Tag Archive: Victorian Period

‘‘I sure lost my musical direction in Hollywood. My songs were the same conveyer belt mass production, just like most of my movies were.’’
– Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley Beautiful

Elvis the Pelvis, was one of the greatest rock sensations to have ever existed, in the previous century. His unique signature pelvis shake, his hair puff, dashing good looks and baritone voice, brought about a rapid change to the pop scene, back in the 1950’s. Added to which, Elvis, who never believed in segregation, and was anti-racial prejudice, brought black and white youth together through his music. In fact when audiences first heard his songs on the radio, they assumed he was a black man. Young Elvis also broke Memphis’ segregation laws, by attending a local amusement park on what was designated as its coloured night.
Elvis Presley (The king of Rock n’ Roll)Though a great musical artiste, he was however unable to have a similar impact on film. Not much of an actor, yet he wasn’t really given much of an opportunity as such, to explore his cinematic side, as well. He was typecast, even though he played diverse characters like a boxer, an army Specialist 5 (SP5), a race car driver and a jailbird, to name a few of his Big Screen characters.

Only thing worse than watching a bad movie is being in one.
– Elvis Presley

Yet, though not necessarily great, none of his movies are out and out bad. Most, in fact, are quite enjoyable, thanks to the melodic music, the soothing songs, talented vocals, the scenic location shots, pretty girls, and of course – the most beautiful creature; batting those long eyelashes and flashing that charming smile, the movie revolves around – Elvis Presley, who else. He’s prettier than his female co-stars. A rarity in Hollywood, back in the day.

Elvis Presley’s brilliant performance in the movie Jailhouse Rock (1957)

Elvis Presley’s brilliant performance, in the movie, Jailhouse Rock (1957)

Set of Seven Presley Pictures I’ve seen so far (& My Ratings)     

Love Me Tender (1956)
Elvis’ very first cinematic venture, was the very film of his I saw. This was as a teenager, back in 90’s. I have no memory of having watched any Elvis film prior to that, as a kid in the 80’s.
I loved the music, loved Elvis’ presence, and was saddened by his tragic end, in this classic western, set just after the American Civil war. This movie isn’t a musical as such, though it contains a few songs, by Elvis Aaron Presley, in his Big Screen debut.

My favourite song from the movie: Love Me Tender!

My Rating: 8/10

Post Love Me Tender, I’ve seen quite a few of his films, within the last 20 years. Here are the rest of his cinematic ventures, that I’ve seen so far, in order of year released.

Jailhouse Rock (1957)
A pretty good movie, where Elvis plays a prisoner, serving time for manslaughter. Post his release from prison, he ends up being a singing sensation. I loved the whole performance choreographed around the song, Jailhouse Rock. A performance, as an ode to his character’s days in prison.

My favourite song from the movie: Jailhouse Rock!

My Rating: 7/10
Elvis Presley movieKing Creole (1958)
Directed Michael Curtiz, produced by Hal B. Wallis and based on a  novel by Harold Robbins, A Stone for Danny Fisher; this is touted as the best performance by Elvis Presley. In fact Elvis himself apparently loved King Creole the most, among his movies. Yet I beg to differ. Though a brilliant story, and a very good Elvis flick, this wasn’t his best performance. He’s capable of doing better. But story wise, yes King Creole, had more of a concrete story line, compared to most of his latter films. This movie also starred Walter Matthau (as a crook) and Carolyn Sue Jones (as the crook’s frightened mistress).

My favourite song from the movie: Crawfish! (the very first song in the movie, a duet with veteran jazz vocalist, Kitty White)

Also see my post DVD Films From Last Month PART-II from December 2014, in regard to King Creole.

My Rating: 8/10

Blue Hawaii (1961)
Another romantically enjoyable musical, with scenic locations, songs, music and Elvis Presley of course. Watch out for the brilliantly comical performance by Angela Lansbury, who plays mother to Elvis’ character.

My favourite songs from the movie: Can’t Help falling in Love with You and Moonlight Swim!

Also see my post DVD Films From Last Month PART-III from January 2015, in regard to Blue Hawaii.

My Rating: 7/10

Kid Galahad (1962)
A pretty good re-make of a 1937 noir classic. A sporty flick, where we see Elvis put on his boxing gloves. In a very different avatar, to the kind of characters he’s played before. The movie also starred Charles Bronson, Joan Blackman and Ed Asner.

