Saturday, 30 October 2010

Strip waxing boutique

O-M-to-the-G! I have finally found my favourite waxing spot. I have been to many many waxing salons over the years on my quest for the perfect wax. There are some other commendable ones out there, which I will mention in another post, but for now I must tell you all about this fantastic hair removal boutique!

First, the rooms: each is themed to a particular type of wax that Strip uses. I was taken to the Chocolate room, which is decorated with gold and brown striped wallpaper and gold-gilt framed pictures of partly unwrapped chocolate bars! There is also a small plasma TV in each room, which is a great distraction from the waxing process and a good ice-breaker for anyone embarrassed by stripping off in front of their beautician! I watched Date Night during my wax, which was hilarious and provided some conversation with my beautician, Samantha. The other rooms include Berry, Olive and Manifico (for men).

Friday, 22 October 2010

The 54th BFI Film Festival - Two Gates of Sleep

Two Gates of Sleep is beautifully shot, zooming in on Nature's intricate details, then panning out to bright cloudy skies. The dialogue is sparse so that each word counts, as with poetry. Despite the short script, Brady Corbet and David Call still manage to portray a vast amount of information and insight into their characters' lives.

In the film, Corbet and Call play two brothers living in a remote shack on the Louisiana-Mississippi border. The second half of the film is taken up with the emotionally and physically tiring journey of the two brothers carrying their mother's coffin to lay her to rest in the woods. The title's reference to Homer's Odyssey highlights the difference between the two brothers and how they deal with their mother's death.  

The director, Alistair Banks Griffin, referenced Japanese and French cinema of the 50s and 60s as his inspiration. This may all sound far too pretentious and 'arty farty' for some readers but this film is certainly worth seeing for the cinematography alone.


AB x

Thursday, 21 October 2010


The Ladurée tea room at the back of Harrods is an elegant Parisian haven in the heart of London. Their light sandwiches with neat stacks of thick-cut chips are delightful for girly lunches.

It is their macaroons, though, that are truly iconic. Delicate and full of flavour, with perfectly creamy centres, Ladurée macaroons are heavenly. Rows and rows of the divine sweets are lined up behind the counter in the shop. Pistachio, rose, liquorice or vanilla - the choice is endless but whichever you choose I can assure you it will melt in your mouth in a burst of flavour.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The 54th BFI London Film Festival - The Great White Silence

The Great White Silence - a film telling the story of Captain Scott's team's heroic 1910 expedition to the South Pole - was debuted at the Gala Archive night. As is tradition with silent films, the viewing featured live music from Simon Fisher Turner's new score featuring Simon Fisher Turner, the Elysian Quartet, David Coulter and Alexander L'Estrange.

This film was painstakingly restored by the BFI archive team in conjunction with the Discovery Channel, exactly as requested in the cameraman and director Herbert Ponting's original 1924 edit. Ponting went to courageous (and often, downright crazy) lengths to provide the English public with never-before-seen footage. The film features slides of text from his notes and diary, including detailed information on Scott and his team's tragic journey, the team's fantastic sense of humour as well as awesome footage of the icy landscape and its incredible inhabitants. I learned a huge amount about the lifestyle of the Adélie penguins and the Antarctic seals.

The film is due to be released on DVD and shown on the Discovery Channel in 2011. Not only is the film fascinating and moving but I think we owe it to Scott, his team and Ponting to see this film to benefit from the footage from the expedition for which the Polar Team sacrificed their lives.


AB x

Saturday, 16 October 2010

The 54th BFI Film Festival - I Am Kalam

I Am Kalam is a heart-warming film with an important message. Based on the traditional tale of the Prince and the Pauper, Nila Madhab Panda's film tells the story of a poor boy, working in a road-side chai stall, with a humble dream: to go to school.

The film is backed by the NGO Smile and profits will go to the excellent cause of Indian's education system.

Madhab Panda was incredibly humble when he kindly stayed behind after the film to hear comments and answer questions. He was also commendably cheery, despite having had to mortgage and subsequently sell his house to fund the film. It certainly has the AB stamp of approval - spread the word!


AB x

The 54th BFI London Film Festival - Conviction

This October marks the 54th annual British Film Institute Festival. For two weeks every Autumn, the BFI showcases a fantastic range of films, including incredible selections from its archive.

Conviction was the first one in my diary for this year's festival. Hilary Swank's commendable performance resulted in a deeply moving film. Conviction is based on a true story of a man, Kenny Waters, jailed for 18 years for a crime he did not commit. His sister (Swank) devotes her life to freeing him and, after qualifying as a lawyer, she believes she has found the answer. I do not want to spoil the plot as I urge you to see this for yourselves!