Album of the Month : Heavier Things
For a recording artist to continue on the glory in the second album and ignore the infamous sophomore slump is a truly rare chance. John Mayer, the very charming musician, made a successful debut with his first album, achieved even higher fame and popularity with his sophomore release "Heavier things." He keeps his pop sensibilities andadds extra layers of depth in the newalbum. The opening track, "Clarity," begins with a keyboard riff supported by a steady handclapping nicely blended with simple acoustic guitar. Another famous track, "Split Screen Sadness," begins with a monotonous tine which soon rises to melancholic lines and can give the listener heartache. All other songs in the album are also remarkable pieces of works, including "Daughters" and "Bigger than my body".
Not many albums can cover this much variety of emotions, genres and tempos. The thoughtful lyrics, well meshed with pop, do not simply appeal to the popular masses but also to listeners with profound musical knowledge. With this album, John Mayer has proven that he will be a lasting star. On May 6th, John Mayer is holding a live concert, as a part of the "Hyundai Card Culture Project" for the first time ever in Korea since his debut 13 years ago. "Heavier things" serves as a good introductory album to highlight the artist.
Movie of the Month: The Godfather
"The Godfather" film trilogy redefined the gangster film genre. Today allgangster movies arejudged according to the standard that this movie set. However, simply judging "The Godfather" as an influential gangster movie falls short of thetrue values that lies in this greatest movie ever. A tight storyline, thestrong performances from an impressive cast, with members such as Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, and Francis Ford Coppola's solid directing together created an extraordinary masterpiece.
Lying behind the typical traits of gangster movies such as gunshots, violence and mafia codes of conductis the complexity of emotions entwined with family responsibility, a father's legacy, and vengeance. Unlike the original novel, the character MichaelCorleone is placed in the center of the film. The plot portrays how Michael Corleone, the youngest yet smartest son of Don transforms from the "innocent" one to a ruthless Mafioso. Although the movie is 3 hours long, it is wellworth the time. This old movie's fun and depth hold steady even today.
TV Program of the Month : Planet Earth- as you've never seen it before
"Planet Earth- as you've never seen it before" is a documentary series produced by theBBC. Broadcast in 2006, almost a decade has past after its first release to the world, yet it still remains one of the greatest documentaries that all "earthlings" should watch at least once to better understand our planet. As noted by a reviewer for The Daily Mirror,a British newspaper:"Every few years we are treated to a series so compelling that it puts all other shows in the shade. Every single second of these epic new films is a joy to behold. Mind blowing." It took four years to produce the film. Filmed in High Definition(HD) with ultra-high speed cameras for the first time in BBC documentary history,
the filmsuccessfully captures the most splendid images of planet Earth.
The epic blockbuster series is comprised of eleven episodes; "From Pole to Pole", "Mountains", "Fresh Water", "Caves", "Deserts", "Ice Worlds", "Great Plains", "Jungles", "Shallow Seas", "Seasonal Forests" and "Ocean Deep". Each episode, is one hour long
, andbrings you to astounding, unforgettable, intimate moments of the extremely diverse habitats of earth. The last 10 minutes of each episode reveal s a special behind-the-scenes film which shows the interesting yet occasionally life-threatening process of filming the documentary. A Korean-dubbed version of the masterpiece has also beenproduced, yet the narration provided by David Attenborough is often evaluated as one of the best narrations of all time, thus watching the original version produced by the BBC is highly recommended.
Book of the Month : Room
Room is a novel with an extraordinary record of awards. Within three months after its publication in September
, 2010, it was selected as the best book of the year by Amazon.com and TheNew York Times (NYT) , as well as aNYT notable book of the year , and a NYT bestseller in 2010. Evenmore extraordinary about the novel is that it is based on a true story. In 2008, a man named Josef Fritzl in Austria was found to have locked his own daughter for 24 years in a small, confined room with her seven children, born out of rape.
The setting of the novel is slightly different; there is one child named Jack with his mother in the 'room'. To Jack, a five-year-old boy, the room that he was born and raised was the entire world that he knows, and the world he sees through TV is a fabricated one. The story begins by Jack's mother plotting to escape from 'Old Nick' who heldthem captive, in order to give Jacka new life.
BecauseRoom is written in the perspective of young Jack, the book is full of grammatical errors and awkward sentences. However, the naive and innocent perspective that Jack’s terrifying reality passes on to the readers is what really makes this book special and intriguing. The boy who knows nothing about the real world, but who attempts to escape the room solely due to his wholehearted love towards his mother, will definitely catch your interest.
Exhibition of the Month : Steampunk Art Exhibition
The term "Steampunk" was first used by K.W Jeter, an American science fiction writer; the word "Steam" refers to thetechnology of the Industrial Era, and the word "Punk" indicates that the technology is an "outsider" instead of mainstream. As we can see from the meanings of the word, Steampunk art is a combination of rather unrealistic and fantastic technologies with art. Steampunk Art started from literary works and is now spanning over fine art, design, architecture, interior, fashion, film and music. Renowned movies like "Howl's Moving Castle" by Mayazaki Hayao and "Snow piercer" directed by Bong Jun-ho all have adopted the concept of "Steampunk." Steampunk is no longer merely non-mainstream technology. It is a global trend in the field of art and culture.
The exhibition introduces the short yet dynamic history of Steampunk, with 300 pieces of Steampunk artwork
s from all around the world. Unlike traditional formats of art, Steampunk artworks are made by using materials such as copper, leather, cog and clockwork devices which would usually be used in industrial factories. Should every single kind of antique, technological or mechanically influenced artworks be named "Steampunk"? The exhibition itself posesthis question to its visitors. Although no singlecorrect answer exists, one thing is clear: Steampunk Art will continually expand, change its form and again shrink. In the process, it will constantly be challenged by artists worldwide.