Sunday, August 25, 2013

beatniks and politics, nothing is new


Hey ladies, slip on your tannis root pendants and book a visit to a salon to imitate Vidal Sassoon because Rosemary Woodhouse is coming back!
Evidently this headline is about a month old, but it is news to me: NBC announced a Rosemary’s Baby miniseries for their upcoming line-up, because, you know, nothing peppers up a channel’s comedic programming quite like satanic rape. Though it’s an unexpected choice for a project – Roman Polanski’s 1968 film is an obvious classic, near untouchable in its perfection – this isn’t the first time someone has tried to remake it. I remember reading a few years ago about a planned remake by Michael Bay that quickly fell through (I recall one of the producers making a statement that there was nothing their proposed version could do to improve upon the original). Unlike that aborted film, the miniseries will be an adaptation of Ira Levin’s novel as opposed to a remake of Polanski’s work, with the story moved from the halls of New York City’s famed Dakota to the streets of Paris.
No more details have been released that I can find, but there are a million questions to ask: will it remain set in the 1960s or will a present-day Rosemary now have to contend with social media in addition to carrying the spawn of Satan? (Can’t you just imagine her Facebook statuses?) Who will play Rosemary, Guy, Minnie, Roman and the rest of the coven? And will Rosemary still have her signature pixie cut? 
I was catching up on Interview Magazine’s online section when I saw their choices for a pretend HBO version (the author notes that she fears, as many critics have noted to a similar degree, that this could be a total bust, or: “Unfortunately NBC’s forthcoming Rosemary’s Baby miniseries may be as unpleasant as having nonconsensual sex with Satan”). They nominate Carey Mulligan as their ideal choice, but let’s also throw Emma Watson, Michelle Williams and Mia Wasikowska into the dream-scenario mix – they’ve all already proven they look fab with pixie hair!
Who would you like to see as the 21st century Rosemary Woodhouse? 

Title: from "Incense and Peppermints" (Strawberry Alarm Clock)

Friday, August 16, 2013

this ain't no mudd club or cbgb, i ain't got time for that now


The trailer for the upcoming film CBGB, about the life and times at the legendary New York nightclub, was recently released. I honestly hadn't thought much about the film since it was announced last summer, but I'm really excited by how it looks in the trailer here. It's got such a wild assortment of people -- Alan Rickman is the real star (as he should be!) as club owner Hilly Kristal, but the film also counts Malin Akerman, Ashley Greene, Rickman's Harry Potter costar Rupert Grint, Frances Ha actress Mickey Sumner and former Veronica Mars super-creep Kyle Gallner among its stars. Also if anyone reading is a fan of the movie Grandma's Boy, J.P. (aka Joel Moore) is playing Joey Ramone, so that's pretty fantastic in and of itself. 
I really dig the film from the looks of it (Justin Bartha as Stiv Bators? Yes please.) If the soundtrack is any indication, it will be phenomenal. You can see the full listing here, but the collection includes tracks by The Stooges, New York Dolls, Blondie and the Velvet Underground (but surprisingly, there aren't any songs by the ultimate CBGB group The Ramones, only a solo track by Joey).
The reception that the project's proposed story has gotten has been divisive, especially among the film's subjects, but here's hoping that the film is as incredible as we all know it can be. The story behind CBGB is too wild to not share!

Title: from "Life During Wartime" (Talking Heads)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

she comes in colors everywhere, she combs her hair

I found these magazine pages saved in my archives from the now-defunct Blogspot account Vintage Fashion Magazines (I warn you, don't visit it -- it's very NSFW now!), and just loved how incredible a layout it is: the fabulous Darling herself, Julie Christie, in the most literal and amazing namesake dresses I've ever seen. The multi-colored dresses are cited as being designed by "Tuffin & Foale" (designers more commonly referred to in the order of Foale and Tuffin, because alphabetical order is nice), a design team out of Swinging London that epitomized the Mod style of the mid-1960s. I get a kick out of the fact that the dresses are listed as being available at Paraphernalia, the New York City boutique that was home to Betsey Johnson back in the day (she was their in-house designer). (Is it strange that it still is a bit unreal to me that stores once featured the designs of Betsey, Foale & Tuffin, Mary Quant and the like were all once featured in the same store? In case the years of me blogging about it haven't made it clear, I really wished I lived in the sixties. Mostly for the shopping opportunities.)
What I love about this clipping is that it is a great example of the fantastically poetic and rather whimsical way that most fashion magazine writers wrote back in the day. I love how fascinated those journalists seemed with the girls they wrote about, as if everything their subjects did was utterly beguiling. They simply couldn't believe the size of a dolly girl's eyes or her short hemlines or her laid-back hippie nature. It was all too much for them to take. I want to be described in those terms! Of Julie, they write: "With her thick pale hair worn just as it pleases her to wear it, her easy vitality, and her level-eyed spill-the-beans candour, Julie Christie is the Breakaways' Breakaway -- the girl who spells it all out: CONTEMPORARY. The way it is today. (Tomorrow: Fahrenheit 451 and Far from the Madding Crowd; in both movies she plays "an anti-status-quo girl ... a bit out of context with her time ... slightly ahead." The way it is.) Here, the darling of Darling and Zhivago wears a knit spelled JULIE -- an undershirt dress, all action and colour; her kind of gear." Which is just about the most amazing thing you can say about someone. What would I have to do today to be considered capital-letters contemporary?

Title: from "She's a Rainbow" (The Rolling Stones)