Kategorie: Cumbercollective (Seite 2 von 3)

Cumbercollective: Fans that are different

So you do have a hobby? You are addicted to your plants in the garden, you’re passionate when it comes to cooking and baking and you are a fan of a football  team? Relax, everything is fine, there is nothing to worry about – at least till it comes to Benedict Cumberbatch. What a comparison, you may think (I see you are shaking your head) but think it over.

Have a look at the meaning of  “fan” and you’ll find explanations like “enthusiast”or “admirer”  – which is exactly what fans do when their team wins the match: they cry, they laugh, they jump and they have nothing else to talk about when they meet other fans no matter if they’re meeting online or in real life.
Fans of Benedict Cumberbatch gather in front of the telly to watch a film or a series the British actor takes part. They cry, they laugh, they jump and they have nothing else to talk about when they meet other fans not matter if they’re meeting online or in real life.

“Your loyalty means a lot.
It gives me courage to take risks
and enjoy what I’m doing.”
Source: Indiatoday

Of course you get the parallels. Would you say being a fan of lets say football makes you automatically insane and stupid? No? Why do you think Benedict’s fans are insane and stupid? Why do you think that they are foolish girls only dreaming of their idol, unable to talk in full sentences, only sighing and swooning and screaming? It’s because you don’t really understand what this fandom is about, maybe because you only read the headlines of the yellow press which will always use “Cumberbitches” to lure more clicks on their websites and more readers to their papers instead of keeping up to date and do their researches properly as Sherlock would grumble.

To set the record straight: Yes, members of the Cumbercollective (and of course the author of this blog) are chatting about Benedict, his appearance (Did you see his hair? Doesn’t this colour fit him well?), his beautiful voice (best listened to with earphones), his hands (yes, they are very huge) or his clothes (Tuxedos & suits! Scarfs & Flipflops! Hats & Glasses!). With his ability to play every characters on the big screen, on telly or doing radio plays, Benedict proves that he is in fact a class of his own. And he forces his fans stretch their brains, learning about such different topics like code breaking because of Alan Turing and the upcoming film “The Imitation Game”, motion caption and JRR Tolkien because of the dragon Smaug in “The Hobbit” or tyres and high speed cars because he was at the Formula 1 race in Kuala Lumpur. (Yes, there are pics from an Jaguar ice driving course in Finland – but who cares about the cars?)

It is true that fans come together because Benedict is out there, but what is so special about this fandom is that many fans are grown-up women, getting their daily stuff done in real life, are interested and well informed about such different things as literature, films, sports, architecture, history and politics. Many are fluent in at least two languages – English is mandatory if your want to listen to Benedict’s voice – and always ready to help. Want a magazine from another country, a mug from a shop that doesn’t ship abroad, tips for your next trip to US, not sure if the DVD works in your country, badly in need of a live stream? Just drop a line on twitter – and get answers.
Don’t worry if it takes a few hours till they get back to you: Cumbercollective as a whole is always wide awaken and literally everywhere in the world. Due to time shifts they are on duty or simply asleep.

Benedict Cumberbatch rules the Oscars

Watching the Oscars is a very predictable thing. There will be lots of beautiful ladies with beautiful robes trying not to fall over, looking all gorgeous. Well most of them. There will be lots of guys looking very dapper in their suits. And there is Benedict Cumberbatch.

Of course he looks very dapper in his Spencer & Hart suit and we all were relieved seeing his hair curling and going back to his natural colour (yes there is a bit of grey in it). It seems that Benedict really enjoyed being on the Red Carpet, THE reddest and most important carpet existing in film industry. Looking relaxed, happy and smiling all over his face, he actually belongs there, in the middle of all of these stars who all pretend being very important and very Hollywood -ish. Benedict rules them all.

“It’s a non stop party. 
We’re going non verbal and dance.”
Benedict Cumberbatch after the ceremony

Despite the fact that he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar and Cumbercollective is sure he will be in for one next year probably for the upcoming film about Alan Turing “The Imitation Game”,  Benedict was the hidden winner of the ceremony. Yes, he presented Catherine Martin together with Jennifer Garner  for the award for best production design for The Great Gatsby. He cried during Lupita Nyong’s accepting speech for best supporting actress, he smiled and laughed on stage together with the crew of “12 Years a Slave”  and couldn’t stop smiling through all the interviews he gave before and after the ceremony.

Lupita Nyong and Benedict Cumberbatch. Screenshot: pb

Benedict seemed to be and still is all over the internet and especially twitter went mad when fans realized that he really was photobombing U2, giving nothing at all to ceremonial rules by being DorkyBatch and apparently being very proud of himself.

The photobombing shared by @fangirlfreak21 on Twitter

A feeling he shared with his fans lots of them watching the Oscar broadcast no matter how late or early it was due to timeshift, giggling and smiling with their beloved man, demanding only one thing: Please don’t behave like an adult, Benedict, and give us more of your DapperDorkBatch. You’ll get more of these writings and more Cumbercupcakes, ehm Muffins as you name them.

