Tag Archives: Holiday

Conflicted About “47 Ronin”

Related Post: Attack on Titan: Analogy to World War II.

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From Left to Right: Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada, Keanu Reeves, and Kou Shibasaki.
Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

I am very conflicted about going to see 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves in theaters December 25th.

On one hand, the film seems to have little to do with Chūshingura (忠臣蔵), the original kabuki (歌舞伎) play I read in the “Traditional Japanese Literature” class I took at Sophia University (上智大学) in Tokyo. Moreover, the film has reportedly not done well with Japanese audiences.

BUT, on the other hand, I really want to support the amazing selection of Japanese actors cast in the film. And, for that reason, I’ve devised the following list…

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Hiroyuki Sanada (真田広之)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Dogen on Lost (Season 6).
  • Notable Accolades: He performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and received an honorary MBE award.
  • Why is he awesome?: While filming The Last Samurai (2003), he almost cut off Tom Cruise’s head (“Cruise has brush with death”).
  • Film Recommendations: Sanada-san stars in my favorite samurai film The Twilight Samurai (2002). This film has only two fight scenes (one short and one long), but they are both jaw-dropping in their seemingly effortless choreography and will have you on the edge of your seat!

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Kou Shibasaki (柴咲コウ)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Mitsuko Souma in Battle Royale (2000); she was slated to play Gogo Yubari’s twin sister Yuki in Kill Bill, but dropped out due to other commitments.
  • Notable Accolades: She won a Japanese Academy Award for her performance in Go (2001).
  • Why is she awesome?: She starred in the first Japanese television drama I ever watched called Orange Days (2004) in which she played a deaf character, performing all her lines in Japanese sign language.  Plus, she’s an adorable pop singer (“KISS Shite” by KOH+).
  • Film Recommendations: Shibasaki-san stars alongside Joe Odagiri in one of my favorite Japanese films called La Maison de Himiko (2005) about a young woman who is asked by her dying father’s young male lover to work in her father’s nursing home for gay men.

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Rinko-Kikuchi-2

Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Rinko Kikuchi (菊地凛子)

  • Best known for in the U.S.: Mako Mori in Pacific Rim (2013).
  • Notable Accolades: She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Babel (2006).
  • Wh is she awesome?: She’s the first Japanese actress in 50 years to be nominated for an Oscar! Plus, she’s appeared in a number of films with Tadanobu Asano (see below) including his directorial debut Tori (2003).
  • Film Recommendations: I absolutely adore The Brothers Bloom (2009), starring Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and (of course) Rinko Kikuchi!! :) Kikuchi-san silently pantomimes throughout this film and is an absolute delight to watch.

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Disclaimer: I do not own this image!!

Tadanobu Asano (浅野忠信)

ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE ACTORS!

Some of these film recommendations might be hard to find outside of Japan. If you’re having trouble finding a title and really want to watch it, message me at gegallas@hotmail.com and I’ll see if I can help! :)

Also, for those of you who go see 47 Ronin, leave a comment here and let me know what you think!

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Work in Progress: Saint Tewdrig Watercolors

Related Posts: A Raven Above Press’s Welsh Saints Project and Work in Progress: Saint Tewdrig.

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I’ve completed my illustration of Saint Tewdrig for A Raven Above Press’s Age of Saints: An Illustrated Guide to the Saints of Wales by Peter Anthony Freeman. I can’t share the final version with you yet, but I thought I’d give you all an idea of the color palette. I’m so excited to see the completed book, which I believe is scheduled to be released this coming March! :D

Tewdrig 1

Tewdrig 2

Tewdrig 3

Tewdrig 4

Tewdrig 5

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Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

For more updates, follow me on facebooktumblr and twitter.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Preview: Fluffernutter Greeting Card

Related Posts: Preliminary Character Designs: Fluffernutter the Bat and Celebrating 2,000 Followers!

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A new product I will be selling at APE (October 12-13) and later on my online store thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com are these cute greeting cards featuring Fluffernutter the Bat! The card is blank inside and comes with an envelope. :)

Perfect for all occasions, especially Halloween!

NEW 03

NEW 02

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Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

For more updates, follow me on facebooktumblr and twitter.

***

Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Cannes/London 2013: Compilation

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Cannes

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Here is a compilation of all the posts regarding my Cannes/London 2013 trip. Please enjoy!

