MirrorMask (2005) is the brainchild of Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman, which in itself should be enough to make you want to watch it. It is about Helena who works with her parents at a circus. After a heated argument with her mother, her mother falls ill and Helena naturally blames herself. Soon after she wakes up in the middle of the night and discovers that she has entered a different world, the City of Light, which is being consumed by shadows. She agrees to help restore the city by finding the Mirrormask, together with Valentine the juggler.
The cast consists of, among others, Stephanie Leonidas, Gina McKee, Rob Brydon, Jason Barry and Stephen Fry. The visual art is designed by McKean, and as such is weird, magical and beautiful, and makes up for the fact that the story and dialogue is not as brilliant as it could have been.
Still, if you want a visually beautiful experience I recommend this film.
And please don’t let this terrible trailer put you off…
With the risk of turning this into an “oh-look-how-great-everything-was-before,-modern-life-sucks”-blog, we once again go vintage in our search for a worthy Vili Flik Hottie. The time has come to present the amazing Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003) (although introductions may stricly be unnecessary).
The fantastic Ms Hepburn grew up with parents who encouraged her to both develop and speak her mind – not overly common for the time. As an actress, her career began on Broadway before she moved on to Hollywood.
Despite talent, intelligence and good looks, the gorgeous star didn’t have it too easy in Hollywood. After some initial success, she was labelled “box-office poison” due to her unconventional behaviour off screen. For instance, she wore trousers before it was fashionable for women to do so, she rarely wore make-up, and she often refused to pose for photographs. Instead of celebrating her courage, originality and personality, audiences found her shocking (stupid people).
However, when she bought the movie rights to The Philadelphia Story (1940), she cast herself, and also had full control of director and co-star. Who, you ask? Why, Cary Grant of course!
As time went by, and society progressed, the public embraced her, and she is now remembered as one of the greatest screen icons of all time. And rightly so! She is truly one of those actresses you cannot help but fall utterly in love with, no matter the role. (And she admitted herself that most of her roles were very similar to her own personality.) Throughout her career she starred in such films as Bringing Up Baby (1938), Holiday (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), The African Queen (1951), Long Day’s Journey into Night (1962), and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), to mention a few.
She also received twelve Oscar-nominations (with four wins), as well as five BAFTA-nominations, six from the Emmys, eight Golden Globe-nominations and countless other awards. Brains, looks and talent – a true hottie!
The subculture of Teddy Boys began in London in the 1950s and rapidly spread across the UK. The style is typified by clothes inspired by dandies of the Edwardian period, and includes drape jackets, sometimes with a velvet trim collar and pocket flaps, high waist “drainpipe” trousers, often exposing the socks, high-necked loose-collared white shirts, narrow ties and brocade waistcoats. For the feet, one preferres highly polished Oxfords, chunky brogues or suede crepe-soled shoes, and the hair is worn greased up with a quiff at the front and the sides combed back to form a “duck’s arse” at the rear.
For the Teddy Girls (or Judies) there are drape jackets, pencil skirts, hobble skirts, long plaits, rolled up jeans, flat shoes, tailored jackets with velvet collars, straw boater hats, cameo brooches, espadrilles, coolie hats and long elegant clutch bags.
The Teddy Boy has had several revivals since the 50s, not least with regard to the popularity of Rockabilly music. In 2007 The Edwardian Teddy Boy Association was formed and it continues to work for a revival of the original Teddy Boy style and ethos.
Due to, believe it or not, busy days and nights for all of us, we didn’t have the chance to make this announcement yesterday, but yesterday was our blog’s birthday. It has now been exactly 1 year and 1 day since our very first post here at Vili Flik. Yay us! And yay you! During the past year we have had 81 170 visits, which is simply amazing. So thank you all for visiting us! We really appreciate it.
Love, Vili Flik
Child of God (1973) is the third novel of the American author Cormack McCarthy, and I’ll say this right away: McCarthy is not for everyone. His books are dark, filthy, violent, “white trash” kind of stories, and this novel is no exception.
The story is set in Sevier County, Tennessee and tells of Lester Ballard, a dispossessed, violent man without family, home or the ability to connect with others. As he is pushed further and further away from society, he descends, both figuratively and literally, to the level of a cave dweller, and falls deeper and deeper into a life of crime and degradation.
