Childhood heroes - movies, part II

As I think of my childhood, there are some films I think of as well. Movies I've seen at least a hundred times yet can't get bored of them. Of course, they're mostly comedies, the kind that entertains more and more as you watch it for the nth time. Comedies that are way more unique than the usually predictable films of the new century.

1. Taking Care of Business
With James Belushi, Charles Grodin and the brilliant Hector Elizondo, this movie is hard to forget. The tagline says Jimmy Dworski [played by Belushi] Finally Got A Life... Somebody Else's! and it sums the story just about perfectly. It's the series of coincidences that create a link between the not-so-sure-of-himself yet absolutely successful Spencer Barnes (Grodin) and the loser criminal who escapes from jail to watch a baseball game. Two words: pure excellence. And two more: impeccably funny.

2. Les Visiteurs
This 1993 masterpiece from France, starring Jean Reno and Christian Clavier, is about an 11th century knight who accidentally takes a travel in time (along with his servant) and arrives to the France of the 1990's. Their way of integrating to the modern society provides more laughs than most American timetravel films, due to the fabulous cast and, of course, the great screenplay.

3. Oscar
Rocky Balboa this, Rambo that, Oscar is the best Sylvester Stallone movie on Earth for me (they even managed to make him look attractive!). The gangster who tries hard to become a family man who respects the law, and his family and employees who make it quite hard for him. Not to mention the police and the other gangsters who keep an eye on him 24/7. Ornella, Muti, Marisa Tomei, Linda Gray and you fall from one laugh-attack to another.


The top 3 of Christmas movies.

Everyone has a favourite Christmas movie, even if it's not a romantic, let's-get-together film but a bittersweet one. I have three beloved movies with Christmas in it, but since I already have a post about one of them, I'll only write about the other two.

1. While You Were Sleeping
It's more than 13 years old and I still can't get enough. I couldn't tell how many times I have seen it but every time I watch it, I love it more and more. With Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher and the impossibly funny Peter Boyle (not to mention the character Joe Jr, who is the spitting image of a guy I know, insinde and out), While You Were Sleeping is THE Christmas movie, with mistletoe kisses and big family reunions, hilarious situations and yes, of course, lots of love. I can't imagine there is anyone in the world who doesn't fall in love after watching it for at least two times (you know, with some movies, love and entertainment gets stronger and greater instead of fading away).
Some Memorable Quotes:
Joe Jr.: O.K., Lucy, it's either me or him!
Lucy: Him.
Joe Jr.: You don't have to answer right away.

Elsie: I like Mass better in Latin. It's nicer when you don't know what they're saying.

Elsie: I don't drink anymore... I don't drink any less, either!

But my favourite is, and I can only translate it from Hungarian since I couldn't find it in English, sound like this:
Peter: You remind me of someone... Probably of yourself!

2. Love Actually
The best of the new century, from Great Britain. Starting with the British humour, through Alan Rickman's more than brilliant performance as the boss who feels a little something for someone not his wife, until Keira Knightley's really nice acting, not to mention Bill Nighy singing "Christmas Is All Around" and the dreamy castlist: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, Billy Bob Thornton and others (including Rowan Atkinson's indescribable cameo), and I still haven't said a word about Hugh Grant's unbearably funny dance (that was copied by our very own Prime Minister, but let me say, in a much less entertaining way)! I understand if someone says Love Actually is too romantic, too sweet, to lovey-dovey, but after all, it's a Christmas movie, and when else watch something like this if not on the day we're celebrating love?

My favourite dialogue is...:
Prime Minister: I'm not sure that politics and dating really go together.
The President: Really? I never found that.
Prime Minister: Yeah, well, the difference is you're still sickeningly handsome, whereas I look increasingly like my Aunt Mildred.

(And all my respect to Hugh Grant, but I really can imagine how that Aunt Mildred would look like if she existed...)

3. Mixed Nuts
Last year I had a post about this one, you can read it here.




I think even those who don't like opera know (and maybe like, or simply don't hate) Carmen, especially Habanera, the legendary song where Carmen is trying to seduce Don José (and why exactly him? well, you know how it goes: everyone wants you except for one, the one you want to adore you...). The song is not only beautiful, it's also quite whimsical and entertaining, very elfish and sometimes even taunting.
In the video below Habanera is performed by the magnificent Agnes Baltsa, and every time I look at her in this scene (and in Carmen general), I can't help but smile, because I simply admire and adore how she does Carmen.

