On August, 5, 1926 illusionist Harry Houdini made the whole world talk about him yet again. He spent as long as an hour in a closed coffin under water and managed to successfully surface. Today on this sultry summer day OUTLOOK recalls great magicians and their crazy stunts - we hope that chills that some of them give will help you deal with heat.
Harry Houdini's life is veiled in mystery since the moment of his birth. According to the official version, he was born in Budapest in a jewish family that moved to the USA in four years. Nevertheless, the illusionist himself insisted that it had been America where he saw the world. Anyway, it was there, in local bars, where Harry became famous, performing such elegant card tricks that oftentimes customers raised hobs thinking they were purposly made drunk and made fool of. Initially Harry was performing with his brother, but the latter one never went further than a career at entertainment establishments while Harry had always longed for more... Fall into the River Thames in irons and with a ball weighing 30Kg, escape from a condemned cell at Butyrka prison, vanishing an elephant in front of thousands of witnesses, flight over Australia on a biplane - all in all, an eccentric American Magyar or Hungarian American wasn't letting humankind forget about him down the road. In early 20th century his popularity equalled to the one of Nikola Tesla. And there were definitely no less myths about him than there were about Balkan scientist and mystifier.
Nevertheless, there were daredevils who defied him. Canadian Dai Vernon was referred to in no other way but 'Professor' or 'The Man Who Fooled Houdini'. The thing is that Harry boasted more than once that he was able to repeat any trick if he was shown it three times. In 1919 Vernon demonstrated him his trick"The Ambitious Card" as many as eight times yet maestro failed to figure it out anyway.
That moment Dai's fame kicked off. The Canadian raised more than one generation of apprentices and his card tricks are considered classics till now. According to contemporaries, he was a true gentleman with the only person he spoke ill of being Houdini. Well, we must have compared an American to Nikola Tesla for a reason. Houdini vs Vernon standoff reminds competition of Tesla vs Edison way too much.
Generation of 80s - 90s are more familiar with another character - David Copperfield. Descendant of Soviet Russia immigrants, David Kotkin, who adopted the nane of Charles Dickens character as his stage name. As early as at the age of 16 young man was teaching elder students tricks at New York University. Six years later Copperfield appeared on TV and peope outside NewYork found out about his talents. Show with his participation that was on air on CBS channel became prime time leader in an instant. Among the illusionist's main "wows" are vanishing of the Statue of Liberty, flight over the Grand Canyon, walking throuh the Great Wall of China, falling from Niagara Falls and many other things. Lately David distanced a bit from his primary occupation and currently nearly all of his time is taken by working at his own restaurant in New York. The establishment is distinguished for there are no waiters at all. A voice from the dark asks clients what they wish and later dishes materialize on tables. Also, Kotkin-Copperfield volunteers to help disabled people by teaching them dexterous moves and uncovering concealed abilities of their bodies.
Israeli Uri Geller spent all of 1970s stopping cataclysms and solving mysteries live on the air. In his days he failed to become an officer: he was expelled for sleeping at watch. Being left with no living maintenance at a young age the guy decided that he was a messenger of a higher wisdom. Thank to the talent of producer Andrea Bukharish Western television accepted him with arms outstreched - it is no laughing matter, our hero became skillful at bending spoons with a simple hand's stroke and making watches stop. These tricks helped him earn millions, however he was never recognized in his Motherland - in due time he offered to bring Ariel Sharon back from coma but polititian's relatives responded with a denial.
David Blane is a hero of 2000s and anexpert in low-cost street magic, which constitutes the main difference between him and namesake Copperfield with his multimillion performances. Son of a Puerto Rican and Soviet Jewish is famous for phenomenal abilities of his body. For instance, his record of staying under water with no air is 17 minutes. And that's not all - in a decade of his activity the man managed to spend 44 days incarcenated without food on the surface of the River Thames, become frozen and unfrozen, stand on the top of a column for 35 hours and revive a couple hundred pigeons. Despite weird and defiant manner of expressing himself, even experts often fail to find reasons to justify his tricks somehow.
In our “Know us” column, we usually talk about outstanding Ukrainians who have achieved significant success in one area or another. However, our today's hero - Eugène Deslaw or Yevgeny Slabchenko is very difficult to fit into some kind of framework. As he reached heights in several areas at once, being not only the most real Renaissance Man of the 20th century, but also a patriot of his Ukraine.
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti.
Cinematography is probably the most "technological" art form that mankind has ever come up with – no matter how much talent, imagination and energy creators of a movie have, almost every stage of creation process one way or another comes to technologies; and without them ideas will remain just ideas.
Can you remember the most unusual dish that you had ever a chance to try? You decide what kind of food it was: something exotic; those insects that we can hardly imagine as an ingredient; strange drink with a bitter taste; an unexpected combination of bitter and sour... Everyone has his or her own unforgettable experience in this regard. Today we would like to tell our readers about unusual and prominent chefs of the world, and even without reference to their era.
