Monthly Archives: July 2009

Swedish Director Roy Andersson’s Film ‘You, the Living” is being shown at the Film Forum in New York City

The New York Times

The New York Times interview with Swedish film director Roy Andersson

THE SWEDISH film director Roy Andersson’s film “You, the Living” (in Swedish: “Du levande”) from 2007 is being shown at the Film Forum in Manhattan, New York, opening on Wednesday, July 29, for a two-week run. The Film Forum is located at 209 West Houston St. For tickets, call the box office at (212) 727-8110.

IN THE SUNDAY, July 26, Arts & Leisure section of The New York Times, there was an extensive interview with Mr. Andersson, who was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1943, and graduated from the Swedish Film Institute in 1969.

“YOU, THE LIVING” is centered around the lives of, among others, an overweight woman, a disgruntled psychiatrist, a heart broken groupie, a carpenter, a business consultant, and an elementary school teacher with emotional problems and her rug-selling husband. It is shot in an unconventional manner and consists of a fluent succession of sketches, very often with a tragicomic undertone. The cast is non-professional. The film won the Silver Hugo for Best Direction at the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival and has been critically acclaimed.

IN THE ARTICLE Mr. Andersson says, that the vulnerability of the human being and humiliation, i.e., when people humiliate each other and when they humiliate themselves are subjects that he “deals with all the time.” His personal style is characterized by long takes, absurdist comedy, caricaturing of Swedish culture, and a grotesque “Felliniesque” influence.

“YOU, the Living” is Mr. Andersson’s only fourth feature-length film in a career that started in 1970, with the film “A Swedish Love Story,” a romantic drama about two teenagers falling in love, starring Ann-Sofie Kylin and Rolf Sohlman. The film became a big success in Sweden and abroad.

IN 1975 his film Giliap was released. It starred Thommy Berggren as a man who takes a job as a waiter at a run-down hotel. It became a financial and critical fiasco, and Roy Andersson took a 25-year break from film directing, focusing instead on his commercial work.

MR. ANDERSSON says, according to The New York Times, that “no producer in Sweden wanted to work with me (after Giliap). I was thrown out in the cold, and the only people who called me were the people from advertising.”

IN 1996 Roy Andersson finally began filming “Songs from the Second Floor,” which was completed four years later. The film won the Jury Prize (Prix du Jury) in 2000, which is the third most prestigious price at the Cannes Film Festival, which was its premiere, and became an international critical success. And in Sweden the film was awarded five Guldbagge Awards, for best film, direction, cinematography, screenplay and sound.

IN SEPTEMBER the director, according to the newspaper, will visit New York and the Museum of Modern Art for a retrospective of his work.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Peruvian Independence Day Celebration at Hotel Monaco in Washington

Teresa Landa

Teresa Landa

ON TUESDAY night, July 28, the Peruvian Independence Day was celebrated “with the Best Pisco Party” at the Poste Brasserie restaurant in the Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C. Many guests came to enjoy Peruvian Pisco drinks and celebrate the country’s national day.

Michael H. Halpern

Michael H. Halpern

Miryam Gerdine and Cecilia Calvo

Miryam Gerdine and Cecilia Calvo

Danny Marca and Denis Munoz

Danny Marca and Denis Munoz

Peruvian Independence Day Celebration
Peruvian Independence Day Celebration

Swedish Author Stieg Larsson’s Thriller ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ Reviewed in The Washington Post

LAST YEAR SWEDISH journalist and author Stieg Larsson’s thriller “The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo” (in Swedish: “Men Who Hate Women”) was published in the United States. The leading character in that story about solving a decades-old mystery involving a missing member of a wealthy Swedish family, is the journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Another prominent character is the genious Lisbeth Salander, who is a computer hacker. The thriller has also become a film with the roles played by Michael Nyqvist as Blomkvist and Noomi Rapace as Salander.

STIEG LARSSON, who died at the age 50 in 2004, wrote a trilogy of novels, called Millennium, and was working on his fourth novel when he died. Stockholm’s dark side is being showcased in his novels.

NOW HIS next novel, “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” has been released in the U.S. Evidence at the crime scenes of three killings points to Lisbeth Salander, who is being portrayed as a crackpot and loner. But she is also highly intelligent, interested in higher mathematics and also a computer nerd. While she eludes the police, she is being helped by her old colleague and boyfriend Mikael Blomkvist. Another prominent figure in the story is Nils Erik Bjurman, the lawyer, sexual sadist, and guardian she reports to as a condition to stay out of mental hospital.

THE WASHINGTON POST writer Dennis Drabelle notes that “all the more disturbing in light of Sweden’s (…) sexual liberalism. If contempt for women is widespread in a country where love is all around, the reader might wonder, what help is there for societies still enmeshed in Puritanism?” Drabelle writes that Larsson has two critical skills for good entertainment: creating complex characters and giving out information in an enthralling way. The reviewer is less impressed with a climactic episode that is too contrived. But the reviewer points out that, despite the author’s early death, he managed to write at least two first-rate thrillers. And the third one will be published in English next year.

