Although not as publicized as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Awards, some might say that if it were presented in English and focused only on mainstream box office hits, the Palme d’Or might be more internationally known than the golden Oscar statuette.

On the other side of things, the Old Hollywood glitz and glamour has slowly been replaced by marketing obsessed corporation that wouldn’t know Scorsese from Eastwood if it shot them in the face. How glamorous can one be when photographed in front of a Kodak and Network banner.

Film festivals are a dime a dozen. Seems as if the only innovative way to put your town’s name on the map over the past two decades has been to associate it with a festival. Even if founded on good intentions and true appreciation of the art form. As they say, everyone has their price which is eventually exposed when met by financial incentives. Therefore, when it comes to specifically art forms, respect should only be given when consistent artistic predominance maintains for decades. Cannes International Film Festival, founded in 1946, is still considered the world’s most prestigious film festival. And of course, still invitation only.

One might say that their committee goes hand in hand with old money high society which puts them in a position to be at ease with living for the arts without painfully selling-out. Some might even say that if it weren’t for finance, the Oscars would be holding the most prestigious award title. Well think again, not all of us sells out. True patrons of the Arts would never consider selling out to multinationals for the sake of survival by embracing donations with strings attached. The Cannes organization actually was financially unable to host their event in 1948-1950. As the true art connoisseurs that they are, there wasno festival held these years.

As for the Academy Awards, they could have made that wise decision on more than one occasion, a certain number of years. They have been hosting their ceremonies since 1929. Marcus Loew, a sharp entrepreneur, founder of Metro-Goldyn-Meyer, would have himself pulled the plug certain years. Based on Hollywood Folklore (which is now known as “based on a true story”), he is known to roll in his grave the full moon night before Oscar night.

Bref, back to Cannes’ Festival. This year, the guest of honour is Marilyn Monroe. Which is surprising for two reasons. First: she as a woman known for her beauty and sensuality, an icon and a money-making symbol of anything you want her to be. She is mostly associated with superficiality and marketability. Secondly, ironically enough, this years nominated directors are all males. Twenty two of them.

Let’s not come to the widespread common conclusion and shout sexism. If only 7% of directors are women and approximately 3 to 5 thousands movies are released each year, from that number alone less than 5% are good enough to make it to Cannes or any reputable film festival. You do not need to have attended and pass an advance calculus class to understand that one should not accuse the committee of bigotry without logical research and evaluation.

I am of course for us all living in a utopic Martin Luther Kingesque world, but certain accusations should be used when legitimate, valid and/or relevant. Also, understand that not even my children’s children will see the light of that day in which bigotry and discrimination is absent. Until then…

Dream a little dream …

Above that, the nerves of the ones basing their outrage on the fact that Madonna and Angelina Jolie film’s were not selected. I far from dislike them and appreciate the transitions that they took with age. However, nominations should not be given out to people based on anything but talent, for the sake of meeting statistics and preventing possible public outrage.

What most people, fail to understand is that good enough or great does not equal epic or classic. By nowadays standards, good enough dancers become great pop stars, which is of course is synonymous with outstanding singers and musicians. From there, the ones that started as a good enough dancers became respectable actors and then of course, legendary film directors.

In conclusion, I am proud to say that the Cannes committee did not concede to public irrational outburst and anticipated controversy.

On another note, a moment that I embrace this year is the acknowledgement of Xavier Dolan’s third movie: Laurence Anyways. This will be his third visit to Cannes, each for each of his movies. Despite the pre anticipated critics pertaining to favouritism, Cannes’ committee, once again, made decisions based on what they believed in and not based on public opinion or corporate directive. J’ai tue ma mere, his first movie of his unofficial trilogy, although critically acclaimed, is far from being on my favourite movie list of any kind. However, I did understand and appreciate the overload of visual feasts mixed with an eclectic yet esoteric choice of musical arrangement. Les Amours Imaginaires, which I saw a couple of dozen times, strangely validated feelings that we all hopefully felt towards another person at one point in our life, and it made me discover songs such as Exactement and Pass this on, which I surprisingly feel in love with. Now, as for Laurence Anyways, I am impatiently awaiting its grand opening on July 18th. This film is approaching the subject of, of course, love. More specifically impossible love between a man and a woman, after he decided to undergo a sex change operation. Whether you are a true, unrestricted true freedom seeker or not …

Dream a little dream …

Funny how the subject of love lead to another subject that is dear to our hearts, or should be dear to our hearts: freedom. When you really think about it, isn’t it contradictory when a country kills millions of people for the sake of freedom and democracy, but yet cannot seem to contemplate the idea of same-sex couples uniting, in a civil ceremony. Remember separation of state and church?