It would be a mistake to write about Habanera without mentioning Callas - here she is, singing it in 1962, although not in a theatrical performance. The Habanera starts at 2:10, before there are various themes from the opera, but it's worth the nearly 6 and a half minutes to watch someone so iconic and divine, so beautiful and talented play with her voice, her gestures, her eyes and smile. Priceless.


Like a prayer. Or not so much.

I like religious poems that reflect the doubt we, human beings feel when thinking of God and afterlife. Ágnes Nemes Nagy, a Hungarian poet has a poem called "To liberty" and I think it's simply beautiful and thought provoking. Just an excerpt:

What good if you exist and I disown you?
What, if I praise you and you don’t exist?

Left-over God. Your wayward fascination
binds me no more. I tired long ago.
Some of my friends have just died of starvation.
You haven’t heard. I thought I’d let you know.

What kind of straw did they last clench their teeth on?
What kind of skulls sank to what kind of dust?
A few odd crumbs might have been within reason,
some small miracles would have been august!

I long to see their lips again in smiling,
their soft, round chins that were ground underfoot;
I long for Rome, - for beautiful, beguiling
gardens and for rich, luxurious food.

The whole poem can be read here: In English and in Hungarian as well, just in case you're interested.


Oh my goodness.

Is this really Agyness Deyn? I mean, how can it be? And why doesn't she leave all that unmature style behind and become a real lady? She would make such a classic and beautiful one.

Image source: Catwalk Queen


Lo dudo.

Lo dudo means "I doubt" in English and it's the title of a beautiful Spanish song by Latinamerican band Los Panchos. It was a great success at the time and it still is loved around the globe, especially like Almodóvar lovers, like me, who know and love this song (at all or even more) from La Ley del Deseo (The Law of Desire), where a very young Antonio Banderas singing it to his lover. So this song is not only wonderful, it's also part of a marvellous scene in a great movie.

The lyrics:
I doubt, I doubt, I doubt
that you'll ever love me
the way I love you.

I doubt, I doubt, I doubt
that you'll find a love as pure
as the love you've found in me.

You'll have thousands of affairs,
without love
but at the end of it all
you'll only have pain.
They will give you mad
but not the sincere feelings
I offered you.

And the videos, first
in La Ley del Deseo, and then, Los Panchos

La Ley del Deseo

2. Los Panchos...


Imagine what it would be like if you Let it be...

If there is one band without whom pop music would not exist the way it does, it's The Beatles. Their songs, their appearence, their fans are all part of the history of our world and this is why they will never be forgotten and never go out of style. Even those who don't like classic music admit that everything started with The Beatles and if you ask me, there is something in it that sends shivers down mine spine.
Anyway, in my head Let It Be and Imagine (one the two most respected songs of pop history) belong together, even if one of them is by The Beatles (and was written by Paul McCartney) and the other is a John Lennon composition. The atmosphere and the emotions it transmits seem very similar to me and I equally like them both. I have never met anyone, regardless to age or gender or social position, who didn't like any of these songs, regardless to their opinion about The Beatles/John Lennon. I think this is the highest sphere of popular music and art.
Someone once said that Imagine is the song every musician wishes was theirs. There's no reason to doubt his right.

Let It Be:



In pictures: Bettie Page.

Bettie Page, the icon of generations left this world behind to enter eternity.



1. CNN has a rather ironic yet interesting article about the baby from Nirvana's Nevermind album cover. To tell the truth, even if he has become somewhat the part of pop culture, he really should just be glad and let it go. Does he really think he can make it to the A-list just because he's the "Nirvana baby"??

2. The Golden Globes nominations are out and I am glad because the nominees really deserve it (just look at the dreamteam of the Best actor in a drama category) but I have a question: apart from some bittersweet British jokes, since when is In Bruges a "Comedy or musical"???

3. Vanity Fair published an article about The Things Yves Loved, with photos from late designer Yves Saint Laurent's apartment(s). Though it's no surprise that a designer has good taste, I still think YSL is different and it's definitely worth to take a look at the pictures.


Against fur. Again. Can't get enough.

I like anti-fur campaigns, they are not only touching and thought provoking but also, they are really interesting. Now it's animals wearing female hair - via Friends of Animals.
My favourite is this one and it really is true:

And please tell me, when you look at such a beautiful animal, do you think "oh, it would look so good in my wardrobe!"? If yes, please stop reading this blog.


Woody and the music.

