Alfred Hitchcock – In Search of Suspense

The_Birds_original_posterDue to his double statute of director and film producer, Alfred Hitchcock (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) impresses posterity with fierce labour and remarkable talent transposed into over 50 films directed. He was born in London, where he carried out his astonishing cinematographic activity for a long time, and then he developed his directing skills in 1939, in the United States of America. He became accustomed to the field of cinematography when he was part of the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, being in charge of creating subtitles for silent movies. This experience infused various feelings inside of him, which determined him to make a first attempt to produce the film Number thirteen, which he has however never finished.

Thus, The Pleasure Garden (1925) genuinely represents his first film. Subsequently, his style and preferred themes come to life in thrillers such as The Lodger (1926) and Blackmail (1929), works that have a great impact on the audience and on the critics, due to a variety of suspenseful scenes, a feature which undeniably strengthens his reputation.

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The Work of Brâncuși, Symbols of Ascension

Constantin Brâncuși was without doubt one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century.  A few of his creations contain this motif of ascension, represented by aerial symbols, as well as the concept of infinity.

L’Oiseau dans l’espace (Bird in Space) represents a series of sculptures in which Brâncuși concentrated on the harmonious movement of the bird, instead of the physical attributes. The artist’s spiritual aspirations, his need for transcendence of the material world and its limitations, are verbalized in his description of the sculpture as a project before being enlarged to fill the vault of the sky.

Just by gazing at the delicate yet dynamic shape of the bird, we are immersed into the mind of Brâncuși and are able to learn about his interior conflict. The elimination of the wings and the feathers suggest the escape from the human body (representing the material world) and the remaining shape symbolizes the soul trying to free itself.

The way he conveyed this profound message – through such a simple sculpture – is one of the reasons why Constantin Brâncuși is considered the patriarch of modern sculpture.

Personally, I admire works of art that communicate a whole lot more than what they appear to be, so Bird in space is a creation I think highly of because of this reason.

The Infinity Column

Praised as one of the greatest works of 20th century sculpture, The Infinity Column by Constantin Brâncuși was commissioned by the National League of Gorj Women to honor the soldiers who defended Târgu-Jiu against a German force during World War I. The meaning behind the sculpture refers to the concept of infinity and the infinite sacrifice of the Romanian soldiers. It is considered by Sydnei Geist as the top of the modern art. Also, Geist’s construction of Brâncuși included the sculptor among the important artists of modern art.

The motif of ascension is approached through the vertical orientation of the column, whose repetitive and identical elements create the illusion of infinity. It is considered that the idea of endlessness is expressed through the incomplete top unit. The sculpture could be thought of as one of the most inspiring works regarding this concept, especially because of its simplicity.

Ascension is also a widely used notion, probably because humans are the kind of beings that wouldn’t settle for what they already have, they feel the need to evolve constantly, which is why artists often use the motif of ascension in their artworks. Unfortunately, the need to evolve doesn’t refer to the spirit most of the time, but to money and status. In this superficial rush, we forget what we should really focus on, and I believe that the true artist will always be there to remind us through their art to take care of our soul and to evade from this material world from time to time.

Agata Asofroniei

Melk Abbey – the Kingdom of Christianity

A spiritual place which binds the past with the present on an axe of more than one thousand years, lies today under the sun of Austria, where the European monastic Christianity embodies an earthly kingdom. Melk Abbey, which is a Benedictine abbey, watches over the town of Melk from a rocky outcrop overlooking the Wachau Valley of the Danube river. Dating from 1089, the abbey was at first the residence of Leopold I, until 113 years later, his descendent, Leopold II, also Margrave of Austria, gave the castle to Benedictine monks from Lambach. Ever since, the monks have lived and worked here without interruption, thus Melk Abbey being one of the very few places which has continuously performed its function. A peculiarity that increases the value of this place is the double role it had in time, history registering it as both a secular and a theological site.

 

Melk Abbey, Austria
Melk Abbey, Austria

 

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Christmas and Its Many Faces


Christmas
is a time of giving, sharing and loving, when everyone puts aside their problems and spends time with their loved ones, spreading love all around them. However, Christmas has many faces, many different traditions and beliefs rooted in the culture of every country that celebrates it. The symbols and origins of this festive day range from the birth of Jesus Christ to the arrival of Santa Claus and the happening of the winter solstice, depending on the country’s history, beliefs and customs. Continue reading “Christmas and Its Many Faces”

The Metropolitan Cathedral in Iasi

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The Metropolitan Cathedral. Source: www.crestinortodox.ro

A friendly handshake and a large smile set the tone for a new adventure, breaking the cloudy weather and the rainy mood with the positive vibration of optimism. I have O. by my side, a genuine tourist and a charming French woman with an overflowing refinement, in front of who any gloomy hint on my face dodges, clearly affected by the early waking in the morning, in combination with the gray tones of the  weather. It was not the first city break in Iasi, but this time it was fair to call it my first “séjour en ville”. I started walking with shriveled steps, and with my hands clutching the umbrella, alongside cheerful O. She seemed to carry a bit of the French sun. Her attitude reminded me of a famous slogan: “London. Rain. Strong wind. Hairstyle lasts.”Only that in this context, what was lasting was the enthusiasm in our historical Iasi.

