Sunday 25 March 2012

Bugsy Malone at the Troxy

13-year-old Jodie Foster as the fabulously slinky Tallulah (Image source)

It's a well-known fact that Bugsy Malone is one of the best films ever made. And now Future Cinemas is putting on a live cinema event with all the trimmings (including showgirls and custard pies) at the Art Deco Troxy cinema for several nights over the next few weeks.

I really hope I can get myself into gear and go along, even though my thesis is due in only FOUR WEEKS. Eep! My sister and I used to bounce and dance and run and sing our way around our living room as kids, acting this film out. I used to dream of having one of those pedal-powered cars and being part of a world like Bugsy's. So this is pretty much as close as I think I'll ever get to a childhood dream come true.

If you're in London, go along! If you're not, grab a few friends and watch it at home, getting up to dance around if you feel so inclined.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Glam Love

I had a very glam Saturday.  Not in any particularly exciting way, I'm afraid, just within the confines of my flat.  It started with reading that a plaque is to be erected on the building in Heddon Street, Soho, which appears on the cover of David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

This inspired a '70s through to early '80s, glam rock through to electro-pop (hellooooo, Gary Numan!) all-day feast of music to ease the pain of coursework.  I sometimes forget how fabulous this period of music was.  I think the Cat was pleased to be having a change from the recent high rotation of 1940s and swing music too.  We were both so enthused by the whole thing that we then went on to watch The Man Who Fell to Earth in the evening.  That may have to be a story for another time, however, as I begun the mission of compiling screen shots to accompany a post but lost patience with it.  I never realised what a task it is.  I now have infinite admiration for you bloggers that do it frequently!

Instead, I will leave you with the most tragic of glam rock songs.  Most people think I'm a bit strange for this but the first time I heard this song, I almost cried because I felt so sorry for that Starman, who just wanted to come and meet us but had to stay away for fear of blowing our minds.  Spare a thought for dear Ziggy on this mild Sunday evening:

We salute you, Brixton-born David Bowie!  

Sorry, what was that?  Oh, you want some more Bowie?  Well, I wouldn't say no to that:

Sunday 4 March 2012

Barbican Bond!

Yes, please!  An exhibition of Bond style to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of Dr No, the film that begun it all, at the unashamedly Brutalist Barbican Centre in the 30th anniversary of its opening?  This is so, so right...  Can't wait for July!

Chamberlain, Powell and Bon model of the Barbican complex, 1956 (Image source)

Love Letter to Abe

I just have to take a moment to sing high praises of Abe Books.  They've been on the internet scene for ages so you've probably come across them before but I just wanted to remind everyone how brilliant they are, especially if you're after anything vaguely obscure.  

Selection from feature on '30 Old Books Worth Buying for the Cover Alone'

I'm just gushing right now because I've managed to pick up two books that are really useful for my research for less than £15 combined, including postage.  One of them I've referenced at the British Library but the other I've not been able to see because there was some problem when I tried to order it up.  Now, because of this wonderful online shop, I can have both volumes of this pair, dating to 1910 and 1911, at home to consult at my leisure.

Selection from feature on 'Britain in Pictures'

So, hurrah for Abe Books!  I urge you to check them as your first port of call when you're shopping online.  You can get books, many out of print or obscure, for an absolute song more often than not.  You can also pick up massively expensive, rare antiques if you fancy it and have money to spare...  Even if you don't, it's lovely looking through the frequent compilations they feature on the site.  I love that they have a bit of a wicked sense of humour too, with themes such as 'Depressing Russian Literature'.

The other great thing about the site is that it brings together a collection of lots of independent sellers, rather than being one massive superstore, so you're supporting little guys by buying from there.  Of course, it still doesn't beat the pleasure of browsing through a real-world second-hand bookshop, inhaling the unmistakable smell of old books and stumbling accidentally across hidden delights...  But then again, I doubt I would have found those two specific books I was after if I'd just been browsing in a local bookshop so, for that purpose, it is practically unbeatable.

Note!  This is not an affiliate or sponsored post, despite sounding like a total sales pitch!  I'm not benefitting at all from promoting Abe Books.  I just think they're awesome, pure and simple.  And when I'm not at work these days, I'm holed up at home with my thesis writing so I'm going just a wee bit book crazy... 

Thursday 1 March 2012

Spring Personified

The spring months are upon us!  And once again, as promised, I bring you Eugene Grasset's representations of the months for this season.  I can never, ever decide my favourite!  I love that March is sowing seeds with the proper tools, I love April's river and blossom trees, I love May's hat and her red locks under it with the shockingly bright background.  But I think Miss April and her tranquil, idyllic country scene just might win it for me, largely because I would love to be lying in a fresh, green meadow right now...  

What do you think, who's your favourite Spring lady?