There are many reasons why I love Woody Allen and one of these is his love for opera. Not only because he supported the renovation of Venice's La Fenice (oh yes, adoring Venice is also a thing we have in common) but also because when he uses classical music in his movies, he always makes sure to use the best and most beautiful ones. A recent example is his 2006 film, Scoop that had an especially whimsical and old-times atmosphere due to the tones of Swan Lake (and the wonderful script of course. For your information, one of the "songs", In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg was performed by The Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra) and whenever I think of Match Point, I always think of a picture saturated with touching opera songs. I like how using classical music in a film set in the modern world has a special vibe.

Many of the songs are performed by Enrico Caruso and it's not a surprise since he was simply brilliant. The film starts with Una furtiva lagrima from Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore and though my favourite Una furtiva lagrima is performed by someone else, it doesn't change the fact that this version is magnificent as well. However, my favourite Mi par d'udir ancora (from Bizet's I Pescatori di Perle) is the one that can be heard in the movie - by Caruso, just like Mia Piccirella.
Alan Oke's Un dì felice, eterea from my favourite opera ever, La Traviata is - along with Mi par d'udir ancora - my favourite song from the album and I have never heard it before watching the film (I don't know, maybe it was recorded specifically for Match Point).
Even if you yourself are not an opera lover but happen to know someone who is or simply who likes classical music, it would make a great gift for any occasion - it's more like a bouquet of wonderful arias than a simple soundtrack album.


So similar, so sexy (?)

Celebrities taking off their clothes for artistic photoshoots is the new trend. Of course, it's not a new thing (remember those Rolling Stone covers and French Playboy in general) but young starlets seem to love it.
Back in 2006 it was Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson for Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue and I did like that photo since it was really a quality work, it was really passionate-looking and maybe even painting-like. I have an olda postcard where a man is sitting in the centre and around him there are women pining for him, just like Tom Ford (Rachel McAdams was to be the third in the picture but she didn't want to pose nude. Actually, I think it was way better that Tom Ford popped in since McAdams is not that famous worldwide but Ford is hugely respected all around the globe) does in the photo for Keira Knightley. Plus, Vanity Fair always makes sure the photos are more arty than provocative and they never, ever look cheap (of course, they work with the best photographers).

When I first saw Tatler's cover with "rock babes" (meaning: famous-for-being-famous daughters of legendary rockstars) Leah Wood (Ronnie Wood's girl), Kimberly Stewart (from Rod Stewart's family, of course) and Peaches Geldof (daughter of the wonderful Sir Bob Geldof) I immediately thought of the Vanity Fair cover above. Maybe Tatler wanted these party girls look innocent and angelic, who knows, I don't like this photo that much. Leah Wood poses as of she was posing for any other picture and Kimberley looks just strange, may I say, as always? Probably the best job was done by Peaches but still, I wouldn't say this picture is a piece of art that someday will be the acclaimed part of the history of pop culture. I know Tatler is different from A-list magazin (if there's such a thing) Vanity Fair and that even those I'm-only-doing-this-for-money photoshoots with stars and their newborn child(ren) look beautiful on the pages of Vanity Fair and cheap in other media (just look at the wonderfully shot pictures of the Cruise family) but my heart still belongs to quality and not quantity.



In my dreams, every man dresses like this... And my dreams come true in... where else? Italy.

Image source: The Sartorialist


Top 3: Madonna.

It is probably impossible to say these are my favourite Madonna songs since she has so many good ones I think only those who say they don't like her find at least one they love. Anyway, these 3 are absolutely on the top for me, not only for the music but also for the beautiful lyrics and, as it is obvious with Madonna, they are different yet similar. I don't think anyone in contemporary pop music is as influential, successful and admired as Madonna is for her past, her present and her future alike.
1. Like a Prayer

One of the most beautiful songs of the last decades, there's no need to say anything more.
2. Frozen

The dark era - the lyrics, the video, the image, everything is brilliant.
3. Beautiful Stranger

Though I don't like Austin Powers, I love this song. It says what women feel when they would like to seduce that certain Beautiful Stranger...



I know it will sound terrible for those who like "rebellious" music and consider The Beatles one of these, but even the Vatican approves one my favourite musical eras: the '60s. And though I don't know what they would have to say about The Doors, it was interesting reading this article and no matter how cliche the last few words are, they are absolutely right (but thank God we've got some exceptions even today!):

Vatican media are praising the Beatles' musical legacy and sounding philosophical about John Lennon's boast that the British band was more popular than Jesus.
Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano recalls that Lennon's comment outraged many when he made it in 1966.
But it says in its Saturday edition that the remark can be written off now as the bragging of a young man wrestling with unexpected success.
The newspaper as well as Vatican Radio last week noted the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' "White Album."
It said the album demonstrated how creative the Beatles were, compared with what it called the "standardized, stereotypical" songs being produced today.


