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?


Pro/Con - Ferdinand Hodler.

I visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest last Friday to see the Ferdinand Hodler exhibition and here are my brief thoughts.
Just like Hundertwasser, Hodler is a painter whose works seem great in pictures but once someone sees them in real life, it is significantly more impressive due to the vibran colours (of course, every painting is best in real life...). But somehow I can't adore Hodler that much. Though I love him for his visions and colours, the problem is that no matter how emotional his paintings are, I always find the very same feeling in almost all of them. While with many other painters I admire I find something different in all of their works, with Hodler it is different. Even if his paintings depict different things, I always feel the same. Of course this feeling is positive but I can't find that plus in his paintings. But it is also true that his works show out-of-world figures, therefore it causes a supernatural yet sad emotion in the viewer. The way he depicts suffering is particularly remarkable in the drawings of his dying lover Valentine who died of cancer.

The Dead Valentine
My other problem with Hodler is that he painted a large amount of landscapes. I admit they are well-painted but I simply can't like ladscapes, no matter if the artist's signature says Cézanne or anyone else (Caspar David Friedrich is an exception because he managed to make ladnscapes express empotions other express with figures). But here are the works I did like very much and these are the reasons why when I hear Hodler's name I think of a visionary genious instead of a painter I dislike.

Day I - probably the most famous. It is so vibrant I quite simply find it impossible to hate it.

The Night - terrifyingly and bizarrely beautiful and awakens dark and fearful emotions.

Truth II - the woman who reigns the world; someone who is so powerful and tempting men don't even dare look at her. Someone who sees the lies behind every word, someone who will punish all the sinners. If Hodler were a woman, I would say it's his (her...) most feminist painting. But since he was a man, I can only say: brilliant.

The Chosen One - Hodler loved worshipping figures and especially loved to paint many similar figures with one different in the centre. Maybe this is why I find him great yet homogenic.


Let's collaborate - Part II

Here's the second part of my post about famous director-actor collaborations. Today, it's Anthony Minghella and Jude Law and Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz.

1. Anthony Minghella and Jude Law
The untimely death of The English Patient director Minghella meant not only a shock and a grande loss for the film industry, but also the end of a famous and rather successful relationship with Jude Law. Minghella, whose first project with Law was The Talented Mr. Ripley (where Jude Law played Dickie Greenleaf so brilliantly that he got an Oscar nomination and this role is considered by many people the best performance he has ever given) and since it turned out extremely well, he hired him in his next film, Cold Mountain (the two pictures got 12 Academy Awards nominations put together, one of them was taken home by Renée Zellweger). Minghella's perfect sense of expressing dramatic emotions on the screen not only with directing actors but in other way as well always ended up in beautiful, thought-wakening and touching motion pictures that is quite rare in Hollywood. For this and for being a wonderful person, he will be missed forever.

2. Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz
This relationship is, without a doubt, world-famous. Cruz counts Almodóvar as someone who inspired her to become an actress (after she saw ¡Átame! /Tie me up! tie me down/) and she also says he helped her become famous when he gave her the small role of Isabel Plaza Caballero in Carne Trémula (Live Flesh), even if she had been in numerous films before this one. Of course, starring in an Almodóvar movie always means some special respect... After this supporting role Almodóvar did not let Cruz down and offered her a role in Todo sobre mi madre (All About My Mother) that won an Oscar as the Best Foreign Language Film (Almodóvar's first, and so far only Academy Award).

Following the huge success it was obvious for both of them to continue, regardless to Penélope's Hollywood career. Volver was also very well-received and it got many awards and nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Cruz. No wonder they still consider each other not only friends but also colleagues; and they are currently working together again, this time on Los abrazos rotos (Broken Embraces).


