Thursday, 28 June 2012

Three brothers

I absolutely adored this scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - it was creepy, beautiful, haunting and so well-drawn. In it I caught a little glimpse of what the Harry Potter films could have been like if, well, they'd tried. Such such a shame (I'm in fervent hopes they'll remake them in twenty or thirty years time...). Nevertheless, watching things like this makes me desperately nostalgic for Harry Potter - I think a reading marathon is definitely in the cards for when I return home.




Monday, 25 June 2012

Give me some more time in a dream

Continuing with my incredibly sporadic attempts at style blogging. Until I become less awkward don't expect to see my face. I've tried outfit photos many many a time with an actual camera but each time the framing looks crooked, the lighting harsh and the clothes themselves nondescript. I'm a huge fan of this modern sort of photo-taking - webcams, Instagram and the like: they soften reality and don't rely on any actual, well, artistic talent. Thank God. On the minus side, webcam photos are incredibly reminiscent of angsty teenage girls taking a thousand new Facebook profile pictures. I guess I'll have to balance out this unfortunate association with my ├╝bercool wit...

Dress, New Look. Cardigan, Dorothy Perkins. Charm bracelet, Accesorize.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

She moves in her own way

On the new Facebook profile there's a section you can fill out where you list your most inspirational people. Mine's blank at the moment, but if ever I were to start, I know who I would put immediately: JK Rowling (yep...still a child) and Tavi Gevinson. It's maybe a little odd having someone younger than yourself be a role model, especially seeing as how I'm not so old anyway. But I find Tavi absolutely inspiring and a remarkable young women, both in her awesomely cool style, her attitude, the boldness with which she writes and the unparalleled work she's done for teenage girls and young women the world over. I may be out of the key demographic by three or four years, but I still read her webzine Rookie every night before sleeping, and I still find it incredibly empowering. Basically, she's a very cool chick - which is why I was so excited to find this editorial floating around my Tumblr. Isn't it lovely? I need to steal those dresses somehow.


Source, photography by Petra Collins and Tavi Gevinson

Sunday, 3 June 2012

But the most special are the most lonely

Regina Spektor has released a new album and all that I've heard so far is simply gorgeous. I always get a little nervous when an artist I like releases something new. What if it doesn't live up to the previous material? Or more specifically, what if the identity, the emotions they created in their previous album aren't present in this one? Luckily though, she seems to be the same as ever, beautiful, unique and poignant. Love her.

First there's lights out, then there's lock up
Masterpieces serving maximum sentences
It's their own fault for being timeless
There's a price to pay, and a consequence
All the galleries and museums
"Here's your ticket, welcome to the tombs"
They're just public mausoleums -
The living dead fill every room 

Friday, 25 May 2012

"If we can't protect the Earth, you can be damned well sure we'll avenge it"

Like much of the world, I'm on a bit of an Avengers high at the moment. I've seen it twice - once in French and once in English - and am seriously considering how lame it would be to go again. And again. When I was younger I went through a phase of absolutely hating superhero movies - I think mostly due to the Spiderman trilogy and how incredibly shite it was. The Avengers however succeeds the way other superhero films never seem to, by being both mind-blowingly, awe-inspiringly epic and also strangely relatable and human. This is mostly due to its rather unusual concept: rather than being the now rather clich├ęd story of a lone outsider (usually a geeky young boy who as soon as he takes off his glasses turns into a fully-fledged hunk) trying to come to terms with who he is, The Avengers features a whole team of superheroes, each with wildly different powers and backgrounds who come together to defeat a super-badass. By putting them all on an equal footing, the dynamic between the characters becomes far more interesting and unique - you really get the impression that you're in their world, rather than the other way around.

Plus they're all just awesome. Robert Downey Jr, long term love of my life, seems born to play the cool, cocky, witty Ironman who strikes up frequent tension with the selfless, slightly lost Captain America (Chris Evans). Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as Thor, remaining as charming and, despite his burly physique, sweet as ever. Mark Ruffalo is heart breaking as Bruce Banner (aka The Hulk), a damaged, vulnerable, self-loathing scientist whose volatile alter ego has the power to make or break the team. Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner round off the troupe, sizzling with chemistry, while the frankly amazing Tom Hiddleston portrays Loki, the deranged, unbalanced yet somehow incredibly adorable antagonist, intent on taking over the world. While the special effects are breathtaking (when the Helicarrier rose out of the sea: dude) it's the relationships and interactions between the characters that truly makes the film. They go from being fractured, isolated and mistrusting individuals to a real team. With incredible direction (what else can you expect from Joss Whedon), a great score by Alan Silvestri, and a tight, brilliantly witty script, this is not a film to be missed. Believe the hype people.






(Also, quite frankly, everyone in the film is gorgeous. I'm struggling to decide which of them - including Scarlett Johannson - is the most attractive. Still undecided.)

Monday, 14 May 2012

Bend and stretch

How incredible is this video? I absolutely adore ballet, like practically every single little girl I did a bit when I was younger but just didn't have the stamina to carry it through (shocking, I know). Nowadays I can only enjoy it as a spectator but it's still pretty magnificent. Thus far I've only been to see the very classic ballets - think Tchaikovsky and tutus - but this video shows the more physical, demanding side of it that's often glossed over. Imagine how strong and supple you have to be to do half of what they do...