It's officially winter.

No matter what scientists say, for me winter starts when I realize the fact that Christmas will be here very soon - and it happens a different day every year. This year it was today, when it first snowed and also, it's the day when I see the new traditional Coca Cola advertisement with the trucks, the lights, the well-known music. I don't know why exactly this is what makes me get in the Christmas/winter mood but it is. Below are some Coca Cola ads you all have seen before and then, the latest (and its extended version) that I think is great because it really is international - just like Coca Cola.

And the new ad:


A taste of Hungary.

What I really like about my country's culture (other than the sweets and acrimonious food) is the music our artists made ca. from the '50s to the end of the '80s. Whe have a lot of iconic songs everyone here knows by heart, they are mostly ballads with beautiful lyrics (because it's easy to write beautiful things in a language like ours since it has dozens of words for basically anything). One of these songs is the beautiful Valaki mondja meg (Someone please tell me).
I tried to translate the lyrics the best I could but of course the rhymes and the sound is not as beautiful as the original version, performed but well-known artist Gábor Presser and his band LGT and the artists of Vígszínház (a famous and legendary theatre in Budapest).

So, the lyrics:

Someone please tell me what life is like,
Someone please tell me why it's like that,
Someone please tell me why life is nice
Someone please tell me why it's not,

Someone please tell me why people are good,
Someone please tell me why they're not,
Someone please tell me why they become evil,
Someone please tell me why they don't,

Someone please tell me who to believe,
Someone please tell me who not to,
Someone please tell me where can someone get,
What the water of life tastes like.

Someone please tell me the long years
Why seem to be only a moment,
Someone please tell me what it means "gone",
Someone please tell me where it's gone.

Someone please tell me how to live,
My father told me not to hurt others,
Someone could see me hurting you,
Someone could see you hurting me.

Someone please tell me why we're here,
My mother said "be happy, son"
But mother didn't say why not on this world,
My mother didn't say, tell me why.

And the video of the original recording:
(unfortunately I couldn't embed it...)

This is another version I found, performed by other respected artists:



The moment Roberto Benigni won an Oscar for La vita è bella back in 1999 made history - who can not recall Sophia Loren calling his name and then his rather whimsical way to the stage? Well, if you can't, here it is:

The thing about Benigni is that he is absolutely funny yet he has not made the mistake of many others comics who don't know how to be serious. With the aforementioned
La vita è bella (Life is Beautiful) he has proved to anyone who doubted that he is not only a brilliant film maker but he also has a huge soul and is very emotional. This film is different from the other films depicting World War II and the tragic of the Jews and it is also important because many people had stated many times that Italian cinema was dead. With this movie, this statement has lost its value. It's a classic that no-one seems to dislike, a "war film" without the usual tools of a war film, it's entertaining, funny and so touching I can hardly imagine any normally sensitive being who doesn't have tears in his eyes towards the end of film. Even for those who believe European cinema is nothing compared to Hollywood (or maybe especially for them??), it's a must-see.

My other film starring (and written and directed by) the wonderful Benigni is Johnny Stecchino. If there is a kind of humour that is so silly you can't resist it, Johnny Stecchino is on the list. Again, Benigni's character is someone a bit simple but loveable, with a mighty heart and an irresistible adoration for THE woman. This adoration is what turns out to be dangerous many times in the movie and it's not even the greatest challenge "Johnny" has to fight! I know it's a bit hard to get this movie anywhere out of Italy but if you can, I don't think you'll be disappointed. After all the unbearably stupid comedies this one will be refreshingly and surprisingly good.


Karl again and again...

Probably you have already seen the latest "it" picture on various blogs (originally from this one: On the Runway), depicting a very (and by very, I mean really) young Karl Lagerfeld.
The style is the same and if you ask me, the face is very recognizable as well.
It's only the hair that's different... Thank God!

Image source: Catwalk Queen


My new darling.

