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?