What makes the novel interesting is the description of the various characters and the lives they lead. Also the main character, Lester, is explored in an uncomfortably sympathetic manner, expressing just how thin the line between functioning and malfunctioning, judge and judged, good and bad can be. If you can stomach a little necrophilia and other deviations, this novel is definitely worth reading.
Greetings gentle reader. The weekend is again upon us, and today I will recommend to you one of my all-time favourite TV-shows, Green Wing (2004-6).
Starring such brilliant actors and comedians as Tamsin Greig, Mark Heap, Stephen Mangan, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Sarah Alexander, this British show is a very strange take on the hospital genre. Despite its slightly overdone setting (seriously, how many hospital shows do we really need?) it is nothing like its American counterparts. Check out some clips:
Also, the insanity of the characters is beyond most shows you’ll ever see. While none of them can be called normal or sane in any way, none can beat the wonder and sheer madness of staff liaison Sue White. Oh, Sue White!
Such a lovely bag of Scottish crazy!
So, no, we are not going to become a history blog (we are going down in history, though), but a few weeks ago I was at a lecture where the teacher called Anthony Eden (1897-1977) one of the glamour boys in Parliament, and that immediately caught my attention.
I want to be a glamour boy (girl) in Parliament. What a cool epithet! Of course, when I say glamour girl, I do not mean our contemporary definition of glamour girls, cause hello, how would they get a seat in parliament? But a glamour boy (girl) in Parliament? In the 1930’s? I’m there! And yeah, I get that politics in the 1930s perhaps wasn’t all fun and games, but I’m just gonna sit there and be glamourous with my boy Anthony.
Anyway, I thought it’d be interesting to have a looksie at our, so far, favorite glamour boy, so without much further ado, I bring to you: Anthony Eden!
So what if he’s ranked among the least successful British Prime Ministers of the twentieth century – the man’s got style!
So much style that the silk-brimmed, black felt Homburg became known (and is still called) the Anthony Eden hat. Nice. There is, in comparison, no Hanna Volle hat. But just you wait, Henry Higgins!
Some of his contemporaries didn’t, for some reason or other (I’m gonna go with jealousy or ignorance or both), appreciate Eden’s awesome style. Let me give you some quotes on how they perceived him: “vain as a peacock and all the mannerisms of a petit maître”, “a poor feeble little pansy”, “smoothie”, “not a gentleman” because he dressed “too well”, “that’s Anthony — half mad baronet, half beautiful woman”.
I’m gonna go with dashingly dapper. Well done, glamour boy!
Allow me to introduce a relatively new Parisian fashion designer – the promising young (how young I actually do not know, since there is nothing on him on Wikipedia) Guillaume Henry (misspelling of name will most probably occur throughout the post).
Guillaume Henry is one of those who has had a quick rise to fame and career and fortune and all that jazz. Basically a guy we would totally hate, if only he didn’t make such fabulous clothes. But now I guess we kinda love him, since he does make those.
Henry did a twelve month’s course in fashion at the Institut Français de la Mode, before leaving to work as a trainee at Givenchy in 2003.
From Givenchy (’cause who stays at Givenchy, really?) he went on to Riccardo Tisci and Paule KA. But then, in 2009, his phone rang. The caller was, of course, the French fashion house Carven, asking him what he thought of them. When answering that they should concentrate on dressing real women, he suddenly found himself with a new job. As creative director (yes, that is jealousy you see, dripping between the lines).
Since Henry is still pretty new to the fashion world, he hasn’t too many collections to show for yet. But I have a pretty good feeling about the upcoming ones.
Following the insanely great news that the West Memphis Three are finally released (if you’re unfamiliar with the case, I suggest you check out wm3.org or watch the HBO documentary Paradise Lost ), this week’s recommended book is Damien Echols’ (1974-) autobiography Almost Home (2005).
Almost Home was written on Death Row in an Arkansas prison, and it chronicles Echols’ life from birth to the present (well, 2004/5 at least). It is an intelligent and very well written account of a young man in search of identity, and the tragic events which led to his imprisonment. It highlights how in an intolerant society, the outsider easily becomes the scapegoat.
