World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage takes place every 27 October. This commemorative day was chosen by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 2005 to raise of awareness of the significance of and preservation of recorded sound and audiovisual documents (films, sound and video recordings, radio and television programmes). Events are held in many countries, organised by national and regional sound and film archives, broadcasters, museums and libraries, and major audiovisual associations including the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), International Council on Archives (ICA), International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) and International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF)). and the International Federation of Television Archives FIAT/IFTA http://www.fiatifta.org

Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran)

Simon Le Bon, the singer with New Romantic band Duran Duran was Born 27th October 1958. Comprising of Simon le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor, Duran Duran were formed in Birmingham in 1978 and became one of the most successful bands of the 1980s and a leading band in the MTV-driven “Second British Invasion” of the United States. Their debut single “Planet Earth” was released n 1981, with their self-titled debut album, Duran Duran, released in June the same year. By 1983, the band was a global success story, and went on to have many other hits including Union of the Snake, Girls on Film, Rio, Wild Boys, The Reflex, Hungry like a Wolf and New Moon on MondayWhile they were generally considered part of the New Romantic scene along with bands such as Spandau Ballet when they first emerged, they later shed this image. The band worked with fashion designers to build a sharp and elegant image that earned them the nickname “the prettiest boys in rock.”

The band’s controversial videos, which included partial nudity and suggestions of sexuality, became popular in the early 1980s on the then-new music video channel MTV. Duran Duran were among the first bands to have their videos shot by professional directors with 35 mm film movie cameras, which gave their videos a much more polished look.The band were also early innovators with video technology in their live stadium shows. The group was formed by Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Stephen Duffy, with the later addition of Roger Taylor and, after numerous personnel changes, Andy Taylor and Simon Le Bon. (None of the Taylors are related, and Roger Taylor is not to be confused with the Queen drummer of the same name.) The group has never disbanded, but the line-up has changed to include guitarist Warren Cuccurullo from 1989 to 2001 and drummer Sterling Campbell from 1989 to 1991. The reunion of the original five members in the early 2000′s created a stir among the band’s fans and music media. Andy Taylor left the band in mid-2006, and London guitarist Dom Brown has since been working with the band as a session player and touring member. Duran Duran’s Fourteenth album Paper Gods was released in 2015 and is considered by some as something of a return to form, full of catchy tunes, eerie funk and soulful songs such as ‘Face for Today’, ‘Kill me with Silence’, ‘Only in Dreams’, ‘The Universe Alone, Northern Lights, Paper Gods and Only in Dreams.

John Cleese

Best known for being a member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the British actor comedian, writer and film producer John Cleese, was Born 27th October 1939. He first achieved success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival And as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report. In the late 1960s he became a member of Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the four Monty Python films: And Now for Something Completely Different, The Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus was a surreal comedy show which was conceived, written and performed by members Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin And ran for four seasons from 5 October 1969 to December 1974 on BBC Television, aided by Gilliam’s animation, it pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in style and content. Cleese’s two primary characterisations were as a sophisticate and a stressed-out loony. He portrayed the former as a series of announcers, TV show hosts, and government officials (for example, “The Ministry of Silly Walks”). The latter is perhaps best represented in the “Cheese Shop” and by Cleese’s Mr Praline character, the man with a dead Norwegian Blue parrot and a menagerie of other animals all named “Eric”. He was also known for his working class “Sergeant Major” character, who worked as a Police Sergeant, Roman Centurion, and is also seen as the opening announcer with the now famous line “And now for something completely different”, although in its premiere in the sketch “Man with Three Buttocks”, the phrase was spoken by Eric Idle. Forty-five episodes were made over four series. The Python phenomenon developed into something larger in scope and impact, spawning touring stage shows, films, numerous albums, several books and a stage musical as well as launching the members to individual stardom. Their influence on British comedy has been apparent for years, while in North America it has coloured the work of cult performers from the early editions of Saturday Night Live through to more recent absurdist trends in television comedy. “Pythonesque” has entered the English lexicon as a result. In a 2005 UK poll to find The Comedian’s Comedian, three of the six Pythons members were voted by fellow comedians and comedy insiders to be among the top 50 greatest comedians ever: Cleese at #2, Idle at #21, and Palin at #30.

In the mid 1970s, Cleese and his first wife, Connie Booth, co-wrote and starred in the British sitcom Fawlty Towers which was first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975 and 1979. Twelve episodes were made (two series, each of six episodes) all of which were set in Fawlty Towers, a fictional hotel in the seaside town of Torquay, on the “English Riviera”. The plots centre on tense, rude and put-upon owner Basil Fawlty (Cleese), his bossy wife Sybil (Prunella Scales), comparatively normal chambermaid Polly (Booth), and hapless Spanish waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs), showing their attempts to run the hotel amidst farcical situations and an array of demanding and eccentric guests, which gave Cleese the chance to play the “stressed out loony” character he had previously played inMonty Python. In a list drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted by industry professionals, Fawlty Towers was named the best British television series of all time.

