Friday, 30 August 2013

My favourite 'old fogey' brands

I think I need these! (Hotter 'France')
Style’s a funny thing. We all start developing our taste in clothes early, even if we’re not aware of it, and one day you wake up and realise your taste has actually dated. Despite not being especially into fashion during the 1980s and 1990s I’ve still absorbed some of the maxims of those decades. Thou Shalt Not Wear Brown, for example (brown was massively popular in the 1970s and therefore to be shunned, though I have abandoned that one, with some help from steampunk). Thou Shalt Not Wear Flares (another shunned 70s style). Recently I’ve been realising that some of the styles that are ‘just normal clothes’ to me probably mark me out as someone who was young in the 1990s, such as my conviction that clumpy boots go with everything. I still have slip dresses and a crushed velvet babydoll in the wardrobe, and I'd be wearing them now if they still fitted!

Because people cling to the styles of their youth a little, it’s always worth investigating ‘old fogey’ brands because they carry on making older trends for a bit longer, and they stock a good range of classics too. Van-Dal still make shoe clips, as well as fairly traditional-looking shoes – I like their court shoes. Miss Mary of Sweden manufacture corselettes and bras that are admittedly mostly low on glam, but rock-firm on shape.

My favourite old fogey brands 
Edinburgh Woollen Mill
A great source of pleated tartan skirts for women and Harris tweed-pretty-much-everything for gents, from waistcoats to trilbies to ties. I’d avoid the shortbread, though, as some of what they sell contains vegetable oil! (If it’s not all-butter, it’s not worth eating...)

Hotter shoes
They only do about one retro-styled pair of shoes a season, but I always get a pair and wear them to bits. I'm currently eyeing up a pair of France for winter workwear. (Helen Highwater included Hotter in her guest post 'Vintage style shoes in larger sizes' for Retro Chick.)

Triumph
Specifically, the Doreen bra. You can keep your modern foam rubber half-sphere bras – a Doreen gives amazing lift, plenty of separation, and is dead comfy. Okay, it’s not the sexiest garment in the world, but if you’ve got maximams (I’m a 34F), it will give you a better silhouette than anything else on the High Street. I know at least two other vintage-loving bloggers who are Doreen fans, and I bet we're not the only three.

Bronnley
Bronnley have been making toiletries since the 1880s. I’m a massive fan of the Orange and Jasmine (Seville in a bottle!) and Lemon and Neroli scents, though the Pink Bouquet and Freesia are also lovely.

Have you got a favourite oldie-but-goodie brand?

Monday, 26 August 2013

The Steampunk Bible [books]

There are a few books around about Steampunk as a genre, and most of them are very well done. The Steampunk Bible by Jeff Vandermeer with S J Chambers is among the best.

I think the key to what's made the current crop of what-is-steampunk books so good is the fact that most have been written by people who are already part of the subculture in some way. Back in my goth days, I used to get very annoyed by people who tried to foist an idea of what the subculture was on us from the outside; steampunk doesn't seem to have that problem at the moment. Vandermeer and Chambers are already writers within the genre, and it shows. They've spoken to some of the biggest names in steampunk for their book, including Jake von Slatt, Datamancer, Jema Hewitt (Emilly Ladybird) and Scott Westerfield.

Chapters in The Steampunk Bible cover such topics as the origins of steampunk, Makers and Artists (and there is a difference!), fashion and music.

As someone who's primarily interested in books and films, I didn't enjoy this book as much as Steampunk: The Illustrated history of Fantastical Fiction, Fanciful Film and Other Victorian Visions by Brian J Robb with James P Blaylock and Jonathan Clements. (I reviewed that one for SFX, which is why I haven't done it on this blog.) Robb's book delves deeper into the fictional side of steampunk, looking closely into the precursors of the genre, and seems to go further into exploring modern steampunk fiction in all its forms (television, film, books and so on). I did feel there were things missing from The Steampunk Bible, especially in the chapters on Artists/Makers and music, where some very well-known names never got mentioned – perhaps this is because many of the things I felt were missed are European, and the writers of this book are American, and while they've tried to take an international approach, inevitably they will talk about the things and people they know best.

However, The Steampunk Bible does have one massive advantage over Robb's book, and that's the way it's stuffed with photos of real steampunks. If you've ever had a hankering to go to a steampunk event, this will give you the inspiration you need, plus a thorough grounding in all the most important aspects of the subculture so you won't feel hopelessly lost when you get there.

