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May 6, 2016

In brief: Paula Sweet releases new book; Kardashians and Jenners mobbed by paparazzi; Cannes controversies

Lucire staff/10.25


Many of you have enjoyed Paula Sweet’s photography in Lucire, and now you can have an entire volume of her work with her new book, Do Not.
   Paula has caught signs all over our planet during her travels, and asks in the synopsis, ‘In a world of limitation and regulation, how aware are you of the restrictions placed on your own existence?’
   The premise is an excellent one that encourages us to think: ‘In this collection of signs discovered all over Planet Earth, the artist and photographer Paula Sweet documents the shrinking area of personal freedom and encourages us to rethink the contrary: if a sign is to be placed, should it not encourage us to some productive or positive action?’
   Lucire readers can enjoy a 40 per cent discount for a limited time (US$39·56, marked down from US$65·94), commencing early May 2016, if you use this link here.
   Meanwhile, in the celebrity world, this latest compilation from Celebrity Wire shows how manic things are—and we don’t think there’s much personal freedom for some of these 2016 “names”. Except it isn’t signs restricting their freedom, but a gauntlet of paparazzi. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kris Jenner are seen and photographed leaving homes and heading into clubs and restaurants; “it” couple Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom head into a waiting cab; new Calvin Klein fragrance face and rising actress Margot Robbie left her apartment; and Emma Roberts had lunch, and a dozen followed her home. Surprisingly, Justin Bieber kept a low profile as he walked through LAX, while Christina Applegate gave a thumbs-up but obscured the lower part of her face as she left the terminal. It’s definitely not the life, thank you!
   In our second video, Jane Fonda speaks about the second season of Grace and Frankie at the Netflix première. She notes that during the course of the new season, Grace realizes Frankie is good for her, and they become friends.
   Finally, with the Festival de Cannes about to kick off, Cover looks at five recent controversies to hit the event.


Celebritywire


Celebritywire


Cover

May 5, 2016

Margot Robbie to model in Deep Euphoria Calvin Klein fragrance campaign

Lucire staff/14.03


Neil Rasmus/BFA

Australian actress Margot Robbie is the new face of Calvin Klein’s latest women’s fragrance, Deep Euphoria Calvin Klein.
   The Coty fragrance will début in August, with Robbie appearing in print and on TV. It builds on the goodwill of the existing Calvin Klein Euphoria fragrance.
   ‘Ms Robbie perfectly embodies the modern femininity of the empowered deep euphoria woman that we believe will resonate with women around the world,’ said Vincent Brun, senior vice-president of global marketing for Calvin Klein Fragrances at Coty Inc.
   ‘We are thrilled to work with Ms Robbie on this exciting addition to the Calvin Klein Fragrances portfolio,’ said Melisa Goldie, chief marketing officer for Calvin Klein, Inc. ‘Her beauty and talent is an expression of the incredible legacy of women who have been captured in Calvin Klein campaigns over the years.’
   Robbie first came to prominence with her role in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, and had the female lead in Focus, opposite Will Smith. She also appeared briefly in The Big Short, based on the Michael J. Lewis book. She will appear this summer as Jane Porter in The Legend of Tarzan opposite Alexander Skarsgård, and as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, which reunites her with Smith, and which also stars Jared Leto.
   She follows in the footsteps of Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Christy Turlington, Natalia Vodianova, Rooney Mara, Diane Krüger and Doutzen Kroes.

