Showing posts with label TV Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV Series. Show all posts

30 August 2020

'Torinaoshi': YouTube Series Traverses Countries, Racial Identity [Trailer + Episodes 1, 2 & 3 Included]

'Torinaoshi': YouTube Series Traverses Countries, Racial Identity
"Torinaoshi" - Poster
"Torinaoshi," a YouTube series exploring the nuances of racial and family identity, highlights a young Japanese-American woman's journey from New York to Osaka, Japan -- her mother's hometown. 

The production is a collaboration between Alex Iskounen's Tsukuba Indy LLC, Yusuke Kitaguchi's Ichibiri Pics Inc., and Yosuke Kumakura's Bear Create Japan.
An ode to the emotions of multicultural migration and return, the series shines a light on family discord and renewal. After realizing she has no real knowledge of her roots, Kiyoko (aka Koko) travels to her mother's hometown of Osaka from New York City, discovering that learning about one's identity, especially on foreign soil, can be complicated. She befriends an African-Japanese boy who travels with her as she encounters several relatives, learning hard lessons about family, race relations and her struggle for identity; will Koko accept what she learns about herself and her roots as she dives deeper into her unresolved family history?
'Torinaoshi': YouTube Series Traverses Countries, Racial Identity
"Torinaoshi" - Kiyoko a.k.a. Koko (Megan Murayama)
  • The series is directed by Osaka native Yusuke Kitaguchi, whose short film "Baby in the Dark" won the Osaka 48 Hour Film Festival in 2017 and was later screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in 2018.
Alan Ng, Managing Editor of, stated, "The reality is racism is not unique to the States -- it's everywhere. What's interesting about 'Torinaoshi' is that it's not that much different abroad. What the series shows is that as different cultures spread and intermingle across the globe, the struggle to find one's identity on foreign soil becomes increasingly complicated. What do I hold on to from my heritage and what do I embrace in my new homeland."
"Torinaoshi" stands as a tribute to the quest for self-understanding -- and connection -- in all its complexity and challenges people to think about how they unravel their cultural and family identities. "Where do I belong?" and "How can I connect with someone different than me?" are some of the central themes explored in "Torinaoshi."

"Torinaoshi" - Shunya (Bix)

The filmmakers invested $5,000 per episode in production, crew and the acquisition of local talent. The three-episode release has since garnered over 1.3 million views worldwide on YouTube, gained international fans with enthusiastic appeals for more episodes, and is a testament to the hard work and collaboration between local Osaka actors and filmmakers.

The Trailer:

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Episode 3:

SOURCE: Tsukuba Indy LLC

24 July 2020

'Bob Marley: Legacy' Documentary Series Continues With Episode Five - 'Punky Reggae Party' - Out Now [Video Included]

'Bob Marley: Legacy' Documentary Series Continues With Episode Five - 'Punky Reggae Party' - Out Now
'Bob Marley: Legacy' Documentary Series Continues With Episode Five - 'Punky Reggae Party' - Out Now (screengrab)
Episode five of Bob Marley's Legacy documentary series continues with 'Punky Reggae Party,' an insightful look back at Bob's time in and impact on London and the rest of the United Kingdom. 

Dating back from the mid-'70s to this present day, 'Punky Reggae Party' explores how Bob's music and ethos captured the Zeitgeist, detailing his signing to Chris Blackwell's Island Records, and the welcomed arrival of his sound and the impact he had in the United Kingdom, especially the London-born children of the Windrush generation.

Featuring interviews with music aficionado Don Letts, MP and former shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, award-winning British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason MBE, and Chris Blackwell as well as journalist and broadcaster, Chris Salewicz, British-Nigerian women's rights activist Seyi Akiwowo, the daughter of a Rasta, Hak BakerMarika, and photographer Adrian Boot, this compelling new 22-minute short touches on a post-war, multi-cultural Britain, the rise of punk, and how Bob Marley, the ultimate rebel, fitted into all of this and helped unite a country through his music. 

Also, this week sees the release of one of the world's best-selling and most loved albums of our time, LEGEND is available now on limited-edition picture disc. Featuring many of Bob's most memorable songs, from "One Love/People Get Ready" to "Get Up, Stand Up," "Is This Love" to "Jammin'," "Could You Be Loved" to "Three Little Birds." 

The album also includes eight more classics, in celebration of #BobMarley75, and is available from today in a limited-edition picture disc presenting the iconic cover shot backed with a previously unseen image of Bob. (Purchase here).