My copy of The Steampunk Bible was a gift from my little brother, and a very welcome one it was too!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Dig For Victory / Lacock at War 2013

Re-enactor cycling through Lacock
Last week I'd had a bit of a dilemma about which local 1940s-themed event to go to over the weekend, and in the end I decided to go to both. Perhaps my failed 40s hair set was an omen that neither Dig For Victory nor Lacock at War would be as I expected. I’d eagerly anticipated both, yet each was a bit of a letdown. I think it’s because neither felt quite complete as an event...
Display street at Dig for Victory 2013

The first, longer-established event was Dig For Victory, run by a group of enthusiasts called the Blitz Buddies. When I went to Dig For Victory a few years ago, it was small but sweet: there was a lovely amount of Home Front stuff, a limited but nice selection of military vehicles, and some re-enactors.

This year there was still a good Home Front display. You can see a couple of shots here; it was laid out in the form of a street, complete with masking tape on the windows to prevent flying glass in a bomb attack, and inside each shop window was a display of 1940s artefacts. Outside was a model Victory Garden. There were also a few stalls, including one excellent clothing stall in the shape of Cock-a-doodle Vintage. (I first saw them at the Vintage Nostalgia Show, and their stock is fantastic - not cheap, but really, really covetable, so if you're at Twinwood this weekend, look out for them.)

The 'dressmakers' display
The educational side of Dig For Victory was very well done. I really got the feeling that the Blitz Buddies really loved what they were doing and gave it their all. They've amassed a fascinating collection of objects, from cameras to sewing patterns, shoes to magazines. However, there were far fewer vehicles this year. I wondered if this was because the West Wiltshire Military Vehicle Trust has Lacock at War as its main event, so they were all at that.

The main problem with DFV, though, was the crowds: it’s a free event, held at a garden centre, and it was absolutely heaving. A shame, really, because it’s an event run with genuine enthusiasm, but Mr Robot and I didn’t feel like sitting down and watching the dancing or having a cup of tea because things were simply too hectic. Also, because so few visitors had bothered to dress for the event, it diluted things rather, so instead of feeling like a fun occasion people could come along to and be part of, it felt like a vintage zoo, where anyone in 40s clobber was simply there to be stared at. We made a quick dash to the other event.
US Navy Staff Car at Lacock at War 2013

It cost £3 each to get into the main show area at Lacock at War - for some reason I’d thought it was going to be free to enter, possibly because it was in a field in Lacock town. The large field had the capacity to handle a large crowd, and plastic walkways had been put down so it wasn't too muddy and mobility devices could trundle round easily. For seeing historic military vehicles it was absolutely excellent. There were some re-enactment groups there too. (Mr Robot and I were invited to join one of the re-enactment groups because of our outfits! We were both in woollies knitted from Susan Crawford patterns.)
Madeline Brown

The entertainment in the main marquee was very good; DJ Desert Fox was playing vintage records between sessions from singer Madeline Brown and burlesque artist Dulcie Demure. I was really impressed with Madeline Brown's voice. She has the strength and range for swing. There didn't seem to be any CDs on sale at the show (perhaps they were further inside the marquee - it was pretty crowded so we couldn't get very far in) but I may well order one from her website at some point. I did feel like there were more visitors with a genuine interest in the things on show at this event, rather than just ones who’d come along to gawp at something different.

Beautiful Douglas C-47 Dakota
Away from the main show area, in the historic town of Lacock itself you’d have occasional re-enactors pop up in the streets, such as a troupe of ‘Germans’ marching through, or a lady in military uniform sailing past on a vintage bike. Later in the day there was a flypast by a 1940s Dakota. I've seen it once this year, at the Trowbridge Military Weekend, but it's such a beautiful plane I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing it. Despite that, a lot of Lacock at War simply didn’t have enough of a human dimension. There was a lot of stuff, but not many stories.

Well-earned cuppa...
In an ideal world, the two events would be combined, so you’d have the ‘hard facts’ of the military vehicles on show at Lacock at War and the more human, educational aspect of Dig for Victory. As it was, each event had lots to recommend it, but in the end both felt strangely lacking to visit.

All photos copyright PP Gettins.


