Thursday, August 22, 2013

Playlist: Summer's almost gone

As we approach the last few days of summertime it's crucial to savor these remaining moments of peace [of mind] and freedom, since most of the sunshine rapture has now come to an end. However, as the great cliche states: It's important to look at the glass half full, not empty. I present to you a playlist for reluctantly, yet strongly, saying goodbye to summer. See ya next year, it was fun while it lasted.(Though maybe not for me..)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Flapper Series

     As I previously said, I've always loved the 20's. It was a damn glamorous time, for fashion, literature, art, music, and all around culture. It wasn't entirely perfect with many of its flaws hidden beneath all the glamour and jazz; However, what is near perfect is this book, The Flapper Series: Vixen by Jillian Larkin, which captures all those aspects in an exciting, stomach tingling historical fiction novel set in the dangerous, most daring decade of the twentieth century, so naturally I was instantly drawn to it. The book takes part in Chicago in 1923, and captures life as a young, wealthy, and beautiful Flapper through the eyes of three young girls, Gloria, Lorain, and Clara who differ in personalities but all share the same keen, determined, fearless, and rule-breaking young soul of a girl trying to find her place in this world and, on the way,  getting in trouble with boys and such. It certainly did not disappoint, on the contrary, I was, quite literally, hooked. I started reading the book shortly after I woke up and I didn't let it down except for eating and quick shower, then continued to read till 3 A.M when I finished. I instantly needed the second book of the series, Ingenue, but decided it's better to give some time between reading each book of the series as not to quickly get rid of the magic.

Below is a 1920's Jazz playlist made by the author ( I found it on the series' website) enjoy:

1) Downhearted Blues - Bessie Smith
2) Black and Tan Fantasy - Duke Ellington
3) After You've Gone - Marion Harris
4) Bandana Babies - Lew Leslie's Blackbirds Orchestra
5) The Rackett - Levee Syncopators
6) Black Bottom Stomp - Jelly Roll Morton
7) Charleston - James P. Johnson

Friday, July 19, 2013

Old Hollywood: Guaranteed to satisfy your nostalgic vibes

      Back in the day--when I was a fool-- I couldn't stand black and white movies. I repeat, Fool. In my defense (against myself?), I was younger and therefore found the drainage of color boring. However, I've always been into history and discovering culture from years past. I was fascinated with fashion from every decade and found it all very glamorous. Yes, I even thought I was born in the wrong decade due to my love of everything that went on in the 20's especially, and so on up until the 60's; before ultimate modernization began. Anyways, what caused this movie renaissance of mine you ask? Well, on a lonely and unproductive day during a spring break of mine I came across The Philadelphia Story, and that pretty much sealed the deal. I was in love with Old Hollywood. The older the films were, the more I liked them cause they satisfied this feeling of nostalgia I felt whenever I watched period movies, except, actual old films were more realistic, obviously. All of that is why this post is solely dedicated to black and white films rather than classic movies as a whole. There are brilliant classic films in technicolor, that I love, but we'll save those for later. For now,  Here's 10 exceptional black and white films that I thoroughly enjoyed and most definitely recommend.

It's Love I'm After ( 1937):
Featuring one of my absolute favorite leading men, Leslie Howard, the oh-so-charming and handsome Brit who is basically the epitome of a gentleman. Those glinting eyes, crooked half smile/smirk, and the pinkie ring he wears in all his movies never fail to make me swoon. His character, Basil Under wood the stage actor/ heartthrob is in an off again- on again relation ship with his stage partner: the dazzlingly beautiful Joyce Arden a.k.a Bette Davis who is equally beautiful and independent as she is devious and sassy. Together they have the most amusing, romantic, trouble-filled conflicting relationship that makes this movie so perfect.

Bringing Up Baby (1938): 
Apart from Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant being my all time favorite old Hollywood movie couple, There is a real life leopard in the movie!
Its definitely one of my favorite films ever, I own it on DVD( courtesy of my cool Journalism teacher), and never get sick of re-watching. It is equally funny each and every time. Wherever the loud and lively Susan goes, trouble follows, so when she tags alongside the handsome and flustered paleontologist, David, things are bound to not go so smoothly.

His Girl Friday ( 1940): Cue badass leading lady! Hildy Johnson is a a full time ace journalist, with smarts, wit, sense of humor and killer style to top it all of. She really is truly a badass, and my inner feminist/ aspiring journalist was fangirling all throughout the film. With all this being said, it's no wonder her ex-husband/boss will do anything to keep her from remarrying and moving away.

The Philadelphia Story (1940): The one that started it all; well, for me anyway. Again featuring my fave couple in addition to James Stewart, which should hint at how amazing this movie really is. Right before her second marriage to the ideal husband, Tracy's ex-husband appears at the door, as if that wasn't enough, the tabloid weighs in on her private life as well, needless to say complications are caused, amusing ones that is.