Last Sunday, eight-time GRAMMY Award-winning Ziggy Marley performed an extraordinary one-off, virtual performance, paying homage to his father's timeless catalog. Ziggy performed eleven of Bob Marley's legendary tracks in an intimate setting that was livestreamed on Bob Marley's official YouTube channel

Following the concert, Ziggy participated in an exclusive Q&A on CEEK's Virtual Reality content streaming platform, and a select number of 360VR tracks will also be available on CEEK's platform. The audio of the full performance, Ziggy Marley – Bob Marley 75th Celebration (pt. 1), will be available as an e-album, on July 31, (listen here)

In other news, Ziggy Marley released a brand new single, "Play With Sky (feat. Ben Harper)" today. The track, written by Ziggy, comes from his new upcoming family album, MORE FAMILY TIME. This release is a follow up to his 2009's Grammy and Emmy winning album, FAMILY TIME, and is due out on September 18. 

Last week, members of the Marley family, in conjunction with Tuff Gong International and Amplified Music, released a reimagination of the late Bob Marley's iconic anthem, "One Love," featuring musicians from all corners of the globe, artists from conflict zones and children living in vulnerable communities to support UNICEF's work to reimagine a fairer, more just world for children whose lives have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

All net proceeds from the sale of streams of the recording will directly support Reimagine, UNICEF's global campaign to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from becoming a lasting crisis for children and to ensure the post-pandemic world is more fair and equal for every child. Visit for further information and to donate. Every US$1 donated to ONE LOVE by the public will be matched by jewelry brand Pandora up to the value of US$1 million dollars. The new song and video are available now. 

In addition, the Marley Family is announcing the Wrangler x Bob Marley collection that was created through a collaborative process with Wrangler in celebration of what would be the icon's 75th Birthday in 2020. 

The 11-piece collection launching Monday, July 27, features heavy reggae influences and revivals of Marley's favorite Wrangler styles, including one men's and one women's denim jacket, four men's and three women's tees, and two unisex lasered shirts. Wrangler has worked with the Marley family over the past year to design a unique collection that commemorates a music icon who has inspired generations of people through his commitment to fierce idealism and powerful songwriting. In celebration of the collaborative collection, 

Wrangler will donate $25,000 to The Bob Marley Foundation, The Bob Marley Foundation, is a Jamaican nonprofit organization focusing on Education, Music & Culture, Environmental Protection, and the health and well being of the Rastafarian community. 

On July 31, the acclaimed 'Marley' documentary will be screening in virtual and select traditional cinemas worldwide. Directed by Oscar-winning Kevin Macdonald, the documentary features a combination of legendary music concerts, rare footage, and interviews with Bob Marley, Rita Marley, Cedella Marley, Ziggy Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Chris Blackwell and many more. Blue Fox Entertainment will release the film theatrically. 

Earlier this month in continued observance of the late and legendary Bob Marley's 75th Birthday, and in honor of the July 1 International Reggae Day celebrations, an official music video for Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry," was released. 

Directed by Kristian Mercado Figueroa and shot in Jamaica and New York City, the powerful visual explores two tales of a family divided by country but connected by their love and want for a better life for their children. We see a strong and loving Mother strive to look after her children in their homeland. At the same time, the father works tirelessly, isolated in New York City, working as a taxi driver to better provide for his family back home. The video shines a light on the importance of family and connection while confronting the genuine struggles many families face in the modern world, often forced apart due to poverty. 

The video for "No Woman No Cry" debuted on Bob Marley's Official YouTube Channel. (Watch here.)

Lastly, SiriusXM continues with Bob Marley's Tuff Gong Radio on channel 42 through August 13. The limited-edition channel features the music of Bob Marley and his band The Wailers and highlights studio and live performances, widely popular songs, and rare tracks. Additionally, listeners will hear recordings from the Marley family as well as artists who are a part of the iconic brand and label founded by Bob Marley, Tuff Gong. Bob Marley's Tuff Gong Radio is available on the SiriusXM app in the Hip-Hop/R&B category, internet-connected devices and smart speakers in your home. 

