Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sebastian (left) and Charles model this autumn's lovely knits
I saw the movie Brideshead Revisited yesterday (out in the UK this week) – it’s really quite excellent. You can tell the critics want to bash it mainly because it’s gayer and more overtly Catholic than the ‘80s TV series. Most critics are cocky-cunty types who share the faith of atheism. The Large Hadron Collider is their present church which will be turned into a large nightclub when that novelty wears off. Also, what’s missing is a good explosive scene. If only “troubled” Sebastian Flyte could be induced to run through Brideshead house with an M60 E4 machine gun and rake all those Virgin Mother ‘n’ Baby paintings, then your average 28-year-old cocky-cunty bejeaned, fashionably godless Empire gawper would be most entranced.
Matthew Goode is suitably dull as Charles Ryder with a voice almost as dreary as Jeremy Irons’, who played the part in the TV series. It’s important he’s drony to signal his interest in Julia’s cunt and not in Seb’s cock. A gay Charles would be all animated and rapid-talking, wouldn’t he? Cock-cunters are solid types as we all know. Ben Whishaw has embraced hardcore camp for Sebastian – facially and as a body type he’s the spitting image of my late friend Robert Tewdwr Moss – so that he holds his cigarette like a lower class tart in Coronation Street, hand and lower arm perpendicular to the upper, smoke wafting; elbow cradled in the other hand. In Waugh-land cock-cocking is a spiritual pathology in response to bad parenting and Marrakesh is the best place for it
Even Emma Thompson is lovely as Lady Marchmain – I say “even” because she’s quite the most patronising person I have ever encountered outside the world of the national newspaper gossip diarist. She is of course far too young to be playing the old devout Catholic cow but perhaps they couldn’t get the insurance for a genuinely old actress like Jean Simmons.
The phrase to look out for in all national film reviews is: “This film is a limp lettuce to the crisp cos of the TV series, scripted as it was by the incomparable John Mortimer who used to return home to his first wife, novelist Penelope Mortimer, with semen stains on his trousers, as she reported in her memoirs”; or something like that.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
The other week I attended a retrospective exhibition at the OSO Centre in Barnes Green, London, of the paintings and drawings of Hilary Gialerakis (1924-2003). Curated by her vivacious daughter Antonia, the works are best described as a fusion of Cubism, Surrealism and other modernist 'isms with a distinct Dali-esque influence, elevated by a highly original and impactive use of colour, and in some instances, by wood carving-like surfaces - the paintings reproduced here, by kind permission, suggest a flavour of her work as a whole.
Hilary's life has been described as "Sylvia Plath-like", poor thing. A Plath-like life, as we all know, is the soapy rotten one of a talent repaid with a cult appreciation in life and a too-late posthumous acclamation. Antonia has edited Hilary's diaries into book form, Hilary: An Unquiet Spirit - and what a story it is, written in a spare, dry style whatever the drama. See below to buy.
I opened the book at random and naturally my eye fell on the time she and her war hero husband Vere Holden-White couldn't have sex. A psychiatrist diagnosed an Oedipal problem, that he loved his mummy too much. But Hilary's good sense lighted on another likely cause: his cock was too big. Problem solved with Vaseline. Let this be entered into the Book of Parables against Psychiatry and other Modern Religions.
Hilary was born in Dorset and studied at the Chelsea Art School before moving to South Africa. She married twice and later in life took a female lover. A couple of her paintings bear bullet holes (repaired), the results of misaimed shots at a loved one or two. She enjoyed professional recognition but not on the significant scale she deserves.
The Lotus Eaters
I asked Antonia at the exhibition party whether the Standard's art critic Brian Sewell had expressed interest. She tells me: "I went to his paper's offices in Derry Street (South Kensington) with samples of my mother's work, because I'd heard he doesn't like to attend exhibitions, he prefers to go through catalogues and portfolios. This rather grand woman said that Mr Sewell would like to read the book so I handed her a copy and that's where we left it. I hope he writes about the paintings."
A number of the paintings were sold at the showing; a pity really. I am confident Hilary Gialerakis' work will gain in international recognition with a consequent uplift in value. Among her best works, The Lotus Eaters was up for £3,000 and Ash Wednesday for £2,200 (both oils on canvas). Perhaps in a year's time these will be worth ten times as much. As her friend Roger Smith says: "I do believe Hilary's work is original and strong enough to stand in its own right."
To order a copy of Hilary: An Unquiet Spirit click here.
For further information write to: Antoniagialerakis@yahoo.co.uk
Friday, September 26, 2008
PS ... I know you worked with Can so here's I Want More for you ... (I know Peter Gilmour wrote it but I can dance to it and it should be remixed as a Noughties dance track) ...
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I hope Gordon Brown knows about the Lipstick Endogenous Decline Thingy: perhaps Ruth Kelly walked out on him to spend more time with her lipstick.
However, should you bother to read the New York Times piece in all its fill-space lengthiness you will halt at this: “Lipstick sales for the first 12 weeks of this year ending March 23 (2008) don’t validate the lipstick theory. Sales of lipstick in supermarkets and drugstores have decreased 3.3 percent compared with the same time period in 2007, according to Information Resources Inc …”
Nice try Leonard Lauder.