Monday, 7 May 2012

Let me keep this memory, just this one

Clementine: Joely?
Joel: Yeah, Tangerine?
Clementine: Am I ugly?
Joel: Uh-huh.
Clementine: When I was a kid, I thought I was. I can't believe I'm crying already. Sometimes I think people don't understand how lonely it is to be a kid, like you don't matter. So I'm eight, and I have these toys, these dolls. My favourite is this ugly girl doll who I call Clementine, and I keep yelling at her: "You can't be ugly! Be pretty!" It's weird, like if I could transform her I would magically change too.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The deep blue sea

After getting frustrated with uploading photos on my last post, I decided that my blog would look way better if all my posts and all the images and videos were centred. So I went through two years worth of archives, manually changing each post seeing as I couldn't figure out how to do it automatically. Then a few days ago I decided I didn't like it, so spent a great deal of time turning everything back the way it was. So, er, all the non-changes you can see around here are thanks to hours of work. I can be a bit of a tool sometimes.

Corsica is now 500 miles behind me and I'm all settled in Bordeaux for the next three months, on the final stretch of my year abroad. This is the last time I move around, I promise! (Apart from maybe a couple of day trips, what's a girl to do when she's in the middle of gorgeous French countryside?) I got a card from a friend today that said it best: "HAPPY HOUSEWARMING. Again." I miss Corsica a bit - I had an amazing time there - but I am looking forward to this new challenge. I'm interning at a art gallery again but this time it's way bigger so more opportunity to fuck up, I mean, get involved. A few pictures of Corsica though, just to be nostalgic on this Saturday night. I know I'm not the world's greatest photographer and my camera's certainly not the best. I love showing my photos on my blog though, somehow selecting my favourites to be displayed together neatly makes them look way better than they actually are ^_^ These photos are from a mini roadtrip I took with some French girls I worked with - it was pretty amazing driving through snow-topped mountains one minute and seeing the sun blazing on a gorgeous blue sea the next.






Thursday, 19 April 2012

Pure ablution round earth's human shores

Another set of photos (oh my, almost exactly a year later!) by Ellen von Unwerth for Vogue Italia featuring Astrid Berges-Frisbey, maybe better known (if you're a complete dork like me) as the mermaid from Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Uh huh. Still, c'est trop belle, non? I love edgy themed photoshoots, but there's something so classic and breathtaking about truly focusing on the aesthetic and beauty of it all. Plus I'm just a sucker for lace. Pourquoi pas?

Photos by Ellen Von Unwerth from Vogue Italia.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Can you imagine flying over a war? And you know you can never look down.

I'm not really an animal person. I do quite like them, I will willingly spend hours on YouTube watching pets do crazy things and I've made good friends with my building's resident cat. But they're not really a big passion of mine and often on TV shows (both Bones and Castle have done this), when they have an episode revolving around an adorable yet mistreated dog, I can't help feeling a little blank at the end. I like them, but I don't have the same emotional connection as I do with say, humans. That being said, I watched War Horse when it came out a couple of months ago and surprised myself by being in tears at the end of it.

I do feel part of this is more related to the theme of war rather than the animals. War Horse is set right before and during the outbreak of World War I, which is a war I've always desperately hated. World War II can be rather interesting to study, and there's a definite sense of right and wrong. For me however, WWI was a huge mess and a tragic waste of human life. The way cinema depicts war though can oscillate greatly, from regarding it as something noble and heroic to something violent, brutal and manipulative. The Guardian wrote a pretty interesting article on this around the time War Horse was released, on how as our history changes and new wars start and finish, Western attitude to war changes too. After years of portraying war as something ultimately honourable Spielberg has chosen to depict in War Horse the futility and brutality of it, by showing the horrors of the trenches through the eyes of something truly innocent - a simple farm horse.

Joey the horse is bought by a farmer and, despite being too thoroughbred and magnificent a horse for tasks such as ploughing he is broken in and trained with great love by the farmer's son Albert (Jeremy Irvine). However when the war breaks out, he is bought by a young army officer and is forced to plunge into the fray, eventually serving along both sides of the conflict. The film centres completely on Joey and his journey through what to him must have been an incomprehensible event. The human characters (an excellent cast made up of Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Thewlis, Emily Watson and David Kross) drop in and out of the action - are killed, are lost, are left behind, are reunited. It's a heartbreaking way of depicting the chaos, uncertainty and arbitrariness of the conflict. The one character we truly follow throughout the film is Joey, and although (thank God) no attempt is ever made to humanise him or articulate his thoughts, his spirit is clear to all, and his loyalty, fear and desperation are shown as clearly as if he were human.