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Popa Museum

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Popa Museum

It’s nice to visit. It’s nice to take a walk on a joyful summer day. It’s nice to let your hair caressed by playful rays and blue eyes get lost in the blue sky. But these beautiful ideas crumble within hours, being replaced with more plastic expressions, when you feel like the sun beat your head as Doroftei beats his opponent. And that`s the way everything loses its charm, no matter how wonderful it is, because your eyes burdened with fatigue can`t perceive as beautiful anything but a soft bed next to an clock without alarm. The plan was to visit all the tourist attractions in Targu Neamt, and leave for the end  the cherry on the cake. Situated somehow on the way home, at the end of the day Popa Museum from Tarpesti seemed to be placed there only to lengthen the agony. But how can you miss such a special place?, said a voice, urging us to revive our enthusiasm. Well, you wholeheartedly miss it out of ignorance, for you do not know and you have never heard of it. Placed deep in the heart of the village, it`s not too alluring to deviate from the road for it. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see the road is full of signs that indicate the same thing: Popa Museum. And then you acknowledge that it is given so much attention to it that it is shameful for you to still ignore it and treat it with indifference. Even if you’re tired and even if “museum” is not the most cheerful and refreshing word…

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The Thesaurus of Falticeni

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Muzeul de Arta “Ion Irimescu”

If a tired passerby would be walking on the street, he would turn his head to admire it. Delighting the eye from the distance, here is the place of honor of the city of Falticeni, having its foundation in history. You can read its rank as a monument in its distinguished architecture, wearing its solemn walls on a street of eternal fame. In its court rests the bust of the Romanian national poet who watches from eternity the oasis of culture that is known today as The Art Museum “Ion Irimescu”. The building revives through its appearance the 19th century, being a portrait of the neo Romanian spirit. The very brick lying at its basis carries manorial insignia, in 1846 becoming the residence of the Governor Alecu Forascu Botez.  Its walls are history files, knowing only important statuses throughout the ages. It was, as follows, the County Administrative Palace of Suceava, Baia Prefecture headquarters, the headquarters of the District People’s Council of Falticeni, the Pioneers House and House of Culture. It’s been decades since under its mantle of prestige a valuable treasure is sheltered. To pay homage for the work of a lifetime of an enlightened mind, “Alecu Forascu Botez” house became an art museum, being passed in the possession of the artist Ion Irimescu. Continue reading “The Thesaurus of Falticeni”

Visit at the Palace

Here we are, again in Iasi, sprinkling steps on historical streets that take us into the heart of culture. There’s a saying according to which all roads lead to Rome, but in the capital of Moldova somehow all roads lead to the Palace. Especially now, that everyone has heard about the reopening. Lured by the treasure locked until recently, we rushed in like the brave hero rushes into the cave when the seven-headed monster goes for a walk. But instead of “one chest” we have encountered many more, one more beautiful than the other. But let me take each at a time…

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The Palace of Culture, Iasi. Source: asplf2016.travis.ro

On top of the list of museums within the Palace of Culture was “Stefan Procopiu” Museum of Science and Technology. Or in other words sort of a “knock-knock, who’s there”, because we expected one thing and we found something totally different. Although the first section of the museum was the energy department, founded in 1961, instead of being presented the main forms of energy that were used, we entered the world of music. Currently arranged for the renovation project of the Palace of Culture, what greets us at the entrance of the museum is the department of recording sounds and playback, opened in February 1966. It includes a song performance, featuring the chronological evolution of sounds recording and playback. All the instruments it includes delight the eye and capture the viewer’s full attention, even without being put into action. When they`re turned on to do a demonstration, these musical hybrids became real beings that move gracefully and “voice” in hypnotic rhythms.

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Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi is the oldest public university in Romania and one of the advanced research and education institutions in the country. It was founded a year after the establishment of the Romanian state, by a decree given in 1860 by Alexandru Ioan Cuza, under whom the former Academia Mihăileană was converted into a university. Known at first as the University of Iasi, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University became the first student-centered university in Romania, once the Bologna Process was implemented.

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Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi. Source: www.uaic.ro

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Neuroscience – A Challenging Branch

Neuroscience
Neuroscience / See the source image here!

Neuroscience is the exploratory investigation of the nervous system. Traditionally, neuroscience has been seen as a branch of biology.

Nonetheless, it is as of now an interdisciplinary science that works together with different fields, for example, chemistry, cognitive science, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics, medicine (including neurology), genetics, and associated disciplines including philosophy, physics, and psychology.

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