Wednesday, 6 January 2016

On the 12th Day of Christmas...

... this blogger gave to thee...
... twelve drummers drumming...
... eleven funky funkos...
... ten ugly bugs...
... nine simple posters...
... eight great old movies...
... seven shoes to choose from...
... six party frocks ...
... five gold rings!..
... four micro art forms...
... three tubby little cubbies...
... two fancy pens...
... and a lego man made of a tree.

So, you may have noticed, I'm a day late posting the twelfth day of Christmas and what would technically be called the thirteenth, and very late in the day. The twelfth day seemed to get away from me - in my disorganised little world - it took longer to un-deck the halls than anticipated, not helped by the cat who's adopted* us wanting attention no one had time to give. But by the time I got time to finish this post, it was a choice between typing and bed... needless to say, terrible blogger that I am, I chose bed.

But I'm here now, I have music and videos and wittering nonsense about why I chose them. Plus, bar my traditional allowance of three extra tracks to add up to the year (15 track for 2015!) I've actually stuck to twelve... bar a little artistic allowance for one track you get in three ways. There's a reason I hope you forgive.

I hope you enjoy it.

* Did I mention a cat has adopted us this year, having decided to leave his own home when his family moved house? He's called Charlie, he's only about 95% evil and exceptionally fluffy. Around about the summer, he started coming into the house when doors were open and kipping on my sisters bed. He'd done this the year before but disappeared as soon as the autumn came. His owners know where he is, but he apparently lives with us now. Very odd situation.

 "Hello" by Adele

A pretty triumphant return for Adele, but did anyone expect the first single from a new album not to be a doozy? I love this (also her hair, it's making me think about lopping all mine off again!) and it's a good place to start from. So Hello list...

 "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift (cover by Twenty One Two)

Guilty track I'm not ashamed about because it's unashamedly upbeat and makes me happy. Now, Swifty isn't on Spotify, so you also get a cover by Twenty One Two, mostly because I've been obsessed with Hillywood's Supernatural Parody this year. Yep, my geekdom includes Supernatural. But to compensate, there's also the mash up with Nine Inch Nails The Perfect Drug, which is epic. Is that too much Swifty? Sorry.

"You're a Germ" by Wolf Alice

Little sister has been obsessed with Wolf Alice for months now, and I hadn't really had a chance to listen to them until they appeared on TFI. They were singing this track and I got serious Hole/Celebrity Skin vibes from it, which I'll never pass up. Album's stashed on next years listen list.

"Search Party" by George The Poet

I posted this song a few months ago during a Musical Interlude. I still can't quite work out why I like it so much, but I do. So here it is again. 
"Perfect Ruin" by Kwabs

Totally forgot about this song, until someone in the house mentioned how much they liked the album, which seems insane, because I absolutely loved the way the song changes up from the verse to the chorus. Maybe it's because it's slightly sad sounding and I was very much in a nostalgic upbeat music mode this year...

"Never Ending Circles"  by Chvrches

First of a couple of repeat offenders from 2014 to 2015. It's Glasgow based Chvrches and like last year, their album seems to have passed me by this year in my retro haze, but this is the one which worked its way into my head and is making me regret not listening to the album properly yet.

"Call Me" by St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Birmingham, Alabama based band St. Paul and the Broken Bones, is another one I posted earlier in the year and I genuinely love every song on their album and they did a cover of Sam Cookes, A Change Is Going to Come, which just made me love them more. One album off this list I whole heartedly recommend having listened to it repeatedly!

 "Sober" by Childish Gambino

Second repeat offender from 2014 is Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. There's really nothing this guy can do that I don't seem to love which makes me happy (the video for this track being a great example on top of a really good song) because when I heard he was leaving Community for music, I was worried... didn't need to be... multi-talented bugger.

 "Elastic Heart" by Sia

Can I just say now, I've been a Sia shipper since her third album, when she was doing slightly kooky folky music... not saying I don't prefer her newer stuff, but it's nice when someone you really like becomes big and actually gets better! Kind of surprised I didn't have Chandelier on last years list actually. Odd.

