This is my latest Nouvelle Vague poster: Jean-Luc Godard's Bande À Part. Apparently, Godard described the film as "Alice in Wonderland meets Franz Kafka". If you haven't seen it, you are in for a treat! It is a must see for film aficionados and is famous for its "minute of silence" scene, the run through the Louvre scene and the famous "Madison dance" café scene. Other bits of trivia about the film are:
1) it is narrated by Jean-Luc Godard himself.
2) the lovely lead actress Anna Karina was Jean-Luc's muse and wife and appeared in several of his films.
3) the three lead characters practiced their dance scene in bars and nightclubs in and around the Latin District.
4) Quentin Tarantino named his production company "A Band Apart" and paid homage to the "Madison dance" sequence when he had John Travolta and Uma Thurman dance together in Pulp Fiction.
5) it was Godard's seventh film.
If you'd like to read more about this iconic film, there is a good essay here you can sink your teeth into.
I only found out about the French actress and chanteuse Juliette Gréco the other day. Are you familiar with her at all? Well, if not here is a neat summary of the who, what and where of Juliette Gréco:
1) She was born 7th, February 1927 in Monpellier, France.
2) During World War II, she became involved in the Résistance for which she was arrested, and then released a few months later.
3) During the 50s and 60s she became a bohemian and hung out with people like Jean-Paul Sartre who famously said she had "millions of poems in her voice".
4) She was married three times and went out with Miles Davis for a while whom she describes as "one of the most elegant men I have known".
5) She declined a seven year Hollywood contract because it felt "inappropriate".
6) At 86, she is still very much in demand as a singer, having had a performance in the Paris Olympia in May last year, and as a model - she is YSL's brand ambassador.
There is an interview and article about her here at The Gaurdian. Images from here.
Did you know that the Dutch technology company Philips is actually properly called Royal Philips? No, I didn't know that either. Based in Amsterdam, Royal Philips was established in 1891 by father and son Gerard and Einfhoven Philips. The first thing the company produced were carbon-filament lamps. If you would like to know more, the Philips museum website has some interesting tidbits and history about the company. I also found a nice back catalogue of past advertising campaigns dating back to the late 1800s. I've selected a few of my favourites here.
Glamorous Princess Margaret was a great beauty in her youth and was famously fond of hanging out with artists, musicians, actors and other cultural types. However, did you know that in 1953 she directed a West End play called The Frog? You can read more about this incident here in an article published in The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper on Thursday, the 3rd of June 1954. I particularly liked this quote from the article: "... the mink and diamond audience applauded tumultuously".
I occasionally listen to Alison Goldfrapp's 2005 album Supernature. It's sort of glam era revival meets noughties electronic dance music. This song reminds me of something Marc Bolan would most definitely like to tap his toe to. She has a nice soprano voice and the production which she does herself with her partner Will Gregory is pretty lush. Apparently, when Kylie Minogue heard this song, Lovely 2 C U, she ran to her producer and demanded he make her sound just like Alison Goldfrapp! I have my upper limits for this sound, but it's nice to listen to from time to time. Anyway, I googled her and discovered people are mad about her. I can see why, she's quite a beauty.
Happy Australia Day world! I am a little late as Australia Day is almost over, but my excuse is that I have been busy. Busy as in escorting enormous huntsmen spiders out the front door, eating fantastic sugary watermelon, climbing the biggest hill in Sydney (Bellevue Hill), doodling siamese pussy cats (see blog post later this week or possibly tomorrow depending on how I feel), watching cracking British retro drama and generally enjoying myself.
However, in celebration of Oz Day I have compiled a list of 10 of my favourite Australian Rock and pop songs for your listening pleasure:
I think I've often admired the work of American artist David Stone-Martin, but I haven't known his name or the full extent of his influence on postwar graphic design and illustration. He is most closely associated with the illustrations he did for jazz records. As he illustrated over 400 album covers, I think that if you have any jazz records lying about you will find that the cover is more than likely to be by David Stone-Martin. Although he is most well known for his album covers, he also designed and illustrated posters, books, advertisements for film, television and the theatre and magazine covers. There is a very nice bio of him here.
He reminds me quite a bit of one of my favourite illustrators/ cartoonists Ronald Searle and perhaps that's because they both came up in the postwar era.
I love the colours he uses! How nice it would be to have these as enormous posters in your house!
This site ---> Emergency Compliment. Hmmm... I'm strangely attracted and comforted by it. Click "I still feel crappy" at the bottom if you want to see the complete range of compliments. Here's a couple to start you off:
I scanned this ad from my mother's stash of old Life Magazines. It's from the 1960s. When I saw it I thought to myself - boy do we live in another universe today or what? What do you think it's an advertisement for? Here's a multiple choice for you:
b) a dating service
c) ghastly hors d'oeuvres
d) an airline
Yes, that's right. It's an advertisement for KLM Airlines - it's obvious once you know, isn't it?
Rodney Graham is from Vancouver, Canada. He is described as an artist/ musician/ humourist...hmmm am going to explore that further. I'm intrigued.
Speaking of Canada, I found this strange Pierre Trudeau paper dress on Etsy. Trudeau was the 15th Prime Minister of Canada from 1968 to 1979 and again from 1980 to 1984. Apparently it was made for attendees to the Liberal convention in 1968. Bizarre.
And while we've on the subject of Canada (*ahem*), I saw the most brilliant crime/ thriller/ biographical film the other day about French gangster Jacques Mesrine. It is in two parts: Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1. Jacques Mesrine was a totally unhinged, violent French criminal who rampaged about France and then Canada in the '50s,'60s and '70s. He had a penchant for disguises and was known as "The Man of a Hundred Faces". He was also incredibly charismatic and always had a glamorous gal on his arm. Anyway, it is very well done and stars my favourite *cough cough* French actor Vincent Cassel. Here's the trailer.
How mean does Cassel look in that last poster! As they say in France: zut alors!