For our Friday musical highlight, I give you the unforgettable iconic MARILYN MONROE singing DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND from the film GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES.
Enjoy your weekend.
Once again, the Christmas season is upon us. Mmmmmm. Good times…
Our miraculously marvelous friends at EW have put together a rocking compilation of 35 highly anticipated cinematic releases.
THE DESCENDANTS (NOVEMBER 16)
COWRITTEN & DIRECTED BY ALEXANDER PAYNE
STARRING GEORGE CLOONEY, JUDY GREER, BEAU BRIDGES, ROBERT FORSTER
BREAKING DAWN: PART I (NOVEMBER 18)
KRISTEN STEWART, ROBERT PATTINSON, TAYLOR LAUTNER, ASHLEY GREENE, PETER FACINELLI, NIKKI REED, KELLAN LUTZ, MICHAEL SHEEN, ANNA KENDRICK, MAGGIE GRACE
HUGO (NOVEMBER 23)
DIRECTED BY MARTIN SCORSESE
ASA BUTTERFIELD, CHLOE GRACE MORETZ, BEN KINGSLEY, JUDE LAW, RAY WINSTONE, EMILY MORTIMER
RAMPART (NOVEMBER 23)
DIRECTED BY OWEN MOVERMAN
WRITTEN BY JAMES ELLROY & OREN MOVERMAN
WOODY HARRELSON, STEVE BUSCEMI, ROBIN WRIGHT, SIGOURNEY WEAVER, BEN FOSTER, JON FOSTER, NED BEATTY
THE ARTIST (NOVEMBER 25)
JEAN DUJARDIN, BERENICE BEJO, JOHN GOODMAN, JAMES CROMWELL, PENELOPE ANN MILLER, MALCOLM McDOWELL
SLEEPING BEAUTY (DECEMBER 2)
WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY JULIA LEIGH
W.E. (DECEMBER 9)
COWRITTEN & DIRECTED BY MADONNA
ABBIE CORNISH, ANDREA RISEBOROUGH, OSCAR ISAAC, JAMES FOX, LAURENCE FOX, LOLA LEON
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (DECEMBER 9)
COWRITTEN & DIRECTED BY LYNNE RAMSAY
TILDA SWINTON, JOHN C. REILLY, EZRA MILLER
CARNAGE (DECEMBER 16)
DIRECTED BY ROMAN POLANSKI
WRITTEN BY YASMINA REZA & ROMAN POLANSKI
KATE WINSLET, JODIE FOSTER, CHRISTOPH WALTZ, JOHN C. REILLY
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL (DECEMBER 16)
TOM CRUISE, JEREMY RENNER, PAULA PATTON, VING RHAMES, TOM WILKINSON
THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN (DECEMBER 21)
DIRECTED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG
JAMIE BELL, DANIEL CRAIG, CARY ELWES, GAD ELMALEH
ALBERT NOBBS (DECEMBER 21)
COWRITTEN BY GLENN CLOSE
GLENN CLOSE, JANET McTEER, JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS, BRENDAN GLEESON, MARIA DOYLE KENNEDY, BRENDA FRICKER, PAULINE COLLINS
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (DECEMBER 21)
DIRECTED BY DAVID FINCHER
ROONEY MARA, DANIEL CRAIG, CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER, ROBIN WRIGHT, STELLAN SKARSGARD, GORAN VISNJIC, JOELY RICHARDSON, JULIAN SANDS
WE BOUGHT A ZOO (DECEMBER 23)
COWRITTEN & DIRECTED BY CAMERON CROWE
MATT DAMON, SCARLETT JOHANSSON, THOMAS HADEN CHURCH
WAR HORSE (CHRISTMAS DAY)
DIRECTED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG
JEREMY IRVINE, DAVID THEWLIS, BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, EMILY WATSON, EDDIE MARSAN, DAVID KROSS
EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE (CHRISTMAS DAY)
DIRECTED BY STEPHEN DALDRY
SANDRA BULLOCK, TOM HANKS, THOMAS HORN, JOHN GOODMAN, MAX VON SYDOW, VIOLA DAVIS, JAMES GANDOLFINI, JEFFREY WRIGHT
THE IRON LADY (DECEMBER 30)
DIRECTED BY PHYLLIDA LLOYD
WRITTEN BY ABI MORGAN
MERYL STREEP, JIM BROADBENT
BEAUTY & THE BEAST 3D (JANUARY 13)
VOICES OF: PAIGE O’HARA, ROBBY BENSON, JERRY ORBACH, ANGELA LANSBURY
HAYWIRE (JANUARY 20)
DIRECTED BY STEVEN SODERBERGH
GINA CARANO, EWAN McGREGOR, MICHAEL DOUGLAS, ANTONIO BANDERAS
ONE FOR THE MONEY (JANUARY 27)
DIRECTED BY JULIE ANNE ROBINSON
KATHERINE HEIGL, DEBBIE REYNOLDS, SHERRI SHEPHERD
To get a gander at the gallery, please go here
This article is written by KISA LALA at THE HUFFINGTON POST
“Being ready at 9 am in any country,” sighed CHARLOTTE RAMPLING, smartly turned out in a black suit after a late night of revelry in the West Village. THE LOOK had just premiered the night before in New York and GABRIEL BYRNE had popped out to greet her after the show.
