30 April 2016

Where Did She Go?


Wondering where I've gone? 

I'm still here, busier than ever before (or at least that's how it feels). I haven't forgotten this blog or you dear readers but my schedule is not what it once was. Unfortunately, until I can find some time to sit down and write the posts here will be few. So until I can share more tales with you, please follow me on Instagram or Twitter to see what I'm up to. 

17 March 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Glencar Lake. Photo from here.

As I've done in the past, I'm celebrating the holiday on the blog by sharing a poem by my favourite Irish poet (my favourite poet really), W.B.Yeats. So Happy St. Patrick's Day and bain taitneamh as!

I Am of Ireland
'I AM of Ireland,
And the Holy Land of Ireland,
And time runs on,' cried she.
'Come out of charity,
Come dance with me in Ireland.'

One man, one man alone
In that outlandish gear,
One solitary man
Of all that rambled there
Had turned his stately head.
'That is a long way off,
And time runs on,' he said,
'And the night grows rough.'

'I am of Ireland,
And the Holy Land of Ireland,
And time runs on,' cried she.
“Come out of charity
And dance with me in Ireland.'

'The fiddlers are all thumbs,
Or the fiddle-string accursed,
The drums and the kettledrums
And the trumpets all are burst,
And the trombone,' cried he,
'The trumpet and trombone,'
And cocked a malicious eye,
'But time runs on, runs on.'

'I am of Ireland,
And the Holy Land of Ireland,
And time runs on,’ cried she.
'Come out of charity
And dance with me in Ireland.'

10 March 2016

IT Girls, Flappers, Jazz Babies, and Vamps

Clara Bow in It (1927)

Tomorrow begins Film Forum's two-week series "IT Girls, Flappers, Jazz Babies, and Vamps" or as I call it, my big birthday present. Yes, there will be 31 films shown featuring  some of the loveliest and greatest of the silver screen starting with Kay Francis and Miriam Hopkins in Ernst Lubitsch's witty Trouble in Paradise (1932) and ending with Clara Bow in Dorothy Arzner's delightful Get Your Man (1927). In between there's Louise Brooks, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Blondell, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Anna May Wong, Colleen Moore, and more. I am trying to limit myself to only seeing films that I haven't seen on the big screen before but that rule might just get broken (I'll report back on which screenings I attend). So thank you Bruce Goldstein and Film Forum for scheduling this series during my birthday month. And if anyone is looking for me during the next few weeks, you'll know where to find me.

For more information about the series, visit Film Forum.

09 March 2016

The Scream

"The Scream" Edvard Munch (1895)

“Munch and Expressionism,” the latest exhibit at the Neue Galerie, explores how the Norwegian Evard Munch influenced his German and Austrian contemporaries and German Expressionism. Included in the show are more than 80 paintings and works on paper by Munch and other artists like Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Egon Schiele. This mix allows viewers to see shared themes of mortality, alienation, and anxiety and for Munch’s work to stand out. It's also refreshing to see a woman artist, Gabriele Munter, included; her painting “The Blue Gable” (1911) was one of my favourites in the show.

An exhibit of Munch wouldn’t be complete without his most famous work, The Scream, an iconic symbol of modern angst. Here the painting gets its own room, dark and cozy. Munch created four versions of “The Scream” yet the one on display, the 1895 version done in pastels, may be the most interesting. It’s the only one to have remained out of a museum and in private hands. It’s also the one that includes a poem painted on the frame by the artist that describes the origin of the work:

“I was walking along the road with two Friends / the Sun was setting – The Sky turned a bloody red / And I felt a whiff of Melancholy – I stood / Still, deathly tired – over the blue-black / Fjord and City hung Blood and Tongues of Fire / My Friends walked on – I remained behind / – shivering with Anxiety – I felt the great Scream in Nature – EM.”

 “The Scream” has been reproduced so many times that it’s become kitsch yet it’s striking to see in person, brighter than any postcard or poster. The strong strokes of colour have a feeling of urgency, as if the artist dashed off the work in a hurry. The oppressive orange sky, the seemingly endless bridge above the swirling blue water below, and the alien-like features of the figure in the forefront grab your attention, leaving you with a sense of unease.

“Munch and Expressionism” is at the Neue Galerie until June 13, 2016.

03 March 2016

Harlow

Today is Jean Harlow's birthday. Born in Kansas City, Missouri on March 3, 1911, she was the original blonde bombshell. Gorgeous, smart, and funny, she starred in a series of wonderful films in the 1930s before dying all too soon at the age of 26. I've written before about my love for Harlow who is one of my favourite stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. The scene of her sitting in bed eating chocolates and reading magazines in Dinner at Eight is a situation I am always aspiring to be in, and I only wish I could deliver a putdown like she could ("Ya big ape"). So Happy Birthday, Harlow!

02 March 2016

Cocktail


Tonight I attended an after hours event at the Whitney Museum. While I did check out the new exhibits, I probably enjoyed the gallery with selections from the Whitney’s permanent collection the most. In one section among works by Edward Hopper, Man Ray, and Joseph Cornell is the painting “Cocktail” by Gerald Murphy (1927).

During the 1920s, Americans Gerald and Sara Murphy lived a charmed life on the French Riviera. Cultured and stylish, they swam, sunbathed, danced, and dined with their circle of friends who included the likes of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Picasso. It was also the decade that saw an artistic outpouring from Gerald who produced 14 paintings in the Cubist-style, which were well received. Tragedy struck the Murphys in 1929 when their son, Patrick, became ill with tuberculosis; Patrick and his brother, Baoth, would both die a few years later. Gerald never painted again.

Today, only eight of his paintings are known to still exist including “Cocktail.” It is a perfect painting for the Jazz Age. Titled after what one drank in a speakeasy, it features a martini glass and cocktail shaker along with a corkscrew and an all-important lemon for a twist. There’s also a large box of cigars. Devoted to his family, Gerald included five cigars to represent him and his family members. The collection of items, lined up in an orderly fashion, is modern and sophisticated, just like its painter. 

01 March 2016

Dear March


Dear March - Come in - 
       
Dear March - Come in -
How glad I am 
I hoped for you before -
Put down your Hat -        
You must have walked -
How out of Breath you are -        
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest -
Did you leave Nature well -        
Oh March, Come right upstairs with me -
I have so much to tell -

I got your Letter, and the Birds -        
The Maples never knew that you were coming -
I declare - how Red their Faces grew -                
But March, forgive me -        
And all those Hills you left for me to Hue -        
There was no Purple suitable -        
You took it all with you -                
 
Who knocks? That April -
Lock the Door –
I will not be pursued -
He stayed away a year, to call
When I am occupied -
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come,
That blame is just as dear as praise
And praise as mere as blame.
—Emily Dickinson

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