Tag Archive: Kate Winslet


Six Degrees of Separation: from Logan Lerman to …

Logan Lerman 6°

…Elijah Wood
Lerman starred alongside Aaron Eckhart (1) in the hilarious comedy Meet Bill (2007), and Eckhart appeared in the magnificent satire that was Thank you for Smoking (2005); a humorous insight into the manipulative business tactics of a tobacco industry; which was directed by Jason Reitman (2), who later directed yet another comical brilliance that was Juno (2007), starring Ellen Page (3); who earlier played a very dark role, of an underaged teenager who has her heart set on castrating a paedophile who she suspects is responsible for the death of yet another underaged teenage girl; in Hard Candy (2004), which co-starred Patrick Wilson (4), who appeared in Little Children (2006) with Kate Winslet (5), and Winslet starred in, the surreal masterpiece that was, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), which also starred, former child star, Elijah Wood (6).

…Tom Sturridge
Lerman did one of the laziest roles ever in the pathetic flick called Gamer (2009), the only saving grace, of which, was the villainess character, excellently portrayed by Michael C. Hall (1), whose most notable role, happens to be, the titular character, of a serial killer, he plays in the television series, Dexter (2006-2013), and in the last season of which Sam Underwood (2) played his young protégé, and Underwood starred in a stage version of the play Equus, a play written by Peter Shaffer (3), and the 2007 West End and Broadway productions, of this same play, starred Daniel Radcliffe (4), who plays famed poet, of the Beat generation, Allen Ginsberg (5) in the movie Kill your Darlings (2013), and Ginsberg was also portrayed by Tom Sturridge (6) in On the Road (2012).

…Rudolph Nureyev
Lerman, as child artiste, appeared, alongside fellow child actor, Cameron Bright (1), in The Butterfly Effect (2004), and Bright played a kid who harassed a widow into believing that he was a reincarnation of her dead husband in Birth (2004), which co-starred Lauren Bacall (2), who was married to Humphrey Bogart (3); and together they were famously known as Bogie and Bacall; and Bogie starred alongside Ingrid Bergman (4), in the much loved tear-jerker classic, Casablanca (1942), and Bergman’s daughter, Isabella Rossellini (5), starred in White Nights (1985); which tells the story of a famed Russian male ballet dancer who had defected from the Soviet Union (USSR), who finds himself back in the USSR when a plane carrying him to Tokyo has to have an emergency crash landing there; the character of the defected dancer was loosely inspired by the renowned ballet dancer, Rudolph Nureyev (6).
Logayn Loveman
…Rock Hudson
Lerman appeared in the excellent re-make; 3:10 to Yuma (2007); of the classic western, 3:10 to Yuma (1957), and the original was directed by Delmer Daves (1), who made his directorial debut with Destination Tokyo (1943), starring Cary Grant (2), and Grant starred in the amusingly crazily splendid farce, Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), which was directed by Frank Capra (3), as was the romantic comedy, It Happened One Night (1934), which starred Claudette Colbert (4); who was famous for playing the legendary ‘Queen of the Nile’; in Cleopatra (1934), as was Elizabeth Taylor (5) in Cleopatra (1963), who starred alongside Rock Hudson (6) in Giant (1956).

…Roger Vadim
Lerman played son to Renée Zellweger (1), in My One and Only (2009), and Zellweger starred alongside Tom Cruise (2) in Jerry Maguire (1996), and Cruise appeared in The Color of Money (1986) with Paul Newman (3), who starred alongside Robert Redford (4), in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and Redford appeared alongside Jane Fonda (5) in Barefoot in the Park (1967), and Fonda was at one time married to director Roger Vadim (6).

