Ned Benson’s The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby

The-Disappearance-Of-Eleanor-Rigby-Jessica-Chastain

James-McAvoy-Jessica-Chastain

our friend ned benson’s movie(s), the disappearance of eleanor rigby, starring jessica chastain and james mcavoy, is going wide this friday to major cities all over the country for the HIM and HER versions (which is pretty cool – maybe catch both if you are in a dilemma). guaranteed to provide a strong emotional experience… by fp

the jaguar xj6c: the ultimate coup

“the xj6c, the rare collectible classic, remains one of, if not the best value for money classic cars available today.”

if there is one car to own before you die it is the jaguar xj6c sports coupe. it is so extremely well proportioned i could call it one of my most favorite cars. its not as famous as the classic e-type series I, II, or II but for me its a lesser appreciated child who is just as smart and handsome. a silver with a black roof will do me just fine. be prepared to change the entire engine, electrical system but otherwise your set to cruise in style.

some history on the xjc: “the xjc is a two door version of the xj6 four door. it was the last jaguar car to be designed and built by sir william lyons. in 1969, he took a reject 2.8 litre rhd xj6 body shell (to become #1 prototype) and fashioned it into the xjc. it was tried with both 4.2 and 5.3 engines with both versions becoming known as xj33 or xj34, depending on which engine was fitted at the time. this number one prototype was supposed to be scrapped but somehow it escaped the crushers. after spending a few years in england it has been fully restored and now resides in western australia.

there was a total of only 10,426 cars produced

the jaguar public would have to wait 4 more years before production xjcs could be seen. they were first shown in september of 1973 at the London motor shows but they had to wait a total of 6 years (1975) for the first production model. prior to going into production about 20 prototypes were hand built in a combination of rhd and lhd. 1973 was the busiest year with 14 of these hand built specials being produced, 8 in lhd and 6 in rhd. the two door coupe is based on the shorter wheelbase xj series l platform. without the central window pillars the coupe body suffered from two main problems, these being structural rigidity and severe wind noise. the widening and strengthening of the rear window pillar overcame the rigidity problem.

daimler sovereign and the daimler double six

when the xj coupes arrived, they were clearly meant to be the sporty version of the xj models. in the uk, europe, south africa, new zealand and australia they were offered in four versions: jaguar 4.2c; jaguar 5.3c; daimler sovereign and the daimler double six. in the north american market, xjc’s were only offered in two forms and were badged as the jaguar xj6c and jaguar xj12c. daimler xjcs were never imported into the us. another basic difference between the two markets was the bumper bars. north america had large rubber bumper bars to comply with crash regulations, whilst the rest of the world had the full chrome bumpers. in the uk market, air conditioning and a manual transmission were optional, as were the choice of leather or cloth seats. all coupes were equipped with a black vinyl roof as standard equipment, except for the one that was specially produced for jaguars andrew whyte. the actual reason for the standard vinyl roof was not clear, but contrary to urban legend it was not because there was a welded seam in the roof!

most likely it was because the marketing folks insisted on it, as vinyl roofs were the flavor of the month in the automotive industry at that time. whatever the case, many present day owners have chosen to remove this feature. sadly the production of the xjc was all too short. after commencement in 1975 the last of these great vehicles rolled off the line in november 1977. the final 96 coupes were actually badged as 1978 cars – for whatever reason is anybody’s guess. the xjc was a victim of the times and was never really given the attention or backing it deserved. paradoxically this has helped the xjc to become the rare collectible classic it is today, although prices have never reached the dizzy heights achieved by the e type. it remains one of, if not the best value for money classic cars available today. to this day, the xjc is jaguars only two-door fixed head coupe saloon.”  by dd

the kate bush story


yes i used to have a few early kate bush albums, and yes i had a sort of love / hate relationship with the songs. they at once captivated and annoyed you but they stayed in there somewhere, because she was truly original. at the time, many mocked her silly theatrics and high pitched voice, but who could they talk about in the 80’s if not kate. the chart music at the time was quite drab. in later years she did became a bit too schmaltzy and common-romantic but she found herself after a long rest away from the lime-light and came back with a truly original album in “50 words for snow”.

