Film: The Happy Prince

The world is a stage but the play is badly cast – Oscar Wilde

Rupert Everett as Oscar Wilde

Poet and Playwright Oscar Wilde is famous for many reasons.   I’m most familiar with his whimsical satire of Victorian society The Importance of Being Earnest – a classic about love, deception and mistaken identity.  A great character study… perfectly cast.

 And I saw his lipstick covered tomb at the renowned Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France.

Other than that, I learned a lot more when viewing the special presentation of THE HAPPY PRINCE at the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) yesterday.

No man is rich enough to buy back his past – Oscar Wilde

Actor Rupert Everett gives a simply remarkable performance as Wilde. He also impressively wrote and directed this powerfully empathetic account of the last years of the legendary Irish writer.

A short synopsis:

After spending two years in prison for his homosexuality—”gross indecency” was the official conviction—Wilde exiled himself to Paris, where he continued his self-destructive lifestyle while living in penury. Buoyed only by occasional contact with old friends Reggie Turner (Colin Firth) and Robbie Ross (Edwin Thomas), and with his wife (Emily Watson) and two sons far away, he’s a desperately lonely man who assuages his pain with alcohol, drugs and a succession of young men.  Everett was born to play Wilde, and his open, deeply felt film both honours his idol and conveys the essence of a man who, deprived of the things that make life worth living, maintained his ironic sense of humour until the end.

I can resist everything except temptation – Oscar Wilde

More exciting cinema until October 12th at:

Viff.org

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Documentary: ANTHROPOCENE – The Human Epoch

A masterful collaboration by documentarians Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier.

A world class documentary that is equally stunning and disturbing. Surreal and sobering. The mind boggling cinematography by legendary photographer Edward Burtynsky was the stunning part.  The disturbing part was everything else. It showcases to great effect our unprecedented impact on planet Earth to date.

And there was a lot to be captured.  And there is a lot to be fearful for.  And there is a lot to change…if we still can.

Concentric Circles Forming In Still Water

A short synopsis: scenes of almost inconceivable scale such as monolithic machines hell-bent on terraforming their surroundings, land-fill sites staffed by thousands, heaps of elephant tusks piled high and set aflame, concrete seawalls lining China’s coastline, on and on.  Only some of the things humans are responsible for that endanger and change the structure of the planet.

I knew it wouldn’t be a feel-good film.  But it was a necessary one.  Which brings me to this famous quote:

Seeing is Believing

More films until the 12th at:  https://viff.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Love of Film

It’s that time again…Following TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival).  Leafing through the booklet (shown above) there are too many films that I’m anxious to see.  A Sampling:

ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch

Okay; not feel-good but necessary knowledge:
The latest masterful collaboration between Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky isn’t so much eye-opening as mind-blowing as it essays our unprecedented impact on the Earth to stunning effect. The staggering tableaux captured here are at once surreal and sobering, including monolithic machines hell-bent on terraforming their surroundings and potash mines that evoke a bad drug trip. This is filmmaking of the highest order that unfolds on a dizzying, almost inconceivable scale.

Bathtubs Over Broadway

MAD | Music/Art/Design     (Because I LOVE Broadway Musicals)
Where did Chita Rivera, Martin Short and the late Florence Henderson (all present here) get their starts? In “industrial” musicals–musicals commissioned by corporate America from the 50s through the 80s to entertain employees and celebrate, say, bathroom fixtures or Fords… Dava Whisenant’s supremely entertaining film follows industrial musical obsessive Steve Young (a writer for David Letterman, who also appears) as he uncovers a hidden world. “Get ready to laugh, sing, cheer, and be dazzled.”—POV

In My Room (Israel)

Impact | VIFF Impact
Deeply intimate, unexpectedly moving and entirely of its moment, Ayelet Albenda’s documentary unfolds through footage culled from six teenagers’ self-produced YouTube videos. Make no mistake: these aren’t social media stars or influencers. They’re just average kids documenting their trials (including pregnancy and eating disorders) and trying to make some sense of them. The remarkably honest moments they share quickly coalesce into an involving study of the myriad iterations of adolescence.
I’ll be focusing on reviewing a bunch of diverse cinema during the festival.
Source: taken from VIFF website.
Have a great weekend!

End of Summer

It’s all about layering

Some random casually chic sweater weather inspiration.  For that unpredictable in-between time.  Exactly!

When the sun comes out you can still have a picnic.  Cleobella Capelet from Rachel Zoe Box of Style – the perfect cozy throw.

Glamping moment?

As for me?

The sun came out yesterday.  I wore a light sleeveless knit over beige cords. Jacket over chair. Thinking about where to go glamping next.

Cheers!

 

 

 

Goldfish themed sweet treats

A good friend of mine who lives part-time in Tokyo just texted me a photo where she was eating a goldfish at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

This is a lifelike goldfish lollipop

Okay; it’s not a real goldfish (thank goodness) but a jelly dessert that’s part of a Goldfish Festival on until the end of September.  So I had to research the festival because one of the many things I remember about the time I lived in Tokyo was that they have an abundance of not-your-norm festivals.  

