Monday, 18 November 2013
I've been fantastically busy in RL in the last few months and that is likely to continue until after Xmas.
But I just had to log in to say that yesterday Tutsy Navarathna's 'Narcissus' won Machinima Expo 2013!
As I said at the time, 'Narcissus' is one of the finest machinima I have ever seen. It looks like others agree!
Incidentally, of the eleven machinima that went forward to the final "Jury" section of the contest, 'Narcissus' is the only one to have been filmed in Second Life.Congrats to Tutsy. This is a fantastic achievement!
Saturday, 31 August 2013
I have been so touched how the people of France have embraced me to their bosom since my conversion to their motherland.
I have been inundated with French gifts. Thank you all so much. Petit pain have always be firm favourite for doggers and the freshly baked baguettes will add an extra dimension to their luncheon choices.
I was especially moved by two gifts which are the very icons of French culture
- a face paint tattoo of French national flag, created for me by Kake Broek
- a stylophone, the national musical instrument of France from Spunky Puddlegum
On Bastille Day, I will wear my face-flag and play the French national anthem on my stylophone alongside millions of my compatriots!
Saturday, 24 August 2013
The first time I watched David Lynch’s 2001 neo-noir movie ‘Mulholland Drive’ I was, to quote English barrister Rowley Birkin QC, “very, very drunk”. I put the fact that I didn’t understand head-nor-tail of it down to my inebriated state. However, I always planned to re-watch when sober and then subject it to a finely detailed critique. I intended deconstructing Lynch’s carefully plotted narrative, decomposing the various story lines and vignettes and then submitting a killer thesis as part of my University course.
But I never got around to it.
Instead, I’ve written this blog-post.
During the summer break from Uni I have been working in an office learning about all spread sheet accounting, Health and Safety legislation, the importance of fire drills and the Protestant work ethic. My dad never tires of telling me that it is, despite all my amassed evidence to the contrary, good for me.
However, there is in fact one good thing about working – and, I am beginning to suspect, is the sole reason why trillions of people on planet Earth make the daily trudge into the workplace despite their personal misgivings – and that is that you get paid! Money! A most rare and sought after unnatural resource!
Although most of my wages has been spent on vet fees due to my cat eating a particularly nasty decomposed rat-carcass he found in my work lunch box, I did somehow manage to just about have enough money left over to treat myself to a Kindle Fire HD. I’d originally only wanted a basic e-reader for bus journeys, train trips and hot baths but the Fire HD was on a reduced price plus had two special offers - a £10 Amazon book download voucher and, significantly for this blog-post, 30 days of unrestricted, unlimited free IMDb movie views! I can now catch up and watch all those movies which I wanted to see at a cinema but just could not afford!
I will say that the Kindle Fire HD is much, much cooler than I thought it was going to be! I am very happy with my purchase.
The first movie I wanted to catch-up on was, of course, ‘Mulholland Drive’. I watched it in bed late Friday night with a glass of warm milk in my hands and a very poorly pet moggy at my feet.
‘Mulholland Drive’ has won a galleon of awards and accolades including Best Director at Cannes, a Best Director Oscar nomination, the Best Film of the Decade citation from the LA Film Critics Assoc., it is listed in Channel 4’s Fifty Films to See Before You Die and included in Nitro Fireguard’s respected ‘must-see movie’ roll call as well as many, many others.
The film itself breaks many of Hollywood’s conventions and rules. It is very unusual in that it does not have a standard linear narrative. The timeline can change without notice and in fact, some of the actors even change the role they are playing unexpectedly and at strange points. It can be quite disconcerting and disorienting.
Visually the film is glorious. The characters are interesting to look at, have some great dialogue and are superbly filmed and directed. I found the film engaging and was glued to my screen - even though, for the most part, I had no fucking idea what was happening!
That killer thesis will have to be shelved, I'm afraid. However, if you’d like to see someone else’s attempt at an explanation of the film, you could start here.
For me, there were two scenes which stood out and are extremely memorable:
- The Cowboy Scene which is fabulously sinister and beautifully threatening because of the sociopathic calm and measured tones of The Cowboy, and
- The Club Silencio scene in its entirety but particularly the sequence I’ve embedded below, Rebekah Del Rio (playing herself) singing Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying’ in Spanish. It gave me goose bumps. It is simply stunning and beautiful. Nitro loves it, too.
'Mulholland Drive' is definitely a “must-see” because it is so unusual and daring.Pixie xx
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
In the last few days I have been asked numerous times why I have changed my name by deed poll to Pixié De La Rain.
