Archive for the ‘Ohh…’ Category

What we learned from Anna Karenina, the Garbo version…

Posted by Winifred on December 19th, 2013  •  No Comments »

image

We have been perplexed for some time now about the star status of a certain actress by the name of Greta Garbo. Try as we may, we just cannot understand the appeal of her, not now, not then. Once in a while we tune in for one of her films, in the hopes that this will be the one to help explain it all, and each time we only become more mystified. To start, there are her looks, not in any way beautiful, though we see where attempts were made to sway us with photography. Soft focus, specific angles and heavy contouring to help widen the eyes and narrow the nose. But it never works for us. All we see is a rather large, squarish head, scandinavian coldness and a sluggish carriage that bespeaks of the awkwardness expected of a much taller woman, someone not quite accustomed to her physique.

image

Garbo is shockingly androgynous, unfeminine, not glamorous in a way that is particularly startling considering the era in which she was a star. The 1920s and 30s were the time of Louise Brooks, Claudette Colbert, Marlene Dietrich, Carole Lombard, Bette Davis. All were actresses who made me love this era, the fashion, the glamour, the decadence of being a woman. We cannot understand how during a time of hyper femininity, a woman of Garbo’s rather dour constitution could have broken through to become a star.

image

Our confusion was only furthered upon seeing Garbo’s performance in Anna Karenina. Having first seen Vivien Leigh, it would naturally be difficult to have enthusiasm for another Anna – though the most recent Keira Knightley version was worth being made for the dance sequence with Count Vronsky alone. Vivien’s Anna conveyed vulnerability, softness, charm and glamour, making it obvious why Vronsky would fall for her over Kitty. Garbo lacked all these things and from the beginning conveyed only the sad, defeated side of Anna. We never felt the levity, the flirtation, the thrill of the lovers’ early meetings. We were never sold on any great passion, though granted, Fredric March was an awful choice for Vronsky.

The tragic, grand love, damsel in distress aspects of Anna Karenina were intended for a lady, a soft, gentle woman, everything we find that Garbo is not. It makes it rather difficult for us to see her even as a good actress as there is no movement, no dimension, no fluidity to her. Thus what we have learned is that we do not accept the appeal of Garbo as a star. We will no longer make the effort to see her films, in fact we’re rather inclined to avoid them. We re-learned that it is okay to go against the tide. We never liked ‘Moulin Rouge’, we never approved of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar win for ‘Shakespeare in Love’, we do not find Nobu to be the best sushi, we do not care for the Marc Jacobs line of clothes.

How satisfying to trust again in one’s own tastes…

Images via Wikipedia, Biography, The Guardian

Posted in : Classic Films, Ohh...  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Eiwit Zeep

Posted by Winifred on August 3rd, 2012  •  No Comments »

We had heard rumors.  It was not only one of our favorite food items, it was also beautifying.  Stir, apply, let it harden, then rinse.  That is what we heard.  But we found it messy.  It seemed the kind of effort one makes once, but can never quite work into a routine.  But suddenly, it appears, there might be a way.  Moisten, lather, then rinse.  No drip, no cracks, no drying, no waste.  Wouldn’t it be delicious if perhaps it also had a nice scent?

Eggwhite Soap

Via Everbrite Mercantile Co

Posted in : Ohh...  • 

Tomorrow people, where is your past?

Posted by Winifred on November 11th, 2010  •  No Comments »

