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Archive for the ‘London Scene’ Category

Last Monday, I attended the Fashion Monitor Party. We had a great evening, they had a fantastic caterer and – oh my god – amazing Champagne! We had a nice time rubbing shoulders with starved young designers, PR’s and fashion journalists, but, to be honest, the most remarkable was the venue itself.

Skyloft – http://www.skyloftlondon.com – a 360 panoramic warehouse space on 28th floor of the Millbank Tower with absolutely amazing views of London.

I loved it – and it reminded me of how much I like living in London!

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http://www.bfi.org.uk/news/50-greatest-films-all-time

A little more than a month ago, 846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors voted – and the 50-year reign of Citizen Kane is over.

Now – quick poll: how many of the films listed below have you actually seen?!?

  • #1. Vertigo
  • #2. Citizen Kane
  • #3. Tokyo Story
  • #4. La Regle du Jeu
  • #5. Sunrise: the Song of Two Humans
  • #6. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • #7. The Searchers
  • #8. Man with a movie camera
  • #9. The Passion of Joan Arc
  • #10. 8 1/2
  • #11. Battleship Potemkine
  • #12. L’Atalante
  • #13. Breathless
  • #14. Apocalypse Now
  • #15. Late Spring
  • #16. Au hasard Balthazar
  • #17. Seven Samurai
  • #17. Persona
  • #19. Mirror
  • #20. Singin’ in the Rain
  • #21. L’avventura
  • #21. Le Mépris
  • #21. The Godfather
  • #24. Ordet
  • #24. In the Mood for Love
  • #26. Rashomon
  • #26. Andrei Rublev
  • #28. Mulholland Dr.
  • #29. Stalker
  • #29. Shoah
  • #31. The Godfather Part II
  • #31. Taxi Driver
  • #33. Bicycle Thieves
  • #34. The General
  • #35. Metropolis
  • #35. Psycho
  • #35. Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles
  • #35. Sátántangó
  • #39. The 400 Blows
  • #39. La dolce vita
  • #41. Journey to Italy
  • #42. Pather Panchali
  • #42. Some Like It Hot
  • #42. Gertrud
  • #42. Pierrot le fou
  • #42. Play Time
  • #42. Close-Up
  • #48. The Battle of Algiers
  • #48. Histoire(s) du cinéma
  • #50. City Lights
  • #50. Ugetsu monogatari
  • #50. La Jetée

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james-bond

Last Sunday, I saw Quantum of Solace. Having read some mild critics, I wasn’t expecting much. And I was surprised! It’s good, very good indeed.

You can sense they are getting there. Ok, it’s loaded with action scenes, car pursuits and big shooting exchanges, gadgtets are gone – or maybe not arrived yet (sniff), the title doesn’t actually mean any thing but there are some really cool bits:

– The opening scene in Sienna is smashing

– The opera scene is absolutely terrific

Although Daniel Craig’s performance is still quite far from a cocky Sean Connery’s, he’s learning, fast.

There where a handful of what made James Bond though:

– The sexy British station agent

– The French villain

– 5 star hotel suites

– Felix

– The all powerful secret organisation

James Bond is still shaping up and will need to go through a few more hardships to become the selfish, cynical, alcoholic, sexy male fantasy we dream of.

And even if “he didn’t sh@g” Camille – as it was very poetically put by a friend of mine, Bond made his come back.

For info I didn’t like Casino Royal. The plot was too complicated, there were too many characters – excuse me we’re talking about a James Bond movie, not a Woodie Allen’s and should be understood the first time you see it. Casino Royal was too slow – I would almost say “boring” but it’s not the exact word I’m looking for.

……………

My favourite James Bonds are:

  1. Sean Connery
  2. Pierce Brosnan – in Goldeneye
  3. Roger Moore – I know he has been heavily criticised but he makes / made a classy, witty, funny James Bond
  4. George Lazenby – On Her Majesty’s Secret Services is one of my favourite ones. It may have to do with Diana Rigg starring in it…
  5. Timothy Dalton – I actually remember watching License to Kill but it made no impression on me whatsoever.

