Tag: Art

»Moondance« by Van Morrison

moondance_198x198It is time again to write about a song on the theme of the Moon: »Moondance« by Van Morrison. Released in February of 1970, on the album with the same title, by the musician from Northern Ireland, belongs to the classics amongst the moon songs. It hovers stylistically between rhythm & blues and country rock, but also jazz influences can be recognized. »Moondance« was placed in the English and American Charts. It was never a smash hit, but still today belongs to the concert repertoire of ›Van the Man‹ and can be heard time and again on the radio.   [read more]

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The full moon on Japanese woodblock prints

moon_woodblok-prints_198x198Japanese woodblock prints have a centuries-long tradition and stand for high quality craftsmanship and artistic expressiveness. In particular, when realizing that this printing technique has been practiced since the 8th century (when letterpress printing in Europe was still a distant prospect), it becomes clear what kind of cultural achievements can be associated with this. A woodblock print works just like a stamp that has been carved into a block of wood. Then the color is applied onto the wood and printed onto paper. If you want to print a variety of colors on top of each other, you need a separate woodblock per each color and hence receive the characteristic depth effect. [read more]

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The full moon in »Frozen«

frozen_198x198This animation of 2013 is the most successful movie by the Disney Animation Studios yet, and supersedes the previous hit »The Lion King«. Not only in the US and Japan, but this production also received many awards in Germany (amongst other things the Oscar 2014 for ›Best Animated Feature‹ and ›Best Original Song‹) and was a box office hit. [read more]

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The Moon Child in »The Neverending Story«

moonchild_198x198When the German author Michael Ende wrote »The Neverending Story« from 1977 to 1979, he created a milestone amongst the fantasy children and youth literature. The story about the shy boy Bastian Balthasar Bux on his adventure trip through the world of Fantastica, fascinated millions of readers of all age groups and has been translated into 40 languages up to date.   [read more]

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The Moon and Salvador Dalí

dali_198x198The Spanish artist Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) was the most important advocate of surrealism in paintings. His pictures show fantastic and dreamlike scenes, which remain in your memory due to their expression and originality. We also asked ourselves, whether we would be able to discover the Moon in Dalí as well, just like in other paintings (e.g. by Marc Chagal, Paul Klee, Caspar David Friedrich, William Turner, Adam Elsheimer or Petrus van Schendel)? And after a little bit of searching, we managed to find something. [read more]

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»It was dark, the moon was shining bright« – a German poem

old-book_198x198There is a German poem called »Dunkel war’s, der Mond schien helle«, in which the first line has been dedicated to the Moon and which boasts special features. For one thing, nobody knows who wrote the poem, which is quite unusual coming from the »land of poets and thinkers«. For another thing, it is based on the principle of the »oxymoron«. This is a figure of speech that juxtaposes elements that are contradictory or that are created from terms which are mutually exclusive. Straight away, the first line reveals this principle, because it cannot be »dark«, when the Moon is shining »bright«. [read more]

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The Moon on banknotes

10-franken-moon_198x198We have been pondering about, whether a banknote does exist with a depiction of the Moon. Thanks to Google, we found something and discovered a variety of examples from different countries – with popular and less well known currencies. On the left you can see a detail of a Swiss 10 francs note, which depicts our solar system with several planets, amongst them also our Earth and its Moon. [read more]

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DreamWorks – the boy on the crescent moon

dreamworks_198x198The American film studio DreamWorks SKG was founded by movie director Steven Spielberg, Disney head of animation Jeffrey Katzenberg and music producer David Geffen, in 1994 (the initials of the founders create the »SKG« in the company’s name). The opening credits of its movies, DreamWorks shows a boy, who sits on the waxing crescent moon while fishing and being surrounded by impressive cloud formations. [read more]

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»Bad Moon Rising« by CCR

ccr_198x198It is 1969 – John Fogerty, the front man and lead guitarist of the rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) writes the song »Bad Moon Rising«. He was inspired by a black-and-white movie called »The Devil and Daniel Webster«, in which almost an entire city is obliterated by a hurricane. Fogerty creates gloomy lyrics that warn about the threat of destruction and its  bringer of ill luck, being the rising Moon. [read more]

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The Moon in the movie »Gravity«

gravity_198x198The American-British space thriller »Gravity« of 2013, offers next to its extraordinary suspenseful action, breathtaking images of space that show apart from the Earth and the Sun also the Moon. The director of the movie is Alfonso Cuarón (who also directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). The movie is commercially very successful and has already brought in the multiple of its production cost, shortly after its release. [read more]

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»Shrek« … the full moon again and again

shrek_198x198Who doesn’t know the bilious green, clumsy and yet endearing ogre with a heart of gold. »Shrek« is a series of computer animated motion pictures, which was the most costly computer animated production with their first part when it was released back in 2001, and awarded with an Oscar for best animation in 2002. The story is based on the children’s book »Shrek!« by the American cartoonist and children’s book author William Steig. The title derives of Yiddish and means »terror«. The movie was so successful that further sequels followed. [read more]

