John Lennon: Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

John Lennon: Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

To my friends: I’d like to share this wisdom with you.
It is from a Xmas card I received this year!

Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Choose your words for they become actions.
Understand your actions for they become habits.
Study your habits for they become your character
Develop your character for it will become your destiny.

Wishing you a joyful new year,
big kiss!
Yoko

In 1971, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, with the Harlem Community Choir, recorded their message against war, a part of their major multimedia campaign for peace, as a peace anthem, a song that has also become a Christmas standard: Happy Xmas (War Is Over).  According to the John Lennon Museum, Lennon wrote the song as an attempt to get people to see war at a grassroots level and for them to take responsibility for the world around them.

So this is now the beginning of the Christmas season.  And what have you done?  The opening lines of the song, sung so nonchalantly by Lennon, serve as a call-to-action for us all.  The holidays become critical moments in the year for personal assessments, to review our choices.  And to make things better.  If you want it.

John Lennon: Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

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Happy Christmas: WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It)

Happy Christmas: WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It)

To my friends: I’d like to share this wisdom with you.
It is from a Xmas card I received this year!

Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Choose your words for they become actions.
Understand your actions for they become habits.
Study your habits for they become your character
Develop your character for it will become your destiny.

Wishing you a joyful new year,
big kiss!
yoko

WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) is a documentary short film created by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.  As 1969 came to a close, Lennon and Ono’s ideas about their protests against the Vietnam War grew beyond printing a few posters.  As Ono notes in the documentary, Lennon was the one who dreamed big.  “I said let’s have T-shirts,” Ono remembers, “and John said, ‘Let’s buy billboards.'”  The posters were displayed as billboards in twelve major cities across the world.   And the message appeared not only in mass-produced posters and postcards, but also in large newspaper ads, as well as on the radio and television.  It was the first major multimedia campaign for peace.

In 1971, Lennon and Ono, with the Harlem Community Choir, recorded their message as a peace anthem, a song that has also become a Christmas standard: Happy Xmas (War Is Over).  According to the John Lennon Museum, Lennon wrote the song as an attempt to get people to see war at a grassroots level and for them to take responsibility for the world around them.

So this is now the beginning of the Christmas season.  And what have you done?  The opening lines of the song, sung so nonchalantly by Lennon, serve as a call-to-action for us all.  The holidays become critical moments in the year for personal assessment, to review our choices.  And to make things better. If you want it.

Happy Christmas: WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It)

Slide Show: Happy Christmas/WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It)

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

Following the breakup of the Beatles, John Lennon and Yoko Ono moved to New York City in 1971, where Lennon sought to escape the insane commotion of the Beatles era, and to focus on his family and private life.  LENNONYC is a new feature-length documentary that takes an intimate look at the time Lennon, Yoko Ono and their son, Sean, spent living in New York City during the 1970s.  The full version of the documentary is available for viewing below:

John Lennon and Yoko Ono in NYC During the 1970s: LENNONYC

(Please Click Image to View the Full Documentary: LENNONYC)

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The Passionate Eye of Claude Azoulay: Legendary Portraits of Our Times

John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Cannes, 1971

Jane Fonda, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1966

Marilyn Monroe and Jerry Strasberg (The Actor’s Studio), New York, 1961

President John F. Kennedy and Charles de Gaulle, Paris, 1961

Ray Charles, Paris, 1961

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Paris, 1963

Bob Dylan, Paris, 1966

Andy Warhol, Paris, 1977

The Passionate Eye of Claude Azoulay: Legendary Portraits of Our Times

Photography by:  Claude Azoulay, Paris, France

Leaving school at the time of post-World War II, an era when France was being rebuilt and when everything seemed possible, Claude Azoulay began working at France’s Paris-Match magazine in 1954.  Having covered the Algerian war, the Six-Day War and many others, his career followed some of the most dramatic events during the second-half of the twentieth century.  In addition, his photo-journalism work took him on travels to Saint-Tropez and Cannes, as well as to the major studios and movie sets in London and Hollywood.  Azoulay served as an exemplary part of the of great photo-journalism staff at Paris-Match for more than forty years, departing in 1996 to seek other adventures in the world.

Looking through a list of Azoulay’s photographic portraits made of stars and other celebrity figures is akin to opening an encyclopedia of film.  Azoulay photographed everything that he could; his portraits of celebrities are so alive and include brilliant images of Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Elizabeth Taylor, Faye Dunaway, Barbara Streisand, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Kirk Douglas, Jane Fonda, Francis Bacon, Peter O’Toole, John Wayne, François Mitterand and countless others.  He did not steal their images; rather, they lent him their souls in an attentive and caring mirror.  And thus his body of work has become an important portrait of our time.

Juliette Greco, Jean Seberg, Deborah Kerr and David Niven, Paris, 1957

Slide Show: The Passionate Eye of Claude Azoulay/Legendary Portraits of Our Times

(Please Click on Image to View Slide Show)

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Happy Holidays: The 2008 Yuletide Fireplace

Happy Holidays: The 2008 Yuletide Fireplace

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