'Bob Marley: Legacy' Documentary Series Continues With Episode Five - 'Punky Reggae Party' - Out Now
Bob Marley Live at the Rainbow Theatre during a run to close out the Exodus Tour. London, England, U.K. 4 June 1977 (Photographer: Adrian Boot)

About Bob Marley:

Bob Marley, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is notable not only as the man who put reggae on the global map but, as a statesman in his native Jamaica, he famously brought together the country's warring factions. Today, Bob Marley remains one of the 20th century's most important and influential entertainment icons. Marley's lifestyle and music continue to inspire new generations as his legacy lives on through his music. In the digital era, he has the second-highest social media following of any posthumous celebrity, with the official Bob Marley Facebook page drawing more than 70 million fans, ranking it among the Top 20 of all Facebook pages and Top 10 among celebrity pages. Marley's music catalog has sold millions of albums worldwide. His iconic collection, LEGEND, holds the distinction of being the longest-charting album in the history of Billboard magazine's Catalog Albums chart and remains the world's best-selling reggae album. Marley's accolades include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1994) and ASCAP Songwriters Hall of Fame (2010), a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award (2001), multiple entries in the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2001). 


10 July 2020

Spin Master, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and WayForward Announce 'Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia' [Trailer Included]

Spin Master, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and WayForward Announce 'Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia'
"Become a Bakugan Brawling Champion in a Brand-New, Role-Playing Adventure Game Coming to Nintendo Switch" (CNW Group/Spin Master)
Spin Master, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and WayForward today announced Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia, an all-new, action role-playing video game that will be coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch on Nov. 3, 2020, expanding on the wildly popular, global Bakugan franchise alongside the exciting anime adventure TV series, innovative toy line, card game and more. 

The game will center around an all-new original story and the franchise's signature Bakugan brawls as players befriend powerful creatures known as Bakugan and customize teams for fiercely strategic head-to-head battles.

"We're pleased to partner with Spin Master and WayForward to bring the brawling action of Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia to Nintendo Switch," said Kevin Kebodeaux, Senior Vice President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. "The global popularity of Bakugan is undeniable, and this game is sure to excite players everywhere."
"Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia expands the popular brawling franchise with a new exhilarating, interactive game format with customization, competitive action, deep strategy, and anime-style characters and worlds that all gamers and Bakugan fans will love," said Simonetta Lulli, Vice President, Spin Master Studios. "Whether playing solo or against Bakugan brawlers online, the game offers endless hours of play at home or on the go."
"The brand new, action-packed video game and our partnership with Nintendo Switch and WayForward is so important to the Bakugan franchise as it continues expand globally," said James Martin, SVP Brand Marketing and GBU Lead of Bakugan. "Now, a whole new generation of fans can experience the excitement and skill of Bakugan in more ways than ever before."
"Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia brings together the most popular aspects of the TV series and toys in an authentic and inspiring new game," said Voldi Way, President & CEO, WayForward. "We designed it specifically for Nintendo Switch with unique battle gameplay and strategic options to build and battle a Bakugan team."
Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, produced by Spin Master and developed by WayForward, the Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia video game will take players on a journey through an original story expanding on the hit TV series and toy franchise. They can create and fully customize their Brawler to fight side-by-side with the mysterious alien Bakugan as their human partner in battle. The game features a fully navigable 3D world divided into different districts each with dedicated battle arenas. Players can interact with other characters, go on quests, and explore with their Bakugan friends. They can also test their brawling skills online in head-to-head multiplayer against friends or players from the around the world to become a true Champion of Vestroia.
A physical Deluxe Edition pack, featuring the video game, an exclusive Ultima Dragonoid toy which transforms into a fierce Bakugan, Ultima Dragonoid trading card, Ultima Dragonoid metal gate card, plus two powerful BakuCores will also be available at launch.

The Annoucement Trailer:

SOURCE: Spin Master

16 June 2020

"Little Tiaras" Became the First Animated Series From Russia With Main Characters Presenting Racial Diversity

"Little Tiaras" Became the First Animated Series From Russia With Main Characters Presenting Racial Diversity
CTC Media's "Little Tiaras"
"Little Tiaras," animated series produced by Melnitsa Animation Studio, owned and managed by CTC Media and CTB Film, introduced two more exciting characters in the end of Season 2. Little Tiaras welcomed two boys – Li Van and Da Vasko – to their school of Magic in Wondermont. This makes the series the first animated series in Russia presenting racial diversity of the leading characters (Da Vasko is black and Li Van is Asian).
Ksenia Gordienko, Director of animation department, CTC Media: "No doubt that there's an evident lack of authentic characters representing diverse perspectives in children's media. We're thrilled that 'Little Tiaras' will become one of the series that will help create a more diverse on-screen landscape that will let little kids see how diverse our world is. We're very proud to be a first animated series in Russia with racial diverse main characters."
CTC Media, the leading entertainment broadcasting company in Russia, intends to increase the international sales of the project to follow the immense success of their hit series KID-E-CATS (156x5'), aimed at preschoolers.