My Rating: 7/10

Elvis Presley & Ann-Margret on the sets of Viva Las Vegas (1964)

Elvis Presley & Ann-Margret on the sets of Viva Las Vegas (1964)

Viva Las Vegas (1964)
One of my guilty pleasures. I thoroughly enjoyed this insight into 60’s Vegas. The music, the songs, the dances, the sexy clothes and the great chemistry between Elvis and Ann-Margret.

My favourite song from the movie: The Lady Loves Me! (poolside duet with Ann Margret)

My Rating:10/10 (as I said, guilty pleasure, though I’ve only watched it once, over a decade ago)

Frankie and Johnny (1966)
Not to be confused with the more famous 1991 romantic comedy, starring  Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer; this 1966 (a not so sexy film released in the year dubbed as Nineteen Sexty-Sex) musical, set in a riverboat, where Elvis Presley plays a riverboat gambler, has some amazing musical performances. The movie also happens to be a period piece set in the late 1800’s.

My Rating: 7/10

Unless you are die hard Elvis fan, or love his music in general, you won’t really enjoy sitting through his movies. For it’s the songs that make these movies memorable. But one should still notice that none of his films are actually bad as such, though no where near, among the greatest films ever made. None of films are musicals in the traditional sense as well. A musical is a movie, where the story is told through music. In the case of Elvis films, the music is more of an icing on the cake, that can be tasted without the songs, yet the songs just add to the flavour, and beautify it.

Elvis Presley photographed by William Speer

Elvis Presley photographed by William Speer

The Death of an Icon

I want to entertain people. That’s my whole life. To my last breath.
– Elvis Presley

Today is the 38th Death anniversary of the famed King of Rock n’ Roll, Elvis Presley. Presley died on the 16th of August, 1977; at the time believed to be due to years of prescription drug abuse, and a result of suffering from multiple ailments for a long period of time; including – glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver damage, and an enlarged colon. He was only 42 years old. Amidst many a conspiracy theories, in the early 1990’s; in 1994, Presley’s autopsy was reopened. It was deduced that he had actually died of a violent heart attack, and not due to drugs, as earlier stated. A tragic loss for the music industry, a sad loss of a beautiful human being.

Elvis Presley photographed by William Speer

Elvis Presley photographed by William Speer

Elvis Aaron Presley, is till date, the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music, with an estimated record sales of around 600 million, and counting, worldwide.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense!!!!!
Nuwan Sen n’ Musical Greats!!!!!
Nuwan Sen n’ Elvis Presley Films!!!!!

Quoting Oscar Wilde 

You can never be
or overeducated.
            – Oscar Wilde
         (1854 – 1900)

Nuwan Sen (Quoting Quotes)

My QUOTE of the DAY

The greater philosopher a man is,
the more difficult it is for him to answer,
 the foolish questions of common people.
                            -Henryk Sienkiewicz

Henryk Sienkiewicz was a noble prize winning Polish novelist, of the Victorian & Edwardian eras. Although I haven’t read any of his famed masterpieces, I saw this quote in a newspaper, some years ago. Then and there, I cut it and pasted it on the wall. One of my favourite quotes. Henryk Sienkiewicz is most famous for having authored some brilliant historical works of fiction. Am most keen on reading, the English translation of, Sienkiewicz’s epic, Quo Vadis (published in 1895), set in Rome around 64 AD, under the rule of Emperor Nero. In fact, this brilliant quote is from Quo Vadis itself.

THE RULES: See my post 3Days!!! 3Quotes!!! Challenge (Day 1), from a couple of days ago.

My Trio of Nominations for the Final Day

Literary Vittles (Alina), An American living in New Zealand, a Book Worm (who loves Children’s Literature & Illustrations), and writes about everything from travel to books to artworks to films. Alina is also one of my oldest Blog-pals.
Writer Loves Movies (Natalie Stendall), as her Blog-title sugests, a blogger/writer who loves to write about movies.
Vinnieh, a fellow film Blogger, one of the earliest bloggers to follow me, and vice versa. A true Blog-pal.

A Big Thank you, once again, to Akhiz Munawar, for roping me into this enjoyable challenge. Munawar himself is a literary genius, and a superb poet. Check out his blog, Akhiz Munawar, as well.

Also see my , from yesterday, 3Days!!! 3Quotes!!! Challenge (Day 2).

Nuwan Sen (Quoting Quotes of the brilliantly famous)

One of the classiest British celebrities, and one of my favourites, especially among the suave and sophisticated actors, with eloquent command of the English language, has finally hit the Big 4&O.
Hugh Dancy, born on the 19th of June, 1975; in Stoke-on-Trent, in the county of Staffordshire, in the United Kingdom; to a University Professor (in Philosophy); though a student of literature, had no desire to follow the academic route, like his father. Yet, acting was something he got into, by fluke; ‘twas luck by a chance conversation in a café.