Later, he co-starred with Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis and former Python colleague Michael Palin in A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures. He also starred in Clockwise, and has appeared in many other films, including two James Bond films as Q, two Harry Potter films, and three Shrek films. He also co-founded the production company “Video Arts” With Yes Minister writer Antony Jay which makes entertaining training films. Cleese is currently Provost’s Visiting Professor at Cornell University, after having been Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large from 1999–2006. He makes occasional, well-received appearances on the Cornell campus. He sold his home in the town of Montecito, California in 2008 and planned on moving to Bath in the UK where he has a home on the Royal Crescent.

Roy Lichtenstein

American pop artist Roy Fox Lichtenstein was born October 27, 1923 . During the 1960s he became a leading exponent of Pop Art along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and James Rosenquist. Favoring the comic strip as his main inspiration, Lichtenstein produced hard-edged, precise compositions that documented while it parodied often in a tongue-in-cheek humorous manner. His work was heavily influenced by popular advertising and the comic book style.His paintings were exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City and Drowning Girl ,Whaam! and Look Mickey are regarded as his most influential works and The painting “Woman with Flowered Hat” holds the record for highest Lichtenstein auction price.

Lichtenstein Studied at the Ohio State University. However His studies were interrupted by a three-year stint in the army between 1943 and 1946 where he trained in languages, engineering, and pilot training, Before serving as an orderly, draftsman, and artist. Lichtenstein was discharged from the army with eligibility for the G.I. Bill and returned to Ohio State University, Where he studied under Hoyt L. Sherman. After graduating from Ohio State he was hired as an art instructor and received a Master of Fine Arts degree. In 1951 Lichtenstein had his first solo exhibition at the Carlebach Gallery in New York an moved to Cleveland commuting frequently to New York. In between painting he undertook jobs as varied as a draftsman to a window decorator. His work fluctuating between Cubism and Expressionism. In 1954, his first son, David Hoyt Lichtenstein, now a songwriter, was born. His second son, Mitchell Lichtenstein, was born in 1956.

In 1957, Lichtenstein moved to New York and in 1958 he began teaching at the State University of New York in Oswego, adopting the Abstract Expressionism style and incorporating hidden images of cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny into his abstract works. In 1960, he started teaching at Rutgers University, where he was influenced by fellow teacher Allan Kaprow. In 1961, Lichtenstein began his first pop paintings using cartoon images and techniques derived from the appearance of commercial printing. His first work to feature the large-scale use of hard-edged figures and Ben-Day dots was Look Mickey, and he produced six other paintings that year, Leo Castelli also started displaying Lichtenstein’s work at his gallery in New York And Lchtenstein had his first one-man show at the Castelli gallery in 1962; The entire collection being bought by influential collectors before the show even opened. A group of paintings produced between 1961-1962 focused on solitary household objects such as sneakers, hot dogs, and golf balls and in September 1963 he took a leave of absence from his teaching position at Douglass College at Rutgers. Lichtenstein began to find worldwide fame and moved back to New York where he resigned fromRutgers University in 1964 to concentrate on his painting.

On of Lichtenstein best known works, drowning Girl (1963), was appropriated from the lead story in DC Comics’ Secret Hearts #83. And features thick outlines, bold colors and Ben-Day dots, as if created by photographic reproduction.Lichtenstein’s work was reproduced the way the mass media portrays them. He would never take himself too seriously unlike many Art Critics who challenged his paintings originality and criticized them as vulgar and empty. Another of Lichtenstein’s most celebrated image is Whaam!, one of the earliest known examples of pop art, adapted acomic-book panel from a 1962 issue of DC Comics’ All-American Men of War The painting depicts a fighter aircraft firing a rocket into an enemy plane, with a red-and-yellow explosion. The cartoon style is heightened by the use of the onomatopoeic lettering “Whaam!” and the boxed caption “I pressed the fire control… and ahead of me rockets blazed through the sky…” Whaam! follows the comic strip-based themes of some of his previous paintings and is part of a body of war-themed work created between 1962 and 1964. It is one of his two notable large war-themed paintings. Around 1964 Lichtenstein began experimenting with sculpture, producing Head of Girl (1964), and Head with Red Shadow (1965), collaborating with a ceramicist To create the same sort of graphic motifs that he used in his paintings; the application of black lines and Ben-Day dots to three-dimensional objects resulting in a flattening of the form. Most of Lichtenstein’s best-known works are relatively close, but not exact, copies of comic book panels, a subject he largely abandoned in 1965.

