So, Monday Madness is finally back. Hurray!
Today I would like to draw your attention to a wonderful little place called http://www.postsecret.com/. This is one of my favorite websites, and a part of my Sunday internet routine. Postsecret was founded by Mark Warren as an experiment on blogspot. The concept is this: people send in their secrets anonymously on homemade postcards. The rules are that the secret must be true and never have been uttered before.
The secrets have a very wide range from the dark and serious to the cute and silly. It is fun to see all the creative postcards people make, some of them are really clever and impressive. It is also nice to see the unity that is created through these confessions. It proves that you are most likely not the only one thinking the weird stuff that you think or having the crazy dreams that you have. The page seems to have an unwritten rule about showing solidarity.
There are five Postsecret books for sale, with an assortment of secrets. The webpage is updated every Sunday.
I recommend that you check it out, it’s a nice little pastime.
While most of you may know him from films like Wilde (1997) (in which he played another Vili Flik favourite – Oscar Wilde), V For Vendetta (2006) and Peter’s Friends (1992); or from television shows like Black Adder (1983-9), A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1987-95), Jeeves and Wooster (1990-3) and QI (2003-), Stephen Fry is also a successful author. Today’s Flik is one of my favourites of his books: The Stars’ Tennis Balls, which was published in 2000.
The Stars’ Tennis Balls is a modern retelling of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo (1844-6). The protagonist, Ned, is basically screwed over by “friends” of his and put in an isolated asylum where he is locked up for years, plotting his revenge.
I will not reveal the entire plot (although, if you’ve read Dumas’ novel, you may have some idea…), suffice to say, this is a story of vengeance. And a good one at that. The language is brilliant (naturally, as it is written by a linguistic genius), the story is exciting and very well told, and Fry’s occasionally macabre sense of humour is evident throughout. I really recommend that you go out and find this book! And, if you enjoy it, why not check out some of Stephen Fry’s other ventures into the world of literature? I can also recommend The Liar (1991), The Hippopotamus (1994) and Making History (1997). For aspiring poets, The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within (2005) is a great guide to writing poetry, or just learning the different metres, rhymes and forms. His two autobiographies, Moab is My Washpot (1997) and The Fry Chronicles (2010) are also great reads for those interested in the workings of this genius’ mind.
So, basically, this has turned into a general recommendation of Stephen Fry’s written work. But I stand by that. However, I believe The Stars’ Tennis Balls is the easiest way into his authorship, and so I recommend that you all read that one first, and then just keep going.
Today’s film recommendation is a slightly obscure French piece of cinema from 1995, The City of Lost Childen, or, La Cité des Enfants Perdus.
The film is directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who are also responsible for Delicatessen (1991) and Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001). It stars Ron Perlman as One, a strongman who gets caught up in the strange disappearance of several children in an equally strange city. Miette, a young girl, beautifully portrayed by Judith Vittet, is conducting her own investigation into the mystery, and One assists her in her search.
The film is stylish, beautifully shot, weird and spectacular. The set design is marvellous and so is the cinematography. The story, which I will not reveal as it’s more fun going into this one “untainted”, is fantastic and strange. And the cast is filled with wonderfully weird characters and actors, who all help make this film a strange dream-like experience.
Oh, and did I mention that the costumes were designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier? Oh yeah, it’s that good! Enjoy the film, it’s a unique experience, one which you should not be without.
Neil Gaiman has been referred to several times in this blog already, but I felt that he deserved a special post all the same. In my opinion he is one of the best storytellers living today. His work includes the amazing novels American Gods, Coraline and Neverwhere, as well as the marvelous comic book series The Sandman.
Gaiman has won a ton of awards for his work and has collaborated with a variety of great artists and writers, such as the aforementioned Yoshitaka Amano and Terry Pratchett.
Not only is Neil a very, very talented and imaginative man, he is apparently also the sweetest guy around. I have never come across a negative comment about him, which is pretty amazing considering the fact that we are dealing with a writer of fantasy (not a highly respected genre) with the name Gaiman. He should be an easy target.
As an intelligent, likeable guy who is not too hard on the eye, Neil Gaiman definitely deserves this week’s hottie-award. Don’t you agree?
Oh, and you can find his journal here: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/
There are few outfits that cannot be further glorified with the adroit addition of a cape. And there are quite a few glorious examples to choose from!
Capes were all the rage back in the Middle Ages, and are still considered to be both trendy and practical among most elves. And who are we to argue with the elves?
There are few rules when it comes to capes other than this one: wear them!
The length you can decide yourself, all from just covering the shoulders, to waist long, or the full length cape.
A Chanel cape. What does that tell you? That capes are more than kosher. Go get one! Get two!
I don’t mean to be going all Little Red Riding Hood, but they are all so pretty! Sadly I could not find pictures of two of my favorite capes, since they are from two old Christmas movies (one Norwegian and one Czechoslovakian, if you can imagine), so now I’m going a little berserk with all the other pretty capes I think you should see.
Nothing wrong with the vintage Navy nurse look! No, no.
Audrey Hepburn in a fantabulous cape in Funny Face. Oh yeah, and she got Fred Astaire. See where I’m going with this?
Vintage Oscar de la Renta. Nice.
I know, I know, this is a picture of Emma Watson. But she’s wearing Vivienne Westwood. And for that, she stays.
And Yves Saint-Laurent.
Aren’t they all wonderfully scrumptous? So I say, let’s go medieval and bring back the cape! You know you want to…
Maria Carolina Josefina Pacanins y Nino (boy, are we glad she decided to shorten her name!) is a scrumptous Venezuelan fashion designer, who founded her company Carolina Herrera in 1980.
Since then she has been based in New York City, and was during the 1970s and 80s known as one of the best dressed women in the world. Now that is high praise, but what would you expect from someone who can design such wonderful clothes? Of course she knows how to dress!
Carolina Herrera’s love for fashion started when she, at age 13, was taken to Paris to see a Balenciaga fashion show. (Now why couldn’t my parents do that?)
Mrs. Herrera draws inspiration from a lot of things, but some of her longlasting loves are with the chic 1940s suits, the fullblown skirts and the trumpet skirt. You won’t hear me complain.
She also has a thing for hats – an accessory we at Vili Flik repeatedly complain that we see too little of. Way to go, Carolina!
Chic, sleek, elegant, glamorous and fabulous – just the way we like it!