APC Kids, the children's entertainment division of leading co-production and distribution company APC Studios based in Paris, France, is on board to distribute Little Tiaras Season 3. 
Earlier the exclusive free-to-air rights for season one and two have been picked up by Noga for The Children Channel in Israel, TVP for TVP ABC in Poland and All Media for Kanals 2 in Latvia. Little Tiaras will also be available in Chinese starting this summer on major local VOD platforms in mainland China – Tencent and IQiYi – as well on many others. 
Lionel Marty, Managing Director of APC Kids, says: "'Little Tiaras' recipe of magic and friendship has all the ingredients to charm children in North America and across the globe. We're excited to be continuing our collaboration with CTC Media on the third season and can't wait for audiences to discover the exciting new characters: two boys arriving in Wondermont!"

22 February 2020

Jack Osbourne And Katrina Weidman Plunge Into A New Season Of Petrifying Paranormal Activity When 'Portals To Hell' Returns On Friday, March 13

Paranormal investigators Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman descend into all-new eerie encounters in season two of Travel Channel’s hit series “Portals to Hell.”
Paranormal investigators Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman descend into all-new eerie encounters in season two of Travel Channel’s hit series “Portals to Hell.”
Descend into all-new eerie encounters when Travel Channel's hit series, "Portals to Hell," returns for Season Two on Friday, March 13, with a special two-hour episode beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT. 

Avid paranormal investigators Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman resume their chilling journey to historically haunted locations in the United States, confronting sinister stories of the supernatural as they seek concrete evidence that a spirit world exists. 

Eight additional hour-long episodes will move to their regular 10 p.m. ET/PT timeslot beginning Friday, March 20.
"This season is intense," said Weidman. "Jack and I purposefully explore locations that embody the darker side of the paranormal, as we try to understand why certain places evoke more sinister activity than others. It's exciting to see what new discoveries we can make in the paranormal field. Yet as we explore the unexplained, we can only presume to know what we're working with. At the end of the day we really don't – and that's the scary part."
The undaunted duo will face their most fearsome cases yet, as they uncover disturbing tales from bygone pasts and unnerving paranormal activity. Osbourne and Weidman filter through extensive research, utilize advanced scientific equipment and enlist a network of specialists, including psychic mediums, to try and exhume answers behind these terrifying hauntings.
"Katrina and I are breaking down walls – literally," said Osbourne. "We have unprecedented access to a number of locations and are also the first team to ever investigate some of them for TV. They're incredibly active sites for the paranormal, and we're going all in to try and capture substantial evidence."
Paranormal investigators and “Portals to Hell” hosts Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman.
Paranormal investigators and “Portals to Hell” hosts Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman.
In the special two-hour season premiere, Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman head to Paulding, Ohio, to investigate the Old Paulding Jail – an almost 150-year-old site rumored to be haunted by the spirits of former inmates, sheriffs and even the victim of a horrific, 60-year-old cold case crime. The pair find it hard to uncover the truth in a sea of rumors, cover-ups and theories of what happened to the young woman who was murdered. They call in a trusted psychic in their search for answers. Determined to find out more, Osbourne and Weidman break down the last remaining sealed jail cell in the basement … and are shocked to discover large bone fragments scattered within. Now, the possibility of not only contacting spirits, but also solving a town's most infamous murder is on the line. As the investigation deepens, Osbourne has a paranormal experience that will forever change him as an investigator and truth seeker.

Upcoming Episodes: 

“Thomas House Hotel” Location: Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee 
Katrina Weidman and Jack Osbourne travel to Tennessee to investigate a once-thriving natural springs resort where guests fell victim to the deadly waters. A recent flare-up of paranormal activity has them asking if a dark force has checked into the century-old hotel. 

“Fort William Henry” Location: Lake George, New York 
Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman investigate the site of one of the bloodiest massacres in Colonial America. The team embarks on a mission to find out if the paranormal activity is the echo of dead soldiers or something more sinister. 

“Iron Island” Location: Buffalo, New York 
In snowy Buffalo, New York, Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman investigate the Iron Island Museum, a century-old building that has undergone several evolutions as a church and funeral home, and is rumored to house not one, but two, portals.

“The Ohio State Reformatory” Location: Mansfield, Ohio 
Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman travel to the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, an abandoned maximum-security prison notorious for its barbaric treatment of inmates and malevolent spirits haunting it, where they obtain exclusive access to paranormal hotspots never investigated before for television. 

