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                                                                                   “Hell is other people”

Set upstairs in an intimate room above a lovely little pub in Camden called ‘The Lord Stanley’.. I squashed myself in between two men, academically clad in rounded glasses and corduroy suits. They looked like they knew their Descartes from their Heidegger and I found myself begin to worry that the play I was there to see, was going to be full of linguistically respectful sentences only someone who had studied literature/philosophy might be able to understand. New to Philosophy, I fell for its charm when I discovered… from a little self study that I might be suffering a little from Existential Angst.. and since then I’ve found myself wanting to read/know more, albeit finding the subject a little intimidating as a self starter.

I was there to see the performance of the play ‘No Exit’ by Sartre – which was being put on by the Theatre Collection company (founded and run by Victor Sobchak).

“Remember you’re not alone; you’ve no right to inflict the sight of your fear on me.” Jean-Paul Sartre, No Exit

Performed behind a wooden mesh, I was impressed by the theatre’s resourceful use of both the space and lighting. I forgot to worry about my lack of knowledge and my intellectual looking neighbours as after ten minutes I found myself absorbed in the extremely well acted discourse between the three ‘deceased’ characters.

The story in a nutshell, is a depiction of the afterlife – and punishment is being locked in a room together for all eternity. It is based on the quotation “L’enfer, c’est les autres” or “Hell is other people” in which Sartre very cleverly sums up the hellish reality of living with other people, the struggle for tolerance.. and the struggle of seeing oneself as an object in another persons world. The three characters in this adaption are played by actors Shaban Arifi (Garcin) – Phoebe Higson (Estelle) – and Josephine Berry (Inez).

On leaving, feeling thoughtful, yet in a jovial mood I turned to my friend.. who had been sitting a few rows back.. “So… what did you think?” I asked him… “I thought it was brilliant!” he beamed at me.. “But Becks…” he turned to look at me – a serious expression on his usually upbeat face…

“I think we are stuck behind that wooden mesh.. and we’ve gotta get out…”.

I looked seriously back at him. “Yeah.. I know…”…I smiled back.

INEZ: One always dies too soon – or too late. And yet one’s whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are – your life, and nothing else.”

Highly recommended – go see! It’s playing until the 24th of March… buy tickets HERE

This week Becki is going to find a copy of Bertrand Russell’s ‘The History of Western Philosophy’ and start reading it on recommendation from the very nice man who was sitting next to her…. a great place to start apparently… 😉

SARTRE FACT: Sartre was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature but refused it, saying that he always declined official honors and that “a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution”

PS – I’m running the 10k in May raising money for Mind/Home Straight/Children’s Society – please sponsor me if you can! Thank you! Link HERE

Until next time folks.. have a good week..

BeckiBx

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I’m currently absorbed in new book ‘The Intern’ from novelist (and ex MTV colleague) Dillon Khan. The plot details the journey of a young man keen to make his mark in music television and his journey through the daily trials and tribulations/hopes and dreams of working in such a competitive field. Whilst this book is a fictitious novel (disclaimer noted) I cannot help but wonder how much is based on actual imagination. The picture painted by writer Dillon feels very true to life so much so I can almost touch Jay-Z from my sofa. If you’re sitting there wondering about doing an internship yourself – or would like an insight in to working in the music industry then this book is an excellent starting point. Full of humour – Dillon’s writing helps the reader swiftly become part of the Total Beats team.

On a personal level –  and being a past intern on MTV2 (with an all boy team) this book has taken me on a trip down memory lane. My personal highlights of being an intern include all of the following:

– Flirting with the boys in the bands. NOTE: Dating musicians = BAD. Flirting with musicians = FUN. (Jamie Oliver’s wife has it all figured out – chef’s are the way forward but beware of dating a feeder).
Getting to go on tour with the team – although being the only girl on an all boy bus had it’s tribulations. The worst part? Being hungover with severe period pains and not really being able to mention it…“I am a female warrior…and I can party just as hard…”. Really.
– The MTV parties. Oh! The parties!
– What it’s all about… the music.

Sigh. Funny times. So yes.. you think you wanna be an intern? I advise you read The Intern first. Because you just might not be able to handle it.

And courtesy of King Charles here is a FREE DOWNLOAD of his track ‘Love Lust’ HERE

LINK
www.theintern.co.uk

Ave a good un..
Becki Bx

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‘I don’t read much of other people’s work. Maybe I should. Maybe I’m missing something. I’m learning so much from this experience, from the way people are responding to my work. It’s teaching me a lot. I feel good that I wasn’t wrong. I’ve been on this track for so long and I haven’t been that successful in Japan. But now some people are getting it. It’s very gratifying.‘ Yoshihiro Tatsumi

Released on the 13th January, Tatsumi is the new animiated drama film from Singaporean Director Eric Khoo. The film interweaves five shorter stories and the better known 800 page manga memoir ‘A Drifting Life’ by now 77 yr old Japanese manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi.

TRAILER

The film takes the audience on a dramatic journey of Tatsumi’s life from the 1960’s – 1980’s and is set in post war Japan. It is a dark humourous play on the cruel reality of life, sometimes shocking.. sometimes a little disturbing, this is an incredibly well made, entertaining and beautifully crafted film which I guess is why it has been selected as the Singaporean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards (which takes place on the February 26, 2012…ohDearyme wishes it the greatest luck!).

Please note: a strong background/interest in manga/animation is not required for the viewing of this film…so do make it a one to watch!

Picture of Director Eric Khoo (left) and me!

FACT: Tatsumi coined the term gekiga in 1957 which means ‘dramatic pictures’. This would be a movement that would launch the alternative comics scene in Japan.

You can book to watch the film here

If that has you wanting to know more about the medium of comics here is a mini interview with Paul Gravett editor of 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die

How/when did you get into comics and what is it about them that you find appealing?
It was TV that got me into comics first – Thunderbirds, Tintin and Batman shows led me to discover their original comics and from there I was hooked. I love how comics stimulate both sides of my brain, make me read and look at the same time and fill the gaps between the panels – and then the stories and emotions they create.

What is your favourite comic and why?
Impossible to choose just one. All I can give you is my favourite right now, this instance, which is a manga called Saint Oniisan (pictured below) about Jesus and Buddha coming down to present-day Earth and renting a Tokyo apartment for their holidays, it’s hilarious and utterly original.

You’ve just finished editing ‘1001 Comics’ tell us more about the content…
The first 500 entries cover more than a century, from 1837 to around 1985, the last 501 entries cover the last 25 years or so. That reflects how many amazing, innovative comics have been produced all over the world in these recent years. This is connected to the rise of women’s role as comics authors and to the medium expanding from traditional genres and tackling every subject you can imagine.

Do you think the traditional medium of the comic can survive the increasing desire for virtual reality… how/why?
Comics are already working brilliantly online and as apps, and at the same time we’re also seeing a renewed appreciation of the beauty of books as tactile objects, graphic novels with fantastic production and design, and the return of the hand-crafted. Comics are our oldest storytelling form… right back to cave paintings, so they can survive anything and will evolve as they have always done as technology changes.

What did you enjoy about the Tatsumi film?
I especially enjoyed the chance to get to know the man behind the manga and appreciate what drives someone to devote themselves to their life’s dream of making powerful stories in their own unique way. It proves the secret power of comics – one person, with pen or pixels, can make a reader react emotionally to something as ‘simple’ as motionless, silent drawings and words on a page.

Paul Gravell Website

Check out work from aspiring cartoonist: Mike Medaglia here

In other news… I have fallen in love with this by Charles Bradley ‘The World (Is Going Up In Flames):

Becki Bx

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