Week 42 – Alfred Hitchcock

Many consider Alfred Hitchcock among the best and most influential filmmakers in history. If you’d ask me, I’d say he was the best. And it all boils down to one movie: The Birds.

The Scariest Movie of all Time

I haven’t seen a lot of Hitchcock’s films. Only the most famous ones: Vertigo, Psycho, Read Window, The Birds, and potentially North by Northwest. (I’m not really sure about the last one). I saw The Birds for the first time around 10 years ago. Since then, I’ve considered it as the scariest movie of all time.

As a kid, I’ve been used to watch horror movies from a quite young age, thanks to a father who has always been obsessed with horror. Contrarily to my brother, I never caught that same horror movie obsession. Maybe this is because I’ve been exposed from a young age to the horror genre and been explained I shouldn’t be afraid because it’s not real. Thus, I find most well-known horror movies to be frankly quite boring, very cliché, predictable and mostly… NOT scary. There are a few exceptions, but they are rare.

Why I think that Hitchcock and The Birds are the Best

The Birds is one of those exceptions. Watching the movie itself is not really scary. In many ways, the movie hasn’t aged well. One could easily argue that it’s a relatively slow and boring movie, with outdated visual effects, uninteresting characters and a scenario filled with plot holes. But there’s one thing that “The Birds” does better than any other movie I’ve ever seen: it builds tension to a point where it leaves you with a fear of birds.

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Week 41 – Jane Goodall

For this week of SiPgoes53, our human being is Jane Goodall. She’s probably the most famous primatologist.

She is most well-known for observing the social and family life of chimpanzees and noticing that like human beings, they are able to have individual personalities and emotions. As SiPgoes53 is about humanity, Jane Goodall is an important reminder that what we consider as human behavior can also be found among other animals. In particular with chimpanzees, she also found out that they were able to make tools. This was revolutionary as at that time, the ability to produce tools was used as a separation between humans and animals.

For this week, my little Elves are playing dragonologists. Or is it the dragon playing Elvologist?

LEGO for Science Communication

For this week’s SiP goes 53 we’re celebrating activist and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Her work promoting the education of girls in her native Pakistan got the SiP crew thinking, and though there are no claims of grandeur here, they very kindly thought of me.

Science communication

See, I too am an advocate for education for all, though working on a very different scale to the incredible Malala! I am a Geologist, currently studying for my Ph.D. and trying to understand how mountain ranges are built. One of the best bits about my work is being able to share my science with others, no matter who they are or how much they know about geology. Ask anyone who has been on a Toy Safari with me where there have been rocks! So in a bid to share the wonders of rocks, minerals and the natural world, I’ve combined three of my greatest passions together in a potent combination.

Science + LEGO + Photography = SCIENCE COMMUNICATION!

Me doing science communication, stood on a box in the middle of Milton Keynes shopping centre trying to tell as many people as I can why mountains are the coolest things on earth.
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SiPgoes53 – Choose You Man

It’s a bit crazy to think that we’re already this far into 2019… But it’s already September and this week’s human being is left to the choice of everyone. So we asked those who already had come up with a picture to show it and tell us about why they chose that particular person.

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Week 35 – Christo and Jeanne-Claude

When we were looking for creative people for our #SiPgoes53 adventure a colorful image of pink islands jumped to my mind, and I added Christo to the list. It was early eighties when I saw an image that made an impression on me. I must have been 12 or thirteen years old, and saw this image in one of those glossy photographique magazines that were laying around our house all the time.
How cool was it to wrap islands with pink plastic fabrique.

Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-83
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1983 Christo
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Week 28 – Isabella Andreini

Isabella Andreini is one of the most famous actresses from the Italian Renaissance. She entered the troupe “I Gelosi”, performed in front of the nobility of Italy and France, and eventually led the company. The stock character “Isabella” of the commedia dell’arte was named in her honor after her death.

Why Isabella?