Photobomb – in Cupcakes by @vereentjoengB

The Cumber-bet

This is the Cumber-bet, made out of “Cumberbatch” and “alphabet”. A long conversation between a bunch of 7 ladies from the Cumbercollective on Twitter – no one mentioned, no one forgotten – gave the sparkle to the idea of making a list to explain the phenomenon Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s all fun and games, not to be taken seriously at all. We just had a great laugh doing it and wanted to share it with all of you.

@hla72 (danish-cumbercollective.tumblr) and @DieBedra (diebedra.blogspot) tried to collect the thoughts and bring them to life – this is the result.

We’ve decided to publish the list on our respective blogs, you find the other one here.

A Adorkable
Made out of “adorable” and “dork”  to describe how Benedict is funny and clumsy and heartwarming at the same time. He can’t hide his humour even when you don’t expect it at all. “Dorky” can be used as an adjective as in “DorkyBatch”.

Screen cap from comic con video, made and edited by H./danish-cumbercollective.tumbr, Original source: http://youtu.be/UCeEYjmnzl8
 






















B  Benshine
Made out of “Benedict”  and “sunshine” because he brings sunshine.

Picture from Greece. Edited by H./danish-cumbercollective.tumblr, Original source: yupiii.gr/mesa/watch/c52642/O_Serlok_Xolms_Sthn_Ellada_-Apo_Ton_OTE_.html

C Cumbercollective
That’s what he calls his fans who are always ready to support any charity in behalf of Benedict. It is rumoured that he has no idea that he’s inspiring a whole fandom.

Picture from TIFF 12 Years a Slave Sep. 6th 2013, Photo by: Todd Williamson/Source: karin-woywod.tumblr.com/post/60557080151/2013-09-06-toronto-tiff-twelve-years-a

 

D Deaded
This new word entered the consciousness of the Cumbercollective (see above) with the episode “The Sign of Three”. Whereas the drunken Sherlock isn’t able to deduce correctly, fans use “deaded” to describe Benedict when there are no other words left.

Screen cap from TSoT, made and edited by H.danish-cumbercollective.tumblr

E Errant curl
No matter how hard he tries to have nice, straight hair, there’s always one curl doing exactly the opposite and it’s so cute and sexy.

Picture from GQ 25th Anniversary Auction Nov. 12th 2013, Photo by: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images Europe, Source: zimbio.com/pictures/ZdptNJguqWa/Arrivals+GQ+25th+Anniversary/q-Eo1nOvtFQ

F Flipflops
You do think that flip flops are the last shoes looking sexy? It always depends on the man wearing it! Remember: they are even more sexy if they are accompanied by a scarf.

 

G Gorgeous
Because he’s just gorgeous, no explanation needed at all.

Picture from Screen and Flix Japanese magazines – April 2013 issues, Photo by: Suzukakenoki, Source: benedictcumberbatch.co.uk/photos/screen-flix-magazines/

 

H Hands
Because of his gorgeous hands and long slim fingers. They have generated many pictures, gifs and fantasies in the Cumbercollective.

Picture from BAFTA LA Britannia Award Nov. 9th. 2013, edited by H.danish-cumbercollective.tumblr, Photo courtesy of: GettyBAFTA LA, Source: deareje.tumblr.com/post/66549460517/high-res-benedictcumberbatch-aliceeve

 

I Irresistible
You might find him odd at first, but when you get under his spell, he’s totally irresistible and you don’t want to have it any other way. Your drawn like moth to a flame.

 

J Just Benedict (used as # on Twitter)
A hashtag that describes Benedict in one word – brilliant, gorgeous, cute, well mannered, polite, humble… every adjective you can think of.

 

K Kiss
As in Cumber-kisses/blow kisses, he often blows kisses and brings his fandom to it’s knees.

From NTA’s, made by H.danish-cumbercollective.tumblr

L Lisp
You only recognize his adorable lisp if you have recovered from his deep, soft voice. And honestly: Who thinks that this is failure when it comes to this man? Try and look at this video from Bafta Britannia Awards.

Photo by: Michael Tran/Getty Images North America
 

M Muscles
Think “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “Little Favour” – does it really need more explanation?

Bath-scene STID screen cap made and edited by H./danish-cumbercollective.tumblr
Original source:
youtube.com/watch?v=Q9ODtBzTOng

 

N Nose crinkle
His adorable nose crinkle, often accompanied with a cute smile.

Picture from Hobbit LA press conference Dec. 3rd 2013,
Photo by:
Vera Anderson, Source: deareje.tumblr.com/post/69484969048/part1-part-2-here-hobbit-press-con-open-in

 

O Otter
You think you can’t compare a man with an animal? Think twice, search the web for otter pics and learn what “meme” means.

This is an edit from a collection of Otter/B pics, edited by H./danish-cumbercollective.tumblr, Original source: redscharlach.tumblr.com/post/19565284869/otters-who-look-like-benedict-cumberbatch-a

 

P Pointing
He’s (almost) always pointing in pictures taken with fans, but recently he’s been using the naughty finger.