There are many people out there who change gadgets like lingerie - I am not one of them. I have emotions for my things and just because they're not that modern I don't stop loving them. This is why it took me years to get to the point where I say I would like to buy a new iPod. I used to have a mini and loved it dearly but I decided to "break up."
Originally, I wanted to buy a 3rd generation black nano, simply because I loved its shape more. But with the arrival of the 4th generation, stores sold out and I had to choose: a 4th generation in any colour, or a 3rd generation in that strange green or pink shade (yes, the important questions of life...). Considering the latest nano's new features, I gave in. I bought the silver version because I loved that the click wheel is black and on all the other colours (except for black) it's the usual white. I also found silver more elegant and more "me", so there was no place for hesitating.
To speak about the music-related functions, I really like Cover Flow (especially that it automatically appears when I tilt the iPod sideways) and the shuffle mode (I just have to shake) could be great too, IF I ever used shuffle mode. About the also new Genius feature... I must admit I haven't tried it yet but the idea is nice and I'm sure it's even nicer to use it.
The display of course is beautiful and the shape... I can not find words. Just imagine what it feels like after the "big, chunky mini"! I find it a bit strange though that the earphones have to be plugged in at the bottom but that's about the only thing I could question.
The other features, like that I can watch photos and videos are good but not that new and/or important but you can never know when you'll need them, right?
I read that with a compatible microphone it's also a voice recorder that actually is wonderful news since I was planning to buy a voice recorder, too.
Being the Apple and iPod lover that I am, of course I adore my new iPod. But it's not because I'm partial, it's because it's simply brilliant!!!



I decided to do this post about Elegy, the movie (based upon The Dying Animal by Philip Roth, I already have a post about it with the title Let's talk about sex...) because it just got to our country (staright to DVD, of course) and has got many bad reviews (as far as I know it wasn't very well-received abroad either). I had the chance of seeing only a few weeks after it hit theatres in Spain and I must admit I understand why some people don't like it.
BUT: I love it. I read the novel before watching the film and I think the creators found the way to transmit the atmosphere of the book, that strange mood that makes it different from others, that makes the sometimes vulgar language seem necessary and anything but unacceptable. It is an interesting movie and book about the rare but absolutely not impossible case when a totally normal young woman loves an elder man.
What I didn't feel in the book but is present in the film is that the girl, Consuela is like a fairy - like she was a dream. Maybe the whole movie is dream-like but this difference from the written version is not a bad thing, actually, it's wonderful.
Of course, the movie is an independent piece, not really the kind of picture that attracts masses to the cinema. But it is very well done if you like these kinds of films. I understand if someone says they expected more or something else because of the actors (who are great in their roles, again), or because they didn't read the book and didn't know what it's like or because they read it but thought it could have been made differently. But in my opinion, it's a great interpretation. They didn't change too much and what they changed didn't reduce the value of the result which is quite rare with based-upon-a-book movies.

I suggest this movie, even if you can't enjoy it as much as I do every time I watch it. But believe me, it's like those old classics - you might suffer watching them, but when it's over, you'll really feel you've got something wonderful.


Perhaps I'm obsessed.

I can't remember when my adoration for Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps (the song) started but whenever I listen to it I fall more and more in love with it. The importance of this song in popular culture is demonstrated by the many movies it is featured in - In the Mood for Love (with the original Spanish version, written by Osvaldo Farrés, performed by Nat King Cole with a very English accent), Bad Education by Almodóvar (lip-synched by Gael Garcia Bernal), Brokeback Mountain (also in Spanish), Running with Scissors, Quand J'Étais Chanteur (performed in French), etc.
The most famous versions are the original Spanish one, the Cake cover (from 1997) and the Doris Day version.

Gael Garcia Bernal "performing" Quizás, Quizás, Quizás in Bad Education

Below are four videos, the first one performed by Cake, then the one with Doris Day. The third is Nat King Cole's version and last, but definitely not least, the French version.






Why, why, why, why, why, why WHY?????

When Joaquin Phoenix announced he was going to retire from acting I thought it was one of his strange jokes again. And then his rep confirmed and then he said over and over again and now I'm about to break down and cry all night. Why couldn't someone else, someone just a bit less talented and great retire? Why is it that it's always the best ones who disappear so easily and untimely? Joaquin Phoenix is without a question one of the (if not THE) most talented actors of his generation, an artists who deserves to be called artist, a man who made movies for the sake of movies instead of any intentions of becoming a huge star. His low-key lifestyle and charity work (not to mention all he has done for PETA) turned him into not only someone to love but also to someone too look up to.

And, I must admit, I also love the sense of humor that is very much like mine.
The only comfort I have is that he is not retiring from showbusiness since he is about to concentrate on his musical career that, judging by the songs he sang in Walk the Line, might be more successful than most other actor-turned-musician attempts. Also, he is directing music videos and maybe I am an absolute fool but I think/hope he will direct a movie one day and realize his artistic vein is perfect for this business, too.
Anyway, I will miss him from the screen for ever and since hope dies last, I will wake up every day, hoping the news mention a comeback.