WHY GOLDFISH?

In Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868), in the days before the blissful arrival of air conditioning and electric fans, the residents of Tokyo had their own tried and tested ways of dealing with the hot summer weather. Traditionally, people would don lightweight yukata cotton robes and found that viewing images of goldfish had the mysterious effect of providing psychological relief from the summer heat.

The Eco Edo Nihonbashi is a festival themed on the cooling image of goldfish, which aims to replicate this marvelous placebo effect as it takes over the streets of downtown Tokyo from early July until late September. Festival-goers are invited to try for themselves some of the tactics used to keep cool by Tokyoites of yore as they scoop goldfish, dance among the fish at a night-time aquarium party, and munch on refreshing goldfish-themed summer treats.

Eco Edo will showcase the curious cooling properties of goldfish to the full, with an array of goldfish-themed attractions. All these forms of Edo-period wisdom can be enjoyed in a traditional Japanese festival atmosphere, with the surrounding streets decked out with the festival’s trademark enormous goldfish lanterns.

Goldfish Sweets & Bar Walk

New to this year’s festival, enjoy traditional Edo hospitality on a gourmet stroll through Nihonbashi and Ningyocho districts, where many bars, cafes and restaurants will be plying guests with goldfish-themed sweet treats and bar menus as well as locally-produced Japanese sake. Dishes on offer include colourful jelly in glass dishes designed to resemble goldfish in a goldfish bowl, and chilled oden (fish and vegetable hotpot) garnished with tiny carrot goldfish. Visitors can also claim special gifts in each area they visit and collect stamps to enter a lottery to win luxury prizes.

As part of the food and hospitality event, the Mandarin Oriental is also tempting festival-goers with several special offers:

Goldfish Bowl Desserts

Slurp on exquisite layered jelly desserts made to resemble goldfish swimming in a goldfish bowl – they’re almost too beautiful to eat!
Where? Ground floor, the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
When? 7:30-20:00 (weekdays), 9:00-19:00 (weekends and public holidays) to 24th September.
Only in Japan!

Paper Diaries

Art speaks where words are unable to explain – Unknown

Diary of a Leitmotif

Leitmotif is a term originating from opera, where it referred to a recurring melody or  that played along with a character or allusion to a theme (idea or situation) whenever one or the other appeared on stage. It derives from the German words for “leading” (leit) and “motive” (motif).  But these are only words.

Last Thursday I attended the opening of Berlin based artist Deborah Wargon’s Diary of a Leitmotif at the Back Gallery Project on Vancouver’s East Side.  A most intricate and thought-provoking display of lines, contemplations and vibrations. Made from elaborately cut paper works and presented like archived insects in entomological display drawers from the Natural History Museum, Berlin.

Our fellow friend & filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming curated this intriguing exhibition which runs until October 8th.

With Deborah Wargon against a painstaking paper cut backdrop

More info:

www.backgalleryproject.com

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. – Thomas Merton

The way to spray you say?

Perfume

You know how a little dab will do you?  Well a little spritz is even better.  Perfume can be easily overdone to the point of turning people off with an overwhelming smell instead of a delicate but delightful scent.

We’ve all stood next to someone on an elevator who’s overdone it on the perfume front.  The floor you’re waiting to get off on can’t come faster.  For me having allergies, I can’t stop sneezing.  If it’s cheap perfume even worse.  So I suggest:

Take a clue from hairdresser and grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye, the series on Netflix.

He suggests the best way is to spray away from you, wait a second or two and walk right through it.  This is best done without clothing.  I’ve tried it.  It words beautifully and is not overpowering.  It leaves you with a more gentle fragrance.  Don’t Delay. Try it soon.

Jonathan Van Ness

 

 

 

Inside “Je Suis Couturier”

– ALAIA GALLERIA BORGHESE

Mixing Art with Fashion: There are Dresses and then there are DRESSES

Azzedine Alaïa, the famous Tunisian-born couturier and shoe designer who passed away last November left a lasting legacy to the world of fashion. Je Suis Couturier, an exhibition of 41 dresses by Alaïa, will be a chance for the admiring fashion crowd to pay their respects.  Especially since he never wanted a memorial.

With signature elegance and masterful cutting, Alaïa knew how to highlight the body’s curves like no other. Poignantly, the couturier himself selected the 60 pieces for inclusion.

In response to a couture career spanning 35 years, new and architectural pieces have been commissioned for the show, allowing artists and designers to pay tribute to a designer who was truly enamored with his craft.

“Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier” runs until October 7, 2018, at the Design Museum, London. www.designmuseum.org

Naomi Campbell Photo Credit: Josh Olins for British Vogue
– ALAIA GALLERIA BORGHESE

Azzedine Alaïa Photo Credit: Peter Lindbergh