…Tom Ford
Lerman starred alongside Emma Watson (1) in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), and Watson appeared in My Week with Marilyn (2012), which also starred Dominic Cooper (2), who came in The History Boys (2006), alongside Stephen Campbell Moore (3), who appeared in Bright Young Things (2003), which was based on Evelyn Waugh’s (4) novel Vile Bodies, and Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited, was the basis for the 2008 movie starring Matthew Goode (5), and Goode appeared in A Single Man (2009), which was the directorial debut of fashion designer, Tom Ford (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()
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Six Degrees of Separation : Ellen Page to ….
Ellen Page 6°
… Tippi Hedren
Page played an underage teenage girl, who seduces a paedophile, to castrate him for his crimes, in Hard Candy (2005), where actor Patrick Wilson (1) played the paedophile, and Wilson starred alongside Kate Winslet (2) in Little Children (2006); an interesting art house film, set in the American suburbs, where many a plots interact with each other; and Winslet played ‘Ophelia’, in Hamlet (1996), a four hour long modern adaptation; set in the 19th Century, instead of the 16th; of William Shakespeare’s (3) famed tragic play, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet was also made into a movie in 1948, starring Laurence Olivier (4), who also starred in Rebecca (1940), which was based on a novel by Daphne du Maurier (5), and du Maurier’s short story, The Birds, was loosely adapted into a visually shocking B-movie, in 1963, starring Tippi Hedren (6).

… Jacques Demy  
Page appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), in which Cameron Bright (1) had a small, but significant to the plot, role, and Bright starred in Birth (2004), which also starred Lauren Bacall (2), who came in Blood Alley (1955) alongside John Wayne (3); a film about how a marine captain, saves a whole Chinese village, by secretly transporting them from Communist China to Hong Kong; and Wayne appeared in the western The Searchers (1956), in which Natalie Wood (4) did a cameo, and Wood starred in the musical West Side Story (1961), which also starred George Chakiris (5), who came in the French musical Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967), a film directed by Jacques Demy (6).

… Eric McCormack   
Page played a pregnant teenager with a nonchalant attitude in Juno (2007), a film directed by Jason Reitman (1), who also directed George Clooney (2), in Up in the Air (2009), and Clooney starred in Alexander Payne’s (3) The Descendants (2011), and Payne also directed Thomas Haden Church (4) in Sideways (2004), and Haden Church appeared in the television sit-com Ned and Stacey (1995-1997), alongside Debra Messing (5), and Messing starred in Will & Grace (1998-2006) alongside Eric McCormack (6).

… Katharine Hepburn   
Page starred in Smart People (2008), where Dennis Quaid (1) played her father, and Quaid was married to Meg Ryan (2), who appeared in the best romantic comedy of the 80’s, When Harry met Sally … (1989), the screenplay of which was written by Nora Ephron (3), as was the screenplay of Silkwood (1983); which was based on a true story about a female anti-nuclear activist of the 70’s, who blew the whistle on wrong doings of a Oklahoma nuclear-plant, and was killed for trying to expose it; and this movie was directed by Mike Nichols (4), who made his directorial debut, with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), which was based on a play by Edward Albee (5), as was A Delicate Balance (1973), starring Katharine Hepburn (6).

… Mark Harmon    
Page appeared in Peacock (2010), where Cillian Murphy (1), played a character suffering from a dual personality, and Murphy played a transvestite in Breakfast on Pluto (2005) which was directed by Neil Jordan (2), who also directed Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), which was based on a novel by Anne Rice (3), and another story of hers was the basis for the television movie Rag and Bone (2002), which also starred Carroll Baker (4), who appeared in The Carpetbaggers (1964), which was based on a novel by Harold Robbins (5), as was the television movie The Dream Merchants (1980), starring Mark Harmon (6).

… Mira Nair
Page appeared Woody Allen’s (1) To Rome with Love (2012), and Allen starred and directed, the art-house style romantic comedy, Annie hall (1977), which also starred Diane Keaton (2) who appeared in The Godfather (1972), which was directed by Francis Ford Coppola (3), as was The Rainmaker (1997), which was based on a novel by John Grisham (4), as was The Pelican Brief (1993), starring Denzel Washington (5), who appeared in the interracial drama Mississippi Masala (1991), which was directed by Mira Nair (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()

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Six Degrees of Separation: Kate Winslet to ….

Kate Winslet Silver 6°

…Franco Zeffirelli
Winslet starred in Little Children (2006) along with Patrick Wilson (1), who previously appeared in the TV mini series, Angels of America (2003), which co-starred Al Pacino (2), who played the lead in Serpico (1973), which was based on a true story and directed by Sidney Lumet (3), who also directed Equus (1977), which was based on a play by Peter Shaffer (4), whose play The Royal Hunt of the sun was adapted into a movie, released in 1969, which also starred Leonard Whiting (5), whose most famous performance, is that of, ‘Romeo’ in Romeo and Juliet (1968), the finest cinematic version of this famed tragic love story, which was directed by, Tuscan born, Franco Zeffirelli (6).