It is a good question. The answer is very simple.
It is because I am now French.
I understand how that may come as a shock to some. And believe me, I did not take this decision lightly. I hope to explain my reasons here.
Contrary to the rumours being spread around Old Lar’s House, I am not suffering from the psychological disorder known as ‘Paris Syndrome’, or as I now prefer to call it, ‘Syndrome de Paris’.
Syndrome de Paris, as Herr Doktor Alfred Ninetails Psy.D explained to me whilst taking time out from his important research into Compulsive Happiness Disorder at the esteemed Viennese Institute of Mental Cases, was first noted in the French journal of psychiatry in 2004. Symptoms include acute delusional states, hallucinations, derealisation, depersonalization, anxiety, dizziness, tachycardia, diarrhoea, herpes, genital warts, intense pain, profuse sweating, difficulty in breathing, loss of consciousness, violent convulsions and, finally, death.
Japanese tourists are especially susceptible to this disorder.
Doktor Ninetails, who I first met when he was treating Naughty Nataly for nymphomania as one of the conditions of her parole, went on the say that Japanese magazines are primarily responsible for Syndrome de Paris by presenting an extraordinarily idealised image of Paris to the Japanese people. The populace are bombarded with the idea that most citizens on the streets of Paris look like fashion models and dress in high-fashion brands. When they eventually come to visit the city, the disparity between their false expectations and the actual reality - combined with other factors such as jet-lag, language differences, the price of a cup of coffee and a glass of beer - lead to such a culture shock that Syndrome de Paris rapidly sets in. Approximately twenty Japanese tourists a year still die from this serious disorder despite President Nicky Sardonic assuring Emperor Hirohito that procedures had been put in place to ensure that this would never happen again.
No. None of this has anything to do with why I am now French.
The simple fact is that I have noticed that I am spending more and more of my time in SL with people from France.
They have freely offered me love and laughter, culture and beauty, imagination and creativity, friendship and support in my SL endeavours. And to those people - tủtsy, Nitrō Firégῧậrd, Klῧte Cŏppōlᾶ, Iȏnǒ Ǟllēn, Kᾶké Brœk, the beautiful Nǐmȅ, .::DǒL::. – and others whom I hope will forgive me for not naming specifically, I announce my nationalisation as a French person.
We also fondly remember the delightful and talented Bisou who was sadly and suddenly taken from us only this week after being assassinated by a soldato of the Greek Mafia, the Costa Hubris.
And to all my French friends I also say, please feel free to learn English in your own time and at your own pace.
With love and gratitude,
Pixié De La Rain xx
Monday, 19 August 2013
As part of our recent region rebuild, I became the proud proprietor of a roadside café, ‘The Tea House At The End of the Rainbow’. Together with my glamorous Finnish assistant Naughty Nataly, our aim is to refresh the dogging community with a selection of tasty and energy-providing meals and drinks.
Our signature dish is fried Norwegian mackerel on a bed of fresh Wild London Rocket, served with lashings and lashings of ginger beer!
It was Naughty Nataly, in fact, who introduced me to the versatility of mackerel as a meal. As well as being very good swimmers, mackerel is also proving very popular with the doggers for its high protein content.
Tonight was the first of our Monday Music Nights! Unfortunately, Naughty Nataly could not attend as she had to help her granny knit cardigans for a big order from Primark. It was also Naughty Nataly's turn to make their Goat’s Meat & Potato soup supper.
However, even with Naughty Nataly's absence, Buddha Ruf stood sure and steadfast, enjoying his rock cake and custard dessert.
Guest DJ NoobCock4u Resident was spinning the disks all night. The doggers and I got down and dirty to these two great tunes….
Pixié De La Rain xxPS: I’ll do a full picture blog of my new home, ‘The Tea House At The End of the Rainbow’, soon – perhaps even this coming weekend.
Sunday, 18 August 2013
Tutsy Navarathna’s exhibition of his Second Life machinima opened last Thursday at the NitroGlobus Gallery.
I clicked <F9> to capture some raw footage, chucking it together on Saturday to hobble-up this short documentary of the event.
The exhibition runs until the end of August.
This short film is best enjoyed while sitting in a café by the Seine smoking Gitanes . Oh, and in HD too.
Tuesday, 13 August 2013
A friend recently asked where she might found a pool of high-quality sexy pictures for a particular adult roleplaying scenario she had in mind with her boyfriend. Not too sure what they had in mind exactly but the terms “trophy wife”, “bimbo”, “blonde” and “big boobs” were used more than once. And not by me, I might add.
