Entertainment, Style

The Roaring Twenties

So I know this is long overdue and I’m a bit behind with the times, but I finally managed to get my hands on The Great Gatsby – a film I have been dying to see since Mr DeCaprio graced the red carpet at its New York première back in May.


Directed by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo & Juliet) and an adaptation from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel, The Great Gatsby paints a picture of a tragic love story (bearing resemblance to Romeo & Juliet it may seem). It explores themes of love, decadence and social upheaval, and has been described as portraying the downside of the American Dream.

Luhrmann drops you head first into the depths of the Roaring Twenties, which at first sets you back a few notches as you try to keep up with the compelling characters. But as soon as the plot becomes clear, its visually dazzling production, along with an epic soundtrack (Jay-Z served as an executive producer for both the album and the film) provoke various thoughts and feelings that captivate your attention until the tragic end. The soundtrack includes artists such as Jay-Z himself, Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine and The XX, to name a few.

The love story embedded within the narrative is charmingly portrayed, and this provokes the most feelings for me (hopeless romantic right?) This along with the striking depiction, and perhaps slight exaggeration of the 1920s were what made the film for me. Being a female of course, one thing you pick up on when watching a film is the costumes. The Roaring Twenties was of course a memorable era within the fashion world, and is still influential today. I was particularly mesmerised by the beautiful costumes worn by the characters Daisy Buchanan (Carrie Mulligan) and Jordan Baker (Elizabeth Debicki).

Because of this film, the past few days I have been stuck in a 1920s state of mind as I check out some modernised ‘flapper’ items to finish off this review. After all, film is one of the highly regarded variables that predict our fashion forecasts of today. Just take Atonement for example and that beautiful emerald green gown worn by Keira Knightley. It was voted the best film costume of all time by a poll held by Sky Movies and InStyle, which was shortly followed by fashion houses displaying unadorned, bold-coloured gowns on the runway.


Keira Knightley in Atonement

But lets skip back a decade, referring again to the 1920s as I leave you with some beautifully inspired flapper pieces, taken straight from the runway.





The Original Horror Reviews

So it is officially Halloween and in the run up I decided to watch some of the original horrors from the 70s and 80s (can’t beat an original!) Here I assess whether or not their spook factor still remains almost four decades later.

First up…

The Omen



This 1976 original remains a classic horror today because of its chilling plot and demonic themes. Damien, who initially appears all sweet and innocent, causes a stir and is believed to be the child of Satan. I don’t know about you but there is something truly sinister about children in horror movies, especially when they are the focus of the storyline. As the plot starts to unfold you begin to question; Where did this child come from? Can he be stopped? What is that creepy dog all about? And who would call their son Damien anyway?! 

Suspense kicks in as Richard Donner uses what I call the ‘drip method’ where you can guarantee that around every 15/20 minutes another character is about to fall at Death’s door. Although you are likely to predict who this is, the narrative keeps you questioning as to how the story is going to play out. For me, the movies only flaw is the verging-on-theatrical music which slightly hinders its spook factor, but then I guess that is standard directing from an old classic!

Granted, like any other traditional horror *SPOILER ALERT*, the bady always wins and for that final scene just before the credits roll in, you are presented with a full head shot of Damien and his disturbing smile, leaving you in great discomfort and a little outraged.

Hail Damien: Omen 2! For this reason I rate it 4/5.




Surely I have not picked up the Poltergeist spoof?! This can’t be the film… oh wait it is.

Cheerful, period-drama music and an underlying humorous tone allows room for this confusion. To me this movie resembles that of a fun ghost ride rather than a thrilling horror movie. As the ‘spooky’ antics begin, I can’t help but think I am watching an episode of Goosebumps. Skeletons popping up from the ground and a Ghostbusters-type figure appearing out from the television just doesn’t quite cut it for me.

Yet on a fairer note this film did entertain me, just not for the right reasons. I’m afraid low spook factor means low rating – 2/5.