This is very much a Western big-budget movie, and I'm sure there are plenty of other films that do a better, more down-to-earth job of portraying the reality of war. But despite that, and despite this really not being my sort of film, it just really rang true. I don't know if it was Tom Hiddleston's face as he rode into his first battle, I don't know if it was the sweeping, beautiful yet awful shots of the battles, I don't know if it was the exchange between an English and German soldier as they worked together to save Joey, and I don't know if it was one of the most beautiful scores John Williams has written in years (actually, I do know. Definitely has a lot to do with that).But this was a very lovely, heart-breaking film which, despite never glorifying war, ended up being rather noble anyway. Plus, any film with "Equine Make-up Artist" in the credits deserves a watch.




(Does this make up for my previous post? I do hope so).

Thursday, 12 April 2012

You set my soul alight

The internet in my flat is being a bit of a bitch at the moment, meaning I don't really have a lot of time to read blogs, write anything or even go on Facebook or check emails (there was some rather painful withdrawal, I'm not going to lie). I'm going to use this blessed little window of WiFi access for a quick post. I really really like Muse, and Supermassive Black Hole is one of my favourite songs of theirs. On the other hand I really really hate Twilight. Somehow though this scene has been in my mind for a while...months actually. The characters are still embarrassingly flat and the acting is atrocious. But I really like the style - the stormy greens and greys (cinematography was one of the few things the film got halfway right) - and maybe thanks to a lack of dialogue it's not quite as painful to watch as the rest of the film. Also, the song just makes it more awesome. Or maybe I'm entirely deluded. My next post will be magical I assure you, just to make up for this.

Friday, 6 April 2012

The last glimpse of sunset, a green flash shoots up into the sky

As I think I've mentioned, I'm currently in Corsica at the moment doing at internship at an art gallery. It's really interesting and I'm absolutely loving it. What's making it even better is just how beautiful the surrounding countryside is - it's filled with dense forests, dramatic mountains and gorgeous coasts. Unfortunately given how busy I am at work, I haven't had the time to really explore as much as I'd like to yet; on the plus side, I live about two minutes away from a beautiful beach, and the balmy weather means I can spend my evenings there watching sunsets and reading Harry Potter in French ^_^ These are some pictures I snapped the other day as the sun was setting, isn't it glorious?


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Mascara bleeds a blackened tear

Over the past ten or so years I've noticed a marked difference in what is "cool" and what's not. When I was younger, cool things were what everybody else liked, what everybody else was wearing, what everybody else was watching or listening to. Nowadays it seems to be the complete opposite - something is cool only if it's pretty unique and "edgy", not too edgy to make you hipster but not too mainstream to make you boring. I don't know if this is down to a shift in people's attitudes or simply the difference between what children aspire to and what people in their twenties aspire to. Either way, I've always found it a bit ridiculous - especially when it comes to things like music.

My favourite comedian Dara O'Briain did a great skit about this, about how stupid music snobbery can be. Still, I've always slightly envied people who seem to know the newest quirkiest bands, go to tiny gigs in cramped little pubs, support virtually unknown artists. And here I was thinking my love of Joshua Radin was a little alternative, whereas everybody who'd ever seen an episode of Scrubs knew who he was! It wasn't until a couple of months ago, when one of these impossibly cool girls I really admired posted a set of lyrics on her Facebook that it really clicked for me. Because these lyrics weren't of some underground grime band from Brooklyn, or a new British folk singer, rather they were from Justin Timberlake new dance single Carry Out ("Do you like it well done? 'Cos I do it well": Best. Lyrics. Ever.). And that's when I realised, what made her and her musical taste so cool was that she literally listened to whatever she wanted. Sure she might rave about the hippest new tunes, but in between that she'd be recommended a Glee cover she liked and going on about Lady Gaga. Since then I've been pretty much OK with whatever I listen to. I was even brave enough to put a Take That song on my iPod, albeit I am still rather apologetic about that. Anyway, this song by Franz Ferdinand is a new favourite of mine. The video is also almost as good as the song itself, it reminds me of a cross between an Alfred Hitchcock movie and an episode of Mad Men. And don't even get me started on how eerily beautiful the lyrics are.

I cannot turn to see those eyes
As apologies may rise
I must be strong and stay an unbeliever
And love the sound of you walking away, you walking away
Mascara bleeds into my eye, oh

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Standing outside looking in

The clothing line Band of Outsiders has been having quite an effect in the fashion world and blogosphere in the past few months, as much for its classic, chic, cool clothes as its unusual lookbooks in the form of old polaroids featuring famous actors simply chilling out. I have to admit, while I love their photography and I love their clothes, this is a style which really intimidates me. It's very cool, very simple and very self-confident. My own fashion sense involves a lot more colour and, well I call it quirkiness but I think "childish" might be a more suitable term ^_^ Still, even though it terrifies me and even though I won't be sophisticated enough to dress that way until I'm much older, I do still love the pretty.

All photos by Band of Outsiders, featuring Rupert Grint, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Felton, Michelle Williams, Marisa Tomei and Andrew Garfield. If they do a shoot with Zooey Deschanel one day I will die happy. Oh, and a few little me updates. I'm currently in Corsica interning at a museum, which is pretty damn awesome. Photos will be coming soon. And I now have a Tumblr which is pretty much just my online moodboard :)