The Making of The Artist

02/02/2012 § Leave a comment

First, how adorable is Bérénice Bejo?

Second, how amazing is it that neither Bérénice nor her co-star
Jean Dujardin
knew how to tap dance before the film?

If you haven’t already, go see The Artist.

Look at Life: The London Coffee Bar

01/02/2012 § 2 Comments

A charming British short tries to understand the London coffee bar craze, which started in 1952, when an espresso machine was set up in London Soho.  And of course now I’m searching for as many of the Look at Life clips as I can find…

Sidenote: Man, I wish I could’ve hung out with Iron Foot Jack

You Beautiful Dames!

23/01/2012 § Leave a comment

The kind of extravagant and geometric choreography
only Busby Berkeley could be behind.

From Dames, 1934.

Coming Attraction: Red Tails

08/01/2012 § 1 Comment

It is with great excitement that I look forward to the release of Red Tails, the retelling of the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, on January 20. The film was produced by George Lucas, directed by Anthony Hemingway and stars Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American pilots in the United States armed forces and served in World War II, facing remarkable adversity and racism within the military as well as society at large. After African American soldiers were denied the opportunity to fly in World War I, Congress forced the War Department to begin training African American pilots in 1939, and forced the Army Air Corps to form an all-black fighter unit in 1941. The 99th Pursuit Squadron was formed in March 1941 and the unit was eventually expanded into the 332nd Fighter Group when the 100th Fighter Squadron, 301st Fighter Squadron and 302nd Fighter Squadron were added. The group saw action in Europe and North Africa, and are well-known for their excellence flying escorts for heavy bombers. The nickname “Red Tails” came from the distinctive red paint the pilots had applied to the tails of their planes.

The main reason for my excitement is my personal connection to the Tuskegee Airmen. My great uncle, Col. Edward Creston Gleed, served as the 302nd Fighter Squadron commander during WWII. He personally had two confirmed kills, while his squadron accounted for almost one third of the aerial victories recorded by the 332nd. He also served as operations officer for the 332nd. As you can expect, my family is exceptionally proud and very excited to see his story brought to life on the big screen. I can’t wait.

My Uncle Cres, on the far left.

Coming Attractions: Albert Nobbs, Tomboy, & The Iron Lady

19/12/2011 § Leave a comment

Three different films, one leitmotif.
Boundaries.  Convention.  Identity.

Albert Nobbs, starring the inestimable Glenn Glose in the title role she also played Off Broadway, is the story of a woman who masquerades as a man for over thirty years in order to work and survive in 19th century Ireland.

French film Tomboy, is the story of Mikael, the new boy in town, who is actually a girl named Laure.

And last, but definitely not least, the amazing Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady, a portrait of the rise of Margaret Thatcher, the first and only female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the first female elected to head of government in the West.

While Albert and Mikael/Laure wrestle with their concept of themselves as manifested outwardly through their chosen manner and dress, Baroness Thatcher contends with some of the same issues as they relate to her chosen profession.  All three struggle with the corresponding concepts of masculinity and femininity.  I look forward to seeing all three.

Albert Nobbs opens January 27.
Tomboy is currently in limited release.
The Iron Lady opens December 30.

Coming Attraction: Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

21/10/2011 § 2 Comments

Singer.  Songwriter.  Hellraiser.

Excited to see Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life tonight.  Pretty sure I will love this film — we’ve previously discussed my love for Jane Birkin, Laetitia Casta looks amazing at Bardot, and when you add in a liberal dose of surrealism, 60s music and puppets (?!?), you’ve pretty much guaranteed me two hours of bliss.
If you happen to be in New York this weekend, you can catch a viewing at the Soho House on Saturday night.  Find further details here.

“Best-selling comic book artist Joann Sfar delivers an inventive biography of famed French singer Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino). Born Lucien Ginsburg to Russian-Jewish parents, Sfar follows him from his childhood in Nazi-occupied Paris, his transition from painter to jazz musician to pop superstar and his many relationships including Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis), Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta) and Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon) while employing a witty surrealistic style and a soundtrack that acts like a time capsule to ’60’s Paris.

Coming Attraction: The Artist

11/10/2011 § 1 Comment

The Artist
Release date Nov 23, 2011.

Hollywood 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky’s the limit – major movie stardom awaits. THE ARTIST tells the story of their interlinked destinies.

A new, silent, black and white film, set in Hollywood in 1927?
Someone made this with me in mind…

H/T to Hello, Tailor.

Featured: Quite Continental on Two Inch Cuffs – “Home Film | Heritage Football”

13/07/2011 § Leave a comment

Just wanted to share the video from the Two Inch Cuffs feature.

Please do not judge my football skills by these few minutes, as I was taking it easy so I wouldn’t embarrass the boys.  Obviously.

Film: Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec

23/03/2011 § 2 Comments

I have long been a fan of filmmaker Luc Besson, and from what I can tell, his latest film, “The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec,” looks destined to be a new favorite.  In the years before WWI, Adèle, a fiesty Parisian writer-turned-journalist, encounters some outrageous matters of the occult — namely, the hatching of a petrified pterodactyl and the revival of a mummy — and amazing escapades ensue.  Based on a Franco-Belgian series of comics by Jacques Tardi, the film was released in France last year and will soon be released in the UK — no word yet on any US release dates, but I will keep an eye out for us, d’accord!

The official site for the film is quite beautiful.  It’s definitely worth a bit of clicking about.  If the film carries the same attention to production detail that is evident on the site — and that I very much appreciated in Besson’s futuristic Fifth Element — I’m assured to enjoy it.  Of course, I’m most excited about the costume design.  Set in Paris in 1912, it is one of my favorite eras for women’s clothing.  From safari wear, to beautiful hats, to can-can dresses, so much to see and love.

Images via My French Films.

Quite Continental Recommends: BAMcinématek Deneuve

15/03/2011 § Leave a comment

Currently, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is showing a 25-film tribute to the amazing Catherine Deneuve.  Running through March 31, the festival includes films such as Belle du Jour, Manon 70, and Repulsion, among others.  Last week I had the good fortune to catch Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.  If you’ve already seen the film, you’ll remember it as the rather odd, completely sung, vibrantly colorful film that features a 20 year-old Catherine Deneuve in a story about young lovers in the small port town of Cherbourg.  And if you haven’t seen it, how could you refuse it after that description?

Playing to a packed house on a stormy night, a story about an umbrella shop seemed quite apropos.  The bright colors were a dream!  I immediately had a desire to wear pink with orange, and found myself thinking about the color blocking, stripes and use of contrast of Prada S/S 2011.  See what I mean?  J’adore!

Image via Vogue Paris

More from Les Parapluies…

If you can make it, do drop by BAMcinématek Deneuve.

30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217-1486

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