Me, with failed hair set

Mr Robot, with successful beer

Monday, 19 August 2013

The hair set that didn't

It ended up in this state again.
As we were going to Lacock at War and Dig For Victory over the weekend (more on that later in the week), on Saturday I tried to set my hair for the first time ever.
I've never been particularly good at or fussed about doing my hair: as a high-school kid in the late 80s I had a a giant, highlighted perm (thinking about it, probably one of the few times I bothered doing what everyone else was doing), then when I got to university and could get away with it, dyed it jet black, and kept it jet black and naturally straight for quite sometime thereafter. The closest it ever got to being in a hairdo was when I'd plonk it in a bun.

Gemma (Retrochick) and Charly (Landgirl1980) have regularly posted about the lovely things they do with their hair, and I've been wanting to try it for some time. I bought Lauren Rennell's book Vintage Hairstyling from Pinup Parade, but her instructions were a tad scary. All that stuff about triangular and rectangular sections of hair - it's as much as I can do to get a straight parting. The book has stayed largely on the shelf!

Then last week, Tasha at By Gum, By Golly, posted 'A fast roller set for everyday vintage hair'. I loved her really detailed photos, which make it easy to see what you should be going. I don't like watching YouTube tutorials, so this was perfect for me. And it is a really good tutorial; armed with newly-purchased setting lotion and foam rollers, I was able to follow Tasha's instructions, inept as I am at hairstyling.

I went to bed, rollers all nearly tied under a silk scarf. I was so excited the next morning. I unrolled the rollers and it wasn't that curly, even where I'd had little rollers in. A good brush out and... the curls were pretty much brushed out.

So, hair gurus, where might I have gone wrong? These are things I reckon might have been the culprit:

Using regular setting lotion - perhaps extra strong would've been better on fine, straight hair
Not using enough setting lotion
Trying to set my hair after washing it - perhaps the lotion all soaked off into the scarf/my pillow as I slept

If you have any ideas what caused it all to drop out, I'd love to know!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Places to go, things to do

Tickets for the 2014 Vintage Nostalgia Show are now on sale! I had an ace time there in 2013 – read my review of the 2013 Vintage Nostalgia Show. Annoyingly, it clashes with the 2014 Frome Steampunk Extravaganza, but although the VNS is further away, camping makes it more convenient, so we're going there. (Frome has a rubbish train service, and it's inconveniently expensive for us to get taxis to/from, but is too close to be worth us paying for a B&B; this isn't likely to be the case for most people!) However, the 2013 event was also excellent – full review of the Frome Steampunk Extravaganza here – and I'd recommend either event for a brilliant time.

This weekend I have a dilemma, as there are two 1940s-themed events going on at Lacock on both Saturday and Sunday. Dig For Victory is happening once more at Whitehall Garden Centre. I've got great affection for that event as when I first discovered it, my grandmother was in hospital. I'd hoped to be able to take her to it in a wheelchair. As it was, I played my Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman music to her on the night she died, and though she was drifting away on painkillers and we were told she was unconscious, she responded to the music. So when Mr Robot and I then went to Dig For Victory and heard the 1940s music, it made me think of my Nannie when she was young and lovely, and I hoped that somewhere she was dancing. I very much enjoyed it, anyway. It had a fair bit on the Home Front as well as the strictly military side of things, which I felt gave it a female-friendly aspect. It's supposed to be even bigger now. It's got shops, displays, dancing, and it's free to get in. The other thing going on is Lacock At War. I think that's likely to be less social, with more emphasis placed on military history. They've got a Dakota doing a flyplast, plus music and living history groups. I suspect that's going to be the bigger of the two events?

So, do I go to one event or try to cram in both? Which would you prefer?

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Vintage knits on the needles


I've been feeling good of late, and have got my mojo back for a lot of things, including blogging and knitting. I've got two lovely projects on the needles, as well as that navy cardigan, which I'm actually quite keen to begin work on again. But first, the most important thing I'll possibly ever knit: my friend Sarah's wedding cardigan. In the end Sarah plumped for the first pattern I showed her a picture of, part of an angora twin set from Stitchcraft August 1954. I took a pile of magazines and books when I went to see her, and it turns out the pattern has been reproduced in A Stitch In Time Volume 2, so if you like the look of it, it's an easy pattern to find.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Laura Ashley: The Romantic Heroine [exhibition]

Prim styles, bold colours
The Fashion Museum in Bath is currently hosting an exhibition entitled ‘Laura Ashley: The Romantic Heroine’. It shows a collection of Laura Ashley's designs from the late 1960s and 1970s. Mr Robot and I dropped by at the weekend.