After a little thought I suggested tumblr. I used to have a tumblr account but stopped using it around the time I started Second Life. Tumblr is actually pretty amazing and can be surprisingly additive. With over 132 million blogs and 58.2 billion posts, it has the ability to easily find and share pictures and videos – many of them most definitely NSFW!
After recommending it to my friend, I found my interest was re-stirred and I had a look around for the first time in around three years. I then quite accidently stumbled upon the blog of Milos Rajkovic of Belgrade and his wonderful gifs, some of which are reproduced here.
As for my friend, well, she started her tumblr blog and has over 1000 themed photographs posted and 250 followers - in only 10 days. Sadly, when I suggested it, she asked that I didn’t post a link!Pixie xx
|Orig. images created by Tutsy Navarathna & Yesikita Coppola|
A major retrospective of Tutsy Navarathna’s Second Life machinima opens at the NitroGlobus Gallery on 15th August at 11am SLT. The exhibition runs until the end of August. All are welcome to the opening or to visit any time after.
The exhibition – called ‘Journeys’ - was built by Tutsy, DoL and I over the last ten days or so and is a representation of the workshop of an active working artist.
We installed the exhibition this weekend at the massive 10,800 meter square NitroGlobus Gallery space generously offered by the owners Nitro Fireguard and Dido Haas.
We are very happy with the organised chaos we created and would very much enjoy you to come see for yourself!
Hope to see you there!
Friday, 9 August 2013
Kake Broek was recently awarded an exclusive franchise by Karl Lagerfilled of Chanel to market a fashionable range of handbag accessories in Second Life.
Specifically, Kake was tasked to design and create a range of Hula Hoop handbags, Lego handbags and Das Kalb handbags. After Kake had deducted his own justifiably large consultation fees from Lagerfilled’s payment the marketing budget would only just stretch far enough to employ me to model the handbags.
But, hey, work is work, right? Kake promises me that I will be richly rewarded with even more new accessories when he eventually bags that Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses commission he has been chasing for the last few months.
The photoshoot took place at Marmaduke Arado’s installation for an exhibition of virtual work by SL artists for the Bienal de Cerveira as organised by the Cerveira Biennial Foundation in Portugal. Other SL artists at the exhibition include Alpha Auer, Bryn Oh, Maya Paris and numerous others. It is definitely worth a visit!
Each of the three styles of Kake’s handbags comes in a full range of vibrant colours except, of course, the Das Kalb range which is presented in an elegant range of naturalistic and pastoral colours.
Due to the exclusive nature of these products and further, to enhance your sense of uniqueness, all the handbags come fully fitted with no-modify, no-copy and no-transfer permissions! The first ten customers will also be granted a special buy one, get one free offer! Please contact Kake Broek speedily and directly to take advantage of this fabulous offer.
And remember, if you have to ask how much they cost then you can’t afford them!
Wednesday, 7 August 2013
|BDSM Chair Doll|
Bethi Cattaneo - co-creator of the popular Essensusal range of erotic mesh sculptures which can be seen in many adult regions of Second Life and which I photographed and blogged in October 2012 – recently mentioned a photographer who had used some of Bethi’s sculptures to great effect.
I asked Bethi for the link to this photographer’s flickr account. I was a little surprised to hear that this photographer did not have a flickr but OK, not everyone does. Bethi passed me two textures – the first two pictures of this blog-post – and I thought “oh these are fabulous!” I looked up the name of the creator of the textures – Zubida – a name not known to me but OK, there are many SL photographers I haven’t encountered.
|Bath With Doll 2|
I indicated to Bethi that I would like to blog Zubida’s work as it was clear that there would be a wider audience who would enjoy it. Bethi went on to tell me that Zubida rarely showed her work publically, preferring instead to only share it among her close circle of friends.
“Shame”, I thought. I asked Bethi to give Zubida my name and ask her to contact me if she was interested in having her pictures appear on my blog.
To my delight, a few days later I received an IM from Zubida giving me permission to show her work. Moreover, on 5 August she also uploaded part of her catalogue to a flickr account – just under fifty pictures so far. Make contact with her via. flickr and look at her other photos.
What I especially like about Zudida’s work is their “cleanness”. By that I mean, very few filters or effects appear to have been applied. Similar in some ways to my own photography, Zudida seems to rarely if ever use the Photoshop ‘Filter’ menu selection. Instead she seems to mostly rely on the ‘Layer | Adjustments’ menu to colour grade the raw image and create her final picture.
