"I dont mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it." ~Marilyn Monroe

"I don't mind living in a man's body as long as I can be a woman in it." ~VinVin Jacla

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Vikander shines with Oscar-worthy performance for “THE DANISH GIRL”


One of the most promising actors of her generation, Alicia Vikander has been a talent to watch in cinema in 2015, gaining international recognition, one film after another. After receiving acting prizes from several critics groups for her breakout role in “Ex Machina,” Vikander starts 2016 in style – copping her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her poignant performance in Universal Pictures' controversial drama, “The Danish Girl.”

The film is the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, portrayed respectively by Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) and Alicia Vikander, directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech,” “Les Misérables”).

In 1926 in Copenhagen, artist Einar Wegener is married to Gerda Wegener and is revered for landscape paintings. Gerda is also an artist, less renowned but steadily working as a portraitist of prominent citizens. Theirs is a strong and loving marriage, yet personal and professional epiphanies have eluded them both.

That all begins to change one day when, on deadline for a portrait, Gerda asks her husband to fill in for a model by putting on a dress so that she can finish the painting. The experience is transformative, as Einar soon realizes that being Lili is an expression of her truest self, and she begins living her life as a woman. Gerda unexpectedly finds that she has a new muse, and renewed creative ferment. But the couple soon brush up against society’s disapproval.

Vikander walked the fine line between the real Gerda and the version of Gerda in the novel on which the movie is based. “Both myself and Eddie — and everyone involved — really took on a good job trying to adapt the book,” assures the actress. “But then to be able to go back and actually dig in, to try to find as much information about these two people, that was the real treasure for us. I love the art and all the photographs that we found. It was a direct axis to see those very ahead-of-their-time women that both Lili and Gerda were.

“We tried to read as much as we could,” adds Vikander, “but because it's a hundred years back, you realize that there's quite a lot of ambiguity in some of the information. We don't have any record of people who knew them, but you can meet people who've gone through a similar thing in life.”

Vikander continues, “We got an enormous help from wonderfully generous people from the transgender community. Maybe more from me playing Gerda, I was introduced to people who wanted to open up with their personal stories and experiences from friends or loved ones or family members or someone who has gone through this. That was very much an eye-opener for me. Even though all those stories are all very different journeys and experiences, I felt like they all wanted to share with me that feeling of — like Gerda — wanting to be support for the person that you love more than anything. They were happy to see that Gerda was involved in this film and this story because sometimes it's tough — people forgot that they were in a transition as much as their loved one.

As much as “The Danish Girl” is a serious movie, there is such a fun rapport between Vikander and Redmayne. “Eddie is down-to-earth, funny, and always honest,” narrates the actress. “Even though we work long hours and it is a very tough subject and it's a lot of very emotional big scenes, he always brings such energy to set and such humor. He just always pushed me to do my very, very best. I always felt like I had to step up and give him that. But he's extremely generous, and we had a lot of fun.”

“The Danish Girl” is vying for four Academy Awards, namely Best Actor (Redmayne), Best Supporting Actress, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design.

At the recently-concluded Golden Globe Awards, the film was nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Original Score.

To be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas (Glorietta 4, TriNoma, Market Market and Fairview Terraces) starting Feb. 03, “The Danish Girl” is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.



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Cast and crew on surviving real dangers in shooting “THE REVENANT”


The history of the American fur trade is brief, yet pivotal, full of tales of daring but also grave destruction. Though the fur trade forged the romantic image of the mountain man – idealized loners purportedly as rugged as the wilderness they felt beholden to tame -- the fur trade was also very much a business. In a sense it ushered in the first emergence of the archetypal Western entrepreneur, the visionary iconoclast who forges ahead answerable to no one but himself.

This is the era of “The Revenant,” where trappers go into pristine landscapes among indigenous populations to extract resources – and the question that comes up is: at what cost? Based on few written and memorabilia of Hugh Glass who is considered “The Revenant,” one who came back from the dead and played by Leonardo DiCaprio (this year’s SAG winner as Best Actor, Drama for Revenant role) in the titular role, is centric to the movie’s powerful theme. By the 1820s, the fur trade had reached the Rocky Mountains and become intensely competitive, with traders battling one another as well as Native tribes. Hugh Glass worked for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, then newly on the scene. The company utilized the “rendezvous system,” which meant they built no cabins or forts. Instead, their trappers were expected to hunt their own food, build their own shelter and fight their own battles, enhancing their stoic reputations.

Shooting outdoors in Canada and Argentina, in snow, wind and often at high altitude, the cast and crew of “The Revenant” faced remnants of the same dangers and conditions that people would have faced back then. Dangers in production ranged from avalanches to bears - the production even had a Bear Safety Coordinator on set every day. While cast and crew had a justified concern about local bears, no actual bear was used in the grizzly attack sequences. That was one of the few places Iñárritu utilized CGI.

Another major threat, as it is for Hugh Glass in the story, was weather. At one point, a blizzard brought minus-27 degree temperatures, and the need for crewmembers to keep an eye on each other for the signs of frostbite. “I have learned that there is no bad weather, there are only bad clothes,” Iñárritu jokes, but he notes the intense cold gave the film a shivery reality shooting in tepid conditions could not.