now… years later i had to repurchase some of her tracks, namely her early work, wuthering heights, which itself has a lovely video with kate looking as chic as anyone in a current fashion shoot would hope to (again you can forgive the silly wide-shots with the awkward legs). in any case, come what may, she was a special someone for sure, and a true stand-out in a sea of deep fried pop. the credit goes to pink floyds david gilmour who practically discovered her and signed her up with his record company at the time. looking her up i found this documentary by bbc, the kate bush story 2014, which i think any kate bush acquaintance may find of interest. i had a bit of a hard time after 24 minutes until the very end as this in between time was a bit embarrassing in my opinion, but take a look and see. enjoy. by ac

serge gainsbourg and jane birkin photo exhibit

the show at proud  is an intimated documentation of serge gainsbourg and jane birkin’s early years seen through the eyes of janes brother andrew, a photographer who was working with stanley kubrick in paris at the time when jane met serge. the show is up from 11th september to 26th october if in london be sure to see it.

some snippets: in february 1969, a french singer-songwriter released a duet with his british girlfriend. featuring sexual allusions including groaning and heavy breathing, the song was banned in several countries and denounced by the vatican. je t’aime… moi non plus was recorded by serge gainsbourg and jane birkin in 1968, months after they met on the set of the film slogan; they would be together for the next 12 years. birkin’s older brother andrew – a director and screenwriter – took pictures of the couple throughout their relationship. as a new exhibition of photographs opens at proud gallery in london.

“my sister and i were staying in the same little hotel in paris, under the shadow of notre dame, when she met serge – that summer, i was working for stanley kubrick taking location shots for his film napoleon, which never got made, and jane was making slogan with serge. she was on the rebound from her break-up with john barry and told me about someone she called ‘that dreadful man serge bourgignon’; she railed against him, saying ‘he’s so arrogant and snobbish and he despises me.’ i hadn’t met him at this point and i thought: ‘the lady doth protest too much’.”

“when i met serge, it was love at first sight for me – i absolutely adored him, he was this wonderful mad, extrovert russian jew who’d spent half of world war ii up a tree, according to him. i think he actually spent a couple of nights up a tree, although he’d worn the yellow star for years in occupied france. for a project, i met hitler’s architect albert speer at his heidelberg eyrie in 1971, and he asked if jane and serge would sign a copy of je t’aime… for him. serge did so, probably relishing the irony, and when he made his rock around the bunker album a few years later [featuring lyrics about nazi germany], he gave me a copy to send to speer. his parents had arrived in paris after fleeing the 1917 russian revolution, and his father – who was a brilliant pianist – had to perform in casinos.”

“after slogan finished, jane landed a part in a film called la piscine with alain delon, and was summoned to st tropez. because delon was in the movie, and was not unattractive in those days, serge – who perhaps under normal circumstances might have played hard-to-get and let her go – quickly hoofed it down to st tropez, in her shadow as it were.”

“i’d always photographed jane. my family were quite bohemian: although at the time it suited the press to portray jane as being the daughter of an arch-conservative naval officer, in fact he wore a ring in his ear and was more of an artist. yes, he had been in the navy during the war, but more as a spy than anything else – and my mother was an actress, noël coward’s leading lady during the second world war. it was a very liberal upbringing – and serge fit right in.”