GABRIEL recalled how he’d sweated over how to impress her while on a first stroll through Central Park together and seeing a night guardsman walk past had quipped, “Ah, night porter!” CHARLOTTE had ignored his remark and had kept walking.
Later GABRIEL had asked, “But wasn’t that funny?”
“You don’t know how many fucking times people have said that to me,” CHARLOTTE had replied.
CHARLOTTE RAMPLING’S films do not flash across neon lit marquees in middle America, but her carefully culled oeuvre (“Sort of my artistic choice…a way of living, of evolving for me,” she tells me) has garnered a cult of swooning devotees who admire her courage in picking unconventional roles spanning four decades of cinema.
More prolific than ever, she has recently starred in LEMMING, SWIMMING POOL and HEADING SOUTH, playing conflicted reclusive roles or evil camp cameos, like in the sci fi flick BABYLON A.D. She has also appeared in a MARC JACOBS fashion shoot, as well as an extended love fest with photographer JUERGEN TELLER, who played nude antics over a piano and gleefully peed into a flowerpot while CHARLOTTE, curled in bed, indulgently looked on.
All the excavation and over blown analysis into her enigma seems redundant when she is, more evidently, an artist committed to questing in life. While THE LOOK is a biopic, featuring conversations with friends, it is tamer and less confrontational than past roles that explore darker aspects of her nature revealing, instead, a more contented side.
We share a couch near a lovely blazing fireplace at a lounge in Soho. I tell her that I wished she’d included a conversation with a younger woman, beautiful and successful as she had been when young, to create a tenser dynamic. Ms. Rampling fixes me with her hooded leopard gaze.
“Hmm. I didn’t think of it…but it could have been good.” It was a bit early to talk about love, aging and mortality at breakfast, but I struggled to get past the platitudes.
KISA LALA: What about a crossover artist like TILDA SWINTON?
CHARLOTTE RAMPLING: I don’t know her, though I’ve met her once. She’s certainly someone I would identify with; we are on the same sort of path. I feel in some ways she’s stronger than me, able to take on certain things I can’t take on.
KL: When you’re born beautiful you aren’t expected to do much more in life…
CR: It’s all ready enormous. What beauty brings is huge. It brings great privilege, great power and potential to do many things. If you are beautiful, doors open for you; people smile at you; you are accepted in places where others aren’t. So the relationship that people have with beauty, in a sense, is almost deforming.
KL: Your older sister’s suicide gave you a sense of mortality at a very young age…
CR: Yes, because you know there’s a brutal end. However it will be. Her death was brutal and I had that in the face very young.
It sent me on a very deep search. Not necessarily to be rebellious or provocative. But it so happened, within that journey…it led me to get to the depth of something – a feeling, a life, or philosophy; to get my teeth into something, which made some sense and which wasn’t just [sighs] beautiful and suddenly finished – and what are we here for…and what on earth is going on in the world and how are we supposed to live. I started to quest and began my journey into life then.
KL: And you surrounded yourself with challenging men. DIRK BOGARDE coined that expression about THE LOOK you had. Was the film, in a certain sense, an homage to him?
CR: Yes, you’re completely right. The meeting of me and DIRK…it is an homage, this film almost could be made because of him. And because of the circumstances in my life then, I started something with him. And he was older. He became my master, my trusted friend, he and TONY [DIRK BOGARDE'S partner]. They were that side of my family that were gone.
