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Art

Buster Keaton's feats still hold up after a century.

There's no question that filmmaking has come a long, long way in 100 years. Thanks to green screens, digital effects and CGI, today's filmmakers can make almost anything they can imagine come to life on screen. Moviegoers have grown used to seeing magical worlds, supernatural powers and impossible feats in movies, we get quite finicky if the quality of the effects doesn't hold up to our high standards.

Sometimes we watch movies from decades ago and giggle at how undeveloped the special effects were. And sometimes we watch old films and marvel at what they were able to do with the technology they had available to them at the time.

That's where Buster Keaton comes in.


Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin were both kings of physical comedy during the heyday of silent film, with Keaton being known for his expressionless physical feats and Chaplin being known for his goofy expressiveness. Both men excelled in their craft, and looking at Buster Keaton's stunts today is still incredibly impressive.

The man was fearless. And so physical. It's like watching "Mission Impossible" Tom Cruise mixed with peak Jackie Chan. But what's most impressive is that he did it all without the benefit of modern film technology. Naturally, there were some 1920s-era film tricks involved in some scenes, but he really did some incredibly difficult and dangerous things—things most people wouldn't even attempt.

Such impressive feats didn't come without a cost, however. Despite his stunt skills, he sustained some significant injuries throughout his film and television career, including broken bones, some severe neck damage and a near-drowning incident.

"He's like a human cartoon," someone commented, and it's true. It's like watching a real-life cartoon. Even today, nearly 100 years later, his physical comedy genius stands out among the best ever. Countless comedians and stunt performers have looked to him as an example and have used his performances as inspiration for their own.

It's not often that we can look back at something someone did a century ago and still hold it up as impressive by today's standards, but Keaton's feats fit that bill. What a treat that we got such a talent captured on film.

Before Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson, before Chuck Jones and Jackie Chan, there was Buster Keaton, one of the founding fathers of visual comedy.

Ronny Tertnes' "liquid sculptures" are otherworldly.

Human beings have sculpted artwork out of all kinds of materials throughout history, from clay to concrete to bronze. Some sculpt with water in the form of ice, but what if you could create sculptures with small drops of liquid?

Norwegian artist Ronny Tertnes does just that. His "liquid sculptures" look like something from another planet or another dimension, while at the same time are entirely recognizable as water droplets.

I mean, check this out:



According to SLR Lounge, Tertnes uses ultra high-speed photography, flash rigs, smoke and different types of liquids to create and capture his colorful split-second sculptures. He mixes water with various substances to create texture, color and movement in his photos, and the effect is otherworldly. He does some editing in Photoshop as well. The form in his photographs comes from the unique movement of a single droplet, which can end up looking like a human, a flower, an alien or an abstract glass sculpture. Sometimes they look like people dancing. Just incredible.

Tertnes has shared many of his photos on Facebook and on his website, where you can purchase prints, calendars and more featuring these beauties:

It's fun to ask what other people see when they look at these images.

Amazingly enough, Tertnes has described himself as a "hobby photographer."

Sometimes he creates mirror images that end up looking like animals or alien creatures.

If you're into (or have a marginal understanding of and interest in) NFTs, Tertnes has a Liquid Sculptures NFT store as well.

And finally, here's a slideshow where you can hear him play the guitar and look at his beautiful liquid sculptures. Enjoy.

Star soprano Lisette Oropesa was surprised when an audience member joined her in an encore.

There's a certain etiquette that audience members generally adhere to while watching a live performance, and that goes doubly for the opera world. But you don't have to be an opera-goer to know that it's generally frowned upon—to put it lightly—for a member of the audience to stand up and start singing right in the middle of an opera singer's performance.

It ain't Lollapalooza, for crying out loud.

But an audience member adding his voice to an opera performance was exactly what happened at the Verdi Festival in Parma, Italy this past fall. According to Classic FM, renowned soprano Lisette Oropesa was performing an encore at the end of her recital, singing the female part from "Sempre Libera" (Always Free) from Verdi's "La traviata." Thesong is a duet, usually sung between a female soprano and a male tenor, but she was performing it solo. So when the tenor part arrived and no one sang opposite her, 24-year-old Liu Jianwei, a fan of Oropesa and a student of opera at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Nicolini di Piacenza, stood up and filled in the gap.