Although he would still occasionally incorporate comics panels originally drawn by such comics artists as Jack Kirby and DC Comics artists Russ Heath, Tony Abruzzo, Irv Novick, and Jerry Grandenetti into his work, without giving credit. This also attracted more criticism from those who Saw Lichtenstein’s use of comic-book imagery and art pieces as endorsement of a patronizing view of comics by the art mainstream and engendered a widespread debate about their merits .In the early 1960s, Lichtenstein reproduced masterpieces by Cézanne, Mondrian and Picasso before embarking on the Brushstroke series in 1965. Lichtenstein continued to revisit this theme later in his career with works such asBedroom at Arles that derived from Vincent van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles.

ln 1970, Lichtenstein was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to make a film. With the help of Universal Film Studios, and he produced, Three Landscapes, a film of marine landscapes, directly related to a series of collages with landscape themes he created between 1964 and 1966. Lichtenstein originally planned on producing 15 short films, however the three-screen installation turned out to be the artist’s only film. In 1970, Lichtenstein purchased a former carriage house in Southampton, Long Island, built a studio on the property, Lichtenstein then began a series of Mirrors paintings in 1969. By 1970, while continuing on the Mirrors series, he started work on the subject of entablatures which consisted of a first series of paintings from 1971–72, followed by a second series in 1974-76, and the publication of a series of relief prints in 1976. He produced a series of “Artists Studios” which incorporated elements of his previous work. A notable example being Artist’s Studio, which incorporates five other previous works, fitted into the scene.

During a trip to Los Angeles in 1978, Lichtenstein became fascinated by lawyer Robert Rifkind’s collection of German Expressionist prints and illustrated books And began to produce works that borrowed stylistic elements found in Expressionist paintings such as The White Tree (1980) And Dr. Waldmann (1980) Lichtenstein also painted more surreal works such as Pow Wow. A major series of Surrealist-Pop paintings from 1979–81 is based on Native American themes Such as Amerind Figure (1981), and Amerind Landscape (1979). These took their themes, like the other parts of the Surrealist series, from contemporary art and other sources, including books on American Indian design from Lichtenstein’s small library. Lichtenstein’s Still Life paintings, sculptures and drawings cover a variety of motifs and themes, including fruit, flowers, and vases and Interiors. He was also inspired by the monochromatic prints of Edgar Degas featured in a 1994 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, using Ben Day dots and hard edged Block colours. The nude is a recurring element in Lichtenstein’s work of the 1990s, such as in Collage for Nude with Red Shirt. Lichtenstein also made over 300 prints, mostly in screen printing and in 1969, Lichtenstein was commissioned by Gunter Sachs to create Composition and Leda and the Swan, for the collector’s Pop Art bedroom suite at the Palace Hotel in St. Moritz. During the 1980s, Lichtenstein received major commissions for works in public places: such as the sculptures Lamp, Mermaid, Brushstrokes in Flight andthe five-storey high Mural with Blue Brushstroke at the Equitable Center, New York; and El Cap de Barcelona. In 1994, Lichtenstein created the 53-foot-long, enamel-on-metal Times Square Mural that now hovers over pedestrians in the Times Square subway station.In 1977, he was commissioned by BMW to paint a Group 5 Racing Version of the BMW 320i for the third instalment in the BMW Art Car .

Sadly Though Lichtenstein died of pneumonia in 1997 at New York University Medical Centre, where he had been hospitalised for several weeks. He was survived by his second wife, Dorothy Herzka, and by his sons, David and Mitchell, from his first marriage.After the artist’s death in 1997, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation was established in 1999. In 2011, the foundation’s board decided the benefits of authenticating did not outweigh the risks of protracted lawsuits and In late 2006, the foundation sent out a holiday card featuring a picture of Electric Cord (1961), a painting that had been missing since 1970 after being sent out to art restorer Daniel Goldreyer by the Leo Castelli Gallery. The card urged the public to report any information about its whereabouts, luckily it was subsequently found in 2012 in a New York City warehouse.

Dylan Thomas

Acknowledged as one of the most important Welsh poets of the 20th century, the poet and writer Dylan Marlais Thomas was born 27 October 1914 in Swansea, Wales in 1914. He was An undistinguished student, he left school at 16, becoming a journalist for a short time. Although many of his works appeared in print while a teenager, it was the publication of “Light breaks where no sun shines”, published in 1934, that caught the attention of the literary world. While living in London, Thomas met Caitlin Macnamara whom he married in 1937. Their relationship was defined by alcoholism and was mutually destructive. In the early part of his marriage, Thomas and his family lived hand-to-mouth, settling in the Welsh fishing village of Laugharne.

His most famous works include the poems, “Do not go gentle into that good night”, “And death shall have no dominion”, the “play for voices”, Under Milk Wood, and stories and radio broadcasts such as A Child’s Christmas in Wales and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog. He became popular in his lifetime, and remained popular after his death; partly due to his larger than life character, and his reputation for drinking to excess. Although writing exclusively in the English language, Thomas has been Noted for his original, rhythmic and ingenious use of words and imagery, Thomas’ position as one of the great modern poets has been much discussed, though this has not tarnished his popularity amongst the general public, who found his work accessible

His radio recordings for the BBC during the latter half of the 1940s brought him a level of celebrity. In the 1950s Thomas travelled to America, where his readings brought him a level of fame, though his erratic behaviour and drinking worsened. His time in America cemented Thomas’ legend, where he recorded to vinyl works such as A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Sadly During his fourth trip to New York in 1953 Thomas became gravely ill and fell into a coma from which he did not recover. Thomas died on 9 November 1953 and his body was returned to Wales where he was buried at the village churchyard in Laugharne.