Typical of the film’s extremes, a record-busting hot spell (the warmest Canadian winter in 23 years) turned the filmmakers into snow diviners. “Alberta is very susceptible to radical climate changes,” says Iñárritu. “You can have seven different kinds of weather in a single day. In the beginning, we struggled with low temperatures and blizzards. Later on, we struggled with no snow. It was a winter of record high temperatures, and we went from chasing Chinooks to chasing ice.”

When the film ultimately came full circle, Iñárritu assembled cast and crew just as he had in the beginning. He said to the group, “To make a film like this is the journey of a lifetime. It’s been a journey of wonder with challenging moments and tough ones and beautiful ones. I feel honored, thankful, humble, happy and sad that we achieved what we achieved. What we achieved is amazing. Every single day of the production was difficult, but I think this has been the most fulfilling artistic experience of my lifetime.”

“The Revenant” is now showing (opens February 3) in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox distributed by Warner Bros. Also available in IMAX screens.



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Meet and Greet with ALDEN RICHARDS at Shinsen Sushi Bar and Restaurant!

Photos and info from Facebook

Exciting news to all Shinsenatics!

Meet and Greet with ALDEN RICHARDS!

For the first 100 with a minimum single receipt purchase of PhP 3,000 starting today until Friday lunch, you can get one VIP pass for Friday's meet and greet.

February 5, 2016 (Friday), 6PM
Unit 202 Hampton Gardens Arcade 100 C. Raymundo Brgy. Maybunga, Pasig City

For inquiries and reservations, call: 664-6331 / 0977-8551105.

Shinsen Sushi Bar and Restaurant serves highly pleasing and healthy food using only the freshest and finest ingredients.

"Like" Shinsen Sushi Bar and Restaurant on Facebook for more information.



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Experience the immersive power of “THE REVENANT” on the big screen - available in IMAX theaters for only one week!


Leonardo DiCaprio has portrayed a kaleidoscopic array of characters – from Howard Hughes to Jay Gatsby to Wolf of Wall Street’s profligate Jordan Belfort – but the role of the Hugh Glass in “The Revenant” was an entirely new challenge, taking the actor into borderlands that few in our modern world have experienced. It is DiCaprio’s most intensely physical role and at the same time, an almost wordlessly raw performance.

Academy Award®-winning director Alejandro G. Iñárritu brings the legend of Hugh Glass to the screen with “The Revenant,” an epic adventure set in the unchartered 19th century American Frontier. Immersing audiences in the unparalleled beauty, mystery and dangers of life in 1823 America, the film explores one man’s transformation in a quest for survival. Part thriller, part wilderness journey, The Revenant explores primal drives not only for life itself but for dignity, justice, faith, family and home.

DiCaprio was also enthralled by Iñárritu’s aim to bring Glass’s story to life with a realism that would plunge audiences into life in primordial Western lands long before cowboys and outlaws. “I’ve never really seen this time period in American history put on film, so that interested me,” he says. “This was a unique time and place in the history of the American West because it was far more wild than what we think of as ‘the wild, wild West.’ It was like the Amazon, a completely unknown wilderness, a no man’s land where few laws applied. These trappers who came from Europe and the East Coast had to learn to live a life in the middle of the elements -- surviving like any other animal in the wilderness.”

The director emphasizes that DiCaprio faced tests no actor could fully prepare for in his performance. “Leo was working in the toughest of conditions, under a challenging wardrobe, in extreme make-up, going to the most emotionally uncomfortable and dark places. But no matter what he is going through, something immediate comes to life when Leo is in front of the camera. There’s an incredible power,” Iñárritu observes.

The bear attack that threatens to end Glass’s life immediately took DiCaprio into a mano-a-mano struggle with one of nature’s most skilled predators. “The bear attack was incredibly difficult and arduous,” DiCaprio recalls, “but it’s profoundly moving. In the film, Alejandro puts you there almost like a fly buzzing around this attack, so that you feel the breath of Glass and the breath of the bear. What he achieved is beyond anything I’ve seen. Glass has to find a way to deal with this full-grown animal on top of him. He’s at the brink of death – and you are fully immersed in this moment with him.”

DiCaprio did many of his own stunts: he was buried in snow, went naked in minus five-degree weather and jumped into a frigid river, each moment bringing him more in touch with Glass’s will. But as he makes his way, Glass does not just abide – he also changes profoundly, something DiCaprio reveals in a multi-hued range of subtle details that add up to the film’s stirring climax.

“Throughout, there’s that question of whether some kind of revenge is ultimately the thing that will quench Glass’s thirst at the end of the day. But the need to continue on becomes something more to him…it becomes a kind of spiritual endeavor,” he concludes.

An immersive experience to be fully experienced only in theatres, get ready when “The Revenant” opens in cinemas on February 3 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.



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Who is that "gay" I see staring straight back at me...?

Why is my reflection someone I don't know?

Must I pretend that I'm someone else for all time?

When will my reflection show...who I am inside?