Wednesday, 13 May 2015

A new series: Five flicks for May

Since 2013, I've been writing about my five reads for each month (well, almost monthly), and now I have a new series for the blog.

The boys and I moved into our new house in March and I was reluctant to launch into the usual TV/DVD set up ensconced in the corner of the living room. Instead, we spent a month or so with just laptop or iPad screens to fulfil the need for culture. My kids surprised me by actually using their imaginations - drawing, playing, messing about in the garden. It was refreshing. But I found myself going to bed as soon as they were asleep, taking my laptop with me and nodding off with a box set on in the background. I barely used the living room.

So, it was time to re-think. We were given a hand-me-down DVD player by my parents, and a friend offered us her old telly. And then Netflix asked us to be part of their Stream Team. A box arrived with Apple TV and a year of Netflix for us to enjoy. What better opportunity to start this new series?

Five flicks will introduce the films, television shows and documentaries I've been enjoying. I'll be selecting a range of gems from various sources, all of which will be available to stream or download according to your own set up. Of course, you'll need decent broadband.

So, this month's five flicks picks... From the looks of things, I'm going through a fashion/Paris/nineties kinda phase. Nowt wrong with any of that.

Dior and I (I rented this from iTunes)

What happens when a new creative director is appointed to head up one of the oldest, most iconic fashion houses in Paris? Dior and I tells the story of Raf Simons and the six weeks of incredible work that went into the creation of his first couture collection for Dior. Going inside the intimate atmosphere of the atelier feels such a privilege, and the contrast between the quiet, methodical craft in the lead up and the presentation of the show itself is astounding. I think I'd have given anything to be at that show.

Frances Ha

Oh, Frances. This is a beautiful film about a dancer trying to make it in New York. But that description doesn't do it justice in any way. Shot in black and white, there is something so tragic and heartbreaking about Frances as we follow her journey from New York to Paris and back again, and in and out of dance troupes and flats and peoples' lives. Kinda Woody Allen-ish, it's funny and exquisite, messy and dazzling.

The September Issue

Well, if ever there was a film about office politics this is it. Anna Wintour (known to her staff as Nuclear Wintour - best nickname ever) and Grace Coddington spend six months battling it out planning the September 2007 issue of American Vogue, the most lucrative and influential of the year. This film offers access to this closed world of money and beauty and tension. It's fascinating. Look out for Anna's daughter and her attitude towards the fashion industry.


One of my very favourite films from the nineties, Clueless stars Alicia Silverstone as spoilt LA teenager Cher as she navigates her way through high school relationships. Alicia is a brilliant comic actor - way underrated, as Cher might say - and the language of the film is just genius. (I just wish this print was still available.) And, of course, the fashion worn by Cher and her school friends is completely bonkers.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I think it's fairly safe to say that anything Tina Fey does is golden, isn't it? Fey co-created and stars in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a made-for-Netflix series about the life of Kimmy after her rescue from a doomsday cult in Indiana. Not exactly the most uplifting subject matter you might think, but this show is all laughs.

What are you watching at the moment? Leave me a comment with your recommendations, I'd love to know.

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post. 
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