No one expected it. Not Oropesa. Not even Liu himself, apparently. But the pianist kept playing and Oropesa appeared to be delighted as the young man beautifully filled in the tenor part. Oropesa's initial "Oh," is written into the piece (though you can see her searching the audience for where the man's voice was coming from), but the "Oh, grazie," she added herself to say thank you.

It's a good thing he had a lovely voice. Watch:

@babatunde_hiphopera

Reply to @campmeldinal Reply to @campmeldinal This is the best one I could find #wholesome #opera

According to Classic FM, Liu took to the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo to explain himself—and to warn others not to do what he did.

“I stood up to sing because Lisette Oropesa is a musician I love very much and I happened to have learned this opera before,” he said. “It is definitely not something worthy of pride, nor something worthy of being advocated. Please don’t interrupt singers when they are singing on stage. It’s impolite behavior. Don’t imitate me and I will never do this again in the future.”

Many disagree with him on the "worthy of pride" part at least, and most people commenting on the video were thrilled with both the unexpected singing and the reaction from the opera star.

"She was so gracious and kind!! The shock and delight on her face was so wonderful!! This is beautiful," wrote one commenter.

"I love how her face just lights up, it's so sweet!!!" wrote another.

"That is the reaction of when a musician does it for the love of music," added another "They are both amazing!"

And regarding the "impolite" bit:

"Look I know it would technically be considered rude but he shot his shot and was successful 😂. Can’t blame him one bit.".

Liu approached Oropesa after the concert to apologize. She took photos with him and gave him her autograph.

Brava and bravo to them both.

中國男高音外國音樂會“救場”?視頻走紅當事人回應:千萬別學我

當地時間10月8日,一名女歌唱家在意大利演出時,臨時返場演唱。當演唱進行到男高音部分時,一位來看演唱會的中國男高音加入了演唱,視頻走紅網絡被網友稱為“救場”。近日,當事人回應:請大家別學我!On October 8 local time, a female singer temporarily returned ...

George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" has been a beloved pop hymn for 50 years.

If someone were to ask which member of the Beatles was first to chart a No. 1 hit on the charts after the band's break-up, would you guess George Harrison? He was, with his song "My Sweet Lord" from his 1970 album "All Things Must Pass." It would be his biggest hit as a solo artist.

The song is a pop hymn of sorts, with two mantras from different religious traditions—"Hallelujah" from Christianity and "Hare Krishna" from Hinduism—alternating throughout. According to songfacts.com, Harrison wanted to convey that the two phrases were essentially the same, both calling out to God.

As Harrison explained in the documentary "The Material World": "First, it's simple. The thing about a mantra, you see... mantras are, well, they call it a mystical sound vibration encased in a syllable. It has this power within it. It's just hypnotic."


The song is simple, sweet and spiritual, hitting on some of the most fundamental elements of being human, which may explain its popularity. And now, a star-studded music video for the song is prompting reflection about the song's meaning.

Directed by Lance Bangs and executive produced by Dhani Harrison and David Zonshine, the video stars Fred Armisen and Vanessa Bayer as agents who have been asked by their superior, played by Mark Hamill, to “search for that which can’t be seen.” Patton Oswalt, Taika Waititi, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Rosanna Arquette, Jon Hamm and others—including Ringo Starr—make cameo appearances in the video.

Harrison’s wife, Olivia, and son, Dhani, also appear in the video, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Watch:

People are loving the video, both for the reminder of what a good song it is and for the interpretation of how we can find what we're seeking—God or truth or enlightenment—in the simple things that are right in front of us.

"The search never ends," wrote one commenter. "Sometimes we look but we never see. Sometimes we see but we don't understand. We hear, but do we listen? Life is up for grabs."

"I think the spirit in which the video is made is George's philosphy," wrote another. "People with high tech looking for answers. But they're constantly in the dark. The answer is not in a book. Turn on the light. Stop wandering around the world. The answers are in front of you but you're not paying attention. You just need to tune in the message."

"George has been gone 20 years, this song is 50 years old, and yet here we are watching a new music video for it featuring a ton of people famous actors and musicians," wrote one person. "It just goes to show you the power of George’s music and the depth to which it is a part of us."

Thousands of comments have poured in from people who are moved by "My Sweet Lord" and the message of the video five decades after the song was released, showing the true timelessness of Harrison's mark on the world.