“Haunted Hill House” Location: Mineral Wells, Texas 
Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman travel to Mineral Wells, Texas, to investigate for the first time for television, the Haunted Hill House, an infamous location that’s plagued by rumors of murder, prostitution and devil worship. The team uncovers the truth of this hellish home and discovers that the claims of demonic activity may not be that far-fetched.

“The Croke-Patterson Mansion” Location: Denver, Colorado 
The 130-year-old Croke-Patterson Mansion has haunted its previous owners with a string of bad luck and untimely deaths. In a TV exclusive, Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman encounter a mirrored portal and discover why this mansion holds the title, “The King of Haunted Houses.” 

“The Shanghai Tunnels” Location: Portland, Oregon 
Katrina Weidman and Jack Osbourne gain unprecedented access to the infamous Shanghai Tunnels of Portland, Oregon. They've been called on to determine if two newly restored tunnels are safe for public tours after a recent spike in violent paranormal activity. 

Video: Sneak Peek - Season Two Premiere

"Portals to Hell" is produced by Osbourne Media and Critical Content for Travel Channel. For Osbourne Media, the executive producers are Jack Osbourne and Peter Glowski. For Critical Content, the executive producers are Jenny Daly and Tom Forman. Elaine White executive produces the series for Osbourne Media and Critical Content. For Travel Channel, the executive producer is Vaibhav Bhatt, Julie Meisner Eagle is vice president of production and development, Matthew Butler is general manager and Henry Schleiff is group president of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America.

Jack Osbourne inside Ohio’s haunted Old Paulding Jail.
Jack Osbourne inside Ohio’s haunted Old Paulding Jail.

About Jack Osbourne:

Jack Osbourne is the president of Osbourne Media and is best known for MTV's reality show "The Osbournes," SyFy's "Haunted Highway," and A+E Network's "Ozzy & Jack's World Detour." 

He has not only starred in multiple series but also developed and produced original unscripted content, including NatGeo's Wild's "Alpha Dogs" and "Surviving the Apocalypse," along with various pilots and development projects for Bravo, CBS, A&E, MTV, WeTV and TRVL. 

Osbourne appears in and serves as Executive Producer of "Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne," which will premiere at this year's SXSW festival. Osbourne is also an adventurer and paranormal investigator who has documented harrowing face-to-face encounters with the unexplainable in some of America's darkest and most remote regions. Most recently, he was featured on United Kingdom's live "Celebrity Haunted Mansion" alongside Jason Hawes ("Ghost Hunters," "Ghost Nation") and is currently filming season two of "Portals to Hell."

Katrina Weidman at Ohio’s haunted Old Paulding Jail.
Katrina Weidman at Ohio’s haunted Old Paulding Jail.

About Katrina Weidman:

Katrina Weidman is a paranormal researcher and investigator, host and producer. 

She rose to national recognition in her role on A+E's "Paranormal State," working on hundreds of cases of unexplained supernatural phenomena and interviewing thousands of witnesses alongside world-renowned paranormal researchers. 

Weidman also served as co-host and producer of "Paranormal Lockdown" on TLC and Destination America, as well as Chiller's "Real Fear: The Truth Behind the Movies" (2012) and "The Truth Behind More Movies" (2013). 

She frequently gives talks and lectures at paranormal conferences and conventions around the world.

Video: Behind the Scenes - Making of Season Two

24 January 2020

The Witcher (Music From The Netflix Original Series) by Composers Sonya Belousova & Giona Ostinelli Available Now

The Witcher (Music from the Netflix Original Series) available everywhere now
The Witcher (Music from the Netflix Original Series) available everywhere now
Milan Records today releases The Witcher (Music From The Netflix Original Series) by composer and award-winning pianist Sonya Belousova and critically-acclaimed composer Giona Ostinelli

Available everywhere now, the album features music written by the duo for Netflix's latest fantasy drama series. Also included on the soundtrack is the now-viral hit "Toss A Coin To Your Witcher," a medieval ballad that has garnered unanimous critical acclaim from NPR, CNN, Vulture, BuzzFeed, Refinery29, Esquire and more, in addition to inspiring countless covers and remixes from fans. 
Of the soundtrack, composers Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli say, "The best part of scoring The Witcher is the constant stream of unlimited creative opportunities this unique and vast universe provides. We wrote and produced songs, folk tunes, dances, and score, collaborated with virtuoso soloists and phenomenal artists, recorded unique historical instruments, many of which were crafted specifically for The Witcher, as well as personally performed and recorded over 60 instruments in order to create over 8 hours of an exciting original soundtrack."