May 4, 2016

Royal New Zealand Ballet’s The Wizard of Oz: a family-friendly feast

Jack Yan/14.29



Ross Brown

I truly hope Francesco Ventriglia’s The Wizard of Oz will be performed all over the world, because this family-friendly ballet has all the ingredients for first-time and seasoned watchers alike. What we saw at the world première tonight in Wellington were skilful dancing, moments of contemplation, beautiful staging and design, and a masterful matching to the music of Francis Poulenc.
   Based on the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, rather than the 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz, audiences are helped by the familiar storyline, which is common to both. Ventriglia keeps the basic idea but takes some different parts from the book compared to the well known film, and in the adaptation to a ballet enhances certain scenes. The structure is of a classical ballet, as are many of the dance moves, including some neatly executed lifts and catches in two pas de deux in Act II, between the Prince and Princess of Porcelain (William Fitzgerald and Laura Jones on opening night), and the Wizard (Fitzgerald again) and Dorothy (Lucy Green).
   Ventriglia forgoes the cyclone in favour of a simpler Dorothy in hospital with a coma, watched over by her Uncle Henry (Sir Jon Trimmer), but once she is deposited in the land of the Munchkins, you know that the action has started. The use of this device is very personal to Ventriglia, and can be traced back to when he was five years old in Genova, when he noticed that a girl in isolation in a children’s hospital had gone from her bed one day. His mother told him that she had gone to the Emerald City in the Land of Oz.
   A blue sky backdrop links each scene with Dorothy, and on its first appearance in Act I, lights up one’s mood. Gianluca Falaschi, The Wizard of Oz’s designer, approaches the set with both creativity and sensibility. Doors open up revealing different scenes behind the sky set, depending on the context, but it works well, giving the stage additional depth. Watch out for both the Emerald City, which borders on a bright discothèque—and no, there are no shades of 1974’s film The Wiz here—and the Kingdom of Porcelain, which is revealed in the second act. There is one beautiful touch near the close of the second act where the Wizard offers to take Dorothy away, but the fear of revealing spoilers prevent me from telling you just what Falaschi has created.
   The costumes deserve extra mention. Glinda, the Witch of the North, danced by Abigail Boyle with plenty of movements en pointe, sparkled with a bright white costume that featured 1,000 sequinned butterflies, giving her an other-worldliness; this contrasted Dorothy’s simpler farm dress that Falaschi says took its cue from the film. Dorothy’s multiple costume changes—her "saucer tutu" for the Porcelain scene, for instance—hint at the chequered pattern of her original dress, so audiences are clear that Green is dancing in the same role. The Witch of the West (Mayu Tanigaito) only has the Flying Monkeys for her allies in this version, but she enters the stage looking sinister, her outfit having connections to more adult themes but considerably toned down for a family audience. The Flying Monkeys, meanwhile, are bare-chested but masked while they are under her spell, wearing large, black skirts. Elaborate, dominating movements convey their evil intent, while the chandeliers and prison cage on the set contrast with the simplicity of the blue sky of Dorothy’s world.
   Scarecrow (Loughlan Prior) deserves additional mention since he is the first character to follow Dorothy and, therefore, has a greater role on stage; Prior’s floppy, soft movements convey his character’s construction neatly. Tin Man (Massimo Margaria)’s metallic detailing on his outfit wasn’t as easily seen and almost looked as though he was wearing a body colour, but thankfully this newer interpretation allowed the ballerino much freer movement. Jacob Chown got into his Lion character from his first moment on stage, right through to when he took a bow.
   Felipe Domingos, as the Guardian of the Emerald City cut a distinctive figure with his flowing movements, and shone in his first scene; Harry Skinner’s Yellow Cat, chasing after the mice played by Linda Messina and Tonia Looker, was a particularly likeable comedic performance (though one wonders why the cat is bigger than the dog: Toto is a stuffed toy in this version). Watch out, too, for a tap-dancing scene as Green dons red shoes instead of the Silver Shoes from the book.
   Falaschi is inspired by 1930s bathing costumes, flapper dresses and cloches, and a bellhop’s uniform for the Guardian, all of which he works in to give The Wizard of Oz, a visual feel that is its own. In all, 37 new costumes were created for the production.
   Jason Morphett’s lighting was particularly clever, as Falaschi’s box set forced him to use lights in the corner. He based his concepts on Poulenc’s music, which lent itself well to visuals thanks to its lyrical nature. I tend to find lyrical scores can paint a scene better than those founded on sound effects, and the compilation of various Poulenc compositions, compiled by RNZB pianist Michael Pansters from two dozen recordings, worked well as a complete ballet. Ventriglia calls the score ‘very cinematic,’ and that seems a very apt description.
   As detailed in our preview, the ballet began life as an unperformed, single-act ballet, which Ventriglia first conceived when artistic director of Maggio Danze in Firenze. There is an additional meaning here, as Ventriglia, who hails from Italy, has had to ask himself just what ‘home’ means, as Dorothy had to discover: ‘My conclusion is that home is where you feel grounded and comfortable within yourself,’ he writes in the programme. ‘For me that place is the dance studio.’
   The work, he writes, has been adapted to the dancing style of the company and the new inspirations he has found in New Zealand since his arrival a year and a half ago.
   The Wizard of Oz achieves its aim of being a big-story ballet that appeals to everyone, and audiences will be delighted at this latest production.
   The Ryman Healthcare Season of The Wizard of Oz kicks off in Wellington on May 4, and will visit nine centres around New Zealand: Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Blenheim, Rotorua, Auckland, Palmerston North, and Napier. Further information can be found at the Royal New Zealand Ballet website, www.rnzb.org.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher


April 28, 2016

Morgan Freeman honoured at 43rd Annual Chaplin Award Gala by Film Society of Lincoln Center