When we came up with the list of human beings for #SiPgoes53, Isabella was one of the last to make the list. As the list was almost complete, we were still missing a few names. We wanted, in particular, to add diversity to the list. One art form that was missing in our list was the more traditional acting. We had plenty of cinema actors, but no actor from before the age of the cinema.

The first two obvious choices would have been Shakespeare and Molière. Having always preferred comedy over tragedy, my personal preference leaned towards Molière. But then, I thought about the commedia dell’arte which was a major source of influence of Molière. Moreover, Isabella was among the first female comedians, something rare at that time as it was considered disgraceful for a woman to act and female roles were usually portrayed by men.

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The June Recap

June is over and it’s time for our monthly #SiPgoes53 review. Last month we explored Christopher Lee, Jodie Foster, Eric Clapton, and J.K. Rowling. It’s time to look at your entries that caught our eyes on Instagram.

(If you want to join in the SiPgoes53 series, you can still join at your own pace and leisure. Just tag along and creatively explore our handpicked humans. One every week.)

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Week 25 – Eric Clapton

Our Guest This Week

The person in focus of this week´s edition of SiPgoes53 is British musician Eric Clapton. Rumour has it that there are people who haven´t heard of him before (as for myself: my first tattoo showed a cover of my favourite Clapton albums, but that’s a completely different story). Still most everyone will recognize some of his famous tunes like “Layla” or “Tears In Heaven”, as well as his versions of other artists’ songs like “Knocking On Heaven´s Door”(by Bob Dylan), “I Shot The Sheriff”(by Bob Marley) or “Cocaine”(by J.J.Cale).

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Week 23 – Christopher Lee

For this week of #SiPgoes53, we’re starting the month of June with another movie celebrity, Christopher Lee.

The actor

Christopher Lee has a cinematic career spanning almost 7 decades. He is best known for his iconic roles as a villain. Most notably, Dracula for the oldest ones, Count Dooku and Saruman for the youngest ones. In addition, he’s also known for playing other villains such as the Creature of Frankenstein, Lord Summerisle, Sir Henry Baskerville or Francisco Scaramanga.

One key feature of Christopher Lee such was his iconic strong deep voice which led him to also to voice acting. I can only recommend listening to the beautiful original poem of the Nightmare Before Christmas he narrated.

Although limited by his age, Christopher Lee continued acting until passing away 4 years ago (on Friday) at the age of 93.

I always ask myself ‘well, what else could I do?’. Making films has never just been a job to me, it is my life. I have some interests outside of acting – I sing and I’ve written books, for instance – but acting is what keeps me going, it’s what I do, it gives life purpose.

Christopher Lee

The singer

To me, Christopher Lee is also of importance for his work as a music singer and narrator, and in particular as the oldest Heavy Metal singer. Having grown up with French dubs of Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings, I actually heard Christopher Lee’s true voice for the first time as a teenager while listening to Rhapsody’s Magic of the Wizard’s Dream.

Following this first collaboration with a Heavy Metal band, he continued to do narration work for Rhapsody. (I can only warmly recommend the wonderful 16-minute long “Mystic Prophecy of the Demon Knight” which ends with Lee’s beautiful narration.) Later he also replaced Orson Welles as the narrator of Manowar’s re-recording of their first album. His last musical appearance was as the narrator on the opening track of Hollywood Vampires, a rock band formed of Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Joe Perry.

But next to these collaborations with existing bands, Christopher Lee also ended up with his own personal project and released two concept albums about Charlemagne. He even became the oldest person to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his heavy metal version of Jingle Bell.

My Elven Charlemagne, inspired by the cheesy but never tiresome video clip of the Bloody Verdict of Verden.

Your image

What will you create for this week? Which aspect, or role, of Christopher’s Lee life will you reuse? Let us know and don’t forget to tag your photos on social media with #SiPgoes53 and #SiP_Christopher_Lee.