I hear you the ones out there, warming up your fingers, impatiently getting ready to send me a comment, educating me about the fact that same-sex marriage, although illegal at the federal level, is legal in certain states: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington D.C.

Once again, still not recognized federally. Therefore, if this issue is dear to your heart, important for your freedom, then keep on fighting.

Dream a little dream …

In the meantime, for those living in countries in which same-sex unions are illegal and the suspicion of one being homosexual is not only an automatic trial-free death sentence but also a scarlet letter on your family. One way to bypass that agonizing death sentence might be to choose to undergo a complex transgender operation. One might think that a country that is against same-sex union and relationships should not even consider the option to facilitate such surgeries. Think again. Guess which country, after Thailand, ranks number two when it comes to sex reassignment surgery?

a South American Country (Land of …. name any)?

No.

the United States of America (Land of the Free, Home of the Brave)?

No.

Canada ( Land of free Health Care)?

No.

The Netherlands (Land of open-mindness)?

No.

It is good old Islamic State Iran. Supremely lead by Ali Khamenei through Mahmoud “the are no gays in my country” Ahmadinejad.

While you are trying to get off the floor, you might want to stay down as you finish reading the following. This Persian Republic also provide financial assistance for the surgery. Up to 50% of the cost, as the rest would be up to Allah to provide. In order to keep with synchronicities, I am taking this opportunity to recommend a festival-worthy film, Be Like Others which subject is transsexuals in Iran.

Dream a little dream ….

On our side of the ocean (or oceans, depending which direction one decides to follow), President Obama, which has been indirectly avoiding the same-sex union issue back from his pre oval office days, has recently openly declared his support for same-sex unions. The ones which were against the Obama administration have yet another reason not to vote for him. The ones that were initially for the Obama doctrine, then progressively realized that promises were not kept as admiration was being replaced by skepticism, understand that this is a politically driven and not socially driven statement. Lastly, for those out there that have not yet realized it, Obama might just be like the others: same difference as I like to say. Or shall we now say: Be Like Others.

Dream a little dream …

Dreamt a little dream …

Above is pictured Xavier Dolan, twenty-three year old director from Montreal, Canada, posing for Vogue Uomo Italia, in the July-August 2011 issue.

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.

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A few mornings ago, as I was listening to my daily BBC News radio show, I have noticed that the World Shakespeare Festival was heavily advertised. I started thinking if 2012 were his quadricentennial anniversary of death, or perhaps birth. Although not to far off, I was mistaken. On April 26, 448 years ago, William Shakespeare lived; on April 23, 396 years ago, William Shakespeare died.

Well, at first glance, the month of April is a liaison, not only associated with spring romance, but also, at least for this year, with Shakespeare. Thus, Shakespeare’s Spring, which I decided to emphasize by the following love quotes:

If music be the food of love, play on.” – Twelfth Night (Act 1, Scene 1)

The course of true love never did run smooth” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 1, Scene 2)

Love is a smoke and is made with the fume of sighs” – Romeo & Juliet (Act 1, Scene 1)

I love you more than words can wield the matter, Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty” – King Lear (Act 1, Scene 1)

Love is begun by time, and time qualifies the spark and fire of it” – Hamlet (Act 4, Scene 7)

Oh how romantic are thou William, my dear. And romantic he was. In his testament, he did make a point, however, of leaving his wife his “second best bed”, which has led to much speculation.

In reminiscent of Charles Dickens, regardless on the education received, classical or not, Shakespeare has always been drilled into our minds and introduced as on of the greatest English bard/ poet and play writer, celebrated then and now.

But unlike Dickens, this Bard of Avon’s work has sold more than a million tickets to attend productions and festivities held in his honor, which spread from April 21 until September 2012.

