Posted in books, films & DVD

The Hundred Foot Journey

I would like to watch The Hundred Foot Journey, which is based on The international best-selling novel of the same name by Richard C.Morais, and is out on DVD. Starring Helen Mirren, directed by Lasse Hallström and produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake, The Hundred-foot Journey is the entertaining story a culinary ingenue Hassan Haji, a boy from Mumbai who embarks, along with his boisterous family, first to London and then across Europe, before ultimately opening a restaurant in the remote French village of Lumière. Undeterred by the fact that 100 feet away there is a famous Michelin Starred classical French Eatery Run by icy proprietress Madame Mallory (Mirran), who is outraged by the new arrivals and is determined to have them shut down.

Cultures clash and A culinary war ensues between the two establishments, pitting Hassan’s Mumbai-toughened father against the imperious Michelin-starred cordon bleu, chef Madame Mallory, until she realizes that Hassan is a cook with natural talents far superior to her own and she could use his talents and soon his recipes begin to enchant her and she realises that he could have what it takes to garner even more awards for her restaurant, Hassan also becomes friends with Madame Mallory’s sous chef Marguerite and despite their differing cultures and tastes they discover an unlikely recipe for success which surprises them all.

Posted in music

John Cale (Velvet Underground)

Velvet_Underground_and_NicoMost famous for being a member of the Velvet Underground, John Cale OBE Was born 9 March 1942.  the Velvet Underground formed in NewYork City  performing from 1964 to 1973, its best-known members were Lou Reed and John Cale, who both went on to find success as solo artists. Although experiencing little commercial success while together, the band is often cited by many critics as one of the most important and influential groups of the 1960s. In a 1982 interview Brian Eno made the often repeated statement that while the first Velvet Underground album may have sold only 30,000 copies in its early years, “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.

Although The Velvet Underground were considered a commercial failure in the late 1960s, they have gained a considerable cult following and have gone on to become one of the most widely cited and influential bands of the era.As the Velvet Underground’s principal songwriter, Lou Reed wrote about subjects of personal experience that rarely had been examined so openly in rock and roll, including sexuality and drug culture. Although the Velvet Underground never achieved great commercial success, their idosyncratic combination of harsh guitars and smooth melodies sung by Reed or the German model Nico proved enduring” Andy Warhol also incorporated the Velvet Underground’s music into his Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia events. As a songwriter, Reed broke new ground by writing songs about taboo subjects as S&M, transvestites and transsexuals, prostitution and drug addiction.

The Velvet Underground have long been recognizsd as a major musical influence on punk and art rock, as reflected in a quote often attributed to musician Brian Eno: “The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band. Andy Warhol managed the Velvet Underground and it was the house band at his studio, theFactory, and his Exploding Plastic Inevitable events. The provocative lyrics of some of the band’s songs gave a nihilistic outlook to some of their music. Their 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico (which featured German singer Nico, with whom the band collaborated), was named the 13th Greatest Album of All Time, and the “most prophetic rock album ever made” by Rolling Stone in 2003. In 2004,Rolling Stone ranked the band No. 19 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, by Patti Smith.

Posted in Events

Commonwealth Day

imageCommonwealth Day is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations held on the second Monday in March, and marked by a multi-faith service in Westminster Abbey, normally attended by Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the Commonwealth, with the Commonwealth Secretary-General and Commonwealth High Commissioners in London. The Queen delivers an address to the Commonwealth, broadcast throughout the world. In the year before the quadrennial Commonwealth Games, the Queen starts the Queen’s Baton Relay on Commonwealth Day at Buckingham Palace, handing the baton to the first relay runner to start a journey that will end at the Opening Ceremony of the upcoming Games. While it has a certain official status, Commonwealth Day is not a public holiday in most Commonwealth countries, and there is little public awareness of it.

Empire Day was introduced in Canadian schools, first in Dundas, Ontario in 1898, on the last school day before 24 May, Queen Victoria’s birthday. It was celebrated more widely throughout Canada each year. A typical Empire Day in Canadian schools occupied the entire day and included inspirational speeches by trustees and songs such as “The Maple Leaf Forever” and “Just Before the Battle”. Empire Day was instituted in the United Kingdom in 1904 by Lord Meath, and extended throughout the countries of the Commonwealth. This day was celebrated by lighting fireworks in back gardens or attending community bonfires. It gave the King’s people a chance to show their pride in being part of the British Empire.

Empire Day was also celebrated in the Cape Colony before the Boer War and thereafter throughout the Union of South Africa. General Jan Smuts was born on Empire Day in 1870 (24 May 1870). In 1958 Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day, in accordance with the new post-colonial relationship between the nations of the former empire. The National Council in Canada of the Royal Commonwealth Society expressed in a 1973 letter to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau that Commonwealth Day should be observed on the same day throughout all countries of the Commonwealth. So at a meeting of officials in Canberra in 1976, the Canadian proposal of the second Monday in March was adopted.