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Discover Louis Wain’s cats before the movie with Benedict Cumberbatch comes out

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Who are Louis Wain’s cats?

Today we are talking about the London-based illustrator Louis Wain interesting for several reasons. A movie about his life with Benedict Cumberbatch is soon to be released.

He was one of the first to draw anthropomorphized animals, that is, dressed and with human behaviors and expressions.  Louis Wain is also remembered for being a victim of some mental illness (some say schizophrenia, but he is not sure) and according to some experts his mental deterioration is visible in his drawings.

Louis Wain’s cats were analyzed by different psychiatrists who often came to different conclusions. Louis Wain was born in Clerkenwell in 1860, his father traded in textiles and his mother, who was French, stayed at home. Louis had 5 sisters and none of these 5 ever married, the only one of the five who did not live all her life at home with her mother was the youngest who ended up in an asylum.

Louis himself had problems he was in fact born with a cleft lip which was then considered a sign of mental weakness and for that reason was not sent to school for years.In any case he managed to qualify to teach and at 20, following the death of his father, found himself having to support his mother and five sisters.

He wasn’t a teacher for long and became a freelance illustrator specialising in countryside scenes with animals. A few years later Louis Wain married the sisters’ governess who was 10 years his senior and they moved in together.

Unfortunately, after a few years his wife fell ill with breast cancer and died shortly after. During the months of his illness, a stray kitten named Peter kept his wife company and Louis Wain began to draw it, finding his inspiration in the cat. His first cat was published in 1886 and his illustrations in the next 30 years became very popular, unfortunately Wain did not keep the rights and always had financial problems.

Louis Wain's cats

In 1924 as his mental illness worsened, his sisters sent him to an asylum where he continued to draw cats and stayed there until his death in 1939. Louis Wain’s cats and books are now in the public domain (copyright generally expires 70 years after the author’s death).

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

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Cinema

The actor that was nearly Harry Potter

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Now you think of Harry Potter and you automatically think of Daniel Radcliffe who played his part in all the movies. 

But Radcliffe wasn’t the first choice and not even the second. The part was first given to Liam Aiken, an actor who has played in a few movies since and was born in New York City in 1990, therefore slightly younger than Radcliffe. 

The problem was that J.K.Rowling who wrote the books and had obviously had a big saying in the matter did not want an American kid playing her Harry Potter in the movies. Ok, Aiken’s mother was born in Ireland but that would sound almost British only to an American. To a British person Aiken wasn’t British at all. 

Radcliffe has since become very very famous while Aiken played in a few movies but has not reached the level of fame he would have achieved as Harry Potter. 

Bestseller No. 1
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson (Actors)
  • Chris Columbus (Director) - Steve Kloves (Writer) - David Heyman (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)
Bestseller No. 2
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson (Actors)
  • Alfonso Cuarón (Director) - Steve Kloves (Writer) - David Heyman (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

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Books

A new Harry Potter theme park will open in Tokyo

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It’s called Toshimaen the amusement park that has closed this summer to make place for a new Harry Potter theme park that will open in 2023. The Toshimaen park had been opened since 1924 and this is a major change in its long history.

From what we can gather it will be probably similar to the Warner Bros one in London. According to the press release you will be able to explore the iconic movie sets that were actually designed and built by the creators of the Harry Potter series. You will see the original costumes and props and you will be able to immerse yourself in many scenes of the films. It is not expected to be a traditional theme park with rides, but more like an Harry Potter experience.

Not everyone will want to travel all the way to Japan to see this new theme park, although many serious and committed Potterheads might. 

 

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Cinema

London might become the European Hollywood

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Besides the film studio which will open in Dagenham, there will be another studio which is due to open in Berkshire in West London. The University of Reading has in fact signed an agreement to build a £ 200 million film studio on its Commonwealth Real Estate science park campus, which will lease the land and develop the site, which will be called Shinfield Studios.

It has not yet been decided who the contractors will be but the project is expected to finish within two years. Meanwhile, two other film studios will open near Liverpool where the old Littlewoods Building is located.

To revive the British economy and try to create a future after Brexit, television and film studios could play a big role and create a good number of jobs. Not just for traditional televisions and movie houses but also big new names like Netflix and Amazon which have a pretty intense annual production.

Obviously many of these studios will be around London but as Liverpool shows other cities can compete with London. 

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