"Luis Buñuel's The Phantom of Liberty was quickly dismissed upon its release in 1974. Not only did it have to contend with the lingering success of 1972's similarly themed but significantly less abstract The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, but it was quickly followed by the dreamlike, bi–polar romantic entanglement of the director's last film, That Obscure Object of Desire. Like Discreet Charm, the plot–free Phantom of Liberty is a patchwork of comedic sketches and sight gags through which Buñuel ravages a complacent European culture and the various sexual hang–ups and historical and cultural disconnects of its inhabitants. This heady, almost off–putting masterwork isn't particularly easy to decipher (maybe we aren't meant to), which is why it's best to approach it as a literal comedy of manners.
Films structured around daisy chains of dysfunction are a dime a dozen; most, though, are as tiresomely long–winded as they are content with their own strained circularity. This isn't the case with Phantom of Liberty, which begins with a shot of Goya's 1808 masterpiece 'The Third of May.' The painting depicts Napoleon's army executing a group of faceless Spaniards, and via a reenactment of this struggle, Buñuel depicts how one of Napoleon's captains tries to defile the monument of Doña Elvira only to be smacked on the head by the moving arm of the statue of the woman's husband. (He later intends to sleep with the woman's corpse, and when he opens her coffin, he's amazed by how her beauty has been preserved.) It's the first of many sight gags in the film, each and every one as startling as they are perversely funny. All these moments are possessed by a sense of shocked wonderment and discovery, and they all more or less evoke fragile pasts and characters trying to reconcile their historical detachments."
(Ed Gonzalez, 13 September 2003, Slant Magazine)
"Brands are about meaning. In this case, Leo Burnett was able to transform a mild woman's cigarette into a rugged masculine product virtually overnight by using iconic imagery. The brand was literally re–imagined and thrust into the number 1 position as a result. The state of California realized that they needed to disempower this same iconic imagery and bluntly point out that even rugged cowboys can suffer serious diseases like lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease caused by smoking."
(Kurian M. Tharakan)
"Young cancer patients have told their stories in a cartoon that shows children and parents what it is like to have treatment. The six children, who received radiotherapy in Bristol, teamed up with the animation house Aardman for the production called One of a Kind! Their voices were recorded and given to the animated characters in the short film. It will be made available to hospitals all over the UK. The cartoon was the idea of Jancis Kinsman, advanced practice therapy radiographer at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre."
(15 June 2010, BBC News)
Fig.1 Emma Lazenby (2010). "One of a Kind" concept by Jancis Kinsman, directed by Emma Lazenby, produced by Aardman and ArthurCox, 6min.
"Her two recent projects are 'Fallen Princesses', 2009 and 'In the Dollhouse', 2011. 'Fallen Princesses' is an ironic look at children's parables, from Grimm fairy tales to Walt Disney. By placing iconic characters such as Little Red Riding Hood or Snow White in modern situations, the series became a commentary on such everyday scourges as poverty, obesity, cancer and pollution."
"It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam 'MCA' Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys and also of the Milarepa Foundation that produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits, and film production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories, passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near–three–year battle with cancer. He was 47 years old."
Fig.1 Music video by The Beastie Boys performing "Gratitude". (C) 2009 Capitol Records, LLC [recorded in 1992 in Rotorua, Aotearoa New Zealand].