Ötzi the Iceman Is the Star of a New Action Movie

© Martin Rattini for Port-Au-Prince Film /Echofilm
© Martin Rattini for Port-Au-Prince Film /Echofilm

Scientists know a lot about what Ötzi the Iceman was like the day he died 5300 years ago. He had been 40 to 50 years old, he was wearing an outfit of furs and hides, and he had just eaten a meal of venison when he was shot in the back with an arrow and killed. Though the details surrounding earlier parts of his life remain mysterious, that hasn’t stopped filmmakers from bringing the Iceman’s hypothetical story to the big screen, according to Discover.

The new film, titled Der Mann Aus Dem Eis or Iceman, follows Ötzi’s life as it might have played out in the Copper Age. It takes place in the Alps, where Ötzi’s preserved body was discovered in a melting glacier by hikers in 1991. German director Felix Randau pulled some details for the movie from the evidence Ötzi left behind, including his bear-skin hat, goat-leather leggings, copper ax, and dozens of tattoos. For parts of the story and character that needed to be filled in, Randau collaborated with researchers at Italy's South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology to make them believable.

In the movie, Ötzi (whose name has been changed to Kelab) stalks the enemy tribe responsible for killing his family. The characters speak a made-up language inspired by Raethic, a language native to the region in Roman and pre-Roman eras. The crew even shot on location in the South Tyrolean Alps, near where Ötzi was uncovered, to achieve an authentic look.

Based on this theme of historical accuracy, you can probably guess how Iceman ends. The title character is hit by an arrow and dies alone in the snowy mountains. Even Ötzi's iconic final resting position, with his left arm extended across his body, has been recreated in the film.

Der Mann Aus Dem Eis hit theaters in Germany last month, and will receive a multi-platform release in the U.S. next spring.

[h/t Discover]

Game of Thrones's The Mountain Needed a Stunt Double for the First Time Ever in Season 8

HBO
HBO

There’s no question that Game of Thrones's final season will be action-packed. But Iceland native Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who plays Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane in the TV series, recently confirmed just how much more hardcore the upcoming episodes will be.

In a recent interview with Mashable, Björnsson dished on the final season (as much as an actor sworn to secrecy can dish about a show). Though he couldn’t reveal any really juicy details, he did spill a very interesting piece of information about The Mountain. According to the 30-year-old strongman, the final season was "the hardest season I’ve filmed for Game Of Thrones."

Filming got so complicated that, for the first time in his four seasons on the show, Björnsson needed a stunt double to play The Mountain.

“All the seasons prior to this season that we just finished filming, I never had stunt doubles. I always did everything myself," Björnsson said. "But the last season I filmed, the season that hasn’t been shown on television, I had a stunt double there."

Though fans certainly wanted to hear more about the scene (or scenes) that required a stunt double for the actor, Björnsson—much like The Mountain—didn't budge. “I can’t go into detail ... but I had a stunt double there I can tell you that,” he said. "He was big. He was tall, not as muscular."

It couldn’t have been easy for the show's producers to find a match for Björnsson, who is a professional strongman when he's not acting. He stands 6 feet 9 inches tall, and currently holds the title of "World’s Strongest Man."

As Björnsson has never needed a stunt double before, we can’t help but wonder what exactly happens to The Mountain in season 8. We'll be looking forward to finding out when Game of Thrones returns on April 14, 2019.

[h/t: Mashable]

New Book Provides an Intimate Look at the Handwriting of Freud, Marie Antoinette, and Other Historical Figures

TASCHEN
TASCHEN

Handwriting analysts would have a field day with TASCHEN's latest book. Titled The Magic of Handwriting, the 464-page tome offers a rare glimpse into the intimate lives and correspondences of some of the most well-known names in history.

In modern times, handwriting is a dying art, which makes it all the more meaningful to see nearly 900 years' worth of writing preserved in vivid detail in the book. A letter penned a year before the French Revolution shows Marie Antoinette’s neat signature written in small letters. In contrast, French writer Marcel Proust’s handwritten manuscripts were frantically scrawled on whatever scraps of paper he could find. Charlie Chaplin sometimes included a sketch of his signature hat and cane while signing autographs, and Sitting Bull, the Hunkpapa Lakota leader who was known for his courage in battle, dotted his i’s with what look like hearts or v's.

A signed picture of Sitting Bull
TASCHEN

A letter signed by Marie Antoinette
A letter signed by Marie Antoinette
TASCHEN

A manuscript handwritten by Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust's writing
TASCHEN

These artifacts come from the collection of Pedro Corrêa do Lago, a Brazilian art historian and curator who has acquired thousands of handwritten letters, manuscripts, autographed photos, and musical compositions over the years. The book features over 100 items from his collection, which also went on display last year at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City.

In addition to displaying different styles of handwriting, the book also highlights little-known facts about historical figures and insight into their personality. There’s a handwritten invoice from Sigmund Freud, who charged one client 2000 schillings (nearly $500 in 1934, or roughly $9400 today) for 20 hours of psychoanalysis. When his patient tried to negotiate a lower price, Freud reportedly replied, “I am still forced to make a living. I cannot do more than five hours of analysis daily; and I do not know how much longer I shall work at it.”

An invoice signed by Sigmund Freud
An invoice signed by Sigmund Freud
TASCHEN

Ernest Hemingway’s snark is on full display in a “Who’s Who” questionnaire he filled out for the publishing firm Scribner’s in 1930. Under the career section, he merely replied “yes." Under "hobbies," he listed skiing, fishing, shooting, and drinking.

For more stories like these, order a copy of The Magic of Handwriting from TASCHEN’s website or Amazon.

A cover of the book 'The Magic of Handwriting'
TASCHEN

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