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»Full Moon Silhouettes« by Mark Gee

silhouettes_198x198»Full Moon Silhouettes« is an almost 4 minute real time video by the Australian photographer and visual effect artist Mark Gee, where the rise of the full moon is shown, above Mount Victoria lookout in Wellington (New Zealand). You can see an uncut sequence where the Moon rises from the lower right corner above the horizon, and ascends to the left upper side (because this takes place on the southern hemisphere!). The visitors on the lookout are visible as black silhouettes in front of the yellow Moon and its luna maria. [read more]

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The movie »Moonstruck«

»Moonstruck« is a romantic comedy from 1987, where next to Cher and Nicholas Cage, the full moon plays a leading part. It can be seen countless times in the film, in the night sky, quite differently compared to »Sleepless in Seattle« for example, where you can only see it on the movie poster. The word  »moonstruck« in the title, refers little to the subject of sleepwalking, but rather to the fact that human behavior can be quite peculiar at times during the full moon. [read more]

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The »moonwalk« dance move

»Moonwalk« is a dance technique which fakes a forward motion by moving legs and feet, while in reality you are moving backwards. This is how the illusion is created that the floor is pulling away in a gliding motion, underneath the feet of the dancer. No other name can be more closely connected to this move than the name of Michael Jackson (who was born on 29th August 1958 on a full moon). Even though he is not the founder, in this case, one can refer to him as the figurehead. The key moment was Jackson’s performance of »Billie Jean« at the anniversary celebration »Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever« in 1983. From this moment on, the moonwalk’s triumph was not to be stopped and Michael Jackson had shaped his signature move. [read more]

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Jules Verne’s journeys to the Moon

It is fascinating how the French writer Jules Verne (1828–1905) envisaged the journey to the Moon 100 years in advance in his science fiction novels and was able to put it into words. Admittedly, he was quite taken with describing journeys to unimaginable places: from the deep sea (»20,000 Leagues Under the Sea«), via the circumnavigation of the Earth (»Around the World in 80 Days«) through to the interior of the Earth (»Journey to the Center of the Earth«). Of course, space had to be part of this and this is how Jules Verne firstly wrote the novel »From the Earth to the Moon« (»De la Terre à la Lune«, 1865) and then later the sequel »Around the Moon« (»Autour de la Lune«, 1870). [read more]

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The full moon and Marc Chagall

There are probably few painters who made use of the full moon in their paintings as often as Marc Chagall (1887–1985), the French artist of Russian-Jewish descent, who was regarded as »le poète« (the poet) amongst painters, due to his symbolic shapes and colors.
Chagall lived for almost a century and if one can classify his style at all, then it would have to be expressionism. He worked in Russia, France (primarily Paris) and in the US (primarily New York) and was on an inner and outer journey throughout his life. [read more]

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»Full Moon« by The Black Ghosts

There are quite a few full moon songs, with Frank Sinatra’s »full moon and empty arms« leading the way, from 1945, which was inspired by Rachmaninoff’s piano concert No. 2 (you can hear this in the comparison). A newer example would be the »full moon song« by Peter Bradley Adams from 2011, or the song »full moon« by the British music duo The Black Ghosts (Theo Keating and Simon William Lord) from 2006, which achieved a high level of publicity in 2008 as the soundtrack of the movie »Twilight«. The song may have probably not been that successful, if the music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas hadn’t chosen it for the soundtrack. [read more]

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»Moon Over Bourbon Street« by Sting

In his first solo album »The Dream of the Blue Turtle« from 1985, Sting published the Song »Moon over Bourbon Street«, which is not just about the Moon. He sings about the existence as a vampire, which he had turned into years ago, and which condemned him to follow passers-by in this street, in the moonlight and the pale lamplight …

It is characteristic for this song that it spares the bloody part of the crime and only leaves an indirect description. The word vampire is also not mentioned, however, it is clearly focused on, for example in the following line: »… you’ll never see my shade or hear the sound of my feet …« [read more]

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Nightly paintings with Petrus van Schendel

We had already told you about the paintings of romanticism by German painters Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840) and Philipp Otto Runge (1777–1810). And also the English painter William Turner (1775–1851) had the moonlight in his mind. Here we are looking at the next generation and find the Dutch-Belgian artist Petrus van Schendel (1806–1870), whose speciality were the nightly moonlight sceneries. What distinguished him from his predecessors and colleagues, was that it were precisely those depictions of nightlight, which brought him fame and not an insignificant financial success (which was not a given for many painters). [read more]

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»Moonrise, New Mexico« by Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams (1902–1984) was one of the most influential photographers in the US, who particularly became famous for his magnificent black and white photography of American landscapes and national parks. He is the role model of many photographers  and set standards with his shots. And as chance would have it, one of his most renowned photographs is an image with the rising Moon in New Mexico. [read more]

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