 

Q Quotable
Benedict is unstoppable during interviews and always manage to say a lot in a very short amount of time. That have generated a lot of quotes, serious ones where he talks about why he has almost died  – but also really quirky and funny quotes or just really sweet ones.. We all know he’s definitely not right in the one we’ve  posted here.

 

R Ruffle
As in hair ruffle, something that is very hot, especially when he has his “Sherlock”-curls. Seen several times in Sherlock Season 3.

Gif from TEH, made and edited by H./danish-cumbercollective.tumblr

S Shorts
Think of all the adorkable pictures you’ve seen of Benedict in shorts, or the hot picture of him coming out of the water in his blue shorts with birds on (a.k.a. WetBatch). Better yet, the red shorts he showed the entire world on NTA January 22nd 2014 and caused the entire fandom to melt and twitter/tumblr to break down!

Screen cap from NTA’s, made and edited by H./danish-cumbercollective.tumblr, Original source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UGskRLC_-8

 

T Theatre
Benedict is a trained theatre actor from University of Manchester and LAMDA. He has done various plays, incl. Frankenstein with Jonny Lee Miller (both as the creature and Dr. Frankenstein) and in the autumn 2014 he’s on stage as Hamlet in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. His training also come into use in radio plays and narrating audiobooks and documentary series.

 

U Unique
His way of transforming, disappearing and getting into a character is very unique. He doesn’t do a character half-heartedly, whether it’s a small part like Little Charles in “August: Osage County” or as Julian Assange in “The Fifth Estate”.

 

V Velvet
First this material hit the world’s screen at the international Hobbit premiere in Los Angeles – in the form of Benedict’s red velvet suit, fitting perfectly with the colour of the dragon Smaug. And Cumbercollective (see above) created a new word: VelvetBatch

 

W WWW
For breaking the internet all the time, for being the king of the internet and especially for bringing fans together around the world on the world wide web.

Picture from AMA reddit Oct. 11th 2013, Source: twitter.com/5thEstateMovie/status/388746706818310144

 

X Xtreme sport
Benedict is fond of extreme sports like skydiving, hot-air ballooning, scuba diving, skiing and high-speed motorcycling.

 

Y Yummy
Frequently used to describe Benedict’s appearance with or without suits with or without shirts. Often followed by “sigh”.

Cleaned version of swissmisandry’s find Published 2013-08-13 – VOGUE, Photo by: Annie Leibovitz, Source: karin-woywod.tumblr.com/post/58347337400/cleaned-version-of-swissmisandry-s-excellent

 

Z Zygoma
The latin word for cheekbone, one of his trademarks

Star Trek Into Darkness Promotional Photoshoot, Source: benedictcumberbatch.co.uk/photos/star-trek-into-darkness-promotional-photoshoot/

 

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Sherlock – Better in everything

The cast:  Louise Brealey (Molly Hooper), Amanda Abbington (Mary Morstan), Martin Freeman (John Watson), Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes), Rupert Graves (DI Greg Lestrade), Una Stubbs (Mrs. Hudson). Screenshot:pb/BBC One

Who cares about Christmas when there is a new Sherlock series ahead? And so Christmas maybe wasn’t entirely cancelled but the real and big gift came on New Year’s Day when “The Empty Hearse” finally aired on BBC One in the United Kingdom. It set an end to two years of waiting and wondering how Sherlock survived his fall off the rooftop of St Bart’s, well maybe not really. But this first episode of the third series was epic, thrilling and to say it at least: It was the best Sherlock we ever had on telly.

“Short version: Not dead.”
(Sherlock)

That Sherlock survived his fall, even listened to John’s heartbreaking speech at the grave, was evident from the last scene of “The Reichenbach Fall” that brought the fandom to its knees, set the path for endless discussion of how he did it and how John will react when the reunification finally would take place. That this modern John would not simply swoon, recover, forgive and start his old life with the back from the grave Sherlock Holmes again as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle described it in his books, was clear after all what Sherlock and John had been through and how these characters have been unfolding till now. Both authors, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, made that perfectly clear in various interviews.

The work of a genius

But Mark Gatiss’ version is simply the work of a genius. “The Empty Hearse” has a lot of “more”: more action, more funny scenes, more funny dialogues and a whole bunch of reverences which are not less than an bow to the deeply loyal fans spreading their love on the internet. How John and Sherlock finally meet again, how they slowly and carefully restore their friendship is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time and it is not done in an instant.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman prove with their Sherlock and John again that they are brilliant actors able to change expressions within a wink of an eye. We see and breathe that they both do love performing these specific roles and characters and that they had at least the same fun making “Sherlock” as the public watching it. And it is a relieve from the fandom side of view that they –  despite now being household names all over the world – do love this modern Sherlock Holmes so much that they manage to squeeze it into their schedules.

