Wild Young Minds: August 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Wild Romance

God, how I love this editorial. The extremely handsome bearded man you see is Michiel Huisman, a Dutch actor. He was one of the leading parts in my favourite show as a child: Costa, a corny Dutch show filled with sun, sex and Spanish coasts. Now, 14 (!) years later, he has a part in one of my current favourite shows: Game of Thrones. I haven't seen that many episodes, so I haven't seen him perform yet, but looking at these photos, I'm sure it's gonna be a hell of an experience :)
Fashion editorials starring a guy and a girl are always quite tricky. They can look oh so cheesy but also very good. This one turned out to be breathtakingly beautiful, if you ask me. The simplicity, the environment, the Wild West feeling to it, perfect. Don't we all wish to have a romance like this in the wilderness?
Glamour August 2014
Photography: Will Davidson
Models: Michiel Huisman & Valentina Zelyaeva

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lauren Bacall: Last of the American Girls

She was said to be cold, she was said to be arrogant and she was said to be self-centered. Things they often say about a powerful, beautiful and succesful lady. Bacall herself said it was only an image - she was vulnerable and she was shy. Whatever idea is right - an image stays an image after all, there's no right or wrong one - we know for sure that Lauren Bacall has led a tumultuous life, yet has always stayed on the right track. No death at 27, no suicide, no drug addictions, men were probably the biggest frustration in her life - after Bogie died. Something many artists can learn from.
Only a day after the news of Robin Williams's suicide came out, another death of a movie star was announced. This time the star was a bit older and this time the star died under more natural circumstances. With the death of Lauren Bacall a generation of leading ladies has died too. Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo and Bette Davis. Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Jean Harlow. Of course, we've got our own contempory stars: Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman. Yet, none of them will come close to the grace and elegance of stars like Bacall.
Lauren Bacall was born in the Bronx in 1924 as Betty Joan Perske. Both her parents were Jewish and originally from Eastern Europe - something still visible in Lauren's striking face features. When she was five, her parents divorced and Lauren took her mother's Rumanian name. She didn't see her father anymore and that's where her daddy issues have probably been rooted.
As many actresses, Lauren started her career as a model. Her jobs weren't the slightest. Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, every fashion magazine loved her cat-like appearance. In 1942, she took lessons at the American Academy of Dramatic Art, and a year later she first appeared on Broadway. Yet it was while working as a model, that she was discovered by director Howard Hawks' wife. She urged her man to do a screen test with Lauren for 'To Have and to Have Not'.
Lauren Bacall with Ernest Hemingway
Hawks was blown away by her and turned her into a sort of project. He signed her to a seven-year personal contract, turned her name into Lauren and his wife taught her the fashion and taste guide lines. On the set, she was opposite Humphrey Bogart, who was already a major name in America. Though he was still married - and despite their age difference of 25 years - they began an affair. Three films followed in which they appeared together. Bogart and Bacall had an outstanding spark on the screen and also off the screen. In 1945, the 45-year old Bogart married the 20-year old Bacall. They had two kids and remained together until Bogart's death 12 years later.
To Have and Have Not
Bacall never really found another love like Bogie. Romantic, on the one hand, since they must have had a great, passionate and mindblowing affection for each other. Though she probably saw him as a daddy figure as well... Sad, on the other hand, since Bacall was only 32 when Bogie died and so she had to spent almost 60 years of her life without him. Of course, she did have some relationships. Frank Sinatra for example, though this only lasted for a short time, and Jason Robards Jr.
Lauren Bacall with Frank Sinatra
Shortly after Bogie's death, her career became stuck. Bacall didn't feel like acting that much anymore. A shame, since she had made many great films before, such as 'How to Marry a Millionaire'. During this film she met Marilyn Monroe, and they were often photographed together. These two girls together on a photo, that was magic, if you ask me.
Bacall, Bogart and Monroe
In her later career Bacall did a lot of parts. In the seventies and eighties she came back, and in 1997 she won a Golden Globe for her role in 'The Mirror has Two Faces'. Even though she was extremely old already, Bacall kept acting. Her last role was in 2014, as a guest vocal appearance in Family Guy. Yesterday, she suffered a massive stroke in her house in Manhattan. Bacall was 89 when she died and left a giant list of achievements behind.
As for her coldness and arrogance, we will never really know her personality. Fact is that her voice was low and her face was hard - yet beautiful, I think - and those features may come off as distant. Yet, Bacall lost the love of her life and I don't think this left her cold. Rough she may have been, but there was something about her we can all take with us in our lives. Even after the loss of Bogie, she kept on going, winning awards and choosing interesting scripts. In her own words: 'I am not a has-been. I am a will be'.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Turn your lights down low

Been in an old school R&B mood lately, love this one!

Couchsurfing Craziness

Shame on me, even in my vacation, at home in Amsterdam, I can't find any time to keep my blog updated. But, to be honest, that's also a good thing. I should've been in Israel at this time, and I was so afraid I was going to be bored as hell if I just stayed at home. Guess what, I haven't been bored a single moment. So what have I been doing? Well, mostly working, a lot of drinking and trying a new thing: couchsurfing. 
You might remember my post about London, in which I told you about my great experience surfing at a couch of Chen and enjoying a cosy house party. This time I decided to open up my house - and the house of my 16 roommates, okay - and invite a bunch of travellers here! I have to admit, I have been a bit picky but that's only because I get about 10 requests a day. Yes, yes, I'm very popular (can't wait till internet invents a way to put sarcasm on the screen the way my tone of voice can!) and everyone wants to stay with me.
No, let's be serious here. I'll tell you a little bit about the concept of Couchsurfing. I've created an extensive profile a while ago, which has my life motto, interests, goals, favourite films and music on there. What do I expect of life, and what do I want to live my life like. Pretty much my person in a couple of sentences. Furthermore, there's this reference system, so people I stayed with and people I hosted can write a positive (or negative) story about me and other people see this and think: 'Wauw, such a great person, I want to meet her!' I'm sorry, I'm having difficulties talking seriously about myself here.
Anyway, I got two great messages last week. The first was from Austin, a guy from Oklahoma who moved to NY a couple of years ago to follow his dream: becoming an actor. It sounds like the typical American Dream story - it is - but he's actually very good. He came over with his cousin, who still lives in Oklahoma, and they stayed here for 3 nights. Though I had to work two full days, we did some great things. We saw the typical Amsterdam streets, ate pancakes, went to the Red Light District and smoked a joint of course. The last night we all went out - a few of my roommates and friends joined as well - and that was a lot of fun! Austin invited us to come to Brooklyn (NY) whenever we wanted to, so hell yes, I'm gonna book my flight next year!
Yesterday, another American family came. This time only for one night and this time a girl and her sister from Riverland, South California. The three of us spent a day in the city, talked a lot about the differences between American and Dutch culture and visited the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam Noord. They gave me the best tips for California. Not only San Fran of course, but also Big Sur (picture), about which my hero Jack Kerouac wrote a book, Napa (the wine valley), Santa Barbara and Seattle. Even though my American friends didn't drink wine, so we didn't go out (those two things go together, yes), we got along really well ;)
I'm not sure if I'll host more people this summer, but that's only because I have to work a lot and am going to Paris for a couple of days as well. But it's been an amazing experience and I can recommend it to everyone. It has opened my mind even more, improved my English and gave me contacts in America - not a bad thing! The only downside: my desire to travel has grown even more. But hey, next year it's my turn to surf, and surfing I will!