 "Eggshells" by Aqualung feat. Lianne La Havas

So, when I wrote about this new song a few months ago, what I didn't realise is that Matt Hales aka Aqualung actually co-wrote a lot of La Havas' first album, which, now I think about it actually makes total sense now I've heard this song. Which months on, still obsessed with. 

 "Desire" by Years and Years

Second Album I will wholeheartedly recommend, to the point where I really struggled to choose which song I was going to put on the list. It came down to this, King, Shine, Eyes Shut or Take Shelter... or you know, any of the rest album. Honestly, listen to it, it's probably my favourite album this year.

 "Violent Shiver" by Benjamin Booker

New Orleans based Booker, I saw on the TV coverage of Glastonbury this year and at first, I couldn't decide if I loved this song, or thought it was a bit messy... it's not messy, it's great... what's messy is the BBC's sound mixing. 

BONUS RETRO ROUND! This year, I turned thirty and I made myself a playlist of lots of music from the year I was born until now - which I intend to keep adding too, but it actually became my go too list for music for the year, which is why I actually found making 2015's playlist really hard. However, because of this, it gave me the opportunity to post three slightly older pieces of music I love. That said, I'd probably change one out for Last Nite by The Strokes, because I remember the Christmas I got that album like it was yesterday for some reason and I think it's down to a lot of albums I loved all being released that year (2001). But I'm sticking to my guns and you can sneakily sing Last Nite in your head every time I type it. Last Nite. Last Nite. Last Nite. 

 "Justboy" by Biffy Clyro

This reminds me of the sixth year common room, my old friends, old crushes, noise, mess and the joy that after that all ended, for better or worst, I still get a warm. happy and affectionate feeling towards that time in my life, when I hear this album. Still, hands down, thirteen/fourteen year (god I'm old!) since it came out, one of my favourite albums.

 "Celebrity Skin" by Hole

It wouldn't be retro for me without either Hole or Nirvana, and why not go for a complete classic of a song? Again, it reminds me of school, friends, summer holidays and the clichéd transition from boy bands to proper music!

"Enough Thunder" by James Blake

This isn't really retro given the album it's from came out in 2011, but, seeing I love James Blake's music, I think to end this list and to look to the future in 2016, Enough Thunder, seems like a nice idea. Enough procrastinating, enough feeling sorry for myself, enough regretting the past and enough putting off the future. 

Enough Thunder. This year, 2016, has to be different, no more thunder.

And that's it, Christmas has been packed up and neatly stacked in the loft for another year and the twelve days are over. Which always makes me a little sad because I know it's the one period of the year I reliably and faithfully post every day and don't talk myself out publishing the posts I've written. You'd be terrified how many drafts I have for this blog. But, 2016 has to be different, so I will try my hardest to start there, even if it's just music or silliness.

I don't know how many people actually read my blog, I know I post very sporadically and ramble often, but I would like to get better at it and post more frequently. So for those who do read my posts, I'd like you to know I really, truly appreciate it and bear with me this year. As Sam Cooke sang, a change is gonna come...

So, for one last time, I hope you enjoyed my twelve days, that you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. That you had lots of time to relax, with your families, friends and loved ones, ate too many mince pies and got lots of lovely presents. Or simply enjoyed a holiday! 

Good luck in 2016 and now everyone cross their fingers and keep them like that until next year!

Listening: A Change Is Gonna Come  - Sam Cooke

Monday, 4 January 2016

On the 11th Day of Christmas...

... this blogger gave to thee...
... eleven funky funkos...
... ten ugly bugs...
... nine simple posters...
... eight great old movies...
... seven shoes to choose from...
... six party frocks ...
... five gold rings!..
... four micro art forms...
... three tubby little cubbies...
... two fancy pens...
... and a lego man made of a tree.

It's the penultimate day and we're going geeky. I'm not entirely sure where these little guys appeared from, or what purpose they serve, but Funko Pop! Vinyl figures, seem to be everywhere! Based on pop culture characters from film, television, animation and games, they are stupidly cute and ridiculously collectable. My sister has at least half a dozen and one of the guys at work at one point had a box full of them delivered for his and his girlfriends collection...

