Today is the 19th annual World Water Day and French nonprofit Solidarités International marks the occasion with a beautiful short film to raise awareness about safe drinking water: It’s estimated that 3.6 million people, of which 1.5 million are children under 5, die of diseases caused by water contamination every year, making it the world’s leading cause of death. Yet both the public and political leaders remain largely unaware and thus unlikely to take action against this preventable epidemic.
This film, produced by agency BDDP Unlimited and directed by young director, illustrator, musician and photographer Clément Beauvais, is both a moving reminder about the importance of this fundamental substance and a specific call to action for journalists to spread awareness about it and appeal to readers to sign a petition that will be personally handed to the French president during the 6th World Water Forum in March 2012.
Looking for meaningful ways to support World Water Day beyond awareness? Here are afew actionable ideas. And to further grasp both the beauty and the gravity of the subject, don’t miss the remarkable Blue Planet Run.
We’ve got a free weekly newsletter and people say it’s cool. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s an example. Like? Sign up.
Bearing the charm of analog art in an overly digital world, Roth’s stencils blend playful pastime with the kind of ultra-personalized, custom-designed touch we’ve come to expect of just about everything.
To complement Stencil 101, take a peek at the how-to videos on Roth’s site, as well as his extensive gallery of application ideas.
What arias have to do with Cousin It, cinematic pathos and eccentric Germans.
To celebrate six years of collaboration between Sky Arts and the English National Opera, Sky Arts commissioned an unlikely trio to produce Sky Arts Opera Shorts — three opera short films by three of today’s most celebrated film directors: Dougal Wilson, Sam Taylor-Wood and Werner Herzog. The films are set to a popular aria of ENO’s 2008/2009 season, capturing each director’s distinct visual style. And, as big proponents of the cross-pollination of the arts and the creative intersections of past and present, we’re loving them.
Rossini’s The Barber of Seville may be among the world’s best-known, most widely loved operas, but when Dougal Wilson (we’re longtime fans) reenvisions it in his characteristically mischievous fashion, it’s a different kind of treat entirely. Hovering between classic silent film, hipster music video — that is, after all, Wilson’s specialty — and Adams Family reunion, the film is equal parts quirky and delightful.
I’m used to working with artists such as Goldfrapp and Will Young, so working with ENO presented me with a really fresh challenge. Directing an opera short allowed me to apply modern artistic disciplines to a traditional source to hopefully create a really engaging piece of work.” ~ Dougal Wilson
British filmmaker and conceptual aritst Sam Taylor-Wood never ceases to amaze. Last year, we were head-over-heels with Nowhere Boy, her poetic chronicle of John Lennon’s little-known early life. Here, she brings that same cinematic pathos to a simple yet powerful interpretation of Pagliacci’s Vesti la Giubba (On with the Greasepaint).
I’m really happy to be involved in such a great project. I think by capturing one of opera’s most moving moments in a film short, we have put a modern spin on the aria.” ~ Sam Taylor-Wood
Our long-running love for Werner Herzog continues unabated as the eccentric German director brings his signature this-is-looking-very-bizarre-and-I’m-not-quite-getting-it-but-can’t-stop-looking touch to O Soave Fanciulla (Oh you vision of beauty) from Puccini’s iconic La Bohème.
I’ve no doubt that the film shorts will generate interest from a whole new generation of music lovers — the results are fantastic. Filming in High Definition in Africa allowed us to juxtapose the traditions of opera with a real innovative setting, the uniqueness of which is hopefully reflected in the final film.” ~ Werner Herzog
Brain Pickings has a free weekly interestingness digest. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week's best articles. Here's an example. Like? Sign up.
donating = loving
Brain Pickings remains ad-free and takes hundreds of hours a month to research and write, and thousands of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy and value in it, please consider becoming a Member and supporting with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner:
(If you don't have a PayPal account, no need to sign up for one – you can just use any credit or debit card.)
You can also become a one-time patron with a single donation in any amount:
Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I get a small percentage of its price. That helps supportBrain Pickings by offsetting a fraction of what it takes to maintain the site, and is very much appreciated.