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Thursday, 30 October 2014

BOOKS: Brando's Smile/Tennessee Williams

'Brando's Smile' by Susan Mizruchi - read this summer - good, a biography about acting, not his life and it's scandals, and NOW, alerted by the New York Review of Books. 

'Tennessee Williams' by John Lahr is on Kindle on my iPad - a good follow up to Marlon. 
Tennessee said about his first triumph "the catastrophe of success" - endearing and irresistible. 
'A Streetcar Named Desire' had set off a seismic shift in American Theatres. 



Blanche - "Well life is so full of evasions..." a long speech....
Stanley - "Let's cut the re-bop"

'Bop' is 'Bebob' early 1940's jazz as exemplified by 'Hey Ba Baby Re-Bob' - check it out on iTunes - listen carefully it is very rude. 

Monday, 27 October 2014

FILM: Ang Lee

Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi' (2012) was a disappointment. 

It was gratifying to find 'Lust & Caution', a 2007 espionage film, masterful.  The acting superlative in the leading roles of Mr. Yee - Tony Leung* and Tang Wei as Wong Chia Chi - wow!
Ten minutes of erotic love making took 100 hours to film. If you look up the number of scenes barred by the Chinese Censor on the Internet it is mind boggling - maddening for Ang Lee, a Taiwanese American. 

*Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi in the Wong Kar-Wai film 2046 is one of my favourite movies ever. 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

BOOKS: The Land Where Lemons Grow

'The Land Where Lemons Grow - The story of Italy and its Citrus Fruit' - by Helena Attlee. 

An utterly enchanting book which charms and gladdens the heart and often makes one smile!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

MUSIC: Strauss

Strauss' "4 Last Songs" have pleased me for years - I switch from one signer to another, current favourite - Karita Mattila. 
Past favourites... Jessye Norman, Monserrate Caballé, Renée Fleming, Dietrich Fischer Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Lisa della Casa - soon to be back in favour!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

ART: Queen's Gallery

At the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, "The First Georgians: Art & Monarchy 1714-1760" when Britain was the world's most liberal, commercial and modern society. It brings together over three hundred works of the Royal Collection from Royal residences across the UK. 
Elizabethan & the twist to European Classicism of the early eighteenth century are my favourite English manifestations in architecture and the fine arts. 
I was charmed by a portrait of Queen Caroline by Joseph Highmore, and much more. 


The First Georgians is some book - gloriously illustrated and erudite - edited by charming Desmond Shawe Taylor, Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

BOOKS: Loulou de la Falaise

If you are in New York look out this week for a Bergdorf Goodman window - the launch of Loulou de la Falaise - a book by Ariel de Ravnel and Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, published by Rizzoli. 
A terrific book - here in November. 
Loulou, whose unmatchable glamour and elegance, inspired 
Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) was his loyal friend, and is here given her due. 


Monday, 20 October 2014

FILM/DVD: Mephisto

I have rediscovered Klaus Maria Brandauer. 
I watched Mephisto - what an actor! - 1981 Movie, won an Academy Award - directed by István Szabó. 
Ordered the DVDs.. Colonel Redl, must see again - Hanussen, not seen - and La Revolution Francaise, in which Brandauer speaks in perfect French. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

ART: Degas Girl

On a September day in a London apartment, North of the Park, a Degas girl has a bath. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Sunday, 5 October 2014

THEATRE/ARCHITECTURE: Minetti at the Barbican

At the Barbican on a Saturday afternoon in August a Dress Rehearsal Minetti - A portrait of an artist as an old man - by Thomas Bernhard (translated by Tom Cairns & Peter Eyre, supported by the Edinburgh Festival/RADA/Juilliard Drama) 
The play went to the Edinburgh Festival - next the London West End or Broadway? 
Brilliantly directed by Tom Cairns (who triumphed with Traviata at Glyndebourne) and acted - a virtual monologue and a wonderful performance - by that consummate actor Peter Eyre (well known for having played in his time Hamlet, The King and the Ghost)
Jane Dickenson's costumes were perfect. The play tragic. 
Thank goodness the Concert Hall and Theatres are as good as they are in that grotesque Barbican - it might have looked good on a drawing board - BUT the brutalism is barbaric and unfriendly, a concrete jungle - I marvel at its ugliness that pursues one as in a bad dream, how is it a popular place to live?

BOOKS: Summer Reading