Wild Young Minds: April 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Details of Balmain

I absolutely adore Balmain's FW 2013 collection. Beautiful colors, materials and the combination of all those different textures. Chapeau.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

'To catch a thief': passionate yet predictable

Due to the recently filmed Alfred Hitchcock biopic, new interest has aroused for his oeuvre. Hitchcock made many psychological thrillers and had a significant style. ‘To Catch a Thief’ (1955) was one of his later productions. It is an exciting yet predicable film.

To Catch a Thief’ stars the graceful (no name would fit her better) Grace Kelly and the manly yet too dark-skinned Cary Grant. The film takes place in the French Riviera, where John Robie (Cary Grant) is settled, after spending many years being a notorious burglar, specialized in stealing jewellery. He was called ‘The Cat’ for his smooth movements. He lives a rather peaceful life, until he hears that there has been a huge increase in burglaries in the neighbourhood. Evidently, someone is copying John’s way of performing. The police indeed suspect that ‘The Cat’ is back again.

John looks for protection from his former companions. He fails, since they all think he is guilty.
This makes him determined to find out who’s the thief himself. Meanwhile, Francie Stevens (Grace Kelly) makes her entrance in John’s life. She’s the daughter of the extremely rich Jessie Stevens (Jessie Royce Landis), who is on top of the list of possessors of expensive diamonds. Her daughter is a sophisticated and reserved lady. Hitchcock always had a love for icy cold blondes and Grace Kelly is the embodiment of coldness.

It turns out Francie has a thing for adventure as well. John and Jessie spend more and more time together, but Jessie soon begins to suspect John. They meet on the 14th of July and she tempts him with the finest jewellery she has, to make him admit he’s ‘The Cat’. The tension between them is obvious. As the fireworks fill the sky, she throws herself passionately in his arms. The next morning she finds out her mother’s jewels are stolen. She sees John as the perpetrator and calls the police. John escapes and is determined to catch the thief. A few nights later, a thrilling persecution takes place at a ball and John finds out who the real ‘Cat’ is.

The identity of the thief is not a major surprise. This also applies to the progress of the film. It is clear as a bell that Jessie will fall for John, though he’s more interested in catching the thief. Nonetheless, Grace Kelly and Cary Grant make a splendid couple. The tension between them carries the film. Every scene is sparkling and stylish, which probably is also due to the period in which it was filmed. Grace Kelly and Cary Grant are convincing the entire time, which isn’t always the case in old movies.

It is characteristic of a Hitchcock film that it always includes some extremely fake scenes. You either love them or you hate them. For instance, there’s a scene when John and Jessie are in a car persecution. You see the most beautiful landscapes, but it is obvious they are edited as background. This makes the persecution very unbelievable and diminishes the tension drastically.   
All in all, ‘To Catch a Thief’ is a feast for the eye, but also a bit predicative. The actors are well-chosen. Grace Kelly is perfect as the icy Jessie and Cary Grant plays the leading part like no one else could’ve played it. The tension of the story doesn’t come out very well but the passionate scenes between John and Jessie are truly captivating. This classic Hitchcock film has to be seen. It may not be Oscar worthy, but it will do fine on a lazy Sunday afternoon. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

An ode to Norman Parkinson

Today, March 21, it is exactly 100 years ago that the famous photographer Norman Parkinson was born. He was born in London and began his photography career in 1931. He was specialized in fashion and portraits and worked exclusively for Vogue for 15 years. Other magazines he photographer for, were Harper's Bazaar, Queen and Bystander. Norman Parkinson was one of the first photographers who took his models outside and shot them in the real world, instead of only shooting in the studio. After Cecil Beaton died, he took over as the royal photographer and took several shots of among others Queen Elizabeth. He died in 1990 but remains legendary by means of his photos. 