I'm back.

Today's post is only a video; I love animals, especially cats and though I am not the kind of person who watches random videos on YouTube not to be bored (maybe because I can't afford myself to be bored?) but there are certain times in life when videos like this can save your soul. Here it is, a sleepy little cat whom I would adopt any minute. Plus, the music is Angels by Robbie Williams. Need more?


Taking a break.

Dear everyone,
due to a tragic event in my life I will be unable to post for a few days, I don't know when I will return, maybe next week, maybe afterwards.
Thank you for your patience.

Best regards.


Simply Steve.

Even if I prefer serious movies and even in comedies I opt for the not-so-idiot ones, I can't resist Steve Carell. Many call him the new Jim Carrey and they might be right since no matter how many movies Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and all the other comics have made since Carrey ceased to be the number 1 in the world of comedies, Steve Carell is the only one who has the talent, the personality and last, but not least, the taste in films to be his follower. But I don't think he is the new Jim Carrey. I think Steve Carell has proved enough times that he deserves to be simply Steve Carell, brillian comic. The first time I saw him was in 40 Year Old Virgin and not only did I find the story itself interesting, I also laughed out hard a lot. This is something that never happens to me with most other comedies. Carell knows the balance between too idiot and loveably idiot acting and I would say he is the symbol of the new era of dramedies, think Little Miss Sunshine and Dan in Real Life. Of course the comparisons with Jim Carrey started with the Almighty duo but Bruce Almighty was more dramatic than Evan Almighty and this difference makes it impossible to compare the two movies.
Carell is an actor who knows how to be serious, it's just that in his movies he prefers not to be too serious.
I hope he will make more and more movies, because he's the only comic actor whose movies I actually want to see because I know he won't let me down. Plus, he has it all to become a comic legend - and let's see where his so- called rivals will be 10 years from now.


Let's dance.

I do not go out on weekends, mainly because I don't like the music the youth of the 21st century likes to dance to. But there are many songs from the past decades that I love and admire and whenever I listen to them, I feel the need to dance, even if I'm a disaster on the dancefloor. Here are my top3.
1. Ritchie Valens - La Bamba
I have a special story with this one and when I hear this song I always think of it: when I was a kid, my father told me that the singer, Lionel Richie died in a plane crash and for years I thought it was actually Lionel Richie singing this song and I was very sad he died since I loved the song. But then Richie returned to music business (with Angel, if I'm not wrong) and all the radio stations and music TVs were talking about him. And then I was deeply confused! Of course, later I realized my father confused Lionel Richie with Ritchie Valens who actually did die at the very young age of 17 in a plane crash along with Buddy Holly, J. P. Richardson and the also young pilot. The day of the accident (February 3, 1959) is also known as The Day the Music Died. The song itself, La Bamba is a Mexican folk song, probably from around the 17th century. It is also called the hymn of Veracruz. Though Valens immortalized the song, many people think the Los Lobos version is the original and they often mistake them.

2. The Beatles - Twist and Shout
I don't think there is much to say about this song - everyone knows it and even those who dislike The Beatles say it's a great song. There is no need to explain why it is so significant in music history and popular culture and it's enough to listen to it again and again to understand why it is one of my favourite "dance songs".

3. Santana feat. Rob Thomas - Smooth
It is one of the greatest pop songs of the nineties, still loved by radios and retro programmes (you know, being old starts when the songs of your youth/childhood are featured in the "retro" section...), performed by guitar genious Santana and the simply wonderful Rob Thomas. Also, it's a great video. Supernatural.


It's just an illusion - but I like it.

In the past few years, movies about illusionists seem to live their renaissance - to my great joy. Though I am not a fan of circus, I do love quality illusionism, something I can only "experience" in movies, due to the lack of masters around my little world. This is why I was happy to see that in the last two-three years, there were two great illusionist films, plus one comedy related to it, not to mention that great episode in House M.D. ...
1. The Illusionist

This is my number one, a great quality work that sends more shivers down your spine than most horrors. Plus, Edward Norton proved his genious again. The movie is ironic, magical and even the love line is great. Another interesting thing is that it was inspired by the Mayerling Incident and the story takes place in Austria-Hungary, i.e. my country.
2. The Prestige

Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Scarlett Johansson, this movie turned out to be more known (but not necessarily better) than my nr.1. Though it is interesting to watch how two rival illusionists work out their newest tricks, it somehow isn't as magical as The Illusionist (maybe exactly because of this??). However, it is an entertaining movie about a passion only a limited number of people have access to, and also, it is the clear lesson of "never trust anyone".
3. Scoop