Politiskt korrekt semester f?r Obamas

SPEKULATIONERNA ? intensiva om var den amerikanska presidentfamiljen Obama skall tillbringa sin sommarsemester, och det troliga ? att det bli ?n Martha’s Vineyard, strax s?der om Cape Cod, vid Massachusetts kust. Augusti ? den stora semesterm?aden i politiska kretsar i Washington, d?den amerikanska kongressen inte sammantr?er och kongressledam?terna tar sitt m?adsl?ga sommaruppeh?l och reser till sina hemdistrikt. Det ? f?rst efter Labor Day-helgen – som i ? infaller den 7 september — i b?rjan av september som politiken ?erigen kommer ig?g i den amerikanska huvudstaden. Det ? ocks?i slutet av juli och b?rjan av augusti som Washington ? som mest fuktigt och varmt, med en odr?lig luftfuktighet och temperaturer p?upp emot 35 grader och d??ver, s?det ? m?ga som flyr staden, och den blir n?tan lika folktom som Stockholm och andra europeiska st?er, trots betydligt kortare semestrar. Att ta mer ? en veckas eller tio dagars ledighet i str?k ? n?ot som inte m?ga v?ar g?ra, r?da f?r att arbetsrummet skall vara utst?at n? de kommer tillbaka.

D?PRESIDENTKANDIDATEN Barack Obama och hans familj semestrade p?Hawaii f?rra augusti och ocks?bes?kte Obamas mormor som l? f?r d?den, fick kandidaten kritik f?r detta av reportrar. TV-kommentatorn Cokie Roberts, fr? TV-kanalen ABC, exempelvis, menade att “det ser ut som Obama ?er iv? till n?on utl?dsk exotisk plats”. N?ot som inte skulle g?hem hos medelamerikanen – eller “Joe Sixpack”, enligt Roberts.

DET ? ETT k?sligt ?ne ?en f?r en president att ta f?r l?g semester, och amerikanska presidenter f? mer kritik f?r sina semestrar ? n?onsin europeiska kungligheter och politiker. M?ga minns att George W. Bush tillbringade st?rre delen av augusti 2001 p?ranchen i Crawford, Texas, innan 11 septemberattackerna. F?rmodligen blir president Obamas semester inte l?gre ? 1-2 veckor, och Vita Huset vill inte g?ut med f?r mycket information. Det ser inte bra ut med en alltf?r extravagant semester i en tid av djup recession. Och d? den viktiga sjukv?dsreformen st? p?dagordningen, vilken ? av st?rsta prioritet f?r presidenten.

UTLANDSSEMESTER UNDER sommaren vore inte att t?ka p?f?r en amerikansk politiker (till skillnad fr? arbetsresor utomlands under resten av ?et). F?r en del ? sedan var det mycket “hoopla” kring St. Tropez, som upps?ks av m?ga Hollywoodtyper — eller andra destinationer vid Medelhavet, s?om Mallorca, Ibiza och Capri. Men f?r Obamas, som liksom Clintons inte har ett eget sommarhus, g?ler det att g?ra ett riktigt val. Eller politiskt korrekt s?ant. Till skillnad fr? presidenterna Bush, den f?rre med sommarhus i Kennebunkport, Maine, och den senare med sin ranch i Crawford, Texas. Och Reagan med sin ranch i Kalifornien. Martha’s Vineyard i New England, med sina vackra sandstr?der – inte l?gt fr? Kennedysommartillh?let Hyannis Port — ? mycket popul?t i liberala och demokratiska kretsar, och bland Washingtonbor (f?r New York-borna ? det snarare The Hamptons p?Long Island som g?ler). Jackie Kennedy hade ett sommarhus h?. Och Clintons har tillbringat ett flertal sommarsemestrar p?Martha’s Vineyard, sedan Bill Clinton blev president 1993, och paret var p?90-talet mycket popul?a i det social livet p??n. Ett Obama-bes?k blir s?erligen mer “low-key”. ? ? ocks?sedan l?ge ett popul?t semestertillh?l f?r f?rm?gna afroamerikaner. Men det hindrar inte att platsen f?t kritik f?r sitt “vindrickande set” bland mer jordn?a, folkliga politiker.

Will Volvo Ocean Race return to the Baltimore-Washington area in 2012?

Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland

THERE COULD BE a repeat of the round-the-world yacht race, the Volvo Ocean Race, with a stop in the Baltimore-Washington area in 2012, according to the Washington Business Journal (7/17/2009). The paper notes that city and state leaders are working on a final bid, due in December, to bring the event to the region in 2012. This would be the first time the Volvo Ocean Race has come to the area since 2006. That year close to 250,000 people visited the Baltimore and Annapolis waterfronts for the race’s stopover.

