Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Richard III Gets a Makeover ....and Catch up this Weekend with King Richard Armitage (KRA) Week

Aneurin Barnard as the future Richard III in The White Queen

I wasn't sure what or if I would post anything for KRA Week this year, but I have had something on my mind regarding Richard III and his public image. You see, I've been watching The White Queen (BBC) on US Cable TV channel Starz these past few weeks and I've become more and more aware that Richard III has had a makeover.  
No, Richard III wasn't ambushed by Hoda and Kathie Lee (American TV presenters - you may remember they interviewed Richard Armitage) and whisked away to have his hair and makeup done, but he has been undergoing a change of image in the public eye recently. 

From this:

 Kevin Spacey as Shakespeare's Richard III (2011)

More  of the actors who played Shakespeare's Richard III 
through the decades

Sir Ian McKellen As Richard III  (1995)

Laurence Olivier as Richard III (1955)

Olivier and his image and interpretation of Richard III was the one I grew up with. I have to confess the scene in the video clip below is still a favorite of mine. Despite the words and the fright wig, there is still something seductive about Olivier's Richard. 

John Barrymore as Richard III (1920's)

Richard Mansfield as Richard III (late 1800's - early 1900's)

To this:

Aneurin Barnard as Richard III in The White Queen (2013)

A fictional Richard III, though not Shakespeare's version

But now a handsome, young, romantic leading man 

Aneurin Barnard was certainly influenced by the discovery of the remains of Richard III:

‘It was a really odd moment to be playing him,’ recalls Aneurin. ‘He’s been dead for 500 years and the disappearance of his body was one of those great historical mysteries. And then he was found.

'I became completely obsessed with looking at his bones and it started to feel like he was haunting me. I started having these weird nightmares where it felt like he might enter my body and seek vengeance. “Oh God, he’s coming for me!”’

Despite this new image, Richard III's story is still waiting to be told. 

For some of us this will be a holiday weekend. What better way to spend it than catching up on the very informative interviews and blog posts from KRA Week 2013.

Click HERE 


Aneurin Barnard tweeted a link to this video today (8/28/13):

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Millions of Women Reported Heading For....

 This Island Nation

International security and transportation agencies are on the alert as millions and millions of women around the world have commandeered air and amphibian transportation vehicles and are reported headed for what is believed to be  New...or rather "Middle-earth".

Sources report that all the women seem to be carrying a copy of this map:

What is the cause of this worldwide travel phenomenon?  Authorities trace the mass female (and some male as well) unprecedented mass "migration" to this video:

Authorities in Middle-earth have called in reinforcements from the Hobbit Security Services headed by these three warriors:

This has not been an uncontroversial decision, as several prominent residents of Middle-earth have protested that the leader of the Hobbit Security Services, T. Oakenshield, is the one responsible for millions of women leaving their own lands to travel to New...I mean Middle-earth, resulting in disruption of their own (the complainants) important lives, and have launched a lawsuit against the security service (Complaining M-e residents pictured below):

In an interesting development, the son of one of the complainants against the Hobbit Security Services claims the mass female Middle-earth migration is due to him, though there is no recent evidence to support his claim:

Hobbit Security Services leader, T. Oakenshield, denies he is in any way the reason for this worldwide phenomenon. 

Alleged photo of T.Oakenshield

Instead, Oakenshield insists he is 100% certain the women are not seeking him, but the wisdom of this ancient text:

International authorities confirm that some of the intrepid travelers have copies of the ancient text in their possession, but evidence that incriminates T. Oakenshield has also been found:

 (Photo of button worn by many of the women traveling to M-e)

This mysterious photo has also been found among the M-e bound travelers. Reports suggest this photo is connected to property once owned by the heirs of Durin. T. Oakenshield, head of the Durin family, once again denies any involvement or any knowledge of his plans to dislodge a squatter in the property  (pictured below).

When questioned, the rest of the Hobbit Security Services warriors insist they have no knowledge of their leader's possible involvement in this unprecedented interest in their land and are ready to do their job to safeguard all visitors to New...I mean Middle-earth:

As the investigation continues, international security agencies have called in outside help from a private investigative firm:

We will report further developments as the investigation continues.

Breaking News - Sources close to the investigation are now looking at this man as a "person of interest":

(Sources of pics and vids: YouTube, Google Images, Fanpop, The One Ring Net, DeviantArt, United Agents, and many more)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 22 - Happy, Happy, Birthday Richard Armitage

Happy Birthday  
Richard Crispin Armitage 

In Celebration

A vidlet 

Ballad of the Blue Eyes

Ah, how cheery, how cheery would I be
If I had blue eyes!

How different would everything be for me,
The sea, the sun, the clouds,
The sand, the horizon, and even my own life,
If I had blue eyes!

Yes, I know, I know that it’s unattainable
This crazy wish that comes
From a humble corner of my infancy
Or from I don’t know where a perfume conceals…

I know is childish, and that I would see
The same that the sun, the sand, the foam, the sea, the clouds…
I know. And, even still, how cheery would I be
If I had blue eyes!

From José Angel Buesa: The Poet in Love

“It’s strange, because in real life he’s so quiet, and he’s very unassuming and shy, and yet you put him in those boots and that coat and give him a sword, and he immediately assumes an incredible authority. He always walked like Thorin on set, and when he’s Richard, he walks in a completely different way.”