 Video: "Toss A Coin To Your Witcher"

  • The Witcher tells the story of Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster-hunter for hire, as he journeys toward his destiny in a turbulent world where people often prove more wicked than beasts.

The Witcher (Music From The Netflix Original Series) Tracklisting:

  1. Geralt of Rivia
  2. Toss A Coin To Your Witcher (feat. Joey Batey)*
  3. Happy Childhoods Make For Dull Company (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  4. The Time of Axe And Sword Is Now (feat. Declan de Barra & Lindsay Deutsch)
  5. They're Alive (feat. Lindsay Deutsch & Burak Besir)
  6. Tomorrow I'll Leave Blaviken For Good
  7. Her Sweet Kiss (feat. Joey Batey)***
  8. It's An Ultimatum
  9. Round of Applause (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  10. Marilka That's My Name
  11. I'm Helping The Idiot (feat. Arngeir Hauksson)
  12. The Knight Who Was Taught To Save Dragons (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  13. Ragamuffin
  14. The Last Rose of Cintra (feat. Declan de Barra)**
  15. Late Wee Pups Don't Get To Bark (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  16. You Will Rule This Land Someday
  17. The Fishmonger's Daughter (feat. Joey Batey)**
  18. Blaviken Inn (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  19. Man In Black
  20. The Great Cleansing (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  21. The Law of Surprise
  22. Battle of Marnadal
  23. Pretty Ballads Hide Bastard Truths (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  24. Giltine The Artist
  25. Everytime You Leave
  26. Rewriting History (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  27. The End's Beginning (feat. Declan de Barra)
  28. Gold Dragons Are The Rarest (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  29. Bonfire (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  30. Children Are Our Favourite
  31. Do You Actually Have What It Takes
  32. Point Me To Temeria
  33. Djinni Djinn Djinn
  34. Here's Your Destiny
  35. Two Vows Here Tonight
  36. Bread Breasts And Beer (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  37. Would You Honor Me With A Dance
  38. Four Marks (feat. Rodion Belousov)
  39. The Pensive Dragon Inn (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  40. A Gift For The Princess
  41. You're In Brokilon Forest
  42. Today Isn't Your Day Is It
  43. Lovely Rendez-vous à la Montagne
  44. Blame Destiny
  45. The White Flame Has Brought Us Together
  46. He's One of The Clean Ones (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  47. You Lost Your Chance To Be Beautiful
  48. Yennefer of Vengerberg
  49. Shouldn't You Know When Someone Is Pretending (feat. Lindsay Deutsch)
  50. You'll Have To Fight It Until Dawn
  51. I'm The One With The Wishes
  52. Chaos Is All Around Us
  53. The Curse of The Black Sun
  54. Battle of Soden
  55. The Song of The White Wolf (feat. Declan de Barra)**
*Lyrics by Jenny Klein
**Lyrics by Declan de Barra
***Lyrics by Haily Hall

30 December 2019

Dracula: Free Movement Of Vampires A Fitting Horror Story For The #Brexit Era

Bloody and unbowed: Claes Bang as Dracula
Bloody and unbowed: Claes Bang as Dracula. (BBC/Hartswood Films/Netflix/David Ellis)
Fictional vampires tend to reflect the politics of the times that produce them: “Because they are always changing, their appeal is dramatically generational,” says the late American scholar Nina Auerbach in her classic work of criticism Our Vampires, Ourselves. The figure of the vampire, she suggests, always tells us as much about ourselves as it does about vampires per se.

With this in mind, the first episode of the new adaptation of Dracula for the BBC and Netflix by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss is at first perplexing. Unlike Moffat’s previous, modernising adaptations of 19th-century fiction – Jekyll (2007) and Sherlock (2010-17) – the series returns to 1897, the year in which Bram Stoker published his novel.

The setting is high Gothic, featuring a crumbling, eastern European castle (Orava Castle in Slovakia) and a convent full of crucifix-toting nuns. Eschewing the sentimental romance of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 adaptation or the wildly successful Twilight franchise, Moffat and Gatiss appear – initially at least – to take us back to the horror of the original text.

