Friday, May 24, 2013

Flash Back Friday #56-The movie Legend

In 1985 when I was 15 years old the fantasy film Legend was released and it's been a favorite of mine ever since. For a young girl who loves fairy tales as much as I do, this film has it all, a beautiful Princess, unicorns, a magic land, an evil villain and a love story. The entire movie is lushly filmed and the ethereal soundtrack with songs by Tangerine Dream, John Anderson from Yes and Bryan Ferry from Roxy Music sets the mood. The movie was considered a flop even though it starred a young Tom Cruise and was directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator and the famous Apple commercial from 1984).  However in the years since it's release on VHS and then DVD it's become a cult classic.

I read today that the brilliant actor Tim Curry was recovering from a stroke. Movie watchers know Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) or as Rooster in the movie version (1982) of Annie. I love him as both of those characters, but my favorite Tim Curry role is as Darkness in Legend. The clip below is fantastic, not only for the amazing costumes and makeup, but for Tim Curry's voice, when he says "All things change Lady. The dreams of youth are the regrets of maturity" I get chills. The black wedding dress worn by actress Mia Sara is the Halloween costume I have wanted to wear for over 25 years.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday 5 List #29-Recent Films I Enjoyed

I've watched some terrific movies lately, two are book-to-film adaptions and while the critics have hated on them, I loved them. So for today's Monday 5 list, here are my recent favorite films.

  1. The Great Gatsby. Directed by Baz Lurhmann this film version is lush and fantastic and mainly stays true to the book (with the exception of a completely un-necessary story for narrator Nick). Paul and I saw this in 3-D and loved it, even though the critics hated it. Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby is perfect and while Carey Mulligan doesn't have a lot of screen time, she is great as Daisy. The Great Gatsby is one of favorite books, so much so that last year Paul and I hosted a Great Gatsby Party. My wonderful son bought me a 1953 edition of the book this year for Mother's Day, he knows me so well. 
  2. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer. Produced by Tim Burton and adapted from the popular novel, this movie was surprisingly great. An action/horror movie about Abraham Lincoln's secret life of hunting vampires it's a wild ride mixing history with fantasy. The special effects are stunning, especially a chase scene atop horses and a fight scene on a runaway train. Lincoln fights with an ax and surprisingly this film is not as gory as it is humorously dark. 
  3. The Five-Year Engagement. Starring Emily Blunt and Jason Segal, this rom-com was sweet and happy. After getting engaged the couple relocates to Michigan from San Francisco and that is where the fun starts. Two great wedding scenes in parks I just visited in San Francisco made this movie even better for me. 
  4. W.E. Directed by Madonna, W.E. is the story of King Edward VIII who gave up the throne of England to marry the twice divorced Wallis Simpson. The story jumps back and forth between a modern day love story and the story of Edward and Wallis. The locations are beautiful and the legendary fashion and jewelry of Wallis are recreated for the film. Overall I though Madonna did a terrific job of showing that not every great love story has a perfect happy ending. 
  5. Tangled. Disney's version of Rapunzel is charming. A happier retelling of the dark fairy tale, a very spunky princess leaves her tower and has the adventure of a lifetime. While Disney still can't create a Prince worthy of a Princess who can take care of herself (with 1 exception, the Beast in Beauty and the Beast) this is still a fun film. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Once Upon a Time... a film by Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld (head director and designer at Chanel) has directed a short film starring Keira Knightley as Coco Chanel. Lagerfield is not much of a film maker and the models are definitely not actresses, but the fashion and jewelry are stunning.
It's worth a watch.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday 5 List #28-Summer Closet Essentials

It's that time of year when I switch out my closets from winter to summer clothes, shoes and accessories. The temperature in Chicago is expected to be near 85 degrees tomorrow, summer is almost here. So as many of us take our winter coats and sweaters to the cleaners before we store them away, I thought I would create a Monday 5, My Closet Essentials for Summer.
  1. Tom's Shoes. I have a grey pair of the classics that I've worn until you can see one of my toes. I love these shoes. They are comfortable, easy to wear and perfect to stuff in a bag or suitcase when traveling. Especially great when you've been in high heel sandals all day and your feet need a break. Average cost per pair is $55. 
  2. Blazer. Not the shoulder pad blazers from the 80's but a classic cut and style. I have a J Crew 3 button navy blazer that I absolutely live in. I travel with it, wear it to business meetings, dress up a pair of cuffed jeans and t-shirt or dress down a formal dress with it. Average price for a classic good quality blazer is approximately $150-$200 (J Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor) but I found mine at a resale store for a few dollars and it's in near perfect condition. For summer I also have a white J Crew blazer.
  3. Tank Tops and T-Shirts. Nice silk ones, silly ones picked up when traveling, tanks made from t-shirts, I have many. They are comfy, go with everything and they are perfect under a blazer, light jacket or sweater. Average price $25 at stores like Ann Taylor although I favor sweatshop free soft cotton t-shirts from American Apparel
  4. Dresses. I have a few go-to dresses for summer. Wrap dresses, LBD, print dresses and comfy ones for wandering Chicago street fairs in. Average price $40. 
  5. High Heels. I have more high heels than I care to admit, and many of them are neutral sandals for summer. My favorites are Franco Sarto, Steve Madden, Anne Klein, and BCB. You can't go wrong with a high heel with jeans, cigarette pants or a pencil skirt. Average price $60. 
Whatever your summer essentials are, I hope you are as excited about summer as I am, it's been a long winter in Chicago. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Reaching Forward Conference for Library Staff

I am presenting today at the Reaching Forward Conference in Rosemont, Illinois on business and job resources at the Library where I work. Reaching Forward is a one day conference for library staff and is an excellent opportunity for learning and networking in the profession. If you are interested in business and career resources at libraries please contact me at livelylibrarian at or follow me on Twitter at @LivelyLibrarian

Photo: Co-presenters, Emily Kornak and Shannon Scanlan, Business Librarians at public libraries near Chicago