…Louis Garrel
Winslet gained international fame when she played the fictional character of ‘Rose’ in Titanic (1997), which was based on a real incident, where Kathy Bates (1), played a real life survivor of the Titanic disaster, Molly Brown (2), and Brown was portrayed by Debbie Reynolds (3) in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964); a biographical film on Brown, which includes her Titanic voyage and survival; and Reynolds starred in the musical, Singin’ in the Rain (1952), alongside Gene Kelly (4), who appeared in the French musical Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967), which also starred Catherine Deneuve (5), who recently came in another French musical, Les Bien-Aimés (2011), which co-starred actor Louis Garrel (6).

…Jennifer O’Neill  
Winslet bagged the ‘Best Actress Oscar’, for her role of ‘Hanna Schmitz’, in The Reader (2008), which was based on German novel by Bernhard Schlink (1), another novel of whose was the basis for the movie, Der Tod Kam als Freund (1991), which also starred Sebastian Koch (2), who played the lead in the Dutch film, Zwartboek (2006), which was directed by Paul Verhoeven (3), who also directed Starship Troopers (1997), which starred Casper Van Dien (4), who appeared in the forgettable Sanctimony (2000), which also had Catherine Oxenberg (5), who appeared in the pilot episode of the television series, Cover-Up (1984-1985), of which the lead star was Jennifer O’Neill (6).

… Bárbara Mori
Winslet starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio (1) in Revolutionary Road (2008), and DiCaprio starred in The Great Gatsby (2013), in which Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan (2) had a small role, and Bachchan (a.k.a. Big B) was paired alongside Hema Malini (3) in a lot of films in the 70’s and 80’s, and Malini; who had held the no.1 position for two decades, a rarity in a male oriented film fraternity; was one actress that the Big B was never paired with, off screen, by gossip columnist; and Malini’s daughter, Esha Deol (4), appeared in Na Tum Jaano Na Hum (2002), which co-starred current superstar, Hrithik Roshan (5); known not just for his good looks and vanity driven muscular physique, but also for his outstanding dancing and acting abilities; and Roshan starred alongside Mexican actress Bárbara Mori (6) in Kites (2010).

… Henry Fonda
Winslet appeared in The Holiday (2006), a Christmas romance, where fellow British actor Jude Law (1) played her elder brother, and Law gained popularity worldwide; when he was nominated for an Oscar in 2000, for his role of ‘Dickie’; in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), which was based on an acclaimed novel, of the same name, by Patricia Highsmith (2), and this very novel was the basis for the French classic, Plein Soleil (1959/60), starring Alain Delon (3), who appeared in the Italian film, Il Gattopardo (1963), a film directed by Italy’s famed, Luchino Visconti (4), who also directed the German language film, The Damned (1969), with Helmut Berger (5), who starred in Hollywood’s, Ash Wednesday (1973); a controversial film at the time for showcasing actual plastic surgery (facelift) in progress; in which Henry Fonda (6) had a cameo.

… Roberto Rossellini
Winslet starred in Titanic (1997), a film directed by James Cameron (1), who also directed the cheesy, sci-fi flick, The Terminator (1984), which starred Michael Biehn (2), who played a stalker in The Fan (1981), where Lauren Bacall (3); played, the stage and screen siren, who’s been stalked; and Bacall was married to actor Humphrey Bogart (4), who is most famous for appearing in the much loved classic love story, Casablanca (1942) alongside, Swedish born, Ingrid Bergman (5), who was married to Italian director, Roberto Rossellini (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()

Beatle News  # 21 : First Single

Beatles Love Single first single

  • 1962 – The Beatles very First single Love, Love Me Do is released in the United Kingdom, backed by P.S. I love You on ‘B-Side’.

This Day,

Nuwan Sen’s Music Sense. Nuwan Sen & The Beatles ().
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Cleopatra (KW)

  • 1975 – 13 years after The Beatles British Love Single (first single) release, Kate Elizabeth Winslet was born in Reading, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom.

