Manolo says, appalling societal decay set to the catchy tune!
Manolo says, appalling societal decay set to the catchy tune!
Manolo says, because nothing says pop music like Moldova and unicycles.
Ahh the cinema. Who doesn’t love curling up on the couch, perhaps with a loved one, a good friend, or simply a snuggie, and getting lost in the magical world of movie-dom? Regardless of what your interest, chances are pretty high that you will be able to find a film that suits your fancy. Be it romance, action, comedy, horror, or a true to life documentary, there is always a title out there to titillate your mind and stimulate your senses. “But what about shoes?” you ask? No worries, I’ve got you covered. While there is no cinematic “shoe” genre, in many of these films shoes are centric and crucial to the storyline, or at least the presence of shoes is so strong throughout the production that they deserve a spot in the credits…
5. The Man with One Red Shoe (1985): The ultimate movie about a friendly prank going terribly wrong, this adorable comedy follows Tom Hanks as he accidentally get’s followed by the CIA because he is wearing mismatched shoes (one of the shoes being red). Why was he wearing mismatched shoes? Because his so called buddy hid all of his shoes except for one mismatched pair. And why did the CIA begin to follow him? A terrible coincidence orchestrated by a crooked and desperate agent. Thus, comedy ensues! Plus this is “Big” and “Splash” Tom Hanks, when he is all fresh faced and adorable, not the puffy and serious Tom Hanks we know now. Enjoy him and his youth-like hilarity.
4. Marie Antoinette (2006): Ok, this movie is not about shoes. However, Sophia Coppola’s imaginative take on the historical character did involve a mouth watering montage of whimsical Manolo Blahnik shoes (which were said to be visually inspired by a package of macaroons). The sequence, set to the song “I Want Candy” displays the sheer overindulgence of royalty in this time period with women playing games, eating delectable desserts, trying on gowns, wigs, jewels and of course…shoes. It will make you cringe with jealousy and drool in awe. Either way, I dare you to walk away from the scene without being green eyed and satisfied.
3. The Red Shoes (1948): This one works on many levels. A tumultuous tale of love triangles, bright red ballet shoes, and the inner struggle between the true love of a companion and the true passion of stardom, this film is exciting, romantic and filled with dancing. Not to mention, in the film the young ballerina is cast in a ballet production called “The Red Shoes” which is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale of the same title. The fairytale is about a young girl who becomes so obsessed with her red shoes that they take hold of her and force her body to dance day and night without her control. Here’s the kicker (pun intended), the shoes are stuck to her feet so she can’t take them off to stop the dancing. Sounds like a great workout plan, if you ask me. (Note: there is also a great Japanese horror film by the same name about a cursed pair of red heels that when seen cause instant obsession and an overwhelming need to steal/obtain them. The problem is, side effects of obtaining and wearing the shoes include: death).
2.The Wizard of OZ (1939): All you have to do is put on a pair of Ruby red slippers and you can be transported into a world of Technicolor and flying monkeys? Count me in! This film is the ultimate in childhood fantasy. What young girl hasn’t been Dorothy for Halloween? (I was…twice). Not the mention the beauty, elegance and desirability of shimmering Ruby red slippers that enable one to travel to different dimensions! You won’t find those on sale at Nordstroms. This movie is timeless, and while it has been re-done in many shapes and fashions, in my mind nothing beats the original.
1. Cinderella (1950): Romantic and magical, I think the ultimate shoe movie has to be the Disney classic Cinderella. Again, this film has been done time and time again in different styles and mediums, but all in all the story remains the same. It’s all about that beautiful glass slipper. While there is no way a glass shoe could be comfortable, and god knows if I was ballroom dancing in one I would shatter the poor thing all over the floor, this glass slipper is not only Cinderella’s ticket to her one true love, but it is also her ticket out of slavery and poverty! Now that my friends is a shoe worth keeping. Especially if you get a fairy god mother included in the original price of the shoe, because New York car services and cabs are expensive and I would love my own personal stage coach to cart me from a to b.
P.S. Probably the only type of shoes there might not be a movie about it is Timberland work boots. Although, if you look closely, I’m sure you’ll see them in plenty of recent movies.
Today, when something monumental happens, it is standard practice to turn to the world wide web for a personal outlet of one’s commentary, usually via facebook, twitter or personal blogs. However, when it came to the announcement of Osama Bin Ladin’s confirmed death, Americans chose a different route: the official YouTube video for Miley Cirus’s pop anthem “Party in the USA”.
The chorus of the song does claim “Yeah, there’s a party in the USA”, while the rest of the lyrics paint a picture of a Southern girl visiting L.A., nervous about fitting in, her fears are immediately put to rest when she hears her favorite song on the radio.
Not exactly the same storyline of our country struggling to find and conquer a common enemy, but apparently many in the American public need only to spot the words “party” and “U.S.A” together in order to spark their sense of pride. The slew of comments include remarks like “USA! USA!” and “Playing this because Osama is dead. Proud to be an American!”. Check out the string of comments for yourself Americans chose a different route here.
