This is truly an end of an era. There will never be another Taylor. She was beautiful, glamorous, generous, talented and a force of nature. To begin to compress the tumultuous lifestyle led by Elizabeth and her huge body of work in American cinema into this one post is nigh impossible. Taylor was at once an exception and the last of the great Golden Era of Hollywood. Launching her career at the tender age of 8 and managing to succeed the precarious transition between child star to fully acclaimed stage and screen actress, Taylor made everything so seamless. Audiences got drunk on the heady combination of her passionate performances, her otherworldly beauty and her quavering voice. As Richard Burton, the love of her life and husband no 5, described his first encounter of the young Taylor: She was so extraordinarily beautiful that I nearly laughed out loud.… She was unquestionably gorgeous … She was lavish. She was a dark unyielding largesse. She was, in short, too bloody much. Her lifestyle was excessive, but she was as happy dining at The Ritz as she was in a Welsh pub with locals. A paparazzo’s dream, she was glamorous and exciting, engaging and mercurial. She was unapologetic for her insatiable appetite for life and the finer things in life, such as her numerous jewels. Yet, she was also a true friend who supported many in times of trouble and her activism in raising public awareness of AIDS during a time when it was still taboo showed how defiant a person she was.
Blighted by severe illness in the later part of her life, Liz had been a survivor but now I’m glad that she is at peace and a sentimental part of me feels that she is finally home – reunited with her one true soulmate being read Dylan Thomas poetry.
Story of a Love Affair  Read More
The soundtrack to a film when done beautifully can lift a film and subconciously resonate. Many directors make the mistake of bombarding a film with hit songs without taking in consideration the emotion playing out on screen – often it can just be a jarring and distracting experience. There are three film directors who’s use of vintage tracks are flawless; Martin Scorcese, Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson.
Anderson is a divisive film-maker but I adore him and my favourite film of his has to be the glorious ‘Rushmore.’ The film follows Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzmann), a driven but poor academic schoolboy who forms a close bond with Bill Murray’s industrialist Hermann Bume. However their friendship is challenged when they both fall in love with elementary school teacher Rosemary Cross (played luminously by Olivia Williams). Anderson had been listening to a lot of British Invasion music from the ’60′s and had originally considered using The Kink’s music for the whole of the film’s soundtrack. However when consulting with the film’s music supervisor Mark Mothersbaugh they agreed that only one of the Kink’s tracks would remain. Historically the British Invasion songs coincided in England with the emergence of ‘The Angry Young Man’ character that was appearing in kitchen sink dramas such as John Osborne’s ‘Look Back in Anger’ personified by the two Richards (Burton and Harris). Therefore these British Invasion songs embody Max’s character perfectly – the adolescent schoolboy who presents himself as sophisticated and respectable but inside bubbling is an angry guy in meltdown mode. Read More
The acoustics in this place are fantastic – my echo sounds with such clarity here!
Well it’s been far too quiet on this blog so I suggest a challenge for all you cinematic lurkers out there. Inspired by the Guess the Pic game – I have come up with a little game of my own. Now I do apologise if some other blogger has already been rolling along with this idea for many a happy years – I do not mean to hijack or monopolize and well what’s that saying about minds thinking alike? Read More
Sensuous. Mysterious. Alluring. Monica Vitti was all these and more. The Italian actress came to prominence under the watchful eye of Michelangelo Antonioni and it is not hard to understand how she became his muse.
Her face was exquisite with imperfections that made it more beautiful. Her hair always perfectly tousled (better than Bardot’s). But unlike her contemporaries who exploited their curves and revealed as much as possible, Antonioni dressed Vitti in simple outfits (at times nothing more than a loose high-necked jumper and mid-length skirt) as if to not detract from her expressive face. Certainly her beauty made it easy to watch her but in motion she was utterly entrancing. She conveyed more with a glance than a monologue ever could. She often played women, intelligent women struggling to understand the modern world and her role in it. There was a slight detached, world-weary aura about her but still she revealed flashes of a person eager to feel something genuine. As well as having emotional depth with a layer of frosty sensuality, Vitti also had a vibrancy and brilliant comedic skills which she explored in later films during the 70′s . Few have come close to matching her screen presence. And no-one has done it with such style.