Sunday, August 13, 2017

Pride - an unlikely alliance

Pride is a great little British film, directed by Matthew Warchus, written by Stephen Beresford, and based on a true story. It takes place in 1984 Great Britain, filled with the fashion, music and the current blue-collar strikes. This is also the era when many gay men started to contract AIDS.

Young and out Mark gets the idea for an unlikely new alliance. From that crazy idea is born "lesbians and gays support the miners." They start to collect donations of money, food and clothing from other gays and lesbians which they send on to the miners and their families.

This film is entertaining, touching and funny. Veteran actor Bill Nighy plays Cliff,  an older man on the miners' side, who finally comes out of the closet. The story is not without conflict as some of the miners take issue with their supporters. But other support comes on board when a fundraiser is organized and proves to be successful.

The cast includes Dominic West (as Johnathan), Imelda Staunton (as Hefina), Ben Schnetzer (as Mark) and Paddy Considine (as Dai), Andrew Scott (as Gethin), Faye Marsay (as Steph), Jessica Gunning (as Sian) and George MacKay (as Joe).

Here's a link to an article about the original Mark --Mark Ashton.

Some scenes from this film:

Some quotes from this film:
"I can't change my style. It has to be a style of firm leadership. One isn't here to be a softie. You're here to be a good, firm leader."---Margaret Thatcher

"Two, four, six, eight, is that copper really straight?!"---protesters' chant

"Give it to the lesbians. They love a banner."---Mark

"We're collecting for the miners and their families."---Mark

"This a gay and lesbian group. And we are unapologetic about that!"---Mark

"This money you've raised, it's all from gays and lesbians?"---Dai

"Truth told, you're the first gays I've ever met in my life."---Dai

"And you're the first miner I've ever met."---Mark

"You know I had you down as many things but prejudiced was never one of them."---Sian

"Listen, if one in five people is gay, then one in five miners must be too, right? So that's at least a fifth of you who's pleased to see us!"---Mark

"If it wasn't for those people over there, your lot would still be in the nick."---Dai

"Listen here see. We don't mind the gays and the lesbians,  that's find. But don't  you dare be bringing people from North Wales down here."---Hefina

"We could never drum up this kind of publicity in a million years!"---Mark

"When someone calls you a take it and you own it."---Mark

"If we were normal, this is when we'd kiss."---Steph

The official trailer for Pride:

Friday, February 24, 2017

Bert Stern: Original Mad Man

Mad Men was a very popular series. But this is a documentary film about Bert Stern, who was an original mad man. Before he got into the advertising scene in the 1950s, ads were quite boring. With his creative use of photography, ads became more interesting and his creativity was in demand. He paved the way for others to be more imaginative and creative in advertising.

This documentary produced and directed by Shannah Laumeister (who was also married to Bert Stern from 2009 until his death in 2013) explores his life, career and loves of his life including dancer Allegra Kent who was his wife and mother of his 3 children named Susannah, Bret and Trista.

Bert did work for different companies including Vogue. He's not only taken many photographs for advertising but also of many famous people including Marilyn Monroe. He claimed to have loved her but that it wasn't much more than a 'photographic' relationship. His work with her was the last photo session she had before she was found dead. It also involved him a lawsuit.

It's interesting to note that Bert Stern died since this documentary by his wife was released.What a great tribute to this creative spirit...Bert Stern. BTW, in German 'Stern' means Star!

Anyone who wants to be inspired as an artist whether a photographer or any other kind of artist, will enjoy this film. Some of his photos are so beautiful and even very sensual.If you like photography or are interested in being inspired by some amazing photographs, be sure to see this film.

Here are some scenes from this film:

Some quotes from this film:

"I guess the pyramid was the best picture. Because it was so conceptual."---Bert Stern

"Our relationship in the beginning was more a photographic one that transformed into a more personal relationship. It was taboo. Kind of insane and kind of brilliant."--Shannah Laumeister

"I'm your mentor. You're my muse."---Bert to Shannah

"Beauty is power."---Bert Stern

"As if I throw pictures in the garbage pail."---Bert Stern

"Anything about Marilyn Monroe becomes overblown."---Bert Stern

"There were basically only two women in the world that interested me. One was Allegra Kent whom I was married to and the other was Marilyn Monroe."---Bert Stern

"You want to do nude."---Marilyn Monroe to Bert Stein

"Jean-Paul Sartre said, "Hell is other people."---Bert Stern

"I think success is a problem, huh? Makes you unhappy. You always want more. You always wanna do this, you wanna do that."---Bert Stern

"I shouldn't have been so happy so young. I should have saved it for now.  Now I should be happy. When I need it. ---Bert Sern

"So I'm a prisoner of all the things I've done. And you can't undo it."---Bert Stern

"My life has been about discovery. About seeing....I mean that life keeps moving. So it's always over. You look at a guy, he walks by, he's gone. It's over, right? But if you have a picture of it, you have it forever.."---Bert Stern

"I always thought the picture I took was between me and the subject. Not the subject and not me, but the space between us. Because it's an invisible space. It's a space where anything can happen."---Bert Stern
Here's the official trailer for this film:

Note: After this film in 2014, there was a family feud. See this article online.