The fusion of live action with animation dates backs to the turn of the 20th century, when US newspaper cartoonist Winsor McCay created pioneering short Gertie the Dinosaur. During vaudeville performances, McCay would stand on stage, dressed in a tuxedo and wielding a whip, and instruct the animated brontosaur – projected onto a screen behind him – to perform various circus tricks. In a clip from 1914, McCay can be seen tossing a real apple to Gertie, who promptly ‘catches’ a cartoon version of it on-screen (the real apple never left McCay’s palm).
While I was in Myanmar for a week, there were also the celebrations for the 65th Union Day, remembering events in 1947 which led to independence from colonial rule. In his speech at the occasion, U Thein Sein, the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, did not only look back, but also into the future, reflecting the new policies of the new government:
Tourism in Vietnam is finally getting sexy! Late last year, the powers that be appointed a new “tourism ambassador” in the shapely form of actress Ly Nha Ky, who, as the comment in the title suggests, seems to be more famous for getting her kit off than for her knowledge of tourism or ambassadorial qualities.
Ryan Tong and Kosal Khiev are on a mission. Part of new arts collective Studio Revolt, these Asian-American activists – one a youth worker, the other a former refugee and convict recently deported from the US to his native Cambodia – are using poetry to teach orphans the delicate art of self-expression. Ninety kids aged seven to 16, who survive by scavenging from Phnom Penh’s dump sites, are embarking on a voyage of self-discovery through spoken word at local NGO A New Day Cambodia.
They’ve played for Prince William and Kate Middleton at the royal wedding; in a bathtub in Reading; crammed into a Fiat 500 in Rome, and on board a rather large yacht in Monaco. Not bad, considering Will and the People – heading to Phnom Penh this month to promote their debut album – are barely out of the box.
Hard rock has long been known for its diabolical associations, from Jimmy Page’s devout following of ‘The Great Beast’ Aleister Crowley to Keith Richard’s obsession with the occult. But only one man can lay claim to being the inspiration for ultra-violent serial killer Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers, Oliver Stone’s frenzied study of the relationship between the mass media and mass murderers.
In December 1978, under the spectre of an imminent Vietnamese military invasion, the ultra-secretive Khmer Rouge leadership did something fantastically out of character - it cracked the curtains ever so slightly and let three foreigners inside. Only two would leave alive.