Monday, September 22, 2008
John le Carré complains to the paper of an interview with Rod Liddle last week which had us believe that the master spy novelist was once tempted to defect to the Russians when he worked as a British intelligence officer. Not quite. At all. Le Carré explains in a letter that, as he has done in various of his fictions, he merely identified with professional eavesdroppers.
He writes: “It was in this context that I made the point that, in common with other intelligence officers who lived at close quarters with their adversaries, I had from time to time placed myself intellectually in the shoes of those on one side of the Curtain who took the short walk to the other; and that rationally and imaginatively I had understood the magnetic pull of such a step [of defection], and empathised with it.”
That was too psychologically subtle a message to flog a newspaper on. So the greys and blurs were dipped into the black ink of a lucrative screamer for a juicy misrepresentation. Think of all the years of journalistic education - and subsequent snobbery - that went into that. I understand solicitors exchanged missives.
The long letter makes another complaint which you should read over a large glass of Calvados. Click here. Mind how you go.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I may have missed something here but who owns the copyright in McCann's diary? And would it not have been the usual thing to negotiate a price with her reps, or herself even, for publication? Had the Screws done so they would have discovered that she had not granted permission to publish her private thoughts. The paper has made a donation to the McCanns' campaign to find their missing daughter Madeleine. I hope this sum exceeds by a wide margin whatever profit they made on McCann's diary.
The paper has removed the diary from its website. However, as I write, extracts from the extracts are still to be found on Telegraph.co.uk. "The full context of the journal ... written in an A4 pad, have been revealed in a tabloid newspaper after being leaked by a Portuguese reporter," explains the site. An Australian site also carries a substantial amount of material from the diary click here. Loads of other sites lifted material, including Marie Claire 's.
The Screws' Carole Malone page top headline today is: "One Miskate After Another!" But that's about another Kate. Pity.
Btw - ought not the web page that carried the now deleted McCann diary (as indicated in web search lists) have the apology? It isn't as I write, click here .
Friday, September 19, 2008
Karl, 75, with Jr
Where are my manners? I forgot to wish Karl Lagerfeld a happy 75th (yes, that's his actual age - not 70; Sept 10 - a Virgo: odd, detail attentive, mercurial). And on Sept 26 Duncan Fallowell celebrates a significant birthday as an airy Libran. Madame Arcati showers these gifted souls with all her good wishes.
PS: I forgot to say, Karl is seventy-five
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Many years ago I "met" Liberace. For reasons that too many Vodka Gimlets have obscured in my memory, he was at the American Booksellers Association convention (ABA) back in the day, when I still worked in book publishing. We were knocking down our stalls and he was trotted around for hellos (again, no idea why).
Even though it was the end of a too-long day, he was elegance epitomised - wearing the most luscious pale suit with a magnificent crisp shirt and a wonderful tie (my memory's fixed these as greys and lilacs and pale blues); his hair was immaculate, his macquillage sublime (ie: there, but not TOO there), and he had one ring on each finger: a huge, perfect, round cabochon agate - again in those same colour ranges - set in gold. Not at all tacky, not at all Vegas, just old style celebrity like they didn't even make any more back then.
As I say, he was magnificent to behold, and he was the most gracious, most pleasant, most well mannered individual one could ever hope to encounter in this kind of "drive by" meeting. . .
So, that would have been late May 1986. By February he was dead. I was knocked sideways - he'd looked so healthy, so happy, so together at the convention. It was around that time that my own friends started dropping like flies, and I saw at close range how swiftly and inexorably Aids could move. Still, better that than the friends I watched linger while all quality of life eked away.
Duncan Fallowell recalls ...
I met him a couple of times at AD8, April's restaurant. Huge, sweet, like a scented polar bear raised on chocolate.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
What’s interesting is the selection of two resolute cock-cunters to play the queens. Is it possible that, given Hollywood’s deranged homophobia, it was thought essential to make the subject-matter of Liberace palatable to the land of Sarah Palin and her foreign parts by casting two actors synonymous with catalogue-constructed masculinity?
The thinking probably goes like this: cock-cocking is box office smeg but why not launder the exercise by presenting two straight stars acting. Normally actors act so we forget they’re acting. In the case of Liberace, it’s essential the actors act against type so that we know that they’re acting. In this way a Trojan is created to sneak in the matter of the cock-cocking.
My preferred alternate Liberace/Thorson combos (of varying sexual types, all interesting):
Kevin Spacey/Vin Diesel
kd lang/Christopher Biggins
Robert De Niro/Al Pacino
Christopher Lee/Zac Efron
Monday, September 15, 2008
It occurs to me that the one man most ably qualified to take on this role, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (who presently plays Henry VIII in The Tudors) would fail the audition.
For the actor is just a shade over 5ft 9ins, looks nothing like 40 let alone 50 (closer 30), doesn't do beards (yet), lives in LA and is probably not very knowledgeable about Tudor history – certainly the people behind The Tudors seem indifferent to it.
