He’s Hot…and He’s Dead

Youngwilliamshakespeare

This week the man in the painting above was declared to be William Shakespeare — with 90% certainty, according to professor Stanley Wells, a leading authority on the playwright. For more than 300 years, the portrait has hung in the properties of the Cobbe family, but the sitter’s identity was unclear (at one point, he was mistaken for Sir Walter Raleigh). It is the only known portrait painted of William Shakespeare during his lifetime.

The Guardian notes:

That the painting looks more like a 26-year-old than a 46-year-old — Shakespeare’s age when it was likely painted — may be down to the convention of the time when a painter should “polish out the wrinkles and increase the size of the pearls,” according to Mark Broch, curator of the Cobbe collection. It seems likely the Earl of Southampton commissioned the Cobbe portrait, emphasising once more his closeness to Shakespeare.

In other words, the tradition of retouching goes waaaaaay back before Photoshop. With his soft brown hair and clear eyes, this new Shakespeare —  the 46-year-old, with his rosy 26-ish glow — is pretty hot.

The painting isn’t the only Shakespeare rediscovery this week. The BBC reported Monday that the Bard’s first theater has been discovered by archeologists in London, about 1.5 meters, or five feet, below the city’s current ground level. Taryn Nixon, an official with the Museum of London, told the BBC that it was located just outside the center of the city, in London’s “suburbs of sin.”

That William Shakespeare — getting hotter all the time.

LA Times

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VH1, History Revisit ‘Woodstock: 40 Years Later’

“Woodstock: 40 Years Later,” a co-production of VH1 Rock Docs and History, will premiere on cable channels History and VH1 in August.

The two-hour documentary, which will be simulcast on VH1 Classic, is directed by Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple and executive produced by Michael Lang, organizer of the original Woodstock music festival.

The documentary will explore the planning phase leading up to Woodstock and the concert itself from the point of view of musicians, activists and fans while incorporating archival images and music.

The documentary is produced in association with Cabin Creek Films and Woodstock Ventures.

Do You Need a Good Cry or Laugh? Watch a Comfort Film

I ran across on the LA Times website recently and thought I would share in the discussion.

Comfort films — admit it, we all have them. Those movies you’ve seen so many times you can whisper the lines along with the actors, the images nearly as familiar as the faces of your friends.

They are powerful — able to tear friendships apart, damage marriages with just the mention of a name. It’s like a relationship Rorschach: If “Deliverance” tops the hit list of your significant other and “The Devil Wears Prada” (pictured) tops yours, well, just don’t book that couples cruise you were considering.

Comfort films are by their very nature personal choices; they’re memory movies, tied to a time in your life, or a place, or a person. But sharing them? Now that’s harder. There’s a trust factor involved: to own up to the films that live on your comfort list is to take a risk. You must trust that no matter how strange or embarrassing or trashy certain movies might be, your confessor will not judge, knowing there is a bit of history, a bit of you, really, attached to each and every one.

So now you’re thinking – what are my comfort films? Harder than it looks! I could (basically) live or die by this list. Or be commended or laughed at for years to come and that’s just too much pressure for one person to handle.

But I will give you a couple in no particular order:

  • Sixteen Candles
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (which actually my boyfriend introduced me to)
  • Ocean’s 11 – the new version
  • Seven
  • Ratatouille
My secondary list – oh, I can bend the rules! Who’s blog are you reading? – are films I can watch but also pass on if something else is on.
  • The Graduate
  • Chicago
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Cars 

I think from my list it shows I’m a very cultured, varied person.

What are your comfort films?