But as the episode progresses the European setting becomes more than just spooky window dressing. One of the most famous arguments about the novel, first made by Stephen D. Arata, is that Dracula enacts “reverse colonisation” – Stoker’s vampire expresses the threat that imperialism might not be a one-way operation. From his home in eastern Europe, the count travels to Britain to buy up its real estate and add its women to his harem, bypassing the need for a passport or immigration documents and threatening British manhood in the process.

‘Brexit Gothic’

Seen in this light, Dracula offers a clear application to our times. In an article for The Guardian on “Brexit Gothic”, Neil McRobert points out:
"When Nigel Farage expresses concern about Romanian men moving in next door, it makes one wonder if he has read Dracula – the story of a Romanian man who literally moves in beside some stuffy British people."
Moffat and Gatiss are too canny to give us a straightforward metaphor for Brexit – and yet there are clear nods to contemporary anxieties in the first episode. Dracula quizzes Jonathan Harker on English language and culture out of a desire to “pass among your countrymen as one of their own”. He will be the good immigrant who assimilates, who blends invisibly with the host culture. There is a moment of discomfort, however, as he promises to “absorb” Harker – this immigrant is a parasite who feeds off its host.

There is no direct correlation with itinerant agricultural workers, however, as Dracula seeks to infiltrate the highest echelons of society. In a warped version of late 19th-century eugenics, we discover that Dracula’s choosiness about his victims is the secret to his vampiric success – consuming only the blood of the best enables him to retain his human qualities. Hence his appetite for the British Empire. “Vampires go where power is,” says Auerbach. “You are what you eat,” quips Claes Bang’s Dracula.

Dolly Wells as Sister Agatha with Joanna Scanlan as Mother Superior. (BBC/Hartswood Films/Netflix/Robert Viglasky)
Moreover, this is a tale of two Europeans. Sister Agatha, the Dutch nun who questions Harker after his escape from Dracula’s castle (a significantly expanded role from the book, played with exquisite exasperation by Dolly Wells), scoffs at Jonathan’s English masculinity when he fails to realise the incongruity of a secret message written to him in English in a Transylvanian castle: “Of course not! You are an English man! A combination of presumptions beyond compare.” British exceptionalism looks set to take a tumble as Dracula reaches England in the second instalment.

Dark humour

The episode displays the acute self-aware characteristic of vampire films, which are what Ken Gelder calls “citational, constantly referring to previous examples of the genre. There are multiple moments when viewers anticipating romance have their expectations rudely shattered. Twilight in particular comes in for some sharp debunking, with Mina playing the role of Twilight’s heroine Bella, appealing to her lover’s higher moral fibre and coming in for a shock as she discovers that true love does not trump bloodlust after all. Instead of Twilight’s lingering shots of gleaming male torsos we get intimate body horror in excruciating close up – a fly crawling across an eyeball, a blackened nail flaking off a finger.

One of the most striking features of Moffat and Gatiss’s adaptation is its humour. Comedy has always been a crucial element of Gothic literature, which continually teeters between terror and laughter. “King Laugh,” a metaphorical figure invented by Professor Van Helsing in Bram Stoker’s novel to explain his own hysterics, is a version of death, leading the characters in a kind of danse macabre. The novel exhibits black humour in the character of the lunatic Renfield, in particular, who calculates how many lives he can consume, starting by eating flies and trading up the food chain.

As I argued in my recent book, Post-Millennial Gothic, a distinguishing characteristic of contemporary vampires is their increasing comic agency. The first self-conscious vampire joke is the iconic one-liner first spoken by Bela Lugosi in Tod Browning’s classic 1931 film: “I never drink … wine.” Moffat and Gatiss get this out of the way in the first few minutes – and even add a callback later in the episode.

There are more zingers to come as Bang quips his way across Europe like an infernal James Bond. When Harker spots him with a glass and queries that he never drinks, I almost expected him to clarify: “Shaken, not stirred.”

The comparison between Dracula and Bond is not a casual one. Bond props up a crumbling British Empire – Dracula aims to infiltrate it and use it to his own ends. They emerge from the same social and historical concerns, two sides of the same coin. Both reflect us back in multiple ways, and neither offers a flattering picture.The Conversation

About Today's Contributor:

Catherine Spooner, Professor of Literature and Culture, Lancaster University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

28 November 2019

A Giant Leap For Beaglekind! In a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade First, Nasa Astronauts and Astronaut Snoopy Launch Festivities with Greetings From Space

