May I?

I must confess, I feel very lucky. I've been looking for a song for a very long time and found someone who sent it to me. Not a usual thing nowadays that people are actually kind with and to each other. So that's the reason why I am swimming in joy.
I heard a line of the Bing Crosby song May I? for the first time in The Talented Mr. Ripley and I got impressed. And now that I actually have the song, I can say it's just as perfect and beautiful as I have expected whenever I was listening to the line 'May I be the only one to say I really fell in love the day I first set eyes on you'.
Now I possess numerous Crosby songs and I would like to promote you some of them.
First of all, what I love about him and his work is that the songs have their own atmosphere. While listening to Mr. Crosby you feel like you were in an old movie or at least next to the singer himself - now that's what I call time travel!
His voice is unbelievable, I could listen to it for ever. It's like he was singing next to me or directly to me, so he makes the audience feel very close to him. The lyrics are no exception: they are excellent and express feelings we all have but are unable to express this beautifully.
Even the titles are inspiring, thought-wakening and impressive. My other favourites are On Treasure Island, Someone Stole Gabriel's Horn, Try a Little Tenderness and Two Cigarettes in the Dark.
I also recommend you all to check out the website of The International Club Crosby. Their magazine is marvellous as well, and the club is the world's longest-running fan club (it was founded in 1936)!

That's what I like about music and culture and 'style' itself that includes it all - you can never know who you meet. Now I met Bing Crosby though I've seen him a couple of times before, but it's only now that I recognised how great he was. And how great he IS, since he remains with us forever through his fabulous art.


All the lost souls go back to bedlam

Just like millions of others, I've been in love with James Blunt's music ever since You're beautiful hit the radio stations. Later, when his album got released, I happened to realize You're beautiful was not his best song at all (so basically, he's different from many artists who have one hit that sells the album) - Goodbye my Lover, Billy, Out of my mind... just to mention a few. Okay, actually, I adore that album inside and outside, and no matter how many times I listen to it, I just can't get enough. So it's quite understandable that I've been waiting for this for so long - his new album, All the lost souls is out today!
The first single, 1973 suggested it would be a bit different and I couldn't decide whether it was a good or bad change. It's understandable he wanted something else - just like in the case of The White Stripes after Elephant, for James after Back to Bedlam there was really nothing more he could have achieved in the same style since he has already created something that was the best of the best.
In my opinion though, 1973 is too Coldplay-ish. There were many comparisons back when his debut album got released but I think that was way more unique. I don't say 1973 is a bad song, no way, it's good but compared to his previous ones, it's hardly anywhere. But since his first ever single wasn't the best either, I still had hope in him.
On the album, the second song, One of the brightest stars returns to the perfect roots, and it's simply beautiful. It is so good actually, that while listening to All the lost souls for the first time, I didn't care if it was only the second track, I listened to it once more. It was the same with the Same mistake, Carry you home, Give me some love and I could go on - I am already unable to choose a favourite song, they are sooooo marvellous!!! So it seems that's his recipe to success: that the first single is only an aperitif. In brief, the titles, the artwork, the lyrics and above all, the voice are still wonderful. And the songs? They are great as well. It always takes some time to examine and fully understand them, to make them be suitable for your own life and emotions. I definitely give him 5 out of 5 stars - another material I won't be able to get bored of.


Alice, be talkless!

For your information, I am a huge Picasso fan. So huge actually that I am prone to spend fortunes on memorabilia related to him. But somehow, my favourite Picasso merchandise of all (if you can call it merchandise anyway) is a DVD that cost me no more than 10 (I bought it a year ago right after it was released and since it is quite a rare and unknown picture, it's extraordinary that it was so cheap). The title of the movie is Adventures of Picasso (originally Picassos äventyr), a Swedish movie starring Gösta Ekman and Lena Olin, directed by Tage Danielsson.

It is, in my opinion, THE best movie ever made about Picasso, because it can measure up to him more than any other film based on his life and/or art. And though Anthony Hopkins (one of my favourite actors, so I respect him a lot) look more Picasso-ish in Surviving Picasso, I would say the Adventures of Picasso and Gösta Ekman are more Picasso to me, even if the movie itself is not authentic and Picasso was anything but that shy in real life when it came to women... But maybe this is the key to it, the humour that Pablo never ceased to use and the fact that Picasso's works LIVE, unlike any ohter artist's masterpieces (not even Salvador Dalí could create a world Picasso managed to create in only a few moments).

And though the paintings shown in the movie are not original (I mean, they do not look like the original ones) and are not necessarily based on any original paintings, the film makes us understand what it could mean to be Picasso and how he could consider being Picasso (remember his /in/famous quote, "now there is fame! Of all—hunger, misery, the incomprehension by the public—fame is by far the worst. It is the castigation of God by the artist. It is sad. It is true").
Believe me, it is worth watching and purchasing. Not only because it contains 10 languages (so there is no such thing as synchronizing, thank God!) and not only beacuse the movie itself is one of the best motion pictures of all time (it is a cult movie for those who know it) but because the DVD also contains some fabulous extra features, including two documentaries on him (Picasso and the world and Picasso and women) and we can sing the famous Sirkka song with Sirkka herself, or try to perform it alone, thanks to the karaoke video. There is also a feature, it's called Follow the white dove! - while watching the movie many fun facts can be read about Pablo and the movie itself.
So, Picassos äventyr is truly genious - just like Pablo himself, claims the tagline of the DVD and I totally agree with it.