KL: Being in a place of vulnerability you had protection from the right people perhaps?
CR: Perhaps…and is it because one has the animal instinct to seek out the people that suits one? You see people that go on life’s journeys and get muddled along the way. If you look at their lives they’ve always gone with the wrong people…Can you say it’s the wrong people? I don’t know…
I was working with these very iconic people, [like Visconti] who were able to inspire me into a way. You can choose many ways can’t you? Again, if you are beautiful and talented and I had made films and people were looking at me – and so I could choose.
KL: DIRK BOGARDE also explored a spectrum of sadomasochistic and gay roles: THE NIGHT PORTER, THE SERVANT, THE VICTIM…
CR: He’s gone into dangerous areas that at that time had not been exploited — not been seen with homosexuality — with things that were beginning to come into the open.
KL: You are fortunate you share this rich cinematic history with your public and with younger generations; it’s now part of collective memory. What about the personal impact of memory – is it a gift or a burden?
CR: I think you can choose. You don’t need the painful memories, because either you’ve resolved them. Denying always makes them want to come back. Denial is a mechanism that doesn’t work. But allowing them to come back in little by little, those memories, you can begin to be quite comfortable with them and it’s even nice to have that as part of the map of your life.
KL: That’s wise…
CR: But as human beings, we do need to learn to become wise… because we all can and it’s not something only given to wise old men with beards sitting on top of mountains.
KL: Letting go of the fear of exposure can be liberating – and you were finally public about your father trying to suppress what your mother knew about your sister’s death and having to go along with that for so long.
CR: By trying to control everything we become very neurotic, more and more desperate. It’s a huge tragic thing. The reason I talked about that when my mother died – because I wouldn’t say anything till she died and then I realized in some ways, bizarrely, I did want to talk about it…But then you know, it’s always going to be talked about – but that’s what I needed to do and I couldn’t not.
Now what happens with a lot of information is that it keeps coming back and back and back…[beating the couch emphatically] and soon as it’s out there, it sort of loops back through all the different channels and all the networks.
But what we need to do is go back to each time we do something and remember and respect why we did it.
KL: As long as it was a conscious decision and you weren’t drunk…
CR: Yes! And you weren’t forced into it.
KL: In the age of the internet, you’re not just separated from your public by film critics, people can access your films on line, give immediate feedback. Has that affected your relationship with the public?
CR: I find that a bit confusing and I suppose I am not that generation. Even for other things I don’t look at it. I get dizzy. Not even about myself, but generally. [laughs] It’s dizzying all this information.
KL: Do you think you’re more of a rebel in films than in real life?
CR: No, I am the same person.
KL: But perhaps you are straighter in terms of love; a serial monogamist? Are you a believer in true love?
CR: Yeah, I believe —well I say now, because each love evolves very much over the years. I’ve always been monogamous — [within it] I’ve been in love with people, but very platonically. For me, monogamous love is about learning how to be able to trust someone completely; so you need to be able to think you can trust them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have extraordinary feelings for other people and not feel guilty about them, but not necessarily go and wreck marriages and consummate…and you don’t have to do all that.
KL: It can be platonic, perhaps like with the chimpanzee in MAX? I like the idea of living in solitude, but together. With desire though, it doesn’t necessarily change with age does it?
CR: That’s right. Exactly. But I am able to somehow work through that differently because sexual desire, it’s not a priority…well it’s just less complicated, but I can quite understand why for other people it is.
KL: I am curious about your paintings. I often write about art and it says more about a person’s emotions than asking them to be literal about who they are in conversation.
CR: Those are my funny strange creatures I live with. One of my favourite artists is Giacometti. And I didn’t even realize that I was doing it, but those sort of Giacometti creatures come out of me…it’s the spirit of him, it could be his family. They are not sculptures but I work on materials with wood. I bring these people out of them that are rather like very strange lonely creatures that come out of the darkness. A person will come out…I’ve been asked to expose them and I might, but I need to be more diligent and work on them a bit more.
KL: I am wondering about the film’s reception in the UK.
CR: I know, in your own country, you always sort of wonder – so it’s going to be very interesting.
KL: Hmm… a tough audience there. But perhaps next, a knighthood is in the cards?
