Monday, 18 April 2011

I've moved

I decided it was time for a change of scene. The solution to my pledge was to move my blog to pastures new. Find it here and enjoy,

See you on the other side, L x

Thursday, 14 April 2011

It may have been a while but I've been busy

And here is what I have been doing. Whilst my last days as a student are drawing to a rather anti-climactic close, I am very proud of the projects I have worked on, with my fellow journalism students, over the past five months.

Have a peek at our lovely magazines and accompanying websites.

The Arcade, a gaming magazine aimed at seven to 12 year olds...

Our flipbook shows the design and content...

OutBound, a B2B for outdoor activity instructors is here...

And to see the website, click here...

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

From Spring fling to Summer love

Spring is finally in the air and it’s that time of the year again when tiny chicks, teetering lambs and all things ‘baby’ in nature turn all of our insides to mush.

Now I may just be referring to the majority of females here, but who can really deny that their spirits aren’t lifted by the onset of light nights, singing birds and the flirtation-inducing feel of the summer sun edging its way closer? Mine, for one, are.

The evolution of the warmer months of the year (my favourite by far) makes everyone feel better and, it has to be said, makes people feel more loving and loveable. The sun has some strange effects on us mere mortals.

Now ‘summer of love’ is more reminiscent of a scene out of Grease than a true representation of how good the coming season makes us feel, but if musical cheese is what it takes to get the point across, then grease lightening is what it shall be.

So summer and love, do they go hand in hand? A general lifting of spirits leads to a more sexy society. I am not just referring to the general lack of clothing here but to something a whole lot more exciting; the hand-held walks on the beach, picnics in the park, BBQ parties until dawn, the ability to leave the house without the safeguard of an umbrella and of course the glorious feeling of actual warmth on your skin that doesn’t come from standing too close to the radiator.

Ok so relationships blossom in these months, holiday romances commence (even if they do fade as quick as your tan) and there is plenty of joyous fun to be had, whether that be with a significant other or a trusty bunch of friends.

Summer is proven to lift your spirits. Endorphins are let loose and the gloomy, bleak days of winter are washed away with an altogether sunnier outlook on life.

Whether you will spend your summer looking for The One or trawling the totty on the beaches of this year’s holiday hotspots or even enjoying the time with an already someone special, the sun is bound to make you gush just as much as the first sign of a blooming daffodil or a lamb cutely following its mother around a freshly mown field.

So far I have seen some pretty sprouting flowers and get excited when it is still light at 6pm, this year I am definitely confirming my love for the summer. Are you?

Dance craze: boom or bust?

What do you think of when you think of dance films? Films which incorporate ballet, tap, contemporary or street dance have all had their place in the box office in years gone by but is the dance craze in Hollywood in boom or bust?

We've heard lots about Natalie Portman's travails as a fictional prima ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's film, but she's just the latest in a long line of doomed cinematic dancers. Or is she?

When Natalie Portman took on the role of the Black Swan in the newest box office smash, she really did take it on. She became the character, embodying the attitudes and dark sinister tones of the story and creating an underworld to the usually up-beat, inspirational themes seen in this movie genre.

Straying away from the typical hip hop, street dance film, Black Swan takes a leap ahead of the tired plot of the dance movie and combines the art of ballet with the raw abilities of the human mind and human interaction. Portman, as an actress makes a new debut as not just an accomplished actress but as a dancer, one in the long line of actors to do so. She even spent a year before filming learning ballet.

Natalie isn’t the first actor or actress to turn her attentions to the more physical art-form. Some, such as Channing Tatum, Julia Stiles and Jennifer Grey have made their names in dance films and used their active talents to spring-board them into Hollywood. Step Up 1, 2 and 3 (in 3D), Save the Last Dance and Dirty Dancing are frequently synonymous with the said actors and you’d be hard pushed to find someone not familiar with these famed films. They all have their place in the collection of guilty pleasure dance films. For dance enthusiasts, they inspire choreography and technique but for the masses, who for an hour and a half think they could be dance lovers, the dance film is something really entertaining, harmless and cheerful, aspirational even.

Inspirations aside, there has been a fair share of dance flops in this genre. Anyone heard of Stomp the Yard, Honey or Take the Lead where Antonia Banderas swaps his cape and Zorro mask for a more svelte ensemble? These few amongst many box office disasters are by no means the worst, but as dance films go, people’s interpretations seem to generally be laced with apprehension and an affinity to a cheesy story line.

Black Swan may just have begun to change the perceptions of combining film with dance by scooping awards at both the Baftas and the Golden Globes. Although the acclaimed Black Swan was not really all it was cracked up to be, Natalie Portman definitely showed that a spot of talent and dedication really do go a long way in creating an art that is worth the watch.