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Haus der Geschichte

As I told you in one of my previous posts, I visited 'Haus der Geschichte' (House of the History) when I was in Bonn last weekend. There was a temporary exhibition about the influence of America on Germany, one of my favourite subjects: the influence of America, especially in the 60s and 70s. Since I already told you the most important details about it, I'm not going to waste any more words on it. Sometimes pictures say more than words.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Audrey is alive!

In this new ad for Galaxy candy bars, Audrey Hepburn plays an important role. Though I love love love Audrey, this commercial doesn't do her justice. It looks very artificial and totally not Audrey-like. She always is full of energy and keeps talking the entire time. In this commercial, she doesn't say a word. With all due respect, this commercial looks very cheesy and unbelievable. Such a shame, since Audrey shouldn't be used in this way.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Köln with my roommate

Last weekend I spent a couple of days in Köln (in English known better as Cologne, from Eau de Cologne) with my roommate Jordi and his boyfriend. Jordi lived there last year and Simon still lives there, so we had an easy place to stay! The train tickets weren't expensive either, since we are students and we can travel for free in Holland every workday. Thank god the sun was on our side as well, so it was a pretty relaxed and enjoyable weekend!
We departed on Friday evening, after having taken part in an economical experiment for the university, with which we earned enough money to pay for a meal at Vapiano's. As usual, the train was delayed and eventually didn't come at all, so we had to go with the regular train to Arnhem and take the ICE (international German train) from there. About an hour later we arrived in the gemütliche Köln, where we immediately saw the Dom (the most famous church of Köln, which is typically gothic by the way). Packed with suitcases and on high heels (as for me, of course), we made a little trip to Cologne already and finally arrived at Simon's house.
We started the next day with a run through a huge nature park and some delicious sandwiches from the bakery. Next we went to Bonn, a German city in the neighbourhood. Bonn used to be the capital of West-Germany, in the days of the division. We didn't see a lot of Bonn, we just saw the enormous museum 'Haus der Geschichte', of which I'll show you photos in a later post. This incorporated the entire history from Germany since World War II. As you might know, German's history is quite extensive, especially due to World War II and the Cold War. Of course I already knew a whole lot, since this was drummed into our heads at high school constantly. I find it very interesting though, so that was not a problem at all! There was also an exposition about the influence of America on Germany. Since I'm crazy about America, this was like heaven to me! It had a lot to do with the fifties, sixties and seventies. You could choose old American songs, a lot of which were from my heroes Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and the Supremes. There was also a giant tv screen with the most influential American movies, like Dirty Dancing, Forrest Gump and The seven-year itch. 
On Saturday we also did a little bit of shopping, but I only bought a pair of sandals. Brown and silver ones from Zara. Then we had to decide what to eat, which was quite difficult with one vegetarian and one person with an allergy of gluten. For once, I was the easy one! Eventually, after almost falling down of hunger and tiredness, we made it to a steakhouse, where I had the best chicken wings ever. Accompanied by an Aperol Spritz, my alcoholic refreshment :)
The next day we expected amazing weather, but unfortunately that didn't come until 4 o'clock. We made a trip through the old city center of Köln first and were stopped by a rather funny man, who told us we really had to see the candy store on the corner. Though this may sound really endangering and strange, we couldn't resist. It sounded a bit like 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' or 'Alice and Wonderland' and since I'm pro risk taking, we had a look. It was really sweet actually and we were invited for a show a couple of hours later, where we could see how they made the candy in a traditional way. We did and it was a lot of fun :)
Later on, we went to a huge park. The sun was shining and we felt gooooooood. A couple of Jordi and Simon's friends were playing guitar, I was just lying in the sun and trying to get tanned. It was really relaxing and I almost felt like a hippie. That night we stayed in and made ourselves comfortable with tortillas and Friends. It was a great weekend, learned a lot, seen a lot, laughed a lot, didn't party a lot, but that's not always necessary! Depressing to be back in Amsterdam, though I'd never thought I would say that. Let's blame it on university and the lack of sun!