Hugh Dancy is a graduate from the University of Oxford, with a degree in English Literature & Language.

I’ve been a fan of his, since I first saw him in the television mini-series, Daniel Deronda (2002), 11½ years ago (I taped the show, and have watched it a couple of times since then). Post which, I’ve watched, and loved, his work in; the two television mini-series’, David Copperfield (2000) & Elizabeth I (2005); and films like; The Sleeping Dictionary (2003), Evening (2007); from which, one of his co-stars, ended up being his future wife; The Jane Austen Book Club (2007), Adam (2009) and Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009); whether the films were great, good or just average fare.

He’s a superbly qualified, yet somewhat underrated, example, of terrific talent; who definitely deserves more of a recognition, internationally. The fact that he’s got charming good looks, is just an added bonus. One of the best thing about Dancy is, that he hasn’t fallen prey to the franchise, like many a credible actors, in recent times. And I hope he never does. This kind gentlemanly genius, with a reputation to match, no doubt, has really good taste.

Only role of his, that I wasn’t that crazy about, was from, Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011). In which, though it was a pretty good movie, he hardly had much of a role.

From his movies, I haven’t seen yet, am really keen on seeing; Black Hawk Down (2001), Shooting Dogs (2005), Hysteria (2011) and the television mini-series, Deadline Gallipoli (2015). Hugh Dancy is currently involved in the long running, American television series, Hannibal (2013-till date).

Hugh Dancy is married to Claire Danes, whom he met on the sets of Evening (as mentioned above). Another favourite star of mine, especially love her nutcracker (with apologies to Tchaikovsky) role of ‘Carrie Mathison’ in the political, spy-thriller (TV series), Homeland (2011-till date).

Love the Handsomely Dashing, Hugh Dancy.

Wishing Hugh Dancy, all the best, with his great acting career ahead. And life as it is. Happy 40th Birthday!!!!

Nuwan Sen
Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense


Canberra & the Surroundings

Mum & I, at a look out point into the city of Canberra.

Mum & I, at a look out point into the city of Canberra.

Continuing the Holiday Post.
So on the 12th of November, 2014, Mum & I, did a day trip with Carlo (my father’s first cousin), into the Australian Capital Territory, more specifically Canberra, the capital of the Kangaroo Country. Long before, I ever went to Sydney, I had always wanted to see Canberra. Not just Canberra, in general when I go to a country, I have to visit the capital. It just a must for me. So it’s unfortunate, that when I was residing in Sydney, for two years, between 2006 and 2008, I never got a chance to do so, besides having travelled so much around the Eastern Coast of Australia. There was so much more to see and do, back then, that I had to omit the Capital of this country. Now, six and almost a half years later, since I left Oz, I finally got a chance to see the Australian capital.

At a shopping complex in Canberra

At a shopping complex in Canberra (X-Mas decorations)

As, on the 11th, my Camera fell while walking around the streets of Sydney (see my post Holidaying in Australia (NSW)); and though it did not break, the left side of the photographs, taken since, happen to blur-up; the first thing I had to do when we reached Canberra the next day, was to get a new Camera. Anyway, a new digital camera was due, as my old one is five years old, and kept getting stuck. The fact that it fell, was a sign, about time I got a new one. Unlike the earlier analogue cameras of the past, which required a film roll, and lasted a decade or so, the lifetime of more modern day digital camera’s aren’t that long. My first digital camera, Casio Exilim EX-S100 (the tiniest camera I ever owned), lasted from 2005 to 2009, till it contracted some sort of a lens disease; and the next, Sony Cyber-shot 1080, from 2009 till now. But since a rechargeable new camera has to be charged for at least 24 hours before use, I had to buy a digital Nikon Coolpix L29 Camera, that required the ordinary AA Batteries.

Mum, Carlo & I lunching @ the National Arboretum Canberra (Outskirts of the City)

Mum, Carlo & I lunching @ the National Arboretum Canberra (Outskirts of the City)

Due to the heavy traffic, we reached Canberra way past 12 noon. Thus, with new camera in hand, the first thing we needed to do, was to have some lunch. We went to the outskirts of the city, a hilly area, to the ‘National Arboretum Canberra’, a beautiful lookout point, into the capital city, and with a great dinning space with a view of the newly planted flora, minus the fauna, in the deserted hills. I had Kangaroo for lunch, the third time I tasted it.