Meet John Doe (1941): This is another one with a badass independent, stylish, determined, quick witted journalist out to prove a point. In order to do so Ann Mitchell, pays a homeless man, played by Cary Cooper, to pose as a nonexistent outraged citizen who attempts suicide as a way of protest.

State Fair (1945): One of the cutest small town love stories ever. Margy Frake's family attend the Iowa state fair, which they have entered in, and soon romances spark for both Margy and her brother. Margy falls for a tall, dark, and handsome reporter, Pat who seems to have more to offer than just his charm and good looks, which is exactly what Margy is searching for, a real relationship with a real man. Will these quick found romances last once the fair is over or will the Frake siblings go back home broken hearted? 

Gilda (1946): Well, this film is pure seduction. Ever heard of sexual tension? yeah, this is that. Tension is caused when Johnny Farrell meets the newly wedded wife of his casino owning, powerful boss who isn't too thrilled at the news that they had previously known each other. The wife,  the gorgeous Rita Hayworth a.k.a Gilda, goes out of her way to seduce Johnny, whether she wants him back or it's just utter torment and teasing who knows, but she's sure getting a kick of out of it. 
Roman Holiday (1953): Three words. Audrey Hepburn. Gregory Peck. Italy. Pretty much three of my favorite things in this world. When princess Anne is bored and fed up with living such a protective and sheltered life she decides to rebel and runaway once her royal tour of Europe is staying in Rome and therefore finds herself in Joe Bradley's apartment the next day. Little does she know that Joe is planning to write an ace up close and personal feature on the princess to gain himself a reputation in the tabloids. The two soon embark on an adventure that is anything but boring. 
Some Like It Hot (1950): Made up of the perfect comedic trio: Monroe, Lemmon, and Curtis. complications set in when two musicians pretending to be women run away as part of an all female band. This complication is when one of them, Joe, falls for Sugar Kane who is also in the band. As if it isn't enough he's posing as a women, he pretends to be a rich hopeless man in order to get her to fall in love with him, which succeeds but when Joe and Jerry are forced to run away again, what will happen to Joe and Sugar's love?
Breathless (1960): There are few things more perfect than 60's French culture, and this movie definitely falls under that category. I mean it has Jean-Paul Belmondo, the ultimate sexy bad boy, alongside Jean Seberg who is just oh-so-chic. While Patricia is studying Journalism in Paris she comes across Michele, who recklessly kills a policeman, and persuades her to come along with him, and they have a little Bonnie and Clyde thing going on. The film is so much more than that though. 

     I just noticed the somewhat reoccurring theme in this list. The fact that most are related to Journalism, maybe that's why I liked them so much? who knows. point is, they're all classic and I could watch each and every one of them over and over again without getting bored. So go and feed your nostalgic senses my children, or if you don't have any, then mix up your taste in cinema and pick up on some fashion tips while doing so. xx

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Playlist: I wanna get lovesick with you

Those sleepless nights where you just can't get that certain someone out of your mind, and all you wanna do is lay around the house eating ice cream whilst hopelessly listening to music. Here's a playlist to carry you through a season of summer lovers and fangirl crushes.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Midnighters On The Storm


     Unlike most human beings, I long for insomnia-to some extent. Not that I dislike sleeping, on the contrary, sleep is wonderful. Elongated hours in which all your worries are swept away as you enter a microcosm of infinite possibilities with no excuse save the natural human necessity for rest, who could ask for more? Well, apparently I can. The times I've felt the most motivated, inspired, and creative have been when I'm alone in my room at 2 AM doing -insert random activity- at times I've even stayed up till 7 AM....let's just say my mother wasn't quite pleased with that decision. I can't help it though, It's just so much more peaceful at night and since there isn't much you can do at that time, you're bound to forget worrying or stressful thoughts that tug at your concentration all throughout the day and instead escape to Latenightland and focus your energy-if you have any left to stay up that late- on whatever it is you want whether it be writing, catching up on your favorite comedy series, reading,crafting,thinking, blogging(comme moi), and listening to some heavenly music while doing it all. Music, which brings me to the aim of this post. It's no unknown fact the The Doors are among the greatest Rock & Roll bands of all time, But among the greatest music for late night endeavors. Apart from Jim Morrison's angelic vocals the rhythmic tunes and catchy melodies of The Doors has made them especially appealing late at night. Ironically,  I could also fall asleep to their music if I choose to; However, When I'm awake at 2:45 AM writing my first blog post and need soothing music that isn't too loud to irritate, nor too mellow to sing me asleep, I play The Doors' first album-'The Doors'-as well as their third-'Waiting for the sun'. Personal favorites of mine include 'Five To One' and 'Back Door Man'. All in all: It's summer, so stay up late while you can, Listen to The Doors, and try to set the night on fire.