So, for day eleven, here are eleven Fukno's for you to judge my geeky habits from...
POP! TV: Hannibal - Hannibal Lecture

BOO! to NBC for cancelling Hannibal and BOO! to Amazon and Netflix for not getting their shit together and allowing Bryan Fuller to revive this magnificent program for season four. I am more than happy with how they finished season three, if that's it, okay, fair enough, but come on! No season four because Netflix couldn't get streaming rights from Amazon, and they wanted it too quickly... that's just sad. 
POP! Animation: Futurama - Bender

Bender Bending Rodriguez, isn't he cute? You wouldn't believe that he was really a foul mouthed, alcoholic kleptomaniac, would you? I finally saw the finale of Futurama over the holidays, it was a good ending to an eight season long animation that was resurrected from cancellation twice! 
POP! Marvel: Loki

Mini Tom Hiddleston! Why are all the best baddies British and with a Shakespearian background? I don't know, but Joss Whedon, I love you for making Loki in The Avengers so freaking sassy!
POP! Movies: Shaun of the Dead - Shaun 

"You've got red on you." Shaun of the Dead is my favourite romzomcom (Warm Bodies coming a close second). I'm sorry, I couldn't neglect at least one zombie related Funko and they've nailed Simon Pegg as Shaun right down to the pen stain.
POP! Movies: Kill Bill - Gogo Yubari

From Funko you have a choice between five Kill Bill characters: The Bride, Bill, Gogo Yubari, O-Ren Ishii or a member of the Crazy 88. Gogo's my favourite of the figurines, even if she didn't last long again the Bride, she was pretty bad-ass.
POP! Movies: Minions - King Bob

Note: How does one make a minion even cuter? Give him the dilated pupils of a cat who's trying to get out of doing something wrong. Also I could resist "KING BOB!"
POP! TV: Orphan Black - Cosima Niehaus

I still find it amazing that Tatiana Maslany has managed to create such different and well defined characters for each of the clones she plays in Orphan Black. You know it's the same actress but she somehow manages to make each of them unique... which is impressive for one actress playing at least a dozen clones of herself. And yet, you still have your favourites, like the lovely Cosima
POP! Rides: The Walking Dead - Daryl Dixon

If Daryl, Glen or Maggie dies... we riot! Did you think I'd neglect The Walking Dead? And Daryl even gets his Chopper as one of the Funko POP! Rides collection.
POP! Disney: The Nightmare Before Christmas - Jack Skellington

"The monsters are all missing and the nightmares can't be found, and in their place there seems to be, good feeling all around [...]"  (What's This? from The Nightmare Before Christmas

It is Christmas after all, I had to find at least one Christmassy Funko and that one had to be Jack! Because it isn't Christmas without Tim Burton's classic being shown on TV.
POP! TV: Firefly - Jayne Cobb

How's it sit? Pretty cunning, don'tchya think?
I think it's the sweetest hat ever.
Man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything.
Damn straight.

(Firefly "The Message" Seasons 1 Episode 14)

Thank you Joss for Firefly, Jayne Cobb and his hat. You are a beautiful unicorn.
POP! TV: Last Week Tonight - John Oliver

Last one may seem a little less well known than the other ten, though that may be giving you less credit than you deserve. John Oliver, is a British writer, political commentator, actor and comedian who was a huge part of The Daily Show, plays Professor Duncan in Community, and currently hosts his own news satire show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. He's incredibly funny and clever and I love that he's the only late night talk show host that has a Funko*. 

* (Though they seem to have had a limited edition Conan O'Brien, I can't see any others on the website.)

The thing about Funko's is that they're exactly the type of object that becomes obsessively collectable. If you have a favourite television program or film which is a big deal, the chances are you'll find a Funko out there depicting your favourite character. Or if there isn't, you can buy blank models or customise existing ones to create your own. Which could be fun.

Truth is, these are silly, cute and fun and there's nothing wrong with that.

Happy New Years and a Merry Christmas! Part twelve, our final day, tomorrow...

Link || POP! TV: Hannibal - Hannibal Lecture via Funko
Link || POP! Animation: Futurama - Bender via Funko
Link || POP! Marvel: Loki via Funko
Link || POP! Movies: Shaun of the Dead - Shaun via Funko
Link || POP! Movies: Kill Bill - Gogo Yubari via Funko
Link || POP! Movies: Minions - King Bob via Funko
Link || POP! TV: Orphan Black - Cosima Niehaus via Funko
Link || POP! Rides: The Walking Dead - Daryl Dixon via Funko
Link || POP! Disney: Nightmare Before Christmas - Jack Skellington via Funko
Link || POP! TV: Firefly - Jayne Cobb via Funko
Link || POP! TV: Last Week Tonight - John Oliver via Funko

Listening: Orpheus - Ash

Sunday, 3 January 2016

On the 10th Day of Christmas...

... this blogger gave to thee...
... ten ugly bugs...
... nine simple posters...
... eight great old movies...
... seven shoes to choose from...
... six party frocks ...
... five gold rings!..
... four micro art forms...
... three tubby little cubbies...
... two fancy pens...
... and a lego man made of a tree.

This year, I started collecting bugs. Only not really, unless you count the odd spider lurking around the house, only on Pinterest, their all there for The Ugly Bug Ball. Which is a completely misleading board title because these bugs are beautiful! 
Stolas Implexa
Pachyscelus sp.
Coptocycla Ruficornis
Coccinellidae - Ladybird Psyllobora Vigintiduopunctata

Some look like they have intricate cloisonné enamelling - a jewellery technique where fine wires are placed on a piece of metal, then filled with enamel paste before firing to create intricate patterns.
Leaf beetle - Chrysolina fastuosa
Cassida rubiginosa Muell. (Chrysomelidae)
Monocesta Equestris

Others have highly metallic finishes, which create an iridescent shine on the surface of the insects shell. Making them look like jewels or pieces of anodized titanium.
Runibia Decorata
Chrysolina Perforata Perforata
Aspidomorpha miliaris (Fabricius)

See, they're not particularly scary, or horrible. They may scuttle around and appear where they're not wanted, but they at least have the redeeming feature of being curiously beautiful. I think most thing/people wouldn't mind that accolade.

I guess the main reason I like these ugly bugs so much, is because they remind me of jewellery and the techniques I learnt during my degree. How different temperatures or electrical currents on titanium can create blues, greens, purples and golds. How cloisonné enamel work is fiddly but worth the effort. How colour can make or break a design.

It's funny how certainly things remind you of other parts of your past, and these bugs manage that.

If you'd like to see some more, go over to my Ugly Bug Ball board, which I will continue to fill with more curious insects.

Happy New Years and a Merry Christmas! Part eleven tomorrow...

Link || Stolas implexa via Pinterest
Link || Pachyscelus sp, by Kohichiro Yoshida on Flickr (via Art is a Way)
Link || Coptocycla ruficornis via Pinterest
Link || Coccinellidae - Ladybird Psyllobora Vigintiduopunctata by K.V. Makarov via Zin.Ru*
Link || Leaf beetle Chrysolina fastuosa by K.V. Makarov via Zin.Ru*
Link || Cassida rubiginosa Muell. (Chrysomelidae) by K.V. Makarov via Zin.Ru*
Link || Monocesta equestris via Pinterest
Link || Runibia decorata via Pinterest
Link || Chrysolina perforata perforata by M.E. Smirnov via Zin.Ru*
Link || Aspidomorpha miliaris (Fabricius, 1775) by Udo Schmidt via Flickr

*Zin.Ru -  Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Listening: Small Hands - Keaton Henson

Saturday, 2 January 2016

On the 9th Day of Christmas...

... this blogger gave to thee...
... nine simple posters...
... eight great old movies...
... seven shoes to choose from...
... six party frocks ...
... five gold rings!..
... four micro art forms...
... three tubby little cubbies...
... two fancy pens...
... and a lego man made of a tree.

*** Okay, looks like I may have accidentally published this before I was finished writing it, so if you saw that version blame my inability to touch type correctly and my browser trying to bounce me off my page before I was ready to post. I seem to be quite cack handed at the moment! Anyway! Finished now, properly, read away and my sorry for being a bit rubbish! ***

Yesterday we had movies, so for day nine I've gathered together a selection of movie posters done in a minimalistic style. We're talking as few colours as possible, preferably silhouettes, very basic shading (if any) and yet still recognisable as the particular film they're trying to represent. 