After lunch, the first place we visited was, The Parliament House, where no parliament was in session.

Mum & I, at the main entrance to the new Parliament House.

Mum & I, at the main entrance to the new Parliament House.

It’s interesting how Canberra came to be the Capital city of Australia. The two large Ozzie cities, Sydney and Melbourne, both competed to make their city the capital of the country. Ultimately as a comprise, neither got it, and instead, the smaller city of Canberra, became the capital of nation in 1908. Canberra is a well planned city, inspired by the famed ‘Garden City Movement’ of the United Kingdom from 1898. ‘Garden City Movement’ was a method of Victorian era British urban planning that was intended to be self-contained communities, surrounded by greenbelts, with parks, farms and other vacant land with greenery, along with areas of residences and industrial locations. Due to this, Canberra, is also known as the ‘Bush Capital’.

The modern Parliament House (pictured above and below), was opened in May 1988. The unique contemporary architectural design was influenced by the Boomerang (a weapon authentic to ancient Aboriginal culture). The visit to the Parliament was really interesting. First you come into the Great Hall, in the ground floor, from which one can see the Old Parliament building as well as the Australian War Memorial right opposite, afar. In the Great Hall, there is also a beautiful tapestry, one of the largest tapestries in the world, which was based on a painting by Australian Impressionist Artist, Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd.

The Senate chamber, New Parliament House

The Senate chamber, New Parliament House

On the floor above, there are two corridors with huge portraits of famous personalities, including the Queen of England and the past Australian Prime Ministers. Then come the two meeting rooms; one House of Representatives, represented in a muted greenish tone, inspired by the colour of the eucalyptus leaves; and the next, The Senate chamber, with pinkish hue, representing the colours of the Australian outback, earthly tones. Then we went up to the Parliament’s neatly mowed green roof top.

Roof Top, New Parliament House

Roof Top, New Parliament House (The old Parliament is the white building in the background)

Post the new Parliament House, we drove past the old Parliament, and went straight to the Australian War Memorial. Neither could we do much, nor visit the military museum, as it was near closing time. But highlight of the Canberra tour for me was being able to witness the closing ceremony at the war memorial. It was peaceful simple affair, and hardly took that much time, and it was totally worth it.

'Australian War Memorial', all set for the closing ceremony PIX: Nuwan Sen

‘Australian War Memorial’, all set for the closing ceremony PIX: Nuwan Sen

Australian War Memorial, closing ceremony PIX: Nuwan Sen

‘Australian War Memorial’, closing ceremony PIX: Nuwan Sen

Sculpture of John Simpson Kirkpatrick, and his donkey

Sculpture of John Simpson Kirkpatrick, and his donkey

Pictured above is a sculpture of John Simpson Kirkpatrick, and his donkey, located outside the Australian War Memorial. During the Battle of Gallipoli, in Turkey (during World War – I), John Simpson, a combat medic, carried wounded British soldiers on this donkey from the front line to the beach, and to safety.

Post the war memorial, we drove around Canberra’s diplomatic enclave, with all the foreign Embassies/High Commissions/Consulates, and left by evening.

Leaving Canberra by six in the evening.  PIX: Nuwan Sen

Leaving Canberra by six in the evening. PIX: Nuwan Sen

On the way back to Sydney, we went to the city of Goulburn, where we had a Chinese dinner, and then drove into the night. Reached Castle Cove (Sydney’s Northshore suburb, where Mum & I were staying), quite late.

Nuwan Sen n’ Travel

Roundhay Garden Scene (1888), is a 2 second documentary, shot by Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince, today, 126 years ago, on the 14th of October, 1888.
Roundhay Garden Scene (1888)Filmed in the garden of Oakwood Grange; the home of Elizabeth Whitley Le Prince’s parents, Joseph and Sarah Whitley (the Whitley family house in England), in Roundhay (a suburb of Leeds, Yorkshire), in Great Britain; the movie shows Adolphe Le Prince (Le Prince’s son), Sarah Whitley, (Le Prince’s mother-in-law), Joseph Whitley (Le Prince’s father-in-law) and Harriet Hartley. The characters are shown walking around in circles, laughing to themselves and keeping within the area framed by the camera.

72 year old, Sarah Whitley, died ten days after the film was shot, on 24th October 1888.

Just watched it online on ‘Wikipedia’. Check it out when you can, it’s worth it. A good insight into early cinema through one of the earliest surviving motion pictures in existence.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense