Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 19 April 2010


Some current interests: the dvd of CLOUZOT'S INFERNO arrived yesterday - I had tickets for a screening of this at the London BFI back at the height of the snow and ice a few months back so I did not go - but now the dvd is here, with some interesting extras. Fascinating to see now, Romy Schneider here in 1964 - she went on to WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT next, and Clouzot's methods and how his film was not completed. Movie making in the '60s!
2 new CDs: Maybe not a great singer but I like the summery sounds of Astrud Gilberto and that samba bossa-nova vibe, some nice stuff on this greatest hits, including the extended original of "The Girl from Ipanema". How very mid'60s. Mose Allison is over 80 now but still going, I just like this laid-back white blues guy and those great songs, again redolent of the 60s.
The BFI programme for May - after the current seasons on PSYCHO, L'AVVENTURA etc in April, its on to Agnes Varda and Jack Cardiff for May. I for one will want to see BLACK NARCISSUS and PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN again on the big screen. Pity they are not including that Sahara horse opera, Hathaway's LEGEND OF THE LOST with Wayne and Loren, which Cardiff photographed - and makes it look fabulous.
I have some Varda dvds including her films on Jacques Demy (on the CHERBOURG dvd) and the 25th anniversary of LES DEMOISELLES DE ROCHEFORT (on the BFI Rochefort dvd) and her JACQUOT DE NANTES, but it will be nice to see LE BONHEUR again - it has not been seen here since 1965! There are two Varda box sets just available too, which should be worth investigating. Varda herself is making several appearances at the BFI during May.
MAN'S WORLD - the most fascinating novel I have read in ages - surely a modern gay classic telling two stories 50 years apart which come nicely together. Its a touching romance set in the repressive fifties, contrasted with the hedonism of today's clubbing generation [been there, done that]. Things are taken to excess here but its a terrific read. I loved it. What else has Rupert Smith done? Its inspired me with my own novel/memoir.
Then there is Jamie Oliver, back with his latest moneyspinner JAMIE DOES... - but its food and travel, what's not to like? The first episode of the new series was on last night, set in Marrakesh, great armchair viewing as Jamie shops, cooks and explores that mysterious city, with France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Sweden all lined up as well as Morocco. I may even try some of the recipes, like that easy Courgette Gratin or the Moroccan chicken with preserved lemons tagine...
and the dvd of NINE also turned up. I didn't care for the movie that much - as per my review on here - but there are some interesting extras on its making, plus an interview with Sophia Loren, thats good enough for me.
Next up: MAD MEN Series 3 has just finished, so now its catching up with the Series 1 and 2 boxset, and GLEE continues.

A friend Daryl Chin, currently in Berlin, mentioned a stage production of that 1930s drama MADCHEN IN UNIFORM, in his blog - which prompted me to get out the dvd of the 1958 version, with those 2 icons of mine: Romy Schneider and Lilli Palmer, which also works very well. Romy is Manuela the lovelorn orphan at the strict military academy for girls in pre-world war one Prussia who forms a forbidden attachment to the understanding attractive new teacher, as who wouldn't...

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