It would be fun with this particular set of posters to play guess the film, but seeing most of the posters have the name of the film emblazoned, fairly prominently, on what is otherwise a pretty stark design, we'll have to stick to the traditional show and tell shtick.

The Breakfast Club (1985) designed by Matt Owen. Six circles and six rectangles and with a bit of colour and tartan, you have an iconic eighties coming-of-age movie. Simple, effective and results in an ear-worm and the obligatory urge to thrust your fist into the air in triumph. Own up, you did it too.
Juno (2007) by Bretty Thurman, and all he needed was two colours, five lines and a curve to illustrate the pregnant belly of Diablo Cody's lead character, Juno MacGuff. It's based on the original poster artwork, but in a really refined and simplified design. 
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) by Andonis Moushis, based purely on the smile of the lead character, of Tim Burton's dark Christmas stop motion musical - Jack Skellington. There's even the feeling of the characters wicked side, with that slight smirk. You know he's got a plan and Santa's in trouble.
Star Wars (1977) designed by Eder Rengifo. This one seems apt, give the release of the most recent film in the Star Wars franchise, and you really can't get any simpler than a grey-scale Death Star.
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (2005) designed by Mads Hindhede Svanegaard, has a little more dimension to it with the grey-scale layered landscape, allowing the computer Deep Thought to almost let out a sigh of boredom. You also can't not have Don't Panic somewhere on a poster for Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide. Plus, can you spot the very quizzical and confused sperm whale?
Life Of Pi (2013) designed by sivadigitalart on deviantArt. I think this really quite beautiful representation of the bio-luminescence scene from this film. With the night sky reflected in the water and aqua glow from below the waters surface as ill-fated shipmates float on a thankfully placid sea. Though this is a little more detail heavy, it's still a very effect and simple design for a minimalist poster.

(Can I just say, I did not fancy this movie at all, but my family put it on one Sunday afternoon and I was proved completely wrong by it, it's was wonderful.)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) designed by Brandon Schaefer. If you haven't watched the film, this one may not make sense to you. Why is a bloodied bunny sitting in the grail? Watch the movie to find out, because it's one of my favourites and I'm not giving you any spoilers! For those who have watched this movie before, this is hilarious flash back at a particularly exciting moment in the film. If you don't want to watch it and get the joke, "Go and boil your bottoms, son of a silly person!"
Big (1988) designed by Matt Owen, shows a static moment of a very active scene of this Tom Hanks movie. Again, if you've seen the movie you know what this is and you definitely want to join in and have a go!
Sunshine (2007) by The Art Lounge UK on Etsy, as a poster does somehow manage to get across the tension of Alex Garland and Danny Boyle's sci-fi thriller, or at least the heat of the ever nearing sun on their mission to reignite it and save the Earth from a solar winter. All with two circles, two colours and a lot of texture. Last year on the eighth day I told you this was among one of my favourite movies, so for me this is a really good representation of how one particular scene in the movie looks and feels. Plus you can buy it as a poster! Yay!

So that's nine minimal movie poster, and if you search Pinterest, for example, you'll come across an absolute slew of wonderful examples of this type of graphic design. There are loads of Pixar based ones I would have loved to post, but one of the sites it linked into had had to remove its images (as had the artists page) by request of Pixar. Which is fair enough, and I didn't think it wise to post them here, but it's also their loss, as they were terrifically simple and easily recognisable as to the films they were intended to pay homage too.

Which is what minimalistic posters are supposed to do, be representative with as little fuss as possible. It's the old K.I.S.S. theory. Which is always nice to see.

Happy New Years and a Merry Christmas! Part ten tomorrow...

Link || The Breakfast Club (1985) Poster designed by Matt Owen
Link || Juno (2007) Poster designed by Brett Thurman
Link || The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Poster designed by Andonis Moushis
Link || Star Wars (1977) Poster designed by Eder Rengifo
Link || The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy (2005) Poster designed by Mads Hindhede Svanegaard
Link || Life Of Pi (2013) Poster designed by sivadigitalart on deviantArt
Link || Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) Poster designed by Brandon Schaefer
Link || Big (1988) Poster designed by Matt Owen
Link || Sunshine (2007) Poster by The Art Lounge UK on Etsy

Listening: Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Friday, 1 January 2016

On the 8th Day of Christmas...