Winslet is no doubt one of the greatest actresses today, a superstar in her own right and a future film legend. Wishing her all the best on her 38th Birthday.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()

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Cleopatra**********
Since the invention of Cinema, there have been over a hundred actresses who’ve portrayed the Queen of the Nile. But there have been very few on screen Cleopatra’s, that have blown us away with their powerful performances.   
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Q° 1. Which of these stars did you feel was Cleopatra incarnate? Who was the most beautiful Cleopatra of the silver screen?

a) Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra in Caesar and Cleopatra (1945)

Cleopatra (VL)

b) Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in Cleopatra (1963)

Cleopatra (ET)

-or-

c) Another actress completely (Please Specify; e.g. Helen Gardner (1912), Theda Bara (1917), Claudette Colbert (1934), Sophia Loren (1954), etc etc …)

Q° 2. If there were a newer bio-pic on the life of this, pre-feminist era, bold feminist, Pharaoh, which one of these actresses should play the role of Cleopatra?

a) Angelina Jolie

Cleopatra (AG)

b) Kate Winslet

Cleopatra (KW)

c) Marion Cotillard

Cleopatra (MC)

d) Sridevi

Cleopatra (SKk)

-or-

e) Kerry Washington

Cleopatra (KZ)

Q° 3. If there were to be a new movie on the life of Cleopatra, which of these would you prefer to see?

a) a bio-pic on her life based on an original new screenplay.

b) another movie based on William Shakespeare’s 1623 play Antony and Cleopatra.

c) another movie based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1898 play Caesar and Cleopatra.

d) a mystical, fantasy, surreal piece of artistically and visually spectacular, intellectual piece of cinema.

e) a blockbuster, with a weak script, meaningless violence (an action flick), good looking bodies (sexualising the film’s characters with necessity for very limited acting skills), where the computer graphics dominate the entire premise of the movie; meant for the masses, just to make a load of cash; which would be here today and gone tomorrow.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Cleopatra (NS)

The two earliest Polanski films I watched was back in the 1990’s; Frantic (1988) and Bitter Moon (1992); both pretty good, but neither great.
And the two most recent were, Carnage (2011) and Tess (1979), last year, both excellent.

Carnage - Behind the scenes
Roman Polanski, with Polish/Russian roots, was born in 1933, in Paris, France, to Polish parents. Few years after he was born, his family moved back to their native Poland. As a Jewish child, he witnessed firsthand the cruelties of the second world war. With the invasion of Poland, they were forced into a ghetto along with thousands of other Jews and from there sent to concentration camps. Polanski saw his father being dragged away to another camp. His mother was killed as soon as she was taken to Auschwitz. Roman Polanski, still a child, escaped, and he was secretly brought up by many Roman Catholic families that protected him. When the war came to an end in 1945, a fifth of the Polish population had been killed off by the Nazis.
After the war, Polanski was reunited with his father, who remarried.

Roman Polanski, had a keen eye for film ever since he was a little child, way before the war. Post WW-II, Polanski, started watching films on a regular basis either in school or at the local Cinema. When he grew up, he attended the National Film School in Łódź, Poland. He graduated in 1959.
Meanwhile he acted in films like Trzy Opowiesci (1953), Pokolenie (1954) and Zaczarowany Rower (1955), to name a few, and directed his very first short film Rower-Bicycle (1955), which unfortunately today is a lost gem.
After making a few other short films, he made his very first full length, 94 minute, feature film, Knife in the Water (1962). Which was nominated for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at the Oscars the following year. And the rest is history.

Image features Leon Niemczyk and Zygmunt Malanowicz
Back in the 90’s when I watched, Frantic (1988) and Bitter Moon (1992), I really enjoyed them; though I realised none of them were like the greatest movies ever made or anywhere near that. Unlike many other great directors, I started liking Polanski pretty late. Mainly due to the fact I hadn’t seen some his best work yet, although I was aware of some of his greats, especially in the horror genre.