VOLVO OCEAN RACE is held every third year, and traditionally it stops in at least one U.S. port. The 2008-09 nine-month race started in Alicante, Spain, in October last year, and concluded in St. Petersburg in June. It visited Boston, and other stops were Cape Town, Kochi, Singapore, Qingdao, Rio de Janeiro, Galway, Gothenburg and Stockholm, and covered over 37,000 nautical miles. There were seven entries with a crew or sailing team of 11 professionals.

THE FIRST Volvo Ocean Race was run in 2001-02, with the predecessor The Whitebread Round the World Race initiated in 1973. The race is considered to be the longest, most demanding and perilous sporting contest in the world. The crew will experience extreme climate and temperature variations, only eat frozen or dried food and take one change of clothes. They will also experience hunger and sleep deprivation.

IN 2006, according to the Washington Business Journal, $2.5 million was raised by local organizers from corporate and individual donors as well as the state of Maryland to support the stop in the region. The question is now – in a time of economic difficulties – if the interest to sponsor the event will be as strong as three years ago.

Fiber Artist Robert E. Paige shows his art at Parish Gallery in Georgetown

Fiber Artist Robert E. Paige

Fiber Artist Robert E. Paige had a special appearance at Parish Gallery in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, July 8.

EVERY WEDNESDAY – from July 1 through August 26 — is Happy Hour in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. Select restaurants, retailers and salons/spa are joining together for neighborhood-wide Happy Hours filled with samplings, specials, previews, discounts, prizes, giveaways, and other offers.

Sandy Wainwright, Norman Parish, Josh Wainwright, Robert E. Paige and Neil Hartbarger

Sandy Wainwright, Keeling Wainwright Associates Inc.; gallery owner Norman Parish; Josh Wainwright, Keeling Wainwright Associates Inc.; fiber artist Robert E. Paige; and Neil Hartbarger

ON WEDNESDAY, July 8, Parish Gallery in Georgetown had a special appearance by fiber artist Robert E. Paige. For more than three decades Paige has traveled the world of art as an educator, creator, or as a critic of sorts. He was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago and worked at the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. He ventured to Milan, Italy, while there sold pattern designs for manufacturing of scarves and dress fabric for the house of Fiorio. Through this association, he was invited to participate in the largest silk manufacturing exhibition held in Lake Como, Italy. Upon returning to the United States he consistently participated in exhibitions, lectures and workshops from the elementary school level to college and universities. He was also invited to the west coast of Africa to tour textile manufacturing facilities that included the silk-screening process and their studios. Thus, the “Dakkabar Collection” was born and created. He has toured U.S. cities to promote his collection designed exclusively for Sears, Roebuck & Company, to reach out to African American consumers. He toured 56 cities, and the collection was sold in 130 stores around the country. In addition, Mr. Paige has sold designs to Carson, Pirie Scott & Company and Marshall Fields of Chicago.

THE ARTIST’S geometric patterns and shapes of all types on fibers – silks and cottons — and canvasses express pure art and total design. He has an eye for subtle color combinations and organic patterns that vibrate with the intensity of his African heritage. His designs glow with disciplinary creativity.

Fiber artist Robert E. Paige

Fiber artist Robert E. Paige

Parish Gallery is located at 1054 31st Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, from noon to 6 p.m.; other hours by appointment. For more information, visit http://www.parishgallery.com/

Fiber artist Robert E. Paige

Fiber artist Robert E. Paige

‘Beer + Drag + Opera’-event in Washington

 
Philippa Hughes and Shi-Queeta-Lee

Philippa Hughes from the Pink Line Project and “Diva of Town” Shi-Queeta-Lee

“BEER + DRAG + OPERA” was the title of an event on Tuesday night, July 7, at the Solea Live-Work Space – a “mashup” live-work space built to be a home AND a workplace, in Northwest Washington, organized by art scene doyenne Philippa Hughes, who is also heading up the effort by Mobfuse to promote the “define live-work” Solea space. A lot of people stopped by during the evening, and were asked to give ideas to how the space could be used for living as well as working. The person with the submission voted as the best idea for the space, could win a $500 prize. For more information about the contest, visit http://www.definelive-work.com/about. The evening also featured “Diva of Town” Shi-Queeta Lee and opera-influenced music by DJ Anish.

Cory Oberndorfer and visionary artist Charles J. Divine

Artist Cory Oberndorfer and visionary artist Charles J. Divine

DJ Anish

DJ Anish

Swedish artist Gunnel Gyllenhoff shows her work at Lorton Arts Center in Lorton, Va.

Swedish artist Gunnel Gyllenhoff is showing her work at Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Va.