Entry to the exhibition is included in the price of a ticket to the Fashion Museum. If you haven’t already seen the ‘50 Fabulous Frocks’ exhibition, it’s a bit of a bargain. If you have already seen that one, I’m not sure the Laura Ashley exhibition alone warrants paying the same money all over again – that said, I’m not a massive 1970s fan, and as that decade’s often under-represented in fashion exhibitions you might disagree, or you might fancy revisiting the whole museum.

The first thing you see on walking in is a white title display, fronted by a set of white-on-white Laura Ashley frocks. The notes alongside the display pointed out that films such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, where Katharine Ross plays a schoolteacher who wears a white summer dress in a memorable cycling scene, made the style popular.
Heathcliff, it's me, I'm Cathy, I've come home...

Don’t be fooled by those white cottons! Behind that crisp, clean beginning is a mass of colour. Laura Ashley started out printing fabrics on her kitchen table, and many of her dresses had print as their standout feature. I did find the prints fascinating. Most were quite large in scale, and very bold, but the colour palettes were limited so most fabrics only had two or three colours, keeping things from looking too gaudy. The subjects weren’t all pretty and twee, either: there were hunt scenes, odd birds, all sorts of subjects. Given the resurgence in the popularity of home dress making, it would be fabulous if the firm could re-release some of these patterns in dress weight fabric.

In multiple colours, the prints might be overwhelming, but they're fab in monochrome
One thing I do appreciate about the 1960s and 1970s is the misty nostalgia around the change of decade, whether that’s Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, The Great Gatsby, The Sting or Poldark and Upstairs, Downstairs. Many people longed for (what they believed was) a simpler time. What those films and telly programmes did in entertainment, Laura Ashley did in fashion.

Ashley played with Victorian, Edwardian and Regency styles – I could well imagine my steampunk friends having fun with the dresses. Maxi-skirted, full-sleeved and high-necked, the dresses are shocking in their primness. We’re so used to revealing garments nowadays that the bold ‘NO PEEKING!’ these dresses represent is truly startling. There are some saucier ones with halter necks, but on the whole they are quite concealing.

Note the emerald halterneck... Possibly the most revealing frock on show
Despite their romantic, nostalgic look, none of the dresses was overwhelmingly frilly. Think of an overblown, flouncy, meringue of a dress and you’ll probably be picturing something from the 1980s. These Laura Ashley frocks have puff sleeves or full cuffs, high necks or lace inserts, and even the occasional ruffle, but the silhouettes are mostly fairly simple. There are no waterfalls of lacy frills or panels of ruching.

My steampunk friends could rock this look!
A couple of people (Naomi Thompson and Liz Tregenza) have commented on Twitter that they think vintage Laura Ashley is going to become highly collectable. After walking round the display, I can see why. The prints, the shapes, the nostalgia... there’s nothing quite like them. If you’re in Bath, drop by the exhibition and see what you think. It runs until the 26th of August 2013.

All photos copyright PP Gettins.

You can see some of the later, more Regency-inspired dresses here.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Forgotten Bombshells: Chrystabel Leighton-Porter and Jane

How can a bombshell be forgotten? Often it’s because of the medium they work in. Bombshells are visual beings, and stage work and a lot of television can be hugely popular when it’s broadcast, but never repeated, and so the beauties live on only in the reminiscences of others. For example, Sabrina, another of my Forgotten Bombshells, worked mainly in television in light entertainment programmes that haven’t been repeated in years, so today’s audiences will only come across her in her brief Blue Murder at St Trinian’s cameo or the Goon Show’s oaths such as ‘By the sweaters of Sabrina!’

Chrystabel Leighton-Porter’s work is even less likely to be seen by the modern mainstream as she appeared in artwork, not photos or film: she was the main model for popular 1932-1959 Daily Mirror comic strip 'Jane'.

Depending on your age, you might just remember Jane as in the 1980s there was a Jane TV series starring Glynis Barber (Soolin from Blake's 7!), the Mirror briefly revived the strip, and a really quite dreadful film, Jane and the Lost City, was made. However, Jane was first and foremost a comic strip character. She got into all sorts of scrapes, most of which ended up with Jane in her pants. Initially cartoonist Norman Pett’s wife Mary modelled for Jane, but in 1940 Chrystabel took over the posing job.