Bitter Moon (92')
Then about a decade ago, I finally got a chance to watch Rosemary’s Baby (1968). I hated that movie, but wait, I didn’t hate it because it was bad, I hated it because it was an excellent horror flick. A movie about a pregnant woman, who’s been psychologically traumatised by her husband and neighbours, and is lead to believe she’s about to give birth to the devils child, with a shocking twist at the end, was pretty disturbing in many a levels. I watched this and felt no fear what so ever while watching. The ending though a bit of a shock, also felt a bit predictable. Went to sleep. But the next few days (being a person who loves to analyse films) I started to feel sick, and wanted get the video tape back to the library as soon as possible. And I felt a sense of relief not to see it hanging around anymore. But it also made me realise what an excellent horror flick it was. I’ve seen quite a few silly visually horror films that are pretty laughable, but in this, the concept itself was sickening, that I realised what a great piece cinema this cult classic was.
What’s really sad though in the tragedy associated with the aftermath of the release of Rosemary’s Baby. The real life ritualistic murder of Polanski’s beautiful wife, actress Sharon Tate, when she was nine months pregnant, by the Charles Manson gang.

Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate on their Wedding day (20th January 1968)

Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate on their Wedding day (20th January 1968)

In July, 1969, Polanski was busy with a shoot, thus his heavily pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, left for United States alone. Before leaving, she had given Polanski, Thomas Hardy’s novel, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, and had mentioned that it would make for a great film. This was the last time Polanski would see his wife alive. On 8th August, 1969, Sharon Tate, now in Los Angeles, had spoken to her husband, who was in London. She was worried about his delay in returning and confided with friends that she was afraid he wouldn’t make it in time for the delivery. That same night, she along with their friends, altogether five people, were murdered, a sixth person escaped. Sharon Tate was stabbed sixteen times, with rope tied to her neck. A sad tragedy. Later when Polanski made the movie Tess (1979), he dedicated it to his late wife, Sharon Tate.

Tess (1979)

Tess (1979)

Around the time I watched Rosemary’s Baby, I also watched Repulsion (1965), which was shown in a local Norwegian television channel (I was residing Oslo at the time, 2003-2004, that’s where I watched both Rosemary’s Baby and Repulsion). Repulsion wasn’t as great as Rosemary’s Baby, but still was another masterpiece of near excellence, with French actress Catherine Deneuve playing the lead (see my post Being mesmerised by ‘The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, from last month).

Around the same time, I watched Chinatown (1974), on the big screen, in Luton, United Kingdom. This neo-noir flick was running in the Cinema, for a film festival at that time. I thought Jack Nicholson was superb as the broken nosed nosey detective who tries to make sense of mysterious woman (played by Faye Dunaway). The scene where he keeps slapping her to tell the truth, and she keeps saying ‘She’s my daughter, my sister, my daughter, my sister’ is really touching, once we realise that she is in fact speaking the truth, and what a disgusting old man her father really is. Here she cries, that the young girl in question, is both her daughter and her sister and that she’s been trying to protect her from her father. In a reversal of fortune, we suddenly start to sympathise with the femme fatale of the movie. Another excellent venture, and the best neo-noir tribute to classic noir films of the 30’s & 40’s, that I’ve seen till date.

In April 2004, I went back to live in England (having previously lived there in 2002-2003, doing my M.A. in International Cinema), this time in Portsmouth, a sea port (where I resided for six months before moving to London). While in Portsmouth, I saw quite a few Polanski flicks. I saw The Pianist (2002) and The Ninth Gate (1999) on a cable network. The Pianist was a superb film, and I felt this was the best Polanski movie ever, that I’ve seen. Starring Adrien Brody (who won an Oscar for this movie), The Pianist is a true story about Jewish pianist, who survives the holocaust of World War II, with the help of a Nazi officer whose infatuated with the pianist’s musical skills, rather than the person himself. The Ninth Gate, starring Johnny Depp; a thriller about a ‘rare book’ dealer, who gets drawn into a conspiracy dealing with demon text, which happen to be the key to raising Satan; however was a pretty bad movie, with an abruptly silly ending.

Roman Polanski's Knife in the Water (1962)

Roman Polanski’s Knife in the Water (1962)

Meanwhile, whilst residing in Portsmouth (UK) itself, there was a Polanski festival shown on some cable network and I ended up catching some of his really good classics, like the Polish film, his first feature film, Knife in the Water (1962), and the British, Cul-de-Sac (1966), along with his French flick, The Tenant (1976) in which he played the lead role as well. Both Knife in Water and Cul-de-Sac were really good films.

