Beige favourite and ex-Vegas showgirl Miss Hope Springs has been hard at work filming her latest music video, January Jones, and it has just been released upon the masses.
Sashaying through London’s Piccadilly Circus and wondering the art deco corridors of Brasserie Zedel and The Crazy Coqs, Miss Springs delivers yet another a breathtaking performance.
If you have not yet had the pleasure of attending Miss Spring’s ‘Latin ala Springs’ Sunday Soiree at The Crazy Coqs we strongly recommend you do so. Sundays will never be the same again.
Leslie ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson is not a name known to many people today. Only 42 people attended his funeral when he died, in poverty, in 1969. His sad end was a world away from his glory days in the 1920s and 30s, when he was one of the most popular cabaret stars in the world.
Everything changed, however, when he entered into a scandalous affair with Lady Edwina Mountbatten, the wife of the Queen’s cousin. Edwina’s law suit against the People newspaper for libel led to Hutch being shunned by the high society that he had once had access to.
Joe Evans’ musical play, set to some of Cole Porter’s most evocative music, takes the Mountbatten affair as its focal point, delving into a secret history that shattered the social mores of the time.
The first act introduces us to Hutch and his mentor Cole Porter. The young black singer sits at the piano as Porter coaches him on the art of performance and love. Their clandestine affair is then played out in Zelli’s Night Club in swinging Paris.
Newcomer, Sheldon Green, is well cast as Hutch. He’s an accomplished piano player and singer and gracefully inhabits the complex man who was doomed to always use ‘the tradesman’s entrance’, but captivated both men and women with his charisma and, allegedy gargantuan penis.
Baz Luhrman’s highly anticipated film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic, The Great Gatsby, finally arrives after opening this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Originally slated for a release last Christmas, it was pulled so it can be tinkered with. Maybe someone should have stopped him because this is a film that suffers from excess. It is most certainly a case of style over substance and it weighs the film down massively.
Advised by a doctor treating him for alcoholism to write about why he started drinking, aspiring writer and wannabe broker Nick Carraway starts to tell the story of the enigmatic Jay Gatsby, a man whose life is legendary and who owns the big house next to his on the banks of a lake outside New York in the 20s. Holding party after party for the rich, famous and glamorous, Gatsby’s life is incredibly secretive, but he does long for one thing – the love of a woman he lost years before, Nick’s cousin, Daisy Buchanan, who is married to the unfaithful businessman, Tom. When Nick invites Daisy for tea so Jay can meet her again, the sparks fly and soon Jay insists that she leaves her husband. Tragedy, however, is just around the corner.
Luhrmann’s method has always been to throw every visual trick in the book at the screen to see what sticks. He is as visual as he is an auditor. This is perfectly fine for a film like Moulin Rouge, which demands colour and spectacle. A story like Gatsby, however, which is more about character and situation needs to be handled with a lighter touch and Luhrmann really isn’t the man. The palate of colour is impressive as are the CGI effects, but it just feels wrong for such a famous and highly respected novel. It’s as if he has no confidence in the source material.
So we are zoomed in and out of various locations, from the overcrowded streets of New York, to the crammed parties that Gatsby throws. The editing is so fast and so dazzling that you almost risk a headache as you try to follow what is going on. Some of the images are beautifully shot, but you aren’t given time to fully appreciate them and adding to this visceral explosion is the 3D, which frankly starts off fine but soon becomes pointless as you don’t really notice it.
Then there’s the music. Luhrmann has always been a man who celebrates using a modern soundtrack to his material. It worked wonders on the ground-breaking Romeo and Juliet but here, supplied by rap superstar, Jay Z, it feels misplaced. It’s as if it has been shoehorned in to make the film seem that much hipper.
With so much visual and audio going on, the performances almost become drowned out. As the narrator and general eyes and ears of the piece Tobey Maguire is perfectly fine but he isn’t given anything to stretch his acting abilities. This is a walk in the park for him and while he’s effective enough, it doesn’t surprise or amaze you. As the husband who cheats on Daisy yet refuses to let her go, Joe Edgerton, who we know is a decent actor from films like Animal Kingdom, gives us a one-dimensional Tom Buchanan and seems badly miscast. Isla Fisher, as Tom’s mistress, is full of energy but isn’t given enough screen time to make a massive impression, while virtual newcomer, Elizabeth Debricki, makes for a very sassy Jordan Baker, Daisy’s friend and gold pro.
As Daisy, Carey Mulligan has the right look for the period – she’s a sweet, pretty thing with big brown eyes, but she fails to excel in the part. It’s merely a passable performance from an actress we know can deliver.