Jane carried on losing her clothing on a regular basis throughout the Second World War, where she often came to blows with German temptress Lola Pagola. She was a popular pin-up with British troops, and the noteworthy episode where she ended up nude was credited with boosting morale and driving troops on. Submarine captains received advance copies of the cartoon so their sailors wouldn't miss out. Chrystabel received sackloads of fanmail and proposals of marriage. During and after the war, she toured with a Jane-themed act (naked women weren't allowed to perform on stage, so various ways to get around that had to be found, including drawing a motionless Chrystabel round it in a sledge!). In 1949 Chrystabel made a film, The Adventures of Jane.

The comic strip ended with Jane marrying her boyfriend Georgie Porgie. Chrystabel met and married a dashing Air Force pilot during the war, and the two were together for the rest of their lives, so while our bombshell is now forgotten, she too had a very happy ending to her story.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Casebook of Bryant and May [comics]

Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May are two of my very favourite fictional detectives, and now they're starring in their own comic. I actually won my copy back in March, when Christopher Fowler was giving it away to the first person to get several questions right – any avid reader of his books could have done it, but I was fastest!

The bulk of the hardback comic is 'The Soho Devil', written by Christopher Fowler and drawn by Keith Page.

At first I wasn't taken with Page's thin-lines-and-watercolour style of artwork. (I was one of the few who was appalled when 2000AD got more colourful back in the late 1980s; I always preferred Glenn Fabry's clean, monochrome artwork for Slaine to Simon Bisley's sea of bright blue plus muddy browns – which is a long way of saying: colour in comics, not my thing.) Anyway, Page's style had grown on me by the time I reached the end of the book. Under the colour, there's an economy of line and a firm grasp of what he wants each character to look like; every face is identifiable in every frame, and full of expression. There's a shorter story, 'The Severed Claw', set in 1967, at the end of the book, and even I, who have mild prosopagnosia, can identify the real-world celebrities at the party from the way they're drawn. Some of Fowler's characters didn't look like I pictured them, but that's going to be the case with any novel that gets turned into a more visual form – artists or casting directors will always have a different idea from each reader what a character looks like. What matters is that they always looked consistent and individual. All the members of the PCU apart from the DuCaine brothers feature, and with remarkably little space for elaboration Fowler and Page bring their differing personalities out.

Another of Page's strengths his depiction of places. Real-world locations around London are easily identifiable, but so are the ones Fowler creates in the novels. The PCU offices contain all the bizarre books and esoteric kipple they do in the novels. I was especially pleased to see Crippen, the cat, lurking in a few frames, and Bryant's car covered in flower stickers.

You'll have fun reading the
titles of Bryant's books
The characters are very much the Bryant and May of Fowler's supernatural-free crime novels, but a chunk of the 'Soho Devil'  plotline is taken from his 1998 horror novel Soho Black. The death of a drug dealer, in a phone box filled with butterflies, leads the Peculiar Crimes Unit on a chase to save seven criminals before a mysterious flying vigilante kills them all off. It's a great story, though, proper Bryant and May, and I won't spoil it for you, but I will say no other detectives would ever be chased round Nelson's Column by an angry rhino.

As well as the two comic strips, there's a very good piece by Christopher Fowler on 'How Do You Invent a Mystery Series?', which I really enjoyed. It's always fascinating to hear where writers find their inspiration.

There's also a book-by-book breakdown of the novels – not the earlier horror ones, which the two detectives do pop up in, but the full-on crime novels from Full Dark House onwards. That might tempt you to read the novels if you haven't already got them, but I'm not entirely sure what use it is to someone familiar with the series, although the full-page artwork alongside each synopsis is nice.

Then there's the PCU Sketch Gallery: brief biographies of each character, with three sketches. That was a really nice idea, although I'd have preferred it with more information about each character, perhaps with something new or fairly unfamiliar from Christopher Fowler on each one. Also, my day job involves sub-editing, and if I sent something to press with differing font sizes, the wrong biography for one person and another person being given one wrong portrait, I'd get my backside kicked, if not my P45. The sketch gallery is the one shoddy element in the whole volume. Fortunately, it's far from the most important, so I shouldn't let that put you off buying the book if the rest sounds like your sort of thing.

I do wish this was a paperback, in a similar format to the Professor Elemental comic. It's fun. It should be easily portable, something to enjoy on a train or a long journey, or between lessons, not a coffee table book. However, as it is a hardback, it would make a very good gift for a teen who thinks they're not into books – it'd certainly lure them in to reading the Bryant and May novels.

You can buy the Casebook of Bryant and May direct from the publisher. (I'm not getting anything for that link, but as the book isn't available on Amazon or in bookshops, you might have trouble finding it.)