Cul-De-Sac (66')

Knife in Water was an intriguing boat crime; where a married couple invite a young student to accompany them on to their yacht for a weekend trip; and Cul-de-Sac (1966) was a tragicomedy about a criminal and his partner who take refuge in a Beachfront Castle. It’s interesting to see a young Jacqueline Bisset, in a small role, in the her second film appearance. The Tenant, yet another film that explores the themes of social alienation and psychic and emotional breakdown, was the worst Polanski film I’ve seen till date. I like him as a director, and I liked his cameo appearances in Repulsion and Chinatown, but I wasn’t so crazy about his lead role in The Tenant, nor did I fancy the movie. Then in 2005, I watched Polanski’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ famed novel, Oliver Twist (2005). This was the worst film adaptation of Dickens’ acclaimed piece of literature, out of all the cinematic and television adaptations of Oliver Twist, I’ve seen till date.

Jacqueline Bisset in Cul-De-Sac (1966)

Jacqueline Bisset in Cul-De-Sac (1966)

Post 2005, after going through a bit of a Polanski drought for few years, I watched The Ghost Writer (2010), a couple of years ago, when it was shown on ‘Star Movies’, the Indian division of this cable channel, thus an edited version of the film. But thanks to the Indian and Malaysian/Hong Kong cable channels provided by our cable operator, we get to watch some good films and programmes, even though it’s the censored versions of them. Although as a film buff, am dead against unnecessary censorship. With The Ghost Writer, a really good thriller starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan, Polanski’s bounced back, though it wasn’t amongst his best.

Last year I went to India (New Delhi) during Oscar season (February/March 2012); thus ended up watching some really good films on the big screen whilst there. And one of the greats I watched was Polanski’s Carnage (2011). An excellent film set within span of a few hours in one day, where four parents of two teenagers meet to discuss their children, who’ve got into a fight, resulting with one kid landing in a hospital bed. An excellent film with a great cast comprising of Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly, this film was shot in real time, without breaks. This brilliant Carnage of adult minds is among Polanski’s best work. (See my critique on Carnage in my list titled Oscar Winners … and then some 2012 on IMDB)

Though set in Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York, Carnage was made in Paris, where Polanski resides, due to his ban from United States.
In March 1977, Polanski was arrested for a number of offences, including statutory rape (sexual relationship with an underage girl/ a minor). Polanski pleaded not guilty; and all other charges were dropped, except for statutory rape; and underwent a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation. In 1978, he fled to France, once he learnt that he might face imprisonment and deportation. Since then Polanski has mostly lived in France, and hasn’t set foot in the United States till date.

In October last year, Tess (1979), based on a novel by Thomas Hardy, was shown at the Russian Centre here. Almost instantaneously I fell in love with this beautiful movie, and blogged about it back then (see my post titled ‘Tess’ from October 2012). Tess is definitely the best Roman Polanski film I’ve seen till date, thus reducing The Pianist to second place now.

Am yet to watch Roman Polanski’s greats such as The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971), Che? – Quoi? – What? (1972), Death and the Maiden (1994), Venus in Fur (2013) and D (which is yet to be released), to name a few.

Roman Polanski celebrated his 80th Birthday last month, on the 18th of August 2013. (See my list titled Roman Polanski (XIV Films) The Best to The Worst on IMDB which I made as tribute for/on his 80th Birthday)

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

KITW (62') The Pianist pic

Today happens to be the birth anniversaries of three distinguished artists from three different fields of the world of arts. One was a prominent British actor, Rex Harrison; another a controversial Italian film director, Pier Paolo Pasolini; and last but not least a teenage music sensation of the 70’s, Andy Gibb.

The Actor & The Film Director

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Rex Harrison (1908-1990)

I’ve known Rex Harrison, ever since I was a little kid, especially thanks to his roles of Professor Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady (1964), and Julius Caesar in Cleopatra (1963). I have a vague memory of having watched Doctor Doolittle (1967) as a kid as well, but I don’t remember it at all, except for a talking parrot, and lots of animals in a dried up deserted location. I’m not that familiar with Harrison’s works from the 1930’s & 40’s, but have loved most his work from the 50’s & 60’s.

My favourite Harrison character happens to be from My fair Lady.

Professor Higgins

Professor Higgins happens to be a very uniquely brash yet likable, highly sophisticated yet ill mannered, dignified yet indecent, eccentric yet admirable, Edwardian gentleman, who doesn’t know how to treat a lady. A Professor of phonetics, who’s appalled with the modern day butchering of the English Language, which he upholds with the highest regard.

