Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Marnie or The Birds ?

 My friend Jo an gave me a beautiful book the other week; 'Barbie Millicent Roberts, an original' ( thank you Jo an ), which is a gorgeous coffee table book on Barbie doll, photographed by D. Levinthal. Now as you know; I only (used) to collect Sindy and I'm not a great fan Barbie - far too pushy for my liking, I've always had the suspicion that Barbie would only talk to you if she thought you could be useful to her - so unlike our dear old Sindy, who would talk to you purely because she liked you. but ofcourse; it is the pushy types who always seem to succeed, and maybe it was Sindy's 'niceness' that was her undoing ? come to think of it; that was probably where I went wrong; I should have been more Joan Fontain and less Margaret O'Brien...

Still; the book is lovely. All the original costumes are from the early 60's, and there's a real MadMen feel to them, but the one I've put up made me think of Hitchcock's film Marnie. Which has got me thinking all week, what's my favourite Hitchcock film? Marnie ? or The Birds?

The Birds has been my favourite film of all time since I was a wee boy, but recently I've begun to find myself drawn more and more to Marnie. I wonder why ? The films themselves have much in common, the lead character is played by the same actress Tippi Hedren, and in both films she portrays a young woman who has been abandoned ( emotionally or physically ) by her mother, she hides behind a carefully constructed persona, and her troubles only begin once she allows her self to fall in love

Here's a photo I took last year recreating the famous opening shot of Marnie, me and my friend Lizzie asked the station master if we could take a photo on the platform, he said you're not allowed to do that any more   ( terrorist or something !); however, he said he'd turn a blind eye for 5 minutes - so me and Lizzie legged it down to the platform and whilst I held Sindy upright Lizzie got behind me and held her camera phone in front of my face and I had to direct her till doll was in frame - then 'click' and off we scarpered. Have to say in all honesty - not a bad photo !

( for any freaky sindy freaks out there; the jacket is part of the 1980 Cool Customer outfit... )

Oh dear! I just don't know who to choose ? I guess if someone was to attach a long cage to my face with a rat temporarily secured at the other end, I would probably have to go for The Birds, if only because I find Melanie Daniels more appealing, more vulnerable. at the end of the film, you really do believe she has changed, and allowed us to see who she really is. Whereas in Marnie, when she's in the back of the car with Sean Connery I get the feeling that for all of her fine words about change and love - she's just playing for time . When it comes down to it, Melanie is a sindy and Marnie is a Barbie, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A Man Barely alive...

Oh My God! I've just been on Amazon and was looking at their recommendations- and I can't believe what they've suggested I'd want; THREE movies reuniting the Six million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.

Sometimes I think Amazon know me better than my actual friends...


For the last year or so I've often thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if they made a film with the Bionic Woman accidently bumping into Steve Austin ( a man barely alive ). I kind of imagined that his bionics were breaking up, and her bionic ear would be giving her some jip. Still; they'd sit down and reminisce over their past adventures, and all the time it turns out it actually exists...

The first film; Return of The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (?) was made in 1987, the second film was made in 1989 and co-stars Sandra Bullock as the latest Bionic Agent , and the last film Bionic Ever After made in 1994 has Jamie Summers and Steve Austin tie the knot, how come nobody told me about this ? I mean I loved the Six Million Dollar Man, he was so cool , and bionics aside ; he's the only man I know who can make a red track suit look sexy...

I remember when the Bionic Woman appeared in a two part episode on The Six Million Dollar Man  ( before she got her own show ). In her first incarnation her body rejected her bionics, not sure; but I think she actually died ? I remember vividly her trying to escape from the hospital running madly down the corridors flinging herself through those plastic flip flap doors.

 I was at junior school at the time , and remember I was on the way to the library and I was flinging myself through the same type of plastic doors a la Jamie Summers. I thought no one could see me, but then I noticed my friend Tanya looking at me, and I remember her saying rather sadly, " oh Martin I know who you think you are, you think you're the bionic woman". I couldn't even try to deny it as at that moment I was clutching my head trying to stop the pain of my malfunctioning bionic ear. That's when I realised , If I wanted to get through my schooldays alive I was going to have to start reigning it in. I was 10...

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Easy like a Sunday morning...

Thought I'd put up some photo's of the latest acquisition to my Paul collection...

Paul is the original boyfriend to Sindy doll, and for a boy doll he's got some really cool clothes, but the holy grail for collectors is Pauls string vest and Y fronts , and now they're mine - All Mine !! Quite pleased with the photo's ; I took them in a hurry this morning and they've come out like a poor man's Bruce Weber, not bad...Kind of reminds me of that TV ad for some bank; years ago. where they had that good looking guy moping about in his undies with his white cat whilst they played 'Easy like a Sunday morning' on the soundtrack, Paul's got the same vibe going on.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

fingers on buzzers...

Here's your starter for ten:

Which artist won two awards at last weeks Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers Annual Exhibition ?


That's right - ME !

can you believe it, I guess prizes are like buses; you wait forever for one and then two come at once. I won the Aberystwyth University Purchase Prize and The Hector Purchase Prize, and the best thing, is that one of the prizes was cash !! I nearly fainted when I opened the envelope on the bus coming home, ooh which reminds ; the next morning my friend Gillian who was staying with me, came into my room to get me out of bed so we could watch the Royal Wedding together - and I just couldn't move ! Everytime I tried to get my head up off the pillow I felt like fainting. Apparently I had Vertigo ? I didn't know you could get Vertigo just lying down , I always thought you could only get it from hanging from a roof top like James Stewart in that film er, uhm - Vertigo.

Picture round : Bamber Gascoigne, Hilary Paynter PRE, Bren Unwin and moi
Anyway, back to my prizes ( did I tell you I won two ?), The really lovely thing about the evening was that the show was opened by Bamber Gascoigne, who; if you're as old as me; will remember him from University Challenge - pre Paxman. He presented all the prizes to the winners - and there was quite a few of us, and was utterly charming. Can't imagine old Paxman doing that, although I could be wrong. I remember one year I sat down next to Jeremy Paxman at the church service to bless artists on the morning of Varnishing day for the Royal Academy's Summer Show, he took one look at me; grabbed his coat and went off and sat some where else - I hadn't even started singing ?

Right, I'm off now to Argos to buy a sonic toothbrush with my winnings

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Royal Academy...

Anyone else took their work down to Royal Academy to submit for Summer Exhibition? I went on Monday and it was very strange as there were no queues at all ? Last two years the queues have been round the block, I blame that BBC programme, it gave people the impression that all you had to do was turn up and they hang it on the wall for you. So what does no queue mean ? Maybe people aren't so ready to cough up the cash in a recession ? Maybe they've cottoned on that it ain't that easy to get in ?Well goody; that means more of a chance for us!

                                          what no queue ?

I quite like submitting day as you're bound to bump into lots of people you know, all carrying something smothered in bubble wrap, looking rather sheepish. I mean I know it's a lottery, but you gotta do it, anyway - fingers crossed and good luck to all those who've submitted.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Pyramid Gallery York

Last chance to see the Half Moon exhibition at the Pyramid Gallery in York - ending shortly!
Image above is 'Romulus and Remus', a monotype.