While I don’t fully understand the choice of this particular song, I think it’s great that a silly Pop song can unite Americans and allow a place for celebrations of togetherness and commemorations for lost loved ones. Dare I say way to go Miley? I guess Pop music really can save the world….one terrible overproduced beat at a time.
Manolo says, it is Tuesday, time to see what the Manolo is reading…
Although the Manolo read this book the few months ago, he has returned to it this week, as it has finally been published in the United States.
We Had it So Good is nothing less than the biography of the whole generation of middle class peoples, telling the story of the Baby Boomers through the eyes of the Californian who settles in London and ages through the past forty years of tumult.
And yet, what the Manolo likes the best is that, even though the book is ambitious, it never forgets that it is about interesting individuals with individual and particular experiences. It is the entertaining story well told, and because of this it would be the good book for the intelligent book club, something that gives you much to consider and discuss, even as the story pulls you along.
So, you must read the We Had It So Good, it both very smart and very enjoyable.
Calling all slasher fans! If any of you loved the satirical classic Scream as much as I did (I know, I know…Scream 2 was decent and Scream 3 was an overall disaster, but the original was fantastic) I’m sure you’ve been counting down the days until our beloved heroine Sydney Prescott faces her masked murderer once again in Scream 4. Set to open this Friday, the film features a hot young updated cast (seeing as this sequel is 15 years after the original, the casting director clearly wanted some fresh blood to shed) along with the original trilogies survivors for what I can only assume will be a splendidly bloody feast for the eyes.
The Scream 4 premiere was held in Hollywood this week, and while many stars attended the event including classic Scream veteran survivors Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox, it was the younger Hollywood starlets that stole the spotlight on the blood red carpet. Hayden Panettiere in particular looked stunning in her crimson red cocktail dress. I think she exudes class and simple elegance with her subtle diamond earrings and classic black pumps. Fresh faced and appropriately covered (except of course exposing the occasional artery for optimal stabbing precision) she is a great reminder that not all of young Hollywood is a lost cause.
Good luck outrunning the killer in those high heels Hayden! I have to admit, she looks so great here that I almost don’t want to see her get sliced and diced by the good old Ghost faced killer. Perhaps he (or she? or they?) will be a slave to fashion and spare her for her wise choices? We’ll have to wait and see…
N.B. The Manolo’s friend Sarah (who has the new blog!) is back with yet another literary shoe moment which will edify and amuse.
The first shoes I remember wearing were Buster Browns. Every fall my mom would buy a brown pair for my brother, a red pair for my sister, and a blue pair for me. They looked, more or less, like this:
(It was the early 70s. Toddler-aged boys could wear this kind of thing their fathers worrying about some bizarre danger to their toddler-aged machismo. Darth Maul sneakers hadn’t been invented yet. Darth Maul hadn’t been invented yet. STAR WARS hadn’t been invented yet. I digress.)
For very special occasions, like church and birthday parties, my sister and I had patent leather mary-janes, like these.
They had soles so slick that Mom had to put strips of electrical tape on the bottom to keep us from wiping out on our way into the Sunday school room. To keep them shiny and prevent them from cracking, we rubbed them with a thin coat of Vaseline every now and again.
You’ll note that the striking thing about these shoes is their complete and utter tediousness. I suppose they’re classically good-looking, but they did nothing to set my poetic little heart on fire with a deep and abiding passion for the cobbler’s art.
No. For that awakening it was necessary, as it always has been, for me to turn to the revelations contained in a good book.
The book, in this case, was Louisa May Alcott’s An Old Fashioned Girl. (I bet at least one of you is already nodding and smiling. I can’t be the only one.) And the scene is this one:
“There’s one thing you must have, and that is, bronze boots,” said Fan, impressively.
“Why must I, when I’ve got enough without?”
“Because it’s the fashion to have them, and you can’t be finished off properly without. I’m going to get a pair, and so must you.”
“Don’t they cost a great deal?”
“Eight or nine dollars, I believe. I have mine charged; but it don’t matter if you haven’t got the money. I can lend you some.”
“I’ve got ten dollars to do what I like with; but it’s meant to get some presents for the children.” And Polly took out her purse in an undecided way.
“You can make presents easy enough. Grandma knows all sorts of nice contrivances. They’ll do just as well; and then you can get your boots.”
“Well; I’ll look at them,” said Polly, following Fanny into the store, feeling rather rich and important to be shopping in this elegant manner.
“Aren’t they lovely? Your foot is perfectly divine in that boot, Polly. Get them for my party; you’ll dance like a fairy,” whispered Fan.
Polly surveyed the dainty, shining boot with the scalloped top, the jaunty heel, and the delicate toe, thought her foot did look very well in it, and after a little pause, said she would have them.
And the picture. Oh my dears, the picture! (Yes, I still have my childhood copy of this novel. And yes, I knew exactly where it was. And yes, I remembered the picture in every tiny detail. It’s my Proustian madeleine, all right?)
