Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New projects

I've decided to revive this blog and do something a little different with it.

Starting off is what I've decided will be my weekly glamour challenges. I'll post tonight or tomorrow about my first challenge: getting over the fear of wearing red lipstick in non-formal settings!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Exciting new releases

There are a few tantalizing new releases on the horizon that I'm eager to get my mitts on. Let's review, shall we?

I don't know a whole lot about The Cookies except that they were session vocalists who recorded under a number of different names, but there are some awesome tracks on here. "Softly in the Night", "Please Don't Wake Me", and "Make the Night Last a Little Longer" are all marvelous songs. I'm hoping the rest of the compilation is as much of a goldmine.

The title track to this Glenda Collins compilation kicks major derriere. I first heard it on the Joe Meek's Girls CD, and there's no better anthem for going out on a Friday night after a long week of work.

FINALLY, Serge Gainsbourg's brilliantly funky soundtrack to William Klein's film Mister Freedom has been reissued. I have seen this sell on eBay for HUNDREDS of dollars. Thank you Vadim Music!!

Last but not least, Vadim Music has also reissued Francois de Roubaix's soundtrack to L'Homme Orchestre. I've only heard one track from this album, but it's so legendary amongst '60s and '70s film music fans, that I get the sense that it must be worth having.

I'm off to LA for a few days next week, and I'm harboring a secret hope that I'll have time to unearth a gem or two in the record shops while I'm there!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Books galore!

Although I certainly don't NEED any more books (I tend to grumble about owning too many, in fact, every time I have to move!), because I'm such a bookworm, I ask for and tend to get lots of them around Christmas. This year, this has been exacerbated by the fact that I've come across a couple good titles that I wasn't previously aware of and simply had to buy myself!

Let's start with what I've received so far:

BB: Brigitte Bardot:

A fantastic Italian-produced collection of photos, stills, and posters featuring the Divine BB, some of them never previously released.

The Story of the Supremes:

Light on text, but chock full of color and black and white photos of the Supremes in their heyday. From the current Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition.

Mika Ninagawa's Acid Bloom:

Mika Ninagawa is one of my favorite photographers. Her photos of flowers, fish, people, and all manner of things are always saturated with vivid colors.

And a few that I bought for myself!

Swinging 60s Fashion Style:

This is a Japanese-produced catalog of 1960s fashion photography. It seems to be the counterpart to the previously released (and now out of print, it seems) Early 60s Fashion Style and Late 60s Fashion Style, which I managed to miss when they were available. When I read about this edition, I scoured the internet trying to find a vendor who had it in stock and wasn't charging an arm and a leg. No easy task! Finally, I found it online at Blackwell in the UK for an extremely reasonable cost and shipping charge (both Amazon Japan and Amazon Germany had it in stock as well, but the cost was outrageous)! I can't wait to have it in hand!

Finally, I managed to catch this one, which had been unavailable for quite some time until Amazon magically got a few copies briefly back in stock:

All American Ads of the 60s:

One of the many, many reasons that the Taschen publishing house is brilliant. This is a nearly 1000-page book filled with, well, ads from the 1960s. They always do a great job of putting out very affordable (and often gigantic!) compendiums of photographs/reproductions on just about any subject you can imagine.

I'll have to come back to this entry the next time I move and I'm moaning and groaning about how many books I have to lug around. It's been worth every haul!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lizard in a Woman's Skin

This weekend, I revisited one of my favorite gialli, Lizard in a Woman's Skin:

I really had forgotten how good this film is, and how it is an example of this genre of Italian horror films with some of the best writing. Although I love gialli and am more often than not perfectly willing to overlook gaping plot holes, Lizard has a storyline that remains pretty tight throughout.

Also, visually, it is among the best-looking of director Lucio Fulci's films. I confess that I follow Fulci only up to a point, preferring his early '70s thrillers to the more gory, supernatural fare that followed (The Beyond excluded). The dream sequence that opens the film is gorgeously photographed, and doesn't have the cheap, effects-heavy quality that occasionally dream or fantasy sequences suffer from in fairly low-budget films of this era. Almost all of it was filmed on location in the UK (Mr. Bubblegum was excited to note that he'd actually been to a few of the buildings in some of the scenes).

Also bolstering Lizard's credentials is a top-notch score by Ennio Morricone. It's definitely one of the most psyche-rock outings I've heard from Morricone, although the title theme is quite pretty and atmospheric, and occasionally it wanders into experimental noodling territory, such as in the dream sequence.

There are plenty of other reasons to recommend Lizard in a Woman's Skin. The international cast (typical of co-productions of the period) features fine performances by Florinda Bolkan, Stanley Baker, Jean Sorel, and Leo Genn. Plus, there's great bits of trivia surrounding the production of the film, such as the anecdote about Academy Award winning-special effect master Carlo Rambaldi and how the dogs he created for the film landed he and Fulci in Italian court (the sequence in question is left out of versions of the film to this day).

Sadly, I purchased Lizard on DVD several years ago when Media Blasters released it as a two-disc edition: one disc contains a cleaned-up, but heavily cut print; the other is a longer (but STILL not uncut) full-screen transfer that looks like hell. Subsequently, a remastered full-length version (105 minutes, as opposed to the 95 and 98 minute versions on the DVD I have), was released, which I haven't made the effort to track down since the version I already own cost me about 30 dollars at the time. However, after this recent revisit, I'm thinking I might have to make the upgrade. That's only as long as the more recent edition contains the excellent featurette that my version contains.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I want candy!

How excited am I that Sephora is now stocking Dylan's Candy Bar bath and beauty products!? I'm a huge fan of anything cake-batter related, scented or flavored, and Dylan's version is second to none! I have a textbook Proustian reaction to the sugary smell of birthday cake. It takes me right back to being six years old and the cakes my parents used to buy for us.

If you're more of a chocolate lover, the line makes a knockout chocolate cupcake product line!

On the subject of sweets, I also just picked up a really delicious Belgian chocolate bar from one of my favorite local gourmet grocery stores, Savenor's:

I'd never heard of the Dolfin brand before, but just reading the names of their different kinds of chocolate bar makes me drool: dark chocolate with fresh ginger, milk chocolate with Japanese green tea or hot masala, or the one I chose: dark chocolate with pink pepper. Soooo delicious! After a week or so of indulging before and after the wedding, I swore I'd go back to my more healthy eating habits, but apparently I'm not quite there yet!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just married!

More to follow, but the wedding went beautifully!