Venice has always been the IT place for me - I love New York, I love London, but no other city had this much impact on me.
And being a self-confessed pop culture fanatic (though my media teacher would not really be happy hearing this...) who's especially into valuable music, films, literautre and fashion (yes, that exists in pop culture too) and finally, being a brit pop admirer, it is no surprise that I have found my IT shop in Venice.

Oh yes, everything started with The Beatles... I think I have a special connection with them (I share my b-day with Sir McCartney!!), maybe that's the reason I'm totally infatuated with britpop?? And this shopwindow (okay, almost every single shopwindow in Venice, even the baker's window) is like a museum, so arty, so perfect, so desirable (at least for me. My mother wasn't really fool for it)... I want every single piece from that store!!!

Of course, other pop cultural icons, just like the fabulous Betty Boop are also available in the store, in various forms of merchandise.

If you wanted to know where the shop is, well... that's a good question. Somewhere between Bridge Rialto and the train station. Seriously, despite the fact that I've been to Venice countless times, I still can't tell where the coolest shops are (okay, except for the high fashion stores.) - you just wander around and voilá, they're in front of you, again and again!!


For the second time!!

I must confess, the happiness I am in right now measures up to winning an Oscar - the reason? It's quite simple: Jon Stewart, my favourite comedian, the man I love to death with or without his (in)famous The Daily Show, will host the Academy Awards for the second time next year.
To me, who is notoriously absent from school after the day of the ceremony (in Hungary, the show begins at 1:00 am or even later), it is absoultely good news since he is my favourite host of all time. I might be partial, but no Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal (though I admire and like him as well) or Ellen (oh, Ellen, I adore her, she's my... well, second fave comedian) could feel me better while watching the Academy Awards. Jon is wonderful, he's exceptionally funny, he's very celever and intelligent (the two's not the same you know) and he also has the looks.
I can't wait 'til Feb 24, not only because Jon will be the host, but because I hope most, or at least some of my favourite movie stars will attend the ceremony as nominees...


Rest in Peace

Another rest in peace post. Last week it was the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana's death, and now Luciano Pavarotti died. He passed away after a very long battle with pancreatic cancer.
I remember how sad I was when I heard he would never sing again and how devastated I was when José Carreras said the famous three tenors (Carreras, Pavarotti and Placido Domingo) would never get on stage without any of them because all of them are irreplaceable.
But that emotions were nothing compared to this, because the world lost someone impeccably wonderful - his voice, his smile, his style, his elegance, his relationship with us, mere mortal admirers - we lost Luciano Pavarotti, one of the world's most famous opera singers and no-one will ever be able to make the pain of loss go away.


On the Road since 1957...

It is not quite usual that a novel becomes the symbol of a whole era, and it is even rarer that named novel remains so extremely popular after the official "fall" or passing of the generation it was written for/about.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest or
The Catcher in the Rye might be influential and cultic, but in my humble opinion the two ultimate novels that make the list of masterpieces I have mentioned above are Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thomson and On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
On the Road "celebrates" (if a novel can celebrate... it's author surely can't anyway, unless in Heaven) its 50th anniversary today (September 5) so this is the reason of this post, at least, the main reason.
What makes On the Road unique is its quirky humour, odd acts and weirdly loveable characters. It perfectly represents the Beat Genetation with all its problems. The novel is largely autobiographical hence many things, characters features in it are real, or are inspired by existing persons. I think it is even more fun to read it knowing almost all of it happened and looking up the real people behind the aliases can be really exciting.
Empty Mirror Books has a list of Kerouac's characters, with the real and fictional names. You can check this list by clicking HERE.
So do I have to tell the story? I think you already know all of that. If not, you can guess it by the title: it's the story of Mr. Kerouac's (and his occasional and all-time friends', including Dean Moriarty /Neal Cassady in reality/, who has since become something very much like an icon due to this novel) road trips across mid-century America. If you haven't read it yet, hurry up, I assure you it will be an eternal experience.

There are also legends of how/why/where/when he wrote the book and even the life of Kerouac was interesting, not only because of his inner circle and pals (including many if not all of the greatest names of the generation, from Allen Ginsberg to Ken Kesey) but because of all his wanderings and thoughts. I also like it about him that he changes style when writing - for example, his other novel, The Subterraneans is written in an absoultely different yet overwhelming style, but still, it has the characteristics of Kerouac himself (this novel followed On the Road in 1958).

If you want to see him with someone else's eyes, read the book that was written by his daughter, Jan Kerouac and is basically a reaction to On the Road. It's entitled Baby Driver and though it is called "semi-autobiographical", it is just as interesting to read and it's plain to see there are many autobiographical acts in it, especially when she talks about her relationship with her father.


I am feeling terrible heartaches - after45 years in fashion, Valentino, one of the ultimate fashion designers, the one who's influenced our beloved world so much and for so long, decided to retire.
Not to make it that hard (or to make it even harder??) to accept, he stated he'll design (actually, I guess, has already designed at least one) two more collections for his fantastic brand: one Ready-to-wear (it will be shown in October during Paris Fashion Week), and one final haute couture, due to be shown in January.
The 74 year-old designer told PEOPLE: "At this time, I have decided that is the perfect moment to say adieu to the world of fashion. As the English say, I would like to leave the party when it is still full."
The rumour has Gucci designer and fellow Italian Alessandra Facchinetti will be the new creator of Valentino. I don't know if she's good for that, Gucci is so different from Valentino, but anyway, if Karl could do it to his brands, why couldn't Allessandra do it as well? Okay, she's definitely not Karl and sadly not Valentino himself, but at least there's hope that we'll see more of the most beautiful dresses in the world - this time with the name, but without the dreamings of Signor Valentino Garavani.

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