Only Shakespeare, the Institution, is grand and coveted enough to compete against the 2012 Olympics, in London, which will take place from July 7th until August 12th. But why compete when you can unite? And along came a union. No, I am not implying that Dickens and Shakespeare will be this year’s mascots. We will leave the parading and merchandising to Wenlock and Mandeville. Okay well just the parading now that I think of it.

The Olympic ceremonies, created by Danny Boyle, are inspired from Caliban’s speech in The Tempest: “Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises.”

Who could have brought up these magnificent, perfectly marriage events this summer? You would never guess.

The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development?

No.

The Department of Tourism?

No.

An eccentric billionaire philanthropist?

No.

Well, it is none other than BP. Yes as in oil spill British Petroleum and oil sand BP: this year’s official founding presenting partner.

Okay Okay, I will step down (for now) and go no further in my synchronicity and sarcasm as I will allow culture to shine, without being overshadowed by the clouds of corporate opportunism.

On this subject, see you in September, when everything is said and done! I will surely pick it up then where I am leaving it now. But something tells me that I will probably have new wars, coups and uprisings to write about.

Enjoy the Olympics!

Okay Okay I’ll stop. Enjoy the Olympics. I mean it this time.

Brought to you by BP … World Domination through British World Pollution and British World Exploitation.

I can’t help it.

Thus Always …

🙂

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.

The world as we know is coming to an end my friends! Federal agencies have united and are cracking down not on illicit drugs, pedophilia, sex trafficking, child slavery or illegal immigration; but on counterfeiting and what they call piracy.

Oh how life would be different if we were to go back to the days of feeling incredibly ripped off as we come out of a movie theater, after having spent good money for a movie that wouldn’t even have made it as a 1992 ABC movie of the week. We also refuse to go back to the days of buying an album on which the only one or two good tracks were already released as singles. Or better yet, how will fashionistas pass their time if they can no longer play the “spot the fake designer bag” game?! Above all, we are not interested in spending money for a bundle of prepackaged networks, just to be able to watch a single show, such as Boardwalk Empire. Furthermore, 20-25 minutes of annoying commercials for an hour show is not a fair trade. Bottom line, either we The People get ripped off, or they do. And no, we don’t feel guilty or remorseful… No one is bailing us out!

ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) has been signed by the European Union, Australia, Canada, Japan, USA, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland and Singapore. Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia are still at the consideration stage.Hopefully, you have noticed that The People’s Republic of China is absent from the list, which makes this agreement somewhat irrelevant, in my humble opinion.

ACTA , which was signed without adequate parliamentary scrutiny, establishes international protection of international property such as pc software, pharmaceuticals, movies, music and yes… fashion. The real fashion martyrs who have been suffering for years, rather than renouncing their religion by selling out to mass-market stores like Kmart, Target, Kohl’s, JC Penny and H&M, could see a quantum of light.

While most countries are having to deal with the embarrassment of having their Standard & Poor’s rating gradually go down the drain, instead of getting their act together (for lack of a better term), the international community has decided to go after The People.

Regardless of which wheels are in motions, they will eventually realize that shutting down websites and street vendors will not slow down their proliferation. One should realize that when it comes to technology, the only absolute is “endless possibilities”. These pirates and vendors will only adapt to the new “security measures” and adopt a new matrix.

On the other hand, designers from ateliers everywhere can somewhat rejoice. The Vuittons, Burberrys, Guccis and Valentinos could regain their full prestige and exclusivity. These martyrs might even cease to see red as crapola versions of their craft might no longer be exposed for all to see and perhaps purchase. All will cease to see red but one: Valentino (he is notorious for making a statement by presenting a bright red epic dress at his runway shows).

If one is required to associate Valentine’s Day with a Fashion powerhouse, at least pre 2008 (his retirement), Valentino should and must come to mind. He embodies everything luxurious from his castle, penthouses, villas and famous yacht.

For anyone who has seen “Valentino: The Last Emperor“, a documentary in which he is being followed throughout the last two years of his career, completely understands the lavish lifestyle he leads which is coveted by all, including other designers. He built his empire while staying true to the meaning of High Fashion while never selling out.

Valentino once said: “I know what women want…They want to be beautiful”. No refuting that. Perhaps this might be the main reason why people everywhere knowingly purchase knock-offs in order to get as close as they could get to Couture.