“serge had his first christmas with our family in 1968: jane brought a demo lp they had recorded together and played a few songs for us. later, away from our parents, she said ‘there’s another song on here – what do you think of it?’ i heard je t’aime… moi non plus and i was bowled over – i thought it was fabulous, i loved it. it was very erotic but also very romantic. i remember being in a restaurant in paris before the record had come out and serge had the demo. they had a turntable with loudspeakers, and serge went over and asked them to put it on. neither of them were household faces in the summer of ‘69. we were eating our meals, and the song came on – it was rather wonderful looking around when the heavy breathing started, looking around the restaurant and pretending not to notice, seeing people’s jaws dropping.”

the couple had a daughter in 1971. in a book of the jane and serge photographs published by taschen, andrew describes the day jane gave birth to charlotte: “a telephone call came to say that jane was due to give birth at any moment, so i hoofed it to london, where i found serge pacing up and down the hospital corridor, knee-deep in gitanes butts. we went to the pub across the road, and by the time we got back to the hospital, charlotte had arrived … serge was ecstatic.”

“serge adored jane, and she adored him – for the golden years, which lasted for about seven years, and then it was the alcohol that kicked in with serge. he drank too much, and became difficult to live with. i didn’t mind that he was drunk, as it usually meant i would win at chess. he liked playing for money, and was the better player: when sober he would win usually, but if he was drunk then i would win. he seemed such a gregarious extrovert, but alone with him i saw his melancholic side.”

“in a sense, they never really did break up. the catalyst was a film director called jacques doillon… he was much closer to her age, and flattering – good-looking, and charming, and very bright. serge did the classic thing of saying ‘i think he’s wonderful’, and inviting him out to dinner – wining and dining the opposition, as it were. he’d written a few songs for jane, but now he started writing them full-time – and some of his best songs for jane were written after they’d broken up, when she was with jacques.”

“jane and jacques were together for about 10 years, and what broke it up with them was that after serge died in 1991, jacques began having affairs with the reason that he couldn’t compete with a ghost. they had always really had a ménage a trois – not sexually, but in terms of company. whenever i went to paris, even after she and serge had broken up, jane would say ‘oh do call in and see him’ or ‘he’s coming to dinner tomorrow’. then when he died, jane berated herself, thinking if she’d stuck around she could have saved him from the alcohol, which undoubtedly was a contributing factor to his early demise – he was only 62 when he died. undoubtedly, now looking back, he was – and remains – the love of her life.”

the show is up from 11th september to 26th october if in london at proud: 32 john adam street, london WC2N 6BP post a comment for us if you have seen the show. by uh

supervillain hideout

if you are an aspiring super villain looking for a place to stay until you can afford a hollow volcano or a space station, the safe house might be the place for you. designed by robert konieczny for a client who required a feeling of maximum security, it makes us wonder who the owner might have pissed off. by kt

Sonnet 109

“O never say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seemed my flame to qualify.
As easy might I from myself depart
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie.
That is my home of love; if I have ranged,
Like him that travels I return again,
Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe, though in my nature reigned
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be stained
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good.
  For nothing this wide universe I call,
  Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all.”

– William Shakespeare

jordan betten: lost art

new york based jordan betten, founder of lost art, the handmade leather goods merchant to the music elite (steven tyler, sean lennon, lenny kravitz …)  has released a collection of 5 t-shirts on his website for $60-80 each. we are kind of diggin’ ’em. wear art, not brands, people! by kgb

rise and shine

edward hopper morning sun

edward hopper’s gorgeous 1952 painting, morning sun, currently resides in the columbus museum of art, but shines its light on any onlooker no matter their location. looking out my brooklyn window early this morning (in a pink gown, no less) i am overcome by the change of season, and the multitude of meaning in this painting. the light reflecting upon her body and forming the stark shadows is ever so important, almost the focal point of the painting. but without that body, the light and its path would be stagnant. on the other hand, despite the open window (always a recurring motif in hopper’s work, and one that even encapsulates david lynch) and the endless possibility of what’s going on outside, the woman appears listless. she is pensive, alert only to her own movements and thoughts. i could go on for a while about how overwhelming this painting is; i will let you devour the beauty on your own. to an autumn full of change, full of art and full of bathing ourselves clean after swimming in all that negativity. by sv