Well, I still have to find a room for Daniel Craig in there… I can’t wait to see Bond 23, and if it is not too much asking: CAN WE HAVE A PROPER TITLE THIS TIME???

🙂

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Wicked…

Wicked, the musical

A couple of days ago, I saw Wicked, the story of the witches of Oz. I’ve never seen the film the Wizard of Oz, I’ve never read the book by Frank Baum, all I know of Dorothy, Toto, the Tin-man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion is what I remember from a cartoon I used to watch when I was a kid. So basically not much.

The story of Wicked is the one of the witches, the good one and the bad one, their childhood, their friendship, their battles. I was completely engrossed in it from the first 5min, the special effects were amazing, a bit scary at sometimes. The actors were good, it was funny and witty. Glinda (the “good” witch) was absolutely hilarious in her representation of the Clueless-style blond witch.

I definitely recommend it. Time flies, the only thing I could complain about are the seats… Jesus when I got up after the first half my back was in pieces! But a part from this minor detail it was brilliant. A true Musical with nice songs, an orchestra, crazy looking costumes, lights and rain.

I had a really nice evening, a surprise again, for my Birthday. And this time I really didn’t see anything coming. BF and I were meant to meet at Victoria Station to go to King’s Road for a bit of shopping. For a start, once we already were in Sloane Square he says to me that he wants to check a shop out back to Victoria and that the shop closes at 7.30pm. No need to say I was a bit surprise, why couldn’t he check this shop while we were in Victoria about 10min ago..? A bit surprise bust used to this kind of behaviour 😉

So we walked back to Victoria station, there I asked him if he knew where the shop was, his answer was:”I’m not too sure, must be around there. Oh look! here is the theatre where they play Wicked“. I said:”Oh! How nice..!”. While in my head it was more something like, “oh yeah that’s cool but where is the bloody shop??”

He then dragged me inside the theatre to “show” me the inside, I usually don’t discuss and follow, and in this case it was no exception. At some point I eventually started asking what were we doing in there. And that’s when he reached for the tickets in his pocket…

I know, he’s perfect 🙂

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The week before, I knew I had to save my Sunday. What for? I had no idea. It was a “Surprise”.

I worked out what the surprise was the day before while reading the newspaper: the surprise was going to the RedBull Air Race in Greenwich. I thought it was grand!! I had seen it once or twice on TV and was interested but there seeing it in real life was quite impressive. Pilots were flying a couple of meters above the water: top of the gates were 20m and they had to go through… Vertically, then horizontally then turning left, right, I was holding my breath the whole time.

First of all, I like planes, my Dad used to drag me to exhibitions and museums quite often. I like fast planes, air shows, and helicopters.

This day was really nice, a part from the rain, but let’s be honest, I’m living in London now, I’d better get used to it – and yes actually it rains more and stronger and longer here than in Dublin!

It started at 12pm with helicopter exhibitions, really really impressive, I have to say that I had no idea helicopter could fly in such ways!

Here is a video I did myself with my photo camera.. Please be nice, I know it’s not really good.

And then the race started. It’s really fast, everything was over in 2 hours but it was great fun, especially when completely unexpected, a Frenchman was in final. I then found myself shaking my little French flag in a frenzy every time he was going through the gates. Of course he lost! But we’ve known for a very long time: “the important is to participate (not to win)” 🙂

Here is a video: (again, I took it, it’s bad quality, sorry)

All in all it was really cool! 🙂

And now another video of the helicopter:

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This the second part (and hopefully the last one) of me being a tourist in London :).

Day 3: Oh yeah, day 3; I stayed home because of some bathroom casualties. But I sent them into the City, to see London Bridge, the London Tower, Monument, the Globe Theatre (Shakespeare’s theatre they re-built on the south bank of the Thames), the Jubilee Walk, St Paul, some Georgian Houses preserved in the centre of the financial district, etc. They liked it I guess, I mean it’s a nice walk anyway.