Look at those shoes! They beat Buster Browns and mary-janes without even trying. That scalloped top! The curved heel! The instant sophistication! Not to mention the enticing, and to my childhood mind, utterly mysterious descriptor of them as “bronze.” Were they just bronze in color? Were they shiny and metallic like Mom’s fancy dress up sandals? Did they have metal tips on the toes like my tap shoes? What could bronze boots possibly be—beyond beautiful, unattainable, and forbidden?
My desire knew no bounds. It still doesn’t. Looking at that picture again…who wouldn’t want those shoes?
I should, perhaps, be more cautious in my lust. Because there is something about that scene I had forgotten. Because (since An Old-Fashioned Girl is that particular kind of nineteenth-century fiction for girls that, as Alcott put it, “is not intended as a perfect model, but as a possible improvement upon the Girl of the Period”) our Polly learns a sorrowful lesson after buying her boots.
It was all very delightful till she got home, and was alone; then, on looking into her purse, she saw one dollar and the list of things she meant to get for mother and the children. How mean the dollar looked all alone! and how long the list grew when there was nothing to buy the articles.
“I can’t make skates for Ned, nor a desk for Will; and those are what they have set their hearts upon. Father’s book and mother’s collar are impossible now; and I’m a selfish thing to go and spend all my money for myself. How could I do it?” And Polly eyed the new boots reproachfully, as they stood in the first position as if ready for the party. “They are lovely; but I don’t believe they will feel good, for I shall be thinking about my lost presents all the time,” sighed Polly, pushing the enticing boots out of sight.
Bronze boots were clearly going to lead me immediately down the path of temptation, sin, and financial irresponsibility.
I was doomed.
Happily, I am all but impervious to moral instruction, as my detailed recollection of the boots and complete failure to recall their intended lesson clearly indicates. To this day, I am on the alert for bronze boots, in the hopes of dancing like a fairy and looking perfectly divine.
And I swear I shall keep buying more shoes until I find them.
Johnny Depp was a presenter over the weekend at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and during his time on stage he proceeded to blow massive loads of green slime all over adoring children fans. Nothing wrong with that. Nope, not one bit. After all, it’s the innocence and naivety of children’s television shows and stars that make a rather suggestive act perfectly acceptable.
For example, take a look at teen star Taylor Momsen posing on the red carpet at the Kids Choice Awards:
The 17 year old starlet, also a presenter at the awards show, showed up looking appropriately bright eyed and innocent for the underage event. With her thick heavy black eyeliner, trashy extensions, and passive air of nonchalance, she is a prefect role model for today’s youth. The leather jacket and flimsy white tank work well with her black skinny jeans to construct a classic vampire-stripper-off-duty look. And the peeping fishnets that lead into those patent platforms are fit for a Suicide Girl. Why, she’s a glowing gem that any pre-teen hunk would love to bring home to mom.
In all seriousness, I’m just pleased that she put on a pair of pants for once.
The typical Momsen ensemble almost always includes a garter belt, some sort of corset top and platform heels. The fact that this look is considered “classing it up” for her is simply disturbing. People are commending her for this “improvement” whereas I just think she needs to be grounded until she gets an attitude adjustment. She is 17! And her fans are probably younger!
It’s teen stars like this that make Rebecca Black seem like a very viable option for the spotlight.
Manolo says, the Manolo’s internet friend, the Yum Yum, has pointed to high-spirited Finnish rock band known as the Leningrad Cowboys, who for the past twenty years have been wearing the pointy hair and the pointier shoes.
In 1993, they even did the concert with the Red Army Chorus, of which the video below is the amusing artifact.
To the Manolo, the pointy-toes and pompadours of the Leningrad Cowboys have more in common with the Japanese Rockabilly dancers as the obvious appropriation and exaggeration of the American rock iconography, while the sudden appearance of the botas exoticas of the baile tribal are more sui generis and mysterious.
But, the Manolo leaves it up to you to decide.
Manolo says, the entire interwebs are in the uproarious uproar over the ridiculous and inane pop video from the moderately untalented singing teen girl named Rebecca Black.
Frankly, the Manolo does not see what is about all of the fuss.
Yes, the lyrics are silly, and the girl’s voice, or what can be heard of it through the auto-tuning, is not especially good, and the rap break is perhaps the little bit creepy, but otherwise this is not even close to being the Worst Song Ever. Indeed, it admirably fulfills the pop necessity of catchieness, sticking in your head long after you wish it would go far, far away.
However, what the contrarian Manolo appreciates the most is that this video is so innocently innocent.
Rather than the hyper-sexualized Cryus-beast, gyrating lewdly to the salacious music, we have the real-life, dippy, thirteen-year-old girl innocently singing about hangin’ with her extra double dippy friends…
The video for the “Friday” is refreshing and honest and silly, and it makes the Manolo unexpectedly happy. There is none of that pose of adult dissipation and sexual knowingness that makes much of the teen pop music tiresome. It is just the silly fun video.
So, please, leave the Rebecca Black alone. She is having fun.
Manolo says, here is the French-flavored, imitation Motown to brighten the winter’s day.