Thursday, September 30, 2010

hier ou demain





























Screencaps made by me from her performance of Hier ou Demain on French television. Here's a link to the video - keep an eye out for an appearance by Serge Gainsbourg at the beginning of the video.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

nothing from nothing leaves nothing

Thank you to all your dolly girls for your advice during my quarter-life crisis in my previous post. I have a lot to think over in regard to this site - I love blogging and it's such a great outlet for me, but I want to make sure that it's not a one-way street and that y'all can actually have fun reading this as well. There are so many blogs out there that I envy/lust after and I hope to one day become that site for at least one young doll (or dude) who is beginning their journey into retro-dom and has no clue who Marianne Faithfull is and can't tell their Godard from their Truffaut.
For me, while feedback and comments are always nice, what people say isn't what takes the cake for me at the end of the day. I love knowing that there are kids out there just like me that care about this stuff just as much, if not more, than I do. I'm obsessive about things that my real-life friends deem strange (too random to be 'quirky' I suppose), so more often than not I don't tell them about what I'm into at the moment. In fact, none of my real-life friends know that I have a blog. But knowing there are people who emulate Penny Lane, who lust after Anita Pallenberg's jewelry and want to sleep with Serge Gainsbourg and George Harrison as much as I do is really comforting for me, because it lets me know that we are not alone. Maybe all we have to link us to one another is this strange, strange thing called the internet world, but thank God for it! I would be so scared if this were an alternate universe where I didn't have this outlet and I ended up like one of my Sperry's-and-Nike-shorts-wearing former classmates who only listen to rap and think black-and-white movies are terrible based upon some messed-up principle that black-and-white movies are outdated and lame. And the fact that these fantastic bloggers out there have cared enough to click the 'follow' button means a lot to me.
I don't know, but that's just me. Anyways, I'll get back to regular, non-moping, non-pseudo intellectual blogging very soon!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME??

Seriously, anyone and everyone out there - what do you want from me? I fear I am reaching a point in my blogging where I am lacking inspiration and have become stale. Unoriginal. Quaintly mediocre. I want to go back to how my posts were at the beginning of this blog - practically overflowing with ideas. But in truth there are only so many times I can write about Pattie Boyd before she files a restraining order against me. My recent trend of the random picture posts, while fun for me (and hopefully fun for you too), doesn't quite jive with the original intent of this blog. And plus, dollyrockergirl has a tumblr now, so I've purged a lot of my photos I was struggling to use on here to that site.
So here I am, making a sad appeal to anyone out there kind enough to give my fledging blog a chance: what would you want to see more of on this site? More Beatles/Pattie/Marianne Faithfull-ish stuff? Random picture posts? How-tos, advice, and the like? I'm up for pretty much anything. Except poetry. Y'all definitely don't want to see any of my pseudo Sylvia Plath stuff.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Constant Gardner

