If there’s any one thing that could instantly improve all of Shakespeare’s plays, what would it be? How about replacing some of his most recognizable characters with cats? You might think we’re joking, that’s exactly what artist Susan Herbert did in her 2004 book Shakespeare Cats, a collection of 32 hilarious paintings that reimagine some of the Bard’s most beloved works as acted out by felines. Thanks a post over on thaeger, we’ve gathered some of our favorites for you to peruse after the jump. We know the Internet will love these silly, cat-infiltrated scenes, but what do you think your high school English teacher would say? … Read More
A Swedish proverb tells us that a life without love is like a year without summer. Who better, then, to comment on the joy of our favorite season than a country that experiences never-ending midsummer days when the sun never sets? The summer solstice is fast approaching, and our yearly anticipation of the sultry, dog days is reaching an all time high. Our plans for the inevitable rooftop gatherings are in place, our outdoor event lists have been made, and bathing suits and sun hats have been purchased. Summer fun, we’re ready for you.
In honor of the long, sun-drenched days ahead, we thought we’d take a look at some of the most amazing open-air play spaces in the world. From the largest natural amphitheater in America, surrounded by some of The West’s most perfect picnic spots, to stunning forest theaters to a stage jutting into the sea along the rugged coast of Cornwall, click through to check out showstopping outdoor stages that have us wishing summer would last forever. Nominate your local favorites in the comments below! … Read More
The best of this week’s (admittedly lean) DVD releases is Coriolanus, the sleek and muscular Shakespeare adaptation from star and first-time director Ralph Fiennes. He’s been angling to bring the play to the screen for nearly a dozen years now, since he first played it on the London stage, and when the time came to do so, he did what many a filmmaker before him has done to make Shakespeare tenable to today’s audience: he modernized it. But the text is so open, and his staging is so robust, that the interpretation works; it couldn’t feel more timely and appropriate, with (perhaps intentional, perhaps accidental) allusions to the Tea Party, Congressional dysfunction, and the Occupy movement that land without the clumsiness that so often batters political cinema.
In honor of a job well done, we’ve assembled ten other films that altered the Bard’s plots and texts in a similarly entertaining fashion. Check them out after the jump, and add your own in the comments. … Read More
In the context of our post last week on French yé-yé pop, we touched on France Gall’s “Les Sucettes,” an ostensibly innocent ditty written for her by Serge Gainsbourg, which came stuffed full of allusions to oral sex. The song’s questionable enough, but the video is all kinds of wrong — giant dancing phalluses, nubile teens sucking on very suggestive lollipops, and poor little France Gall, oblivious to it all. We still can’t quite believe Gainsbourg got away with it, but then, he made a career out of getting away with it. Anyway, the whole thing got us thinking about similar works of art with hidden meanings that somehow managed to slip under the radar — history is full of them, and we’ve put together a rather eclectic selection after the jump. We’re sure there must be heaps more, so let us have your suggestions in the comments section. … Read More
Here at Flavorpill, we’re huge fans of genre crossover, particularly when one artist we love pays tribute to another one we hold dear. This week, Vol. 1 Brooklyn pointed us towards a new song by Diehard called “Steinbeck,” after, of course, the famous author. After listening, we were inspired to dig up a few more sonic odes to famous writers — not just songs inspired by their works, mind you, though there are many of those, but songs actually devoted to or inspired by the authors themselves, which are a little less common. Click through to listen to ten songs we love about famous writers we love even more — or just stream the entire playlist here – and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorite sonic odes to authors in the comments! … Read More
Graffiti artists aren’t particularly known for their bookishness. After all, when you spend your nights out on the street as a graphic art vigilante, you’re missing important time that could be spent snuggled up in bed with a book. So after we saw this spectacular Isaac Asimov portrait, we decided to go hunting for graffiti with a distinct literary bent — and in fact, the world abounds with bookish street art, from portraits of favorite authors to stenciled and scribbled quotes to representations of beloved characters. Click through to see twenty five of our favorite finds, from the reverent to the blatantly mocking, and let us know which author’s likeness you’d most like to stencil onto the walls of your city in the comments — or get out there and contribute to our collection. … Read More
It could be a record-breaking afternoon in the book world. Today, Christie’s New York will auction off a copy of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, which already holds the title of most valuable printed book in the world, having sold for about $11.5 million in 2010. In fact, according to The Economist, a true list of the ten most valuable single books ever sold would have to include five copies of The Birds of America. Though Christie’s is playing their cards close to the vest and estimating a $7 to $10 million sale, today could see a new record for the book. After all, the copy that sold for $11.5 million was estimated at less than the copy on auction today.
To help you brush up on your knowledge of the very old and very valuable, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most expensive books ever sold — no white gloves necessary. Click through for an overview, and then head upstairs to check your attics for any forgotten dusty tomes — you could be a millionaire and not even know it. … Read More
Happy birthday to Gothic lit god Edgar Allan Poe, whose chilling tales have influenced innumerable artists of every kind across the globe and have been a comfort for angsty teens everywhere. While the scribe’s life story is a fascinating one filled with madness and love, we’re celebrating the grim gentleman’s legacy by calling attention to one of his greatest attributes: his debonair mustache. Poe’s appearance has been well documented, citing that he traded long sideburns for his now-famous facial hair, which he first grew around 1845. An article in the 1878 copy of Scribner’s Magazine, “The Last Days of Edgar A. Poe,” describes the writer’s iconic stache more specifically:
“He wore a dark mustache, scrupulously kept, but not entirely concealing a slightly contracted expression of the mouth and an occasional twitching of the upper lip, resembling a sneer. This sneer, indeed, was easily excited — a motion of the lip, scarcely perceptible, and yet intensely expressive. There was in it nothing of ill-nature, but much of sarcasm … “
What other literary greats have memorable mustaches? Find out past the break, and let us know who you’d add to the list. … Read More
If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: the woman pulling the strings — but dirtying her hands — Lady Macbeth. … Read More