Cinema

Cinema-Films-To-Watch

I’m not really a beer drinker – except perhaps on a hot summer’s day whilst sitting on a beach with a cold bottle in hand – but I am a Hunter S. Thompson fan. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is one of my favourite reads.

I am also a HUGE fan of Ralph Steadman’s illustrations which you’ll most likely come across in Hunter S. Thompson’s books. And last week I went along to a preview screening of For No Good Reason; a documentary on the life and works of Ralph Steadman.

For No Good Reason film trailer

The documentary includes private moments with Ralph Steadman and features Johnny Depp as the ‘interviewer’ throughout. Johnny being Johnny is quite mesmerising to watch – and not just for aesthetic reasons. 馃槈

There is also some brilliant footage of Hunter S. Thompson hanging out with Ralph Steadman which gives you an insight into the long standing relationship between these two artists: they may have been chalk and cheese but there was also a great affinity between them.

Before, during and after the screening, beer and ale were served in bottles that carried labels designed by Ralph Steadman. Admittedly I was swigging water from a bottle whilst the boys enjoyed their booze. But I still couldn’t help taking these pics (below), which demonstrate clearly Steadman’s warped sense of humour and unique craft.

Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman

One of the most interesting elements in the documentary was watching Ralph Steadman’s creative process: how he could create an animal from a blot of ink. And if you’re walking along the Fulham Road (Chelsea end – just by 86) and are passing my favourite bookshop: Peter Harrington, you might just spot a few of Ralph Steadman’s framed prints in the window – so you can see for yourself what a great illustrator he really is.

Happy New Year everyone and apologies for the delay in uploading this post. I’ve been on holiday and upon returning I discovered that my blog was down. All seems back to normal so here are my top five don’t miss suggestions for January 2013. Let’s start as we mean to go on on!

1. The Hollywood Costume exhibition at the V&A ends on 27th January 2013. For any movie fan, this is a must-see. Not only do you get to admire iconic costumes which defined your favourite screen characters but you are also presented with an insight into the creative process through which these costumes were conceived. From excerpts of screenplays to multimedia presentations of actors and directors talking between themselves, I would recommend giving yourself time to move between the displays. There is a lot to take in!

Hollywood Exhibition

2. More vintage Hollywood.聽Bob Willoughby: The Silver Age of Hollywood exhibition at Proud Chelsea聽ends on 13th January 2013. To find out why I think this exhibition is unmissable, have a read of my review post here.

3. You don’t believe in Dry January? Then don’t miss out on Embargo’s聽Season 1 – Episode 2: What exams night on 8th January 2013! Click here to find out more details.

4. There’s nothing better to help a girl get through the January blues than by feeling pampered. This month (and next), The Hand and Foot Spa are offering 25% savings on their Spa and Luxury Manicure and Pedicure treatments. The offer applies from Monday to Wednesday only.

5. If you cycle and live in Kensington & Chelsea, don’t miss your chance to have your say about cycling events and campaigns you’d like to see in the area. Bikeminded, who were responsible for the fabulous cupcake cycle tour and the styling Pinterest competition in conjunction with Harrods, will be running a focus group on 23rd January 2013 and they are looking for locals to take part. If you do, you will receive a cash thank you for your time. See Bikeminded’s blog for more info!

This week involved pizza at聽The Camden Eye;聽yummy heart-shaped chocolates from聽Rococo Chocolates聽on King’s Road; eyebrow threading and a manicure at聽Blink Brow Bar聽inside The Shop at Bluebird on King’s Road; dinner upstairs at the recently refurbished The White Horse pub in Parsons Green; The British Museum – one of my favourite buildings in the world; Silver Linings Playbook at Cineworld on Fulham Road (which I wholly recommend!); and trying out an iPad keyboard case from聽Yoshie & Nico.

What did you get up to? x

One of my movie heroes made a special visit to Chelsea over the weekend. Pedro Almod贸var, the film director who introduced Pen茅lope Cruz to the world in his movie Jamon Jamon, in which Cruz also starred in her first film with Javier Bardem.

Almod贸var’s latest film, The Skin I Live In, starred Antonio Banderas whilst his next movie will star both Cruz and Banderas. In other words, Almod贸var聽dominates Spanish cinema. In fact, he has been the embodiment of Spanish cinema for decades.

Live Flesh was the first Almod贸var聽film I watched and it blew my mind. It stars Javier Bardem and is an adaptation of a Ruth Rendell novel: beautifully shot, great performances and really gripping.

Almod贸var聽is also an auteur, which are a rare breed nowadays. His films are visually stunning; his female characters have admirable strength and a fantastic sense of humour; and his stories tend to push the boundaries of our imagination.

So needless to say when I heard that he聽was doing a book signing at Taschen on Duke of York Square, there was no way I was going to miss it!

In fact, I arrived a bit early. Two hours early, to be precise.

There was no else waiting, so the bf and I sat across the way at Manicomio to keep an eye on the impending queue. It was hardly a chore with the Christmas lights on the Square to gaze at as other people sat around us, outside.

When other Almod贸var聽fans started to arrive at Taschen, we joined the line – and waited. And some time later, he finally聽arrived!

Me in my rain mac and scraped back hair – hardly glamorous – as he signed my limited edition copy of The Pedro Almod贸var聽Archives.

When he saw my name on the post-it: Mina, Almod贸var聽chuckled to himself and repeated “Mina”. For a split second I thought it was because of Dracula聽or one of the actresses he works with regularly. It wasn’t until I left the shop that I remembered Almod贸var聽is currently working on a biopic about the Italian singer, Mina. 馃榾

After Almod贸var聽signed my book, he turned round to shake my hand and wish me the best with my writing. He had a warmth that felt refreshing and comforting. No wonder the same actors want to work with him time and time again. It’s clearly not just about his talent.

I found the whole experience inspiring and I will always cherish the words written in my book:

And I’m sure it doesn’t have to be said that this book has now taken prime position on my coffee table.

Do you have someone you would love to meet? What would you ask them to write in a book for you? x

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