Lucire staff/1.44


Getty Images


Jim Spellman

Morgan Freeman was honoured on Monday night by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, at its 43rd Annual Chaplin Award Gala, sponsored by Jaeger-LeCoultre.
   The Academy Award-winning actor follows other luminaries including Charlie Chaplin, for whom the award is named, and who was the first recipient in 1972, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, James Stewart, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sidney Poitier, Barbra Streisand, and Robert Redford.
   Chaplin’s granddaughter, actress Kiera Chaplin, was present, representing her family. Daniel Riedo, Jaeger LeCoultre’s CEO, and Laurent Vinay, its communications’ director, represented their company. Other actors present included Robert de Niro and Helen Mirren.
   Freeman told Reuters, ‘I’m from a small town in a small state and when you start thinking about where you came from and looking back the first thing that comes to mind is the word luck.’
   In an earlier statement, Ann Tenenbaum, chair of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s board, said of Freeman, ‘He is one of the most gifted actors of our time and his body of work has changed the film landscape. He is universally loved as an actor and as a humanitarian, and we are thrilled to add the Chaplin to the long list of distinguished awards he has already received.’
   ‘Morgan Freeman is one of most highly regarded and beloved actors of his generation and we are excited to honour all of his achievements with the Chaplin Award, our biggest fundraiser of the year, which recognizes those whose mastery of their craft has made an impact on the art of film,’ said the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s executive director Lesli Klainberg. ‘Whether in a leading or supporting role, he brings a quiet gravitas to each of his memorable performances in such films as Lean on Me and Driving Miss Daisy to Street Smart, The Shawshank Redemption, Seven, Million Dollar Baby, and Invictus.’
   Freeman began his acting career in off-Broadway stage productions of The Niggerlovers and an all African-American production of Hello Dolly. Early TV appearances in The Electric Company followed, before he moved into film. He also has an extensive filmography in narration (The Long Way Home and March of the Penguins among it). In 2005, he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Million Dollar Baby, and received nominations for Street Smart, The Shawshank Redemption, and Invictus. He won a Golden Globe for Best Actor for Driving Miss Daisy in 1990. He received the Cecil B. de Mille Award at the 2011 Golden Globes and the 39th AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.
   Freeman is executive producer of Madam Secretary and host and executive producer of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. He will soon be seen in The Story of God with Morgan Freeman on the National Geographic Channel.
   Upcoming films include London Has Fallen, Going in Style, Now You See Me 2 and Ben-Hur.
   Freeman co-founded the Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop, which serves successful playwrights, is a member of the board of directors of Earth Biofuels, and a supporter of Artists for a New South Africa and the Campaign for Female Education.


Jim Spellman

April 16, 2016

Kasia Smutniak launches Mya special edition of Lancia’s last car, the Ypsilon, at Spazio Arôme in Milano

Jack Yan/12.09



We might as well enjoy it while it lasts, because this is the last Lancia.
   With the demise of the Delta—one of our favourites—in 2014, there’s a single model line left for the fabled Italian brand: the Ypsilon. After that, Lancias will be no more, the 110-year-old brand being consigned to history as Fiat kills it off.
   The Ypsilon is effectively the successor to the old Autobianchi superminis such as the A112 and Y10, a marque which had also disappeared, after once being the brand where Fiat tried out new concepts such as hatchbacks and front-wheel drive.
   Not even a brand that has had cars such as the Aurelia, Fulvia and Gamma coupés, Stratos and Beta Montecarlo can survive a lack of attention, and the Mya is one of the last editions of Ypsilon that will wear the Lancia badge.
   Fiat’s now busy, of course, with profitable Jeeps and the renaissance of Alfa Romeo, although it still pumped some money into an event in Milano for the Lancia Ypsilon Mya at the Spazio Arôme.
   This special edition sees Polish actress Kasia Smutniak (known to Anglophone audiences for the actioner From Paris with Love) as its spokeswoman, succeeding other Lancia faces such as Carla Bruni.
   The launch used video mapping imaging techniques behind Smutniak, projecting graphics on to real surfaces. Lancia says it sees the Ypsilon Mya as a ‘second home’, with Antonella Bruno, head of Lancia for EMEA even interviewing Debora Conti, a life coach, on the relationship between space and emotion, and Fire Cars’ Annacarla Giusti confirming that the car has style and elegance.
   Admittedly, the tipo 846 Ypsilon, which has been around since 2011, has aged remarkably well, and the shape still has a certain elegance to it. The interior features Alcantara and a denim-look fabric. The exterior sees the addition of two shades—though they are both grey. Ardesia Grey is standard, and a three-layer Lunare Grey comes as an option. Neve White, Vulcano Black and Blu di Blu are also available from the regular Ypsilon line, which sees a palette of 12 colours.
   To give it a subtle lift, there is a satin finish on the front bumper, the lower grille inserts, door mirrors, door handles, the Ypsilon badge on the tailgate, and the Mya logo on the wheel arches.
   The Ypsilon features at the Spazio Arôme this weekend, and that of April 23–4.—Jack Yan, Publisher