Love the bugger !!! Whoops!! (my apologies to Professor Higgins) Mainly for his penchant for the highly polished use of the English Language. I wonder what he’d say, if he’s existed today. Worst if he were to meet an Australian. Higgins would die of a heart attack. “Poooor Professor Higgins” (sing along).

What’s most interesting is the fact, when Eliza Doolittle (played by my all time favourite star, the adorable Audrey Hepburn) has an argument with him, throws his bedroom slippers at him and leaves, for being treated as doormat, he genuinely has no clue as to why she was so mad at him. You actually feel sorry for “Poooor Professor Higgins”. And I love the way he screams for his “Mother!!!”. Well, they really don’t make such uniquely crafted, timeless, unforgettable characters anymore.

My Fair Lady, was based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion (the title of the play’s refers to a tale from Greek Mythology).

Julius Caesar

Hail Caesar!! Another great role, where he is seduced by the bewitchingly beautiful Cleopatra (played by an equally bewitching beauty, Elizabeth Taylor). It’s not just Caesar and Marc Anthony (and the actor playing Anthony, i.e. Richard Burton), but we, the people who have watched this movie, too were seduced by both Cleopatra and Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor was Cleopatra incarnate, can’t think of any one better to play this milk bathen beauty. But Caesar wasn’t just seduced by her beauty, he saw her as an equal, an intellectual, powerful and fit to rule a country. He was seduced by her knowledge of the world, geographical locations, and her modernist views to have equality beyond borders so the world would be a peaceful place to live without any more wars. Yet, ironically, she ended up being the woman responsible for burning of a thousand ships. Very powerful roles from all three cast members. As a teenager I read Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra, and for my Bachelors I studied Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Love both these plays, and Cleopatra, the movie that’s not based on these plays, but historical accounts. 

Rex Harrison also appeared in a pretty good (not great) Bollywood gem heist of a movie in the late 70’s, Shalimar (1978), with an international cast from various different countries. 

Rex Harrison Films

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Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975)

Unlike Rex Harrison, film director Pier Paolo Pasolini, is not somebody I knew as a child. Makes sense as majority of his flicks happen to be not really eligible for innocent little minds. It’s somewhere in in the early mid-90’s as a teenager, that I first heard of Pasolini, but it was much later that I finally actually got a chance to watch his masterpieces, i.e. within last decade.     

Pasolini, and fellow Italian director Fellini, happen to be two of the most controversial characters of modern cinema, cinema of the 50’s, 60’s and the 70’s. They were a rare two, who dared to challenge censorship laws, and their works contained very graphic content, in reference to sex, nudity, violence and very mature unorthodox concepts itself. The two directors were also famous, having worked together a few times before,  for a spat during the making of a project called ‘Satyricon’ in the late 60’s, to the extent that Fellini renamed this surrealist movie and released it as Fellini – Satyricon (1969).  I’ve actually watched more works of Fellini than Pasolini. Like Salvador Dalí was to art world, both Fellini and Pasolini were supremacist surrealist in the world of cinema.

Two of the best films of Pasolini’s I’ve watched, happen to be, Teorema (1968) and Il Decameron (1971)

Teorema

Teorema, was unusual story of a stranger (Terence Stamp) who comes to live with a bourgeois Italian family in their beautiful luxurious villa, and manages to seduce everyone sexually. The father, the mother, the two teenage children and the family maid.

Il Decameron

Il Decameron is anthology film based on nine stories from Decameron, by the 14th Century poet Giovanni Boccaccio. Pasolini, himself was a poet and writer. Pasolini’s lover, actor Ninetto Davoli, appeared in small roles in many of Pasolini’s films, including a small role in Teorema, and a more significant role in Il Decameron. 

Am yet to watch his most controversial, and last, movie,  Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (1975), based on the famed Libertine novel by Marquis de Sade (18th Century French aristocrat, philosopher and writer). But I have watched a movie based the Marquis’ life in prison, called Quills (2000) starring Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet. 

Pier Paolo Pasolini was murdered in 1975 under mysterious circumstances, post the release of Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma.