A very special love affair

“Sherlock” seems to be a very special love affair for all of the actors: Mark Gatiss’ Mycroft Holmes is more sarcastic and sophisticated than ever (and of course he is the best dressed employee of Her Majesty). Una Stubbs gives her Mrs Hudson (“Landlady, dear, not the housekeeper!”) all the feels from anger to sadness to overwhelming joy seeing her boys finally together again. Rupert Graves as DI Greg Lestrade and Jonathan Aris as Philipp Anderson got Sherlock back – and somehow the centre of their lives though Anderson has a new special love. Molly Hooper (lovely: Louise Brealey) always has been a trusted friend of Sherlock’s – finally this is made quite clear.

A newbie to the Sherlock family is Mary Mostan, John Watson’s new love, gorgeously played by Amanda Abbington who brings her Mary to life with a lot of dry humour and fun. You trust her being a true and lovely woman for John, helping him getting over the grief Sherlock’s disappearance brought him. It surely will be a delight watching more Mary-John-Sherlock-scenes.

The next episode “The Sign of Three” will be aired on Sunday on BBC One.

You may find the German version of this blog entry here.

Sherlock – Besser denn je

Die Darsteller und Figuren von “The Empty Hearse” (vl): Louise Brealey (Molly Hooper), Amanda Abbington (Mary Morstan), Martin Freeman (John Watson), Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes), Rupert Graves (DI Greg Lestrade), Una Stubbs (Mrs. Hudson). Screenshot:pb/BBC One

Weihnachten war heute für Fans der Fernsehserie “Sherlock” nicht am 24. Dezember, sondern am 1. Januar. Denn an diesem Abend brachte die britische BBC die lang erwartete dritte Staffel auf den Bildschirm. Wer die erste Folge “The Empty Hearse” sehen konnte (die entsprechenden Möglichkeiten wurden unter den Fans vorher ausgetauscht), erlebte die besten eineinhalb Stunden Unterhaltung, die die Macher bisher produziert haben.

Dass Sherlock Holmes seinen Sturz vom Dach des St-Bart’s-Krankenhaus überlebt hatte, wissen die Zuschauer seit der letzten Szene aus “Der Reichenbachfall”, die hierzulande in der ARD gezeigt wurde. Doch wie hat es der Detektiv geschafft, wer hat ihm geholfen und wie würde die Wiederbegegnung mit John Watson aussehen? Fragen, die seit zwei Jahren unter den Fans akribisch diskutiert wurden und die nicht alle wirklich beantwortet wurden. Ohne aber allzu viel zu verraten: Natürlich würde der moderne John Watson nicht wie in der Vorlage von Sir Arthur Conan Doyle mal eben kurz ohnmächtig werden und sich dann wie selbstverständlich mit Sherlock Holmes in das nächste Abenteuer stürzen. Das haben die beiden Autoren Steven Moffat und Mark Gatiss schon im Vorfeld in verschiedenen Interviews erklärt.

Mehr Action, mehr Witz, mehr Gefühl

Doch was Mark Gatiss, der auch Sherlocks Bruder Mycroft spielt, mit dieser Folge auf den Schirm bringt, ist schlicht genial. “The Empty Hearse” ist schneller, hat mehr Action, aber auch viel Witz,und eine ganze Reihe an Situationskomik, die nicht zuletzt auch durch zahlreiche Anspielungen entsteht, die eine Verbeugung sind vor den Fans, die ihrer Leidenschaft mit allem Herzblut nachgehen. Die Art und Weise wie John und Sherlock wieder zueinander finden, rührt zu Tränen und ist nicht mit einer einfachen Entschuldigung getan. Denn die würde den Charakteren so wie sie sich in den ersten beiden Staffeln entwickelt haben, nicht gerecht.

Benedict Cumberbatch und Martin Freeman beweisen als Sherlock Holmes und John Watson ihre schauspielerische Extraklasse. Dass sie beide mit Leidenschaft bei der Sache sind und mindestens so viel Spaß  bei den Dreharbeiten gehabt haben müssen, wie die Zuschauer vor dem Schirm, spürt man in jeder einzelnen Szene. Nach dem weltweiten Erfolg beider Schauspieler in verschiedenen Filmen* hat der Reiz der modernen und mit viel Liebe zum Original gemachten Adaption der Sherlock-Holmes-Abenteuer offenbar für beide nicht an Reiz verloren.

“Kurz-Version: Nicht tot.”
(Sherlock)

Diesen Reiz übt “Sherlock” auf alle Darsteller aus. Mark Gatiss’ Mycroft Holmes ist sarkastischer und spitzfindiger denn je (gut gekleidet ist er ohnehin). Una Stubbs wechselt als Mrs Hudson von Ärger und Trauer hin zu übersprühender Freude als sie “ihre Jungs” wieder zusammen sieht. Und: Sie ist immer noch die Vermieterin (Nicht die Haushälterin!).
Rupert Graves als Inspektor Greg Lestrade und Jonathan Aris als Forensiker Philipp Anderson (der eine überraschende neue Leidenschaft entwickelt hat) haben mit der Rückkehr Sherlocks ihren Lebensmittelpunkt wieder gefunden. Dass Molly Hooper (liebenswert: Louise Brealey) schon immer eine wichtige Stütze für Sherlock war, wird endlich ganz deutlich.
Neu in der Sherlock-Familie ist Mary Mostan, die neue Frau an der Seite von John Watson, hinreißend trocken und witzig gespielt von Amanda Abbington, der man ohne Bedenken abnimmt, dass sie John nach dem vermeintlichen Tod Sherlocks eine liebevolle Stütze ist. Dass sie und Martin Freeman seit vielen Jahren ein Paar sind, sei nur der Vollständigkeit halber hinzugefügt.