Once again, it's Scarlett Johansson and Hugh Jackman, but this time they share the screen with Woody Allen in a way funnier story. The film is more about a modern Jack the Ripper than illusionists but Woody Allen's character (he plays a D-list illusionist) makes sure you don't forget about this tiny detail either. Many say Scoop is a far cry from the director's earlier works and they might by right but I think with Match Point started an era and a series of Woody Allen films that might not become as legendary as Annie Hall, but they surely are interesting, brilliant and, in this case, a proper Woody Allen comedy.
4. House M.D. Season 4, Episode 8 - You Don't Want to Know

As a big House M.D. fan I can say it's a series that gets better with every season. The patient of this particular episode is (what a surprise) an illusionist (played by Steve Valentine) whose heart stops while performing a trick. He finally makes House beg for telling him the secret of a trick (this is something that is very often depicted in illusionist-based movies) but, of course, he keeps it for himself...



I think there are two kinds of folk music: the one you respect for the tradition and becuase of this you do your best to like it and the one you can't help but adore, regardless to your opinion about the country or your typical musical taste. Russian folk music belongs to the latter - even young people seem to like it (but that's not an excuse for creating those terrible remixes!), maybe because of vodka, maybe because of something else...
One thing is sure: Russian dance company Moiseyev is famous and popular for giving the viewers the impression of authentic Russian folk music and dance, all this in an exceptionally entertaining way.
Sometimes, of course, they bring elements from the traditions of other countries and the result is always the same: miracle. Of course it is best to see them live, but since we have YouTube...


Being a Louis Vuitton model...

... is something only lucky models and/or really famous people can experience. A few months ago I had a post about Louis Vuitton campaigns that featured the elite and the next name on the list is Sir Sean Connery, photographed by Annie Leibovitz. The ad, of course, is pure perfection and full of elegance, exactly what the name Louis Vuitton suggests and mean to most people, even if some wealthy or famous-for-being-famous teenagers run errands with their monogram bags on the streets of a metropolis near you.

Image source: Catwalk Queen


The song, the man, the film.

There are movies that are so complex they become legendary not only because of the screenplay and the cast but also because of the music, the scenes, the pictures, the costumes, everything. Robert Rodriguez's Desperado is on the list of these movies. Experts say the ending of a film is crucial but many filmmakers know the beginning is just as crucial. Remember James Bond movies, remember Kill Bill, etc. Desperado starts with probably the most famous and recognizeable Spanish language songs of film history, sang and played by the iconic Antonio Banderas, hero, idol and platonic love of generations and the scene itself... Everyone remembers it, even those who didn't like the film itself.
Video: Canción del Mariachi


Simply the cats.

Today is World Animal Day so I recommend you a blog that, regarding its form is the ironic version of The Sartorialist but the pictures themselves feature cats and it's absolutely quality. Here are ome photos from The Catorialist...


Childhood heroes - movies.

We all have movies from our childhood we love to think of dearly even as adults. Movies we have already seen a thousand times without getting bored of them. Movies we know by heart, lines we repeat with the cast. Here are three of my favourite childhood movies I still adore.
1. 3 Men and a Little Lady

It is, without a doubt, the number one. The rare example of the case when the sequel of a movie is better than the first volume (and there will be an other movie like that on this list). Three of the greatest movie stars of the late '80s and '90s, Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg form a family with Nancy Travis and then-six-year-old Robin Weisman (who has stopped filming in 1994 and her most famous performance remained this movie) and when it comes to this family, we can say they are anything but ordinary. Jack (Danson), the "biological father" of Mary (Weisman) is a rather crazy actor who can't get great roles, Peter (Selleck), the "non-biographical father" is madly in love with Mary's mother, Sylvia (Travis) but he is afraid to tell her about it and Mike (Guttenberg), the other "non-biological father" a drawer who created a famous cat figure and still can't get rid of him. The film is the sequel of Three Men and a Baby, a story adapted from a French movie with a very similar title and a very slightly different plot. But 3 Men and a Little Baby is more entertaining, more unique, full of memorable quotes that make it be a movie one will never forget and will always watch with constant laughs.

2. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

One of the most original characters of film history, played by one of the most orginal actors of our time accepts the assignment of investigating the disappearence of a white bat that is the sacred animal of an African tribe. Of course, the pet detective you either love or hate can't stop himself from getting in trouble and other impossible situations but of course, he finally solves the mystery.
Ace Ventura is the childhood hero (or anti-hero) of a whole generation, someone who's lines and outfits (not to mention the hair) will be remembered and invoked for a very long time, if not forever.