World-Famous Beagle Snoopy—in 8-Inch Plush Form—Was “Floating On Air” with Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir as They Sent Greetings from the International Space Station to Millions of Macy's Parade Viewers, While a New 49-Foot Tall Astronaut Snoopy Macy’s Parade Balloon Soared Over Manhattan
World-Famous Beagle Snoopy—in 8-Inch Plush Form—Was “Floating On Air” with Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir as They Sent Greetings from the International Space Station to Millions of Macy's Parade Viewers, While a New 49-Foot Tall Astronaut Snoopy Macy’s Parade Balloon Soared Over Manhattan. (CNW Group/DHX Media Ltd. (dba WildBrain))
As more than 50 million viewers watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in amazement nationwide, NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, accompanied by an 8-inch plush of Astronaut Snoopy in a bright orange spacesuit, offered greetings to the 93rd annual Parade from the International Space Station, traveling 17,000 miles per hour more than 200 miles above the Earth.

Koch and Meir wished viewers a Happy Thanksgiving as part of the Peanuts-NASA partnership that emphasizes science education for students, as NASA's new Artemis program prepares to send the first woman and the next man to the Moon. Then it's "on to Mars!" said Koch. (In Greek mythology, Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon.)

  • Koch, Meir, and the Snoopy plush concluded the greeting by waving while floating out of view in the microgravity atmosphere of the Space Station.
Meanwhile, as fans thronged the sidewalks of Manhattan, former NASA astronauts Kay Hire and Dr. Janet Kavandi joined Charlie Brown aboard the Snoopy's Doghouse float. The float featured a telescope atop Snoopy's doghouse and a satellite antenna, along with such iconic Peanuts visuals as Charlie Brown's infamous football—and, of course, Snoopy's red supper dish.

Snoopy, the Longest-Running Character Balloon in the Macy's Parade, soared for his 40th flight down the Streets of Manhattan and his Second time as Astronaut Snoopy (he First Wore a Space Suit for the 1969 Parade). This time sporting a Brand-New Orange Spacesuit Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the First Moon Landing
Snoopy, the Longest-Running Character Balloon in the Macy's Parade, soared for his 40th flight down the Streets of Manhattan and his Second time as Astronaut Snoopy (he First Wore a Space Suit for the 1969 Parade). This time sporting a Brand-New Orange Spacesuit Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the First Moon Landing (image via Patch)
"It is Peanuts meeting history – what a thrill to see our Peanuts gang join four extraordinary astronauts (both current and former) as we celebrate historic accomplishments in space exploration— and, even more thrilling, as we anticipate the future discoveries that still await us," said Jeannie Schulz, widow of Peanuts creator Charles M. "Sparky" Schulz. "My only wish is that Sparky could have been here to see this. He was an enormous admirer of NASA and the extraordinary men and women who work at the agency. He celebrated their work in his comic strips long before the moon landing. He would be proud to know that his beloved characters continue to inspire young people to engage in science education and follow tomorrow's astronauts to the moon and on to Mars."
Starting as early as 1959, NASA advocate Charles Schulz began incorporating space-exploration themes into his comic strip. During the Apollo missions, Schulz gave NASA permission to use Snoopy on its safety materials. The relationship reached new heights in 1969, when NASA sent Peanuts into space, through the formation of the Silver Snoopy award. In July 2018, NASA and Peanuts Worldwide looked to the future with the signing of a multi-year, formal Space Act Agreement, supporting fresh entertainment content plus STEM-based educational materials for the next generation.

"In July 2018, NASA and Peanuts Worldwide looked to the future with the signing of a multi-year, formal Space Act Agreement, supporting fresh entertainment content plus STEM-based educational materials for the next generation..."
"In July 2018, NASA and Peanuts Worldwide looked to the future with the signing of a multi-year, formal Space Act Agreement, supporting fresh entertainment content plus STEM-based educational materials for the next generation..."

About Peanuts

Charles M. Schulz first introduced the world to the Peanuts characters in 1950, when the Peanuts comic strip debuted in seven newspapers. Since then, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang have made an indelible mark on popular culture. 

Snoopy in Space
Snoopy in Space (image via
The new series Snoopy in Space launched on AppleTV+ on November 1, 2019. Peanuts animated specials and series air on major networks and streaming services, including ABC, Cartoon Network and Boomerang in the U.S., Family Channel in Canada, and the WildBrain Spark network on YouTube. 

Fans also enjoy Peanuts through thousands of consumer products around the world, amusement parks attractions, cultural events, social media, and a daily comic strip available in all formats from traditional to digital.

Snoopy in Space - Trailer

SOURCE: DHX Media Ltd. (dba WildBrain)

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