London Bridge

London Bridge

London Tower

London Tower

London Tower and Financial District

London Tower and Financial District

Day 4: Westminster. We went for a walk to see Buckingham Palace and the changing of the Guard. It’s funny it is THE worst touristy stuff, I think, you could do in London and then both my sister and I really wanted to see that. And in fact, because there are so many people there for the exact same reason as you, holding cameras at arm-length, it somehow makes you feel part of the crowd, like being at the zoo.

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

We then went for Westminster Abbey and the House of Parliament by crossing St James Park. I’ve never seen so cheeky squirrels! They were literally coming to us to beg for food, stopping 20 cm from our feet. One even climbed on a fence to be closer to me, as I approached my finger from its head, it jumped in my direction hoping to catch what it thought were food on my finger – in reality nothing – and as I withdrew my hand, scared, it scratched my fingers and fell head first on the floor… So cheeky!

St James Park

St James Park

In the afternoon we decided to go to Notting Hill. I think, but I’m not sure, my sister was secretly hoping to see some celebrities ;). We didn’t of course. Or maybe we did but she’s as bad as me to recognise famous people…

That’s a pretty area. With loads of Antiques Shops, small restaurants with hidden gardens, really really nice.

Notting Hill

Notting Hill

And then, once again, it was time to go home, and for them to catch their train to go back to Paris.

I had a lovely week-end, and I’m very proud to announce: Yes! I love being a Tourist!!!

🙂

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Touristy stuff to do in London…

Last week, or was it 2 weeks ago? I don’t really remember. My sister and her boyfriend came to visit me before going to China for a year. And eventually with them I could do all the touristy stuff I wanted to do since I arrived but that are not really funny to do all by yourself.

BF isn’t really interested, for example, when we go for a walk around, I love looking up, watching stuff, buildings, people, I walk slowly to get as much sightseeing as I can, and he gets upset because I look too much like a Tourist! Well, sorry Darling, I am a Tourist 🙂

So back to this week-end with my sister, it was great, sunny weather, perfect week-end.

Day 1: Hyde Park and Princess Diana Memorial. I so wanted to see that, it’s absolutely unimpressive but I couldn’t be in London, not see it and above all, not send a pic to my grandmother (who cried for days when she saw on TV how plain and “ugly” the Memorial was to be). It’s not ugly but I wasn’t impressed. Still it’s nice and quiet there.

We then looked for Peter Pan’s statue for about an hour and half (I was also looking for toilets at the same time ;)) We found it – Peter Pan, not the toilets. I was happy. My sister took about 50 pics of the sculpture while her boyfriend and I were scaring ducks away…

It was time to move on, they came to see London not to run after swans (evil birds!). So we walked back or on – still not very familiar with the map – to Oxford Circus, Regent Street, Picadilly Circus and Leicester Square.

Picadilly Circus

At this time we were tired, time to go back home and on the way home to the pub. We were also very thirsty.

Day 2: The British Museum. Another thing I was eager to see (for so long I forgot since when), the Elgin’s Marble or Parthenon Sculptures. Cool, really good. Ok I have to say and I apologise in advance for that but for me a bit of Greek scuplture is a bit of Greek sculpture, it could be Roman or Assyrian (figure of speech) I hardly make a difference… I know, but I still love hanging around in museums. Especially this one, there were amazing stuff. One of the bits of the Parthenon was the head of a horse, absolutely gorgeous and so expressive!

To sum it up, we saw loads of really beautiful artefacts, it’s definitely worse a visit.

Funny enough, when you go to visit the Elgin’s marbles, they give you a short booklet regarding the controversy between the Greek Government and the British Museum about who should keep – or get the marbles back. Obviously it’s written by the British Museum but fair enough they give all the facts and the reference for the Greek Ministry of Culture website. (I tried to link it but I couldn’t find an English version of it, instead I found that, which explains the story quite well: The Parthenon Sculptures)

I think it’s long enough, I’ll leave it here and will write the second part another day.

Have a good week! 🙂

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