Which leads us to Leonardo DiCaprio. It seems as if Gatsby is the part he was born to play. With his boyish good looks, his screen charisma and charm, he appears to have a much better understanding of the character and the story than anyone. Gatsby is a broken man before the start and DiCaprio captures that brilliantly. He pretends to be happy but underneath he is a man crumbling. DiCaprio has all guns a-blazing and if there was one reason to see this film, he is it. It’s one of his finest performances and manages to lift above the glitz and glitter that Luhrmann dunks every scene in.
I really wanted to like The Great Gatsby. I liked Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet anbd Moulin Rouge, but unfortunately this is heading in the same direction as his film Australia. Yes, there are plenty of effects, snappy shots and quick editing, but this only messes with the pace and you end up with a film that, while flashy, never delivers anything above superficial. Sometimes, all that glitters ain’t gold.
Words: Stuart Wren
Yesterday evening saw the award winning US singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey fill the Hammersmith Apollo for the first of her two night run at the west London venue.
There were no cheap stage gimmicks, costume changes or dancers but instead the toned-leg-revealing Del Rey opted for a simple white baby doll style dress and an Art Deco inspired stage set. Palm trees and candelabras flanked the peripherals to bring the ‘paradise’ element to the show, as per the title of her rereleased debut album titled ‘Born to Die’.
Del Rey effortlessly worked her way through her impressive repertoire of hits including Blue Jeans, National Anthem, Ride and Video Games, her first single which catapulted her on to the global stage.
The demure singer left the stage on several occasions to join those avid fans who had no doubt camped outside to secure their spaces at the front of the floor space, collecting gifts and conversing with her adoring audience along the way.
At times whilst performing it appeared as if she was almost overwhelmed by the reaction of the audience.
Del Rey said “Some people think I’ve come here to do a show. I’ve just come to see my friends.” This yielded a roar from the crowd. She also thanked London for the past three years of support saying “this is where it all began, where I made my record, and I’ve been waiting for so long to come and play here again”.
Del Rey’s latest single ‘Young and Beautiful’ is on the soundtrack to the newly released Baz Luhrmann reincarnation of The Great Gatsby and was a sure-fire crowd pleaser.
Her album “Born To Die” has sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide. She has also recently been the face of the new Jaguar F-Type car, H&M fashion and has had the rare accolade of having a Mulberry bag named after her.
Lana Del Rey performs at the Hammersmith Apollo again this evening.
Tickets from £25.
Words: Barry Johnston
“People have often mistaken me for a man. But I am all woman to me! But what’s a woman supposed to feel like? I like hard things. I like soft things. I go feminine, I go masculine. I change roles in life. I am both.”
Can you believe that Grace Jones turns 65 today? We can only hope that we look half as good as her when we reach that age.
In celebration of the unstoppable force that is Ms Jones and as Lovebox is just around the corner, today’s video of the day is her incredible hula hooping performance of ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ at last years festival.
Grace Jones, ‘keep it up’! Happy Birthday!
We literally cannot wait for Disclosure’s debut album ‘Settle’ to be released early next month and if ‘White Noise’ featuring Aluna George and the latest single ‘You and Me’ featuring Eliza Doolittle are anything to go by it’s going to be goodie!
The video makes us want to leave everything behind and head off on an epic European road trip.
Are you joining us?
It’s Friday afternoon and we’re just about ready to wrap up for the week but before we go… Steve Aoki has been announced as the final piece of SW4 Sunday main stage puzzle. We thought it only fitting that this tune, featuring the incredible Iggy Azalea, be our song of the day.
If you haven’t already seen this then where have you been hiding? Respect to Kylie for always being game, this time by taking the piss in a spoof of the childhood classic, as seen on Funny or Die earlier this week. If this makes you smile then cast your mind back to Kylie’s Agent Provocateur ad a few years back…HOT!
Just like the night of Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance, Kelly Rowland is back with a vengeance!
In her latest single ‘Dirty Laundry’ off her new album Talk A Good Game, Ms. Rowland steps out from underneath Beyonce’s shadow and bares her soul to the cyber-world.
Kelly throws down a slow jam, confessing to being caught in a spin cycle over some abusive asshole and her gifted sister. She sings: ‘Bitter-sweet, she was up, I was down. Forget the records, off the record, I was going through some bull-shit.’
‘When you make pain look this good it never wears out…’ Ms. Rowland, if this is torture, chain the Beige Boys to the wall!
Bullett magazine said it best: Kelly Rowland singing ‘let’s do this dirty laundry’ ‘sounds like a chore, but, like most-house cleaning duties, we tend to feel a lot better once we get it out of the way. Except cleaning the toilet, that shit is gross.’
Words: Jean Paul Zapata
This banji beyatch has it goin’ on!
Say hello to Sharaya J, who under the wing of Missy Elliott brings you her first single BANJI.
For a recent show Sharaya J was styled by STUDmuffin NYC, who we featured previously as a Designer Profile on Beige.