CR: Knighthood! [chuckles] I am not qualified to be a Dame. To be a Dame you have to represent England in a way that I don’t. No, I got the OBE because I represent England outside of England more…but thinking of me as an actor, I haven’t done all the classical theatre, all the great roles. Think of HELEN MIRREN and me. HELEN, who I adore, is a friend – should be a Dame.
I am the rebel, the revolutionary on the side.
KL: The edgy icon? Well, daring DAME CHARLOTTE, you definitely deserve it…
CR: Well, thank you. That’s very sweet. [peals of laughter]
This article is written by SUSAN MICHALS at THE HUFFINGTON POST
Kitsch. Kink. Colour.
PEDRO ALMODOVAR has to be one of the great masters of this filmic trifecta – and has become one of the most beloved directors of this (and the last) century.
BENEDIKT TASCHEN is known for giving the public not just books of sheer beauty, but delving into the realms of shock and awe. HELMUT NEWTON’S SUMO, LE PETITE MORT – they are titles that straddle (excuse the pun) both beauty and shock with rapturous aplomb. So when it was announced that BENEDIKT TASCHEM was publishing a book around the works of Spanish director PEDRO ALMODOVAR, it sounded like a match made in heaven.
And so did a good portion of the population of Los Angeles, who happened to show up at a book signing last week, where the one and only auteur was on hand, doing a Q&A with long time collaborator and close friend ANTONIO BANDERAS.
The self taught Spaniard is responsible for 33 films, including WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, VOLVER, ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER and TALK TO HER (for which he won an ACADEMY AWARD for BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY).
Now he has a new epic to present us with – this book – which has got to weigh 20 pounds – aptly entitled THE PEDRO ALMODOVAR ARCHIVES. Every movie, every chapter of his career is in here. The book is a combination of interviews, never before seen photos, articles that have been written about both the director and his films and even interviews that he calls self interviews that he did with himself.
IMDB describes him as the most acclaimed director since LUIS BUNUEL, to which PEDRO (in a brief interview just prior to his meeting the throngs of fans waiting just outside for him) said, “Oh my God, this is too much.” The director is humbled by tonight’s event — in a way, he reminds one of a Spanish Santa Claus in his demeanour with his rosy complexion and full cheeks — and beyond grateful. He and LUIS BUNUEL worked very hard on similar subjects yet in very different circumstances.
“Buñuel and I, we have the same genetic. We belong to the same culture even though his period was very different than mine in Spain…He was always under a dictatorship more or less with Franco. I’m very impassioned with the way that Buñuel introduces the irrational in his films. Without any real explanation – without changing the light or changing the tone, he kept it as part of reality itself – that’s always been a lesson for me. I also very much identify with his sense of humour – it can be very dark, but it’s also very Spanish and frequently very ironic.”
What does he most love about Buñuel?
“Something that I admire very much [about Buñuel] is the way in which he was very courageous – tackling topics that are difficult…and for me, that is something that comes naturally – yet still I am completely enamoured that in the face of these challenges, he mastered them so magnificently. You can say that we belong to the same family, but someone I don’t want to be compared to, because I will always end up losing,” he said with a bit of a giggle.
Does he have a favourite Buñuel film?
“The Exterminating Angel. The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz. Viridiana…El. I guess that’s more than one.”
Colour and more importantly art is an important factor in all of PEDRO’S films. So is there a particular artist he identifies with?
“In my latest film, Louise Bourgeois the artist was an influence, but then songs or movies by others give me ideas to work with. From the moment I hear a song or see a film, even though they belong to other people, from the moment that I digest them, they almost become part of my own biology.”
The time has now come for PEDRO to start signing books. So what does he think of the sheer girth of this amazing volume?
“For good or for bad, that is my work.”
This article is written by KAREN KAIN at THE HUFFINGTON POST
Dancers, like all performing artists, like nothing better than to be challenged. And there’s no challenge greater or more exciting for them than to have a new ballet – especially a full length story work – set on them by an extraordinary choreographer.
It’s not just that it gets the creative adrenaline flowing, but it reaffirms for them the reason they became ballet artists in the first place — to bring to life emotions, ideas and characters and convey moods and themes through the medium of dance that will move an audience.