April 11, 2016

Rebecca Ferguson on the attraction of dual roles in Despite the Falling Snow

Lucire staff/13.20

Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson talked to the media recently about her dual roles in writer–director Shamim Sarif’s Despite the Falling Snow.
   Sarif wrote the 2004 novel, set in two different times: 1950s Cold War Moskva, and 1992 in the same city and in London following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2013, the film adaptation, which she directed, was announced.
   The film also stars Charles Dance, Antje Traue, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Anthony Head.
   Ferguson plays both Katya, a KGB spy in the 1950s, and Lauren, Katya’s niece and a New York artist in 1992, in the film. The film sees Katya fall in love with a politician whom she has been ordered to spy on.
   The dual roles were ‘one of the reasons to why I did it,’ says Ferguson. ‘I met Shamim. She told me this incredible story. I hadn’t read the book yet. I remember thinking, “You’re going to play two characters, I’m going to walk away, I could never do that.”’ The challenge eventually drew Ferguson in to the film.
   Ferguson, who is fluent in Swedish and English without a trace of an accent in either, is best known for her role in Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation.


Celebritywire

April 7, 2016

Gal Gadot talks Wonder Woman, Criminal—video interview

Lucire staff/23.47

Former Lucire cover girl Gal Gadot arrived in London as the actress of the moment, coming off the high of Warner Bros.–DC Comics’ Batman v. Superman, in which she plays Wonder Woman.
   Gadot spoke of her ‘interesting first day of shooting’ Criminal with Kevin Costner, who has both acting and directorial duties on the new film.
   She called her co-star a ‘talented, good-hearted man’, noting that it was a different experience working with an actor who is also a director. ‘There’s something more into it,’ she says.
   She notes that she is ‘really busy’ after Batman v. Superman, coming off an international press tour to promote the film, and then getting straight into the stand-alone Wonder Woman movie for Warners.
   Fortunately, her family life remains relatively normal and she is still enjoying everything. As to London, she says she loves everything about the city ‘except the weather’.
   Costner, meanwhile, calls Gadot a ‘wonderful woman’ and a ‘great screen partner’, and tells ITN that their first scene saw him sporting long hair and a beard—both of which were fake, although he had that very look just before he began filming.

March 2, 2016

Aston Martin shows DB11 at Salon de Genève: the dawn of a new line of exclusive sports cars

Lucire staff/12.34



One of the most exciting débutantes at the 86th Salon de Genève on Tuesday was the Aston Martin DB11, the replacement for the DB9.
   Leaked images had been doing the rounds over the past week, with huge interest: the DB11 is the most significant Aston Martin to make its début since the DB9 in 2003.
   The DB11, the latest in the DB line of cars, begins a new chapter in Aston’s history, with a brand-new platform that will underpin future releases through to the end of the decade.
   Under the bonnet is a new 5·2-litre twin-turbo V12 that delivers an estimated 608 PS and 700 Nm of torque, making the new model the most powerful production DB ever. Aston Martin expects the DB11 will reach 320 km/h and have a 0–100 km/h time of 3·9 s.
   There are also new design features, such as a front-hinging clamshell bonnet, newly shaped LED headlights, a new interpretation of the famous grille, roof strakes that flow from A- to C-pillar, a sloping rear deck (as hinted at on the DB10 from the movie Spectre) that integrates into newly shaped headlights. The DB11 is full of attractive touches, looking lower and longer than its predecessor. For those who felt Aston Martin hadn’t reinvented its design language for a long time, here is proof that head of design Marek Reichman has neither been sitting still as the company readied this all-new model, nor interested in lightly reinterpreting what has gone before.
   There is purpose to the new look, too: Aston Martin notes there is new airflow management that aids stability and reduces front- and rear-end lift. The latter is aided by air intakes at the base of the C-pillar that is ducted through the body, and out through the rear decklid, in a process Aston Martin calls the Aeroblade, a ‘virtual spoiler’ at the rear of the car.
   An eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, new electric power steering, and torque vectoring help with the new car’s agility, says Aston Martin.
   In the cabin, Daimler AG’s 5 per cent holding is apparent with the DB11’s new instrument cluster, which appears on a 12-inch TFT LCD, while an 8-inch TFT screen appears in the centre console, featuring the car’s infotainment functions. These address one of the DB9’s greatest shortcomings: its infotainment system had not been adequately updated alongside its rivals over the last decade. Infotainment functions can be reached through a rotary control, with an optional touchpad with character recognition. Parking assist and a 360-degree bird’s eye-view camera are also standard.
   Although the DB11 remains very much a grand tourer, there is more space at the rear. There are two child seats at the rear with Isofix mounting points, and the occasional rear passenger gets more headroom. Boot space is greater, addressing another DB9 issue.
   Pricing is expected to be £154,900 in the UK, €204,900 in Germany, and US$211,995 in the USA. Deliveries commence in the fourth quarter of 2016.—Jack Yan, Publisher, and Lucire staff














Max Earey

Filed under: design, living, London, Lucire, trend
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