Wem die Zeit bis zur deutschen Ausstrahlung in der ARD, die wohl für Mai/Juni geplant ist, zu lang wird, dem seien die DVDs der ersten beiden Serien empfohlen. Die der dritten Staffel ist im Original bereits erschienen. Sie hat weder eine deutsche Tonspur, noch deutsche Untertitel! Die synchronisierte Version ist vorbestellbar.
[Update: Die erste Folge der dritten Staffel “Der leere Sarg” strahlt die ARD am 29. Mai aus ]

Benedict Cumberbatch war im vergangenen Jahr in “Star Trek – Into Darkness”, “Inside Wikileaks” im Kino zu sehen. Für 2014 stehen die Starts von “12 Years A Slave” (Januar), “August: Osange County” (März) und “Imitation Game” (wohl Ende 2014) an.
Martin Freeman ist gerade als Bilbo Beutlin im zweiten Teil von “Der Hobbit” in den deutschen Kinos, Benedict Cumberbatch gibt  dem Drachen Smaug im englischen Original seine Stimme, in der deutschen Synchronisation sehen die Zuschauer aber immerhin seine Animation des riesigen Ungeheuers. Martin Freeman war außerdem im ersten Teil von “Der Hobbit”  (2012), “World’s End (2013) im Kino zu sehen. In diesem Frühjahr ist ein TV-Remake des Kinofilms “Fargo” geplant.
[Update: “Fargo” läuft in den USA und Großbritannien momentan als Fernsehserie]

Cumbercollective is not weird!

With the next series of BBC’s Sherlock almost at the doorsteps, the fandom is about to face one of it’s greatest challenges. Yes, the Cumbercollective will find it’s way watching and learning how Sherlock faked his death and why due to the help of tissues and shock blankets.
But with the growing fame of Benedict Cumberbatch who took over the cinemas this year with “Star Trek: Into Darkness”, “The Fifth Estate”, “12 Years A Slave” and “August Osange County” and made his fans fall in love with the dragon Smaug in the second part of “The Hobbit” he became  a household name throughout the world. The British actor is now in the focus of international media who tries not only to understand the way Benedict Cumberbatch dives in every single role he performs. They also have to cope with a fandom that seems to be everywhere all over the world, ready to defend its beloved actor and chat about him. But the love of this fandom – you may read my previous entry – is so much more than what normally fits into an article especially if the writer isn’t part of the Cumbercollective. And unfortunately not all writers do a proper research.
The same is true for those lucky guys who get the opportunity to interview Benedict Cumberbatch for a video. Just check Youtube and watch a few videos about “The Hobbit”! Why do most of them ask the same questions when you have one of the best actors of his generations and a fascinating guy sitting there just waiting for his intellect to be fed?

Tweet from a Twitter Q&A. Screenshot: pb

Of course it is much easier to mock about the fans, calling them Cumberbitches for the sake of more attention, make fun of of all sort of fanfic which fans and writers alike hold very dear than trying to understand that Benedict Cumberbatch is a daily inspiration for his fans. There are brilliant artists creating astonishing pictures of the actor or figures he performs, authors who find joy and relieve writing stories about the relationship between Sherlock and John or Sherlock and Molly far beyond the series. And there are the fans themselves staying in contact over the internet, chatting on twitter about every detail of every film starring Benedict Cumberbatch. And getting new friends who share more interests than that coming to life in a fangirling teenage dream.

But it’s this guy – fans agree that Benedict Cumberbatch is the perfect human being who could be out of this world – who makes all of this happen and always seems a bit astonished but also flattered about the reaction of his fans. “There are legions of fans who I’ve got to have wonderful moments with“, he says and confesses in a twitter Q&A that he loves his fans more than he can say in a tweet.
Honestly: Your fans share this feeling. And non-fans will never understand.

If part of this article sound weird this is due to the fact that I’m no native speaker, so don’t be too harsh.
Feel free to share this blog entry but please quote and link properly.

An email from a book!

Maybe some of you know that I’m a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch. You obviously stumbled across some stuff if you’re following me on Google+, Facebook or Twitter. Honouring Benedict – who is very fond of books and reading – we (thanks to a lovely twitter fan) started a book project on Better World Books. 
Because I am addicted to books and always have one or two sitting on my desk, I ordered some books too, giving my books new companions. I think books are something very special, they are a bit alive. Sort of. But I didn’t know that they are able to write emails. Well, they are. At least the copy of  “The Patrick Melrose Novels: Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, and Mother’s Milk” which is excited to meet me! Don’t believe this? Well, here’s the email:

Will I need a dust jacket?