What a loss to Hampton Court Palace. But in any case if you aren’t Jonathan Rhys Meyers and you think you have what it takes to play an old scrote who murdered two of his wives, gave heart cancer to another and indirectly killed yet another with his cock, apply to email@example.com
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Peter didn't realise the tee light candles were battery operated till the glamorous female assistant popped them on half way through the sale - "Ooooh look, they're glowing, they're glowing!" screamed Peter who still does that Frankie Howerd thing of running his tongue around the inside of his mouth when he's being saucy. He probably would have tried to light the plastic candles had the assistant not assisted. "They could go for a pound," he lied. The candle holders went for about £8 for the pair.
Then there was a Raymond Briggs' The Snowman Christmas decoration to flog, a cardboard cut-out of a flying snowman carrying a boy, both wrapped in coils of rope lights. "It could go for a pound," Peter lied as the screen text showed a starting price of £49.99. "It would look lovely in yer bay window or over the fire place or in your reception area," Peter said. So, I switched off.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
1 Toby irritates Dunst by giving her notes on how to act. I think this is very thoughtful of him. More writers should take the initiative in this way. Pity someone didn’t talk to the cast of The Women which is nothing like George Cukor’s ’39 job - if you want something done well get a homo to do it, that's what I say. How can straight Annette Bening compare with lesbo Joan Crawford? Serrated edge meets draught excluder.
2 Tell tale tit Dunst then goes boo-hooing to Weide asking whether it’s necessary for Tobes to be on set. Boo hoo.
3 Weide says “I told her to consider it taken care of” The implication is quite plain. Certainly you would not think he means to reprimand the sex god, as he claims in the Speccie.
4 Weide describes a Tobes email with advice on improving a scene as “complete rubbish”. Bitch.
5 Tobes confesses he gets anxious when he visits the set. Poor poppet. Let me stroke your shiny pate.
6 Weide replies evilly: “There’s a very simple way to relieve yourself of that anxiety”. The implication is again plain – fuck off cunty, we don’t want you here. Who do you think you are, you pond life author you. Bloody writers ….
Toby knew when he wasn’t wanted and to all intents and purposes was banned - thanks to Dunst. Weide froze him out. There are many ways of making someone feel unwelcome. Just ask Anna Wintour.
Toby has invited me to his book party tonight but it clashes with Mark Borkowski’s for his The Fame Formula: How Hollywood's Fixers, Fakers and Star Makers Created the Celebrity Industry (click here to buy) which I have just read and love. I hadn't realised Clark Gable was bi. I shall be reviewing it soon. But whose party to attend? Or maybe I should have sex with a Toby Young tribute act. Decisions, decisions.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
But wait a minute. Ritchie’s new movie RocknRolla is the UK’s top film right now. It’s true the old fusty revanants of “Fleet Street” hated the film but that’s because they didn’t really watch it in their unlaundered clobber: they just sat in the screening room gloom rehearsing smart put-downs. But the cool media like Heat and a hundred others loved it. Are we to believe that the achingly voguish Jones only reads farty British national newspapers in assessing what’s hot or not between shit plop 1 and shit plop 2?
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
The question was along the lines: How do you account for the success of your marriage? In the course of the question, Richard seemed to call the director "Sir Guy". Then in some backtracking repartee added that he was only trying to ingratiate himself with the faux-knight. Later asked how he knew so much about the London underworld, Sir Guy replied: "From reading the Daily Mail."
Guy Ritchie is a winning character. His cologne was not. When he passed me by in his dark suit - no tie - his Dunhill aftershave, or whatever sweet heliotrope he'd dabbed on, nearly knocked me out. I suspect he's a benign mind-fucker. He liked to tease his cast by lobbing questions fired at him over to them - naturally they hadn't been listening. I imagine his marriage to Madge is one long benign mind-fuck. Best to be on your toes chez Ciccone-Ritchie. You've got to have your wits about you with these two restless workaholics.
The press meet for RocknRolla was at the Oxo Tower Wharf near Waterloo, a dump whose interiors resemble those in the Alien space ship. RocknRolla movie posters were plastered all over the bare brick walls, the ceiling plaster was bubbling and flaking, the naked girders were all rust: I loved it. The wharf is no good example of the architectural hyper-modernism in RocknRolla. But you could imagine a nice old mobster feeding a rival to crayfish there.
The journos were well looked after. Bacon rolls served, coffee poured. I didn't stay for lunch, but I think I spotted some shrimp. Today's Mail trashes RocknRolla - Christopher Tookey is a sharp writer but has grown cantakerous from exposure to the all-male clique of elderly national film reviewers - and I'm astonished. The movie is far superior to Ritchie's other films, even if it covers old ground superficially. London's turned, that's its message. The fucking Russians and American crayfish are running the place.
Monday, September 01, 2008
"The Parkin Lot is on EVERY TUESDAY, 9-1.30am - please come down, BUT don't forget your boottees. No matter what Madame Arcatti says! It's all about the Fun, the snogging in corners with erections is just the side dish. Can't wait to see you lovelies before I emigrate to Holland. Sante as we say Rotterdam! Sophie (Carson and Molly).