The ultimate present to the male population, Ava Gardener was born Christmas Eve, 1922, in a rural impoverished part of North Carolina. She was a true Southern belle, but you might never guess that; her early studio home MGM sent her to a speech coach immediately after signing a contract in 1941 in order to 'correct' her Carolina drawl. She was discovered by a talent scout, who noticed a portrait of the young beauty hanging in the window of her brother's photography store. Though she signed her contract in 1941 (at just nineteen!), it wasn't until five years later that Ava had her first starring role, in the breakout noir thriller The Killers, with Burt Lancaster. The film catapulted her to stardom, but Ava found it difficult to find roles that were challenging to her. Mostly cast as a beautiful 'space-filler' in MGM productions, Ava worked a lot on films produced by other studios. MGM finally gave her the chance to shine again in the 1951 production of Show Boat, a musical in which she portrayed biracial singer Julie LaVerne. Ava fought aggressively for the role, beating out her good friend and singer Lena Horne. Despite the success of the film and the strength of her performance, Ava was hurt when she found out her vocals were redubbed for the final release of the film. In one of the That's Entertainment films, a scene containing Ava's original vocals exists - and they sound lovely! I don't know what MGM was thinking to be honest.
Two years later, Ava shined again in the lavish adventure film Mogambo, set in Africa and costarring Grace Kelly and Clark Gable. Ava was awarded an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of the brash 'Honey Bear' Kelly. Playing the femme fatale was a strength of Ava's, who showed this skill yet again in arguably her most famous performance as The Barefoot Contessa, opposite Humphrey Bogart. The Spanish location shooting changed Ava, who became an avid fan of bullfighting and flamenco dancing during the production and eventually moved to Spain a few years later. She continued to give powerhouse performances in such films as Bhowani Junction and Night of the Iguana.
Ava was married three times; her husbands were Mickey Rooney (1942-1943), Artie Shaw (1945-1946), and to Frank Sinatra (1951-1957). Despite her marriage to Artie Shaw, she and fellow ex-wife of Shaw, Lana Turner, were quite good friends. Ava was said to have been the great love of Frank Sinatra's life.  She is credited with helping him turn around his career. When they were first married, Ava was the bigger star and bigger money-maker. Frank was in a career slump, and often borrowed money from Ava to afford presents for his children with Nancy Sinatra. She helped get him his role in From Here to Eternity that helped relaunch his career. Hindered by the drinking, busy schedules, and extramarital affairs on both sides, the Gardner-Sinatra marriage was tempestuous at best. Reportedly, Ava became pregnant sometime during her marriage to Sinatra, but had an abortion, causing further strain on their relationship. Though their marriage was tumultuous, he wrote some of his best music (In the Wee Small Hours, and Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely) during their marriage and eventual breakup. When she made Contessa, a statue of her was given to Frank as a gift. He kept it in her backyard for years after their divorce. It wasn't until he married Barbara Marx in 1976 that he was forced to get rid of it. Sinatra never forgot Ava in his heart; he paid for her medical expenses after her stroke in 1989. She had a famous rapport with her costars. Former On the Beach costar Gregory Peck loved Ava so, that after her death in 1990, he took in her longtime housekeeper Carmen Vargas and Ava's Welsh Corgi to live with him.
Ava was set in her convictions. She decided early on in life that there was no point for her to read books for recreation. As a result, she had professed in 1945 (when she was in her early twenties) to having read just two books: Gone With the Wind, and The Bible. This lead to a funny encounter between her and J.R.R. Tolkien, when neither of them knew why the other one was famous. This didn't keep her from making friends with other writers, such as Ernest Hemingway (whom she affectionately called 'Papa') - she starred in three film adaptations of his works and often accompanied him to bull fights.
In the end, Ava was a prime example of 'you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl.' However gussied up, plucked, primped, and primed Hollywood made her, Ava herself maintained that "I have always been a country girl and still have a country girl's values." She spoke the way she wanted to and didn't censor herself for anyone, to the point that on Australian reporter  compared her foul language use to "a sailor and a truck driver having a competition." After throwing a glass of champagne in the face of another reporter who upset her, he wrote that while she was doing it "the only thing I could think of was how bloody gorgeous the woman was."

Some wonderful quotes by Ava:
  • After my screen test, the director clapped his hands gleefully and yelled, "She can't talk! She can't act! She's sensational!"
  • All I ever got out of any of my marriages was the two years Artie Shaw financed on an analyst's couch. 
  • When I lose my temper, honey you can't find it anyplace. 
  • [On acting] Nobody ever called it an intellectual profession. 
  • I must have seen more sunrises than any other actress in the history of Hollywood. 
  • I haven't taken an overdose of sleeping pills and called my agent. I haven't been in jail, and I don't go running to the psychiatrist every two minutes. That's something of an accomplishment these days. 
  • Deep down, I'm pretty superficial. 
  • I couldn't imagine a better place [than Australia] for making a film on the end of the world. 
  • Maybe I just don't have the temperament for stardom. I'll never forget seeing Bette Davis at the Hilton in Madrid. I went up to her and said, "Miss Davis, I'm Ava Gardner and I'm a great fan of yours." And do you know, she behaved exactly as I wanted her to behave. "Of course you are, my dear," she said. "Of course you are." And she swept on. Now that's a star. 
  • Some people say Liz [Taylor] and I are whores, but we are saints. We do not hide our loves hypocritically, and when in love, we are loyal and faithful to our men.
  • I wish to live until 150 years old, but the day I die, I wish it to be with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other. 
  • I think the main reason my marriages failed in that I always loved too well but never wisely. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

give me a sign

Here are photos of my favorite signs from various protesters, hippies, and homeless. I think it's so refreshing to know that these types of activities still go on today, that all hope for change didn't die in the sixties. From angry marches to end Vietnam to one man's plea for the president to bring back his beloved Arrested Development, I hope you enjoy these images just as much as I do.