“Holy canasta! It’s me… it’s me! I can’t believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I’ve got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can’t believe I’m leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already – the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge – so many memories. I don’t have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it’s time to see the world!

I can’t wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen) and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol’ brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?

I’ve found a new home

I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close calls I’ve had, I’m ready for anything (besides, some of my best friends are suspense novels). Just five months ago, I thought I was a goner. My owner was moving and couldn’t take me with her. I was sure I was landfill bait until I ended up in a Better World Books book drive bin. Thanks to your socially conscious book shopping, I’ve found a new home. Even better, your book buying dollars are helping kids read from Brazil to Botswana.

But hey, enough about me, I’ve been asked to brief you on a few things: (my address)

Eagerly awaiting our meeting.”

If part of this article sound weird this is due to the fact that I’m no native speaker, so don’t be too harsh.
Feel free to share this blog entry but please quote and link properly.

Buy books, do good, love Benedict

Buy a book and donate one at the same time. Foto: pb

It’s this time of the year we all try to get a little bit of rest. But before that – and before Christmas of course – we think about all our beloved ones and how to make them happy with a special gift.
Most of us – the Cumbercollectiv – love to read books. And we know that Benedict Cumberbatch always has too much books (and clothes ofDallaglio Foundation 8Rocks course) in his baggage when he’s flying all around the world twice in a month.

“Reading is one of the joys in life.
Once you’ve started, you can’t stop.
And you got so many stories
to look forward to.”
Benedict Cumberbatch

Wouldn’t it be lovely if you can buy a book for yourself or as a Christmas gift and donate a book for someone in need – just with one click? That’s exactly what Better World Book does all over the world. And this year you can buy books and honour Benedict who asked his fans doing good for someone else, throwing love his way – and for people in need.
All you have to do is this:
Sign in at the top of the page by clicking on “My account” (yes it’s yours even if you don’t have an individual one)
Use bcandbooks@brandsofjustice.com as your email address and Cumberbatch (mind the capital C!) as password.
Please be aware to change the shipping-address so that you get the book you ordered right to you. That’s all you have to do. Let’s make this Christmas a special one for book lovers, for people who can’t effort books and honour Benedict Cumberbatch.

[Update 12/15/2013]
So far 31 books have been ordered from Better World Books. Which means: 31 books will be donated for the book drive and 441.67$ will be donated to literacy projects.
Please note that we will close this project on 24th December, so it’s still time to order a book. If you are outside the US your order will probably not reach you in time for Christmas – but what about a book for yourself?

If part of this article sound weird this is due to the fact that I’m no native speaker, so don’t be too harsh.
Feel free to share this blog entry but please quote and link properly.

The love of a fandom

The fandom version made
by sodelightfully.tumblr.com
… and the original Cover of
Time Magazine Oct 28th 2013

What is it calling yourself a fan of a famous person, say an actor, say Benedict Cumberbatch? Fans will know what I mean and nod in agreement while reading on. If you are not a fan of him, you will waste your time with these lines (please feel free to scroll down my other blog  entries anyway).
If you are Benedict Cumberbatch you may get a very faint impression of the fandom you rule so gently. (If you really are Benedict, please contact me. I’ll take the evidence that a journalist do know that your fans are the Cumbercollective and may ask intelligent questions.)

“Cumberbatch is (…) as unique
as his name.”
CSmonitor
 

First there is this special moment when you realize that this person has something, well, special. Something you can’t explain. In case of Benedict many of his now devoted fans confess that it wasn’t love on first sight. Because Mr. Cumberbatch doesn’t look like a man you would easily describe as beautiful or lovely. With his face that is somehow oddly angular, his distinctive cheekbones and his auburn curled hair, he doesn’t fit any normal pattern. But if you get hooked by any of the characters he plays – probably BBC’s Sherlock – you will find that he is a very special person. As an actor he’s able to cry on the spot, change the expression of the figure he impersonates within the wink of an eye (Do watch “The Blind Banker” scene when Sherlock and John are in Seb’s office. And this guy says that they hated Sherlock at the university.) “Cumberbatch is the latest British sensation in Hollywood — an actor of scrupulous intelligence and a fragile, shape-shifting presence as unique as his name”, writes csmonitor and puts two sides of a coin together.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQZEAUpHGn0

Since Benedict Cumberbatch first played Sherlock back in 2010 he has become a household name not only in Britain. It got him the attention of Hollywood who in the shape of director JJ Abrams hired him as the baddie for his latest film “Star Trek: Into Darkness”. He saw Benedict Cumberbatch and despite the fact that Star Trek fans wouldn’t agree with his decision, Abrams thought that he was right “because he was so damn good.”

Cumberbatch’s fans obviously not only know that he is a brilliant actor who literally gets under the skin of every figure he plays and reads every available snippet helping him to understand the character. They adore Benedict because – after all the fame and all the success he now has as an actor who can easily decide which role to take – he’s still that guy you may meet at a bookstore or on London’s tube (which is known because fans spread the news on twitter) and who is always astonished that people gather at the set of “Sherlock”. Here they wait patiently for him to come along, politely signing autographs, chatting with his fans and taking pics with them. Pics that will instantly flood the internet and being discussed in every possible detail.

