Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lost Marvels of Revolution-Era Russian Theater: Haunting Photographs from a 1908 Fantasy Play Performed in Moscow

The Blue Bird is a 1908 play by Belgian playwright and poet Maurice Maeterlinck. It premiered on 30 September 1908 at Konstantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, and was presented on Broadway in 1910. The play has been adapted for several films and a TV series.

The story is about a girl called Mytyl and her brother Tyltyl seeking happiness, represented by The Blue Bird of Happiness, aided by the good fairy Bérylune.

The photographs of the actors are all that remain of this 1908 premiere of Maeterlinck’s Blue Bird. A descriptive play-by-play of the performance can be found in the 1920 book The Russian Theater Under the Revolution by Oliver Sayler, but all other images of this art noveau-inspired production have been lost to time.

According to historians well versed on the Moscow Art Theatre, which at the time was considered one of the most vital dramatic arts communities in the world, anything connected with the 1908 production was destroyed once WWI commenced in 1914, with the exception of these photographs. Despite their age and lack of color, they are remarkably vivid. While they are all stunning, the images of actress Maria Germanova (who played the mythical fairy in The Blue Bird and is best known for her role in the silent film based on Leo Tolstoy’s novel Ana Karenina) are particularly arresting.

"The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat" – This Silent Film by the Lumière Brothers in 1895 About a Train Really Cause Audiences to Stampede

In 1890, having made a fortune manufacturing plates for still photographs, Antoine Lumière bought a huge 90 hectare / 222 acre plot of land between the station and the waterfront in La Ciotat.

The Villa Lumiere at La CiotatOn this land, which he called the Clos des Plagues, he built a magnificent 36 room château, the Villa Lumière, pictured as it was in the early 19th century, as a summer residence for his family (which was based in Lyon for the rest of the year).

Meanwhile Antoine's two sons, Auguste and Louis, were busy developing their own new invention which they called the "cinématographe": a motion picture camera which also functioned as a developer and projector. They lodged the patent for this device on 30 March 1895 and shot numerous short films, all roughly 50 seconds long, in and around La Ciotat during this period.

These include the famous L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat (The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat), one of the world's first movies. It records a steam train, pictured top left, pulling into La Ciotat from Marseille, with the Lumière Brothers' mother Joséphine (in a tartan cape) and Louis' daughter Suzanne on the platform.

Like most of the Lumières' early shorts, the 50-second silent film consists of a single, unedited real-time view, with the camera carefully positioned so that the train seems to be coming almost directly towards it (according to legend, the first viewers, imagining themselves to be in the path of the locomotive, ducked for cover).

On the centennial celebration of the film's release, film critic Hellmuth Karasek wrote in Der Spiegel:
One short film had a particularly lasting impact; yes, it caused fear, terror, even panic.... It was the film L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de la Ciotat (Arrival of the Train at La Ciotat Station).... Although the cinematographic train was dashing toward the crowded audience in flickering black and white (not in natural colors and natural dimensions), and although the only sound accompanying it was the monotonous clatter of the projector's sprockets engaging into the film's perforation, the spectators felt physically threatened and panicked."

51 Adorable Photos Show That Dogs Have Always Been Children's Best Friends From Long Time Ago

These adorable were taken in the late 19th century that show dogs has always been children's best friend from long time ago.

American model Linda Ward (O'Reilly) posing, while two local boys give her outfit the once over, Dublin, ca. 1960s

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

“The Apple Collection”: The Ridiculous Clothing Line Apple Released in 1986

Mention Apple, people will quickly think of technology products like the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Macintosh, Apple Watch, or more.

You know, this company has released a clothing line that called "The Apple Collection" with over-sized sweatshirts, windbreakers, and obnoxiously bright patterns in 1986.

Take a look.

Young women in swimsuits with their bicycles, ca. 1930s

Long Hair Is Not Just for Humans: Incredible Vintage Pictures of the Long Haired Oregon Horses in the Late 19th Century

Throughout human history long hair has been a desirable and much sort after quality. Most people cannot grow their longer than their lower backs, but there are a few individuals who can grow their hair to the floor. Until quite recently such individuals could make a quite successful living on the circus and side show circuit displaying their exceptionally long hair. The reason why humans are able grow such long scalp hair is open to question. There doesn’t seem to be any obvious biological advantage to growing hair so long. While it may be important to grow some hair on the scalp to protect the head from sunlight and to keep the brain warm, growing hair beyond shoulder length doesn’t seem to be particularly useful. It might be that long hair was used as an indicator of health when it came to finding a mate, but more usually, hair coat quality and luster is important in attracting a mate, not so much the length of the hair. Studies on lions and their manes have confirmed this. Females look for healthy manes on males, but mane length is not important. Perhaps as humans have/had no real predators we have/had the “luxury” to produce long hair even though it confers no significant biological advantage.

Long hair isn’t just seen in humans. Long hair can be found in a number of animals, but usually these animals are domesticated and specially bred to produce long hair either for esthetic appeal or for commercial use. For example, merino sheep are bred to produce a long (and fine) wool coat. If it is not shorn regularly the coat builds into an excessive covering. The sheep can end up looking like puff balls on legs if neglected. But in the wild, a truly long hair coat can be a disadvantage. The hair can cover the eyes and reduce sight. It can overheat the animal in a hot weather zone. It can be heavy enough to slow the animal down and reduce their chances of escape from their natural predators. Indeed, long hair can make it easier for predators to grab hold and pull down their long haired prey. In the “wild” long hair is the almost exclusive domain of humans – but not quite.

This is a legend of wild horses in Oregon with exceptionally long manes and tails. Eventually, some of these horses were captured and bred as circus horses. The wild population died out long ago and the captive bred horse lineage also seems to be been lost. Back in the 1880s though, these horses were a popular side show and circus attraction that made a lot of money for their owners. The most famous of the long haired horses was “Linus” (actually there were two linuses). A leaflet from the Nineteenth century tells the story here.