— Peter Jackson on Richard Armitage


Dear Richard, in the unlikely event you are reading this today, I hope you have the wonderful birthday you so deserve. Stay always the lovely man that you are.  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

International Mystery: Annika Bengtzon, Crime Reporter

Whenever I watch an episode of Annika Bengtzon, a Swedish mystery series, I'm reminded of a comic book character I used to read as a kid, Brenda Starr, Reporter.   Brenda Starr, the comic, was created in the 1940's as a tough, glamorous and adventurous woman reporter for a major newspaper, at a time when most women reporters were relegated to the "style" or "home" pages.  I used to read it decades later as part of the comics page of every Sunday newspaper.  I should also mention the creator of Brenda Starr was a woman, Dale Messick

Annika Bengtzon, the Swedish TV Series, is based on the novels of Liza Marklund,

 Malin Crepin (Annika Bengtzon) and Liza Marklund

Liza Marklund is a journalist and crime novelist who is also know for the Maria Ericksson novels. I haven't read any of Ms. Marklund's books, but they are available in English translation.  

I've watched all the Annika Bengtzon episodes aired so far on MHz Networks, who are my primary and much loved source of international TV series, and has become another favorite Nordic Noir series produced by Yellow Bird.

Annika is an intrepid modern woman journalist working for a Swedish newspaper tabloid.  The series deals with how Annika balances, or doesn't, her home life of two small children and husband, with her demanding career as a journalist.  Of course, this being a detective/crime TV series, Annika gets involved in life threatening scrapes each and every series. Also she is better at solving crimes than all the Swedish police detectives she mines for information, or indeed better than any police detective around the world. 

One thing I like about European and UK crime series in general is that the lead character's home life seems more based on reality than many US TV series. The characters deal with elderly parents, unhappy spouses, painful divorce, bad dates, troubled children, and many life issues we can all identify with in our daily lives. Annika is dealing with the question many women ask themselves, can they have it all, home life and career.  She often has to go off on assignment away from home leaving the children to her husband's care. He also is ambitious and rising up the ranks of his government career, and resents Annika's expectation that he drop everything to care for the kids, while she flies off somewhere.  Aside from her husband, she often has to rely on her unsympathetic mother-in-law to care for the kids.  Though at the beginning Annika and Thomas seem a happy couple, as he feels more neglected by her, things start to go wrong.

Thomas Samuelsson (Richard Ulfsater) and Annika Bengtzon (Malin Crepin) at home

If I had to quibble with something in this series, it would be "Annika the Wonder Woman." Sometimes she gets into fights with almost entire armies of men with guns, or with physically strong men, and comes away triumphant with barely a scratch. Though it is exciting to see Annika win such a fight, it really is unrealistic that she often does so without any help from the police or even one of her colleagues. 

There is a theory that all fictional detectives have a "Watson", and if Annika has one then it is her colleague Berit Hamrin played by Kajsa Ernst.  Berit is a middle-aged and seasoned journalist who often provides the younger Annika with a wealth of experience and perspective on what goes on in the world.  Another plus for the series is this relationship of two women colleagues of different generations, working together and supporting each other in the workplace. 

The crimes that Annika reports on and helps solve are taken from today's headlines, from drug cartels to prostitution rings, she covers them all.  Though an attractive young woman, I also like the fact that she is far from glamorous in her daily life, often having a bad hair day like the rest of us, or schlepping her big work tote bag, and the children's toys at the same time. We can all imagine being Annika Bengtzon. 

For more information on the Annika Bengtzon series on MHz Networks go to the link below:

Photos, and etc. from Google Images, Wikipedia, Imdb, and https://www.facebook.com/MalinCrepinFanpage

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

King Richard Armitage Week 2013 Coming Soon

Richard Armitage and Richard III fans please note - King Richard Armitage Week starts August 21.

KRA will celebrate the birthday of dear Richard Armitage with articles, stories, history, games, and the contributions of fellow KRA and RA bloggers and participating websites.  

To stay up to date with all events, make sure to check the KRA website daily starting on August 21.

What is KRA?  Click HERE and sign the petition

King Richard III 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Aidan Turner and Dean O'Gorman Say Richard Armitage is Inspirational - Boston Comic-Con August 3 and 4, 2013

Aidan and Dean are asked if Fili and Kili will be as majestic as Thorin in the next Hobbit movie.

Listen to their wonderful answer- starts at 2:40

and Aidan agrees Thorin is Majestic

I love the Hobbit cast

and especially the heirs of Durin

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fashion Report: Hot Dwarves Casual - Visions in Gray

Aidan Turner (Kili) on the way to Boston this weekend on Friday?

Richard Armitage (Thorin) at the airport in San Diego, Aug 2012

From the French Armitage Army

Obviously Dean O'Gorman (Fili) is the fashion rebel in this 
Dwarf Family

Pics from various sources, Boston Comic-Con, Google Images

Thursday, August 1, 2013

LOTR Memory Lane: Favorite Extended Edition Interview and scene with Sean Bean

After he thought his time filming in New Zealand was long over, Sean Bean was called back by Peter Jackson to film an additional scene for the trilogy.  (The rest of the cast were still filming films #2 and #3.) Sean was back after being away for a time from playing Boromir, and I think he was filming again in NZ for a week or so, and he wondered whether he could get back in character again. 

More relevant to what has been going on with The Hobbit cast and their goodbyes is Sean talking about how it felt to be back with his friends again, and how he wanted to stay with them longer once filming Osgiliath was over. 

Peter Jackson changed his mind it seems, and the scene, one of my favorites from The Two Towers, never made it to the theatrical version, but it did to the Extended Edition.  So we may see some scenes in those 13 additional minutes on The Hobbit film #1 Extended Edition that may become our, your, personal favorite. You never know.  

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