Let's collaborate - Part I

There are some directors who are famous for loving to work with the same actor in more movies. From today in three parts I'll write about some famous director&actor/actress "couples" whose names equal success not only alone but put together as well.
1. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp, also known as one of the most popular actors of our time owes a lot to Tim Burton - back in 1990 he gave Depp the role of Edward Scissorhands and the rest is history. Since then Burton let the actor show his talent in various yet typically Burton-esque roles. He played legendary director Ed Wood in 1994's Ed Woodand if you have seen the movie I don't think I have to explain what a great performance it was. Though many expected Sleepy Hollow to be a horror, those who know how to approach a Tim Burton movie (expect darkness and lots of irony instead of fear) adored Depp's interpretation of the clumsy and coward romantic hero, Ichabod Crane.

Though their next collaboration seemed to be a children's movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was anything but. The not-so-hidden social message comes through each and every children character in the film. Right after Willy Wonka's adventures Burton decided to make an animated feature - Corpse Bride. But it doesn't mean he couldn't find a role for Depp and his wife (and beloved actress) Helena Bonham Carter so they lent their voices for the main characters (Victor was reportedly inspired by Johnny Depp himself). The next project for the pair was Sweeney Tood: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. This tragic musical
and, once again, the brilliant directing and acting earned Depp his third Oscar nomination and first Golden Globe award. Though for the few upcoming years there are no news of another work together, I am quite sure these two will make many more movies and I am also sure I'm not the only one who's looking forward it a lot.

2. Pedro Almodóvar and Chus Lampreave
This collaboration is not as famous as the one with Penélope Cruz (that I will be posting about in one of the next parts) but it is more significant. Ever since Lampreave appeared in Entre Tinieblas (Dark Habits) as Sister Rat, she has worked with Spain's most famous contemporary director 7 more times (including his next project, Los abrazos rotos /Broken Embraces/).

With her easily recognozeable voice and wonderful acting that seems to come with no effort for her, she has become an important person in Almodóvar's films such as Matador, Volver, Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (Women On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) and Hable con ella (Talk to Her), regardless if she only had a smaller part or one of the leading roles. Now, at 77 she is still working and hopefully this entertaining relationship will show its face in many more common projects.


Maybe a bit inspired.

During one of my rare trips to the Dressing room section of H&M's website I found this bag I actually liked a lot and that I might buy next Friday when I go to the capital (if it's still available, of course).

The reason why this bag is so easy to love is because it reminds me a lot of the legendary Birkin bag.

I dislike copies but I still like the bag because it is not the exact copy of the Birkin, therefore "inspired" is a better word than "copied" in this case. When it comes to me, it's the high street bag's advantage that
a. it costs significantly less b. it is not leather (at least as much as I know).
I hope I'll be able to make it mine... Can't wait until friday.


Chavela Vargas.

Chavela Vargas has been famous for decades for her uniquely touching voice and her rather interesting personality (she used to dress and behave like a man back when she was young) who, at 89 is still an important artist in Latin-American (and in general, Spanish-speaking) folk music. You might recognize her from Pedro Almodóvar's movies or Salma Hayek's Frida (where she even has a cameo). The lyrics of her music use Spanish in the most beautiful and expressing way, they are usually very sad and I admit it can be hard to appreciate it without actually understanding the words. This is why I recommend you to watch Almodóvar movies where the lyrics fit the scenes and I believe they are even subtitled (though it is quite hard to translate them). Below is the video of Somos (We are), my new favourite Chavela Vargas song.

An excerpt from the lyrics:
"We are an impossible dream
That searches the night
To forget itself in its shadows
Of the world and of everything."


In pictures - some works by Brassaï.

Brassaï is a household name in photography and as you may know, he was born in Hungary and later went to live and work in Paris where he met everyone who was (and still is) anyone in art. Here are some of his pictures.

Probably the most famous: Parisian couple.

Diaghilev and his world-famous ballet.

Self-portrait. Smoking opium...

Mme. Bijou. I have always wondered whether this photo was an inspiration for Titanic's Mme. Bijou...? (The lady Jack Dawson made drawings of)

No comment.

He spent a lot of time with Picasso photographing his works and companions and also wrote a book about his experiences with him. Conversations with Picasso is an interesting memoir that shows what Picasso the man could be like. I remember when I was readining it I was surprised how many of the facts and famous Picasso quotes come from this work.
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