I read this book when it first came out several years ago, and it affected me greatly. Now, with its author safely out of prison (as he was 18 at the time of the murders, he was the only of the three who was sentenced to death), it is very much due for a reread.
Additionally, I recommend the aforementioned documentary Paradise Lost – it may be slightly in the Michael Moore school of documentary-making (i.e. it occasionally overstates some facts while underplaying others), but despite that, its well worth a watch, and I dare you not to let the American judicial system (at least in this case) provoke and anger you.
PS. For the record, I do believe the boys were wrongly imprisoned, and that the real killer got away with it.
But despite a lot of ugly and boring stuff from the coming spring collection, I just have to say that I do like that many of the NY designers have used awesome hats and accessories in their showings.
So to follow up on yesterday’s post, this Friday’s film suggestion is Capote (2005).
The story is partly biographical and depicts the writer Truman Capote’s investigation into the murder of a family in Kansas, with the intention of turning the story into a novel called In Cold Blood. Despite being an arrogant, flamboyant outsider, he manages to get the locals to open up to him and reveal information, and he even develops a close relationship with one of the killers. However, as he digs deeper into the story, he finds himself struggling with his own emotions and reactions.
The film is shocking, sad, funny and, I think, quite honest regarding the tension between Truman’s sympathy for the killers and his need for a closure to the novel, which only an execution can provide. Capote is beautifully portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his work.
So go watch it, people!
Ok, so he might not be the hunkiest hunk in hunksville, but damn, is this man talented! And I quote shamelessly from Wikipedia: “Philip Seymour Hoffman (born July 23, 1967) is an American actor and director. Hoffman began acting in television in 1991, and the following year started to appear in films. He gradually gained recognition for his supporting work in a series of notable films, including Scent of a Woman (1992), Boogie Nights (1997), Happiness (1998), The Big Lebowski (1998), Magnolia (1999), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Almost Famous (2000), 25th Hour (2002), and Cold Mountain (2003). In 2005, Hoffman played the title role in the biographical film Capote (2005), for which he won multiple acting awards including an Academy Award for Best Actor. He received another two Academy Award nominations for his supporting work in Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) and Doubt (2008). Other critically acclaimed films in recent years have included Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007) and The Savages (2007). In 2010, Hoffman made his feature film directorial debut with Jack Goes Boating.”
Hoffman is also an accomplished theater actor and director, and has directed and performed in numerous Off-Broadway productions. He has been nominated for two Tony Awards, one for Best Leading Actor in True West (2000) and one for Best Featured Actor in Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2003), both on Broadway. He also had the voice of Max Jerry Horovitz in the aforementioned Mary and Max (2009), one of the most beautiful animated films ever!
He is truly an accomplished and talented actor well worth checking out if you’re not already familiar with him.
Walking home on Saturday night, this couple passed me, and the guy was wearing the most amazing top hat. Continuing my walk home I kept thinking on top hats – how awesomely cool they are and how sad it is that they just disappeared out of our everyday wardrobe. So, this will be my attempt (the first of many) to encourage the top hat’s comeback.
The top hat “is a tall, flat-crowned, broad-brimmed hat”, which stayed in fashion for over 200 years, from the mid 18th to the mid 20th century.
They come in various colors and made from various materials, but they all have in common that they look smashing and can put the umph in any outfit.
Did you know that the Jägers in the Russian Imperial Army wore top hats as part of their uniforms for nine years? That’s so lovely! If I ever go to war (which, yeah, I can totally see happening) I want my enemies to wear top hats. There’s nothing wrong in fighting with style, darling.
Now, if my post can’t convince you, maybe some of these fabulous people can:
Might be a bit boring with just an LBD, but I liked the tailoring on the skirt.
From the glorious extravaganza of Christian Lacroix last week to one of his former interns this week – I bring you English designer Stella McCartney (1971 – ).
McCartney first became interested in designing clothes when she made a jacket at age 13. At 16 she interned for the wonderful Mr. Lacroix, before studying at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.
For her graduation runway show in 1995 she used friends such as Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss as models. From 1997 – 2001 she was creative director of Chloé. From Chloé she went on to Gucci, and also to launch her own fashion house, in 2001.
McCartney is a fervent supporter of PETA, and does therefore obviously not use fur and leather in her designs.