3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Another cult figure, Ferris Bueller teaches us all the tricks teenagers want to know: how to lie to your parents, how to avoid school without getting caught and how to LIVE with capital letter. An adolescent with a complete philosophy (that is basically against accepted philosophies). Again, the movie and the character brought to life by a very young Matthew Borderick and a whole pop cultural movement: a band named after school director Rooney, an other band named Save Ferris, references in many movies and series and I could go on. He is still brought up in our everyday life, let it be one of the songs from the movie that reminds us of his famous performance on a parade float or a terribly boring class or anything else. The characters of the movie, including Bueller's sister, Jeanie, his friend, Cameron and his girlfriend Sloane, not to mention Rooney and, of course, Ferris himself live and give comfort to desperate teenagers of any time.


In pictures: Paul Newman (1925-2008).

Another legend left our world, someone respect for his career in the film industry and for his charity work as well.


La Moustache.

European films are known for their creativity when it comes to the story and they are also known for usually avoiding happy ends and opting for bitter ends instead (there is also a joke that while in a Hollywood movie you can't kill a child or an animal, in French movies they are the first to die). As for French movies, they often get the label "not understandable"... Though La Moustache (The Moustache), directed by Emmanuel Carrère is hard to understand clearly for the first time, for the second time you pay more attention to all the details and can't stop thinking of them until you understand everything.
Not even critics were sure what the movie had to say, some of them thought it was only symbolic, maybe they were right, who knows? One thing is sure: it is a great film with values and melancholy, not to mention the ironic lines. No wonder why the jury in Cannes awarded it the Label Europa Cinemas prize back in 2005.
The story's base is the following: Despite her wife's comment that she likes him with moustache, Marc decides to shave it off after wearing it for basically all his adult years. When he - overly excited about his wife's opinion - asks her if she sees anything strange about his face, she seems like she didn't recognize anything. The same thing happens with his friends and colleagues - no-one seems to realize something is missing from Marc's face. Actually, they all say he has never ever had a moustache.
I recommend this movie if you like to think about movies a lot and also if you like that special aftertaste European independent films leave in your mouth.


Running out of time.

Unfortunately I don't have enough time to pay as much attention to posting as I want to so for today it is only and article about how exactly legendary movie The Godfather was born (and it wasn't an easy run for sure), from CNN.
The great movie that almost wasn't


Let's collaborate - Part III

The final part of my posts about famous director and actor/actress collaborations is completely about Woody Allen. Not only because he is an iconic personality in the industry but also because his movies are amongst the most important films of the following artists' carrers.

1. Woody Allen and Diane Keaton
Not only did they have a rather famous romantic relationship (mostly before working together) but they also made 8 films together. More importantly, her roles in his films, starting with Play It Again, Sam and continuing with such classics as Love and Death and Manhattan officially made her a household name. But there is an other film with Allen that everyone knows and it was the work that turned Diane Keaton, comic actress into Diane Keaton, A-list star and Academy Award winner actress: Annie Hall.
This legendary movie meant Allen his first and as-of-yet only Oscar as Best Director (he won two others for Best Screenplay, one for Annie Hall and the other for Hannah and Her Sisters) and his now also legendary absence from the ceremony. Keaton is also the actress Woody Allen credits as the muse of his early career that, considering the character of Annie Hall was loosely inspired by Keaton, is quite credible.

2. Woody Allen and Mia Farrow
Another famous relationship both on and off-screen that lasted 12 years. During this time, Farrow collaborated with Allen on 13 movies, including Hannah and Her Sisters, New York Stories, Alice, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Radio Days and Zelig. All these films are considered favourites by many cinema goers and they were also very well received by the critics. No wonder why it is a commonly known fact that muses help an artist more than anything else.

3. Woody Allen and Scarlett Johansson
Though this collaboration is quite new (and Allen himself refuses to call Johansson his muse), the film industry already calls it the director's latest famous and successful relationship with an actress. It all started with Match Point that got a standing ovation at Cannes and the next film, Scoop was directly written for Johansson. And when Woody calls, you can't say no.

Their latest, much-talked about movie is Vicky Cristina Barcelona, also starring Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz that was also incredibly well-received. I am sure this is not their last work together since when Fate itself wants you to collaborate (in Match Point Kate Winslet was set to play the role of the American actress but she decided to concentrate on her family and this is how Johansson got the part, only about two weeks before the set), who are you to defy it?

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