If you want to read more of my comics reviews, click on 'Comics' in the tagcloud (right) or at the bottom of this post.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Great 1920s-set films


Ella arrives in Hollywood – but the competition was a scam!
Are you missing the Great Gatsby fervour? (I'm not, I love the 1920s but it really made me sick of all things Jazz Age!) Do you want more 1920s-set films? Here are my favourite films from or set in the 1920s. Obviously the list is limited to things I’ve seen, so if you can add to it, please do so in the comments.

Films from the 1920s
Ella Cinders
Flapper superstar Colleen Moore plays the poor girl who ends up in big movies after winning a (scam) competition, winning the heart of her friend the milkman on the way. You might have seen stills of Colleen and not understood why she was such a celeb in her day as she's not as obviously glamorous as a lot of silent stars; this film really highlights her charm and gift for comedy.

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
I’m probably biassed by having seen this German Expressionist movie on the big screen, with live accompaniment from Minima, but it really is eerie and unsettling. Where does the madness really lie, in the subject of the story or its teller?

Have no doubts, Betty-Lou WILL get her man
IT
Clara Bow shines as Betty Lou Spence,  the shopgirl who falls for her boss, played by dashing Antonio Moreno. Luckily she has that indefinable quality, ‘it’, and he wants it! But the path of true love never runs smooth in this 1920s romantic comedy as both have to overcome misunderstandings and rivals for each other's affection.

The Ring
One of Hitchcock's British silents. The Lodger, starring Ivor Novello, 'the Welsh Valentino', at his gurtest lush, is probably a better film, but I'd opt for The Ring if you want a look at the 1920s, British-style. It's the tale of a fairground boxer who hits the big time, and takes up with a woman who Does Him Wrong. When he becomes successful, he gets a plush flat and throws parties... and you might be surprised to see how deco it isn't.

Piccadilly
A British silent starring two big American names, Gilda Grey and Anna May Wong. Nightclub dancer Mabel loses her job and her boyfriend to ambitious Shosho, who works her way from poverty to the big time – and to tragedy. I’ve written a complete review of Piccadilly.

Films set in the 1920s
The Cat’s Meow
William Randolph Hearst, Marion Davies (played beautifully by Kirsten Dunst, who captures both flirtatiousness and devotion), Charlie Chaplin (Eddie Izzard, brilliant in his serious role) and some other well-known figures take a pleasure trip on Hearst’s yacht – but jealousy and betrayal leads to tragedy. Based on Hollywood fact and decades-old rumours. I’ve done a full review of The Cat’s Meow.

Bullets over Broadway
Woody Allen has a genuine love of the period between the wars, and some of his best films are set then. Bullets Over Broadway is my favourite, although Purple Rose of Cairo and Sweet and Lowdown are both excellent too. In Bullets Over Broadway, a gangster’s moll (Meg Tilly) wants to be an actress, so her lover ensures that an actress she will be – even though playwright (John Cusack) is desperate to seduce a stage grande dame (Dianne Wiest) by making her the star of the show. Meanwhile, the moll’s reluctant minder (Chazz Palmintieri) turns out to have an absolute gift for writing plays, and bitterly resents his charge ruining his dialogue with her bad acting. It’s hilarious. A great film.

Bugsy Malone
Yes, it's a film full of kids. I loved this when I was little, and I still love Bugsy Malone today. A child's version of the prohibition era, with gangsters taking one another down with machine guns firing whipped cream before racing off in pedal getaway cars, speakeasies, and Bugsy falling for would-be actress and singer Blousey Brown. (I want Blousey's wardrobe. Seriously.) It also has a fantastic soundtrack.

You will note that I haven’t included Some Like It Hot or Singin’ in the Rain. I love those films, and both are set in the 1920s, but they simply don’t say 1920s to me. I also haven’t included favourite films with a 1920s-set section, such as It’s A Wonderful Life (which suffers from the ‘can’t tell it’s meant to be the 20s’ problem anyway).

If you like old films, don't miss Penny Dreadful's weekly film roundup of what's on UK freeview channels. Even if you can't get UK freeview, you might well see something you want to look up on DVD!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Congratulations Alterknitive!

I've drawn the winner of the Blogoversary giveaway, and the winner is Alterknitive!

Let me know whether you want the red or the blue jewellery set, and where you want it posted to, and I will put it, plus your other goodies, in the post to you.

My email addy is crinolinerobot AT yahoo DOT com