Pasolini directed films

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Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

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Andy Gibb (1958-1988)

Andy Gibb

Andy Gibb was a teenage pop music sensation of the 70’s & early 80’s. The youngest (4th) of the Gibb brothers, the elder trio formed the band Bee Gees. Andy Gibb’s success was always overshadowed by the fame of his older brothers, and never got a chance to join the famed group. Especially as he was a whole decade younger that his three elder brothers (who were all born post WWII, mid to late 1940’s). Andy Gibb never got the recognition the Bee Gees enjoyed. Soon drugs and depression took over, and was root cause for his decline, and ultimate demise. Although towards the end of his life he did clean up, and drugs were out of his life, his depression remained, and just after celebrating his 30th Birthday on the 5th of March 1988, he was admitted to hospital for chest pains. Five days after his 30th Birthday Andy Gibb passed away.   

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Nuwan Sen’s Musical Sense

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 Yesterday, the 25th of February 2013 ……

– was

Artist, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s 172nd Birth Anniversary.

Nuwan et Renoir (Oct 2008) # 1

Nuwan et Renoir (Oct 2008) # 1

Nuwan et Renoir (0ct 2OO8) # 2

Nuwan et Renoir (0ct 2OO8) # 2

Pix #1 With Renoir’s The Bathers @ Musée d’Orsay, Paris (Oct 2008) 

Pix #2 With Renoir’s Girls at the Piano @ Musée d’Orsay, Paris (Oct 2008) 

Born on the 25th of February, 1841, Renoir, happens to be one of my favourite artists from the impressionist era. What I love about his work is the unique use of extremely fine (tiny) brush strokes. Especially in The Bathers, the two reclining nudes look as if the two whole figures are covered with tiny little brownish hairs. And his use of warm colours to enhance the natural summery glow of the painting beautifies the work even more. Girls at the Piano too has that summery jubilant feel, but contrasting the society of the two females present in this picture, to that of The Bathers.  

Nuwan et Renoir (Sept 2OO8) # 3

Nuwan et Renoir (Sept 2008) #3

 Pix #3 With Renoir’s Ball at the Moulin de la Galette @ Musée d’Orsay, Paris (Sept 2008) 

Contrasting to the earlier two Renoir’s, the third picture, taken when I visited Musée d’Orsay  a month earlier, this particular painting uses more cooler shades. What I like most about this painting (along with a few others done in a similar style) is the way he depicts the sunny patches falling on the people through the trees. 

– was 

when I got up early in the morning, to catch the Oscars 2013, live telecast on Star Movies, despite a sleepless night. The 85th Annual Academy Awards was held on the 24th February 2013 night, by US time (Western US), which was early morning 25th February 2013, here. 

Oscar Red Carpet 2013

Oscar Red Carpet 2013

Red Carpet style & The Oscars

From all the celebrities, my favourite outfit was that of Anne Hathaway. She had an almost Audrey Hepburn kind of charm, in that simple pink outfit, very clean cut, neat. My kind of style. And her short crop works well with that outfit, making her feel more Hepburn and less Hathaway. Just as I was thinking that she has managed to capture the essence of Audrey Hepburn, Hathaway mentioned that the rocks on her neck were from Tiffany’s. Hathaway @ Tiffany’s!!! Wow!! She won the Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables (2012). Jessica Chastain & Jennifer Lawrence were the next two best dressed fem fatales of the evening. The main surprise at the ceremony for me was Jennifer Lawrence winning the Oscar for Best Actress, that was a bit unexpected. I’m sure she deserved it, although I can’t judge as I haven’t been able to see any of the films that were nominated this year. Having followed the Oscar buzz, I wasn’t surprised with any other win. Best Film, Argo (2012), Best Actor Daniel Day Lewis et al, won as expected. 

Seth Macfarlane did a superb job hosting the show. The highlights for me were, when he hinted at the Academy for not nominating Ben Affleck, the Captain Von Trapp scene and of course the segment of the ‘Boob’ song referring to all the Kate Winslet movies where she’s bared it all. Winslet by far is the best actress today after Meryl Streep. All in all, loved the show and re-watched most of it when it was re-telecast last night.

NS

Oscar Winners & Show

-was

a full moon day.

While the wolves were howling on one side of the globe, religious activities were being held on this side of the globe. Of course dogs were howling at the moon here as well.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Nuwan Sen n’ Style

Nuwan Sen’s Artistic Sense