Found on Twitter.

Although Benedict once in a while confirms that he is not on any of the social networks, he nevertheless rules the internet (You of course know that he chatted with fans on a AMA on reddit – you find my transcipt here. But this is a rare moment). The worldwide fandom stays in touch on the internet as a place to meet and share it’s love. Being part of the Cumbercollective is much more than giggling, crying and fangirling around. Women who are confessed fans (rumours say that there are also men around) are intelligent, self-assured, manage their lives and have much wider interests. Interests that are also inspired by Benedict who nourishes countless blogs that only exist because of him, inspires his fans drawing (well not only) and writing about him (as you see in this blog), and creating such lovely things like these Cumbercupcakes within a breathtaking short amount of time. His fans watch over him like a Gentle Giant eager to have his back when needed, giving money for charity as a birthday gift, funding the film “Little Favour” created by his company Sunny March. They follow his preparations for his roles by reading Arthur Conan Doyles’ original Sherlock Holmes’ stories, learning about Alan Turing (who Benedict is about to personate in a new film), Salomon Northup’s life he wrote down as “12 Years a Slave” and about Wikileaks in “The Fifth Estate”.
While Benedict Cumberbatch is more busy than any bee possibly can be, the Cumbercollective tries to keep pace with his activities which is not always easy especially in this year which truly is the Year of The Cumberbatch.

Harrison Ford and Benedict Cumberbatch
at the Graham Norton Show

If part of this article sound weird this is due to the fact that I’m no native speaker, so don’t be too harsh.

Feel free to share this blog entry but please quote and link properly.

A love at second sight – From BBC’s Sherlock to Doyle

It was not love at first sight. Not at all. In fact it was a most disturbing experience. Don’t know why I tuned in when BBC’s “Sherlock” first aired on German television. Maybe it was one of the boring evenings you give something different a try. Before you go to bed with a good book. Or no book at all. But this try was an absolute failure.

First episode of the first season “A Study in Pink” starts with another nightmare of Dr. John Watson. He (as in the original books) came invalided home from Afghanistan trying to find his way back to civil, normal life. But of all these facts I simply had not the faintest idea. I expected to get a typical Sherlock Holmes scene in a typically old fashioned British flat, with the typical hat and a pipe of course. This had always been this way. At least for me who hadn’t read anything of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and just had a very, very vague knowledge of the famous detective mostly gathered and stored in the deepest corners of my memory through old TV films. And now this: soldiers, war, shooting, screaming, noise, a man haunted by all of his memories, breathing deeply in terror, unable to sleep – I turned telly off.

But somehow I stumbled across “Sherlock” again – blaming a colleague with whom I chatted about the must read-books and crime stories in general. “You have to watch ‘Sherlock’”, she insisted. “It’s brilliant, it’s funny – you’ll simple love it and it’s just on a replay on TV.” So in the summer of 2012 I gave it another try and spend warm summer evenings nailed in front of my TV anxious not to miss a single word and with my recorder ready for later replays.

A decision that haunted me ever since
When I finally got the original DVDs from the BBC I didn’t know that I made a decision that haunted me ever since. I first entered the illustrious company of Sherlockians (and the Cumbercollective which devoted me to Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch) and second sent me on an adventure to discover the original works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Stories that inspired Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, creators of “Sherlock”, to bring the famous detective to the 21st century.

“It’s love. We love Sherlock Holmes so much. It’s an exercise in love,” said Steven Moffat about their work (in Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival 2012) trying to convince Holmes and Doyle fans that they never intended to handle their heroes with disrespect.
Understanding that Moffat and Gatiss – who are long termed friends and colleagues working together on different episodes of BBC’s “Doctor Who” – are trying to get to the fundamental idea that lies underneath these stories and gets new fans closer to the original core. Says Moffat: “Conan Doyle’s stories were never about frock coats and gas light; they’re about brilliant detection, dreadful villains and blood-curdling crimes – and frankly, to hell with the crinoline. Other detectives have cases, Sherlock Holmes has adventures, and that’s what matters.” (“Sherlock unlocked”, BBC, 2.Series, DVD).

“Just do it now”
They believe that with every new movie version, there came a sort of “Victorian pastiche” lying over the characters. “We came to the conclusion that the best way to do it, was to strip all that away and just do it now. The characters live and breathe in the modern days”, explains Gatiss on how they brought Sherlock Holmes back to life.

