemporary critics consider it one of Hart's finest works, also unique in the way he portrayed Native Americans and African Americans. The movie is about the 1893 Cherokee Strip land rush. Co-starring with Hart is Barbara Bedford.



All screenings begin at 1 pm SLT, and to reach Odie Cinema, please follow this SLurl. Hope to have you with us this month!