Friday, 27 May 2016

Movies no more

31 May 2016Since posting this edition three days ago I have figured out how to share the three commercials from You Tube and mentioned below ... but not yet how to embed   them here. They follow in separate posts for your viewing and listening enjoyment, [I hope !]
I once sent off to a handful of film studios and directors  for information about non-acting career opportunities.
There were no replies. This was hardly surprising given that it was 1948, UK studios were in dire financial straits and I was only ten years old.
What IS surprising is that my last visit to a cinema was in 2006 and yet my interest in movies and movie making has continued undiminished since those childhood days.                                       I shall spare you a rant about the conduct of the cinema audience on what was to be my last ever visit, the sky high admission costs and the total lack of professionalism of the staff. As for the films themselves, well frankly I would not even cross the road for a free screening of the current genre of movies created from a tedious menu of sex, violence, bad language, special effects, explosions, doom and disaster.That impression is gained from trailers and interviews with promo clips seen on TV.The greatly skilled and talented people from the Golden Age of Hollywood, when stars and directors truly earned the honour, must be revolving in their graves.
Take a 73 year old director, Martin Scorsesse; add Sophia Loren [81] and a music track recorded by Mina [76] and composer Ennio Morricone [87]. Finance from the resources of Dolce & Gabanna and you will have the most amazing display of movie magic demonstrating the art of telling a story in three minutes or less. Younger stars like Scarlett Johansson and Monica Belluci also make guest appearances in some of them.
You can find all these mini masterpieces on YouTube when you enter Dolce Commercials in the search panel.
Begin with Sophia in Dolce Rosa, watch Scarlett in Street of Dreams, enoy Mina's magical voice in Citta Vuote. You can watch all three in ten minutes.
If you want to linger longer, check out commercials for Martini Gold and Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld, especially Once upon a Time.
Happy Viewing!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Monochrome Gratitude

Last time out, writing about La Dolce Vita, I figured there was no need to mention that it was in monochrome [black and white] as were most movies, all televisions and my own introduction to photography.
I am pleased about that because, without colour to distract it was easier to concentrate on composition and exposure. With nothing like Photoshop or digital manipulation, I enjoyed playing around in my darkroom with dodging and burning techniques to enhance images.
Colour film became more affordable around the late 195O's and yet monochrome still lives on.

I have all but abandoned photography now, finding it easier to admire the work of others. Here are a couple of my  'hotel room shots' ... originally in colour and computer modified to yield the mono versions.
And I STILL prefer the impact of the black and white versions.


Friday, 13 May 2016


                                                 2006 London South Bank and, although I am not a drinker I became involved in the launch of a new commercial for Peroni beer. It was a helluva party and the magnificent open air screening was an affectionate and nostalgic tribute to Frederico Fellini's masterpiece, 'La Dolce Vita'.
One highlight for me was the beautiful and talented Maria Antonia who sang Baby It's You.

1962 Houston Texas and a slightly inebriated gent puts this track on the jukebox, over and over again. This time it was performed by The Shirelles and, I guess, was their break-thru release which opened the door for many other girl groups.
2016 Margate Kent and I find that the Peroni commercial and Maria Antonia's performance are still there on YouTube and that the Shirelles 1961 CD is less than £1.75 on Ebay. As we will not be going to Italy this year I dig out my DVD of the original movie and disappear into a wave of monochrome nostalgia.
 The three minute Peroni La Dilce Vita is on YouTube

Friday, 6 May 2016

Staycation Year

Margate main sands

We collected holiday brochures just before Christmas. We chose our destination, hotel and dates, but something stopped us making a booking. Thank goodness it did as since then, several unexpected home maintenance issues became essential and costly.
View from the end of our road
To confirm stay-puttedness we've since had propaganda about the eu referendum ... apparently £9 million of it, no end to migration and refugee problems in the Med and, on-going terrorism acts from assorted 'organisations'.
We will save  circa £300 on cabs to and from Gatwick and travel insurance, quite apart from tour operator holiday costs and spending money.
So we shall stay right here in sunny Margate this year.
I still enjoy USA magazines as they so
often have better production standards than many UK titles.
Sadly, they don't travel well when their
publishers launch a British Edition. In the following case the advertised launch date back in April has long passed with
no signs of any magazine in Thanet's
stores or on-line.
This is The Robb Report, a 200+ page quarterly devoted to things where, if you have to ask the price you probably can't afford them. We're talking cars, boats, planes, apartments, vacations, male fashion and so on. [No sport and no politics - a big plus for me.]
Here is their sneak preview of the UK launch number. Meanwhile, I still enjoy seeing how the wealthy live via the pages of an earlier issue.
Yep! It's in a Hermes man bag
My wife complains about magazines 'loaded with adverts'. As I have a long standing interest in sales, marketing, advertising and business I actually enjoy the copy and superlative photography found in most high-end ads.
Vive le difference?
Viva la Dolce Vita?