Of course I have no idea if this is actually Zudida’s workflow but the point is that I very much prefer this type of clean, unadulterated image to an image which has obviously had PS filters applied.
I like this “light touch”, “less is more” feel of Zudida’s post-production. I like the subject matter too.
I hope you also enjoy this, the first public outing of her work.
Tuesday, 6 August 2013
Following on from Tutsy’s second place win for Narcissus at MachinimaUWA VI, the NitroGlobus Gallery will soon be holding a celebration of his SL machinima. Tutsy, DoL and I are busy at work building a full-size mockup of the exhibition on our home sim in readiness for moving over to NitroGlobus. Watch this space for the opening date and further information.
The overall winner of MachinimaUWA VI was ‘Past | Beyond’ by Vilvu Rae of Finland (embedded below). Congratulations to Vilvu. I don’t think it is unfair to say that this was a case of an outsider galloping up the inside straight to pip at the post! Only 4 points separated first and second place but 14 points between first and third.‘Past | Beyond’ is a haunting tale of past choices. It has a lot of very well done scenes, many with Depth of Field set. I especially enjoyed the scenes within the car and the subsequent aftermath which I thought was excellently done. Please take the time to watch this machimima!
Monday, 5 August 2013
Cica Ghost’s latest exhibition, Ghostville, opened last week at the MetaLES region. Cica’s work is always wildly popular, splashing colour into our consciousness with her wholly black and white installation in autumn last year, blogged here.
You may recall that that installation was also the stage for the re-enactment of a recently discovered fable by the Ancient Greek philosopher Isosceles Aesop’s (620–564 BC) - The Raven, the Horse and the Slug – with Cica herself taking the role of the Raven. This particular fable is said to be Aesop’s personal favourite of his works.
Ghostville re-introduces us to some of the images and animations from the black and white world, as well as some new ones. The animations continue to be simple line drawings and are absolutely adorable for being so.
The installation comprises a number of different “vignettes”…each an element of a large deconstructed villa building. None are quite a whole room but comprise partially built walls, floors and windows. Most of the scenes have sits built in for photographers. Each has one or more of Cica’s animations or sketches, many of which are self-referential.
Ghostville continues Cica’s popular sweet, artistic simplicity. It is an endearing and engaging installation and I recommend it.
|Click to see full size|
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
|British Human Easel|
Kake Broek is one of the most imaginative, surreal, funny, poignant and prolific photographers I know of in SL. He is absolutely one of my favourite artists.
I first met Kake at last year’s Annual WarBug Air Show where I acted as the Official War Correspondent. Kake was dressed in his ‘Cockney Cowboy’ guise and contacted me with an vaguely flirty exploratory IM. I zoomed in and thought “what the blooming heck is this”! However, it was pretty obvious pretty quickly that this “ugly” avatar had been thought out and created with care and attention. I was of course immediately reminded of my dear friends The Puddlegums and Old Lar. Kake had sufficiently piqued my interest to read his profile - and most significantly - follow the link to his flick stream, named “Adolf Chaplin”. Immediately on seeing the first picture I added him as a contact and have been following his work since.
Kake’s pictures are funny. They make me laugh. But like many of the finest comedians, underneath that easily digestible sugar-sweet coating is a more bitter-dark interior. These two complimentary sides of Kake’s work are perfectly amplified in the name he has chosen for his account - Adolf Chaplin – the icons of political-evil and comedic-silliness, respectively.
Integral to the visual images Kake creates are the titles he gives his pictures. The titles almost always give background information about the image and sometimes can change entirely how you perceive the image. The title sometimes make a hard picture lighter, and other times change a light, fun image into something dark and edgy.
Politics, religion, topics of the day, Second Life, TV programmes, movies, celebrity culture and much more are given the Kake treatment of light and darkness. In fact, many of the themes Kake presents can also be found here on my own humble blog. This is not entirely surprising – we both currently live in London and, we discovered, share a number of SL friends. Notable among these friends are Phillip Sidek – whom I made a fun film with and Kake a number of photos – and Arduenn Schwartzman – who created the V-2 Rocket WarBug with me as his Muse and with whom I created two WarBug machinima.
Add Kake Broek as a contact on flickr and you’ll quickly find you’ll enjoy his combination of irreverent light-dark humour and weird and wonderful creativity as much as I do!Pixie xx
|Black Cat Under A Ladder|
|Auschwitz Side By Side #2|
|The Secret Adventures of TinTin #4|
|Walking Class Hero|
|How Noir Of You To Ask We Go Through That Dark Alley At This Time Of Night|
|Jawohl Mein Meister|
|This Is Not Art|