Sometimes it happens that you look at a postcard with a picture of a city and instantly realize that this is Kyiv, or Moscow, or Rome or your native village. And it isn’t courtesy of your geography teacher but back-breaking efforts of artisans with whose hands commonly familiar architecture masterpieces were created. Today we recall Italian conqueror of marble Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
In the childhood a famous Frenchman from Ukraine was a blue-eyed dreamer. Once all his dreams came true. Whatever he wanted, everything was easy, as if luck was following him. HBe was singing in the choir, he made his best at artistic talent - and, finally, he succeeded in ballet.
Independent artist originally from the Philippines, Patrick Cabral conquers the world with his unusual artwork. His creations are an innovation that combines the age-old traditions of calligraphy and cutting-edge 3D technologies. His art is a way to change the world for the better, both through aesthetics and through the fulfillment of a social mission.
Peter Høeg is Danish writer and philosopher. Sometimes he is called as anchoret because he comes to society events quite rarely, only to represent his new books. The indoor life led to numerous legends that penetrate the image of Peter Høeg on his motherland. In this interview Peter Høeg told OUTLOOK how new novels are created, what hides behind the evident asceticism, and shared his view of life and person.
Oleg Borschevskiy is a famous film director, screenwriter and music video director. Among his works, there are music videos for such stars as Potap and Nastia, music bands NeAngely, Boombox, NIKITA, singers Maria Burmaka, Tonia Matvienko and many others. In a nice conversation, he recalled the most interesting places on the world map, which he visited and shared his personal disappointments.
About Picasso as a distinctive artist, graphic artist and sculptor, we know to some extent everything. Meanwhile, his other incarnations are pushed into the background. Ilya Ehrenburgh once very concisely described Pablo Picasso’s relations with his era: “20th century found in him its own dynamite expert, its own philosopher and its own poet”.
The music as long as the eternity or, in other words, Continuous music is the genre which causes loud arguments in professional circles. Lubomyr Melnyk, Canadian composer of Ukrainian origination sees in his ‘child’ Continuous music continuation of classic traditions. Which rules his scripts follow will OUTLOOK tell in the following material of the rubrics ‘Look at us!’
Behind the famous landing of Neil Armstrong and his team of the Moon in 1969 there wasn’t just an abstract triumph of the power of human brain but also a large group of highly-skilled engineers solving complicated tasks. Among them there was one specially standing out with his bold and unusual approach – a native of Ukraine Michael Yarymovych, one of supervisors of the “Moon program”. It is about him that we proudly tell about today within the framework of our column Ours Make the Grade.
In every art there are formats and rules – once in “mainstream” an Artist won’t have to starve. Even more so in totalitarian times when every sphere of people’s life is controlled and affected and selfhood has to be forgotten as such. It is probably in the face of a system natural talents emerge for their work to become immortal. Today Outlook recalls one of them, artist Kateryna Bilokur.
Behind the window sad eyes of old man peered at Petrograd engulfed by revolutionary fire. This fire spread on his life's work: a proud four-story building was invaded by noisy commissioners and sailors, whose presence seemed a cruel joke after regular customers. Workshop owner Carl Gustavovich Fabergé, apparently, noticed in this chaos approaching decay of his career. However, he could have a secret gleam of hope for another life of his heritage. If only he knew that it would come true, maestro would hardly have lost his spiritual strength...
On the 26-th of October it will be going a desirable premier of documental and biographic movie ‘Dancer’ on the price of success paid by the artist of ballet Serhii Polunin. Being originated from Kherson, he accidentally appeared in the Royal Theater in London where he became an overnight success but then went off the grid to get even more love of the spectators. Today OUTLOOK continues the cycle of materials about successful Ukrainians.
The word is, Guy de Maupassant hated Eiffel Tower. The famous writer believed that it was uglifying the face of Paris without benefiting the city. Nevertheless, he could be often seen in a cozy cafe on the top of the construction. In such cases the author of “Bel Ami” used to say that “it was the only way the damned tower dropped out of his sight…”
On July 14, 1918 in a Swedish town called Uppsala a man was born to create over 50 movies and direct several dozens of plays that raised the ante in art to an almost inaccessible level. Even today while watching his film created as much as half a century ago you realize that there is nothing they’ve lost – it’s more like they’ve gained.
Having woken up and switched on TV, we are filling our house with the positive, energy, and bubbly laughing of those who make each our day easier and funnier on another side of the screen. Sometimes a spectator feels that world of television is the absolute holiday and festival, but too frequently our good mood and careless day is followed by the accurate and from times to times such a responsible work… Today the TV-host Grigoriy Reshetnyak shares with our readers the story of his success.
“To be home is to feel secured…” – these words belong to the founder and first head of Palestinian National Authority, fighter for freedom of Palestine, Nobel Prize winner Yasser Arafat. On November 11 Palestinian leader’s commemoration evening was held in Kyiv orchestrated by Embassy of Palestine in Ukraine and Palestinian expatriates.
Brave and talented people who aren’t afraid to develop and launch new focus areas of their business even in seemingly unfavorable times certainly deserve respect. One of such heroes of our times is a famous Ukrainian restaurateur Ousama Kafa, founder of L’Kafa Group.