That challenge has been taking place over the past several weeks at the WALTER CARSEM CENTRE here in Toronto by the dancers of THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA. In 2007, I asked ALEXEI RATMANSKY, Artist In Residence at AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE, if he would be interested in creating a new version of ROMEO & JULIET for our company.
I had long been a huge admirer of ALEXEI’S work and thought his sensibility and vision would be a perfect fit with our dancers and aesthetic goals. We had been dancing a version of ROMEO & JULIET since 1964 and while it had always been a mainstay of our repertoire and one of our most popular ballets, it was a work that cried out for rejuvenation, for a fresh interpretation. When ALEXEI said he’d love to work with us, I was thrilled, as were our dancers when it was announced.
When ALEXEI arrived to work with the dancers, he proved an ideal creative leader. No two choreographers are exactly alike in their temperaments or working methods and that uniqueness is also part of what makes the creation of a new work so exciting. ALEXEI turned out to have a natural rapport with our dancers and an extraordinary ability to make clear to the dancers not just the steps and movement, but his conception of the inner workings of the drama, what he wanted the ballet to be about.
It was gratifying to see how enthusiastically the dancers responded to ALEXEI’S vision, not just in choreographic terms (and there is a lot more dancing in this version than the old one) but in growing into and inhabiting the wealth of characters the ballet possesses, locating and bringing out their inner lives and emotions.
Needless to say, a new production involves more than the dancing. New sets and costumes had to be designed and created, which sent even more ripples of energy out through the company. Even a fresh marketing and public relations campaign had to be devised. Everyone became caught up in the enthusiasm of the project and you could feel the power of the project practically surge through our building. When the ballet opens at the FOUR SEASONS CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS this week, it’s going to be an amazing moment. There’s nothing like the force and challenge of a new ballet to galvanize everyone involved in bringing it to life.
ROMEO & JULIET opened at THE FOUR SEASONS CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS in Toronto on NOVEMBER 16, 2011 and runs until NOVEMBER 27, 2011.
For more information, please visit www.nationalballet.ca
DONATELLA VERSACE knows how to throw a party.
The designer debuted her much anticipated line for H&M at a star studded event in Manhattan on Tuesday night that included a full length fashion show, a private concert by PRINCE and some serious late night shopping.
“The collection is fun,” DONATELLA told PEOPLE as she headed into the bash.
“It starts with the iconic moment: Gianni’s black leather and gold studs. Then there are the Miami prints that people know the best. I wanted to show them the real thing and then it goes through the evolution of Versace from the prints to my collections up to today.”
“I’m very happy tonight,” she added.
“I didn’t expect such a turnout. I knew it would be exciting, but not like this.”
“I’m very proud of my mother,” ALLEGRA VERSACE, wearing vintage VERSACE, chimed in.
“I’ve been wearing the H&M line. I love the fact that it’s going to make all these clothes accessible to kids my age.”
The celebrities who showed up in great numbers were also enthusiastic. UMA THURMAN recalled a particular VERSACE moment — she wore one of DONATELLA’S gowns to the GOLDEN GLOBES a few years ago — and NICKI MINAJ even paid tribute, too.
“This is what Donatella wanted,” she said, pointing to her wild green wig.
“And what Donatella wants, she gets.”
Following the fashion show, positive reviews were flying.
“I loved it,” EMMA ROBERTS told PEOPLE.
“The clothes, the hair and makeup were amazing. I feel like it was really done right. I’m unsure of a lot of collaborations, but this made so much sense. It was so fun and young and I would wear everything.”
EMMA and the rest of the crowd then moved into another room, decorated to look like a disco, and watched NICKI MINAJ and PRINCE take the stage. The iconic artist even came back for an encore, performing PURPLE RAIN and dedicating the tune to DONATELLA.
When the concert ended after 1 am, a curtain opened, revealing a huge display of the VERSACE H&M line on racks, mannequins and tables, with every outfit and accessory in the show available in great numbers and all sizes. And until the wee hours, fashionistas — with credit cards drawn — went wild.
“I’m a little bit sad that the collaboration is over tonight,” DONATELLA mused.
“I worked with a fantastic team of people. And I learned a lot.”
Most importantly, though, she was happy to share her brother’s legacy with a younger audience.
“I’d never touched the prints since my brother died,” she admitted.
“I took them from the archives and added the fun and excitement and glamour.”
Exactly what VERSACE is all about.