However, the women that truly grasp the essence of fashion would never dare! Just the thought of Anna Wintour cryogenically glaring at me deters me from even thinking of owning anything non authentic! The horror!

So to everyone out there that is capable of love, while looking to purchase a Valentine’s Day gift, remember what the last emperor of fashion stated: “Women just want to be beautiful”. And note that the finest of us rather feel beautiful with an authentic Zara sweater than a pair of fake Coach flats.

If you are still oblivious to the point that I’m trying to make, the images below exemplify the fact that you should not attempt to replicate high fashion. Don’t try the following at home:

Et la pièce de résistance … en rouge … évidemment …

Voilà!

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.

While we are still transitioning from recession to depression, periodically debating whether to sell our stocks before they further plunge into the NASDAQ abyss, we can only speculate as how we got there.

As I was watching an Apple commercial, I couldn’t help to wonder why I didn’t buy Apple stocks when Gates was still CEO of Microsoft circa 1995 and Jobs was not yet a household name. It was about 40 bucks a share! Now, if you fancy a single slice of juicy Macintosh, you will be expected to disburse about $450.

I then snapped out of it thinking to myself “Why am I still thinking about stocks?!” Attempting to forcibly distract myself, I couldn’t help to appreciate the carefully “Apple picked” melody in the background: “Ashes to Ashes” by David Bowie.

… again, here is another set of dots to connect …

In fact, David Bowie forfeited ten years worth of royalties (25 albums / 287 songs) to the Prudential Insurance Company for 55 million dollars. Helped by banker David Pullman, he then made history, not as “Ziggy Stardust” or “Major Tom”, as he previously achieved, but as David Robert Jones: the first artist, the first person actually, to secure intellectual property rights.

Thus, the origin of Bowie bonds, which are also known as Pullman bonds.

When we look at the countless Bowie songs that were taken and / or performed by other artists, Prudential had no reason to be hesitant. Here is a sample, in no particular order:

Under Pressure (“Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice; “Sniff” – The Kleptones)

1984 ( “1984” – Tina Turner)

Man who sold the World (“Man who sold the world” – Nirvana; Mourn – Apoptygma Berzerkl; )

Let’s Dance ( “Been Around the World” – P. Diddy feat Biggie Smalls; “Hot Stuff” – Craig David)

Starman (” Star Guitar” – The Chemical Brothers)

Fame (“Takeover” – Jay-Z ; “Night Of The Living Baseheads” – Public Enemy; “Shamrocks And Shenanigans” – House of Pain; “It Wasn’t Me, It Was The Fame” – EPMD; “Strange Fame” – Sage Francis); “Hot (I Need to Be Loved, Loved, Loved, Loved)” – James Brown; “Alive on Arrival” – Ice Cube; “Faith/Fame Remix” – Limp Bizkit ft. Everlast; “Bowified Rebelution” – The Kleptones; “Fancy Pants” – Lady Gaga)

Ashes to Ashes (“Body II Body” – Samantha Mumba)

Crystal Japan (“ Warm Place”- Nine Inch Nails)

Heroes (“Elephant Love Medley” – Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman and Jamie Allen; “Just for One Day (Heroes)” – David Guetta; “Heroes” – Brazz)

Cheers to having guts to go out into the world and stake your own claim! It is exactly in times like these that you ought to divert from the flock and play by your own rules.

Thank you Sir.

Do you remember a guy that’s been
In such an early song
I’ve heard a rumor from Ground Control
Oh no, don’t say it’s true

They got a message
from the Action Man
“I’m happy, hope you’re happy too
I’ve loved
all I’ve needed to love
Sordid details following”

The shrieking of nothing is killing
Just pictures of Jap girls
in synthesis and I
Ain’t got no money and I ain’t got no hair
But I’m hoping to kick but the planet it’s glowing

(chorus)

Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
We know Major Tom’s 4
a junkie
Strung out in heaven’s high
Hitting an all-time low

Time and again I tell myself
I’ll stay clean tonight
But the little green wheels are following me
Oh no, not again
I’m stuck with a valuable friend
“I’m happy, hope you’re happy too”
One flash of light
but no smoking pistol

I never done good things
I never done bad things
I never did anything out of the blue,
Want an axe to break the ice
Wanna come down right now

(chorus)

My mother said
to get things done
You’d better not mess
with Major Tom

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.