... this blogger gave to thee...
... eight great old movies...
... seven shoes to choose from...
... six party frocks ...
... five gold rings!..
... four micro art forms...
... three tubby little cubbies...
... two fancy pens...
... and a lego man made of a tree.

Happy New Year! 

It's 2016 and I have a few resolutions this year because for me 2016 is a kind of make or break year. I don't quite feel ready to go into any details as technically, I'm still on holiday, but I'll let you know what's going on, if you're interested, in due time. Anyway, for me the holidays wouldn't be complete without getting to watch a load of my favourite old movies on TV. Do I have most of them on DVD? Actually, no, but somehow watching them on TV always feels different anyway. And I think that's one of the nicest parts of the festive season, getting to sit with your family in the middle of the afternoon, watching It's a Wonderful Life  (1946) or White Christmas (1954).

So here are eight of my favourite old school movies. I'll try not to spoil you, but the newest of these movies is fifty six years old and the oldest seventy seven, so you've had plenty of time to be spoiled before now.
Some Like It Hot (1959), we may as well start with one of my favourite films of all time. Staring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, this is and ridiculously funny film. Musicians Joe (Curtis) and Jerry (Lemmon) witness the Valentines Day Massacre, they're seen and go on the run to keep them from being silences permanently. In an attempt to get out of town, they take the only job they can find, in an all-female jazz band heading to Miami. Disguised as women, rechristened Josephine and Daphne, they get on the train and are confronted with a new problem, Sugar Kane (Monroe) who is the bands singer and ukulele player. Both fall for her and attempt to win her heart whilst still in disguise... you can probably guess how well this story goes.

This genuinely is one of my favourite films. It's hilarious, the music's great and I'm not ashamed to say that I own a ukulele because of this film (well, that and my parents, but the films was the inspiration). If you ignore all the other films on this list, watch this one. If only for the final line which kills me every time.
High Society (1956), starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Celeste Holm, is the musical interpretation of the play, The Philadelphia Story by John Barry, in which Tracy Samantha Lord (Kelly) is about to get married to a very boring man of good standing. Unfortunately her ex-husband Dexter (Crosby) arrives in town conveniently timed for a Jazz Festival. Dexter is still in love with Tracy and tries to win her back. Meanwhile reporters Mike Connor (Sinatra) and Liz Imbrie (Holm) arrive at the Lord estate to cover the wedding, in a big to avoid their newspaper publishing a story about her father. Inevitably Mike falls for Tracy too and the film spans the few days leading up to the wedding in which Tracy must choose between her fiance, her ex-husband and the reporter.

The Philadelphia Story, had been made into a film staring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart sixteen years earlier. I love this film, it would have been on the list but I have such a soft spot for all the fantastic songs in High Society, that I'm ashamed to say I bumped it. If you love the musical watch the original, it's wonderful also.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), is number two for Marilyn Monroe in this list, alongside Jane Russell, in which they play showgirls Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw travel to France for work. It's Lorelei's plan to marry her fiancé Gus while there, however his disapproving father stops him and sends a private detective to spy on her and gather evidence to prove she's merely a gold digger. The PI however, instantly falls for Dorothy, who barely notices him. Unfortnately Lorelei meets the owner of a diamond mind, flirts and inevitably gets bother herself, and Dorothy into trouble.

This is of course where Marilyn's infamous "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" musical number is immortalised and Madonna paid homage too, in her Material Girl video. I love Marilyn in this film, but Jane Russell is awesome and they always seemed to me like they were having a lot of fun.
Operation Petticoat (1959), the second in our list starring Tony Curtis, but the first for Cary Grant. Post World War Two, Admiral Sherman (Grant) is preparing to see the now obsolete submarine, Sea Tiger, he commanded during the war prior to its departure for the scrap yard. The film looks back at the events that took place whilst under his command and every hampered by the creaking old Sea Tiger, Lieutenant Holden (Curtis), whose ethics of naval life are very different to the Captain's, a group of evacuated Army Nurses and a lot of pink paint. 