We will always remember that first week, those days before it really sunk in.  Those first days when we were transported to our new reality.  The days of discovery, where nothing was quite like what we had ever known, but before we knew it never would be again.  We will always remember the first taste of Apple Jacks cereal, Velveeta cheese, the overwhelming taste of smooth, rich peanut butter.  Those wide streets, all those cars, the very tall buildings, and of course English everywhere.  We had landed in America, Spijkenisse we had left behind.  This was the future though we did not recognize any of it – not the sounds, not the flavors, nor the landscape.  And there was nothing to cradle our passage to the other side.  There was no one to speak Dutch to us those first days of school when we did not understand a word that was spoken, a single word written.  There was no going back to Nederland.  If we wanted to see anyone we had ever known, it would require a 10 hour plane ride to do so.  Those early days, when the past seemed irretrievable…It would seem then – now perched 25 stories high, here where the buildings are as tall as ever, the streets as crowded as if each day there was a parade, here where we indulge our many American ways – that the past had left us.  Instead it is what we find ourselves continually returning to.  We have never felt closer to our Dutch and Surinaams beginnings.  We find our beginnings integral to how we chart our course.  It defines our soul – we continue to weave it into the pattern that is our walk in life.  Thus we question, what happens to the soul when the past is shoved aside and the future becomes some menacing statement as if meant to erase history?  What happened to Eindhoven?

massimiliano fuksas: de blob

De blob reminds us of the Stephen King novel, “Under the Dome.”  It looks like a force field, dark and foreboding.  Eindhoven appears as if it were occupied by something rather than that it had invited in an expansive new design.  We wish for Eindhoven not to abandon her story, we wish for her to stay close to it…

Posted in : Ohh...  •  Tags: ,

In a New York apartment, maybe?

Posted by Winifred on December 6th, 2009  •  No Comments »

So we’re finding ourselves a bit uninspired these days. Our thirst for beauty is not being met though we admit to perhaps not being entirely in the best place to receive it.

Our mood

has rather

mirrored

The dark celebration of Gehard Demetz

The dark celebration of Gehard Demetz

We feel grumpy. We feel annoyed. We feel disappointed that we were not exactly blown away by Dutch Design Week. We could barely bring ourselves to discuss it. Amidst all this cleverness we found ourselves wandering in search of beauty like Arctic explorers in a blinding snowstorm…But in our detached and barely awake for it state, we noticed something that someone living in New York could certainly appreciate.

Badkast by Anna van der Lei

Badkast by Anna van der Lei

Though this bath within a closet perked us up, we can’t be certain we would entrust to it some of our more precious wardrobe pieces…

Posted in : Ohh..., Seven Deadly Sins  •  Tags: ,

Pixelated Chair

Posted by admin on May 22nd, 2009  •  No Comments »

pixelated-chair

Pixelated Chair By Studio Makkink & Bey

Via Design Boom

Ah…the Dutch. Clever, liberated, progressive, open. Intellectually curious about all cultures, history and creativity. Humanitarians? Yes, Internationale Zamenwerking tells us just how so. As does a very relaxed justice system. It is fitting then that Studio Makkink & Bey would create this project titled ‘A Poor Haute Couture,’ a commentary on consolidation in the luxury market and the left over materials that are normally not of interest in design. We wondered: was it the landscape free of a death penalty that allowed this chair to take shape? Our first glance made us shiver, our second glance made us confused, our third made us blush a little. Though we like this free form design, unplanned and unstructured, we continue to feel a bit of anxiety. Is the overeenkomst with the electric chair apparent to us alone?

Posted in : Ohh...  •  Tags: ,

Perspective Chair

Posted by admin on April 29th, 2009  •  1 Comment »

It’s called Perspective. It was designed by Pharrell Williams in collaboration with Domeau & Pérès. The chair represents the love between a woman and man.
Perspective Chair by Pharrell Williams

Perspective Chair by Pharrell Williams

Occasionally we suffer bouts of self importance that lead us to believe the designer should tailor their work to match our tastes and desires rather than their own. Such is the case with this chair. Though not Dutch, not particularly clever and not quite beautiful, we were moved by the perspective. But for all the innuendo of this design, we are mostly left cold. We suspect we could be far more likely seduced by a chair that exudes warmth and passion in its craftsmanship; something that gives us the sense that the designer’s own hands touched it, assembled it and carved his vision to life. This chair makes us want for the warmth of wood, the seduction of black, the strength of an epoxy finish, the passion of manual labor. We wish to commission a re-make.

Posted in : Ohh...  •  Tags: , ,