January 26

Theatre and Morality: Synge’s Playboy of the Western World

On the 26th of January 1907, The Playboy of the Western World, a three-act drama, written by Irish playwright John Millington Synge, was first performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Synge’s main writing interest revolved around the life of churchgoing Roman Catholic peasants of rural Ireland, paradoxically, the raw paganism of the way they […]

January 25

Godzilla: The Nuclear Monster

On the 25th of January 1970, Eiji Tsuburaya, the Japanese special effects director, died in Sukagawa, Fukushima, Japan. Known for his immaculate experimentation in the field of cinematic special effects in his time, Tsuburaya brought new quality into the Japanese science-fiction genre. He began his career in filmmaking as a cinematographer at the Nippon Cinematograph […]

January 24

Secrets of the Castrati: Carlo Farinelli

On the 24th of January 1705, legendary 18th century castrato opera singer Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi, known by the stage name Farinelli was born in Andria (Apulia) into a family of musicians. In his career, he used the surname of his benefactors, the brothers Farina. Considered one of the greatest performers in the history […]

January 23

Django’s Hand: The Story of Success

If you are looking for inspiration to boost your enthusiasm for following your dreams this year, you will find it in the story of the famous guitarist and banjo player Jean-Baptiste Reinhardt, better known by his stage name Django. Born on the 23rd of January 1910  in Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium, into a family of travelling Manouche Gypsy entertainers, Django […]

January 22

Poetry vs Visual Art in Lessing’s Laocoon

On the 22nd of January 1729, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was born in Kamenz, Saxony, Germany. He was a precocious writer, philosopher, publicist, art critic, the first real playwright in theatre history and one of the most outstanding representatives of the Enlightenment. As a literary theorist, he is well-known for his essay Laocoon: An Essay on the […]

January 21

How ‘Three Songs about Lenin’ Finished Dziga Vertov

Today we celebrate the 90th anniversary of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s death. The famous communist leader, politician and political theorist died on the 21st of January 1924, aged 53, at his estate at the Gorki settlement (later renamed Gorki Leninskiye). He was one of the leading political figures and revolutionary thinkers of the 20th century. His […]

January 20

Hollywood’s First Outdoor Talkie Western

On the 20th of January 1929, the movie In Old Arizona was released on the wide cinema screen. This American Western directed by Irving Cummings and Raoul Walsh prides itself in being the first major feature film to use the new technology of sound whilst being filmed in outdoor locations. Although its plot, acting and […]

January 19

Ginsberg’s Visionary Illuminations under Cézanne

Today we celebrate the 175th anniversary of Paul Cézanne’s birthday. The famous Post-Impressionist was born on the 19th of January 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, France. His life-long adventure with painting resulted in a breakthrough theory on the modes of perception of reality. His phenomenological approach towards nature, and its impact on the creative process, has inspired […]

January 18

Grete Schütte-Lihotzky: House Maker, Not Homemaker

On the 18th of January 2000, Austria’s first female architect, Nazi resistance, as well as Marxist activist Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky died in Vienna five days before her 103rd birthday. Lihotzky became the first female student at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna, where important modern artists such as Hoffmann, Hanak and Kokoschka were teaching. She obtained her place with difficulty, […]

January 17

Chekhov’s ‘The Cherry Orchard’: Comedy or Tragedy?

On the 17th of January 1904, The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov had its premiere at the Moscow Art Theatre. The play was staged by the famous actor/director and creator of the eponymous Stanislavski method, known as “method acting”, Constantin Stanislavski. The original intention of Chekhov was for The Cherry Orchard to be a comedy; […]