A life that was as fascinating and thrilling as it has been to the contemporary readers of the original canon who wondered how Holmes could solve crimes simply by observing and using his incredible leaps of logic. And Sherlock Holmes today is still the only man in the world who has this abilities. “Doyle and Sherlock Holmes created an awful lot of things we take for granted in terms of police forensics. So we couldn’t pretend that this all haven’t happen. What we’ve done is to make sure that the police take care of all that. And what they can’t do is make them magical with that incredible leaps of logic that only Sherlock Holmes can do. He’s still the only man in the world who has this brain”, says Mark Gatiss (“Unlocking Sherlock”, BBC, 1.Series, DVD). Having all this in mind and knowing that they have been brooding about a modern day Sherlock Holmes for years, a traditional fan may find his peace with the series which third series is already filmed and in post-production. Yet no air dates are officially announced due to the BBC which will schedule the series after all finished episodes are delivered to them as Sherlockology is explaining.

“This is not Sherlock Holmes updated. Honestly I think this is Sherlock Holmes restored.”
Steve Moffat (Unlocking Sherlock, BBC, 1. Series DVD)

Fans who simply fall in love with “Sherlock” because they get hooked by a brilliant Sherlock in the name of actor Benedict Cumberbatch (getting famous outside Britain through the movie “Star Trek into Darkness”) who matches perfectly with Martin Freeman’s John Watson (who as “The Hobbit” has the movie of his life) find not even a new favourite TV series and a fandom prepared to discuss and share every second of every episode, including speculations about how and when the show will be continued and if the careers of the main characters will let them find spare time to film new episodes in the future at all. But these fans will also find a sort of second world lying behind the BBC series, shining through, luring to get more addicts.

Without the original “Sherlock” wouldn’t work

“Sherlock” is not just fangirling around (there are rumours that there are men who love it, too). Unlike most other series each episode is 90 minutes long which gives it the impression of a movie and like a movie each one is a story within itself. But one will not fully understand the special relationship between Sherlock and John if one has not met them at the beginning. And one will simply not manage to focus only on this series because sooner or later one wonders how this scene or this dialogue or this strange Sherlock behaviour took place in  the underlying world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works. And without this world the modern settings and dialogues simply wouldn’t work.

As in the original canon John and Sherlock  are looking for a flatmate to share rooms in the famous address 221B Baker Street.But in “Sherlock” we meet two handsome young men in their late 30s or early 40s. “We’ve never seen them so young”, says Steven Moffat and we’ve never meet them in our contemporary time – giving room to all sort of speculations. “There’s another bedroom upstairs in case you’ll needing two bedrooms”, explains Mrs Hudson when Sherlock and John take a first look at their later flat (Sherlock, A Study in Pink). “Of course we’ll be needing two bedrooms!”, John replies and starts a running gag that will be popping up every now and then throughout the series. But the question of whether they are gay or not (John never misses an opportunity stating that he isn’t whereas Sherlock mostly just doesn’t care about this ordinary question and probably believes this is boring) is not the only thing that is in need of an explanation when transforming Sherlock Holmes in the 21st century.

Although the flat and its interior is slightly old fashioned and mostly could have been this way since the last century, Sherlock is a very modern man. He searches the internet, he texts, he writes emails, he has a website, he watches telly (and corrects it). But he also plays the violin and composes when he’s thinking, sometimes doesn’t talk for days on end (“I get in the dumps at times, and don’t open my mouth for days to end”, says the original Sherlock Holmes, “A Study in Scarlet”) and is slightly autistic not only when trying to solve a crime – attitudes picked up from the original character and translated in a modern language.

“I get in the dumps at times, and don’t open my mouth for days to end. (…) It’s just as well for two fellows to know the worst of one another before they begin to live together. “
(Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet)

This language is speckled with quotes invented by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – the genius writer as Mark Gatiss often points out in various interviews – which are carefully handled like archaeological artefacts, cleaned from dust and given a new place to adore them. So as John for example rumbles over Sherlock’s ignorance about the solar system (“It’s primary school stuff! How can you not know that?” Sherlock, The Great Game) Sherlock impatiently shouts that if he ever had known it, he deleted it. Because his brain is “my hard-drive, and it only makes sense to put things in there that are useful. Really useful. Ordinary people fill their heads with all kinds of rubbish, and that makes it hard to get at the stuff that matters!” (Sherlock, The Great Game) intending that only a sorted memory will be able to give him the information he needs when he needs it. Of course there are no hard drives in Sherlock Holmes’ Victorian London and probably the word has even not been invented. But the original character considers “that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across. (…) Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic.” (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet) – and he also doesn’t care if the earth goes around the sun.

Reading the originals, watching “Sherlock”, discovering the parallels and the references in the episodes which pay respect to Doyle’s work is part of the Sherlockian fandom which could and will never exist without the original and will bring more readers to the fantastic works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Notes:
Written for the English Edition of The Baker Street Chronicles published by Deutsche Sherlock Holmes Gesellschaft, Autum 2013. This version is slightly updated.

Quotes taken from “Sherlock”, complete series 1&2, 2012 (4 DVDs)

Transcriptions of the series and the interviews of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss by me. Sir Arthur Conan Doyles’ “Sherlock Holmes” is quoted from “The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection”, Bedford Park Books/ Kindle-Edition and Sherlock Holmes, Collector’s Library, Complete & Unabridged, Pan Macmillan, 2005

Die deutsche Version gibt es hier.

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