The Shining



I am not a massive Stephen King fan, however Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of this psychological thriller fills me with suspense as I delve deep into the deranged mind of the main character Jack.

Jack Nicholson (who plays Jack), performs a disturbingly excellent part in this – although criticised by Stephen King as being too over the top – adding to the viewers experience. For me, it is the feelings and thoughts that you process when watching this thriller; the ‘experience’ you endure, as opposed to the actual content that you are subject to. If you were to provide the content to someone who hadn’t ‘experienced’ the film yet, then you would probably find not much actually happens. In fact some of the scariest scenes do not further the storyline in any way and in the end *SPOILER ALERT* the bady dies and the good guys run free. An anti-climax it may seem, yet you are left motionless and disturbed by what you have just witnessed.

Excellent spook factor! And for this reason I rate it 5/5.




Yet another Stephen King adaptation, this time by Brian De Palma; Carrie is a movie filled with dark undertones depicting the cruelness of life in high school. It has a fairly slow plot – with scenes dragging out longer than necessary – where Carrie is subject to high school bullying (with no thanks to her crazy, extremist mother) and inflicts revenge on her classmates through her telekinetic powers.

Perhaps the slow pace of the movie is to add to the suspense, but for me the suspense level is relatively low in this one as you can often predict what is going to happen next. Even the main scene (as pictured above) plays out fairly drab. You would think from this picture that Carrie has been on some blood-thirsty rampage, but really she has just had a bucket of pig blood thrown over her as a high school prank. This movie is not much more than a slightly chilling version of a teenage drama.

De Palma’s directing perhaps didn’t help depict the King version, as he somewhat gets lost toward the end. As Carrie *SPOILER ALERT* makes her way home (after having a nightmare of a time at her Prom) she conflicts with her mother, involving her being stabbed, dramatically falling down the stairs then somehow managing to kill her mother with her powers. But where would one go from here? Well De Palma decides to make the house crumble and fall to the ground, destroying them both, done! It’s tragic in more ways than one. The only disturbing part about it is that unlike typical horrors, you end up sympathising with the central character. But then how can the story be truly terrifying if you feel for the person causing this infliction? The answer is it can’t and so for this reason I rate it a 2/5.  

So as my nights of enduring horror movies end, I have come to the conclusion that The Shining is in fact one of the scariest horrors of its time. And still today it manages to leave me feeling unnerved. Even after the credits roll in, and almost four decades later.




Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Alice in Wonderland has to be my all-time favourite childhood film. In some way it has inspired my writing, particularly when exploring ideas and concepts from a different perspective. Or through the looking glass as one might say.

Silly riddles similar to the title of this post often trigger the brain juices and a mixed response from its audience. I could perhaps write a whole post today on why a raven is like a writing desk but the truth is, there is no answer! It is nonsensical. And this is why I love this story. It’s full of nonsense yet makes you ponder.

Some have also suggested that there are underlying drug connotations embedded within the story. Alice eating mushrooms and the caterpillar smoking some sort of substance from a pipe are two of a few reasons why this claim was raised. Perhaps Lewis Carroll himself was under the influence when writing the story? Not exactly great press for a childhood classic.

Nevertheless, I’d still like to pay homage to the logician and his mad as a hatter riddles.



Gone Girl

Decision made. I need to get myself back to being engrossed in the erratic world of fiction. After some thorough research I have selected Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.


The story is based on Nick and Amy Dunne’s difficult marriage, and on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. Nick eventually becomes a prime suspect in her disappearance for various reasons. He used her money to start a business, increased her life insurance, and seems unemotional on camera and in the news.

The story is split into versions by both Nick and Amy until the truth is eventually uncovered. Who really is responsible for Amy’s disappearance? If you fancy finding out then pick up the book for yourself or keep a look out for my *spoiler alert* of Gone Girl uncovered.