Swedish artist Gunnel Gyllenhoff is showing her work at Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Va.

SWEDISH ARTIST Gunnel Gyllenhoff has two of her paintings in an exhibition at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Va., in suburban Washington, D.C. A lifelong artist, she paints abstract compositions that have powerful color, airy inspiration and warm inviting complexity.

“I AM studio painter, I don’t go out and paint, and I don’t want to literally tell a story,” she says. “It comes from inside, and ‘bubbles over.’ It is just feelings and emotions.”

SHE ADDS, “For my so called ‘Poured Paintings’ I use fluid acrylic paints. I mix 3-4 colors ahead of time for each application, dilute with some water and then I pour the paint on to a very smooth surface like Yupo paper. The colors run into each other and create their own combinations and forms. It is a very immediate way of painting, very organic and is to me a process of discovery. It does however requier strong guidance and control.”

“NOTHING MADE by man can exceed the beauty of nature”

AFTER HIGH SCHOOL she became a map maker in Malm?, Sweden, where she also
started her art education. She then moved to the United States. While working as a cartographer in New York she applied and was accepted at Cooper Union College in Greenwich Village in New York City. By being accepted there students do not have to pay tuition — a form of scholarship. 

GUNNEL SAYS that her artistic talent came from her father, Nils Torling. “My father was a Swedish engineer and businessman, but was also very artistic, painted and did drawings and wood carvings.”
In New York, she met a Swede, got married, had two children, a daughter and a son, and moved to Chicago and Rockford, Ill., where the family spent ten years before moving to the Washington area.

“ROCKFORD WAS A VERY Swedish town, with its ancestry and feeling for Sweden. You were treated as a royalty there.” But she says she likes Washington because it “feels closer to Europe and is very international.”

“I PAINTED WHEN the children were young, in fact I have painted during my entire lifetime. For a long time I was particularly interested in doing charcoal drawings.” Ms. Gyllenhoff .received an award from an international publication called Prize Winning Graphics (by Margaret Harold) for the charcoal drawing she did of her daughter Cecilia. She also did charcoal portraits of the children of the Swedish embassy staff. 

 
Gunnel Gyllenhoff next to her artwork

Artist Gunnel Gyllenhoff next to her artwork “Troll Forest”

FOR SEVERAL YEARS Ms. Gyllenhoff combined her artistic work with her own travel agency, Scandia World Travel. This gave her an opportunity to see much of the world, and she visited Tibet, China, Indonesia, Turkey and South America (for example Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos islands), among other places. “I am seeking authenticity,” she says.

Artwork by Swedish artist Gunnel Gyllenhoff

Artwork by Swedish artist Gunnel Gyllenhoff

MS. GYLLENHOFF is exhibiting at the Art League Gallery of the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Va., where she has received many awards, at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Va., and she had a one person painting exhibition at the Watergate Gallery in Washington D.C. Her painting ‘Wings’ was picked by a curator at the famous Hirshhorn Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. for the biannual exhibition called “Strictly Painting”at Emerson Gallery in McLean, Va.

 
Artwork by Gunnel Gyllenhoff

This artwork, “Wings,” was picked by the curator at famous Hirshhorn Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., for an exhibition at the Emerson Gallery in McLean, Virginia.

Artwork by Swedish artist Gunnel Gyllenhoff

D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ holds ‘Art Salon’ at the Meridian House in Washington, D.C.

Michelle Pendoley and JoAnn LaBrecque-French, both of the Washington National Opera

Michelle Pendoley and JoAnn LaBrecque-French, both of the Washington National Opera

THE D.C. COMMISSION on the Arts and Humanities held an “Art Salon” – a monthly gathering of artists, techies, green-collars, art enthusiasts, educators and others on Wednesday evening, July 1, at the White-Meyer House in the Meridian International Center, 1624 Crescent Place, in Northwest Washington, D.C.

Henry E. Harris and Lamont Harrell of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Henry E. Harris and Lamont Harrell of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities

THE ART SALON is modeled after the salons of the late 19th century to inspire and provoke the minds of the creative community. Salon guests listened to remarks by Regie Cabico, Poet/DCCCAH Grantee; Dr. Curtis Sandberg, Curator of the White-Meyer House; and Yosi Sergant, Director of Communications at the National Endowment for the Arts. DJ Brian Liu provided “soundscapes.”

Christina R. Sevilla, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative

Christina R. Sevilla, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative

Rebecca Fishman Harris, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Rebecca Fishman Harris, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Jeff Parks, Washington Performing Arts Society

Jeff Parks, Washington Performing Arts Society

Susannah Pegg

Susannah Pegg

Kristina d'Ambrosio, Linda Hesh and Welmoed Laanstra

Bisnow reporter Kristina d’Ambrosio, Linda Hesh and Welmoed Laanstra