I love this film because both Cary Grant and Tony Curtis are doing a little bit of their expected shtick, but the manner in which they bounce off one another seems to counteract that, with really funny consequences.  
Bringing Up Baby (1938), is a screw-ball comedy staring Katharine Hepburn and (again) Cary Grant, in which Grant plays a paleontologist trying to impress a dowager for a million dollar donation to his museum, all whilst trying to find the last bone for the brontosaurus skeleton he has been attempting to complete and cope with the stress of an impending marriage. Enter Susan (Hepburn), who is unbeknownst to David the dowagers niece, who convinces him to her her bring a tame leopard named Baby, home as a present for her aunt. Needless to say, things do not go to plan as Baby gets loose, they end up in jail and Susan falls in love with her new acquaintance and attempts to stop him marrying his fiance.

I've loved this film for years, although I don't know if without Wikipedia I could have told you the story other than there was a dinosaur, a leopard and a lot of disasters and squabbling. It's been a while since I watched it and you never see it on telly, but if you love Cary Grant or Katharine Hepburn, or you give it a chance, it's a very funny film.
How To Marry A Millionaire (1953), starring Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall as Pola, Loco and Schatze, three gold diggers renting a luxurious New York City apartment as a way to attract millionaires to marry them. Love isn't the desired conclusion, this is all about the money, but none of them are truly happy settling for one without the other. Over the course of the movie, they use all their charms to secure three rich men and pawning off all of their landlords belongings. 

It's a story about going after what you want, but realising that that's not actually right for you. It's a great movie with three very funny women.
Roman Holiday (1953), starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, isn't your traditional love story, because what do you do when you're a bored, sheltered young princess in Rome for a publicity tour? Obvious really, you sneak out of the palace in the dead of night and end up inadvertently spend the night with an American journalist, who once he becomes away of your status and pays his photographer friend to tail you, becomes your tour guide for the day. Allowing you to enjoy all the joys of a normal, independent life that you crave before returning to your royal duties.

This was Hepburn's first major American film role, she won an Oscar, BAFTA and Gold Globe for best actress and she perfectly embodied a demanding young princess who is naive of normal life yet desperate to experience it all. As for Gregory Peck, he plays the role perfectly, of a reporter on the biggest scoop of his life, gradually developing morals as his relationship with the princess develops. He's handsome, only slightly manipulative and perfect for the role - which was originally offered to Cary Grant... which would have been a mistake. Peck allowed Hepburn to be the star because he knew this was a special film and while he was the star, she was the draw. I love this movie
On The Town (1949), is a MGM musical starring Gene Kelly, Vera-Ellen, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller and Jules Munshin, and circles around three sailors on shore leave in New York. Gabey (Kelly) dragging his fellow sailors Chip (Sinatra) and Ozzie (Munshin) around the city in the attempt to find "Miss Turnstiles", Ivy (Vera-Ellen), the subway beauty queen llen madly in love with from a photograph, without ever actually meeting her. Traditional musical hilarity, drama and romance ensues as they rush around the unfamiliar city, with the aid of taxi driver, Hildy (Garrett) and anthropologist, Claire (Miller).

There is wonderful singing and dance numbers, beautiful costumes and it's funny. I remember watching it as a kid and loving how brazen and hilarious most of the women in this film were. They outshone the guys to me. 

So, there you have it. There were a lot of repeat offenders there, lots of Marilyn, Sinatra and Cary, but also a few I missed. I wanted a Doris Day film, but couldn't choose between them (though I'd probably have plumped for  Calamity Jane), I missed off White Christmas, A Wonderful Life, Singing in the Rain and I Was A Male War Bride, all of which I could watch and rewatch, especially around this time of year, but I think this is a good cross section of the era. 

Watch some of them, or none of them, I love them all.

Hope you have a lovely New Years Day.

Happy New Years and a Merry Christmas! Part nine tomorrow...

Link || Some Like It Hot (1959) via IMDb  | Wikipedia | Image | Image
Link || High Society (1956) via IMDb Wikipedia | Image | Image
Link || Bringing Up Baby (1938) via IMDbWikipedia | Image
Link || Roman Holiday (1953) via IMDbWikipedia | Image | Image
Link || On The Town (1946) via IMDb | Wikipedia | Image
Listening: Running Wild - Marilyn Monroe
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