Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy 21st, Hayden!

Sandy's Story

One of the big disappointments for me of The Runaways was how it shuffled the late Sandy West off to the side and gave her a cameo in a story that, in my opinion, really starts with her. Someone pointed me to this great LA Weekly piece that tells Sandy's tragic story, from the high of the Runaways to the lows of her addictions to her untimely death from cancer. If you're interested in her story, you should check out the piece. It's long, but it's worthwhile.

Friday, August 20, 2010

My 100 Favorite Playmates, Part V

20. Kathy Shower (5/85)

19. Cindy Fuller (5/59)

18. Stacy Leigh Arthur (1/91)

17. Linda Forsythe (2/70)

16. Miriam Gonzalez (3/01)

15. Anna Nicole Smith (5/92)

14. Heather M. Carolin (4/02)

13. Dorothy Stratten (8/79)

12. Victoria Valentino (9/63)

11. Shannon Tweed (11/81)

10. Nicole Narain (1/02)

9. Marilyn Cole (1/72)

8. Dolly Read (5/66)

7. Maria McBane (5/65)

6. Marguerite Empey (5/55 and 2/56)

5. Hiromi Oshima (6/04)

4. Alice Denham (7/56)

3. Cynthia Myers (12/68)

2. Azizi Johari (6/75)

1. Elizabeth Ann Roberts (1/58)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

MasterChef

Not much to say here; this show hasn't quite captured my attention the way Hell's Kitchen does. But I did want to say that I found the Chinese food challenge quite annoying. Joe Baby-bitch had a little hissy fit when everyone's dish was boring. What a shock: amateur chefs with no experience cooking Chinese food aren't sure how to make interesting Chinese food.

Give me a break.

My 100 Favorite Playmates, Part IV

40. Colleen Shannon (1/04)

39. Joyce Nizzari (12/58)

38. Lillian Muller (8/75)

37. Ida Lungqvist (3/08)

36. Rusty Fisher (4/56)

35. Deanna Baker (5/72)

34. Claudia Jennings (11/69)

33. Janet Pilgrim (7/55, 12/55 and 10/56)

32. Elaine Paul (8/60)

31. Neferteri Shepherd (7/00)

30. Christa Speck (9/61)

29. Madeline Castle (10/54)

28. Scarlett Keegan (9/04)

27. Teri Weigel (4/86)

26. Jennifer Liano (5/70)

25. Holly Witt (11/95)

24. Fran Gerard (3/67)

23. Laura Misch (2/75)

22. Avis Kimble (11/62)

21. Kata Karkkainen (11/88)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Film Week

A review of the film I've seen this week. (Becca's been on vacation so I haven't been watching much.)

VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR (2008)
It's hard to describe this documentary. It's formless, but I don't say that to criticize it negatively. Director Matt Tyrnauer is not a filmmaker, but a Vanity Fair correspondent, and as such I think he's able to resist the temptation to shoehorn his film into a narrative it doesn't really need. Instead, he lifts the curtain and watches what turn out to be the last days of couture. And I found that aspect of the film surprisingly interesting: we watch as a corporation takes over the legacy of Valentino, the last remaining house of 20th Century luxury fashion, and cringe as we're told that, like Pierre Cardin before him, Valentino is going to be turned into another processor of profit-friendly garbage. The film also shows us a man who can be demanding and occasionally fiery, but who somehow comes across as unpretentious and genuine. He's a man who loves clothing beautiful women; he's not trying to make edgy statements, he's just doing what he loves and being who he is. There's a fascinating glimpse into Valentino's creative process--from a quick sketch to an army of unsung seamstresses to the final creation--that shows a man with inherent talent who is serious about his work but not about himself. He enjoys his life and what it has brought him.

The best aspect of the film is his relationship with longtime partner Giancarlo Giammetti. Seeing these old Italian men, clearly in love with one another (even in love with fighting one another), just being together is such a treat. They're so comfortable as a couple, they understand one another so thoroughly, and their life is the life of something built together, not the life of two separate people who live in the same home. I think watching Valentino and Giancarlo live and breathe and work and appreciate one another is the real emotional center of this film. Watch the scene where Valentino, accepting the Legion of Honor, is overcome when he acknowledges that his life and his career would never have amounted to much without Giancarlo at his side. Valentino: The Last Emperor is an emotional profile that doesn't need to be defined and put in perspective and tested by the story requirements of a narrative. And I think it's what makes this documentary as surprisingly special as it is. **** stars.

My 100 Favorite Playmates, Part III

60. Sharon Rogers (1/64)

59. Carrie Radison (6/57)

58. Madeleine & Mary Collinson (10/70)

57. Amanda Paige (10/05)

56. Margie Harrison (1/54 and 6/54)

55. Bebe Buell (11/74)

54. Heather Kozar (1/98)

53. Erika Eleniak (7/89)

52. Laura Young (10/62)

51. Judy Monterey (1/63)

50. Lorraine Michaels (4/81)

49. Majken Haugedal (10/68)

48. Elaine Reynolds (10/59)

47. Kia Drayton (12/06)

46. Lorrie Menconi (2/69)

45. Regina Deutinger (4/08)

44. Willy Rey (2/71)

43. Victoria Silvstedt (12/96)

42. Marilyn Lange (5/74)

41. Helena Antonaccio (6/69)