  1. Pre-Travel Planning
  2. Bon Voyage, See You in June!
  3. Saturday May 11th
  4. Sunday, May 12th
  5. Monday, May 13th
  6. Tuesday, May 14th
  7. Wednesday, May 15th
  8. Thursday, May 16th
  9. Friday, May 17th
  10. Saturday, May 18th
  11. Sunday, May 19th
  12. Monday, May 20th
  13. Tuesday, May 21st
  14. Wednesday, May 22nd
  15. Thursday, May 23rd
  16. Friday, May 24th
  17. Saturday, May 25th
  18. Sunday, May 26th
  19. Monday, May 27th
  20. Tuesday, May 28th
  21. Tuesday, May 28th @ Tate Britain
  22. Tuesday, May 28th @ Tate Britain, William Blake Rooms
  23. Wednesday, May 29th
  24. Wednesday, May 29th @ National Portrait Gallery
  25. Thursday, May 30th

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Cannes/London 2013: Thursday, May 30th

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Eros in Piccadilly Circus.

Today — Elena, Laura and I explored the William Blake historic sites. We met at Piccadilly Circus and walked over to Saint James’s Church, where Blake was baptized. The baptismal font is still there, with very intricate carvings of Adam and Eve. It’s amazing to think that Blake was once a baby who could fit in that font!

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St. James’s Church.

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A Blake quote welcoming visitors of St. James’s.

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Another side of St. James’s.

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The baptismal font.

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Closeup of the baptismal font.

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Inside St. James’s.

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A different angle inside St. James’s.

Then, we took a double-decker bus through the city all the way across the Thames to Battersea to visit Saint Mary’s Church were Blake and Catherine were married. We almost got lost since there were a number of similar churchs in the area, but we managed to find the right one. The ladies in the church were a bit confused at first by our presence. But when I told them that we are Blake enthusiasts, they immediately understood.

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Inside the double-decker bus!

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St. Mary’s Church Battersea

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View across the Thames.

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Inside St. Mary’s.

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Inside St. Mary’s: stained-glass window commemorating Blake.

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Detail of stained glass.

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Another detail of stained glass.

After that, we went to visit Blake’s grave at Bunhill Fields. It was a very old but charming cemetary, and it was fascinating watching them in the process of restoring some of the old crypts and tombstones. I left a simple offering at Blake’s gravestone — an apple — and also explored the green where Blake’s physical body is supposed to have been buried (I believe The Friends of William Blake are trying to raise money and/or petition for a special monument at Blake’s actual burial site).

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Bunhill Fields is quite serene.

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A memorial obelisk to Daniel Defoe.

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Blake and Catherine’s grave marker.

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A simple offering.

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Blake’s actual remains are somewhere around here, I think.

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Didn’t get a chance to go in… Next time!

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John Bunyan‘s tomb.

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Another angle of Bunyan’s tomb.

Then, we went to visit Westminster Abbey. Here, I unfortunately got separated from Elena and Laura, and we couldn’t find each other again. :( But I’m glad I went, even though it was a bit overwhelming to take in. I especially enjoyed the Poets’ Corner where I saw commemorations to Lord Byron, Lewis Carroll and Blake among others.

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Big Ben/Elizabeth Tower.

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Approaching Westminster Abbey.

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Westminster Abbey!

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I spy the London Eye!

The absolute highlight of my day — and possibly even my trip — was the British Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings. I didn’t get to see all that much of the museum proper, but inside this department I was allowed to handle and examine an original print of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience. When I say “prints,” I mean a copy made by Blake himself on his own printing press!! I was able to see many of my favorite poems — “The Tyger,” “The Fly,” “The Sick Rose,” etc. The prints are indescribably complex and beautiful, and surprisingly tiny. It was amazing rereading these poems as they were originally meant to be read! After that, I enjoyed afternoon tea at the museum for a surprisingly reasonable price. And I ate every last sandwich, cake, and scone. :D

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Inside The British Museum.

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Afternoon tea is about to commence.

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Now I feel that my trip is complete.

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I ate every last crumb!

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Scones and clotted cream.

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That was fun!

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See ya’ later, British Museum!

Tomorrow, back to San Francisco!

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Above is the last entry of the journal I wrote during my Cannes/London trip.

Overall, this trip was an amazing experience and I’m glad I was able to do almost everything I planned to.

I met so many amazing people along the way and was inspired by everything I encountered.

I hope you all enjoyed reading these posts!

Best,

G. E.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Cannes/London 2013: Wednesday, May 29th @ National Portrait Gallery

Related Post: Cannes/London 2013: Wednesday, May 29th.

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Here are some of my favorite pieces I saw at the National Portrait Gallery in London during my visit!

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images!!

(Click on images to enlarge.)

1. Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn

2. Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

3. Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton

Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton

Anne of Denmark by John de Critz the Elder

5. William Shakespeare by John Taylor

William Shakespeare by John Taylor

6. Queen Henrietta Maria

Queen Henrietta Maria

7. King George IV, when Prince Regent by Sir Thomas Lawrence

King George IV, when Prince Regent by Sir Thomas Lawrence

8. William Blake by Thomas Phillips

William Blake by Thomas Phillips

9. Lord Byron by Thomas Phillips

Lord Byron by Thomas Phillips

NPG 938; Sir Richard Owen by Henry William Pickersgill

Sir Richard Owen by Henry William Pickersgill

11. Lady Colin Campbell by Giovanni Boldini

Lady Colin Campbell by Giovanni Boldini

12. William Holman Hunt by Sir William Blake Richmond

William Holman Hunt by Sir William Blake Richmond

(c) DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Aubrey Beardsley by Jacques-Emile Blanche

NPG 1028; Robert Louis Stevenson by Sir William Blake Richmond

Robert Louis Stevenson by Sir William Blake Richmond

15. Louise Jopling by Sir John Everett Millais

Louise Jopling by Sir John Everett Millais

NPG 1325; Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan by Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt

Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan by Sir John Everett Millais

NPG 1078; William Morris by George Frederic Watts

William Morris by George Frederic Watts

NPG 1172; Charles Dickens by Daniel Maclise

Charles Dickens by Daniel Maclise

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Cannes/London 2013: Wednesday, May 29th

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Underground.

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Approaching Trafalgar Square.

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Trafalgar Square.

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View from Trafalgar Square.

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Elmgreen and Dragset’s bronze sculpture of a boy on a rocking horse.

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Statue of George IV.

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Statue of Shakespeare under renovation at Leicester Square.

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A favorite quote.

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I couldn’t resist The Cumberbatch.

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Along Leicester Square.

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Entrance to the National Portrait Gallery.

I began my day exploring Trafalgar Square and the surrounding area while waiting for the museums to open. I went from statue to statue, taking photos and reading inscriptions. Around the block, I found myself at Leicester Square where a statue of Shakespeare is under renovation.

I spent about an hour or so running around the National Portrait Gallery, which was a lot of fun since very few people were there so it felt as if I had the whole museum to myself. During this time, I discovered many interesting paintings and that sometimes the portrait is just as much about the subject as it is about the artist behind the scenes. I was particularly delighted that the portraits of William Blake, Lord Byron, and Lord & Mary Shelley were all in the same room. Also, I was excited to see Sir William Blake Richmond’s portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir John Everett Millais’s portrait of Sir Arthur Sullivan.

Relate Post: Cannes/London 2013: Wednesday, May 29th @ National Portrait Gallery.

After that, I had an early lunch at The Chandos pub Opera Room — a cozy restaurant with fire places and stained glass windows — and ate the most incredible fish and chips I’ve ever had. Like the Portrait Gallery, I had this place too all to myself.

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The Chandos pub.

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Entrance to the Opera Room.

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Inside the Opera Room.

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Stained glass windows in the Opera Room.

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Nothing like a fireplace on a rainy day.

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Teatime!!

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Fish and Chips to die for!

After lunch, I tried to take the Harrods bus tour, but it was sold out — which was fine by me. Instead, I bought some chocolates and candies at Harrods for later and had tea time at Café Liberty, inside the Liberty of London department store.

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Harrods is quite over the top.

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Difficult to resist all the candy and chocolates.

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The famous Egyptian room.

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Liberty of London.

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Inside Liberty.

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Can’t get enough of this architecture.

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Can I film a movie in here?

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Inside Café Liberty.

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Teatime, again!!

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Aromatic Darjeeling.

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I have a weakness for lemon tart.

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See you later, Liberty.

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Green tea chocolate, marzipan, and Turkish delight from Harrods.

Around 7 p.m., I was reunited after three years with my great friend Elena and company for a Jack the Ripper walking tour. It was so wonderful to see Elena again and we all had a great time on the tour. The tour guide was very good, like an actor performing each character in every murder and theory. At the end, to rest our feet a bit before going home, we hung out at The Ten Bells pub — know as the Jack the Ripper Pub since the victim “…Annie Chapman may have drunk at the pub shortly before she was murdered.”

All in all, a busy but exciting day!

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An old city wall.

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A church where one of the Ripper’s victims was seen.

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The Gherkin.

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Along the Ripper’s path.

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Tracking the Ripper’s footsteps.

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My camera is making everything blurry.

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Very ominous.

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Not far from where the Ripper’s last victim was murdered.

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Christ Church, Spitalfields.

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Outside the Ten Bells pub.

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Our tour guide!

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Inside the Ten Bells.

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Another foreboding photo of the Ten Bells.

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Spitalfields Market at night.

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


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